For times of pastoral vacancy or whenever regularly called
pastoral leadership is not available, the WV-WMD maintains and
provides lists (scroll down) of ordained clergy (deacons and pastors), seminarians (and
candidates), and lay worship leaders (SLWL and BLWL) who may be
available to "supply." Additional
sources for "supply" worship leadership are found after the
mentioned lists. Please read through the entire page (and the
special COVID-19 information at right) to familiarize yourself
with protocols and guidelines. To make sure that you have the most
up-to-date version of this page, hit your browser's refresh/reload
The WV-WMD Synod set a revised compensation schedule for pulpit
supply at its 24 January 2015 Synod Council meeting. Since 1 March
2015, pulpit supply is to be compensated as follows. At its 6
February 2021 meeting, Synod Council created an addendum to the
supply compensation guidelines covering remote and hybrid (remote
& in-person) worship/preaching. If you are using remote or
hybrid worship, please review, s.v., "Compensation &
The WV-WMD Synod set, at its 19 May 2022 meeting, the
compensation schedule for Licensed Readers in the Synodical Lay
Worship Leaders program.
When the Bishop of this Synod or the Director of Evangelical Mission is the worship leader/preacher, whether the person is to be compensated depends upon the circumstances. If the pastor of the congregation is present for worship, your gifts to mission support cover all of the costs associated with this visit---though a congregation may, at its option, remit a gift to the synod. When the pastor is not present, the supply preacher is to be compensated at the normal supply rate. Both the Bishop and the D.E.M. have the right to waive some or all the compensation associated with supply preaching costs. The bishop and D.E.M. may ask you, under some circumstances, to separate the mileage and the supply honorarium, making the check for honorarium out to the preacher and the check for the mileage out to the synod.
Many church agencies and church related agencies have similar policies. Please be sure to inquire what the policy is with respect to the person being engaged.
The following applies if the service is being delivered either
remotely or hybrid employing Zoom®, Facebook®,
Youtube®, etc.. If you are having trouble
deciphering, click here to download examples of calculations.
While the heightened level of precaution related to the pandemic
has abated, a surge is always possible. We keep the guidance
issued in February 2021 posted for the time being, knowing that it
is dated. See the sidebar to the right.
Children's sermons should not be expected of supply preachers.
Children's sermons are not defined by the rubrics as a standard
part of the liturgy. They are also the hardest sermons to preach
in terms of understanding the audience. A supply preacher usually
does not know the children of the congregation. Is a given child
at the preoperational stage of development (and how far along)?
Concrete operational? Flirting with formal operational? Is the
child shy, gregarious, adventurous, timid? Does the child have any
particular triggers? What is the depth of the child's faith
formation? How diverse is the group of children that may come up
for the children's sermon? It is hard enough for the regular
pastor or deacon to grapple with the complexities involved. Asking
a supply preacher to do so is not only an unreasonable request but
often a disservice to the children as well.
If a children's sermon is expected as part of the supply
arrangement, this must be discussed in the first conversation (i.e.,
before the parties agree to the engagement) with a prospective
supply preacher. Nobody is happy when the supply preacher shows up
and is told, without warning, that a children's sermon is
expected. In short, there needs to be an agreement up front about
whether a children's sermon is part of the engagement. If the
congregation wants a children's sermon from the supply preacher,
and the supply preacher is happy to provide one, well and good.
If, however, the congregation wants a children's sermon from the
prospective supply preacher, and the supply preacher is unwilling
to provide one, four options exist (with respect to the engagement
of the supply preacher):
Caveat: +Riegel does not do children's sermons.
Holy Communion may only be celebrated by an ordained presbyter
(pastor) on the roster of the ELCA or an ordained presbyter with
ordination equivalency on the on the roster of a full-communion
partner and in good standing. Special dispensation for lay
Eucharistic presidency, under the policies of the ELCA, can only
be granted under unusual circumstances and then for only six
months at a time. At this time, there are no active dispensations
for lay Eucharistic presidency. If your congregation has received
a dispensation in the past, please contact Bishop Riegel to
discuss your situation.
Holy Baptism, when administered in an emergency, may be performed
by anyone. An emergency requires both imminent death and the
unavailability of an ordained presbyter (pastor). Prompt reporting
to the local pastor is required. When administered during the
worship of the congregation—administration at other times is at
the discretion of the pastor and should be rare—the regular
presider is the pastor of the congregation. The same rubric for
Holy Communion applies here.
A funeral is neither a sacrament nor a rite reserved to the
clergy by either civil or ecclesiastical law. A Bishop's Lay
Worship Leader may be engaged for a funeral when authorized by the
pastor loci or the interim pastor loci.
A wedding is not a sacrament. Civil law, however, in Maryland,
West Virginia, and Virginia limits who may legally conduct a
wedding. Additionally, out-of-state clergy should ascertain
whether bonding or some other requirement exists (as in the case
of West Virginia).
Before engaging a supply pastor, especially for sacramental or
other ministerial functions, please contact bishop. Per our
polity, the following may preside at altar in our congregations:
|If you notice an error or omission on the
rolls below, please contact the Bishop at
Bishop@WV-WMD.org or 304-680-5388.
The WV-WMD Synod Council, at its 6 February 2021 meeting, adopted
a new policy for Synodical Lay Worship Leaders (download the SLWL policy here). The
adoption of the SLWL policy does not rescind or amend the existing
BLWL policy; only the Synod Assembly can rescind or otherwise
amend the BLWL policy. At its January 2020 meeting, Synod Council
appointed the Select Commission for Synodical Lay Worship
Leadership (The Rev. Sean Smith (chair), The Rev. Sally Bartling,
and Stephanie Setley) to review the drafts for Synodical Lay
Worship Leadership prepared by the bishop with report to the Synod
Council with recommendations. Following successful completion of
its work, the the Select Commission was discharged and reformed
with The Rev. Sean Smith as chair and Paul Wangerin, The Rev. Ian
Reid, and The Rev. Ruth Bullwinkle as members. This reformed
select commission was charged with development of procedures
related to the initiation of the Reader license.
There are two innovative aspects of the SLWL program. First,
there are four different licenses (reader, apprentice preacher,
journ preacher, and master preacher), each with its own norms and
authorizations. Second, licensure exams replace the BLWL
requirement for attendance at specific educational events.
Applications for the reader license are now being accepted.
To learn more about the SLWL program, explore the policies, and apply for license, visit the Synodical Lay Worship Leaders page.
|Bill Bradley, OLF
|Reader | 5/18/24
|Reader | 5/6/24
|Sugar Grove, WV
|Reader | 10/2/24
|Reader | 4/27/24
Bishop's Lay Worship Leaders are equipped through the synod's
training program and authorized by the synod for service under the
Bishop's Lay Worship Leaders Program adopted by Synod Assembly
1989 (SA89.6.37) and most recently amended by Synod Assembly 2000
BLWL Policy here). This service in the territory of synod is
at the invitation of the congregation's pastor or, if delegated,
the congregational leader appointed for the task of coordinating
supply preachers. When considering someone other than one listed,
contact the bishop.
The WV-WMD Synod Council, at its 6 February 2021 meeting, adopted
a new policy for Synodical Lay Worship Leaders.
Applications to enter the roll of BLWLs are no longer being
|New Martinsville, WV
|Lola Graham (temporarily unavailable)
|Upper Tract, WV
|Jerry Harman (temporarily unavailable)
|William Hawk (temporarily unavailable)
|Patricia Keller (temporarily unavailable)
|George McKinney (temporarily unavailable)
|Vicki Tomich (temporarily unavailable)
|Carl Yost (temporarily unavailable)
Seminarians in good standing and authorized by their seminaries (or, absent an authorization protocol, the Bishop) and those approved by an ELCA synod for ordination (deaconal or presbyteral) may also be engaged for supply preaching. They may preach but not preside at altar. The two closest seminaries to the bulk of our territory are United Lutheran Seminary (Gettysburg Campus), Gettysburg, PA, and Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, OH. When considering someone other than one listed, contact the bishop.
|Devin Ames (Temporarily unavailable)
|Approved Candidate | CPE Residency
|Carrie Hoff (Temporarily
|Senior M.Div. Track —
Concurrent Internship | ULS
WV-WMD has one ordained deacon, The Rev. Dn. Mary Sanders, available for supply preaching. Deacons (on the ELCA roster of ministers of Word & service) who are in good standing in their own synod may be engaged for supply work under the same conditions as any other supply preacher. They may preach but not preside at altar. When considering someone other than one listed, refer to the guidelines posted for verification of credentials.
|The Rev. Dn. Mary Sanders
The names listed below are known to the synod as ordained
presbyters (pastors or ministers of Word & Sacrament) in good
standing in the ELCA or a full-communion partner. They may both
preach and preside at altar. When considering someone other than
one listed, refer to the guidelines posted
for verification of credentials. When engaging an ordained
presbyter for regular Sunday worship, the Sacrament of the Lord's
Supper should be part of the service. If the Sacrament will not be
part of the Sunday service, it is recommended that the congretion
engage someone in one of the other categories in the directory
section of this page.
|The Rev. Dr. Timothy Allen (TEC)
|The Rev. Jacqueline Campbell (temporarily unavailable)
|The Rev. Dr. Roger Dallman (LCMC)
|The Rt. Rev. Dr. Ralph Dunkin
|The Rev. Andrea Ernest
|Chap. Courtney Erzkus
|Chap. Ben Erzkus
|The Rev. Linda Lewis
|The Rev. Bob Lowden
|Stephens City, VA
|The Rev. Richard Moll
|New Market, VA
|The Rev. Thomas Omholt
|The Rt. Rev. Matthew L. Riegel, S.T.M.
|The Rev. Sherri Schafer
|The Rev. R. Alvin Schafer
|The Rev. Dr. Alexander Sumo
|The Rev. John L. Sweitzer (PCUSA)
Congregations in the Eastern Panhandle might want to consider
obtaining supply preachers from the Gettysburg Campus of United Lutheran Seminary.
Congregations along the Ohio River might look to Trinity Lutheran
Seminary, Columbus, OH. Seminary professors and staff may be
available. Likewise, seminarians are often authorized by the
seminaries to supply preach. Verify with the seminary that this is
the case before engaging a seminarian.
WV-WMD accepts the credentials of ordained presbyters (pastors)
on the ELCA's roster of ministers of Word & Sacrament who are
authorized by our neighboring ELCA synods for supply service. Caveat: this does not
automatically extend to lay preachers, seminarians, Synodically
Authorized Ministers, or ecumenical partners on the lists of other
synods. Check with our synod office prior to making arrangements
with any in these mentioned classes.
Also, not all synods, however, have the same supply policies and
practices. Some synods, like our synod, expect the congregation to
contact the supply preacher directly; on the extreme opposite end
of the spectrum, some expect the congregation to go through the
synod office, and the synod office assigns a supply preacher.
Supply compensation also varies. Carefully review the information
provided by each synod (and ask questions rather than make
If a particular synod is not listed, you may visit the ELCA's "Synods"
webpage to locate contact information.
The provisions of the ELCA's full-communion agreements provide
for pulpit & altar fellowship as well as the
interchangeability of clergy. The differences, however, between
our respective rosters complicate this interchangeability. Prior
to engaging a ordained or layperson for supply, contact the synod
office to verify appropriateness.
When it is impossible to secure a supply preacher from any of the
approved/recommended sources, two options remain open for