for Clergy & Laity
West Virginia - Western Maryland Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
(17 January 2022)
We've moved all the continuing education to this new page
because continuing education is not just for clergy. Both
laity and clergy will find offerings here. Some are for
laity only. Some are for clergy only. Some are for both.
That said, there is denominational encouragement for
clergy (and even requirements for certain classes of
clergy). If you are clergy (or a congregational mutual
ministry committee member), please review the general introduction for clergy
The education event matrix below is a quick way to skim
our offerings. Click on the linked text to learn about
each. Check beck periodically to find out what new thing
is being offered.
Some educational events are recorded and availble for
viewing at a later date. Beneath the education event
matrix, you find the archives matrix.
We've had a lot of events that are now behind us and have begun work on the next series. Check back again and do be sure to take a look at the offerings from our colleagues across Region 8. Those are posted separately on Facebook (click here for more info).
Don't forget to check out the offerings from the other synods of Region 8
Clergy Cont. Ed Events Team
Pr. Sherri Schafer (UOVC), Chair
Pr. Kevin Mackey (OKVC)
Pr. Daniel Warntz (PC)
Pr. Ben Erzkus (MVMC)
At the Winter 2018 Synod Clergy Cont. Education Event, the presbyteral college elected to establish a committee for the design, planning, and management of synod sponsored clergy continuing education with one representative from each of the four conferences. Synod Clergy Cont. Ed, as we currently have it configured, provides approximately 12-17 per year, assuming attendance at both events.
Serving on the the Continuing Ed Committee we have The
Revs. Daniel Warntz (PC), Kevin Mackey (OKVC), Sherri
Schafer (UOVC), and Ben Erzkus (MVMC), with Bp. Riegel as
an advisory member. Synod clergy should feel free to talk
to their conference's team about ideas and concerns
related to continuing ed.
Thanks are owed to Prs. Christine Olson (past chair),
Paul Schafer, Casey Linemann, Ryan Heycock. and Ruth
Bullwinkle for their, now concluded, service on the team.
Update: In response
to requests from synod clergy, the Winter 2022 event will
be offered in a hybrid format. Sr. Riley will be teaching
by Zoom, but those WV-WMD clergy and seminarians who want
to gather at John XXIII are invited to do so. Details were
sent to synod clergy via email. If you did not get an
The Rev. Sherri Schafer.
The online instruction is available to clergy from all
judicatories. More information to come on how to register.
In consultation with our presenter, Sr. Carol Riley, the
continuing education team has made the difficult decision
to move the in-person event scheduled for Feb. 15-17 in
Charleston to an online event. There will be more details
on presentation times and a Zoom link soon. This event is
open to clergy and synod seminarians.
The topic for the event is grief. Sr. Riley will address the following:
We've moved the older AARs (After Action Reports) on our past continuing education offerings to a page of their own. If you would like to get a feel for continuing education in WV-WMD, click here for the AARs. More recent AARs are right here...
A workshop designed to help us better understand those on the autism spectrum was held 29 July 2021 via Zoom. Organized by our DEM, it was available at no cost to participants through the Mental Health First Aid Grant received from ELCA Disabilities Unit. Erin McFarland led the workshop. Erin is a Licensed Counselor, working for the past 10 years in the Catholic Schools in Wheeling and Weirton in the School Based Health Program. She has a Masters in Community Counseling and is Licensed in the State of West Virginia and Ohio. Prior to working in the schools, Erin practiced counseling at Hillcrest Psychiatric Unit on the youth and adolescent unit as well as doing outpatient counseling at Wellsprings Family Services and Hillcrest Outpatient Services. Before that, Erin worked at Fox Run Psychiatric Hospital and Harmony House Child Advocacy Center for Children. Erin began her career as a Counselor at The Children's Home of Wheeling, working with abused and neglected young men.
"Bishop's Time" ran about an hour, with synod clergy
gathering on 27 July 2021 via Zoom. Reports from Camp
Luther, Lutheran Campus Ministry at WVU, Community
Lutheran Partners, Inc., our Youth Gathering lead, our
DEM, our Madagascar lead, and the Nominating Committee
chair joining that of the bishop. The bishop covered
roster changes, congregational vacancies, matters related
to Synod Assembly, and some liturgical items. A synopsis
is being prepared for synod clergy.
The pandemic has certainly wreaked havoc with our LARCUM
plans. The planning team has been meeting and adjusting
matters as conditions warrant. Here's what's happening....
In light of the pandemic, planning for a some sort of
fall 2021 LARCUM event(s) has been scrubbed. The LARCUM
planning team will meet again in January to continue
planning for the spring 2023 event. You can follow LARCUM
on facebook to get the latest information.
Lutherans interested in LARCUM may want to consider joining Team Wittenberg, our very own LARCUM fb group for Lutherans. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2828820697146887
The SCALDers started thinking about SCALD III, but
the pandemic has put such thinking on hold until we have
some sense of when we can return to in-person events.
SCALD (Symposium for Central Appalachian Lutheran Dogmatics) is designed as a day of theological discussion, employing the symposium model. Presenters give papers with discussion of those papers open to all participants. It is about providing an intellectually engaging and profitable opportunity for rank and file pastors and lay theologians (amateur and professional) to test their all too often private ruminations among those capable of being critical and convivial at the same time.
SCALD II, meeting in Keyser, WV, on 21
Feb 2019, saw a doubling of attendance over SCALD I,
with 30 participating, representing 6 ELCA judicatories
(WV-WMD, LSS, Allegheny, MNYS, NC, and Del-MD). There
were 2 non-ELCA folks there (TEC and UCC). There were 6
laity and 24 clergy. One of the lay participants, a
seminarian from LSTC, even road the train overnight to
Until the SCALDers get a proper page set up, you
can indicate your interest in SCALD III by visiting
SCALD II's facebook event and posting in the
comments thread. That way the SCALDers will know to let
you know about SCALD III.
"SEISMIC SHIFTS: Where do we go from here?" is the theme for the 2022 Ignite the Church Conference to be held 8-10 February 2022. We are told that this conference will be featured in the November edition of Seeds Monthly. In the meantime, here's their press release:
Since February 2020, the Church has been enduring unprecedented seismic shifts. In response, a new Hybrid version of the grassroots Ignite the Church Conference will gather next February…In-Person in sunny Orlando AND Online…to reflect on the theme: SEISMIC SHIFTS: Where Do We Go From Here? The theme is grounded in the witness of Psalm 46:1-2 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and the mountains shake." Four large group sessions will focus on the following shifts: Public Church (Robin Steinke and Winston Persaud), Hybrid Church (Joe and Jess Liles), Adaptive Church (Tod Bolsinger), Thriving Church (Stephanie Spellers). Ten 90-minute workshops will dig deeper into these shifts to offer encouragement, inspiration, and challenge for church leaders.
To register and learn more about the presenters, workshop options, and other details go to www.IgniteTheChurch.net. Register by November 30 to access the lowest $99 In-Person rate. The Online option will provide live and recorded access to each large group session and the post-conference Resource Page. The Online option is FREE…with a suggested donation $30 to the ELCA Fund for Leaders invited. All proceeds continue to benefit the ELCA Fund for Leaders which has received $13,000 from the Conference in just the past two years.
The West Virginia Council of Churches held a webinar on Dementia-Friendly Worshiping communities on December 8 with The Rev. Kathy Fogg Berry. Berry wrote the book When Words Fail: Practical Ministry to People with Dementia and Their Caregivers and co-authored, Dementia Friendly Worship: A Multifaith Handbook for Chaplains, Clergy, and Faith Communities.
The Rev. Kathy Fogg Berry received a Masters of Religious
Education from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky,
and a Masters in Patient Counseling and a postgraduate
certificate in aging studies from Virginia Commonwealth
University in Richmond, Virginia. During Kathy’s tenure at
Westminster Canterbury Richmond, she provided spiritual
care for residents with dementia diagnoses, their
families, and the staff who care for them. For the last
five years, Rev. Berry has offered the “When Words Fail”
seminar for clergy and lay leaders throughout Virginia and
she speaks regionally and nationally about spirituality
A recording of the webinar can be watched on the WVCC Facebook page.
Barb Keller offered a webinar for clergy on anger for
ELCA clergy, via Zoom, on 30 November 2021. A recording is
available. Contact the bishop r the D.E.M.