Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

Louisiana Flood Response

Louisiana Flood Response

Friends, on behalf of the PDA National Call Center here are some opportunities for immediate response in Louisiana.  The Shenandoah Presbytery Disaster Response Team is not organizing a trip at this time, but we are available to support any Mission Community or Congregation choosing to respond.

  • WEROC, LTRG is waiting on grant funds but will be ready to take volunteer work teams for muck out and mold treatment once the water recedes.  Volunteers will be housed at Bethel Baptist Church and work directly with the Pastor and his wife, Joe and Sharon Kelley.Joe Kelley (985) 335-5869, Sharon Kelley (423) 333-3158

Please keep all of our sisters and brothers impacted by disaster in your prayers.

Shenandoah Presbytery Disaster Response Team


Luray Sunset Vespers

Luray Sunset Vespers – September 4th

Greetings from Luray! This e-mail is an open invitation to all the clergy and congregations of the Shenandoah Presbytery to join us at the Singing Tower for the last Sunset Vespers service for the summer of 2016. The services begin at 6:45 PM with a 15-minute carillon prelude and usually conclude at 7:30 PM. It’s a wonderful time to connect with folks around the area as well as newcomers to the area that are enjoying the natural wonders of the Shenandoah Valley.

Click on the links above and you’ll find a description of the instrument as well as a poster advertising the services.  The service on Sept 4 will be led by John and Olivia Haney. 



Update on How to Help West Virginia

Update on How to Help West Virginia
Dear Partners and Friends,
Over the last several days many of us, across the country, have been both heartbroken and deeply concerned about the devastation in West Virginia.
We’ve seen the flooding render death and destruction on this great state. And we’ve seen the power of Mother Nature as she continues to bring additional rain. Too many lives were lost, homes destroyed, and towns were completely washed away. Many areas remain underwater and homes that were not destroyed remain without power.
But West Virginia is resilient and communities across the U.S. are opening their hearts.  Many have given generously to support the ongoing efforts.  I would encourage anybody who wants to lend a hand to go to www.volunteerwv.org and wvvoad.communityos.org to learn more and find out how you can be helpful.
It is critically important that individuals not self-deploy. Please register to volunteer at West Virginia Volunteer.  A financial contribution to a recognized disaster relief organization is the most effective donation to make. When the public supports these voluntary organizations with financial contributions, it helps ensure a steady flow of important services to the people in need after a disaster. If you need help in determining who to give to, the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website has a list of major organizations or you can  contact your FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaison for guidance.
Heather Foster, Executive Director of Volunteer West Virginia, in coordination with West Virginia VOAD and the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has been a leading force in responding to this crisis. There are over 60 local AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers assisting with establishing emergency shelters, call center support, operating cooling centers, setting up volunteer reception centers and managing donated goods – among other tasks. Additionally, two teams from AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region have been dispatched to assist the Red Cross in the hardest hit areas.
As the water begins to recede we anticipate the deployment of additional AmeriCorps-Disaster Response Team (A-DRT) members, VISTA members and Senior Corps volunteers to begin the lengthy process of recovery to included mucking and gutting homes.
Above all, I am confident that West Virginia will recover and rebuild because of the strength and spirit of West Virginians.  Over the last few days, they’ve opened up their homes to one another.  They’ve shared scarce resources of food and water. They’ve organized shelters, provided free medical care, and looked out for their most vulnerable citizens.  When hard times hit, we have to help each other and in West Virginia, this is clearly understood.
I encourage individuals and organizations that want to help to visit wvvoad.communityos.org and www.volunteerwv.org for details on volunteer opportunities.
In Service,
Kelly DeGraff
Senior Advisor for Disaster Services

Additional details for those interested in assisting:
Communities across West Virginia are experiencing severe losses related to flooding. Please stay safe and continue to take care of each other. If you’d like to help, financial donations are best at this time. As the situation stabilizes over the next few days, other supplies and volunteers will be needed. Here are some ways you can help now.
  • INDIVIDUAL VOLUNTEERS: Volunteers should not self-deploy, please stay safe until contacted by a volunteer coordinator. Please register to volunteer at www.volunteerwv.org.  If you are already volunteering at a local shelter or response operation but are not already registered with another disaster response agency (like the Red Cross), please register using the link on our website and comments with your current volunteer location.
  • GROUP VOLUNTEERS: For agencies with groups of volunteers ready to help (including church groups and student organizations), please register your team on the website at www.volunteerwv.org. You only need to register your team once.
  • AGENCIES WHO NEED ADDITIONAL VOLUNTEER SUPPORT: If your agency needs additional volunteer support to staff shelters, conduct damage assessments or is anticipating other volunteer needs, please contact Gina.L.Namay@wv.gov or 304-558-0111 to complete a volunteer request.
  • FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS: Financial donations are the best way to support the effort at this time. West Virginia has a statewide disaster relief fund managed in cooperation with a network of West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WVVOAD) and the United Methodist Church. You can donate to this fund at https://wvvoad.communityos.org/cms/home.
Financial donations can be mailed to:
WV Disaster Relief Fund
PO Box 3811
Charleston, WV 25338


How can I help answer the call in WV?

“How can I help answer the call in WV?”
Here is how…
1. Pray. Pray for the survivors, for the families of those who lost loved ones, for those who lost every possession they had, for those who are serving in emergency services, who are doing the hard work of recovering bodies, and clearing homes. Pray for those who are giving comfort, preparing meals, packing and unpacking supplies, organizing volunteers, Working to make a massive system of distribution appear where there was none just 4 days ago. Pray for those who are tired, overwhelmed and in deep need of hope.
2. Give. Give to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance… You can designate gifts to
DR000191-U.S. Flooding, and write “West Virginia” in the comments if donating online, or write “DR000191-West Virginia” on the memo line of a check. https://pma.pcusa.org/donate/make-a-gift/gift-info/DR000191/
3. OR you can send checks directly to the Presbytery of West Virginia, 520 Second Ave, South Charleston, WV 25303. Those moneys will go directly to one of three efforts:
  • a. WVMAW (WVMAW.org) They are the Long-term recovery agency of the Presbytery of WV. They are already on the ground and working across the state. They will be there for the years it will take to recover from this event.
  • b. The Bread of Life Food Pantry. It is a part of Summersville Presbyterian Church and is currently the best way to get food, water and cleaning supplies out into some of the worst hit areas.
  • c. Other church related recovery. We are running pastoral care teams for theforeseeable future in six areas. We have at least five churches that have significant damage. We are aware that we will need support for years in these areas.
 4. Prepare to send teams of volunteers to help. WVMAW will be coordinating most of our teams. We are not ready for them yet but we will soon be. There is much to do but we need to work smart. Please give us the time to get a structure in place that makes working here smart and safe.

5. Keep praying. Our hearts are broken. But… there is God! And God is good.

Barbara Chalfant, Associate for Mission, Presbytery of West Virginia

Church Officers

New Officer Installation

The following new officers were installed on June 19,2016

Trustee – Anne Wood

Elder – Cary Bennett, Jeannie Curry, Betty Dixon, Nancy Hypes

Deacon – Polly Bare, Bruce Bosselman, Mary Scott Miller, JoAnn Pannill

New Officer Installation 01 061916

Outgoing Officers

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New Officers

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New Officers

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Reverend Chapman

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New Officers


Prayer after the nightclub shooting in Orlando

Below is a prayer posted on the Presbyterian Mission website.  Please keep the victims and their families in your prayers.

Prayer after the Nightclub Shooting in Orlando

Prayer after the Nightclub Shooting in Orlando

by the Rev. Laurie Ann Kraus | Associate Mission Director, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Presbyterian Mission Agency

orlandoOnce again, Holy One, we cry, how long, O Lord? 

We wonder, when will it be enough?

We pray you will forgive our society which tolerates violence,

Our fearful xenophobia, and our willingness to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to words and deeds of intolerance aimed at those “others” we fear are not like us.

The same lifeblood—the gift of a loving God—flows through all our veins, and spills out without regard to difference, staining the floors our places of fellowship, community, and learning.

staining our lives with sorrow, fear and regret.

Let the same heart beat as one among us, that we will draw together across these false divides,

And rise up as one to breathe peace where there is no peace,

and heal our communities and our world.


God of life, whose presence sustains us in every circumstance,

As the sound of gunfire echoes across Orlando

we seek the grounding power of your love and compassion.

We open our hearts in anger, sorrow and hope:

For those who have been lost: brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends

Your children, enjoying an evening of music and friendship,

Whose lives were ended or maimed in a hail of hatred and gunfire

We pray for those who have been spared and those whose lives are changed forever

that they may find solace, sustenance, and strength in the hard days to come.


We give thanks for first responders:

who ran toward gunfire, rather than away

who dropped everything to save the wounded and comfort survivors

We pray for doctors and nurses and mental health providers

who repair what has been broken

who bring healing and hope in the face of the unchecked principalities and powers of violence.


God of the rainbow, once long ago, you stretched your light across the heavens to renew your covenant of peace with your people, you promised not to destroy.

Help us in these days to believe that promise, and to participate in it, and to treasure the life which it treasures.

In the wake of an event that should be impossible to contemplate

but which has become all too common in our experience,

open our eyes, break our hearts,

and turn our hands to the movements of your Spirit,

that our anger and sorrow may unite in service to build a reign of peace,

where the lion and the lamb may dwell together,

and terror no longer hold sway over our common life.

In the name of Christ, our healer and our Light, we pray, Amen.


Greening Our Cities

Greening Our Cities

A growing movement to reconcile natural and human communities may reflect a biblical vision for God’s creation.

by Rebecca Barnes

When I was a little girl, the tree in my backyard was the stage for my imagination. I spent hours by that tree, in a parcel of green, in the middle of a medium-sized city. I often didn’t wear shoes—perhaps fitting too nicely the stereotype of a young Kentuckian. I liked the feel of grass under my feet and the gnarled wood against my soles as I stood on my personal platform (a prominent root that surfaced a few feet from the tree). My dad had blackberries, corn, and tomatoes growing against the back fence. All of this somehow created a world where I could block out the noisy traffic of a major street—a stone’s throw from my back fence—and the constant rumble and whistle of trains.

I’ve stayed in the city but connected to the earth, finding places to encounter God, by finding trees and green wherever I can. These safe, peaceful places have given me blessed, private moments to collect my thoughts, utter prayers, and come back to my “center.” 

Click Here to Read Full Story


Middle East Church Worker Visits the Shenandoah Presbytery

Elmarie Parker is visiting the Shenandoah Presbytery June 8, 2016.  She will be making presentations, answering questions of various congregations that she is visiting, and offering insights into the challenges facing Christians in today’s Syria, Iraq and Lebanon – and what the future may hold for those alongside whom she serves.

Rev. Parker also has some time for media availability on this same topic during her visit.  She can share the personal experiences of her, and her husband Scott, and the Christians in the region as they work to strengthen the ties between Presbyterians in the United States and our brothers and sisters in the Middle East.

Her trip to the Waynesboro area is part of Rev. Parker’s annual visit to the United States.  Supported by multiple Presbyterian congregations across the country, this year she is visiting those churches in the Southeast.

Click Here to Read More about Scott and Elmarie Parker