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A special study for Lent

In response to the opioid crisis that affects communities across the conference, WVUMC is offering free resources for the season of Lent.

Rev. Barry Steiner Ball has prepared weekly bulletin inserts and video interviews, which can be used by individuals and/or small groups for the 6 weeks of Lent.  These resources are now available to download. Visit wvumc.org/what-if

A companion piece, a 6-week spiritual formation booklet has been mailed to each charge, additional copies are available from the district office. These booklets were designed to help your faith community explore the practices of prayer, fasting, listening and responding to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

What If? asks the following questions of us all:
What if each clergy and layperson in the West Virginia Conference made time to intentionally fast, pray, listen and respond to God’s call on our lives, individually and as the church?

What if we intentionally entered into these spiritual practices to offer God’s love, grace and healing power to those being affected by the opioid epidemic?

What if we did this over the Lenten season in order to seek God’s direction for how we as individuals and congregations can respond to this crisis in a way that offers life?  There is no reason not to do this!  Financially, It costs nothing.  To enter into this process does not require another night out for meetings.

What does this require of us?  It requires that each Christian to set aside time to listen for God’s call on each of our lives.  What if – in this Lenten season – we really listened and responded?  We might just be a part of God’s life-giving resurrection to a person, a family, a community, a world!

What if? resources, including a video introduction, are available for churches to use as part of their Lenten discipline Click Here for the What If? page.   Click here for a bulletin insert to use to start promoting the study with your church.


Dear West Virginia Conference,

As most of you are aware, natural disasters have brought great destruction and devastation to several of the southern states and Carribean islands.

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and now Maria, brought to these regions horrific rain and winds that have disrupted the lives of many. In events such as these, our hearts break for the survivors and creates in us a desire to help.

Our first call, as people of faith, is to pray.  UMC Discipleship has prayer and worship resources to use at home and in your faith communities.  Click here for more.

We also know that the steady stream of news, meant to inform us of the great needs, also fosters in us a sense of urgency to send items to bring relief to those who are hurting.

Often this information becomes misleading and what we in the disaster relief world call “the second disaster” occurs. The second disaster is when a community or region gets overwhelmed with donated goods creating a new area of chaos and confusion for those who are trying to help others find some sense of normal. With this, I wanted to send a message to help you to be able to help others.

We ask that you please do not send items directly into the affected areas. Often these areas are not equipped or do not have the means to receive or manage donated items.

Sue and I, the West Virginia Conference Disaster Response Co-Coordinators, are on conference calls with UMCOR and the Conference Disaster Response Coordinators in each of the affected areas. During these calls, each shares the needs of their communities and where these needed items can be sent.

Please, before you collect items for the relief effort contact either Sue Lowther at 304-642-0896 or Dan Lowther at 304-642-0897 to find what is needed and where it is needed.

We do know that a great need is Flood/Cleaning buckets and Hygiene Kits. These have been distributed in the affected areas, and more will be needed. In some cases these will be used to replenish UMCOR’s depleted stock to prepare for the next event.

Instructions for building relief supply kits may be found by following this link. http://www.umcor.org/UMCOR/Relief-Supplies.

Once your group has assembled the kits please make arrangements with Sue Lowther at 304-642-0896 or Dan Lowther at 304-642-0897, to deliver them to New Vision Depot in Beaver, WV.

New Vision Depot is working with UMCOR’s relief supply system to get supplies directly where they are most needed, quickly and efficiently.

If a congregation or individual would prefer to make monetary donations, instead of building kits, you may donate toward the purchase of supplies so that kits may be made at New Vision Depot making the donation payable to UMCOR or the Conference Treasurer following instructions in following paragraphs..

Monetary donations may also be made to UMCOR to be able to purchase what is needed in the affected areas to help others. Remember, 100% of what you give to UMCOR goes directly to help survivors. Click here to give an online donation directly to UMCOR.

If you would like to give a financial donation to UMCOR through your local church, you may do so as well. To ensure that your gift reaches the disaster area quickly, give through your local church, and note “Hurricane Irma #112” or “Hurricane Harvey #114” or “New Vision Depot” on the memo line.
Church treasurers, please make your checks payable to Conference Treasurer and please use remittance forms when sending checks to the WV Conference Treasurer’s Office, PO Box 2469, Charleston, WV 25329. Donors, you may also send your check directly to the WV Conference Treasurer’s Office made out to “Conference Treasurer” with “Hurricane Irma #112” or “Hurricane Harvey #114” or “New Vision Depot” in the memo line and mailed to the above address.

Please help us to lessen the chaos so that we may better assist those who are in need. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to give us a call. Thank you.


Dan Lowther
WV Conference Disaster Response Co-Coordinator  

p.s. If you are interested in helping to rebuild homes affected by natural disasters close to home, in West Virginia or if you’d like to do recovery work in Florida or Texas please contact David Stilgenbauer or me for more details.


WELCOME to the new website of the Potomac Highlands District of the West Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church!


Praying Healthy Disciples Under the Management of Christ

Staff of the Potomac Highlands District office:
Rev. Michael E. Estep, District Superintendent

Barbara H. Scott, Administrative Assistant

Our new website is in its infancy, so take a look around and get familiar with the new setup. We will have more when we have had a chance to explore the new “WordPress waters.”  If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us as we are always open to the exploration of the new and innovative. Soon, we hope to have many more photos and media, but still keep our website easy to maneuver and maintain.