WV Living Stone Ministries: Our mission is to meet and serve people where they are, to write and speak hope, sharing the love of Christ in deep practical ways, ways that bring healing and purpose to believers, and to equip the church to do the same.
|Elizabeth Stone, B.S., MDiv.|
From Philadelphia, to West Virginia, to France, and now to Kentucky, Elizabeth Stone has lived a life of professional diversity. Speaking at women’s retreats and events, seminary classes, clergy and community seminars for church leaders and first responders, Elizabeth has connected faith-life to world-life to foster healing and ignite calling.
Elizabeth’s pastoral ministry spans over eighteen years including hospice chaplaincy. Grace and practicality are the hallmarks of her preaching and leadership. She has experience with women’s and adult ministries, college and youth ministry, music leadership and performance, directing church camp, and Christian education. Before entering vocational ministry, Elizabeth taught fifteen years in public and private education.
Her MDiv. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and her undergraduate degree have been augmented with accredited training in suicide prevention and recovery. She is an advocate with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a member of the Kentucky Suicide Prevention Group and has volunteered and organized community suicide prevention events in West Virginia and Kentucky, acting as MC for Out of the Darkness walks. Elizabeth is happily married to her husband Greg. They have five wonderful adult children and seven grandchildren and counting!
|Erin Stone, BBA|
Erin Stone was born in Massachusetts but was quickly – at two weeks old – returned to the mountains of West Virginia. Her recovery from her suicide attempt is nothing short of miraculous. Completing high school, where she participated in music and was on the tennis team, she graduated on time in 2008. Highly gifted in mathematics, she matriculated at Harding University in Arkansas, majoring in business. She spent a year in West Virginia at Fairmont State University where she competed in ballroom dance. Returning to Harding, she graduated with a BBA (Bachelor’s of Business Administration) with a concentration in wedding and event planning. Currently she works as a vice-president at AWAY, a non-profit providing help, shelter and resources to victims of domestic abuse and violence. A wonderful advocate for many causes, she takes her message of hope into schools, colleges, church camps, retreats, and youth groups. Erin will be married this May to her fiancé James.
WHO ARE OUR PEEPS?
Happy people, sad people, churchy people, non-churchy people, seekers and believers and those who are just plain curious. C’mon in, we’re here to take on the tough issues, the tough questions. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll look for it with you.
HOW DID WV LIVING STONE MINISTRIES START?
WV Living Stone Ministries began through a very dark time in our lives, a time when suicide touched our family. Struggling through a difficult recovery, we found lots of other people were struggling – just like us – without spiritual answers to this and other troubles. We started WV Living Stone Ministries to share not only the spiritual answers we found, but provide a platform for more recovery stories and more spiritual answers from you.
WHAT DOES WV LIVING STONE MINISTRIES DO?
We make presentations to churches, schools, and other organizations about the crisis of suicide in our society, raising awareness, teaching prevention, and helping with recovery plans. Church leadership seminars provide ministry tools for clergy, youth directors, etc., from a uniquely Christian perspective. We have spoken to seminary classes, college and high school groups, youth and camp groups, chapel events, first responders, and civic organizations. Writing blogs, guest blogs, and doing guest podcasts are also part of our work.
Going beyond recovery ministries, we do Christian retreats, church events, women’s retreats, etc., to inspire people to discover and step into their God-given callings, their jobs, their volunteer work, their service where their faith gets ignited and they find joy in using their gifts.
Currently we are working on virtual seminars, making them available on demand for all who need them.
WHAT WAS WV LIVING STONE MINISTRIES’ FIRST PROJECT?
Our first project was to tell our story, the story of Erin’s suicide attempt when she was just 17 years old. Together Elizabeth (aka Mom) and Erin (aka Daughter) wrote Valley of the Shadow, our testimony of Erin’s suicide and our family recovery. The subject of suicide has been taboo in our culture and even more so in the church. Our goal was to start the conversation inside spiritual circles about suicide and what our response as Christians should be. Valley of the Shadow is available from us (signed copies!) or from any popular book distributer.
HOW DID WV LIVING STONE MINISTRIES GET ITS NAME?
From the Bible! 1 Peter 2:9,10 says, “Come to Him, that Living Stone, rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, and be yourselves built – like living stones – into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Christ Jesus.”
Not only is it a great verse for our last name, but it shows how all of us, as we come to Christ and receive His grace, get plugged into His household, connected to Him and to other believers in the family of God. By Christ’s power we become, like Him, alive, living stones. This energizing grace not only saves us but gives us purpose, calling us to all kinds of service that we, as priests of the Living Christ, offer to God as spiritual sacrifices. In other words, we are loved, we are saved, and we are sent.
As for the WV part, this ministry started in West Virginia where we all lived at the time. Putting WV in any online name virtually guarantees its availability for domains and social media. Expansion into many other states (NC, OH, AR, KY, etc.) was beyond our wildest expectations, but that is the kind of God we serve, a great God Who takes us beyond our meagre expectations!
HOW DID YOU PREPARE TO DO THE WORK OF WV LIVING STONE MINISTRIES?
Education and experience. Suicide is a tough subject, and a dangerous one. In order to speak about this safely, and to provide sound Biblical teaching on all our subjects, we have pursued formal education and credentialled training. Elizabeth Stone has added a Master of Divinity to her education that includes reading and translating Greek and Hebrew, Bible interpretation, as well as ministry, leadership, and Clinical Pastoral Education. Erin’s college required at least one Bible class every semester, and her Bachelor of Business Administration degree included specialization in event planning; Erin plans our events like a boss. Both have taken training with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and Elizabeth has augmented her training with specialized religious seminars, also credentialed through AFSP. Elizabeth’s experience includes vocational pastoral ministry and hospice chaplaincy. Erin’s work has focused on helping youth and college women navigate the spiritual challenges of today, and she now serves as Assistant Executive Director of AWAY, a resource center for victims of domestic abuse and violence.
HOW DOES WV LIVING STONE MINISTRIES WORK?
Right now we function as a business, tithing all of our profits (or sometimes much more) to other ministries.
HOW CAN I HELP WV LIVING STONE MINISTRIES?
Follow us online! We have two Facebook pages, one for WV Living Stone Ministries and one for the book, Valley of the Shadow. We are also on Instagram @wvlivingstone, and we have YouTube videos you can watch.
Buy the book, Valley of the Shadow, and buy it from us. We’ll even sign it for you.
Sign up for our newsletter, jam packed with Scripture, inspiration for you, and what’s up and coming in our ministry.
Come to our events. Check out our schedule for church events or open community events, our seminars, retreats, speaking appearances and book signings, and then come see us! We love connecting with all of you!
Hire us to come to your event, or allow us to design a custom event for you.