Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball is thrilled to return to the West Virginia Annual Conference and continue the work already started for the next quadrennium, as she shows in a letter to the Conference below:
Dear Members and Friends of the West Virginia Conference,
I am thankful, excited, and honored to be reassigned to the West Virginia Conference for another four years! Thank you for your on-going prayer and support.
A fresh wind of the Spirit has been blowing and continues to blow throughout the West Virginia Conference! There is so much to celebrate over the last four years: Average Worship attendance, Professions of faith; Baptisms are all on the rise. We are on our way to reaching our conference goal of reaching 2400+ for Christ by the end of 2016. The 50 days of Easter celebrated the many ways that our churches are connecting with our communities around West Virginia and Garrett County, MD bringing the life and word of Christ to people with physcial, spiritual, economic, and emotional needs.
Lead teams in all nine Districts are empowering local mission and ministry in new, creative ways. Over 30% of the Conference leadership elected for the 2016 – 2020 quadrennium are new persons and the membership of Conference teams, boards, and agencies are more diverse in membership than they have ever been before.
There is new and innovative ministry with our youth and we are sending youth to other parts of our nation and world to gain experience in leadership and faith development. Additionally, we fufilled a request and dream of our Conference youth by adding a Conference staff position designated to working with youth and outdoor ministries. We welcomed Shea James into this position in January and she has hit the ground running!
Speaking of hitting the ground, Deborah Coble, our new Director of Communications arrived on the scene in West Virginia in June, just before the floods. Deborah jumped in immediately! She traveled to the areas hardest hit to facilitate communication about what was happening and what was needed. Maybe more importantly, she offered a listening ear, hugs, support, and help to people in shock and grief.
I could go on. There is so much happening in the name of Christ in the West Virginia Conference! We are becoming an ever expanding fresh wind of God’s Spirit, working together to make disciples of Christ, who are transforming the communities and world around us with God’s love and grace. We are discovering, with an ever increasing capacity, that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
I am looking forward to discovering what God will work through us in the next four years! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of the on-going ministry and mission here in the West Virginia Conference!
Grace and Peace,
Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball