You’re Invited!

By Sandra Steiner Ball

Come to the Table of Grace at AC2019

A Letter of Invitation from Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball

You are invited! You are invited to come and gather around Christ’s table as we do the worshipful, prayer-filled, and missional work of our annual conference session.

Invitational – this is the theme under which we gather for the 2019 West Virginia Conference. God calls us to be an invitational people, to be people who invite others to the light, hope, and life that only Christ can give. Christ invites us to be invitational leaders, to be a people who invite others to be baptized, to grow in discipleship and to gather around Christ’s table to share the good news, to be nourished, and to gain strength and assurance for the Christian journey.

At this annual conference session, we are accepting Christ’s invitation to gather around the table, Christ’s table – to share the good news, to be nourished, and to receive strength and assurance for our journey together as the West Virginia Conference. “Christ our Lord invites to his table all who love him, who earnestly repent of their sin and seek to live in peace with one another.” Jesus invites us, calls us to come and see, to stay and remain with him in order that we may know, believe, follow, and live our lives as Jesus does. Christ’s table is an invitation to be one family – one body of Christ. At the table God’s spirit moves to make us “one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world.” This is an invitation to understand ourselves as sons and daughters of Christ, children of God, an invitation to become each other’s brothers and sisters in the best sense. At the table we remember that Christ calls us to be present with each other when the going gets hard. At the table Jesus invites us to believe in each other and try to bring out the best in each other. Christ’s table invites us to share each other’s burdens, griefs, and joys.

So, you are invited! Christ invites us. Come and gather with us around the Christ’s table for annual conference knowing you are welcome and welcomed. Come expecting to experience the presence of our host, Jesus Christ. Come to the table seeking to connect to the source of hope and life, seeking to draw our love from God, so that we, together, may be empowered to help each other love both God and neighbor, become a Christ- led spiritual breath of fresh air in anxious times, and more effectively make disciples who make more disciples and transform the world.