Recap of 2021 Annual Conference

By WV UMC Admin

With God’s help we have traversed distances we never imagined—we have formed new ministries that fill emerging needs; we have adapted meeting styles, planted digital communities, and learned new skills. The body of Christ can feel stretched by these adaptations, and yet we are blessed by all that is possible. God has certainly bridged one way of being disciples, to new and life-giving ways. Thank you for being a witness life-giving in a hurting world.”
– Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball.

Sunday May 23, 2021 – Laity Session was held via Zoom webinar. Kristi Wilkerson, Conference Lay Leader, facilitated the session with about 200 people. Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi shared a wonderful opening devotion about bridge building. Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball shared an overview of what to expect at this year’s annual conference gathering. Each district lay leader and others on the Lay Ministry Team shared updates from their areas.

Thursday June 3, 2021 – Opening Worship was held, and all were invited to participate online. Greetings came from CONAM (Commission on Native American Ministries) and Dr. Joel Thierstein, President of WV Wesleyan. Rev. Dr. Joe Kenaston and Bishop Steiner Ball offered messages of Thanksgiving and Hope, we celebrated the ONE Matters and the Denman award winners, the Bishop gave her State of the Church address, and the consent calendar for our conference gathering was presented.

Friday June 4, 2021 – Clergy Session was held via Zoom webinar. That evening, a Service of Memorial and Lament was held online. Rev. Mark Conner preached a wonderful message, during which he shared, “This is a special moment when God bridges the past and the future into our present.”

Saturday June 5, 2021 – The Business Session was held in hybrid form with people both in-person at Wesley Chapel and participating online. A special note of thanks goes out to GNTV and the conference communications team for all their assistance to make our whole conference happen! The technology allowed members both online and in-person to ask questions, propose amendments, and vote on all conference business. Here is a brief overview of that full-day session:

More details and videos, including the retiree celebration, can be found on the conference website (, and the full report will be available soon in the 2021 Conference Journal.

Sunday June 6, 2021 – The Service of Licensing, Commissioning, and Ordination was held online. We celebrated 20 people who have completed Pastoral Ministry Licensing School, two people who were commissioned for the work of an elder, and three people who were ordained as elders.