A Way Forward: General Conference 2019

As our General Conference delegates enter into a time of discernment the entire United Methodist Church is invited into a season of prayer and shared learning.
The resources on this page are intended to assist us as we learn and grow together.


Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball invites all members of The United Methodist Church in West Virginia to join in prayer daily from 2:23-2:26.  To learn more follow this link.

It is critical that as sisters and brothers in Christ we lift our West Virginia Conference delegates to General Conference 2019 up in prayer. our churches are encouraged to print their names in the prayer section of their bulletin so that our delegates, like all delegates, are surrounded and bathed in prayer – not just during the days of General Conference, but all the days leading up to and through the end of General Conference 2019.

The West Virginia Conference will have 3 clergy (Mary Ellen Finegan, Sharletta Green, Ellis Conley) and 3 lay delegates (Judi Kenaston, Erin Sears, Rich Shaffer) in attendance as well as 3 alternate clergy (J.F. Lacaria, Lauren Godwin, Mark Flynn) and 3 alternate lay delegates (Connor Kenaston, Royce Lyden, Fred Kellerman).

If you would like to be in contact with our General Conference Delegates please follow this link.

Resources from the Council of Bishops and Commission on a Way Forward, including full reports and the Advanced Daily Advocate.

Mission, Vision, Scope of the Commission on a Way Forward

The Final Report of the Commission on a Way Forward. (Click here for pdf.)

Advance Edition of the Daily Christian Advocate The Advance Daily Christian Advocate (ADCA) contains the agenda, rules, delegate listings, petitions, reports from the general agencies/commissions and study committees, information for delegates, and codes of conduct for the 2019 General Conference.

Judicial Council ruling 1366 re: Constitutionality of Legislative Petitions to General Conference 2019. (Click here for pdf)


(The following resources are shared  from the Susquehanna Annual Conference)

10/26/18:  Judicial Council Decision with Each Plan

6/13/18:  Way Forward Final Report

7/10/18:  Way Forward Judicial Council Ruling

8/8/18:  Way Forward Summary

7/3/18:  Way Forward Videos

Grace and Peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, Healer of our Brokenness and Hope of the World!

I give thanks to God for each of you and your ministry. About three months from now, the Special Called Session of General Conference will gather in St. Louis to consider the report of the Commission on a Way Forward. The eyes of the global United Methodist community will be focused on St. Louis during February 23 to 26...

...It is an anxious time – but we know for sure that we do not worship an anxious God. God’s word is full of reminders that God is in control. We are not alone, God is with us. This is not our Church. It is God’s Church and God will care for the Church.

Most importantly, no matter what happens in February we have work to do here and now. There are souls that need the saving power of Jesus Christ, there are people to feed, and there are lives to be touched and served by God’s love in Jesus’ name. In the midst of the other things that try to distract us from our mission and ministry, now is the time for us to once again align our hearts to God’s heart, throw off fear and live in faithful trust that God will lead God’s people to God’s preferred future.
Grace and Peace,

Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball

(the above is an excerpt from the Bishops welcome letter)


The Courageous Conversations project, from UMC Discipleship, is aimed to help us move from skepticism to curiosity and even openness to encounter God’s grace.

Courageous Conversations is a toolbox that local churches can use to inspire and encourage the church and individuals to stay at the table when the anxiety and emotional turmoil is painful.

Follow this link for useful and FREE videos, powerpoint presentations, study guides and more!

The videos below were recorded to be used by United Methodists across the West Virginia Conference. They are an excellent resource to share with your small group or congregation to begin conversations about the upcoming General Conference Session.

Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball offers this update on the work of the UMC Commission on a Way Forward, the Council of Bishops, the Judicial Council and the Commission on General Conference in preparation for the special session of General Conference 2019.

Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball offers a summary of the Commission on A Way Forward report and what it means for the February 2019 special session of General Conference. 

Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball explains the conciliar process, which along with prayer and the study of scripture, was the methodology the Commission on A Way Forward used to gather information, discuss and write proposed legislation for the special session of General Conference.

Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball discusses specifics of the One Church Plan as it has been submitted by the Commission on A Way Forward to the special General Conference of The United Methodist Church, which will gather in St Louis in February, 2019.

This video is a brief summary of the Connectional Conference plan that will be considered by the February 2019 General Conference.

In two places in this video you will see the word Connectional Conference appear at the bottom of the screen. In these two places Bishop Ball meant to say Connectional Conference rather than Central Conference. To clarify: In the Connectional Conference plan the Central Conferences outside the U.S. would become Connectional Conferences identified by the region or country served. Additionally, there would no longer be geographically defined Jurisdictional Conferences in the U.S. - but rather U.S. Connectional Conferences defined by Theological stance.

This video is a brief sketch of the Traditionalist Plan that has been submitted to the 2019 General Conference by the Commission on a Way Forward.

Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball is the resident bishop of the West Virginia Conference and she is also one of the moderators for the Commission on a Way Forward.

The Library Story: Gil Rendle, consultant to the Commission on A Way Forward, shares a parable for today to help us understand the difference between positions and convictions.

Donna Pritchard, Tom Salsgiver and Leah Taylor members of the Commission share about their experiences as members of the Commission and their hopes for the future of the United Methodist Church.

We’ve been drawing religious lines in the sand for hundreds of years, using varying standards to determine who’s “in” and who’s “out.” How can Christians work for peace within culture if we can’t get it right amongst ourselves?

Ted Trimpa, gay rights activist, and Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, provide a model for peace-making, as two very different people working together to advance good. They recently worked on anti-human trafficking laws in Colorado, and they’ll share wisdom on working with people that differ greatly from us. 

Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball and Rev. Tom Salsgiver, a member of the Susquehanna Annual Conference and a member of the Commission on A Way Forward, share this report of the work of the Commission.  

Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball shares the State of the Church with the West Virginia Annual Conference, Saturday June 9, 2018.