Christ Church United Methodist 
1221 Quarrier Street
Charleston, WV 25301

Driving Directions 


Chris Ridgway 
West Virginia Annual Conference  
304-344-8331, ext 30 

Event Location:

Christ Church United Methodist 
1221 Quarrier Street
Charleston, WV 25301

Conflict is a given in life and congregations.  Conflict can paralyze relationships and a congregation’s mission.  However, paralysis does not have to occur. Conflict can be navigated in healthy ways, relationships can be transformed, and congregations can be strengthened.  Come, join us, and learn how to move forward.  Our mission for the Gathering In Grace event is to offer the clergy of the WVAC practical, proven tools for leading during conflict.

Through interactive learning in a worship environment, Stephanie Hixon and Craig Gilliam of JustPeace will guide this three-day gathering of  West Virginia Conference clergy through a journey from anxiety through compassionate encounters to transformative healing.



Continuing Education Hours:   8 contact hours of Continuing Education is available by attending and participating in the entire event.  You may also receive an additional 2 contact hours (totaling 10 hours) by downloading  Where Angels Dare to Dance  by Craig Gilliam for reading prior to this event.  The cost of this download is $5.00.   If you prefer to have a paper copy of this book, click on this  Print Copy Book Link .   The print copy is available for $7.00.

Registration for the event is $50.00

If financial assistance is needed for this event, please contact Chris Ridgway at cridgway @wvumc.org or by phone at 304-344-8331, ext. 30 for assistance.

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Continuing Formation funds are available for all ordained clergy and those who have completed Course of Study.   Click here for more information



Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball

Bishop Sandra L. Steiner Ball sees the United Methodist Church as a dynamic network of faith communities passionate about sharing the hope, love, and life of Christ.  Her vision for the church has deep roots in her life experience.

Born in Massachusetts and raised in Milford, Delaware, Sandra was active at Avenue United Methodist Church from an early age.  There, she discovered her love of singing and understood what the church can be at its best:  a beacon of hope, acceptance, and love. 

Her ability to see the potential in others - and the United Methodist Church - came from a family and church 

that first saw hers.  Her parents, Edward and Marjorie Steiner, taught Sunday school at church and encouraged the bishop’s faith development.  With the love and support of her mother and her schoolteachers, the bishop overcame some learning disabilities and graduated in the top 10 of her high school class.

She graduated with honors from Dickinson College in 1984, where she earned a degree in religion. She attended seminary at Duke University (M.Div. 1987), and earned a D.Min. from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C. in 2003.

Sandra most recently served as the Director of Connectional Ministries (DCM) for the Peninsula-Delaware Conference.  During her last year as a DCM, she also served as interim pastor of Bayside Chapel, a new church start.

She was the first female superintendent of the Dover District, and served as dean of the cabinet. Sandra was the youngest and the first female pastor of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. Before that, she was associate pastor of Kent Island United Methodist Church in Chester, Maryland.

Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball is married to the Rev. Barry D. Steiner Ball.  They have have two daughters:  Sarah Elizabeth and Sandra Rebekah.

Stephanie Anna Hixon

With the hope of providing services that support wholeness and wellbeing for individuals, communities, and institutional systems, Stephanie Hixon seeks to integrate best practices in alternative dispute resolution with principles of faith and spirituality, communication theory and creative organic group processes.

Earning degrees in Music Therapy and Music Education from Shenandoah College and Conservatory of Music (Shenandoah University), she later pursued theological coursework through the Washington, DC consortium of schools, earning a Master of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.  Her professional certification in Alternative Dispute Resolution was granted by Hamline University School of Law.  She is an ordained elder in the Susquehanna Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and served congregations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Stephanie also served as a member of the general secretariat for The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women in the United Methodist Church providing leadership as an advocate for a diverse constituency of women within the Church.  During her tenure as general secretary she offered expertise and support for the Church’s response to sexual harassment, abuse and misconduct.

Stephanie is a trained consultant and facilitator in severely conflicted situations and has extensive experience with strategies and processes to assist institutions and communities to foster environments of mutual respect and regard for all persons. Serving as Executive Director for JustPeace Center for Mediation and Conflict Transformation in The United Methodist Church provides an opportunity for Stephanie to embrace her passion for justice, peacemaking and conflict transformation.  In addition to training, teaching and consulting, she has facilitated mediations and circles of accountability and healing within the Church.  Along with her colleagues, she believes that local churches can be centers of relational healing and peacebuilding for their members as well as the neighborhoods in which they reside.

Dr. W. Graig Gilliam

Dr. W. Craig Gilliam is the Coordinator of Congregational Services for JustPeace; the director of the Center for Pastoral Excellence for the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church.  He is an adjunct instructor at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, and has a private practice consulting with churches and other organizations across the country. For more than 25 years, Craig has worked with different kinds of organizations and specializes in consulting with clergy and congregations of various denominations and faith traditions.  His area of expertise are conflict transformation in congregations, leadership education, team building, and group process.  Recently, he has authored a new book of poetry, Where Wild Things Grow.

Dr. Gilliam’s passions include family, exercise, poetry and martial arts.  He is a 4th degree black belt in traditional Japanese Karate, has studied other martial arts and explores martial arts as a path to peace.


  • Holiday Inn - Civic Center          304-345-0600        $89.00 per night
  • Hampton Inn - Virginia Street     304-343-9300        $107.00 per night 
  • Hampton Inn - Southridge           304-746-4646        $104.00 per night
  • Other Area Hotels  – feel free to check out other options.  Negotiated room rates are not available.

**Negotiated rates are available while supplies last through October 5, 2017.

Click on the hotel pictures below to be directed to the on-line registration site for the hotel to book your room.  

You will need to enter UMC as a group code under the more options or more rate codes tab.