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Keynote Speaker Announced for Social Ministry Conference in Charleston

Catholic Charities WV, the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, and the WV Council of Churches are continuing to plan the 7th Annual Social Ministries ConferenceFaith Hope Love: Creating Connections for Healing will provide an opportunity for people to learn about Substance Use Disorder. The conference will take place in four locations. Each location will feature local experts since different parts of West Virginia have different resources.

“A Simple Response to the Opioid Epidemic”

On December 1, 2018, Barry Steiner Ball will offer the keynote address at Blessed Sacrament church in South Charleston. His talk, “A Simple Response to the Opioid Epidemic,” promises to be full of practical wisdom.

Barry and his wife, Sandra, are both ordained United Methodist ministers. Sandra serves as Bishop of the UM Churches in WV and Garrett County, Maryland. Barry and Sandra have two grown daughters.

Barry has studied psychology, theology, and ministry, and his work experience is diverse. He has served as:

  • Pastor of several communities
  • Chaplain with the Maryland Natural Resources Police
  • a member of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Task Force in Hagerstown, MD.

His service with the DEA’s Task Force revealed to him the plight of drug endangered children. Because of this, he began working full time with local churches in October 2017. Barry helps churches find their ministry in response to the opioid epidemic.

From the Organizers

“We are grateful to have Rev. Steiner Ball’s viewpoint about the drug crisis in West Virginia,” said Kate Kosydar, CCWVa Parish Social Ministry Coordinator. “Not only is he firmly grounded in faith, but he is able to speak engagingly about the science of addiction. As concerned Christians, we need to understand the problem first, and then we can serve the people impacted.”

Nick Mayrand, DWC Director of Formation and Mission, said, “In the face of significant challenges, our faith tradition emphasizes the importance of a 3-step process: See-Judge-Act. In this particular case, we’re very much in need of opportunities to see clearly what it is that we’re facing so that we can make prudent judgments and take appropriate actions as people of faith. I’m hopeful that Rev. Steiner Ball’s keynote will contribute to that clear-sightedness that we desperately need right now.”

Looking Forward

The first conference in the series took place earlier in October, at St. Leo’s in Inwood. The final two conferences will happen in 2019. St. Joseph Retreat Center in Wheeling will host us on March 9. St. Francis de Sales in Morgantown will host us on May 18.

Registration to each event is free, and includes lunch. People can register online at, or by contacting Kate Kosydar: / 304-622-4532

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