Pastors and church leaders:
Your WVCSB staff and I are praying for you as you lead and make decisions in this difficult COVID-19 season.
Annual Meeting Update
In lengthy discussions with our staff, state officers, and WVCSB Executive Board members, we unanimously and painfully made the decision to postpone our annual meeting indefinitely. This was not an easy decision as we are celebrating 50 years as a convention and presenting new initiatives. I was most excited to meet and get to know more of our West Virginia Southern Baptists family.
As difficult as it is, postponing our meeting is the wisest decision for the following reasons:
1. WV COVID-19 cases have increased. There are too many places in our convention where COVID is getting worse and not better. Putnam County, where the annual meeting was scheduled, is currently orange as are several other counties – with the imminent threat of becoming red very soon.
2. We want every church to have an opportunity for representation when we meet together. While most of our churches are meeting, some are unable to do so. There is not a “one size fits all” solution for our churches and associations spread across many different contexts. It is impossible to safely, fairly, and rightfully convene a meeting. Finally, our governing documents do not permit any type of proxy or distance voting, and an internet based business meeting in which voting takes place (Zoom, Skype, etc.) is neither logistically practical or reasonable for many of our folks.
3. We are not alone. The vast majority of Southern Baptist state conventions have already postponed or cancelled their annual meetings. The Southern Baptist Convention, for the first time since WWII, did not meet this past June. Many of your associations have struggled or are struggling with the same decisions.
One piece of business with which we must deal is our WVCSB 2021 budget. Thankfully, our budget and finance committees have recommended the 2021 budget to the Executive Board and it was unanimously approved. This means that we have time to distribute the budget to you for several weeks of examination and feedback prior to the Executive Board acting on your behalf for final ratification.
We are planning an online annual meeting and will send you the details as it comes together. You will be hearing from me again very soon, and often, as we navigate these uncharted waters. This one thing I know: We do all that we do for the glory of God and the sake of the gospel, so let’s lay aside anything that would weigh us down and distract us from living out his purpose. Brothers and sisters, let’s press on!
Gratefully and respectfully,
Eric W. Ramsey
Executive Director-Treasurer, WVCSB