Author Archives: Mike Riess

Weekly Moravian Message, September 11, 2016

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost Lost In these two parables, Jesus is trying to point out why he travels, eats, and worships with sinners. We have all lost things: sometimes just briefly, when you forget where you put your keys down; other times for a long time—always in a safe place, you think. A while ago, […]

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Moravian Magazine, August 2016

In this issue: Eastern and Canadian District Synods, speech therapy at Star Mountain, an update from Sierra Leone, and more!

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Weekly Moravian Message, Sept. 4, 2016

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost Total Commitment There is a fable told about a pig and a chicken. As they walk down the road, the chicken says, “Hey Pig, I was thinking we should open a restaurant!” Pig replies, “Hm, maybe. What we should call it?” Chicken responds, ‘How about ‘Bacon-n-Eggs’?” Pig thinks for a moment […]

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Weekly Moravian Message, August 28, 2016

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost Welcome to the Table Unassuming. Still. Alone. He stood there. Not wanting to be scary, hoping to be noticed, he waited for his alms. We piled out of the car, intent on our post-church mission. One errand stood between the church service and our lunch at home. We zoomed past his […]

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Giving thanks for five years of speech therapy efforts at Star Mountain

Five years ago, Star Mountain Rehabilitation Center in Palestine, an undertaking of the worldwide Moravian Church under the European Province, identified a need for speech therapy services in addition to its work helping mentally challenged children near Ramallah on the West Bank. Today, those services are available and thriving thanks to their connections to Moravians in the U.S. and Canada. Ghada Naser, director of Star Mountain, shares the story of how this much needed outreach came to be.

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Taking up the task that’s given at 2016 Eastern District Synod

With a memorable line from a favorite hymn as their theme–“To us, to us, this task is given”–136 Eastern District Moravians made their 2016 Synod one like no other. While most Moravian Synods focus on learning about the church’s activities and helping to plan for the future (this Synod did those things as well), the […]

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Canadian Moravians show they themselves “are the letters”

On a beautiful weekend in May, delegates from Canadian District congregations and guests from across the Northern Province came together at Camp Van-Es for the 2016 Canadian District Synod.

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Studying Moravian Doctrine: The Ground of the Unity, Part V

Discussing the Ground of the Unity’s “Continual Search for Sound Doctrine” and “Divine Mystery” sections.

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An update from Sierra Leone

Donna Hurt, a member of Home Church and someone with close ties to the Moravian work supported by North American Moravians in Sierra Leone, offered this update on the work in this African country. With the passing of the ebola tragedy in Sierra Leone, I was able to take my fourth trip to that small West […]

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Thoughts from the “Mission Mob”

As part of the mission component of the Eastern District 2016 Synod, 17 youth from around the District joined Synod delegates on their experiences in their communities. Responding to Facebook invitations and flyers in their congregations, these young people appeared as a “Mission Mob” on the Thursday morning of Synod to be a part of the gathering’s outreach.

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Provincial Elders’ Conference News August 2016

Prayer Day for Christian Education, September 11, 2016 The second Sunday in September is designated as a day of prayer for Christian education. The nurture of Christians of all ages in their faith is the responsibility of each congregation. Pray for your congregation’s Christian education program and for the personal growth in faith of each […]

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Obituary: The Rev. Gordon B. Mowrer

Brother Gordon B. Mowrer died at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, July 19, 2016, at age 80. Born February 9, 1936 in Bethlehem, he was the son of Clifton and Margaret (Brown) Mowrer. Brother Mowrer graduated from Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa. in 1959 and received a Masters Degree in Education from Lehigh University, in Bethlehem in 1965. He […]

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Moravian Magazine, July 2016

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Salem 250: Salem—The First Year

The city of Winston-Salem is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year, and Southern Province Moravians are taking a large part in the celebrations. After all, we Moravians are Winston-Salem’s beginning. Though on the large scale it is Winston-Salem’s 250th, it more specifically is the 250th anniversary of Salem, the church community that grew to be […]

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Honoring 150 Years of Freedom (Moravian)

On Sunday, December 22, 1866, a group of resolute German settlers in rural Freedom, Wis. gathered to organize a new church. Thirty-four men and women representing 14 charter families gathered in a crowded cabin to ignite the spark that would become Freedom Moravian Church. With the influx of Mecklenburg Germans to Wisconsin in the mid […]

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Salem 250: A radical design for Salem foiled by Piedmont’s rolling hills

Imagine you are a visionary German nobleman, head and benefactor of a tiny mission-minded church proclaiming the Gospel of Christ. Now imagine you have practically an entire continent — or say 100,000 acres — where you can lay out a City of God, a New Jeru-Salem in this Eden on earth. What do you plan? […]

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Moravian Theological Seminary celebrates 2016 Commencement

On May 15, Moravian Theological Seminary celebrated the conclusion of its 209th academic year with the largest graduating class in Seminary history. Festivities began on May 14 with a community Lovefeast open to all members of the Seminary community. Graduating students developed this ecumenical and interfaith event with Rev. Dr. Riddick Weber, Seminary Chaplain, and […]

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Presbyterians, Moravians commemorate full communion relationship

On the afternoon of Sunday, June 5, at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Madison, Wis., a service celebrated the covenant partnership between the Northern and Southern Provinces of the Moravian Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)— a relationship that was approved by synods of both provinces in 2010. Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk and head of the […]

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Western District Synod 2016: Making plans to meet “Aspirations for the Future”

When the 110 delegates from Western District congregations and agencies arrived at Mt. Morris for their 2016 Synod, many were pondering the District’s “Aspirations for the Future.” Three days later, many were on their way home having made commitments to see those aspirations come to light. The 2016 Synod, held for the first time at […]

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July Official Provincial Elders News

Prayer Day for World Peace and Nuclear Disarmament August 7, 2016 In accordance with legislation enacted at the 1982 Synod of the Northern Province and affirmed by the 1990 Synod, the first Sunday in August has been designated as a day of prayer for world peace and nuclear disarmament.   Prayer Day for Public Education […]

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Weekly Moravian Message, June 26, 2016

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost June 26, 2016 Letting Go Disciple: Iíll follow you anywhere . . . Jesus: Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. Disciple: Lord, let me first go bury my father . . . Jesus: Let the dead […]

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Images of the 2016 Eastern District Synod

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Eastern District elects new leadership at 2016 Synod

At the 2016 Synod of the Moravian Church Eastern District, held June 22-25 in Bethlehem, Pa., delegates elected members of the Eastern District Executive Board (EDEB). The EDEB provides administrative leadership and coordination for the Eastern District, Northern Province. The Rev. David Bennett was elected to a third term as the president of the EDEB. […]

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Weekly Moravian Message, June 19, 2016

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost June 19, 2016 Those Poor Pigs When discussing the story of Jesus driving demons out of the man and into the herd of pigs, people often feel bad for the pigs. What had those innocent creatures done to deserve their treatment? Some scholars believe Jesus chose this particular course of action […]

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Weekly Moravian Message June 12, 2016

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost June 12, 2016 A Time for Extravagance It is a simple story, appearing in all four Gospels with some variations. However, certain aspects are consistent: Jesus was dining as the guest of honor. The door was open so people could mill around. The guests were reclining, as was the fashion for […]

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Common Ground: Engaging neighbours in their faith

As the culture in North America changes, so too does the way our neighbours engage in their faith. The Common Ground Community Café, co-founded by the Revs. Ian and Eileen Edwards, with support from the Moravian Church Northern Province, was developed as a creative response to a cultural desire for spiritual conversation and community in […]

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Van-Es celebrates 75 years of Canadian camping

In 1941, Moravians gathered on a wilderness site east of Edmonton for their very first time. That site would soon be named Van-Es, taking its letters from the Unitas Fratrum’s Latin motto “Vicit Agnus Noster Eum Sequamur” – a name that reminds all who gather together on the land that Our Lamb Has Conquered! Fast […]

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Unionville Moravian draws community in to celebrate quiltmakers’ work

Members of Unionville Moravian Church in Unionville, Mich. discovered that a quilt show was a wonderful way to draw in a community and honor the women who made them. Organizers chose the theme “A Celebration of Quilts and Their Makers” to commemorate the wonderful group of quilters from Unionville Moravian who had a long tradition […]

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Mid-states Camping offers faith and fun

The camping ministry in the Mid-states—for Moravian congregations in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois—is unique from all the other Moravian camps in that each one is held at a different location. The goal of MSYMC is to ensure that the youth and young adults of the Mid-States Moravian churches (which include Ohio, lower Michigan, Indiana, […]

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There is only one Laurel Ridge Experience

Laurel Ridge, the Moravian camp for the Southern Province, is a mountain place set apart for forming disciples of Jesus Christ who live and learn in community to serve in the world. And for many who have ever been on the mountain, there is only one Laurel Ridge Experience! Laurel Ridge offers campers a chance […]

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