Open publication – Free publishing On the cover: The Rev. Dr. Grace Ji-Sun Kim, associate professor of Doctrinal Theology, leads graduates during commencement ceremonies at Moravian Theological Seminary. Photo by Colleen Marsh
In late April, more than 200 church leaders from across the Southern Province gathered at Friedland Moravian Church in North Carolina for the 2012 Intersynodal Gathering. Participants included Regional Conference of Churches representatives from eight of our ten Moravian fellowships and 50 of our 56 congregations.
Members of the Board of Cooperative Ministries, the Provincial Elders’ Conference, bishops, and representatives from the Provincial Support Services Board, the Archives Commission, the Implementation Steering Committee and provincial staff rounded out the group. We were blessed by the presence and worship leadership from our seminarians and recent graduates, and by the wonderful hospitality of the Friedland congregation.
Mrs. Clement E. Semper
Sister Dorothy E. Semper died in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, May 12, 2012 at age 96. She was born August 4, 1917 in Altura, Minn., a daughter of Paul G. and Stella (Scherffius) Simon.
Sister Semper graduated from Catholic High School, Rollingstone, Minn. and Teachers College, Winona, Minn. She was united in marriage to Brother Clement E. Semper on June 11, 1941 at Hebron Moravian Church, Altura, Minn.
As the executive director of the Interprovincial Board of Communication, I rely on a solid team to make our office run smoothly and efficiently. This month, I am pleased to welcome a new member of that team who will be helping to keep the “business side” of the IBOC moving forward.
Jodi Bortz of Bethlehem, Pa., joined as our new customer relations/business assistant. Jodi replaces Deb Swanson, who left in April to pursue a new career opportunity.
Peace is what I felt as I walked under the welcoming trees and heard the birds sing out praises on the church grounds of Friedland Moravian Church. The roots of these giant old trees run deep, like our Moravian Faith. I and others walked quietly among the flat stones of those who are asleep in Jesus. How many of these souls gone before had attended Synod and had the spiritual responsibility entrusted to us gathering today?
I prayed that we would honor our Father with our thoughts and actions and that a spirit of peace and joy would prevail! That He would help us deepen our personal relationship with Christ as a result of 200 or so coming together.
Prayer Day for World Peace
and Nuclear Disarmament
August 5, 2012
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.
The Interprovincial Board of Communication has a new way to reach Moravians and non-Moravians alike—the newly redesigned www.moravian.org web site!
“We’re excited to introduce this enhanced resource for the Moravian Church in North America and all who are interested in learning more about our faith,” says Mike Riess, executive director, Interprovincial Board of Communication (IBOC). “We’ve been working to create a more useful and engaging web presence for the church, and we think this new site is a strong start.”
The 24th Moravian Music Festival is now only a year away…and it will be here before we know it!
The Festival, to be held July 14-20, 2013 on the campus of Central Moravian Church and Moravian College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is sponsored by the Moravian Music Foundation. The Festivals, which are held every four years, are opportunities for music lovers to gather and enjoy learning music new to them, hearing and presenting concerts and worshipping together in an atmosphere of warm fellowship surrounded by music.
The “Wings of Mercy” are prepared to serve Honduras even better, thanks to a new hangar in Ahuas.
Brother George Goff maintains an active aviation ministry in Ahuas, Honduras. More than 20 years ago he was recruited to this ministry by Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF). This organization sent him to the U.S. to learn airplane mechanics and to become a pilot.
Commencement ceremonies marking the conclusion of the 205th academic year of Moravian Theological Seminary were held on Saturday, May 12, 2012. Nineteen students received degrees and certificates in front of several hundred of their friends and family at Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pa.
Remembering Moravian bishop and educator Jon Amos Comenius’ philosophy of educating, “not the children of the rich or of the powerful only, but of all alike, boys and girls, both noble and ignoble, rich and poor, in all cities and towns, villages and hamlets,” the seminary awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree to Father John P. Foley, Chair Emeritus of Cristo Rey Schools.
As information began to come in about the Southern Province Intersynodal Gathering for this April, I struggled with why we were referring to this particular halfway point between Synods as a “Gathering” instead of a “conference” as we typically did. I even found myself having to correct myself mid-sentence to stop from referring to it as a conference.
Earlier in the year, churches received a bulletin insert to help with education about the Gathering and about the changes the Southern Province was experiencing. The bulletin insert was titled “We Gather together to ask the Lord’s Blessing.” This changed my perception of what exactly was going to happen during this proposed Gathering.
At the age of 80, George Kiorpes plays water volleyball three times a week, tends over 50 rose bushes and a large fruit and vegetable garden and teaches piano students in his home. He also plays the organ and directs the choir every week at First Moravian Church in Greensboro, N.C.—and has for over 50 years. That is almost half of the church’s 103 year history!
On June 3, his 50th anniversary as Director of Music, Dr. Kiorpes was honored during a worship service that featured several of his musical compositions and arrangements. He sat in the audience, for once, as others took his place playing the organ and directing the choir and the handbells. A pianist played two of his compositions, and the congregation sang one hymn composed by him and another with a verse added, by Morgan Owen, that paid tribute to him.
Chuck Nienow and Esther Tesh, Coordinators for the Clean Water Project, traveled to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua in January of this year and again in March. The project to bring clean water to remote areas of Nicaragua continues: a well-drilling machine will be replaced with a new one; plans are in place to drill new wells in more remote areas and into villages along the Rio Coco and soon rope pumps will be used on wells in the rural areas.
Alberta, Canada has a long and storied Moravian tradition. But it was a focus on the future that drove the 2012 Canadian District Synod, held in Calgary, Alberta May 4 through 6.
Meeting at Good Shepherd Moravian Church, nearly 80 delegates helped shape the next four years—and beyond—for the Canadian District. The District includes eight congregations and a new church plant in the Calgary and Edmonton areas of Alberta.
The Moravian Church Canadian District Synod of 2012 elected the District’s Board of Elders (BECD) to serve four-year terms. The Board of Elders serves as the administrative leadership of the District.
Bryan Peacock, a member of Rio Terrace Moravian Church in Edmonton, was elected president of the BECD. Unlike the other districts of the Moravian Church Northern Province, the president of the BECD can be either a pastor or lay member of the Church. Outgoing BECD president The Rev. Stephen Gohdes, pastor of Christ Moravian Church in Calgary, Alberta, served for the past eight years.