The Newsletter of the Eastern District Moravian Church April 2016 • David E. Bennett, President
Sharon Gives Back With 5K Run & Walk
It was certainly a sad loss to the community, but undoubtedly a grave tragedy for the Brown family. One can only imagine the anguish they felt as the realization that their family business, Brown’s Heating and Cooling in Tuscarawas, Ohio, was completely lost to fire. The hearts of the community went out to the family, who were very active in service of others and had a history of giving so much back to those in this small, close-knit town.
It was after this unfortunate event that the Joint Board of Sharon Moravian Church found themselves reviewing Alice Mann’s 2015 Eastern District Conference keynote presentation. As Pastor Rebecca Sisley guided the board to reflect upon what it would truly mean to “befriend the soul of place,” they considered that God’s gift to their congregation was to be in this place at this time…and what would it mean to befriend the soul of this small town of Tuscarawas in a new and meaningful way? Out of the spirit of that reflection an idea was born within the Board of Elders to reach out in a tangible way to the Brown family, whose business was literally located in the heart of Tuscarawas.
Thus was born the first ever “Sharon Gives Back 5K Run & Walk.” Partnering with other community resources such as the local 4H who had a successful history of planning and coordinating 5K races, registered runners collected sponsors from within the community who would donate money if they completed the race. Additionally, local businesses were very generous in their support as they realized all the proceeds would go directly to the Brown family. As Pastor Rebecca put it, “It has been very exciting to be able to put this together as well as to work with other groups in order to support the Brown family in the midst of their disaster. I think one of the most exciting parts about this has been watching the community come together for this race.” Especially helpful for the event were also the youth volunteers of their own TLC Kids (Towards Lifelong Commitment – the joint confirmation class of the Sharon, Schoenbrunn, Gnadenhutten, and Fry’s Valley congregations).
So, on a chilly 43-degree day people of all ages gathered to run, walk, and even dash (one child was a bit too small for the long trek so showed her support by dashing around the parking lot – not once, but twice!) in support of the Brown family. As the race began, people from the congregation and the community lined the streets to cheer on the runners. Especially at the end, as runners came in winded and exhausted, the cheering of the crowds for each runner carried them to the finish line. “It was like Hebrews…and the great crowd of witnesses cheering us on,” said one. “Keeping track of everyone who crossed the finish line,” said another, “I was fortunate to witness the sparkle of accomplishment in the eyes of all the runners. They may have been winded and tired, but they were also happy and pleased.”
In this sacred season, which includes in it both painful crosses and miraculous empty tombs, I am grateful to hear of this resurrection moment from the Sharon congregation. Our prayers go out to the Brown family for what was a tragic loss. Yet I would imagine seeing the support and love of the community in the midst of their own sadness, was a gift which reflected that there is always hope which comes in the most unexpected ways. Thank you to the Sharon congregation for finding such a small, yet enormously tangible way to befriend the soul of Tuscarawas, Ohio….for helping to roll back the stone a little….for casting light into the darkness of others.
Schedule of Events
Eastern Region Moravian Women Annual Spring Rally – Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 9:00 am at Tremont Terrace Moravian Church, Bronx New York. For information and registration contact JaniceSinclairMuguercia@gmail.com
or Blondel Jones Grant @ firstname.lastname@example.org
The Moravian Music Foundation presents a 20th Anniversary Concert by the Unitas Chorale. The concert will be held Sunday, April 24, 2016, 4:00 pm at Advent Moravian Church, 3730 Jacksonville Road, Bethlehem, Pa. The concert features favorite anthems from 20 years of presentations, with music by both historical and living Moravian composers. In addition to present leadership, Chorale founder, Jill Bruckart, will return to guest conduct. A freewill offering will be received. Call 610-866-3340 for further details.
- May 6-7, 2016 – Confirmation Retreat at Hope Center.
- June 22-25, 2016 – Eastern District Synod, at Moravian College, Bethlehem,PA
- July 23-29, 2017 – Moravian Music Festival in Winston-Salem, NC.
Pre-synod meetings are for congregationally elected 2016 Eastern District Synod delegates and their alternates. Each. Saturday meeting will have a 9 am – noon format, with a light lunch to follow
- Ohio Region – April 16 @ Schoenbrunn Moravian Church
- Lehigh Valley North & South Regions – April 23 @ East Hills Church
Youth and Young Adult Mission Mob
Youth and Young Adults Ages 16 to 30, put your faith into action during the 2016 Eastern District Synod. Join with the 2016 Eastern District Synod Delegates for a day of hands on mission, serving the poor, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned in the Lehigh Valley. Since we are starting early in the morning on June 23rd, housing for the MISSION MOB will be provided by Advent Moravian Church in Bethlehem, PA.
MISSION MOB participants are welcome to arrive at Advent Moravian anytime after 9PM Wednesday, June 22nd. We will spend Thursday, June 23rd serving others and sharing in small groups, in worship, and in fellowship before heading back to Advent Moravian church for a little Midnight Madness. All MISSION MOB participants are invited to return home no later than Friday morning, June 24th. While in Bethlehem, meals and transportation will be provided.
For more information or to sign up for the MISSION MOB, text your name, age, and home congregation to: Cynthia Rader Geyer @ 484-554-0102 or send email to Cynthia@mcnp.org
Churches celebrating April anniversaries:
- April 1 – 1888 – First, Easton, PA
- April 10 -1949 – Palmer Twsp., Easton, PA
- April 13 – 1859 – Egg Harbor City, NJ
- April 27 – 1852 – Tremont Terrace, Bronx, NY
- April 13, 1732 – The first Easter sunrise service of the Moravians was conducted in the Hutberg cemetery at Herrnhut, Germany.
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