The Newsletter of The Eastern District Moravian Church January 2017
David E. Bennett, President
Extending Christ’s Love With Community Ministry
For Moravian Theological Seminary student, Mandy Mastros, it all comes together in these words….“Our Lord Jesus Christ entered into this world’s misery to bear it and overcome it. We seek to follow Him in serving his people. Like the Love of Jesus, this service knows no bounds” (Ground of the Unity, 1957). Mandy is currently in the final stages of completing both a Masters of Divinity and a Masters in Social Work degree and in her study and training she has discovered the advantages of close collaboration between the church and local social services agencies. In a research proposal from Mandy, she explains, “In a research project that surveyed Moravian clergy in the Northern and Southern provinces, conducted by me and another Marywood social work graduate student, we found that clergy are seeing parishioners and community members with a whole host of psychosocial issues ranging from addiction to domestic violence, to poverty and homelessness, to grief and job loss, and many others.” She goes on to explain that, “the church, which is called to service by Christ, has a unique opportunity to minister to these individuals, by providing them a safe space, and the resources necessary to have their needs met. One of the themes that came up in this survey is the importance of the referral process when working with an individual or family who need services that go beyond the pastor’s area of expertise.” As one of the pastoral respondents put it, “I see ministers and social workers having the opportunity to work very effectively together for greater advocacy and education of individuals and families.”
To this end, Mandy is currently working with the Nazareth Moravian Church to propose a social services collaboration in Nazareth which would involve the Nazareth Ministerium and the Social Service Agency in nearby Easton, PA. Currently, anyone in Nazareth needing social services must travel to either Easton or Bethlehem to receive the support of a social service agency. For those unable to afford bus fare, the half hour commute by car is simply too far to walk. Therefore, Mandy is proposing that local congregations provide space to accommodate the presence of a social services agency in their own Nazareth community. Realizing that many congregations have plenty of space which is under-utilized during the week, Mandy sees this as an opportunity for a social services agency to make their support services more readily available to the Nazareth area without the burden of office rental space. Additionally, Mandy believes, “It would also get both worker(s) and clients into places of worship that would not have entered otherwise and could foster potential community connections….It may also encourage clients to attend worship, activities, or other outreaches of the church. It may also help to educate congregation members on community needs which could foster an interest in doing some other type of outreach to meet those needs.”
I seek your prayers for Mandy and the Nazareth Moravian Church as they continue to discern and pursue such a community ministry venture. As we enter into this new year of service in Christ’s name, I am inspired by such opportunities to demonstrate how Christ’s love and service “knows no bounds.” Let us continue to seek out those ministry partnerships which so readily touch lives in Jesus’ name…for “To Us, To Us, This Task is Given!”
Moravian Ministries Foundation
The New Year brings a few changes for the Moravian Ministries Foundation staff. Laura Watson, Director for Faith and Philanthropy, will now oversee Morningstar Campaign Services, our service that helps churches and agencies with capital campaigns and stewardship. Laura has been with the Foundation since April 2012 and has assisted with both capital campaigns and stewardship ministries since 2015.
Kara Yates, Business and Financial Services Manager, will provide support for our Common Fund investors, including processing requests, sending reports and updates, and troubleshooting any issues that arise.
We will be hiring a Director for Gratitude and Generosity; this person’s primary responsibility will be overseeing our planned giving service, which includes working with individuals, couples, and families who want to create a planned gift to benefit a Moravian ministry, as well as our church-based program that helps congregations and agencies encourage their members and supporters to remember them through an estate gift. For more information about the position, please contact me at email@example.com or 336-725-2589.
We are excited about what 2017 will bring for the Foundation and our Moravian Church as we work together to ensure its strength and viability for generations to come. Please let us know how the Foundation can serve you and your ministry.
Crossroads Winter Semester
Crossroads Winter Semester includes two courses which link together nicely or can be taken alone. Beginning January 9th is Discipleship with Pam Weiss, Dir Adult Spiritual Formation at FPC Allentown, Rev. Dr. Bill Falla, Philosophy Professor at Moravian College, and Rev. Cynthia Geyer, Dir Youth & Young Adult Ministries, Moravian Church Eastern District. These three gifted presenters will cover history and NT foundations for Discipleship, how to structure programs for teens and young adults and also a comprehensive look at congregational discipleship programs. Beginning January 5th, My Journey/Our Journey is a closer look at our own personal spiritual formation and then how to apply that to groups that you might be leading within your congregational. Rev. Maggie Wellert will lead this course.
For more information on either of these courses: http://www.moravianseminary.edu/crossroads or contact Dr. Jill Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Schedule of Events
- January 10, 2017 – Bach at Noon. A Cantata Series featuring The Bach Choir. 12:10 pm – 1 pm, Central Moravian Church, Bethlehem, PA. Please visit www.BACH.org for more information. Free.
- March 25 – April 2, 2017. 275th Anniversary Moravian Cruise. Cruise embarks from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on Crown Princess. Moravian tours will be led by Bishop Hopeton Clennon in Antigua, St. Kitts and St. Thomas. Email contact is: email@example.com Website: www.moraviantour.com
Churches celebrating January anniversaries:
- 1 – 1815 – Sharon, Tuscarawas, OH
- 1 – 1968 – United, New York, NY, merger of New York III and IV
- 1 – 2010 – MorningStar, Coopersburg, PA, merger of Coopersburg and Grace Center Valley
- 31 – 1971 – St. Paul’s, Upper Marlboro, MD