The newsletter of the Moravian Church Eastern District • The Rev. David Bennett, president
A call to…
“Call to ….”
When I typed out the words, it was hard to imagine it was that time already…..”Call to the 2016 Eastern District Synod.” Yet here we are in this season of preparation for discerning what God will do in our midst when we gather in Christ’s name next June. Amidst the fellowship and the worship….the prayer and the singing…. the discussions and deliberations… will also be the important and sacred task of prayerfully selecting our district’s leadership.
Not only will elections take place for the next Eastern District Executive Board, but just as importantly we will be discerning leadership for the district’s six service ministry commissions and numerous agencies. Therefore one of the key tasks for the 2016 Eastern District Synod will be to discern those leaders who we believe God is calling to guide and support our common ministry and the health of our congregations through the next four years. That is as much a spiritual “question as it is a legislative task.
Therefore, although I have already written and submitted to our congregations the official “Call to Synod,” let me take this opportunity to now submit the official “Call to Prayer.” Again, it is a sacred task before us to select leaders who we believe can encourage and inspire us in our common ministry and in the various mission agencies we support as a district. Thus, I invite you into to a time of vigil, discerning not only who in your midst might serve faithfully in this regard, but also to ask yourself – could it be you?
The Nominations Committee for the 2016 Eastern District Synod is being led by Brother Denny Rohn and Sister Carole Stamets. Upon reading this, your congregation has already been notified of their official request for nominations for the various district leadership positions. I wish to follow-up their request with my personal encouragement for our district membership to dedicate some time for prayerful reflection upon the leaders in your midst who might provide essential guidance and inspiration for our district common ministry. The leadership opportunities are plentiful.
Elections will take place for the Eastern District Executive Board, district commissions including leadership in the areas of evangelism, Christian education, stewardship, community ministries, church and society, and lay ministry. Additionally leadership will be prayerfully selected for important ministries and agencies such as Hope Conference and Renewal Center Board of Management, Moravian Hall Square Historic District Board, Morningstar Senior Living Board of Directors, Moravian Manor Board of Directors, and the Board of World Missions.
These are important….sacred….ministries which we have in common as the Eastern District. And so please receive this as the official “Call to Prayer for the 2016 Eastern District Synod.” Who in our midst is Christ calling to district service? It could be someone who sits next to you in church….or….it could be you!
New Staff at the Church Center
The Provincial Elders are pleased to welcome Deborah Albors as the new Benefits and Human Resources Manager. Deb was selected from a pool of qualified candidates to head our Benefits Office. She began her new work on August 17. Join us in welcoming her to the family. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-867-7566 x16.
Also, joining the Board of World Mission staff is new administrative assistant, Deb Swanson. She returns to the Church Center having worked previously in the IBOC office. Welcome back! You can contact her at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone number for the BWM office is 610-868-1732.
Schedule of Events
- September 14 -17 – Moravian Church – Northern Province Cup of Covenant Retreat, Spruce Lake Retreat Center, Canadensis, PA.
- November 1-3 – Fourth Annual Moravian/ Lutheran Retreat for Women in Ministry, Laurel Ridge Conference Center, NC.
- June 22-25, 2016 – Eastern District Synod, at Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA
- July 23-29, 2017 – Moravian Music Festival in Winston-Salem, NC.
Bethlehem Area Moravians Plan 2015 Craft Sale
We’re Building On Last Year’s Success!
A “Christmas Craft Festival” will be sponsored by the 6 churches of the Bethlehem Area Moravians on Friday and Saturday, October 23 and 24, 2015 2015 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday in the lower level of the Christian Education Building of Central Moravian Church, 40 W. Church St., Bethlehem, PA. Homemade baked goods and a delicious luncheon menu will be available. The Festival will once again feature quality crafts by local artisans. We look forward to having several new crafters join us this year! Proceeds will be shared equally with Esperanza for Bethlehem, the Moravian Church’s tutoring and healthy foods programs for local children in need, and with the overnight Emergency Shelter, sponsored by a group of churches in Bethlehem.
It’s Preorder Season at the IBOC
The IBOC is now taking preorders for the 2016 Moravian Church Desk Calendar & Plan Book. The Moravian Church Desk Calendar & Plan Book provides a convenient, useful planning tool for Moravians. Each edition is organized in a large, block-format, 19- month calendar with plenty of space to write in meetings, services and other planning information. It also includes upcoming events, holidays, prayer days and lectionary Sunday readings specific to the Moravian Church in North America.
The new edition of the Desk Calendar & Plan Book covers October 2015 to April 2017, allowing you to plan through Easter 2017. Also included are contact pages for frequently-used addresses and phone numbers and updated Provincial and Interprovincial directory information. The textured sage green cover features the Moravian seal and motto; spiral binding allows the Desk Calendar & Plan Book to lay flat for ease of use. The Desk Calendar & Plan Book is available for $8.00 and can be preordered now. You can order via phone (1.800.732.0591 ext. 38) or through our online store at https://store.moravian.org/moravianchurch- desk-calendar-and-plan-book-for- 2016.html. The new calendars will begin shipping in mid-September.
And don’t forget, we are still taking preorders for the 2016 Moravian Daily Texts. Visit store.moravian.org and click on “New! Preorder 2016 Moravian Daily Texts,” call 1.800.732.0591 ext. 38, mail your 2016 Daily Text preorder form to the IBOC, or contact Arlene Clendenning via e-mail at email@example.com. Daily Texts ship in October.
Lutheran Moravian Shared Ministry
The Lutheran Moravian Coordinating Committee would like to get the word out about a new blog: lutheranmoravian.wordpress.com The site is designed to lift up our shared ministry projects. We are hoping readers will submit their own examples of Lutheran Moravian ministry too. Rev. Kelly Moore, Co-Pastor of Fries Moravian Church in Winston-Salem, NC, administers the blog. Please include this info in newsletters, etc. **Also, we have a Facebook page “Lutheran Moravian Coordinating Committee” – (most Pastors have already been invited to like the page.)
Moravian Ministries Foundation
In 2012 the Moravian Ministries Foundation began a peer group study of faith-based and community foundation investment returns. This study is conducted as part of our continued commitment to providing Moravian Common Fund (our pooled investment program) participants with superior investment returns at the lowest cost. We are pleased that for the third consecutive year, the Common Fund’s growth portfolio (70% equities, 30% fixed income) performance ranked number one.
Today the Moravian Common Fund stands at over $147,000,000, with 98% of the funds invested owned by Moravian churches and agencies. The other 2% are funds left to the Foundation for the benefit of Moravian churches and agencies. In other words, every dollar invested in the Common Fund is benefiting and supporting ministries of the Church.
If you would like a copy of the peer group study or our current investment performance report, or if your church/agency is interested in learning more about the Moravian Common Fund, please contact Paul McLaughlin, MMFA president, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888.722.7923.