For January 2014 • From the Western District Executive Board
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Mount Morris Board of Directors
The Mt. Morris Board of Directors will miss three long-standing members who will retire from the Board at the end of this year. President Tom Pinney, Vice President Mary Bade, and Bishop Paul Graf have been pillars of strength to the Board for many years. With their retirement from the Board, Mt Morris will lose able leaders who have a long history of knowledge and love for the Center. All three may continue to provide leadership as they consider staying on as members of various Board Committees. The Board presented plaques to Tom, Mary, and Paul and with Tom’s additional position of President he was given a Mt. Morris jacket. A wonderful dinner was prepared by Mt. Morris Food Service Director Joy Witkowski.
New officers for 2014 include Rev. Kurt Liebenow, President; Rev. Mike Eder, Vice President; Wendy Brockert, Treasurer; and Linda Lippens, Corporate Secretary. The Board and staff thank all those who serve as leaders and volunteers.
The 2014 Western District Clergy Retreat will be held on January 27– 30 at Mt. Morris Camp and Conference Center. Our program leader will be the Rev. Dr. Dan Feaster, executive director and pastoral counselor with the Samaritan Counseling Center of Southern Wisconsin. The program will focus on effective pastoral skills, including pastoral care and counseling, dealing with parishioner challenges, and being healthy and avoiding burnout. The retreat begins with registration at 4 pm on the 27th and ends with breakfast on the 30th. The cost of the retreat is $185. Registration forms have been sent to your local church office.
Mid Winter Youth Retreat
The Sr High Mid-Winter Youth Retreat for grade 9 through age 21 will be held on January 31– February 2 at the Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church in Sturgeon Bay, WI. The theme is “Where Is God In Our Choices?” Cost is $35 before January 24th and $50 after. Registration forms have been sent to your local church office.
Young Adult Retreat
Open to all Western District young adults ages 18-30 on February 21¬23 at Mt. Morris Camp and Conference Center. The program is entitled “Guidance for the Journey” and will include a live concert by JJ Heller Saturday night. The cost is only $55 and includes the concert, lodging, and meals. Registration forms have been sent to your local church office.
February 28-March 2 at Mt. Morris Camp and Conference Center. The retreat is sponsored by the Men’s Fellowship of the Lake Mills Moravian Church. The theme will be “Faith Shapers.” Cost of the retreat is $85 and includes lodging and meals. Registration forms have been sent to your local church office.
Pre Synod Area Meetings
Pre-Synod Meetings are designed to prepare delegates and alternates for informed, effective participation at the 2014 Northern Province Synod (June 19th-23rd, 2014). The fall meetings are now complete; a list of the spring meetings is below. If you are unable to attend the meeting in your area, try to attend one in another area. Joint Board members are invited to attend if they wish. Meetings will last about 3 hours; Saturday meetings will generally be in the morning; Sunday meetings will be in the afternoon. Thank you for your participation!
Jan 30 Downey
Jan 31 Morongo
Mar 15 Shepherd
Mar 16 Northfield
Feb 22 Terre Haute
Feb 16 West GB
Feb 15 Saratoga
Feb 23 Ebenezer
Mar 23 TBD
Fall 2014 District Conference
Mark your calendars! On September 26–28, 2014, Craig Atwood will be at Mt. Morris offering a follow-up on his 2013 conference, “Proclaiming The Moravian Story -Understanding and sharing the story of the Moravian Church.” This conference was enjoyed by all who attended. Plan on joining us in September 2014 as we continue to learn more about our rich Moravian history as well as ways to share our Moravian Story.
From Moravian Open Door
A letter of introduction from Susan Attzs-Mendoza, Executive Director of Moravian Open Door: On Monday, September 2nd, 2013 (Labor Day!) I assumed the role of Executive Director at Moravian Open Door [MOD], and although it’s already been three months since I’ve been here, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to all of you.
I bring to Moravian Open Door the professional experience, passion and deep commitment that is needed to be effective in this position. On a more personal note, I endeavor to live my life predicated upon a passage of scripture found in the 25th chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew at the 40th verse where it states, “Truly, I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” I would like to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt “Thank You” for the ongoing blessings that both you and your congregations have been providing through your prayers, financial support, volunteer services and material donations. We all benefit from your generosity, and because of you, MOD is able to carry on the service provided to New Yorkers by the Moravian church since 1732 of “ministering to the needy, the unwanted and the forgotten.”
Homelessness and poverty are still key challenges facing many in New York. The needs keep growing, and there is still much work to be done. To this end, I solicit your continued involvement which not only helps to provide a safe secure space and supportive services for homeless individuals, but more so provides a sense of dignity, self-worth and real hope to those who reside here. I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you personally in the new year, at which time I can elaborate on the various ways that you and your members can help to further support our goal of helping individuals who are fifty and older to regain their independence and security, by assisting them to move to appropriate permanent facilities. Please feel free to contact me via telephone at  9955810 or via email at: sattzsmendoza@ moravianhouse.org. Susan
Moravian Group Discounts at Mt. Morris
In 1964 several Moravian Church leaders put down a deposit to purchase land in central Wisconsin for what would hopefully someday be a camp. That all seems distant history now as the Mt. Morris Camp & Conference Center serves thousands of campers and guests each year. While the Moravian Church may be considered a small denomination, Mt. Morris attracts hundreds of groups for camps, retreats, and conferences each year.
While a variety of groups help sustain Mt. Morris there is no question in the minds of the Board of Directors or staff that the Camp’s primary focus is the hosting of the Western District Camping Ministry and Moravian churches and agencies. Decisions made always take that as a major consideration. With rising costs of everything from electricity to food the economics of operating a camp in central Wisconsin can often be daunting.
The Board is constantly keeping an eye on not only the costs of operation but also the fees and rates charged by other camps and conference centers in the upper Midwest. Rates are set that take that into consideration. One of the final acts taken after the Board approves an annual budget is to calculate an across the board 15% discount that will be charged to Moravian groups (church events and retreats). The discount is applied only to events that are formally sponsored by a Moravian church or church agency. Mt. Morris Camp & Conference Center is an attraction to hundreds of groups because of the great love and wise planning of our early leaders. With God’s grace and direction Mt. Morris will continue to serve Moravians and others for many years to come.