One of the mentors in my life was Coach Dick Bennett, who at the time I knew him was the men’s college basketball coach at UW–Stevens Point. I was the manager of the men’s basketball team during my college years. Coach Bennett went on to coach at UW–Green Bay, then the University of Wisconsin, and ended his career at Washington State University. Despite a very successful career as a basketball coach, Coach Bennett is one of the most humble individuals I have ever met. He also is a very spiritual person. You may not know that he built the University of Wisconsin basketball program on 5 principles. He went on to use those same principles at Washington State University. Today his son Tony Bennett, the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Virginia uses those same five principles. What are the principles? They are humility, passion, unity, servant-hood, and thankfulness. Coach Bennett has been asked how he came up with those five principles. His response has always been “I didn’t have to come up with them. We have an example who modeled them.” He goes on to say that in the Bible we can find the humility of Jesus, the passion of Jesus and his followers, the teachings on unity, the tremendous examples of serv-anthood by Jesus and others, and the admonition to give thanks. As I travel around the district and as I carry out my role as father, grand-father, son, brother, husband, and neighbor I try to live out those prin-ciples. I may not always be success-ful at living them out, but it is a good goal to strive for. What are the guiding principles of your life?
Serving Christ with you,
Pastor Bruce J. Nelson
Crossroads Lay Leadership Session
On Saturday, August 12 at 10 am at Moravian Theological Seminary, 60 W. Locust Street, Bethlehem will be an Info Session for our Crossroads Lay Leadership program. Interested in gaining a quality education to help you in your congregational life, come join us and find out about our classes and how they can help you as a layperson. Contact is Jill Peters at email@example.com. Join us!
The Healthy Congregations Task Force fosters congregational health through a newsletter, surveys, and a variety of resources. Visit them at www.healthymoraviancongregations.wordpress.com. To receive their newsletter, email healthiermoravian congregation@ gmail.com.
August “Resource of the Month” is an article on lay theology. Go to the website above and search “encouraging lay theology.”
Mt. Morris Expansion Project
Over a year ago the Board of Mt. Morris Camp and Conference Center approved a capital fund drive designed to enlarge Arrowhead in order to provide a multipurpose dining space and enlarge the kitchen. It had become obvious to the board that with groups increasingly using the food service program there was not sufficient space to allow multiple groups to use Arrowhead for both program and dining. While there is no good time for a fund raising program, doing nothing means limiting the growth that is needed in order to continue the camping program and to provide our congregations retreat and conference opportunities.
The addition that has been proposed would require $600,000 in pledges over a 5 year period. All members of the board and the District board have made pledges, as well as the Christian Education commission and our camps. In order to proceed, our congregations are being asked to support this effort through individual pledges and other fund raising methods. The addition will not move forward until sufficient pledges have been received. More information is available at www.Mt-Morris.org or you can contact Jane Harberg at firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2018 Synod of the Moravian Church Northern Province will be held in Bethlehem, PA on June 21-25, 2018. In order to prepare dele-gates for synod, including some key topics for discussion, we will be holding meetings in each of regions across the province. All delegates and alternates are expected to attend, including all clergy attending synod. In order to give your congregation’s delegates the chance to attend the pre-synod meeting, plan to hold a Church Council in time to elect your delegates.
- CA: Jan 7th, after worship, Morongo
- ND: Feb 18th 1 – 4 pm, Shepherd of the Prairie
- MN: Feb 17th 10 am – 2 pm, Chhaska
- IN and IL: Mar 24th 10:30 am – 2:30 pm, Hope
- Central and NE WI: Jan 20th 10 am – 2 pm, Green Bay West
- South WI: Jan 21st 1 – 4 pm, Lake Mills
- MI: Mar 25th after worship, Unionville
District Clergy Retreat
Save the date for our annual clergy retreat! It will be held at Mt. Morris January 22nd – 25th, 2018.
Tour the Holy Land
Rev. Sanette Francis and Rt. Rev. Hopeton Clennon are organizing a Moravian pilgrimage to the Holy Land from January 3rd – 12th, 2018. The price starts at $2,998 and includes roundtrip international airfare from New York Kennedy airport, deluxe motor coaches, first class hotels, and daily buffet breakfast and dinner. Register online at www.moraviantour.com.
New BWM Executive Director
The Board of World Mission of the Moravian Church in North America has begun the search process for the position of Executive Director. After more than six years of strong and faithful service, the current BWM Executive Director, Rev. Judy Ganz, has announced her intention to retire at the end of this year.
The position of Executive Director facilitates the defining, evolving, and articulating of a vision for mission for BWM and the North American Moravian Church and promotes mission engagement among the congregations and agencies of the Moravian Church, our global and ecumenical partners, and the worldwide Unity. The Executive Director is responsible for the staffing, development, and implementation of all programs and policies and oversees budget planning. Above all, this position seeks to promote the Good News of the Savior by helping the church discern its call to engage in missions.
The Search Committee will review applications and begin interviewing candidates in August and September. Applications will remain open until the position is filled; those received by September 1st, 2017 will receive full consideration. We hope to have the next Executive Director on staff by the end of 2017.
We invite you to prayerfully consider applying or nominating a gifted individual you feel is qualified for the position. We would love to hear from you! Please send an email to email@example.com to get the conversation started.
From the Board of World Mission
Did you know that summer is one of the busier times of the year for serving others. Individuals and teams utilize these months to respond to the invitations from our Moravian sisters and brothers around the globe and in our own backyards. However, there are also year-round ways to be part of developing relationships with other Moravians. ANTIOCH is one way to join in the use of our personal abilities and resources to support the work and ministries of others. Together we can live how Jesus demonstrated and calls us to. If you would like to learn about the variety of opportunities to serve through Antioch of the Board of World Mission, please contact the Antioch Director, Jill Kolodziej at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by phone at 920.256.9472.
Southern Wisconsin Moravians for Mission
Southern Wisconsin Moravians for Mission is excited to have Bishop Kay Ward as the guest speaker at the annual Lovefeast which is scheduled for Sunday, September 17th at 2:00 pm. Bishop Ward is an author and taught at Moravian Theological Seminary for 16 years prior to her retirement. The Lovefeast will be held at the Glenwood Moravian Community Church located at 725 Gilmore Street in Madison. There will be a light meal following the Lovefeast. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to bring a friend.
Unity Discussion Paper
The Unity Committee on Theology (UCOT), chaired by Sister Amy Gohdes-Luhman, prepared a Discussion Paper on the Role of the Unity for the 2016 Unity Synod. They commended it to provinces for their use. Thanks to Mike Riess for the formatting, we are pleased to provide this document to you for use in your congregations.
Please try to make time this fall to offer this as a 3-session study – and offer feedback from your congregation – by December 31. We will send your feedback to the Unity Board Administrator and UCOT.
This is available as a PDF downloaded at www.moravian.org/moravian-church-northern-province/discussion-paper-on-the-role-of-the-worldwide-moravian-unity/
500th Reformation Anniversary
Save the date of Oct. 31st for a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and put it in the con-text of reformations in our church, past and present. “Reformations Yesterday and Tomorrow”: Craig Atwood (Moravian), Kelly Den-ton-Borhaug (Lutheran), Brian Pavlac (Episcopal) will be the speakers, with Steven Simmons (Presbyterian) as the moderator. Bishop Sean Rowe (Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem), Bishop Sam Zeiser (Bishop of the Northeast Pennsylvania ELCA), and Rev. David Bennett (Eastern District President, Moravian Church Northern Province) will be present as event hosts and we will enjoy a Full-Communion celebration of Eucharist. All this and lunch for a free will offering, on Tuesday, October 31st, at Moravian Theological Seminary, 9:00 am -1:30 pm. This is a free event, but registration is required. Register at:www.moravianseminary.edu/registration
From the Moravian Ministries Foundation
Usually in the world of investing, the rule of thumb is that sin sells and/or profits, and those stocks invested in companies that produce alcohol, tobacco, firearms, pharmaceuticals, etc. tend to perform very well. I myself have cautioned investors that managing portfolios through an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) lens often leaves your portfolio behind, i.e., trailing the broad market’s performance. Money magazine’s August issue features an article on this type of investing and points out many of the positives in 2017’s performance. In fact, since the election many of the socially responsible stocks are performing quite well. Interest in this type of investing is growing. Morningstar, a mutual fund rating agency, says that over $205 billion is invested in this type of asset in 2017 so it bears further tracking and discussion.
Our investment partner, TIAA Kaspick, has several portfolios focused in ESG screening. They build portfolios featuring money managers that seek to include companies with positive environmental, social and governance records and to exclude those with poor records. The portfolios do not exclusively feature ESG managers, but they definitely have a strong tilt in that direction. If you are concerned about climate change, natural resource use, waste management or environmental opportunities, these portfolios may interest you. If you or the boards you serve have questions or you would like more information on ESG, give me a call. (888-722-7923) Chris Spaugh
Pre-Orders for 2018 Moravian Daily Texts
While there’s still more than five months left to 2017, we’re already thinking about 2018 – that is, the 2018 Moravian Daily Texts!
Since last fall, the IBOC has been focused on compiling and editing the 2018 edition of this well-loved devotional. First published in 1731 in Herrnhut, Germany, The Daily Texts grew out of a spiritual renewal of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) that dates back to Aug. 13, 1727.
Today, more than 280 years after its first publication, the Daily Texts continues its promise of “a daily message from God that is new every morning.” The cover image selected for 2018 features a pottery chalice from the Moravian Theological Seminary. This cover design was selected from more than 15 options for this year by the board of directors of the IBOC. In addition, a dozen writers have selected hymns and written prayers to accompany the Bible verses selected in Herrnhut for every day.
The 2018 editions don’t begin shipping until late October / early November, but you can order yours at discounted prices starting in July. Online preordering for the 2018 will begin in early July at www.store. moravian.org. The general order form was mailed to current customers in late June; you can also download it at www.moravian.org/ wpcontent/uploads/2017/06/2018dtpreorderforwebemail.pdf. For questions or more information about the 2018 Daily Texts, contact Jill at 610-867-7566, ext. 38