It has been an incredible couple of weeks in the Western District. Allow me to elaborate:
- We have observed two ordinations (Greg Behrend and Ben Lippert),
- We have witnessed three pastoral installations (David Sobek at Lake Mills, Gregg Schaefer at Morongo, and Greg Behrend at Our Savior’s in Altura)
- Three of our Western District youth took part from July 1-6 in Moravian youth Convo in the Washington DC area.
- We bid farewell to and celebrated the life of two very strong Christian women. JudyKuaua, a former Western District treasurer as well as Mt. Morris Board member and morerecently a member of theProvincial Elders Conference (as well as other committees) died unexpectedly. Her memorial service was held onJune 24 at the Moravian Churchof Lake Auburn. Also, a memorial service and celebra- tion of life was held forAlice Sautebin, the widow of Rt. Rev. Warren Sautebin on July 1 in Sturgeon Bay.
- I am aware of church groups that are volunteering at Tricklebee Café in Milwaukee and am aware of the fine ministry that continues to take place there. If you have not yet been there for lunch, you should make plans to do so.
- I am also aware of several local churches that are doing fundraising for summer church camp scholarships and of churches preparing for Vacation Bible School experiences.
- Some of our congregations are doing or recently have done short-term mission trips.
I have been blessed with hard-working and faithful colleagues on the Western District Executive Board. One minor example of this is what took place on July 02. On this date Megan Smock and Nancy Chandler represented the Western District Executive Board at the installation of Gregg Schaefer in Banning California. While this was taking place Judy Anderson and myself represented the district board at the installation of Greg Behrend in Altura, Minnesota. But that is not all! Also on that same day lay member Cindy Fahney preached at Ebenezer Moravian Church which finds themselves in the call process and between pastors and Rev. Jason Andersen was leading worship at Christian Faith Moravian in Deforest, Wisconsin and Rev. Jane Gehler was leading worship at Unionville Moravian in Michigan.
Some pretty exciting stuff is going in our local churches and in our district. Thank you to all who are being the hands and feet of Christ through all the ways I have mentioned above and certainly several ways that I have not mentioned.
Serving Christ with you,
Pastor Bruce J. Nelson
District President Contact Information
Bruce Nelson is now in his second year as the President of the Western District Executive Board. His contact information is listed above. Please check your contacts to make sure you have updated your information.
Crossroads Summer Book Club
Crossroads Online Summer Book Club at Moravian Seminary:
Why I Left, Why I Stayed (July 18) with Dr. Jill Peters and The Morning They Came For Us (August 15) with Rev. Dr. Deborah Appler, Professor of Old Testament / Hebrew Bible. Sign up for one night ($10 each) or for the whole series ($30) at www.moravian seminary.edu/cross roads. For more information, contact Jill Peters at petersj2@ moravian.edu. Come join us for great conversations – completing each book is helpful but not necessary.
Plus 50 Retreat
The Plus 50 Retreat for those age 50 and older will be held from Thursday, August 17th – Sunday, August 20th at Mt. Morris Camp and Conference Center. What do we do at Plus 50? Sing & Eat & Play! Engage in Group Reflection on Bible verses! Enjoy Each Other & God’s Creation! Registration: 4:00 pm Thursday followed by dinner at 5:30 pm. We end with brunch on Sunday. Cost per person includes all meals and 3 nights lodging:
Black Oak: $185
Campsite: $81 for three nights
and meals $87 per person
Registration information has been sent to your local congregation. Reserve your spot now with a $50 deposit by August 1. Feel free to contact our program director, Wanda Veldman at rev.wveldman@ gmail.com or (715) 884-6419.
Board of World Mission
Did you know that the Board of World Mission is now on Insta-gram? The BWM’s Summer Interns, Emily Burrell and Holland Griffin, created it, and they want you to follow it! They post daily stories and mission opportunities for everyone to see at @moravianboardofworld mission.. If you have a mission memory you would like to share, Holland and Emily would love to post it on Instagram. You can contact them at holland@moravian mission.org or emily@moravian mission.org. Additionally, if you do NOT have an Instagram account, you can still see all of the posts on the BWM’s homepage at www.moravianmission.org
Tour of 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.
Healthy Congregations Task Force
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.
July’s “Resource of the Month” is an article on mission and service. Go to the website above and search “good intentions are not enough.”
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.
From the Moravian Ministries Foundation
At an Episcopal stewardship conference I recently attended, the Rt. Rev. Jake Owensby, Bishop of the Diocese of Western Louisiana, said, “How much we give is a spiritual decision, not a financial one.” Unfortunately many people only hear the word “money” when we begin to talk about stewardship in our churches, and if we don’t help them have a deeper understanding of stewardship, then we’ve missed an opportunity for growth.
The Moravian Ministries Foundation offers a service to assist churches as they help members recognize God’s grace and generosity in their lives and respond with their own generosity and gratitude. If you’d like to learn more, please visit our website at www.mmfa.info or call Laura Watson, Director for Faith and Philanthropy, at 888-722-7923.
Pre-Orders for 2018 Moravian Daily Texts
While there’s still more than six 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