The Newsletter of the Moravian Church, Western District, March 2018
Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The calendar says March, which means several things. It means that we must be in the season of Lent because even though the season of Lent moves around a little bit; a part of it, if not all of it can be found in the month of March. This year Easter is on April 01. We are walking our Lenten journey, which began on February 14 this year, throughout the entire month of March.
March also means that spring is around the corner. Oftentimes we can still have significant snowfall in the upper Midwest in March, but we know that Spring is on the way. It also means that baseball is back with spring training games and the promise of the regular season now just weeks away. March is also a time when high school and college basketball tournaments take place.
I have just finished a very brutal travel schedule that saw me away from home overnight 16 of the last 30 nights. I am happy to say that I am actually currently in the middle of a stretch that has me home for an entire week. I enjoy traveling and visiting with various people around our district and province, but I also enjoy being at home where things are familiar.
Recently I have become much more nostalgic with my time. I am trying to learn how to slow down and enjoy the little things. It had been almost 6 weeks since I had seen my granddaughter even though she only lives 30 minutes from me. I made it a point to clear my calendar so that I could see her. Her smile continues to melt my heart! Also, recently I was in various places between commitments and work and took time to walk outside in a short sleeve shirt and no jacket. It was wonderful!
So, what is it that helps you to slow down? Flowers will be coming up soon if they haven’t already where you live. Have you taken time to stop and “smell the roses” or whatever particular flower it is? I encourage you in this coming springtime to be observant of the blessings around you.
I am blessed by my travels but also blessed to be with family.
Serving Christ with you,
Pastor Bruce J. Nelson
Western District Lay Ministry Conference
Your District Board has heard you and has heard your desire for lay leadership training. We are pleased to announce that we are offering a lay ministry conference at Mt. Morris on November 2-4. The conference will provide fellowship and networking, specific “how-to’s,” and encouragement.
To help us prepare for this conference, District Board Member Nancy Chandler will be calling each of the churches and asking you some questions. We encourage you to talk with other leaders in your congregation and discuss the following questions:
- What would you determine to be the biggest “how-to” topics for a lay ministry conference? (What would you like to bring home with you after the conference?)
- What does your congregation do well?
- What do you believe your congregation could do better?
- What are the unmet ministry needs in your neighborhood? How can your congregation help to meet these needs?
- At your current setting, what do you need to discard? What do you need to nourish? What adaptive changes do you need to make in your ministry?
Thank you in advance for your help and plan to join us at beautiful Mt. Morris on November 2-4! Blessings,
Bruce J. Nelson, on behalf of the Western District Executive Board
Lights! Camera! Action! A Synod Video Invitation
As we look ahead to Provincial Synod, we invite every congregation to produce a quick and exciting video to tell the story of how you are caring for your neighbors! Follow the link below to find the full invitation, with guidelines.
The Call Process
Please hold the Christ’s Community and Freedom congregations in your prayers as they work in the Call Process to seek pastoral leadership.
The District Board continues to be grateful for the leadership of the Joint Boards of Grace and Main Street as they lead their congregations.
The 2018 Synod of the Moravian Church Northern Province will be held in Bethlehem, PA on June 21-25, 2018. In order to prepare delegates for synod, we are holding meetings across the province. All delegates and alternates are expected to attend. (CA, Central and NE WI, and Southern WI have completed their meeting.)
|IN and IL||Mar 24th 10:30 am–2:30 pm||Hope|
28th Lakeview (64 years)
Moravian Music Foundation
The Moravian Music Foundation recognizes that, no matter how many emails we send out, no matter how many letters in the mail, no matter how many announcements we send to churches and provincial and district newsletters, there is just no substitute for personal contact.
With that in mind, we’re initiating an effort to identify an Ambassador for MMF in every congregation of the Moravian Church in America! In a conversation about the title, we agreed that an ambassador is a representative, often at a long distance, whose task it is to build relationships and communicate in both directions – and that’s exactly what we’re looking for. We have already invited a number of people to serve, and many have already accepted and begun their work.
What does a Moravian Music Foundation Ambassador do? There are three primary things:
- Read MMF’s monthly email newsletter to stay aware of MMF’s activities.
- Send specifics to the church secretary and/or pastor to include in bulletins and newsletters: announcements of new publications and recordings, Festivals, Moravian Music Weekends, nearby concerts.
- Make sure MMF’s materials (brochures, newsletters) are in the church’s information racks.
- When Moravian Music Sunday materials are available, remind the pastor and music director of their availability and encourage them to use them.
- Make sure MMF knows the name and address of the church’s musicians – organist, choir director, band director, children’s choir director, and so on.
- Give a copy of each new MMF anthem publication to the music director (sent from the MMF office to the Ambassador for that purpose).
- On Moravian Music Sunday (or any other time that’s appropriate!), do a “moment for mission” for the Moravian Music Foundation, or enlist someone else to do it. Invite others to become supporters of MMF.
- Consider the possibility of the congregation hosting a dinner or Singstunde or some other event as a fund-raiser for MMF.
When you hear from MMF’s Ambassador in your congregation, thank them for their work! Or if you would like to join the growing ambassador corps, contact Nola Knouse firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board of World Mission
Did you know that the Moravian Church in Peru has been renting space for their worship services and other ministries? Their board has asked if it would be possible to obtain a one-time, larger donation that could be used to purchase some land in Chiclayo, Peru. Sunday, March 4 is the Unity Prayer Day, and the 2018 offering will go to purchase a piece of land in Peru to be the location of the Moravian office and meeting space. The income from the sustainability projects operated by the people can be used in the future development. The Unity Prayer Day Offering 2018 will help to further the mission of the Moravian Church in Peru.
Funds will be accepted in your congregation, beginning in March, and forwarded to your Provincial Financial Office to be transferred no later than June 2018 to the Unity Board Administrator, the Rev. Jørgen Bøytler.
For more information regarding the Moravian Church in Peru, please contact the Board of World Mission office. 610.868.1732.
Justice Ministry Conference
Save the date! Moravian Justice Ministry Conference. “Two Feet of Justice: Stepping into Advocacy and Systemic Change.” September 21st – 23rd at Mt. Morris Camp and Conference Center.
Crossroads Online Lay Ministry Courses
Crossroads Spring courses include Mapping the Route (Theology) with the Rev. Dr. Bill Falla on Monday nights beginning Mar 12 and Traditions (Denominations and World Religions) with the Rev. Dr. Walter Wagner on Thursday nights beginning Mar 8. All courses are held at Moravian
2018 Summer Church Camps
Western Region Camps in WI and MN
For program and registration information, go to www.wdcamping.com
For 1st – 2nd graders
4M Camp • Mt. Morris, WI August 13th – 15th
For 2nd – 5th graders
Camp MINDYY • Alexandria, MN August 12th – 15th
For 3rd – 5th graders
Junior Camp • Mt. Morris, WI July 30th – August 3rd
For 6th – 8th graders
Winmor • Mt. Morris, WI July 22nd – 28th
For 9th grade – age 21
Chetek • Mt. Morris, WI July 15th – 21st
*NEW THIS YEAR*
Family Camps at Mt. Morris
For program and registration information, go to
For ages 4 – 8 with an accompanying adult
Family & Me Camp July 29th – August 1st
Labor Day Family Camp August 31st – September 3rd
Midstates Region Camps in IN and OH
For program and registration information, go to midstatesmoraviancamps.webs.com
For 2nd – 6th graders
Camp Illiana • Bedford, IN July 23rd – 27th
Camp Bethany • Camp Bethany, OH August 6th – 10th
For 7th grade – age 21
Tar Hollow • Laurelville, OH July 22nd – 28th