By the time you read this, most if not all of the people you know who are going to school for fall will have started classes. Some colleges and private schools have begun classes already. In some areas of our district classes began in August. In the community I live in, the private schools already have several days of classes in. The public schools begin classes the day after Labor Day. I have also noticed that several Sunday Schools are starting back up this month. In addition various Bible studies, choir rehearsals, youth group gatherings, and other fall programming is about to launch for the fall season.
I have always believed that as Christians we ought to be life-long learners. It warms my pastoral heart when I see people into their 70’s, 80’s, and even 90’s still attending Bible studies or still trying to learn new things.
As we journey into September and fall schedule, what is your plan for what you hope to learn this fall? I would encourage you to think and pray about where the Lord may be leading you in your fall learning.
Serving Christ with you,
Pastor Bruce J. Nelson
September Ordination Anniversaries
- 5: Peg Chemberlin (35 years)
- 6: Christie Melby-Gibbons (8 years)
- 7: Vicki Jens Page (9 years)
- 10: Olaf Andersen (50 years)
- 12: Dave Glasser (35 years)
- 15: Barry Lehman (43 years)
- 24: Jane Gehler (12 years)
- 29: Sharon Benson (21 years)
Crossroads Lay Leadership Programs
Crossroads at Moravian Seminary in Bethlehem, PA is running two fall courses of 8 weeks each.
- Traveling Mercies is a course on caring ministries begins Thursday, Sept 7 with the Rev. Maggie Wellert and Greg Krausz, Certified Addictions Counselor.
- Faith Stories of the Old Testament with Kim Denyes, MATS is a thematic exploration looking at the Old Testament in a new way.
Contact Jill Peters at petersj2@ moravian.edu or go to www. moravianseminary.edu/crossroads for more information.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
September’s “Resource of the Month” is a concordance for the Moravian Book of Worship. Go to the website above and search “concordance.”
- Joel Russell, a retired military chaplain, has accepted an appointment to serve the Bethel and Goshen Moravian Churches in North Dakota. He will be installed on September 17th.
- Please hold the Ebenezer congregation 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.
Clergy Cup of Covenant
On or near September 16th, clergy around the District and Province will gather in regional groups to re-affirm their individual and collective call to serve God and the church. September 16th reminds us that Jesus Christ is the Chief Elder of the church and our lives. Please hold your pastors in prayer as they gather to reaffirm and rededicate themselves to Christ.
Southern Wisconsin Moravians for Mission (SWMM) is excited to have Bishop Kay Ward as the guest speaker at the annual Lovefeast on Sunday, September 17th at 2:00 pm. Bishop Ward is an author and taught at Moravian Seminary for 16 years. The Lovefeast will be held at the Glenwood Moravian Community Church (725 Gilmore St in Madison). There will be a light meal following the Lovefeast.
Unity Prayer Watch
The Unity Prayer Watch is designed to have at least one Moravian somewhere in the world constantly in prayer! The churches of the Western District have been assigned December 1st – 6th. Your church’s date is listed below. More information is available in your local church office.
- Dec 1st: Grace, Hope, and Unionville
- Dec 2nd: Berea, Main Street, Our Savior’s, Bethel, Goshen, Canaan, Shepherd of the Prairie, and West Salem
- Dec 3rd: Christian Faith, Ebenezer, Tricklebee, Glenwood, Lakeview, London, and Watertown
- Dec 4th:Lake Mills, Veedum, West Side, and Wisconsin Rapids
- Dec 5th: Daggett, Ephraim, Sister Bay, Freedom, and Sturgeon Bay
- Dec 6th: Chaska, Waconia, Lake Auburn, Morongo, and Christ’s Community
Clergy Retreat: Save the Date
Save the date for our annual clergy retreat! It will be held at Mt. Morris January 22nd – 25th, 2018.
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 email@example.com
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
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.
From Board of World Mission
Did you know that almost 400 Sr. High and Post High campers and counselors from across the Northern Province got connected with MISSION this summer by:
- Taking part in small-group mission discussions
- Doing “hands-on” mission projects
- Learning about past models of Moravian mission
- Studying Bible principles and asking, “How Did Jesus Do It?”
- Discovering that, as Moravians, mission is not only in our DNA (it’s in our genes!), it also challenges us to NDA (Notice, Discern, Act!) and we can do this ADN (Anywhere Disciples Needed!).
- Experiencing a taste of many cultures where Moravians are present and active.
- Planning future mission involvement by noticing real needs around them (and beyond!). Brainstorming and planning actual ways to respond to those needs with their gifts and talents.
- Connecting to the BWM through the website and through communication with BWM staff and interns.
Please pray that God will keep this mission energy alive and active as a summer of camps and conferences comes to an end!
Mt. Morris Work Day
Mt. Morris Camp and Conference Center is hosting a camp work day on Saturday, November 4th starting at 9:00 am working outside. Friday lodging and Saturday meals are available. We will be working outside, so bring appropriate gear. Those coming are asked to notify Aden Ward by October 1st at adenw824@ gmail.com.
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 31st. 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 Anniversary of the Reformation
Save the date of October 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 celebra-tion of Eucharist. All this and lunch for a free will offering, on Tues-day, 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
Do you have a Charitable Plan or a plan to effectively and efficiently put your money and resources to work for the things you are passionate about? There are fancy words like “philanthropy” that are thrown around and that’s great, but at the end of the day, how do you give back? Is it like hunting quail with a rocket launcher or more like a targeted, carefully planned shot? Have you narrowed your scope and defined your mission around giving?
If your answer is yes, I would love to hear your story. Call me or email me. If your answer is no, I still want you to call me or email me. MMFA stands ready to help. We help by having a conversation with you and helping you identify and define your passions and dreams as they relate to the work of Jesus Christ. We do an inventory of where your resources are pointed now and compare that against where you want them to be (i.e., those dreams and passions). Then we chart a course for you to meet and deliver on your charitable plan through real live advice and prayer. We’d love the opportunity to chat with you and start the conversation. Pray about your resources and what Christ is leading you to do. Where and how do you want to make an impact? Let us help! Call or email us today at 888-722-7923 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Spaugh, MMFA President
Preorder 2018 Moravian Daily Texts
While there’s still more than three months left to 2017, we’re already think-ing 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 ofthe 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.
Online preordering for 2018 is available by going to 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
BWM/Moravian Disaster Response
Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast of the United States on Aug. 25, 2017 as a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 130 mph. It has threatened millions of people with multiple days of heavy rain, winds and rising tides.
The Board of World Mission has been following the response of our ecumenical partners, and have been in direct contact with representatives of the Unity of the Brethren Church in Texas, which has several congregations in the Houston area. Moravians have a shared heritage with this denomination going all the way back to Jan Hus, and they have a representative who attends BWM meetings.
The efforts of Moravian Disaster Response (MDR) will be in coordination with the Unity of the Brethren. They have asked for time to assess immediate and long term needs. If you are feeling called to help respond, please see avenues for donating and volunteering below. It is our hope to have donations ready to go and sent quickly once a plan of action has been put into place.
Donations to help support MDR as it partners in the recovery can be made online by going to www.moravian mission.org/give.
Please use the online giving form, and in comments designate the Donation for “Moravian Disaster Response”.
Donations within the U.S. can also be sent directly to the Board of World Mission at the address below. In the memo line of any checks please write “Moravian Disaster Response”.
Board of World Mission
PO Box 1245
Bethlehem, PA 18016
NOTE: We are requesting funds be designated for general disaster response to allow the BWM to respond with the flexibility needed in this ongoing situation. All funds under this designation will be used for disaster response.
If you are interested in getting information on joining teams to help in the recovery and rebuilding efforts for this, or other disasters, please go to www.moravian mission.org/engage/contact-information-collection to enter your contact information, and the BWM will follow up with you regarding any specific opportunities to get involved.
Please contact the BWM with any questions: 610.868.1732