Spiritual Tools for the Spiritual Journey: Sabbath and Self-Care, Gratitude and Grace
A Retreat for Moravian Clergy January 26th – 29th at Mt. Morris Conference Center in Wautoma, WI
Do you find yourself living in a survival mode? Do you ever feel defensive, cynical, withered, and weary? This relaxing retreat of solitude and sharing will help you to put aside being all things to all people as you ask: How do I take care of myself? How do I make room for God? Our retreat leader: Rev. Holly Whitcomb has been a minister in the United Church of Christ since her graduation from Yale Divinity School in 1978 and has served churches in Connecticut, Iowa, and Wisconsin. She is also a graduate of the two-year program for spiritual directors at the Shalem Institute in Washington D.C. A widely traveled retreat leader who directs Kettle-wood Retreats, Holly is also a spiritual director and writer who has published dozens of articles on spirituality. She is the author of four books including Practicing Your Path and Seven Spiritual Gifts of Waiting. To register for this event, please contact Rev. Mary Lou Plummer at email@example.com or 715- 423-0180.
Midwinter Youth Retreat
The Midwinter Youth Retreat for grade 9 – age 21 will be January 30th – February 1st at Our Savior’s Moravian Church in Altura, MN.
Unity Prayer Watch
The Unity Prayer Watch is designed to have at least one Moravian some-where in the world constantly in prayer! The churches of the Western District have been assigned Decem-ber 22nd – 31st. Your church’s date is listed below. More info is available in your local church office.
- Dec 22 Hope and West Salem
- Dec 23 Grace and Unionville
- Dec 24 Berea, Our Savior’s, Downey, Morongo, and Main Street
- Dec 25 Ephraim, Sister Bay, and Sturgeon Bay
- Dec 26 Kellner, Saratoga, Veedum, Rudolph, and Wisconsin Rapids
- Dec 27 Christian Faith, London, Glenwood, and Lakeview
- Dec 28 Ebenezer, Watertown, and Lake Mills
- Dec 29 Daggett, West Side, and Freedom
- Dec 30 Bethel, Goshen, Canaan, and Shepherd of the Prairie
- Dec 31 Chaska, Waconia, Lake Auburn, and Christ’s Community
- 4th Berea (140 years)
- 21st Lake Mills (158 years)
- 22nd Freedom (148 years)
From the District Stewardship Committee
During this beautiful, busy, abundant season of Advent I am always reminded of the extravagance of God’s gift to us in Jesus Christ. In one small, beautiful baby God gave us all that we would ever need.
In stewardship conversations we often talk about the difference between abundance and scarcity. Do we make financial decisions from a standpoint of believing God has given us all we need and will continue to provide out of the abundance of his grace? Or do we make decisions by assuming we don’t have enough and need to keep careful hold of what we do have? As we go through these days of waiting and anticipation, let’s live with an attitude of abundance, sharing and giving with joy.
God has indeed given us all we need and we can trust that he will continue to meet our needs. We are called to follow Jesus faithfully, always listening for God’s guidance in our lives. May you feel and know God’s abundance in your life, not only during Advent, but throughout the year! Merry Christmas from your WD Stewardship Committee!
2016 District Synod
The 2016 Western District Synod will be held at Mt. Morris Camp and Conference Center on April 28th – May 1st, 2016. Please put the date on your church calendar! Congregations are asked to elect your Synod Delegate(s) and Alternate(s) during your upcoming annual Church Council meetings. We anticipate a series of pre-synod meetings, so it is important to determine your delegates now.
From the Moravian Ministries Foundation
When we meet with Moravians who want to include their church or a Moravian agency in their estate plans, we have the privilege of hearing their stories about what being Moravian means to them, as well as their “church memories.” These conversations often take hours as people have been blessed again and again by their Church over the course of their lives.
What is YOUR Moravian story, and what is the story of your Moravian Church? How do you tell those stories and invite others to tell theirs? Oftentimes we don’t do a good job of sharing our Church’s stories of generosity and ministry, and there are so many wonderful stories to tell.
As we enter the Advent Season, we hope you will give thanks for the stories the Moravian Church has told for hundreds of years. And let us consider what kind of stories we want to tell for future generations.
(The Moravian Ministries Foundation would love to hear your Moravian story. How is your church or agency ministering to its members or the community in unique ways? Are there members whose generosity has enabled the church to strengthen existing programs or start new ones? Email Laura Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888.722.7923.)
Board of World Mission
Each month we send out a newsletter keeping folks up-to-date on our ministries around the world. If you would like to be included in this list please forward this request to our Administrative Assistant Kay Odegard at email@example.com.
Moravian Young Adult Convo
Every four years Moravian young adults in North America have the opportunity to come together for a Moravian Young Adult Convocation. The next Young Adult Convo is this summer as participants will travel to the Czech Republic and Germany to see many of the historic Moravian sites and to find inspiration and vision for current ministry. In the Czech Republic the trip includes visiting Prague (where John Hus preached), Kunwald (where the Unitas Fratrum, the early Moravian Church, first settled), and the Chalice Rocks (where members of the Unitas Fratrum met during their time of persecution). In Germany the trip includes visiting Herrnhut (where the Unitas Fratrum experienced a great spiritual renewal).
All Moravian young adults ages 18 through 26 are invited to attend this summer’s Moravian Youth Adult Convo 2015. The dates for the trip are July 5th – 13th, 2015. The theme for the trip is “Make the Moravian Journey Home and Catch a Vision for Our Future!”
For more information about Convo 2015, please check its website at www. convo2015.wordpress.com or its Face-book page at “Moravian Young Adult Convo 2015.” You can register online at www.planetreg.com/MoravianYoung AdultConvo2015. There are a limited number of spaces for this trip, and registrations need to be in by January 15th, 2015. If you have questions, please contact Cynthia Rader Geyer, Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text (484) 554-0102.
From the MWCEC
The MWCEC (Moravian Western Christian Education Commission) met at Mt. Morris November 6th – 7th. As we review and direct programs within the Western District, we strive to advance the statement crafted at the 2012 District Synod, “Nurturing a Relationship With Christ.”
The camping ministry is a great success in that nurturing process, with well over 200 young lives touched by Christ through the efforts of the directors, counselors and junior counselors during the summer of 2014. Another program continues the groundwork set at our camps, that of the work with the young adults group. They plan a conference in February and a mission camp type program to be held in 2015. The Moravian Women and TEN (Teacher Education Network) continue to look for inspiration in discerning the Lord’s leading for the future of their organizations. The roles of women in the church and that of traditional Christian educators continue to change, and they seek to be relevant with their ministries.
TEN held its final workshop / retreat at Mt. Morris November 7th – 9th. They will continue to publish their newsletter, pro-vide assistance for developing local area workshops, and offer scholar-ships for individuals who wish to attend CE workshops or conferences in their areas put on by other denominations and groups. The commission will also provide scholarships for Western District participants who attend the upcoming Women’s Conference at Sandy Cove. Change is in the air too, as the capital campaign being undertaken for expansion of our facilities at Mt. Morris gets underway.
With the retirement of Director of Stewardship Gary Marsh, that committee looks to take on more responsibility for stewardship educa-tion in the district. The Board of World Mission welcomes an infusion of energy and purpose with the addition of Justin Rabbach as the Director of Mission Engagement. And our story continues.
Annual Report forms have been mailed to your church office and are also available at www.portal.mcnp.org under “public documents.” Forms are due by February 28th, 2015.
Moravian Women’s Conference
The 12th Moravian Women’s Conference will be held June 25t– 28, 2015 at the Sandy Cove Conference Center in North East, MD. The theme for the conference is “Walk in the Light.” Registration materials are available at your church office. For information about the program, speakers, the schedule, registration, scholarship, travel, and much more, go to www.moravianwomen.wordpress .com.
To download the PDF version of News & Notes, click here.