Moravian Church in North America

In Essentials, Unity; In Nonessentials, Liberty; In All Things, Love.

Moravian Church in North America
North: Bethlehem, Pa.
South: Winston-Salem, N.C.

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Western District News and Notes, September 2014

Zinzendorf’s Challenge to Moravians in the 21st Century

September 26th – 28th at Mt. Morris Camp and Conference Center.

Registration materials have been sent to your local church office. Here is a description of the program:

“Zinzendorf is one of the most famous names in the Moravian Church. He is famous for being the great patron of the Moravians who provided protecttion to the illegal immigrants who arrived on his estates in the 1720s. He is celebrated throughout the world as one of the founders of Protestant glob-al missions. And Moravians love to retell stories about Zinzendorf on August 13 or November 13. But for most Moravians, Zinzendorf is just a name or a picture on a wall in the pastor’s office. In this workshop we will look at Zinzendorf as a theologian and visionary. He was one of the most controversial and creative theologians of the 18th century, and he shaped the ministry and mission of the Moravian Church during its most expansive period. Nearly 300 years later, Zinzendorf’s theology remains vibrant and challenging. In this workshop we’ll look at some of Zinzendorf’s most im-portant ideas and how they shaped Moravian history. And we will see if his teachings about faith, redemption, and the Holy Spirit can inspire us as we seek to live into the reality of Christ’s saving work in the world.”

Hosted by Moravian scholar and Seminary professor the Rev. Dr. Craig Atwood, this workshop explores the foundation of Moravian theology and tradition. The cost for the workshop is $50, which includes weekend meals and lodging at Mt. Morris. Travel reimbursement for those traveling more than 100 miles is also available.

For more info, contact Karen Buchholz at 715.423.0180 or


Coventanting Day

On or around September 16th, clergy from around the District will gather in regional groups to covenant with God and each other to recommit themselves to ministry and discipleship. Please hold them in prayer as they rededicate themselves to the work that God has entrusted to their hands.



Prayer Concerns

We pray for our brothers and sisters of the Rudolph Moravian Church in Rudolph, Wisconsin. On August 26th, the church building suffered a serious fire. Pastor Christine Stack and the congregation gathered for prayer even as the firefighters were battling the blaze and bringing the cross, membership books and other items from the building. They are working with insurance adjustors as they prayerfully consider options going forward. Pray for comfort in this time of loss, and for a clear sense of the Lord’s leading for their future. We thank God that no one was hurt.

Southern Wisconsin Lovefeast

Southern Wisconsin Moravians for Mission (SWMM) will hold a Lovefeast on Sunday, September 14th at 2:00 pm at the Christian Faith Moravian Church (805 E Holum St, DeForest). Dr. Bruce Barrett from the University of Wisconsin will present on the work being done at a diabetes clinic in Bluefields, Nicaragua.

The Call Process

Sister Christie Melby-Gibbons, currently pastor at the Downey Moravian Church in Downey, CA, has accepted a call to Provincial Service to explore, develop, and provide leader-ship for an Emerging Ministry that seeks to respond faithfully to God’s invitation to live out Matthew 25 in a way that honors the Moravian ethos of sharing God’s love and grace with all. She will conclude her ministry at Downey on September 7 and begin this new work on September 22. This call is a new express-ion of the desire of the Provincial Elders’ Conference to respond faithfully to our Lord’s invitation to minister to people in ways that connect our identity and purpose with God’s call to go where there is great need. Sr. Christie will remain in the Downey area for the next few months while she researches both the need and location where this ministry will emerge. Please be in prayer for Sr. Christie and her husband David and family, as well as the Downey congregation, in this time of transition.

Please hold Downey CA, Freedom WI, Grace MI, Saratoga WI, and Unionville MI in prayer as they discern God’s guidance in pastoral leading.

Ordination Anniversaries

5th – Peg Chemberlin (32 years)
6th – Christie Melby-Gibbons (5 years)
7th – Vicki Jens Page (6 years)
10th – Olaf Andersen (47 years)
12th – David Glasser (32 years)
15th – Barry Lehman (40 years)
24th Jane Gehler (9 years)
29th Sharon Benson (18 years)

Church Anniversaries

5th – Main Street (145 years)
10th – Daggett (103 years)
11th – Watertown (160 years)

Mission Insite

I write to inform or remind you of an amazing resource available to all of us to help us learn more about our local communities. “Mission Insite” provides customized reports about any area you would like to study. Learn about ministry opportunities, community needs, religious preferences, life-style preferences and much more about any neighborhood. If your congregation would like to reach out in service or mission, this is an outstanding tool to help you do it wisely and effectively. Our Province provides this resource at no cost to the congregations. You can do thousands of dollars worth of research for free! If you have never considered Mission Insite, please check it out. If you have forgotten about it, maybe it’s time to re-engage. Documents have been emailed to every church in the Province that provide guidance for how to sign up and what you will find. If you have questions about using Mission Insite, feel free to contact me at

Best wishes for serving our communities in the name of Christ.  Rev. Darryl Bell

Cuba Mission Trip

Last month the first Cuba Mission Team made up of eight youth and young adults, ages 16 to 28, and two adult leaders accepted an invitation from the Moravian Church in Cuba to attend their Summer Youth Camp Program. Much like our own camping programs here in the US, youth and young adults in Cuba, ages 12 to 30, come together one week each year for fellowship, faith formation, and lots of fun.

From a pool of applicants, eight uniquely gifted youth and young adults were selected. They include Andrew Mengel from Central Church, Andrew Seagreaves from College Hill Church, Beth Behrend from Wisconsin Rapids Church, Frederika Mohr from Wisconsin Rapids Church, Justin Rabbach from Ebenezer Church, Leonardo Gutierrez from Great Kills Church, Taylor Wickert from Watertown Church, and Victor Tory Reid from John Hus Church. David Sommers, a teacher at Moravian Academy and Chair of the Upper School Diversity Committee came on board as co-leader with Cynthia Rader Geyer, and served as the groups’ interpreter.

Camp Cuba took place at a Catholic Retreat Center in Matanzas, a beachside community located about 52 miles east of Havana, Cuba. The first North American Cuba Mission Team’s goal was to build partnerships with their sisters and brothers as they live out their faith, develop their own leadership skills, and invest in ongoing opportunities to make an impact upon the lives and communities of people in Cuba and here at home.

Throughout their week together Cubans and North Americans were integrated as one in an atmosphere of fellowship and joy. Each living as servants of Christ, deepened their faith and developed their leadership skills. Together they sang and danced (check it out online at and, studied a new culture and the culture of the Bible, competed in games and in the first Cuban/US Bible Olympics, hung out at the beach during free time, and met as a small group to share times of devotion and reflection. They learned from each other, enriching and affirming one another in their Christian lives.

Returning to their own corner of the world the Cuba Mission Team members carried with them new and ever deepening relationships with each other, their counterparts in Cuba, and with Jesus. With a renewed call to honor the life and ministry of Christ, they serve him through the Moravian Church in word and action. All glory, honor and praise to God for blessing our church with these faithful young adult leaders. May others recognize Christ in each of them as they continue to build his kingdom.

Rev. Cynthia Rader Geyer Eastern District Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry

The Moravian Church in Cuba has extended an invitation for a North American Team to attend Camp Cuba 2015. The 2015 Cuba Mission Team will include up to 12 youth and young adults between the ages of 16 and 30. For more details and or to apply, please contact Cynthia Rader Geyer at

From the District Stewardship Committee

It’s autumn, that busy time when Sunday School is starting up, kids and teachers are back in school, and we start to look forward to apple cider and pumpkin pie. It’s also the time of year that many of us start to plan and lead Stewardship programs in our congregations. If you already have a series planned and set to go, please share your ideas with the WD Stewardship Committee. We’d love to hear how your series went! If you’re still looking for ideas or are even just a bit unsure how to bring up the topic of stewardship in your congregation, the WD Stewardship Committee is here to be a resource for you.

Our Director of Stewardship, Gary Marsh, has done great work this year writing and making available to us a new Stewardship series called, “Meet the Stewards.” If you haven’t yet seen this new series, you can download it as a PDF from This series is very accessible, especially for congregations who are new to teaching stewardship each and every year.

Our goal is that stewardship is taught every year, in every congregation. It’s amazing to see how God works through these programs, helping each of us to draw closer to him.

There is a 2nd grader in our congregation who recently demonstrated the impact learning about steward-ship has made in her young life. She talked about how she decorated her door at home. She put some pictures up, but right in the middle of them all she made a sign that says, “Put donations for people in need right here” with an arrow pointing to a homemade paper pouch. She said she is going to bring those “donations” to church to help others. This little girl has figured out how to live as a good steward of God’s gifts in her daily life. This is what we all hope to do as we live and grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. May each of us continue to be good stewards of all God has given us.

Jenny Moran
District Stewardship Committee

Marian Boyle
Jenny Moran
Seth Habhegger
Gary Marsh


2014 Provincial Synod Resolutions

The 2014 Book of Order and the 2014 Resolutions and Elections Booklet are now posted on the Public Documents section of the Moravian Church, Northern Province Portal. You can download the documents from If you have any questions, please contact Gloria Reisinger (

Thank You!

Another successful and Spirit-filled summer church camping season is complete. On behalf of the greater church, a deep and sincere “thank you!” is extended to our camp directors, counselors, and youth leaders for making our church camp environments safe, affirming, Christ – centered sanctuaries where our young people (and the young at heart) can experience God’s powerful presence and gracious love. Your service and gifts are greatly appreciated!
Thank you also to our campers – without your enthusiasm and witness, none of this would be possible.

Lastly, thank you to all who generously donated of their finances to help send our youth to camp!

Listening Sessions for Mt. Morris Building Project

The Board of Directors at Mt. Morris Camp and Conference Center have determined that there is a need for another building at camp to augment our ministry there. A building planning committee (Paul Graf, Joel Jarvis, Greg Jones, Kurt Liebenow, Jim Unger, Aden Ward and Joy Witkowski) has begun meeting to determine the type and location and function for such a building.

In order to share the concern for the need of such a building and to receive feedback from the rest of the district, the committee has decided to schedule listening sessions across the district, to give everyone interested an opportunity to respond by sharing their opinions, ideas and suggestions.

Aden Ward Building Committee chair

From the Moravian Ministries Foundation

What does $100,000,000 look like? A new organ. More children able to go to camp thanks to scholarships. Being able to quickly repair the parsonage’s damaged roof after a snow storm. More assistance to brothers and sisters in need of food, clothing, and help paying bills. Expanded worship space. Buildings which are accessible to everyone. Pastors able to assist members during times of crisis. A vibrant preschool program. Mission trips to other countries. The list could go on and on and on.

We are delighted to share that since 1998, the services we provide to Moravian churches, agencies, and individuals have generated over $100,000,000 for ministry. More than $56,000,000 of that is from donations and planned gifts (some already received and some committed) and over $42,000,000 is from earnings and growth from investments in the Moravian Common Fund. This is in addition to the $150,000,000 invested in the Common Fund, which we celebrated in July.

We think this is pretty exciting news. We’re also pleased that the cost of doing our work has been less than 6.5 cents for every dollar raised.

For those whom we have served, thank you for Investing Where You Believe!

2015 Moravian Daily Texts

It’s Preorder Season at the IBOC! The IBOC is now taking preorders for the 2015 Moravian Church Desk Calendar & Plan Book.

The Moravian Church Desk Calendar & Plan Book provides a convenient, useful planning tool for Moravians. Each edition is organized in a large, block-format, 18-month calendar with plenty of space to write in meetings, services and other planning information. It also includes upcoming events, holidays, prayer days and lectionary Sunday readings specific to the Moravian Church in North America. The new edition of the Desk Calendar & Plan Book covers October 2014 to March 2016, allowing you to plan through Easter 2016. Also included are contact pages for frequently-used addresses and phone numbers and updated Provincial and Interprovincial directory information. The pine green cover features the Moravian seal and motto; spiral binding allows the Desk Calendar and Plan Book to lay flat for ease of use. The Desk Calendar & Plan Book is available for $8.00 and can be preordered now. You can order via phone (1.800.732.0591 ext. 38) or through our online store. The new calendars will ship in early September.

To preorder, visit and click on “New! Preorder 2015 Moravian Daily Texts,” call 1.800.732.0591 ext. 38, mail your 2015 Daily Text preorder form to the IBOC, or contact Arlene Clendenning via e-mail at


Download the September issue of News & Notes here: September District Newsletter

Moravian Daily Texts


Monday, July 23 — Psalm 88:13–18
Deuteronomy 32:10–43; Luke 11:1–13

The Lord said to Isaac, “Through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed.” Genesis 26:4 (NIV)

Many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 8:11

God of our ancestors, we are grateful for the blessings upon blessings that you bestowed upon Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and also upon us. Thank you for the promise of your unending faithfulness. Amen.

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