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 & Notes: June 2018

The newsletter of the Moravian Church, Western District by Western District President, Bruce Nelson.

Bruce’s Babblings

Greetings Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

I greet you in these early days of June. For some the school year is done and for others it will be done very soon. It is wonderful to see the activity pick up outside. I have enjoyed seeing the children playing outside in the neighborhood.

The past few weeks have been heavy travel days for me. I have done check-ins with two of the Door County Churches, have been meeting with the Wisconsin Rapids Moravian Church as they are in the call process, and was able to celebrate with the saints at Shepherd of the Prairie Moravian Church as the observed their 75th Anniversary as a congregation in the Fargo area. It was a great weekend of celebrating.

As I look toward June I will be taking some vacation days and will then be attending Northern Province Synod in Bethlehem, PA. I look forward to seeing many friends there and meeting some new people at synod. For those of you not attending synod, please keep our Northern Province Synod in your prayers.

As you live through these days of June remember to be thankful for the many blessings of this life.

Serving Christ with you,

Pastor Bruce J. Nelson

District Lay Ministry Conference

The Western District Board is pleased to announce that we are offering a Lay Ministry Conference at Mt. Morris on November 2nd – 4th. The  conference  will provide fellowship and networking, specific “how-to’s,” and encouragement. Lay leaders will have the opportunity to be in conversation with other Moravian leaders from across the District regarding what their congregation does well as well as where they need training. Thank you to WDEB member Nancy Chandler who polled our District church leaders to assess congregational gifts and needs.

The Call Process

Please hold the Christ’s Community and Wisconsin Rapids 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.

Justice Ministry Conference

The Two Feet of Justice: Friday, September 21st – Sunday, September 23rd is an opportunity to take another step for justice! One foot is direct service ministries in providing food, shelter, and other basic needs. The second foot, which is our focus for this weekend, moves us beyond charity to justice through advocacy and prophetic ministries that call for equitable and liberating change. This conference will provide tools for congregations and individuals to step into justice ministry. Issue focuses will include: Criminal Justice Reform, Civil Rights of Immigrants, Racial Equity, Housing, Gun Violence, and Health Care. Featured Speakers include recently retired CEO of the Minnesota Council of Churches, the Rev. Canon Peg Chemberlin, Director of the Social Justice Minor Program at UW Oshkosh, Courtney Bauder, and JOSHUA of Brown County Community Organizer Rachel Westenberg.

The Conference will be held at Mt. Morris Camp and Conference Center. The cost is $110 for cabins and $135 for Black Oak Lodge. Registrations after Monday, August 20th are $120 for cabins and $145 for Black Oak Lodge. Register with Rev. Marian Boyle Rohloff at 920-499-4433 or or online at

Summer Church Camps

Western Region Camps in WI and MN

For program and registration information, go to

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

Midstates Region Camps in IN and OH

For program and registration information, go to

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

Plus 50 Retreat

Thursday, August 16th – Sunday, August 19th. The theme is “Living Branches: Moravian Growing in Faith, Hope, and Love.” Plus 50 is a camp for the over 50 crowd. Fellowship, faith, food, and fun as we enjoy God’s creation. Cost per person is $190 which includes all meals and 3 nights lodging in Black Oak Lodge. Registration forms have been sent to your local church office. Reserve your spot now with a $75 deposit by July 1st.

Feel free to contact our registrar, Myrna Peil, at 920-333-0447. Our program director is Rev. Wanda Veldman at or 715-213-7447. Musician Jason Pues will again be with us.

Ordination Anniversaries

2nd    Al Bergmann (50 years)
3rd     Matt Knapp (34 years)
5th     Mary Bielke (18 years)
5th     Brian Dixon (13 years)
6th     Barb Berg (36 years)
7th    Reeder Herrick (15 years)
9th     Hermann Weinlick (55 years)
10th   Dave Sobek (28 years)
12th   Gary Straughan (52 years)
15th   Jason Andersen (15 years)
18th   Sam Propsom (23 years)
21st   John McCarthy (15 years)
21st   Eric Renner (9 years)
22nd Janice Coffing (5 years)
25th   Val Lehman (29 years)
26th   Barb Rich (24 years)
28th   Paul Graf (54 years)
28th   Kerry Krauss (20 years)

Moravian Ministries Foundation

The Moravian Ministries Foundation in America has been around for 20 years. And in the context of the Moravian Church, that makes us a relative new-comer. Our work is behind the scenes and private by nature. We help Moravian individuals, churches, and agencies grow and sustain the ministries that are central to our faith. We do this through investment management, gift planning, and stewardship development. So, it’s understandable that many good Moravians do not really know who we are and what we do. Please allow us to share with you this short video that we hope helps explain the tools and support we offer you as an individual and your Moravian congregation:

Vince Holbrook, Director of Communications, MMFA

Board of World Mission

Did you know…that Moravians in our Peru Mission Area are exploring their own “mission area?” BWM’s Justin Rabbach and Sam Gray were invited to join pastors Christopher Valencia and Manuel Verástegui on a trip into the Amazon Region? Getting there involved airplanes, taxis, trucks, 4×4’s, vans, buses, motorcycle taxis, a canoe, and walking shoes, but the journey was well worth it!

The team met with about 25 pastors and community leaders, representatives of the Aguaruna Evangelical Association (and dozens of children!) in the beautiful Amazon village of Bajo Canampa. With the help of an Aguaruna interpreter, they conducted workshops, took part in 4 worship services (Justin and Sam got to preach), baptized 15 people, and shared fellowship. An invitation was presented to begin mission outreach and partnerships in a dozen villages in the region. Justin and Sam met with the Peru Board to discuss “next steps.” Please keep this wonderful mission opportunity in your prayers as we seek God’s guidance going forward.

Church Anniversaries

12th — Shepherd of the Prairie (75 years)
17th — Ebenezer (165 years)
17th — Hope (188 years)
21st — Grace (60 years)

From the IBOC

The IBOC is introducing two new items at the Northern Province Synod, June 21-25!

First is Bishop Kay Ward’s latest book, Park Benches. In her fourth book with the IBOC, Kay shares her abundant love of life through thoughtful, poignant and often funny stories, essays and poems. Park Benches will be on sale for a special price at the IBOC display at Synod, and we will be scheduling book-signing opportunities throughout the weekend. You can also purchase Park Benches and her other titles at

Second is our new T-shirt, designed especially for the Northern Province. This high quality, 100% cotton T-shirt comes in a beautiful, royal-blue color with a brilliant red and white, silk-screened design: “Jesus Makes My Heart Rejoice” over a big red heart! The back lists all the U.S. Northern Province Moravian congregations, emerging ministries and fellowships. Available in sizes S to 2XL, these uniquely Moravian shirts will be available at introductory prices at Synod, then online on June 26.

For more on these and other great items and to learn more about the work of the IBOC, stop by the IBOC display at Synod, visit, or call Jill at 1(800)732-0591, ext. 38.


Moravian Daily Texts


Monday, August 20 — Psalm 102:1–11
Judges 3; Luke 18:31–43

The Lord had made them joyful. Ezra 6:22

Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart. Acts 2:46 (NASB)

In the week ahead, Lord, watch over the people you have put in our path to meet. May we seek opportunities to overlook the diversity among us and focus on our similarities. In your son’s name. Amen.

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