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, May 2016


“Thank You”

Thank you. Though a short sentence, thank you is powerful, descriptive, and complete. Thank you for the gift to serve as Western District President and Provincial Elder these past 10 years. We can look forward to wonderful leadership from our newly forming District Board. Together, let’s hold them in prayer and remember to thank them for their work and leadership.

Our closing worship at synod was guided by Acts 10 where the on-going challenge of faith brought Centurion Cornelius and Peter together. To whom is your faith bringing you? As people, embraced by resurrection and empowered by the Holy Spirit, let’s look for ways to be in fellowship with those most different than us. It is one way for the world to see Jesus’ love modeled in our living, in our thanks for neighbors. As Moravians, we build clinics, cafes, meals, schools, churches and relationships. We do not build walls. We do not traffic in fear. We go wherever we are led to love. Our faith demands nothing less. Cornelius represented a profound about face for many things Peter held dear. May we too, freed from biases, prejudices, racism, hatreds,… also come to the point where we too say, “I truly understand God shows no partiality….”

A subtle shift is taking place in the church. At times synods legislate and in effect tell others (District Board, PEC, etc.) to do the ministry. That is parallel to the way congregations can sometimes think they have “hired” the pastor to do the ministry of the congregation. A new day is dawning, where each of us, embraced by resurrection and empowered by the Holy Spirit, is responsible for the ministries entrusted to our hands. Have you asked your synod delegate about their synod experience? Or are you waiting for them to “report” to you and the congregation? Waiting is passive. Asking, engaging your delegate, roots you in a changed posture where each of us takes responsibility for the work before all of us.

With gratitude for the ministries entrusted to our hands, Jim

(Note: My term will run through the end of this month to allow our incoming District President, Brother Bruce Nelson, to say goodbye to the Lake Mills congregation and prepare for the new work that lies ahead.)



The 2016 Western District Synod was held April 28-May 1 at Mt. Morris Camp & Conference Center in Wisconsin. Among resolutions, covenants, and budgets that were approved, the synod elected a District Board.


  • Brother Bruce Nelson, Lake Mills WI

Clergy Members

  • Brother Jason Andersen, West Salem IL (Christian Faith, DeForest WI as of June)
  • Sister Jane Gehler, Unionville MI

Lay Members

  • Sister Judy Anderson, Main Street, Northfield MN
  • Sister Nancy Chandler, Hope IN
  • Sister Cindy Fahney, Lake Mills WI
  • Sister Megan Smock, Downey CA

Please be in prayer for the Board, and all those elected to serve in various capacities throughout the District, and during this time of transition.
We give thanks for ministry and gifts of Brother Jim Hicks, Brother Jeff Brandt and Brother Bruce Loppnow, whose terms concluded at this synod.



The Churches for Middle East Peace have designated Sunday, May 22nd as a day of offering special prayers for peace in the Middle East. Brother Bob Sawyer, our representative on CMEP, has provided resources that have been emailed to your church office to help with specific prayer topics and information.




The national celebration of the full communion relationship between the Moravians and the PCUSA will be held on Sunday, June 5th at 3:00 pm at Covenant Presbyterian Church (326 S Segoe Rd) in Madison, WI. Thank you to Sister Staci Marrese-Wheeler who has taken a leading role in planning the worship for this celebration.



The Unity Synod, held once every 7 years to deliberate on the ministry and business of the worldwide Unity, will be August 12th – 19th in Jamaica. Delegates representing the Northern Province are Sister Betsy Miller as PEC President and Brother Michael Johnson and Sister Staci Marrese-Wheeler, who were elected at the 2014 Provincial Synod. Please be in prayer for the preparations for this gathering and for our delegates. Sister Judy Ganz has agreed to serve as Synod Secretary.



Information has been mailed to your churches about a young adult (age 16-30) mission opportunity in Cuba on July 30th – August 16th. For more information, contact Rev. Cynthia Rader Geyer at cynthia@mcnp .org or at 484-554-0102.


Did you know that the Board of World Mission is holding a young adult mission event, September 2nd – 5th at Mt. Morris Camp and Conference Cen-ter in WI? The event is called “FIT”, as we prepare ourselves to be FIT for Mission by learning to approach out call with Focused Intensity over Time! More information will be out soon. The BWM is hoping to offer some scholarships and would ask you to consider a donation towards this effort. (A $150 donation would cover all expenses for one participant!)

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. I Peter 4:10
Each month we send out a newsletter on our ministries around the world. If you’d like to be included please email Justin Rabbach at justin@



On Sunday, September 18th at 2:00 pm, the Lakeview Moravian Community Church in Madison (3565 Tulane Ave.) will host the annual Southern Wisconsin Moravians for Mission (SWMM) Lovefeast. Rev. Darryl Bell along with Sam Schneider from Lakeview will speak about their Fall 2015 mission trip to Peru. Along with Caitlyn Mischnick, the three helped with construction projects and praised our Creator with song and worship. Please plan on hearing about how they worked in Peru and how the people in Peru touched them.



Western Region Camps in Wisconsin & Minnesota

4M Camp
For 1st and 2nd Graders
Mt. Morris, WI
June 22nd – 24th

For 2nd – 5th Graders
Alexandria, MN
July 24th – 27th

Junior Camp
For 3rd – 5th Graders
Mt. Morris, WI
June 27th – July 1st

Ba6 (“Basics”) Camp
For 3rd – 6th Graders
Mt. Morris, WI
August 14th – 18th

Winmor Camp
For 6th – 8th Graders
Mt. Morris, WI
July 24th – 30th

Chetek Camp
For 9th Grade – age 21
Mt. Morris, WI
July 17th – 23rd

Mid States Region Camps in Indiana and Ohio

Camp Illiana
For 2nd – 6th Grade
Bedford, IN
July 25th – 29th

Camp Bethany
For 3rd – 6th Grade
Camp Bethany, OH
August 1st – 5th

Tar Hollow Camp
For 7th Grade – age 21
Laurelville, OH
July 17th – 23rd



Money and ministry. Our churches are able to do more when they have more resources, but faith and finances aren’t always easy to talk about. A pastor once told us, “Talking about money doesn’t mean you lack faith.” We all know Jesus talked about money. A lot. So why can it be hard for us to do so in our congregations?

Another pastor shared, “Things changed when we focused on what God was calling us to do, not on how much money we had.” Her church discovered they were able to fund the ministry they felt God leading them to do, even though the dollar amount associated with it was overwhelming. They had faith and God provided.

How does your church talk about money and ministry? How can the Moravian Ministries Foundation help? Our Grace, Generosity and Gratitude service assists congregations with changing their conversations about faith and finances. To learn more about it, visit or call Chi-Chi Messick, MMFA Vice President, at 888-722-7923.



Tricklebee Café and Spirit of Peace Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, WI will be hosting a Lovefeast featuring Milwau-kee food entrepreneurs That Salsa Lady and Vegan Soul Catering on Sunday, May 22nd at Spirit of Peace (5505 W. Lloyd St.). There will be tours of Tricklebee Café from 2:30 – 3:30 pm, the Lovefeast at 4:00 pm, and a vegan soul food buffet and dessert potluck at 5:00 pm.

Tricklebee Café will be hosting an “Oils of the Bible” workshop on Friday, May 27th. Rev. Dr. Tracy Pryor will lead the workshop about the oils of the Bible and how they were used in worship and healing. We’ll even learn how to cook with some of the Biblical oils! This event is free. Due to workshop size, please RSVP to tricklebee

Moravian Daily Texts


Wednesday, September 26 — Psalm 110
1 Samuel 16:14–17:31; John 3:16–26

The Lord will keep your foot from being caught. Proverbs 3:26

We are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37

O God, our guide and protector, as we follow the path that you have laid before us—some days we walk with difficulty, some days we run with ease and some days we dance with joyful abandon. You are right beside us through it all. Thanks be to God! Amen.

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