The newsletter of the Moravian Church, Western District by Western District President, Bruce Nelson.
I find it hard to believe that it is already May and that we are already one third of the way through the calendar year. Time marches on. May is often a time of college graduations, being able to be outside more often, warmer and longer days, green grass, buds on the trees, and the beauty of spring flowers.
I love to listen to the birds singing in the springtime and summer. I felt very badly for them when they had to deal with several inches of snow here in Wisconsin in April after they had already migrated back to the area. It seemed oxymoronic to hear birds singing and to be shoveling snow.
I love this time of year. I love being able to watch baseball and softball games. I love the smell of springtime rain. I love being able to sit on the back patio and enjoy the sunset. I look forward to being able to walk along the beach soon.
I have been pondering the words of Psalm 104. I encour-age you to spend some time in these verses. It talks about God’s creation and the many gifts that are at our disposal to enjoy what is around us by just looking and listening to the examples of God’s wonderful creation.
Bruce J. Nelson
The Call Process
Brother James Heroux, who anticipates graduating from Moravian Theological Seminary on May 12, has accepted the call to serve as pastor of the Freedom Moravian Church in Appleton, Wisconsin. He will be ordained a Deacon in the Moravian Church on Saturday, June 16 at 4:00 pm at the Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, with Bishop Paul Graf presiding. James will be installed at Freedom on July 8.
Brother David Glasser has accepted a six-month, ½ time appointment to serve Christ’s Community Moravian Church in Maple Grove, Minnesota. He began his work on April 1.
Brother Michael Eder has accepted a ½ time appointment to serve Chaska Moravian Church in Chaska, Minnesota. Br. Mike retired from call on April 30 and began this appointment on May 1.
Sister Judy Ganz has accepted a seven-month, ½ time appointment to serve Wisconsin Rapids Moravian Church in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. She will begin her appointment on June 1.
Sister Vicki Jens-Page has accepted a call Released for Other Service to serve in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as the Intentional Interim pastor for Immanuel Lutheran Church-Ciceron of Black Creek, Wisconsin. She began her work on February 1.
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.
Western District Lay Ministry Conference
Your District Board has heard you and has heard your desire for lay leadership training. We are pleased to announce that we are offering a lay ministry conference at Mt. Morris on November 2-4. The conference will provide fellowship and networking, specific “how-to’s,” and encouragement.
Lights! Camera! Action! A Synod Video Invitation
As we look ahead to Provincial Synod, we invite every congregation to produce a quick and exciting video to tell the story of how you are caring for your neighbors! Follow the link below to find the full invitation, with guidelines.
Justice Ministry Conference
Save the date! Moravian Justice Ministry Conference. “Two Feet of Justice: Stepping into Advocacy and Systemic Change.” September 21st– 23rd at Mt. Morris Camp and Conference Center.
May Church Anniversaries
22nd Christ’s Community (35 years)
24th Goshen (140 years)
25th West Salem (174 years)
26th Ephraim (165 years)
2018 Summer Church Camps
Western Region Camps in WI and MN
For program and registration information, go to www.wdcamping.com
1st – 2nd graders
4M Camp • Mt. Morris, WI
August 13th– 15th
2nd– 5th graders
Camp MINDYY • Alexandria, MN
August 12th– 15th
3rd– 5th graders
Junior Camp • Mt. Morris, WI
July 30th– August 3rd
6th– 8th graders
Winmor • Mt. Morris, WI
July 22nd– 28th
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 midstatesmoraviancamps.webs.com
2nd– 6th graders
Camp Illiana • Bedford, IN: July 23rd– 27th
Camp Bethany • Camp Bethany, OH: August 6th– 10th
7th grade – age 21
Tar Hollow • Laurelville, OH
July 22nd– 28th
Exchange Camper Program!
Would you be interested in being an exchange camper from Chetek and go to Tar Hollow? If you’re interested, contact the Chetek directors, Jason and Amy Andersen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
From Mt. Morris Camp and Conference Center
Chris Harmsen has accepted a new job and will no longer be the executive director as of April 27th. The Board of Directors has begun to plan for search and hire of a new executive director. In this interim, please contact Joy or Crystal at the Mt. Morris office with your questions and/or needs. The two camps identified as hosted by Mt. Morris will not be taking place this summer.
Board of World Mission
As a representative for the Board of World Mission, Aaron Van Der Linden was on site to guide and coordinate efforts to rebuild the Port Arthur, Texas community, which was inundated by Hurricane Harvey last year. Much has been accomplished, however, much rebuilding remains to be completed in and around Port Arthur. Currently, David Miller and Mark Sebek, both of the Unity of the Brethren, are coordinating the incoming teams. Teams are received in Port Arthur where accommodations for approximately 15-20 people are available. Accommodations include lodging and meals. The local folks want to put their lives back in order. Some may need help doing just that. Do you or a group have some time to help them out with their needs? If so, please contact the BWM through Jill Kolodziej, the Director of Antioch. Jill can be contacted via email at email@example.com or by phone at 920.256.9472.
Crossroads Lay Leadership Courses
The Crossroads Lay Leadership Program at Moravian Theological Seminary is running a special session of Contextual Outreach this May and June. This course is designed for individuals or church teams to explore their impact in the community around them and to develop a local ministry plan. Congregations who have participated in this course in the past have reported that the process has helped them design activities which have helped them to impact their neighborhoods in a positive way for Jesus Christ. The goal of this program is not to teach churches how to increase their membership but rather how to increase their impact.
This course is co-taught by the Rev. Dr. Riddick Weber, Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministry, Moravian Theological Seminary and Dr. Jill Peters, Missional Leadership Developer, Moravian Theological Seminary who also runs the Crossroads Lay Leadership Program.
Course content includes working with demographic data, Caleb community interviews and other ways to learn the real, felt needs and service gaps within their community. Congregations define their target area of study which could be their neighborhood or an area close to their church’s location.
Through classroom activities, teams embark on a process to analyze this data and start to structure possible activities to meet the needs of their neighbors. Teams are coached on how to look at community ministry differently.
The registration for this course is $220 per person. Additional participants from the same church can register for $100 each.
Classes are held at Moravian Theological Seminary, Bethlehem on Tuesdays and Wednesdays May 29-30, June 5-6, 12-19, and 27 from 6-9 pm.
All Crossroads courses are also offered in a real time, distance learning format for those who live outside of our area.
For more information or team member registration, please contact Jill Peters at petersj2@ moravian.edu.
Online registration for the first team member can be done at our website: www.moravianseminary.edu/crossroads
Comments from past participants:
- We realized that we needed to work on how we communicate with our neighbors.
- After presenting our ministry plan to our church, it defined programs outside our doors for the next two years.
- We were surprised at how little we knew about our neighborhood and this changed how we connect.
- Our neighborhood changed around us and now we are trying to serve them.
- We discovered some ministry partners including other churches in our area.
Join us for this valuable course!
Dr. Jill Peters
Missional Leadership Developer
Moravian Theological Seminary
From the Moravian Ministries Foundation
The Moravian Ministries Foundation in America (MMFA) is proud to honor Amazing Moravian Women in a new series of articles that will be published on their website each Saturday morning. The first in the series was published this Earth Day weekend. It featured The Rt. Rev. Kay Ward, the first female bishop in the Moravian Church in America. The series will spotlight a different woman of our faith each week. Join us on the MMFA Facebook page or website to enjoy them all each Saturday.
Click below to read the first story:
Provincial Resources for Church Leaders
We want to remind our church leaders, both lay and ordained, of some provincial resources available to them:
- The Northern Provincial Online Portal is available. There are public documents available to all at portal.mcnp.org. There are also congregation-specific documents available to those congregation’s leaders. Login info is available at your local church office.
The Human Resource and Benefits Office stands ready to offer guidance and assistance to enhance the personal and professional lives of our clergy. Jacquie Petko (jacquie @mcnp.org) is the HR and Benefits Manager and Marie Cestone (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the HR and Benefits Assistant.