Tag Archives: 2012

Book Review: “Less Clutter. Less Noise.” by Kem Meyer

People often ask who I turn to for ideas and inspiration for church communication. While I have a whole collection of writing, design, photography and communication books on my bookshelf, one I continually refer to — and heartily recommend — is Kem Meyer’s “Less Clutter. Less Noise. Beyond Bulletins, Brochures and Bake Sales.”

Written from the perspective of a church communicator — Meyer is the communications director for Granger Community Church in Granger, Ind. — “Less Clutter” focuses on helping church communities connect with both long-time congregants and potential new members. Using real-life stories to illustrate her points, Meyer presents an easy-to-read, easy-to-understand “short-course” in communication strategy and methodology.

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What does it mean to be Moravian? An invitation to share

0512whoarintroWe all have our own perspective and insight on what it means to be a member of The Moravian Church In America. The faith, the traditions, the music, the fellowship, the belief, the worship, the history, the people…they all play a role in defining who we are as the people of our community of faith.

As part of the Interprovincial Board of Communication’s ongoing efforts to help tell the story of today’s Moravian Church here in the U.S. and Canada, we’re looking for your thoughts, insights and viewpoints on just what it means to be Moravian today.

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Ponderings: Yes, I’ve been to Laurel Ridge

0512ponderings1Since coming to the Moravian Church two years ago this month, many a Southern Province Moravian (and quite a few from the North) have asked, “So, have you been to Laurel Ridge?” And for far too long, my answer has been, “Nope, not yet.”

That answer was almost always greeted with an incredulous look and an admonition to get there as soon as possible. To a person, they describe the beauty, serenity, peacefulness and spiritual feeling of being “on the mountain,” then wax rhapsodic about the fun and growth that camping brought to their Moravian lives.

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Latino Ministries Conference addresses expanding ministry

0512latinointroIn March, 96 Moravian brothers and sisters from 11 different congregations and fellowships across the Southern Province gathered at First Moravian Church in Stone Mountain, Georgia, with the purpose of discussing, sharing and learning together about this exciting ministry.

The Southern Province Latino Ministries Conference is an outward expression of the awareness and concern of Moravians throughout our province, to reach out in Christ’s name to the growing Hispanic population in our communities.

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A Moravian and Muslim answer to an Imam’s request

0512messiahintroAn amazing story is unfolding in West Africa thanks the vision and commitment of Little Church on the Lane, Messiah Moravian Church and two remarkable Moravians.

Mohamed and Safie Braima left their African homeland for the abundant opportunities available in America. They settled in Charlotte, N.C., joined Little Church, and built a comfortable life of meaning and service in that mission rich community. For about 30 years they lived and enjoyed the American dream.

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Working together to promote Moravian history

0512archiveintroTwo organizations whose purpose is to collect, promote and share the history of the Moravian Church are now working more closely together to bring Moravian history to life.

The Moravian Archives of the Northern Province, based in Bethlehem, Pa., and the Moravian Historical Society, based 10 miles north in Nazareth, Pa., have entered into a unique affiliation that will share expertise, collections and capabilities.

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“Come, Follow Me” to Camp Van-Es

0512vanesintroWe at Van Es Camp and Conference Centre are excited to open up for our 71st summer of camping for the Canadian district. Our theme for this year is “Come, Follow Me” which we borrowed from the Board of World Mission.

Also this year, we are excited to have Brother Brandon Salyzyn come back to be the coordinating director, serving in so many great ways which help to make Van Es a safer, better place.

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Mid-states ministry offers camping for Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois

0512midstatesintroThe camping ministry in the Mid-states—for Moravian congregations in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois—is unique from all the other Moravian camps in that each one is held at a different location. Mid-states camping does not have its own campground and facilities. Some might consider this a mixed blessing: while we also don’t have to worry about year-round upkeep, we do have to deal with a variety of sites and people. This can also be a plus in that it gives our youth a variety in not only the programming but also the location.

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Laurel Ridge invites campers to spend time on the mountain

0512laurelridgeintroLaurel Ridge invites you to spend time on the mountain this summer as we celebrate our 52nd season of youth summer camps and our 10th year of mission camps.

The summer begins with College Camp (May 30-June 2). Linda Osborne, Erin Key, and the Reverends David Merritt and Matthew Allen will lead the program based on the book, “What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian?” This camp is a great opportunity to spend a few days at Laurel Ridge enjoying activities such as swimming, sports and campfires while also engaging in small group and total group gatherings with music, discussions and more.

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Hope Center: Memories are made here

0512camphopeintroClean Sock Award…Capture the Counselor…Buddy Check…TP Shuffle…Heart Attack Hill.

Hope Conference & Renewal Center will be echoing with these phrases and many others in 2012, as it begins its 56th year of outdoor ministry in Hope, New Jersey. (If you wonder what any of the phrases mean, ask a recent camper in your family or congregation!) A full summer of events is scheduled, beginning with the Eastern District Confirmation Retreat in early May, through Memorial Day activities, five youth camps, and two specialty camps. The camping season ends in October with Quilt Camp, a fall women’s retreat.

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Spiritual growth in the great outdoors

“Most of our learning today comes from books or such media as television. Most of us live in crowded cities. We ride on concrete streets and highways. We even worship at a fixed time on a fixed day. Because of this we have a special need to discover anew the wonder of God’s creation. We need time for reflection, for prayer, for worship. We need to open our lives to God’s call for commitment, for service. This we find in the environment of a church camp.” — Bishop George G. Higgins, June 1962

Bishop Higgins’ words from 50 years ago still ring true today. The Moravian Church’s commitment to outdoor ministries offer an escape from the fast-paced world and unique opportunities for spiritual growth in both children and adults.

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Obituary: Sister Jo Anne Atkins Chadwick

Sister Jo Anne Atkins Chadwick, widow of The Rev. Truett Chadwick, Sr., passed away on February 15, 2012 at Salemtowne Retirement Community in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was 88. Sister Chadwick graduated from Flora MacDonald College in 1945 with a Bachelor of Music degree. She married The Rev. Truett Chadwick in 1947 and during their 54 years of marriage they served seven congregations in the Moravian Church, Southern Province.

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April Official PEC News

NORTHERN PROVINCE
Bronx, New York
Brother David Wickmann, who has been serving as part-time pastor of Tremont Terrace Moravian Church, Bronx, New York, concluded his work with the congregation February 12, 2012.

West Salem, Illinois
Brother Jason Andersen, who has been serving as pastor of Freedom Moravian Church,

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April News Shorts

Leather-bound Moravian Book of Worship now available

LBMBWimageBy popular request, the Interprovincial Board of Communication is once again offering a leather-bound edition of the Moravian Book of Worship.

This beautiful edition is bound in navy blue leather, stamped with a silver foil, with a ribbon bookmark sewn in. The specially-trimmed pages have silver edges.

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Ponderings: Lenten Services offer prayer, learning…and soup!

bowlofsouptop1Every month, I have a page or two to share my thoughts and ideas about the work I do, the people I meet and the things I experience as part of the Moravian community. When Spring rolls around — although as I write this, the calendar says I still have several more weeks until it is “officially” here — my thoughts turn to Lent and Easter.

For many years, Lent was that time between Ash Wednesday and Good Friday when I was expected to give things up. As a child, that would be candy or comics (my mother often saw through my efforts to give up brussels sprouts or cream corn). As I grew older, it was giving up television time or soda.

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Moravian Music Foundation seeks new music

musicrequestimageWhile Moravians are known for their rich musical heritage that dates back hundreds of years, there is also some great new music being written that continues that tradition.

The Moravian Music Foundation has been gathering up this new music for a new publication. The Foundation continues to seek submissions for a collection of newly-written Moravian songs and hymns.

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Ocean Springs team works to rebuild lives

harrismissiontop1As 2011 drew to a close, Joanie and I were reflecting on the year and realizing how blessed we are to be here in Mississippi. God has continued to provide not only for us, but for the people on the Gulf Coast, especially those who are still in need nearly 6-1/2 years after “The Storm.”

It’s probably a surprise to most people outside the Gulf Coast that there is still so much work to be done. Other calamities have made their mark since Katrina, and so there is a lot of focus in other areas of the country and the world. But like most disaster areas, the work goes on long after the media has left. It will truly be a generation before the traces of Hurricane Katrina are erased… if then.

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Painting the Lenten Scriptures

dovertop1Cover Story: It seems strange to sit in the sanctuary during Lent and watch a young woman painting a canvas in the front of the church, while scripture is being read and the pastor is delivering his sermon. We worship through the written word, vocal messages and music, but rarely do we use visual art to express our praise.

Pastor John Wallace of Dover First Moravian in Ohio, had heard of just such a program and decided to try it in his church. He visited the local high school’s art show and viewed the work of some of the young people from the church, then asked them to participate in Sunday Lenten Services.

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Moravian History and Music Conference coming to Bethlehem in October

The third Bethlehem Conference on Moravian History and Music is coming to the campus of Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary October 11-14, 2012. Scholars, musicians, historians and Moravian enthusiasts will convene in downtown Bethlehem to explore the latest research on a wide range of Moravian topics.

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B.Y.O.B Sunday — that’s Bring Your Own Bible

byobintroIf you stacked all the Bibles sitting in American homes, the tower would rise 29 million feet — nearly 5,500 miles high! Like televisions, most homes today have multiple Bibles. But for the most part they are sitting untouched on shelves. According to a recent study conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, half of Christians cannot name the four Gospels and a third cannot identify Genesis as the first book of the Bible.

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A Feast of Song: Central Moravian Church choir tours Jamaica

jamaicaintroAs the new year 2012 approached, a group of 24 Moravians from Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem brought their voices — and appetites — to the sunny climes of Jamaica. Central Moravian organist and music director Rebecca Kleintop Owens shares her thoughts on the hymns, Moravian traditions and amazing Jamaican food made for a fabulous feast of a trip.

Our group of 24 Moravians arrived in Montego Bay, Jamaica after seven hours travel from Bethlehem. That first day, we enjoyed the beautiful Jamaican sunshine, sand and ocean; on Wednesday, we traveled in two vans and enjoyed a pig roast in St. Leonards.  

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Lifelong Moravian Wilma Lewis appointed federal judge in Virgin Islands

WilmalewisintroOn Thursday November 10, 2011, more than 250 local and federal dignitaries, relatives and friends gathered in the Almeric L. Christian Federal Building in Estate Golden Rock on the island of St. Croix to witness the fulfillment of a long held dream of lifelong Moravian, Wilma Lewis.

Moving graciously towards the podium and placing her hands on the Bible held by her mother Julia, Wilma promised to “administer justice without respect to persons, and to do equal right to the poor and to the rich according to the best of my abilities and understanding.”

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Moravian pastor honored with Winston-Salem’s MLK Young Dreamer Award

The Rev. Russell May, a Moravian pastor who is the leader of Anthony’s Plot in Winston-Salem, N.C., was recognized by the Winston-Salem City Council with the Martin Luther King, Jr. “Young Dreamer” Award at a meeting in January.

The award is given each year to honor one male and one female between the ages of 18 and 40 who have made a difference in the lives of others who have been “overlooked, ignored or disadvantaged” of Winston-Salem. 

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Spring 2012 Moravian Church Synod Preview

synodstoryintroThis spring, Moravians in both the Northern and Southern Provinces will meet in district Synods and conferences to confer, discuss and plan for the future. These 2012 gatherings fall halfway between the Moravian Church’s main legislative meetings — Provincial Synods — which will be held in 2014.

In this issue of The Moravian, we preview these gatherings and highlight some of the new ways each of these groups within the Church will come together. Further coverage of these Synods and Gatherings will appear in The Moravian throughout 2012.

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Star Mountain: A mission, a hospital, a symbol of peaceful cooperations

starmountain1In our neighborhood it is easy to explain where Star Mountain is situated. Since it is the only hilltop with this type of vegetation in the region, our green one can be seen from far. It is a unique place and thanks to the huge pines, it looks as if it has been there forever.

From people in our direct surroundings we sometimes hear questions like, “Above the gate of Star Mountain is written: ‘Moravian Church’ — where is the church?” Or, “I thought Star Mountain was a hospital — where is the hospital?”

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Annie B. Mission: Raising funds for a speech therapist at Star Mountain

Annie B Mission Team“The Annie B. Mission is all about love. We seek to follow God’s calling through service and ministry.”

During Young Adult Convo 2010-2011, 50 college students of the Moravian Church had the opportunity to visit Star Mountain Rehabilitation Center in Ramallah, West Bank. They toured the facility, met the students there and spoke with Ghada and other staff. (see the accompanying stories for more on Star Mountain.)

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Unity and Southern Province delegation travels to Cuba

On January 13-15 Bishop Sam Gray and David Guthrie visited the Cuba Unity Mission Area. They joined Paul Gardner, Chair of the Unity Board; Jørgen Bøytler, Unity Business Administrator; and Rene Henriquez, a pastor from Grand Cayman who has been involved in contacts with Cuba for many years.

In October 2011, the Southern Province Provincial Elders’ Conference agreed to a request from the Unity Board Executive Committee to accept partnership with the work in Cuba, which had been supported by the Jamaica Province. Our PEC asked the Board of World Mission to assume responsibility for coordinating this partnership. The purpose of the visit to Cuba was to meet with a group of church leaders and to formally begin this new relationship for the sake of the Gospel.

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