Tag Archives: 2013

Festival scholarship winners share thoughts, thanks for musical opportunity

092013scholarshipwinnersintroThanks to the generosity of several donors, five college-age students received scholarships allowing them to attend their first Moravian Music Festival. Each offered insights on their participation:

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The 12th Moravian Women’s Conference

In June 2011, more than 400 Moravian women from around the globe gathered in Concord, N.C. for the 11th Moravian Women’s Conference. Over the course of three days, the conference challenged attendees to step out of their comfort zones and be the hands and feet of Christ in our communities, churches, provinces and world. The theme, “Stepping Out of the Boat,” based on Matthew 14:29, provided inspiration for worship, music, prayer, fellowship and education.

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Ponderings: A new team for the IBOC

0813ponderingsIn my last Ponderings, I wrote of sad changes in my family’s life. This month, I get to write about happier change and introduce you to new people here at the Interprovincial Board of Communication (IBOC).

In the past two months, we welcomed Arlene Clendenning as our new customer service/business assistant, followed not long after by Renee Schoeller as our new communication assistant. While this much change in staffing can be daunting — two-thirds of the IBOC office team is now new — I’m seeing it as an opportunity to continue our work, while bringing in new skills and perspectives.

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Spiritual Life Retreat demonstrates “Jesus-God With Us”

0813slrintroThe magnificent mountains surrounding the Laurel Ridge Conference Center rang with joyful sounds during April’s Southern Province Women’s Spiritual Life Retreat, led by the Rev. Dr. Nola Reed Knouse, director of the Moravian Music Foundation.

“Jesus-God With Us,” the theme of the retreat, and was illuminated in every session. Friday night’s group session included views of many pieces of artwork depicting Jesus. We could see how every culture that believes in Jesus pictures him in their image and in the context of their culture. Every participant had her favorite image.

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A special project for a special season

0813lentenbookintroLent 2013 was an especially important season for New Philadelphia Moravian Church as it launched a new project to enhance its members’ personal and corporate Lenten journeys. A Lenten Devotion Guide was produced, with each daily entry written by a church member. Members of the Trustees and Board of Elders led the way, writing more than half of the devotions. The remainder of the submissions came from other church leaders and volunteers.

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Obituary: The Rev. James L. Johnson

The Rev. James L. Johnson, husband of Edith Tesch Johnson, joined the heavenly church triumphant June 29 after a time of illness.  Jim served as associate pastor and then pastor of Little Church on the Lane, in Charlotte, N.C. from 1959 to 1972,  followed by 27 years of community leadership with United Family Services in Charlotte.
 
In 2002, Jim was recognized for his ministry to the needs of families and his community in receiving the John Hus Award from Moravian Theological Seminary.

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Obituary: The Rev. James O. Bruckart

Brother James O. Bruckart died in Riverside, New Jersey, June 19, 2013, at the age of 87.

Born April 1, 1926 in Lancaster, Pa. he was the son of Albert and Susan (Huber) Bruckart. Brother Bruckart attended public schools in Lancaster, graduating from J. P. McCaskey High School in 1944. He graduated from Moravian College in 1947 and Moravian Theological Seminary in 1949. He was ordained a Deacon in the Moravian ministry September 11, 1949 and consecrated a Presbyter September 6, 1955.

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New Beginnings blends mission with “Start your Engines!”

0813nascarcheckeredflagRecently at the Interprovincial Ministers Retreat in Harrisonburg, Va., our main presenter, Will Willimon, spent some time talking about his observation that we live in an age where the church as we know it is being changed and reassembled in dramatic fashion. This idea is not new; according to recent Pew Research statistics and others, many confirm Mainline Denominations are changing and shifting in dramatic ways.

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Moravian clergy gather to learn, relax and refresh spirits

0813clergretreatintroFor the first time in more than a decade, Moravian pastors from the Northern and Southern Provinces came together for three days of learning, relaxation, worship and spiritual refreshment.

In late May, more than 60 active and retired Moravian clergy from congregations in the United States and Canada gathered on the campus of Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va., for the event.

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Crossroads: 
Stories at the Intersections highlights the power and spirit of stories

0813crossroadsintro“When learning to drive, my parents urged me to be especially alert when going through intersections. “Slow down, look both ways and be alert” were advisory words I heard often before and after I began to drive. Little did I know then that my parents were giving me a life lesson, not just driver advice. As I have aged, I have become convinced that it is in life’s crossroads — life and death, sickness and health, youth to aging, grief and hope, caregiver to care-receiver, school to work, belief and doubt, or from innocence to loss of innocence — that one needs to slow down, look both ways, and be alert.” — from the preface of Crossroads: Stories at the Intersections.

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Bläsertag 2013:
Unity Brass Festival gathers horns from around the world

blasertagintoThe 2013 Moravian Unity Brass Festival was held May 17-21 in the Moravian community of Bad Boll, Germany. This year’s festival, known as “Bläsertag 2013,” was the second Unity-wide gathering of brass players; the first event was in 2007 in South Africa and coincided with the 550th anniversary (1457-2007) of the Unity.

About 350 brass players attended the long weekend (Friday-Tuesday) festival, representing five countries: Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, South Africa and the United States (my wife, Nola Knouse, and I “represented” the U.S.). This year’s festival was held on Pentecost weekend, with special services on Sunday and Monday.

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Official Provincial Elders’ Conference News

NORTHERN PROVINCE

Prayer Day for World Peace and Nuclear Disarmament August 4, 2013
In accordance with legislation enacted at the 1982 Synod of the Northern Province and affirmed by the 1990 Synod, the first Sunday in August has been designated as a day of prayer for world peace and nuclear disarmament.

Prayer Day for Public EducationAugust 25, 2013
Congregations of the Northern Province are asked to observe Public Education Awareness Day on the last Sunday in August. Prepared liturgies, intercessory prayers for students and all who teach in and administer public schools and sermons at worship may call attention to our responsibility for public education and seek the blessing of God upon these endeavors.

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Moravian Theological Seminary celebrates 2013 Commencement

0813commencementMoravian Theological Seminary celebrated the conclusion of its 206th academic year with a commencement ceremony on May 11, 2013. The service was held in Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pa., with retiring President Christopher M. Thomforde presiding and presenting the Commencement Address.

Twenty-six graduates received master’s degrees and certificates including the Master of Divinity (MDiv), Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling (MAPC), Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS), and Certificate in Formative Spirituality.

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“But we’re never sung THAT before!” 
Introducing a new song

0813newmusicintroSo you’ve just bought a new songbook, or just found the perfect new hymn that fits the theme of an upcoming service. And you’re so excited about hearing your congregation sing a new song!

But you’ve heard horror stories about a new song “falling flat,” where people just fold their arms and refuse to try to sing it. Or the comments you’ve heard after worship show that the new song didn’t “fly” like you’d hoped it would, and now you’re not sure they’ll ever sing this one. Or try another.

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Staten Island congregations send thanks for helping them help Superstorm Sandy victims

The United Brethren’s Church of Staten Island Board of Elders, to the Moravian Church of the Northern Province and the Southern Province:

“Grace to you and peace.

“We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The opening words of Paul’s letter to the church at Thessalonica seem an appropriate way for the Moravian congregations of Staten Island to share our thanks with you, our sisters and brothers across the Northern and Southern Provinces, for your amazing response to the needs generated by Superstorm Sandy!

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New songbook celebrates the creative spark in Moravian Music

0813newmusicbookMany of us think of Moravian music as rich old hymns from hundreds of years ago. But today, there’s a creative spark alight in Moravian musicians bringing a new glimmer to the jewel of Moravian musical tradition.

To celebrate the musical gifts of today’s Moravian Church in North America, the Moravian Music Foundation and the Interprovincial Board of Communication have introduced Sing to the Lord a New Song: A New Moravian Songbook.

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Ponderings: Recognizing the Spirit in changing times

Last month, my family and I went through one of life’s major changes — the loss of my father. I know we all go through it eventually and none of us are really prepared for it. But it seems that it’s times like these when we become more aware of the hand of God at work.

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Lamb Ministry brings comfort

062013lambA flock of stuffed lambs spreading from New Philadelphia Moravian Church in Winston-Salem is helping shut-ins feel connected to their church family.

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Moravian Ministries Foundation: Future perspective from historical inspiration

062013mmfagroupBy now you have seen the Moravian Ministries Foundation’s new ads in The Moravian, and hopefully you read our story that appeared earlier this year. I also hope you received and read the letter we wrote to each of you recently. Now the Foundation wants to share more important information about our hopes, dreams and work.

 

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Global Leadership Summit brings together World Mission Partners

062013missionintroFrom April 8-10, the heads and leaders of our partner provinces, along with representatives from our North American provinces and the Board of World Mission, gathered at Laurel Ridge Camp and Conference Center for a Leadership Summit.

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Conference emphasizes growth, challenges of Latino Ministries

062103latinoministriesintroIn April, Moravians from across the Southern Province met to discuss and learn about the church’s growing efforts in Latino ministry.

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Young adults study the importance of their faith at Wisconsin retreat

052013wdretreatintroI always get excited driving to Mt. Morris in Wautoma, Wis.; not just because of the beauty Mt. Morris has to offer but because of the people I am going to meet upon my arrival. The weekend of March 1-3, 2013 was no different.

I traveled west on Hwy 21 from Oshkosh, Wis. with a car full of four young adults. As we got further from the cities and closer to Mt. Morris I started to feel my excitement building. I thought about the laughter to be had, the songs to be sung and the inside jokes that only this special group will understand and fully appreciate.

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Palmyra Moravian celebrates sesquicentennial

052013palmyralogoThe brothers and sisters of the Palmyra Moravian Church rejoice as we celebrate our 150th Anniversary on May 17, 2013. Our mission statement: “Grow in Faith, Live in Love, Share the Hope, as we Journey with Jesus” will guide us as we continue to serve the Lord through the ministry of our congregation.

 

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A different way to spend Spring Break: college-age mission trips

052013simissionintroSome of my memorable ministry experiences working with youth and adults have come from short term mission trips. As I began my position as the Director of Youth, College and Young Adult Ministries in the Southern Province, I wanted to see if there was any interest among our college students for a Spring Break trip to Staten Island to help victims of Hurricane Sandy and to see New York City. Two trips were offered the first two weeks of March, and thirteen college age young adults answered the call to serve. Here are some of their experiences:

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Moravian Bishop Kay Ward pens Bible Study for Lutheran magazine Gather

052013kaywardintroMoravian Bishop Kay Ward will share her faith and wisdom with sisters from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) as she hosts a nine-month Bible study event on the pages of Gather magazine.

Gather is the magazine of Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and the Rt. Rev. Ward is author of the Bible study, “In Good Company: Stories of Biblical Women,” which will run in the magazine from September 2013 through May 2014.

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Camping brings California Moravians together

052013californiacampintroCalifornia Moravian Youth Camp has been a fun and meaningful part of every summer for decades. Young Moravians have been blessed by the relationships and profoundly spiritual experiences afforded by camp each year.

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Mid-States getting “Back to the Basics”

052013midstatesintroThe Mid-states camping program will return to Tar Hollow State Park near Chillicothe, Ohio on July 21-27 for Senior/Post High Camp for 2013. The mid-states camping program has been held at Tar Hollow since 1948.

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Camping in Canada at Camp Van-Es

052013vanesintroThe essence of faith is to be alive. We as followers understand that to be alive is to be renewed each day, to experience life in the light of a joy that surpasses all understanding, and live in and share the love of a Savior. At Camp Van-Es kids come to experience just that. 

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Camping in the Western District

052013wdcampingintroWhat do you get when you mix cardboard, tie-dyed stockings, guitars, running across a field trying not to be tagged, stars across the expanse of the sky, and an opportunity to grow in faith with children, youth and even adults over age 50? The answer is Western District camps. 

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Camp Hope readies for a busy season of Eastern District camping

052013camphopeintroHope Conference & Renewal Center, an outdoor ministry of the Eastern District, is preparing for hundreds of campers and staff members to experience a memorable week of camp this summer. The season will be filled with swimming in the pool, boating on the lake, singing and learning in Hassler Hall, meeting new friends, laughing at campfires, playing basketball and volleyball, worshipping by the lake or on the hill, and much more.

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