Tag Archives: 2014

Two Wilmington, N.C. churches illustrate meaning of full communion

When the Moravian Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) joined in a full communion relationship in 1999, both denominations saw opportunities to work together. In February, two Wilmington, N.C. churches joined in a Joint Ministry Worship Celebration that sealed a unique relationship between two congregations—and the two denominations. At the […]

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Adopt-a-Village at nine years

The Moravian Church of Western Tanzania is our partner province. In 2001, assisted by our Board of World Mission, the province began a comprehensive AIDS program that included three components: prevention, treatment and orphan care. The first two sections were addressed immediately at the Sikonge Moravian Hospital, but it took a year to find Mama […]

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Ponderings: A book reprint gets me thinking spring…

Should we talk about the weather? My wife kids me that I write about the weather too often in my “Ponderings.” I’ve grown a little self-conscious about it over the years and have worked hard to ensure she has little ammo to rib me with on this score. But the winter we’ve had—not just here […]

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Readings guide Moravians through Holy Week

The four Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—record words and deeds of Jesus. More than a quarter of the Gospel narrative is devoted to Holy Week, from Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, through his cleansing of the temple, disputes with religious leaders, teaching about the end times and Last Supper with his closest followers, […]

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First Moravian members writing biography of accomplished former pastor

“I consider S. Morgan Smith the pre-eminent industrialist in the history of York County. Five companies today can trace their roots to Smith, yet no one has ever written a biography about him. Why don’t you think about writing one?” Jim McClure, editor of the York Daily Record, presented this challenge to Terry Downs and […]

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Brethren: a book review

Brethren by Jeremiah Pearson Incunabula Press, 2013, 510 pgs. Part of the Villeins Trilogy. Brethren is an historical novel that tells the story of a small group of religious radicals from the village of Kunvald who risk their lives to promote literacy and peace in the midst of the violence of the early 1500s. The […]

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Youth Leadership Seminar 2014 invites attendees to “Serve the Youth of Today”

For a second consecutive year the Northern Province Youth Task Force will host a Youth Leadership Seminar to provide our youth leaders, lay leaders and youth of all ages with new ideas and encouragement.

This year’s event will take place May 16-18 at Mt Morris Camp and Conference Center in central Wisconsin. We would like to extend an invitation to all people who are interested in youth work and gain experience in leading the youth of the Moravian Church.

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UWD: Women share stories of hope, stories of power at Florida retreat

032014FloridaintroOver the Labor Day weekend 2013, 15 women from the Florida District of the Moravian Church, Southern Province, gathered at the Duncan Conference Center, Delray Beach, Florida, for a spiritual retreat focused on sharing stories of coming closer to God. Pastors Willie Israel and Judith Justice (who was not able to attend the retreat), and Gloria Barker were retreat organizers, and Dr. Julia Simmons of Mountain Laurel Moravian Fellowship facilitated the program.

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UWD Scholarships to be awarded in the Northern and Southern Provinces

The Unity Women’s Desk has been awarding scholarships to women and girls since 2012. These scholarships have gone primarily to girls in Africa, although some have been awarded in the Caribbean, as well as in Star Mountain, India and Nepal.

In fairness to our American girls and women, we will award our first American UWD Scholarships at the 12th American Women’s Conference in June 2015. One scholarship will be awarded in the Northern Province and one in the Southern Province every four years, coinciding with future Women’s Conferences.

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UWD…on being a Unity Women’s Desk Advisory Board Member

The Advisory Board of the Unity Women’s Desk (UWD) began their work together in January of 2013. Hailing from the four regions of the Unity—Sr. Angelene Swart of the Africa Region, Sr. Sallie Greenfield of the American Region, Sr. Muriel Held of the Caribbean Region, and the Reverend Erdmute Frank of the European Region—these women join the Reverend Patricia Garner, Coordinator of the Unity Women’s Desk in directing the UWD’s important work.

Here are their reflections on the work they have done in their first year together.

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UWD: Sewing the remnants together

032014sewingintroIn early 2012, Sr. Lorena Gray met with the Coordinator of the Unity Women’s Desk to discuss how the UWD might work with the women of Honduras. Although she did not immediately agree to be one of the Provincial Coordinators for Honduras, Lorena called Sr. Garner back a few days later with a list of ways that we could work together.

After securing some medical charts to help Sr. Lorena in teaching her healthcare classes and putting together some Healthcare Kits to give to the women who would come to the classes, Sr. Lorena returned to Honduras ready to organize the women there. The following is part of an article Sr. Lorena wrote for the UWD:

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Ponderings: Featuring Unity work to help women around the world

032014PonderingsintroLast fall, the Rev. Patty Garner and Sr. Sallie Greenfield paid me a visit here at the IBOC office in Bethlehem. In addition to dropping off a bottle of my favorite Texas Pete Hot Sauce (Patty’s family runs the company), they came to talk about the possibility of doing an issue of The Moravian devoted to the Unity Women’s Desk.

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Official Provincial Elders’ News for March 2014


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Obituary: Mrs. Bobbie Jean Brown May

Mrs. Bobbie Jean Brown May, 82, of Winston-Salem, passed away on Monday, December 30, 2013.

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UWD: Making a Difference—one woman and girl at a time

032014makingadifferenceintroA story is told about a little girl walking along the beach tossing starfish that had been washed ashore by the tide back into the ocean. An old man watching her asked, “You can’t save all of them. Why bother?” The little girl replied, while tossing another one back into the water, “Well, it makes a difference to this one, and this one,” tossing another, “and this one,” tossing another.

As the gargantuan task of implementing the goals of the Unity Women’s Desk (UWD) began to unfold before me as the Coordinator of the UWD, I was reminded of this story. We couldn’t save all of the oppressed women in the world, not even all of the oppressed Moravian women. What we could do was save one girl or woman at a time.

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Witnessing steps toward reconciliation in Honduras

032014HondurasreconciliationintroI sat at the table with the delegation from the Unity: Rev. Dr. Jørgen Bøytler, Unity Business Administrator; Nicaraguan Bishop John Wilson out of Miami; and Nicaraguan Superintendent Rev. Cora Antonio. Also at the table sat members of the Honduras Province provincial board. And later that day, we would meet with the Honduras Mission Province Board.

The two churches had split in the late 1990s when a charismatic revival took hold of the province. The charismatic, or renewal faction, was the group officially in leadership at the time. The more traditional group withdrew from the province.

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UWD: Realizing a dream of helping women around the world

032014realizingadreamintroWhen the Unity Women’s Desk began its work in January 2011, it was the realization of a dream that was born within a group of 40-plus women who had gathered in Kernersville, North Carolina in 1995. When those women first met, it soon became obvious that the problems women face around the world were too complex to be addressed by a one-time event and that they needed more attention than could be given in a two day, informal format. The idea of establishing a “Women’s Desk”—a central clearinghouse where information about the needs of women could be collected and addressed in a systematic way—was born.

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UWD: Education effort focuses on eradicating violence against women

032014UWDeducationintroGlobal statistics presented by the United Nation Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women portray an epidemic and unacceptably high rate of violence against women in the form of rape by both strangers and intimate partners, trafficking of women, sexual harassment, and genital mutilation. The study also show women, who are already more likely than men to contract the HIV virus, are put at further risk by partners not wearing condoms.

The mistreatment of women led the Moravian Unity Synod in 2009 to pass a resolution mandating education and advocacy for women throughout the world. In 2012 the Unity Board assigned this resolution to the Unity Women’s Desk, which has taken on the task of creating a network of support and prayer, programs and resources to turn the tide of this global crisis.

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Obituary: The Rt. Rev. Dr. Arthur J. Freeman

012014freemanintroBrother Arthur J. Freeman died in Nazareth, Pa., December 4, 2013, at the age of 86.

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RCC event illustrates faith in action

012014RCCintroThe Southern Province’s Regional Conferences of Churches (or RCCs) help congregations share their strengths, participate in shared ministries, build unity and serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by putting our time, talents and resources together. Here’s a story of one that truly demonstrates faith in action.

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Ponderings: Sunset offers hope for an exciting tomorrow

012014ponderingsintroThere’s nothing quite like the sight of the sun on the horizon. Whether it’s greeting the day or heading home, the mix of clouds, sun and color puts a smile on my face and wonder in my heart.

As the sun sets on each day, my thoughts drift to what’s come before and what’s on the horizon. And as this new year begins, I’m glad to be closing the chapter that was 2013 and am very optimistic for the coming year.

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Polly Heckewelder: a history-making doll still making history

012014pollyintroThe Polly Heckewelder doll, the oldest continuously made American doll, is made in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Made and sold by the Moravian Ladies’ Sewing Society since 1872, this doll carries the memory of the real Polly around the world.

“Polly” dolls tell more than the story of Polly Heckewelder. The story of the doll includes the story of its creators, the Moravian Ladies’ Sewing Society and how she came to be.

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Official Provincial Elders’ News for Jan./Feb. 2014

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New Ministries Foundation website: A tool to help ministries you care about

The Moravian Ministries Foundation launched its new website (www.mmfa.info) in late January to offer tools and information for Moravians who want to help the ministries they care about.

The redesigned site features information about the Foundation’s services (endowment management, planned giving and campaign services), relevant articles and news, blog posts by our staff and resources for pastors and church lay leaders.

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12th Moravian Women’s Conference registration underway

012014moravianwomenintroThe 12th Moravian Women’s Conference will be held June 25-28, 2015 at Sandy Cove Conference Center in North East, Md. Sandy Cove’s 220-acre retreat center is located minutes from I-95 between Philadelphia and Baltimore in North East, Maryland on the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay.

Keynote speaker Jennifer Sands will share her testimony of coming to salvation through Christ after her husband was killed on September 11. Keynote speaker Reverend Dr. Craig Atwood will guide the conference attendees to view Moravian church pioneer women and the importance of their role in the ministry of the denomination. And Mary Kategile will share her love for Moravian women in Tanzania and how we can be a part of their spiritual growth.

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New Position brings new possibilities for Board of World Mission efforts

012014bwmintroThe Board of World Mission (BWM) is making changes to strengthen its work directly with congregations—and congregations’ work directly with their mission efforts.

“The Board is announcing changes in its program of Moravian Volunteer and Disaster Response due to the recent resignation of Mark Ebert as our Director of Moravian Volunteer Resources (MVR),” says Judy Ganz, executive director of BWM.

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York, Pa. church demonstrates faith through fellowship by helping those in need

012014yorkintroMany of the most quoted New Testament stories involve the message that faith manifests itself not only in our personal one-on-one relationship with God, but when we look outside ourselves during fellowship and service. In his miracles and ministry, Christ teaches us that faith is not only represented in our quiet times of prayer and reflection, but in our moments of deep fellowship with others and heartfelt service to help those in great need.

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2014 Northern Province Synod: Bringing Moravians together to lead for the future

012014npsynodintroEvery four years, Moravians from each North American Province gather to “do the business of the church”—to decide, legislate, make policy, discuss doctrine and chart the way forward for the next four years.

This coming June, more than 250 delegates from across the Northern Province will meet in Bethlehem, Pa. to “covenant with hand and heart” about church practice, Provincial structure and ministries, budgets, health care, new programs and more.

The 2014 Synod of the Moravian Church in America, Northern Province, will be held June 19-23 at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa.

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