Tag Archives: August

Moravian Magazine, August 2016

In this issue: Eastern and Canadian District Synods, speech therapy at Star Mountain, an update from Sierra Leone, and more!

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Giving thanks for five years of speech therapy efforts at Star Mountain

Five years ago, Star Mountain Rehabilitation Center in Palestine, an undertaking of the worldwide Moravian Church under the European Province, identified a need for speech therapy services in addition to its work helping mentally challenged children near Ramallah on the West Bank. Today, those services are available and thriving thanks to their connections to Moravians in the U.S. and Canada. Ghada Naser, director of Star Mountain, shares the story of how this much needed outreach came to be.

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Taking up the task that’s given at 2016 Eastern District Synod

With a memorable line from a favorite hymn as their theme–“To us, to us, this task is given”–136 Eastern District Moravians made their 2016 Synod one like no other. While most Moravian Synods focus on learning about the church’s activities and helping to plan for the future (this Synod did those things as well), the […]

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Canadian Moravians show they themselves “are the letters”

On a beautiful weekend in May, delegates from Canadian District congregations and guests from across the Northern Province came together at Camp Van-Es for the 2016 Canadian District Synod.

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Studying Moravian Doctrine: The Ground of the Unity, Part V

Discussing the Ground of the Unity’s “Continual Search for Sound Doctrine” and “Divine Mystery” sections.

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An update from Sierra Leone

Donna Hurt, a member of Home Church and someone with close ties to the Moravian work supported by North American Moravians in Sierra Leone, offered this update on the work in this African country. With the passing of the ebola tragedy in Sierra Leone, I was able to take my fourth trip to that small West […]

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Thoughts from the “Mission Mob”

As part of the mission component of the Eastern District 2016 Synod, 17 youth from around the District joined Synod delegates on their experiences in their communities. Responding to Facebook invitations and flyers in their congregations, these young people appeared as a “Mission Mob” on the Thursday morning of Synod to be a part of the gathering’s outreach.

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Provincial Elders’ Conference News August 2016

Prayer Day for Christian Education, September 11, 2016 The second Sunday in September is designated as a day of prayer for Christian education. The nurture of Christians of all ages in their faith is the responsibility of each congregation. Pray for your congregation’s Christian education program and for the personal growth in faith of each […]

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Obituary: The Rev. Gordon B. Mowrer

Brother Gordon B. Mowrer died at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, July 19, 2016, at age 80. Born February 9, 1936 in Bethlehem, he was the son of Clifton and Margaret (Brown) Mowrer. Brother Mowrer graduated from Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa. in 1959 and received a Masters Degree in Education from Lehigh University, in Bethlehem in 1965. He […]

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Synod delegates approve broad range of resolutions

Healthy congregations….care and nurture of clergy…lay leadership…local and global missions…stewardship…identity, purpose and organization…ministry to youth and young adults. These are just some of the wide-ranging topics delegates tackled at the 2014 Synod of the Moravian Church Northern Province, held June 19-23 at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa. Over the course of four-and-a-half days, Synod delegates […]

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Covenanting with Hand and Heart: the 2014 Northern Province Synod

Every four years in Provinces of the Moravian Church in North America, a little bit of history is made. Future generations look back on those every four-year occurrences — Synods — and see the movement of the Holy Spirit and the growth and changing of the Church. And looking back on the Synod of 2014, […]

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Prayer shawls wrap Synod delegates with love

At Moravian Church synods, delegates are often on the receiving end of prayers and best wishes from Moravians around the country.  At the 2014 Synod, those prayers, best wishes and love took the form of beautifully-crafted prayer shawls, one for each delegate. In a Friday morning service, the Rev. Maggie Wellert, pastor of Great Kills […]

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Stewardship, Societal Issues and Synod

The 2014 Synod of the Moravian Church has captured the attention of our Provinces and beyond for many reasons. Certainly the decision by Synod regarding parameters of ordination and covenanted relationship following years of prayerful conversation and consideration loomed most central, but other issues were faced with courage through several societal issues to which the […]

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Moravian Theological Seminary Celebrates 2014 Commencement

Moravian Theological Seminary celebrated the conclusion of its 207th academic year with a commencement ceremony on May 10, 2014. The service was held in Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with newly inaugurated President Bryon Grigsby, a 1990 Moravian College graduate, presiding. Twenty-one graduates received master’s degrees and certificates including the Master of Divinity (MDiv), […]

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Palmer Moravian says, “Don’t Just Go To Church — Be The Church”

It was Joint Board night at Palmer Moravian Church in Easton, Pa., one week after an awesome event. “What were God’s gifts that you experienced from our ‘…Be The Church’ program,” asked Pastor Missy? These were some of the responses: “Wow! It involved almost 200 members and friends all in one day!” “It brought people […]

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Don’t be shy when it comes to capital campaigns

Leading the work of a Moravian ministry is a divine gift, but it requires financial gifts as well. That’s why the leaders of faith in our churches and agencies are often called upon to be leaders in raising money. Many people, however, shy away from the words “capital campaign,” and don’t want to take on […]

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Moravian Magazine, July/August 2014

On the cover: Prayer shawls surround the wooden chalice centerpiece at the 2014 Northern Province Synod. Photo by Mike Riess.  

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The Moravian Magazine August 2013

On the cover: Moravian clergy sing during worship at the Interprovincial Clergy Retreat in Harrisonburg, Va.  Photo: Mike Riess  

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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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