Tag Archives: March

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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Ponderings: A cover for Lent

0313ponderingsillustrationFor each issue of The Moravian, I endeavor to come up with a compelling cover image to welcome readers inside. With Holy Week and Easter coming early this year, I knew the March issue was the perfect opportunity to offer a Lenten image on the cover.

As I thought of imagery and symbolism associated with Lent and Easter, the three crosses on Calvary kept coming to the forefront. I wanted something that said “Moravian” and featured the symbolism of the three-cross motif.

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Bryon L. Grigsby named president of Moravian Theological Seminary

B0313seminaryintroryon L. Grigsby, senior vice president and vice president for academic affairs at Shenandoah University, has been named the 16th president of Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary. Grigsby is a 1990 graduate of Moravian College. He will assume the presidency in July 2013, succeeding Christopher M. Thomforde, who will depart Moravian in July after serving seven years as president of the College 
and Seminary.

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Mt. Bethel, Virginia’s first Moravian church, celebrates its 160h anniversary

0313mtbethelintroVirginia’s first Moravian congregation celebrated 160 years of worship in the Blue Ridge Mountains earlier this winter. Following a year-long celebration that included special services and an anniversary challenge to raise enough money to sand and refinish their sanctuary’s floor, Mount Bethel Moravian Church in Cana, Va. celebrated their 160th year on Sunday, November 18.

 

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Agency helps build a “larger life” for Northern Province congregations & agencies

0313llflogointroThe Larger Life Foundation is an important financial support ministry of the Moravian Church, Northern Province. The Foundation was founded in 1920 by a small group of Moravians with the goal of establishing an endowment fund, the income of which would be allocated to give “larger life” to the ministries of the church now and into the future. Following approval by the Provincial Synod, a firm foundation was laid through gifts and bequests that spanned decades. The assets of the Larger Life Foundation have grown through the years and now total $10,000,000.

 

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Gearing up for Youth Convo 2013

0313convoposterConvo is one of those events that is truly a once in a life time opportunity for participants, because it only comes around every four years for the age group. Youth Convo is intended for young Christians who have completed grades 9 through high school graduation. It is a weeklong event, comparable to a Moravian camp, but it has a distinctly different experience.

 

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Take a Fresh Look at Hope Center

0313camphopeintroIt is 1769. Peter Worbass, former manager of the Sun Inn, the Moravian accommodation for visitors in Bethlehem, has arrived at a farm located across the Delaware River in the colony of New Jersey. The farm is on the way from Bethlehem to Moravian missions in New York and New England, and the Moravians know it well. Worbass is to be the farm manager for a new community on land which the Moravians have just purchased. Called Green’s Land, after the farm owner, the community’s name soon will be changed to Hope.

 

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Provinces share guidelines for using copyrighted materials

0313copyrightintroIn this day of instant access to images, music, words and ideas, it’s become almost too easy to lift a phrase from here or a picture from there and put them together for your church’s worship, web site or materials. But to paraphrase Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben, with that ease comes great responsibility—responsibility to ensure copyrights are being respected.

The Northern and Southern Province Provincial Elders’ Conferences recently approved a new document, “Guidelines for Congregations and Agencies of the Moravian Church in America For the Use of Copyrighted Materials.” Assembled by Moravian Music Foundation Executive Director Nola Knouse, this document offers an overview of what copyright is, what copyright applies to and how to remain within the law when using copyrighted materials.

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Bulletin messages connect Moravians across North America

0313bulletinintroMoravians in many parts of the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean all have an opportunity to share in the same powerful message of faith every week. Through the Moravian Sunday bulletin subscription offered by the Interprovincial Board of Communication, the words of Moravian pastors and writers enhance the teaching of the weekly scripture readings.

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Canadian congregation helps build the faith in Nicaragua

0313nicaraguaintroIn November 2012, a team of eleven members of Millwoods Community Church in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, went on a mission trip to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, the first trip that a group from Millwoods has taken in over a decade. And while there, they strengthened both buildings and their faith. Millwoods’ pastor The Rev. Joshua Viste, shared their trip.

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Back to our Mission Area in Sierra Leone

0313sierraintroWhenever I hear about the possibility of joining the Rt. Rev. Sam Gray on a trip to Sierra Leone, I immediately sign on, because those opportunities are rare. My first one was in 2010, and the second was in December, which means I went BACK to the village of Ngiehun, and that made the visit extra special. Mohamed and Safie Braima, who lead our Moravian mission there, had told the church members that Sam and I were returning, so we arrived to the warm welcome and outstretched arms of friends.

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Three Lenten Gifts

0313lentintroFor I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Who has not looked in the eyes of a small child and struggled with the question, “Why do we call it Good Friday?”

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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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