The Moravian Church has historically been a church dedicated to bringing people to our Lord and to sharing Christ’s love and Word throughout the world, and the call to our church today is no different, even though how we do that may be very different. Through our mission the church participates in God’s action within the world.
The Board of World Mission (BWM) is the overseas mission sending and support agency of the Moravian Church in America. It continues the work begun in 1745 by the Society for Propagating the Gospel, North America’s oldest Protestant mission society. Founded in 1949, BWM acts on behalf of the Northern Province, Southern Province, and Alaskan Province of the Moravian Church and its affiliate Unity of the Brethren.
A deep commitment to world mission has characterized the Moravian Church since its earliest days. A small 300-member Moravian community in Herrnhut, Germany sent missionaries to the Danish West Indies in 1732. Since then, God’s call to proclaim the good news of God’s saving work in Jesus Christ has taken hundreds of Moravian missionaries from the mountaintops of Ladakh, India to the savannas of La Mosquitia, Honduras. Today, Moravian churches or societies worship and minister in nearly thirty nations and number over 700,000 believers.
The Board of World Mission carries out its call in a variety of ways:
- We are sending people in mission through Antioch, which provides opportunities for North Americans to share their gifts in service as they broaden their own understanding of the issues that face our brothers and sisters throughout the world.
- We are serving people through our Moravian Volunteer Response—continuing to provide disaster relief, as well as work crews for specific projects.
- We are working with our Partner Provinces to promote leadership development and sustainable churches that continue to share the gospel to the unreached.
- We are collaborating in Mission Partnerships with cross-cultural servants, with our ecumenical colleagues, and with our constituent congregations and members in order to reach out in mission.
- We are working toward capacity building through our Likewise Ministry, strengthening communities in Tanzania to better provide for the needs of families and children, especially those impacted by HIV and AIDS.
- We are exploring areas of New Work within the worldwide Moravian Unity, with a focus on outreach in Sierra Leone, Cuba, and Peru.
Core principles of our mission engagement include building mutual relationships that promote transparency and effective communication; equipping others in discipleship, leadership development, and principles of favored practices in mission involvement; and being good stewards of the resources provided for this work. In all of this we are centered on Christ, who loves us, calls us, and transforms us to be his agents of love and grace in the world.
About the Board of World Mission
A representative Board of Directors oversees the work of the Board of World Mission, which is also accountable to the synods of the Moravian Church in America. Meeting biannually, the directors determine BWM’s goals, policies, and areas of mission involvement and appoint all staff and overseas personnel.
The Board of World Mission has two offices. The office of the Executive Director is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Winston-Salem, North Carolina is home to the office of the Director of Intercultural Ministries and Communication and the Director of Moravian Volunteer Resources.
BWM nurtures historic and vital partnerships with Moravian Churches in Alaska, Costa Rica, Eastern West Indies, Guyana, Honduras, Labrador, Nicaragua, and Tanzania.
In addition, the Board of World Mission is supportive of cross-cultural outreach of Moravian partners in Belize, Burundi, Cuba, Honduras (Garifuna), Haiti, Kenya, Peru, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Uganda.
For more on the Board of World Mission, visit their website.