Moravian Church in North America

In Essentials, Unity; In Nonessentials, Liberty; In All Things, Love.

Moravian Church in North America
North: Bethlehem, Pa.
South: Winston-Salem, N.C.

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Ponderings: Documenting the work of Moravians in mission

BWM2016coverWelcome to one of my favorite issues of the year. Each spring since 2011, I’ve had the honor and pleasure of helping to produce the Board of World Mission’s Annual Report. This 20-page publication highlights the extensive work being done around the world by Moravians dedicated to our church’s centuries-old call to mission. And each year, I grow increasingly amazed at what our small church can accomplish!

This year’s report, themed “We Are All One in Mission…that you may know Christ’s love!” shares stories of the impact the Board of World Mission (BWM) is making in areas around the globe. The articles provide a firsthand view of the work in far-off places like Cuba, Peru, Nepal, Tanzania, Albania, Honduras, Nicaragua and right here in the United States. Contributors include Board of World Mission staff, partners and those participating in mission efforts.

My role in this project is to make minor edits and layout the articles and images provided by the BWM. And as I take on this task, I gain a greater appreciation for the hard work and dedication that goes into, as the BWM vision states, “…send God’s people to bring others to know and follow Christ” and “…provide opportunities for people to be God’s instruments of grace, peace and justice in the world.”

By reading through the pages of this Annual Report, I also see the results of the BWM’s travels. I do a fair bit of travelling for my work with the IBOC, but nothing like what these folks do. It seems that the Rev. Judy Ganz, the BWM’s executive director who works in the same building as me, is always off to some corner of the Moravian world on mission business. I also follow the Rt. Rev. Sam Gray’s very aptly named Facebook page, “Where in the World Is Sam?” to see just where in the world he is now (as I write this, he’s in Cuba). Other staffers like Justin Rabbach and Jill Kolodziej seem to be constantly on the move.

Travelling BWM staff are only a part of Moravians making a difference around the world. Throughout the Annual Report, you’ll read stories of Moravian Church members of all ages giving their time and talent in places both far and near. It’s the efforts of many—and the financial support of the church—that makes this work and impact possible.

Most importantly, though, a read through this Annual Report provides a true sense of the affect the Moravians in mission have—helping nurture faith in Peru and Cuba, providing medical care in Honduras, educating children in Sierra Leone and Nepal, repairing homes in disaster areas, caring for orphans in Tanzania, or the myriad other efforts undertaken to make a difference in the world.

Again, while my role in helping put the Annual Report together is mostly technical, for me it goes well beyond that. Because for several days, I get completely immersed in the work and world of the Board of World Mission – and come out with a sense of awe about what is being accomplished.

Along with the BWM Annual Report, this issue of The Moravian Magazine highlights work of the Unity Women’s Desk, shares a story of new traditions, introduces a new rural mission opportunity, promotes the upcoming Moravian Music Festival, and more. I hope you enjoy this expanded issue and welcome your comments.

And I can’t wait to work on next year’s Annual Report!


Mike Riess
Editor, The Moravian Magazine

 From the April 2017 Moravian Magazine

Moravian Daily Texts


Friday, July 20 — Psalm 88:1–5
Deuteronomy 29:22–31:8; Luke 10:17–24

I will bring them through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. Zechariah 13:9 (NKJV)

Paul wrote: We also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. Romans 5:3–4

God, sometimes life feels too difficult to bear and we cannot feel you with us. Help us to be more aware of your presence even in the most challenging situations, and strengthen us to face the day. Amen.

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