There are over 400 different soils in North Carolina and I’ve managed to kill plants in all 400! I deeply admire those who can take a bit of red clay and turn it into a lush, living place in which plants, flowers, and vegetables thrive. As a struggling gardener, I rely heavily on tools and products designed to enhance my gardening skills and improve the yield of my garden. But even master gardeners take advantage of a well-stocked, robust garden tool shed to nurture and grow a bountiful harvest of colorful, thriving life.
With thoughts like these, the Board of Cooperative Ministries emerged from our first planning retreat with a clearer understanding of our role as “the tool shed in the garden” that is the Moravian Church, Southern Province.
We’ve spent a lot of time during the past two years building that tool shed, and have made great progress with the hiring of an Executive Director, Director of Congregational Ministry & Resources, and Administrative Assistant. We continue in the call process for our Director of Youth, College, and Young Adult Ministries, a critical element of our ministry. Please pray for continued guidance and clarity for all involved in this process.
We gathered at Laurel Ridge for a short but ambitious retreat in late August to get to know one another better, to develop a shared picture of who we are and what we do, and to take action! We began the process of stocking that tool shed. The fruits of much of our labor are summarized below:
Who We Are & What We Do
The Board of Cooperative Ministries engages and supports congregations and Regional Conferences of Churches (RCCs) in their ministries as together we grow in faith, love and hope, following Jesus in serving the world.
The BCM was established as part of the Southern Province restructuring approved in 2009. It is made up of clergy and lay members in the Southern Province, including representatives from the 13 RCCs, the president of the Provincial Elders’ Conference and members appointed by the PEC. The BCM is organized into Ministry Teams responsible for education and spiritual formation; advocacy and mission; leadership development and support; communications and outreach; and planning and development.
How We Do It
The Board of Cooperative Ministries (BCM) Builds, Connects, and Mobilizes Moravians to live out our faith! We create, empower, transform, connect, support, mobilize, question, invite, worship, serve, pray, engage, collaborate, nurture, relate, build.
What does “Growing in Faith, Love, & Hope” look like?
We BUILD Moravians through:
- Curriculum designed to help churches provide engaging Sunday School classes, youth programs, Vacation Bible Schools, small group studies, and other educational programs;
- Gemeinshaft programs that invite us to learn new ways to listen to God and each other and to enrich our spiritual journey;
- leadership development initiatives including written resources, one-on-one coaching, events & workshops, and an intensive leadership program;
- our lending library, full of high-quality, Moravian-friendly resources (books, DVDs, programs) covering topics such as children’s and youth ministry, stewardship, spiritual growth, family life, Biblical studies, social concerns and much more;
- lay seminary and other educational opportunities;
- hands-on youth, college and young adult ministry support and programming; and
- coaching, consulting, and training in leadership & board development, technology and social media, asset mapping, stewardship, faith formation, Moravian heritage/theology, etc.
We CONNECT Moravians through:
- Regional Youth Council, bringing together youth from each congregation to worship, have fun, and plan events and camp themes & programs;
- Fellowships from colleges around the Province;
- Senior Friends Advisory Council, a group of Moravians representing Senior Friends’ groups from across the Province;
- Friends of the Resource Center, volunteers who support and further the goals of the Resource Center;
- communications efforts designed to share information about the many resources, activities, groups, retreats, events and opportunities available; and
- retreats, Convos, and other special events.
We MOBILIZE Moravians through:
- Sunnyside Ministries;
- Forsyth Jail & Prison Ministries;
- The Environmental Stewardship Task Force;
- The Parish Nurses;
- Latino Ministries Committee & Conference;
- Ideas for worship and observation in celebration of Christian educators, older adults, children, and other special groups throughout the church year; and
- Providing a place for other social ministry groups to convene and take action around common and compelling interests like racial reconciliation, poverty, women’s issues, and others.
- We serve individuals, families, classes and small groups, congregations, and RCCs, as well as pastors, lay leaders, Christian educators and church staff.
The Board of Cooperative Ministries looks forward to growing with you, your congregations and Regional Conferences in faith, love, and hope.
To learn more about the Southern Province Board of Cooperative Ministries, visit www.moravianbcm.org.
Ruth Cole Burcaw is Executive Director of the Southern Province Board of Cooperative Ministries. Photos courtesy of BCM.
From the October 2012 Moravian Magazine