The Board of World Mission (BWM) is making changes to strengthen its work directly with congregations—and congregations’ work directly with their mission efforts.
“The Board is announcing changes in its program of Moravian Volunteer and Disaster Response due to the recent resignation of Mark Ebert as our Director of Moravian Volunteer Resources (MVR),” says Judy Ganz, executive director of BWM.
“We wish to thank Mark for his more than ten years of service with BWM. His efforts after Hurricane Katrina were instrumental in providing opportunities for many of our members to serve in Mississippi and to do tremendous work to benefit the community of Ocean Springs and many individuals who had lost their homes.”
Mark trained many work crews and emphasized the importance of mission as not merely a project or trip, but rather as part of one’s own faith journey. Mark also impacted many of the BWM’s partner provinces by getting equipment and work crews to various places in need such as solar systems in Ahuas, Honduras and at Ray of Hope orphanage, a hangar for Alas de Socorro in Honduras, a parsonage in Alaska, a saw mill for Nicaragua work after Hurricane Felix, and multiple crews for repairs and upgrades at the Moravian Clinic and Hospital in Ahuas, Honduras.
“We are grateful for Mark’s faithful ministry over the years,” says Judy.
Director of Mission Engagement
Instead of a program dedicated specifically to Moravian volunteer resources, BWM will expand this staff position to hire a Director of Mission Engagement.
This new staff person will focus on broader work directly with congregations in mission discernment, education, including equipping members and teams and coordinating volunteer and disaster ministries.
“This change is motivated by input from some of our pastors at the interprovincial clergy retreat this past May and by the BWM fall retreat which resulted in a clear direction to be more intentional in walking with our congregations to discern God’s call to us in mission today, be that local or global,” says Judy. “It is also recognizes that as representatives of churches in the Northern and Southern Provinces, Alaska and the Unity of the Brethren, the BWM is meant to serve as a resource to its constituents, as well as to be a link to opportunities for mission in the global Moravian Church and through our ecumenical partnerships.”
Justin Rabbach, a member of the Board of World Mission and member of Ebenezer Moravian Church in Watertown, Wis. was tapped for this new role and has accepted the position.
“Justin brings many skills for working with congregations, a lot of experience in leading and training teams in mission from both the Northern and Southern Provinces, and a deep passion and vision for mission.”
Walking together in mission
“We appreciate that the Moravian Church has always felt a passion to respond to God’s transformative love in our own lives by reaching out to share this love and grace with others,” says Judy. “Mission is an undeniable part of who we are as Moravians, and an essential element of our ministry and health as congregations. We look forward to exploring more ways that we can walk together in mission.”
Photos: Mark Ebert at work helping with water projects in Central America; portrait: Justin Rabbach
Judy Ganz is executive director of the Board of World Mission for North America.
From the January/February 2014 Moravian Magazine