“One who has health, has hope. And One who has hope, has everything.”—Proverb (thinkexist.com)
Hope is powerful. As the proverb offers, it is through health that greater hope can be embraced and lived out. In 2009, the Northern Province Provincial Elders’ Conference convened a gathering of the PEC, all members of the three District Boards and all provincial and district staff. The purpose: to identify a strategy for the province to move toward greater congregational health.
Seven characteristics of healthy congregations were identified and later adopted at the 2010 Provincial Synod. They include Community, Leadership, Mission and Service, Purpose, Spiritual Formation, Stewardship and Worship. As congregations and pastors have worked to develop their communities in one or more of these areas, they have discovered that finding reliable, theologically sound and engaging resources is not always easy.
In an effort to create a platform for sharing resources about healthy congregational development, a website has been developed as a gathering place for quality resources to help Northern Province congregations and leaders in their work. This website is the beginning of a collection of useful resources and helpful information for pastors and leaders in congregations to pursue greater health in their communities. For each characteristic of a healthy congregation there are a variety of book, article, web and video resource suggestions.
Through this endeavor we can share our diverse perspectives and helpful resources for the better health of all our congregations.
This website will grow with time as we add books, articles, videos and other resources shared by members of our clergy, congregations, and denominational leaders. Resources can be suggested on the website. As new resources that have made an impact on our local ministry and might be helpful to others are made available, they will enrich us all as we share valuable insights and learning.
Come check it out at healthymoraviancongregations.wordpress.com and suggest books, articles, videos, and websites that have been helpful to you! (A link is also available directly from www.moravian.org under “Faith & Congregations.”)
Through the development of healthy characteristics in our congregations we can be assured of finding further hope for us and the world. As we work together to find the ways to share the Gospel in our ever-changing world, we can be encouraged by seeking and working towards improved health in our congregations which will open us to the fullness of our hope in Christ. It is our hope that this website will facilitate sharing and build deeper connections as we work to answer Christ’s call to be the Body of Christ in the world.
Rebecca Craver is pastor of Edmonton Moravian Church in Edmonton, Alberta.
From the January/February 2013 Moravian Magazine