Prayer Day for Christian Education, September 9, 2012
The second Sunday in September is designated as a day of prayer for Christian education. The nurture of Christians of all ages in their faith is the responsibility of each congregation. Pray for your congregation’s Christian education program and for the personal growth in faith of each member.
The Rev. William O. Gilbert III
The Rev. William O. Gilbert III of Fergus Falls, Minn. passed away on April 15, 2012 at the age of 69.
Brother Gilbert was born in Winston-Salem, N.C. He graduated from Moravian College in 1964 and entered Moravian Theological Seminary. While attending seminary, he served Moravian churches in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Friedensfeld & Fredriksted Congregations; Memorial Congregation, St. Thomas and in Bethel, Alaska as a student intern. He graduated from Moravian Theological Seminary in 1969 and was ordained at Advent Moravian Church in Winston-Salem, N.C. He was consecrated a presbyter in 1975 at Hopewell Moravian Church.
This fall, Winston-Salem and Bethlehem will play host to two large gatherings, each designed to offer both Moravians and non-Moravians alike a taste of Moravian culture and heritage.
On September 8, New Philadelphia Moravian Church will host the second Moravian Festival, with traditions, food and fun. Last year’s event drew more than 5,000 people and representatives from many Southern Province congregations.
Then, October 11-14, a variety of sites in Bethlehem will host the third Bethlehem Conference on Moravian History and Music. The conference will explore Moravian history in worldwide contexts from the fifteenth through the twenty-first centuries.
Since 1974, Moravian Theological Seminary has recognized a graduate, who, through outstanding service has brought distinction to the work of ministry, by presenting him or her with The John Hus Award.
During its annual Alumni Reunion Luncheon on March 8, 2012, the Seminary honored The Rt. Rev. Dr. D. Wayne Burkette as the 38th recipient of The John Hus Award. The award is named for John Hus, one of the great leaders of the Christian Church and is regarded a founding father of the Moravian Church.
In mid-May of 2012, 11 intrepid Moravians from the Friedland and Friedberg congregations in Winston-Salem, N.C. traveled to Ocean Springs, Miss. for an assignment as a work-service team. For the leaders, Jerry and Sherry Edwards, it was their third trip to assist in aiding those damaged by Hurricane Katrina. We were a group of skilled and unskilled laborers called by faith and driven by desire to assist those in need. As most work-service teams have discovered, what we learned seemed far greater than the help we offered.
How can we forget the wrenching media images of people on rooftops in their flooded neighborhoods in New Orleans waiting for rescue? The chaos and confusion in the emergency rescue efforts of local, state and federal officials? The waste and destruction in New Orleans and throughout the Gulf Coast communities between the Texas coast and Pensacola, Fla.? Devastated homes and businesses rotting and molding in the hot sun?
That was Hurricane Katrina, the most devastating natural disaster ever to occur in the United States, reaching the U.S. on August 29, 2005. The storm attacked a geographic area the size of Great Britain, killed over 1,800 people, caused billions of dollars of damage and displaced millions of households.
The Rev. Erwin E. Boettcher led the Holy Communion service at Lancaster Moravian Church in celebration of the John Hus Festival on Sunday, July 8th. The date was also a celebration of another sort, as it was exactly 60 years and two days after his ordination as a pastor!
One of the treasures of the Moravian Museum in Bethlehem, Pa. is the Nain-Schober House. It is the only surviving structure from an important, but little known, chapter in American history. And this month, recent renovations to help restore its original appearance will be unveiled, helping the building continue to tell its story.
A link to the past
The Nain-Schober House in Bethlehem is a direct link to the heroic and tragic history of the Moravian mission to Native Americans and serves as a reminder of a fleeting glimpse of a different possible outcome for the relationship between Native Americans and European settlers in American history.
It’s not often that a Moravian church turns 100. But it happened on July 15, 2012 when hundreds of members and friends of Trinity Moravian Church in Winston-Salem gathered to celebrate the congregation’s centennial.
In a service that included the premiere of a newly-composed anthem, meditations by two bishops, and the entire congregation signing the Moravian Covenant for Christian Living, the Trinity Centennial Celebration was an event that will be remembered for years to come.
In addition to his role as one of the 17th century bishops of the Moravian Church, John Amos Comenius was also a ground-breaking scholar and advocate in educational reform. In his important work on education, “The Great Didactic,” Comenius wrote, “If, in each hour, a man could learn a single fragment of some branch of knowledge, a single rule of some mechanical art, a single pleasing story or proverb (the acquisition of which would require no effort), what a vast stock of learning he might lay by. Seneca is therefore right when he says: ‘Life is long, if we know how to use it.’ It is consequently of importance that we understand the art of making the very best use of our lives.”
After considering this call for life-long learning, lay leaders and members of Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem worked with the church’s pastors to develop a way of helping others in this very Moravian quest for the expansion of the mind.
“Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise.”
With Psalm 84:4 as its theme and inspiration, the Eastern District of the Moravian Church, Northern Province came together in June for work and worship at the 2012 Eastern District Synod in Bethlehem, Pa.
The Eastern District Synod, which convenes every four years, brings together delegates from more than 50 Moravian congregations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, Washington, D.C. and Ontario, Canada. More than 230 delegates attended, including District clergy and lay members from each congregation. A number of ecumenical partners from the Episcopal Church, The Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Presbyterian Church USA and other denominations were also on hand as guests.