As the calendar rolls past Labor Day and the cool winds of September begin to blow (unless, of course, you’re in Canada, where the cold snows begin to fly), the activity level at many of our Moravian congregations begins to really ramp up. Not surprisingly, the same goes for the Interprovincial Board of Communication. While it’s been a busy year for us so far, with two Provincial Synods behind us, autumn is shaping up to be chock-full of activity.
Between early October and late November, we at the IBOC focus time and energy on getting the new Moravian Daily Texts into the hands of readers around the world (you can read Renee Schoeller’s story about assembling the Daily Texts on page 14). We’ve spent the last 10 months inviting writers, compiling and editing their submissions and proofing the four editions that make up each year’s North American offerings.
Several days before the delivery truck arrives from Michigan, we receive the sample pack with two copies of each edition. There’s a special feeling cracking open the FedEx box and seeing all that work in its final form and celebrating another edition of this Moravian tradition.
Then, on a day in mid-October, the large delivery truck pulls up outside 1021 Center St. and our team begins unloading nine pallets of books—that’s nearly 500 cases! Before the day is out, we’re already shipping our preorders, which we’ll continue through the end of the year.
But the Daily Texts is only one (admittedly huge) part of our very busy autumn. This fall will also find me in many different places, meeting with Moravians from across the U.S.
By the time you read this, I will have made my first trip to Mt. Morris Camp and Conference Center (you can read about their celebration of a half-century of Wisconsin camping on page 20). The Western District conference will feature a workshop by Moravian Theological Seminary’s Craig Atwood on “Zinzendorf’s Challenge to 21st Century Moravians,” a story about which will be featured in an upcoming issue of the Moravian Magazine.
The following weekend, Oct. 2–4, will find me at the Bethlehem Conference on History and Music. Scholars, theologians and Moravian enthusiasts from around the globe will be in town for several days of lectures, performances and workshops. Jørgen Bøytler, the business administrator for the Unitas Fratrum/worldwide Moravian Church, will deliver the annual Walter Vivian Moses Lecture in Moravian Studies on Unity in Diversity, Challenges to the Worldwide Moravian Unity. We’ll be sure to share his thoughts on that topic in an upcoming magazine, too.
The next weekend brings the annual Eastern District Youth Rally to town. Youth from congregations across the Eastern District will converge on Central Moravian Church for a weekend of fellowship, fun, competition and worship. This will be my first Youth Rally; I’ve read (and edited) the stories of previous Rallies for the magazine and always wanted to go!
The weekend after that? The IBOC board holds its semiannual meeting in Bethlehem. This year, we’re welcoming several new members to the board, including Peggy Carter of the Southern Province PEC and the Rev. Ginny Tobiassen, associate pastor at Home Moravian in Winston-Salem. For two days, the board reviews the work of the previous six months and charts the course for the future. If you have any suggestions or questions you’d like me to bring to the board, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After a weekend off, I’ll be heading for North Carolina to join this year’s class of the Moravian Leadership Network. This effort, coordinated by the Southern Province Board of Cooperative Ministries, seeks to “broaden and deepen the pool of Moravian leaders—people who will dedicate themselves to accomplishing worthwhile goals with a sense of vision, purpose, excitement and common good, creating a future of greater possibilities.” Over the next six months, 14 Southern Province brothers and sisters and I will gather four times to learn, discuss and grow together.
But wait, there’s more! November 7–9, I will be joining Moravians from across the U.S. and Canada for the Adamson Innovation Forum, held in Chaska, Minnesota. Sponsored by the Moravian Ministries Foundation, the Adamson Forum will include presentations on topics, small group discussions and large group discussions. The Forum is focused on helping the congregations and their leadership addressing the questions, “What strategies can we employ to promote greater gratitude for God’s grace, blessings and generosity?” and “How can we more effectively educate Moravians and promote greater support for the ministries, priorities and needs of the church?”
We’ll bring you coverage from all of these events over the next few months on the pages of The Moravian Magazine. That’s one of the great things about this role—getting out and seeing firsthand what’s happening in our church.
As always, I hope you enjoy this issue of The Moravian. And don’t forget, even with all this travelling, there are many places in our Moravian “world” that I can’t be this fall, so we welcome your stories of what’s happening in your corner of our church.