Moravian Church in North America

In Essentials, Unity; In Nonessentials, Liberty; In All Things, Love.

Moravian Church in North America
North: Bethlehem, Pa.
South: Winston-Salem, N.C.

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Thanks for the prayers

I’ve often written in this space about how special working for the Moravian Church can be. Whether in joy or sorrow (or sometimes just on “regular” days), I continue to be heartened by the concern, caring and connectedness of my Moravian brothers and sisters.

Four days before Christmas, my sister texted with a serious concern about my mother. Something had occurred overnight that was causing Mom to fade quickly. We had seen times like this before—my mother had been declining for years—but I could sense by the tone of my sister’s messages that this was different. She called soon after and suggested I get ready to come see them; I knew this was one of those “drop everything, it’s time to go” moments.

I called my wife to let her know what was happening, then shared the news with my staff and began to get my things together. Before I could finish packing my book bag, Northern Province President Betsy Miller called the Church Center staff together in the shipping room. They expressed concern and laying hands on me, prayed for my mother, my family and me.

Within a few more minutes, I received the first messages of comfort and prayers from church friends and pastors. Then, just before I left the office, my sister called back to tell me that my mom was gone. I knew then it was going to be a long drive across Pennsylvania.

By noon that day, a message went out through the Northern Province e-mail chain about what had happened. On the long drive on I-80, I got a call from my pastor; calls and texts soon followed from other church friends and IBOC members. When I stopped for gas, I found my e-mail was filling with prayers and sympathies. The outpouring of concern and prayers sped me on my way and made the long trip a little easier.

I wasn’t able to bring myself to post a Facebook message until the next day. Even though I’d already penned an obituary, I wanted to make sure I found just the right words and photos to celebrate Mom. But when I finally posted it, I was bowled over by the response; within a few hours, many more friends and family had shared condolences. Then, within a few days, sympathy cards began to arrive with more messages of comfort and hope.

Through all of these different channels, I heard from nearly a quarter of the pastorate and staff of the Moravian Church in America, along with many friends new and old. It convinced me once again that my job with the IBOC has benefits that go beyond the typical workplace plans. It was so comforting to my family and me to be this connected and to receive so many heartfelt wishes and prayers. My family and I want to thank all of those who reached out in this difficult time.

Mike Riess, Editor

 

From the January/February 2017 Moravian Magazine

Moravian Daily Texts

12/16/2017

Saturday, December 16 — Psalm 144:1–4
Nahum 3; Habakkuk 1; Revelation 14:17–15:8

Woe to those who plan iniquity, because it is in their power to do it. Micah 2:1 (NIV)

Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant.” Mark 10:42–43

God of humanity and humility, teach us the way of gentleness. May we be servant leaders. May we overcome iniquity by the power of your love. Amen.

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