The last sentence of the Moravian Women’s Conference purpose statement provides an ideal summation the 13th Moravian Women’s Conference held in Winston-Salem, N.C. earlier this year:
“…With faith, hope and love, women leave the conference inspired and equipped to serve God and one another in this day:
Statistics and words most often fail to capture the essence of an experience, especially the happening of a Moravian Women’s Conference. This past June, 432 sisters from nine provinces gathered for the conference, with 98 attendees joining the conference from outside North America. Our theme was well-chosen; the energy and commitment to being Christ’s feet in this world in this day was palpable.
Our keynote speakers—The Rev. Dr. Heather Vacek, The Rt. Rev. Kay Ward, The Rev. Christie Melby-Gibbons, Dena Grillo Fortuzi (Moravian Seminary student living in Albania) and Sarah Bessey (national leader of Evolving Faith)—brought us to tears, laughter and sighs but, most importantly, they guided and inspired us to unleash our God-given power in his name!
Participants chose to attend Imagine Sessions from a selection of 21 options presented by gifted Moravian sisters from throughout the Unity. Presenters encouraged women to imagine what they might accomplish were they to unleash “his power at work within us.” Worshiping as a diverse community of empowered women in the sanctuaries of Calvary Moravian Church for opening communion and Home Moravian Church for closing lovefeast was especially moving.
Conference attendees each received a hardback Moravian Birthday Book so they can remain connected to their sisters in a significant way. A list of the birth month and day of those who provided that information was available.
An initiative at this conference was the creation a cohort of young women called Nextgen Sisters, a project of the Moravian Women’s Conference in collaboration with the Board of Cooperative Ministries of the Moravian Church, Southern Province. Moravian woman, aged 21 to 35(ish), from both the Northern and Southern Provinces were invited to join the Nextgen Sisters.
The young women committed to meet during the conference and during the interim between conferences to discover and develop their spiritual gifts, create bonds of community, and explore their call to leadership and mission. Several “older” sisters are committed as mentors to their younger sisters. We plan to see all Nextgen and more young sisters at the 14th conference.
The generous offering at the conference, $4,688.46, is dedicated to the women’s work of the Moravian Church in Cuba and is administered by the Armando Rusindo Mission Foundation whose role is to help raise awareness and support for the needs of the people in Cuba. As a first installment, sewing machines requested by our Cuban sisters for a new enterprise are on their way!
Our Moravian Star is an integral part of the 13th conference logo, and a 110-point Moravian star was the single feature on our main stage. May Christ’s light always shine through us as brightly as the first Christmas star, reflecting his life and work beyond what we can imagine.
Thanks to the 13th Moravian Women’s Conference Committee who made this year’s conference a success: Peggy Dodson (chair), Libby Ayers, Ruth Burcaw, Margo Harris, Nan Nelson, Allison Snyder and Janice Wilson.