The Board of World Mission offers regular updates in The Moravian to share news from around the Moravian Unity.We hope that this will give each of you a more up-to-date picture of what is happening in the Moravian world so that together we can be at prayer, provide support, and be in partnership to help build up the kingdom of God.
In addition to what you will read here we invite you to visit our website regularly at www.moravianmission.org where you will find more information.
Dr. Bill and Dr. Peg Hoffman receive the Ted Wilde Mission Service Award
The Board of World Mission established the Ted Wilde Mission Service Award in 2019 in memory of The Rev. Ted Wilde, who served as our executive director from 1983 to 1995. This award is presented to Moravian church members who have been willing to follow Ted’s example to take up the great commission by learning from our Chief Elder, Jesus Christ, and then engage in humble service in his name. Through this recognition, we honor those who have responded to God’s call to mission in the worldwide parish that we serve.
On Aug. 8, 2021, the Rt. Rev. Chris Giesler, representing the BWM, presented this award to Dr. Bill and Dr. Peg Hoffman of the Central Moravian Church during the Sunday morning worship hour.
Since beginning their ministry in 2000, the Hoffmans have been instrumental in establishing the medical mission work based in Sikonge, Tanzania. This ministry began to address the impacts of the Aids epidemic on our Moravian brothers and sisters in Tanzania. In the 21 years since then and in the 33 different trips that they have made to Tanzania, the Hoffmans have accomplished the following:
- Established a comprehensive AIDS diagnosis and treatment program
- Provided instruction to local medical staff and learned from them as well
- Overseen the construction or renovation of 24 medical buildings, which include treatment centers, maternal child health centers, dispensaries, orphan centers
- Sought funding programs to provide medications
- Provided operating room equipment and supplies
- Helped to design and establish an orphan care program
- Helped to acquire funding for secondary school scholarships knowing that education that can lift communities out of the cycle of poverty
- Assisted in building and outfitting seven schools
- Helped to raise money that built 16 churches
- Expanded the electrical grid and dug 16 wells to include poor neighborhoods to benefit family homes, schools and churches
- Helped with other community infrastructure needs to combat some of the underlying causes of community poverty
- Inspired many Moravians from across North America to join in support of the mission to Tanzania through the Adopt a Village program
This is an impressive list and it puts life and breath into the words of a hymn written by Ted Wilde in 1984:
Christ, engage us in your mission;
worldwide let our parish be.
We take up this great commission,
traveling first to Calvary.
There absorbing, Christ-like going,
taught by your humility.
Central Moravian receives Herrnhut Congregational Affirmation for Dedicated Mission and Service
In 2019, the Board of World Mission voted to recognize congregations in North America who were doing exemplary mission and service work both in their local communities and global mission efforts. The pandemic delayed the implementation of the program, but we are thankful to begin that process today.
After discussion among board members, it was decided to name this the Herrnhut Congregational Affirmation for Dedicated Mission and Service. It is named after the Herrnhut congregation because of its dynamic work, beginning in 1732, in sending out missionaries worldwide. Furthermore, they chose to work with people and groups who were being enslaved and persecuted, such as the sugar plantation slaves on the island of St. Thomas.
The Herrnhut Congregational Affirmation for Dedicated Mission and Service goes to a Moravian Congregation in North America that is in some way following the example of the Moravian community in Herrnhut by actively giving of themselves in terms of time, talent and treasure to be the light of Christ to others. We are thrilled to name Central Moravian Church as the first recipient of this affirmation.
Here are just a few of the ways Central Moravian Church is involved in mission:
- Central’s involvement in the ministry of Dr. Bill and Dr. Peg Hoffman in Tanzania. Through the Central congregation, the Hoffmans were made aware of the profound need in Tanzania and supported them with prayers, financial support and constant encouragement.
- Central church members have been active in support the Moravian work in Nepal
- They are currently hosting Moravian University students from Tanzania and Nepal while these students are in Bethlehem for their studies
In addition to these more internationally focused mission projects, Central provides the following for the local community:
- A food pantry providing food for the hungry
- Cynthia’s Boutique providing clothing for those in need
- Assists with the Bethlehem Emergency Shelter providing a safe and warm place for the homeless during the winter months
- Selling Fair Trade Coffee that benefits farmers in developing countries
- Central Santas provides Christmas gifts for about 165 local children
- Moravian Meals on Wheels (Currently on hold due to Covid)
- Providing meals to local outreach ministries to help their clients and bolster these ministries
- BAM Freezer Ministry giving food to those in need
- Crop Walk, raising funds that are used both locally and globally to feed the hungry
- Bread for the World, providing food and advocacy to help combat global hunger
- Luminaria Night Supporting New Bethany
- Providing the AA organization with meeting space to help those battling addictions
- The Refugee Resettlement Committee, through public policy advocacy and direct aid to refugee organizations, assists those seeking a new home in North America.
As recorded in the latter half of Matthew’s 25th chapter, Jesus teaches that, “When you do this for the least of these, who do it also unto me.” It is clear that at its core Central Moravian Church is all about sharing the love of God in very tangible ways to improve the lives of the least of these, both near and far. The Board of World Mission salutes the Central congregation for all they have done over these many years and for the dynamic ministry that is yet to come.