Official Provincial Elders’ News

2024 Watchwords

At the close of 2023, watchwords for 2024 were drawn in Herrnhut, the birthplace of the renewed Moravian Church, for the Unity Board, Provinces and Unity Undertakings.

The 2024 watchword for the Unity Board is from January 24: “Earth and the heavens will perish, but you will endure.” Psalm 102:26

The 2024 watchword for the Northern Province is from April 14: “It is God who arms me with strength.” Psalm 18:32 NIV

The 2024 watchword for the Southern Province is from June 19: “Listen to me, my people; hear me my nation: Instruction will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations.” Isaiah 51:4 NIV

Northern Province

Pastoral Updates

Sr. Byrnese Craig was installed as a part-time Licensed Lay Pastor at the MorningStar Moravian Church in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania on Sunday, February 18, 2024. Sr. Craig is an ordination review candidate of the Moravian Church Northern Province and is currently a student at Moravian Theological Seminary.

Br. Cliff Bergstresser was installed as the part-time Licensed Lay Pastor at First Moravian Church of York, Pennsylvania on Sunday, March 3, 2024. Br. Bergstresser has been a lifelong Moravian and has begun taking Crossroads courses at Moravian Theological Seminary.

Sr Jesmina Meade was installed as the full-time pastor at Trinity Moravian Church, New Carrollton, MD on February 25, 2024.  She previously served as the part-time Licensed Lay Minister of MorningStar Moravian Church in Coopersburg, Pa. She graduated from Moravian Theological Seminary in May 2023 with an MDiv and was ordained on January 21, 2024.

Retirements

The Rev. John Wallace has been granted permission to retire from the active ministry of the Moravian Church, effective September 1, 2024. Brother Wallace was ordained on August 26, 1984, and has served in the Moravian Church at the congregations of Veedum, West Salem, Berea and Waconia in the Western District and most recently in the Eastern District at First Moravian Church of Dover, Ohio.  The Church is grateful for Brother Wallace’s forty years of service.

The Rev. Donald Michaels has been granted permission to retire from the active ministry of the Moravian Church, effective December 18, 2024. Brother Don was ordained on June 11, 1995, and has served the Rio Terrace congregation in Canada and Fry’s Valley and Sharon in Ohio.  The church is grateful for Brother Donald’s many years of faithful service.

The Rt. Rev. J. Christian Giesler has been granted permission to retire from the active ministry of the Moravian Church, effective December 31, 2024. Brother Chris was ordained on June 8, 1986, and has served in the Moravian Church Southern Province; as Chaplain at Moravian Theological Seminary; as Director of the Eastern District Youth Ministry; as pastor of Edgeboro and Emmaus congregations and most recently as Director of Missional Engagement with the Board of World Mission.  Brother Chris was consecrated a Bishop on November 13, 2010.  The Church is grateful for Brother Chris’ thirty-eight years of faithful service.

Southern Province

Presbyterial Consecrations

The Rev. Rusty Rushing was consecrated a presbyter on Sunday, January 21, 2024, at 3:00 p.m. at Little Church on the Lane Moravian Church, Charlotte, N.C., with The Rt. Rev. Dr. Wayne Burkette officiating. Rusty was ordained a deacon in the Moravian Church on November 19, 2017, at Little Church on the Lane Moravian Church with The Rt. Rev. Dr. Graham Rights officiating.

The Rev. Adam Goodrich was consecrated a presbyter on Sunday, February 11, 2024, at 3:00 p.m. at Union Cross Moravian Church, Winston-Salem, N.C., with The Rt. Rev. Sam Gray officiating. Adam was ordained a deacon in the Moravian Church on September 24, 2017, at Olivet Moravian Church, Winston-Salem, NC with The Rt. Rev. Sam Gray officiating.

Ardmore Moravian Church

The Rev. Joe Moore has accepted the call to be the Pastor of Ardmore Moravian Church. His present ministry as the Pastor of Bethania Moravian Church concluded April 7, 2024. His first Sunday with Ardmore Moravian was April 21, 2024. Please keep Joe, The Rev. Kelly Moore, and Zach in your prayers as they move through this time of transition in ministry. Also hold the Bethania and Ardmore congregations in your prayers.

Provincial Service

The Rev. James Demby has accepted a call to Provincial Service. His present ministry as the Pastor of Pine Chapel Moravian Church will conclude on March 31. Please keep James and the Pine Chapel congregation in your prayers during this transition.


Correction
In our last issue, we misspelled the name of one of Ted Wilde Mission Service Award winners (story, page 23). The awardee’s name is Edward Winney, not Edward Winnie.  We apologize for the error.