BY RUTH COLE BURCAW |
Last year’s ultimate gift guide was a rousing success. In light of that and the fact that we should all be doing a lot more online shopping (in addition to supporting local business, that is), we are going to try this again in 2020.
What better way to show care for your neighbors, friends, and loved ones than by giving the gift of faith, love, and hope – Moravian-style!
All of the gifts described here are offered for sale by an agency or entity affiliated with the Moravian Church in North America. Ultimately, these groups are working on behalf of you, our brothers and sisters in Christ, to preserve our history and continue the music, traditions, and collective, powerful action of Moravians in the world today. Why wouldn’t we support their good work when we shop?
We hope you will forward this list to friends so they might benefit from giving good Moravian gifts. Let’s put some more Moravian good(s) out there in the world!!
Board of Cooperative Ministries (BCM)
(It is in no way self-serving for me to start with our own agency, the Board of Cooperative Ministries. Alphabetical order being what it is and all.)
My Pick for 2020: Moravian Star PopSocket ($10.00)
Based on our #BeMoravianStars campaign to recognize the many Moravian stars among us working hard during this hard season, this popsocket will certainly “pop” on the back of your phone! Use it as a convenient stand for your phone . . . you can even use a wireless charger!
Other Stuff I Like: Of course I love everything in our Moravian SWAG store. And there is a little something for everyone – playing cards for the bridge players in your life, Tervis tumblers, assorted notecards, fancy coasters, our new singer’s masks featuring Agnus the lamb, as well as a “Faith, Love, and Hope” cutting board! Some of our older items are now for sale, so be sure to visit soon.
How They Do Good: Chances are, you’ve benefited from BCM’s work without even knowing it. Maybe you’ve attended a Comenius Learning Series event, enjoyed the Children’s Festival with your family, borrowed a book from our lending library, watched a Moravian history lecture on our YouTube channel, read Simply Moravian or Loving Hearts United, or been part of one of our many ministry groups (Regional Youth Council, the Aging Well team, etc.). There’s so much more but I’ll summarize with this: BCM helps Moravian Christians live the Essentials in their daily lives.
Give Directly to BCM: Visit our Support page to learn how you can help us advance our work, especially in leadership, youth, and resource development.
Interprovincial Board of Communication (IBOC)
My Pick for 2020: Faith, Love, Hope Face Mask ($12.95)
Sadly, it’s got to be a face mask. Nothing says “I love you” these days quite as much as a 100% cotton, three-layer mask with a filter pocket that also espouses the core Moravian essentials. Talk about “in your face!” They also sell a second mask variation with the Moravian star.
Other Stuff I Like: There’s so much available on the IBOC online store, it’s hard to know where to start. They’ve got seal lapel pins and beautiful gifts like these great Moravian star suncatchers. They also feature a great array of books and other Moravian resources.
How They Do Good: These folks are telling the Moravian story, not just to Moravians, but others as well. They not only produce the Moravian Magazine that lands in your mailbox 8 times each year, they also publish the Moravian Daily Texts, the world’s oldest daily devotional read by 1.5 million believers in more than 50 languages around the globe.
Laurel Ridge Camp, Conference, and Retreat Center – Southern Province
My Pick for 2020: 16 oz. Silipint Silicone “Glass” ($12)
This unbreakable “glass” is a best-seller for our friends at Laurel Ridge, whose online store offers a wide variety of fun stuff. This eco-friendly, reusable, 100% food-grade silicone drinkware is both safe (BPA-free, unbreakable, FDA-approved) and versatile (dishwasher and microwave safe). I use mine in my home office every day!
Other Stuff I Like: I love their long-sleeved crew neck sweater (not a hoodie gal), while my kids head to the pajamas and Patagonia-style vintage mesh hats. The store really does have something for everyone, especially the Laurel Ridge lovers in your life.
How They Do Good: Nestled in the awe-spiring Blue Ridge Mountains about 90 minutes from Winston-Salem, there is nothing like a mountain-top experience, Laurel Ridge-style. For 60 years, campers of all ages have grown spiritually, deepened relationships, and renewed their commitment to living the Essentials in this mountain place set apart. Laurel Ridge offers summer camps, mission camps, specialty camps, year-round programming and rental facilities to communities of faith, non-profit organizations, businesses and individuals.
Give directly to Laurel Ridge: Texting Moravian Camp to 73256 using your mobile device. This number will never send unsolicited texts to you. To cancel further messages, text STOP. If you need assistance with text giving, text HELP. Standard text message and data rates may apply.
The Moravian Archives – Northern Province
My Pick: Moravian Star Tree Garland ($134.95)
The Archives recently launched their Original Moravian Stars site, which offers stars from the Herrnhutter Star Factory in Herrnhut, Germany. This garland, made of 10 5” homemade stars, is pricey, but for each purchase of an original Moravian star, a portion of the proceeds will support the Moravian Archives Restoration Fund. Contributions made toward the Restoration Fund will support the effort to preserve the painting, The Zinzendorf Family. Even if the garland isn’t your cup of tea, you can buy many other beautiful stars in a variety of colors and sizes.
Other Stuff I Like: The Northern Province Archives offer an interesting collection of souvenirs, jewelry, books, and other items on their Moravian History Store site. I know someone who’ll look great in this Moravian star beanie!
How They Do Good: These folks are the primary source for Moravian history in North America. They collect, preserve, expand, organize, and digitize hundreds of years worth of our traditions and heritage.
Give Directly to the Northern Province Archives: There are many ways to support the important work of the Archives.
The Moravian Archives – Southern Province
My Pick: Records of the Moravians Among the Cherokee – The Complete Set ($300) or any single volume 1-10 ($40)
The history buffs in your family will no doubt appreciate these volumes. The series, edited most recently by the late, incomparable archivist Richard Starbuck, recounts the earliest, longest-running account of daily life in the Cherokee Nation. The series spans from 1801—the beginning of the Moravian mission in today’s Georgia— through the Trail of Tears in 1838, and up until the Civil War and beyond.
Other Stuff I Like: Interested in the Herrnhut stars but want to save on shipping? The archives office in Winston-Salem also carries a variety of these beautiful stars.
How They Do Good: The Archives certainly serves the Moravian Church in the collecting, cataloging, and safekeeping of our history, but they also make many records available for genealogists, academics, cultural institutions, and the general public.
Give Directly to the Southern Province Archives: Join Friends of the Archives or give the gift of membership to the history enthusiast in your family!
Moravian Music Foundation (MMF)
My Pick: Harmonious to Dwell Lower Brass Favorite Hymns CD ($16.00) (pic on website)
If you love the sound of a Moravian band, you’ll really love this CD, which features the mellow sounds of the lower brass ensemble playing 38 (!) of your most favorite hymns.
Other Stuff I Like: The Music Foundation carries loads of outstanding CDs, many featuring Advent or Christmas music performed by a variety of Moravian musicians and singers. Their store features anthems, music, and gifts for all music lovers.
How They Do Good: The effervescent and wildly creative Nola Knouse leads a staff team in both Northern and Southern provinces, who work to preserve and share the Moravians’ incredible legacy of musical composition and performance, which holds an important place in American history and culture. MMF celebrates and cultivates Moravian music through events such as the Moravian Music Festival, Unity Brass Festival, and Moravian music weekends like Music on the Mountain at Laurel Ridge, NC. And that is just the tip of the iceberg – visit their website to learn more.
Give Directly to MMF: The Music Foundation makes it easy to donate to them, in honor or memory of that special musician in your life.
Give a donation in honor or memory of someone this year.
This is a great year to count our blessings while acknowledging that the need is great as many struggle to make ends meet. There are many places where you can give of your financial resources for the benefit of others, including a few notable Moravian efforts.
- Sunnyside Ministry, a uniquely Moravian mission, serves, educates, and empowers those in need in the 27107, 27127 area of Forsyth County or Northern Davidson County, NC. Director David Holston tells us the greatest needs for 2020 are food and funds. Visit their website to learn more and donate.
- Moravian Open Door is a not-for-profit (501c-3) organization committed to providing transitional housing and supportive services to the homeless, distressed and underserved population of New York City.
- Tricklebee Cafe a pay-what-you-can community café that offers healthy meals, food-service training, and spiritual nourishment.
- Estamos Unidos Ministry (“we are united”) serves the Hispanic immigrant community in the Forsyth County area. They provide educational opportunities in English and Spanish as they work to present God’s love to their neighbors by living the Moravian essentials of Faith, Love, and Hope.
- The Dwelling | In a world that constantly tells people who are homeless that they don’t belong, The Dwelling is a church that tells them that the world has it all wrong. The Dwelling proclaims boldly that there is holiness in the identity as someone experiencing homelessness, that they share a kinship with God who reminds us all that we are all wanderers in search of belonging.
- City with Dwellings: A Community First Initiative works to end the crisis of homelessness in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, providing a unique platform for volunteers across the community to connect and build relationships with individuals who are experiencing homelessness.
- Anthony’s Plot is a growing network of people striving to reflect our love for Jesus to strengthen and support those who face sudden or systemic disenfranchisement, to invite and encourage those who seek spiritually, and to challenge and enable one another to become more like the individuals and the interdependent community Jesus has taught us to be
May this holiest of seasons be filled with joy, peace, and satisfying gift giving!
About the Author
Ruth Cole Burcaw is the Executive Director of the Board of Cooperative Ministries for the Moravian Church, Southern Province and a member of Unity Moravian Church. She’s pictured above with her father, the Rev. Dr. Hal Cole.