District Developments September 2018

Camp Hope 2018: coMISSION!

It was an inspiring summer at Camp Hope this year as our children and youth focused on the call from Christ to serve “the least of these” in mission. We extend our gratitude to the countless lay and clergy camp staff who brought this amazing vision to reality….”To Us, To Us, This Task is Given….” Check out these amazing “tasks!”

The theme of the 2018 camp season at Hope Conference & Renewal Center (“Camp Hope”) was coMISSION, or “doing mission together.” Each of the eight camps participated in at least one mission activity:

  • They fed the hungry by packing 15,000 high-nutrition servings of pasta with tomato and basil sauce, which was given to food distribution ministries in Hope (NJ), Nazareth (PA) and northern New Jersey. Middler Conference (grades 5 and 6) campers prepared meals of penne pasta, salad and garlic bread which they gave to a neighbor of the camp and to two single-parent families with camp connections.
  • All campers had the opportunity to help clothe the needy by bringing items of clothing they had outgrown. Camp collected the clothing for the Mountainview Moravian Clothing Ministry. The items completely filled two cars when it was delivered to the church, where it will be distributed the last two Saturdays of August.
  • Pre-Primary campers (grades 1 and 2) visited the sick and those imprisoned by ill health and failing bodies. They decorated 50 small ceramic dishes, filled them with Hershey kisses, and took them to Forest Manor Health Care Center, just four miles from camp. The campers sang for the residents and interacted with them by tracing their own hand and that of a resident on the same piece of paper. The campers brightened many people’s days that week.
  • Campers at Jr. High Conference (grades 7 and 8) welcomed strangers by decorating and packing 86 duffel bags filled with items to make foster children feel more at home. Some of the bags were left at camp and given to campers at Royal Family Kids Camp, a group which rents the camp facilities each year to provide a week of camp for foster children from eastern New Jersey.
  • Middler campers made Therapy Putty, colored rice, and colored pasta for children who are thirsting to figure out the world around them. The materials will be used in sensory rooms at First Moravian Church in York (PA) by two sensory therapy playgroups who meet at the church twice a week.
  • In addition, Sr. High campers helped to refurbish some of the elements of Ryan’s Ropes, the camp’s team-building and challenge course; campers at Musical Theater Camp gave two world premiere performances of ACTS!, an original musical written by the camp’s dean (and will be giving an encore performance at Schoeneck Moravian Church in Nazareth on Saturday, September 1); Middler campers created welcome cards and a banner for a Moravian camp held in Cuba; and Jr. High campers learned what it is like to be homeless and without shelter.

The camp was pleased to be able to support some congregational ministries, as well as missions outside of the Moravian Church, with this theme. All campers went home with a better idea of the importance of doing mission, and suggestions on how they could do mission in their own congregation or community.

(Our gratitude to Hope Conference and Renewal Center for supplying this information.)

Upcoming Camp Hope Events:
For info about these events call (908) 459-4435 or contact: [email protected]

September 26-29- Quilt Camp

September 29 – Camp Hope Fall Festival.
October 19-21 – Movement and Meditation Retreat

May 3-5, 2019, Confirmation Retreat at Camp Hope.


Board of World Mission

Have you heard that Rt. Rev. Chris Giesler has accepted the call to be the new Director of Mission Engagement for the Board of World Mission? Did you also know that Chris, and other BWM staff members are available to come speak at your congregation, meet with boards, or lead mission discernment workshops? If you have energy and interest in your congregation to take part in a mission trip, or just to engage more fully in mission at a local and global level, reach out to the Board of World Mission! Beginning in early September, Chris will be the primary point person for congregations, and you can reach him at [email protected]


Moravian Ministries Foundation – On Tiny Houses and Stewardship

“. . . if Jesus were here today, would he live in a tiny house? In a simpler space where there is only room for what really matters?”

Read Laura Watson’s latest blog on stewardship. As Director of Stewardship and Development Services at the Moravian Ministries Foundation in America, Laura is available to help your Moravian congregation, agency or ministry with Stewardship Development.

Click here to read it.


Pastoral Changes

Br. Darrell Johnson, pastor of the John Heckewelder Memorial Moravian Church in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, has accepted the call to serve as pastor of the Palmer Moravian Church in Easton, PA. He will conclude his ministry at Gnadenhutten on September 4 and begin at Palmer on September 20. Please keep Darrell, his family, and both congregations in prayer at this transition.

Sr. Christine Johnson, pastor of the Fry’s Valley Moravian Church in New Philadelphia, Ohio and First Moravian Church in Uhrichsville, Ohio, has requested and been granted a Leave of Absence so that she may accompany her husband Darrell when he moves to the Lehigh Valley. Please keep Chris and her family and both congregations she is leaving in your prayers.

Sr. Trina Holmberg, pastor of the Church of the Redeemer in Columbus, Ohio, has requested and been granted a Leave of Absence, beginning October 1. Please keep Trina, her family, and the congregation in prayer.

MOD Needs Your Help!

Mark your calendar for Monday, October 1st to help with the annual appeal envelope stuffing for Moravian Open Door, to be held at West Side Moravian Church, Bethlehem, PA from 8 am until mid-afternoon. Come when you can, stay as long as you can. Lots of fellowship, coffee and sugar cake, of course!



Free 2018 Daily Texts available
As we prepare for the arrival of the 2019 Moravian Daily Texts in late October/early November, we would like to offer our remaining 2018 editions to congregations and agencies for use in their ministries free of charge.  Daily Texts are perfect for outreach, new member introductions, study classes and community events. We have a limited supply of 2018 large print, journal, hardcover and paperback editions available; all we ask is that you either pick up at the Church Center in Bethlehem or pay for shipping to your location.  To obtain these free editions, please contact Jill Bruckart at [email protected], or call 1.800.732.0591, ext. 38.And if you haven’t already, be sure to pre-order your 2019 Moravian Daily Texts! Visit: or contact Jill for details.

Pre-order your 2019 Moravian Church Desk Calendar & Plan Book
The annual Moravian Church Desk Calendar & Plan Book provides a convenient, useful planning tool for Moravians. Each edition features a large-block format, 19-month calendar with plenty of space to write meetings, appointments, services and other planning information. It also includes upcoming events, holidays, prayer days and lectionary Sunday readings specific to the Moravian Church in North America, along with Provincial and Interprovincial directory information and space for important contacts. The new edition covers October 2018-April 2020. Spiral bound, 8.5×11. Calendars are expected in stock by Sept. 21. To place your order, call the store at 1-800-732-0591, ext. 38 or visit our online store at