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District Developments April 2019

Social Media is one of those things that, when you bring it up in the context of a church congregation, most people either roll their eyes, or tell you about how they want to do better at that, but just don’t. In a time when churches are struggling to keep attendance up at church services and events and to engage with Millennials and GenZ-ers, social media is a really important tool- when it is used correctly.

Even if you think you’re doing okay at the social media thing, you can still probably step up your social media game. Below are six tips to help take your church social media presence to the next level.

  1. Take advantage of the Eastern District Social Media Coordinator (HINT: THAT’S ME)- I can help get your social media off the ground, dig in and help you understand your current social media presence, help you design campaigns, offer you tutorials, hunt resources, etc… I am here to help YOU be successful and reach people. Your social media accounts for your individual congregations are what connect with people. Even if you don’t know what questions to ask, just schedule a time to have a conversation with me, we will figure out what your questions are! Email me at [email protected]
  2. Social Media is visual- Include. A. Picture. Always. According to BuzzSumo social media posts with an image earn 2.3 times more engagement! Just do it. Don’t get ignored. Use pictures.
  3. Your church has a brand- I know, you’re not a for-profit business, but your church still has a brand. Decide what your brand is and stick with it!
  4. BE AUTHENTIC- You know there is more to your church than boring announcements, so show off the personality of your congregation!! You might not be the kind of church that rocks out during services- that is OKAY. If that isn’t you, don’t portray yourself like that online. Be who you are.
  5. Be present- If you only post on social media once a month and aren’t responsive to messages or comments, you’re not accomplishing much. Post regularly (even twice a week is fine!) and be responsive. Also, don’t spread yourself too thin. Pick one or two social media platforms to be really good at. You don’t need to be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, AND Reddit. Pick the one or two you connect with the most people on and stick with those, otherwise you won’t have time or energy to be present on all of them!
  6. Be engaging- As I mentioned in #5, always be responsive, but even more than that you need to be proactively engaging. This means that you want the people your congregation is connected with to interact with you! Use tools like polls and giveaways to make sure that happens!

Social media can be a lot of fun if you let it. If you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to social media success!

Don’t forget to check out the Eastern District Blog on the Eastern District website to hear how people from around the district are reflecting on their faith!

(Thank you to Sister Shana Angel, Eastern District Social Media Intern, for her contribution of this article).

Shana can be contacted at: [email protected]

Board of World Mission of the Moravian Church North America

We are in this Mission Journey Together!  As the Board of World Mission works to create and continue relationships around the world, we are very aware that we cannot do this alone.  We invite you to use this resource to join us in specific ways in mission. Listed below are opportunites to Serve, to Pray and to Give.

SERVE: Tricklebee Café is a pay-what-you-can community café that offers healthy meals, food-service training, and spiritual nourishment in Milwaukee, WI. This is a ministry of the Moravian Church under the direction of the Rev. Christie Melby-Gibbons. This summer Tricklebee is partnering with the Urban Gathering Center of Milwaukee and will be one of several service sites for their Urban Mission Trips. Cleaning, drywalling, floor covering, and meal preparation will be on the task list.  For information about the experience go to https://www.urbangatheringcenter.org/2019-summer, or contact Christie at [email protected]

PRAY: Please pray for the Labrador Mission Province as it continues its work with people in villages up and down the Atlantic coast. This is a beautiful land filled with gracious people but winters are harsh and life is a challenge in these remote areas.  

GIVE: Please give to support the administrative operations of the BWM.  While not nearly as exciting as giving to other important causes, without support for our ongoing administration, none of our outreach would be possible.   

Donations may be mailed to BWM,
1021 Center Street, Bethlehem, PA  18018. Online, please visit
www.moravianmission.org/donate.

THANK YOU!

New From IBOC

We are excited to introduce a whole new way to experience Holy Week – our new Readings for Holy Week Audio Edition!

Recorded in 2006 at Lititz Moravian Church with additional recordings from 2018 at College Hill Moravian, this collection brings our much-loved Holy Week tradition to life in an audio format ideal for use by small groups, congregations or those who may be unable to attend local services in their church because of distance, infirmity, conflicts in schedule, etc.  This 5-CD set includes all of the narration and hymns from the Moravian Church’s Readings for Holy Week book; each piece of narration and hymn are on separate tracks, and a complete track listing with corresponding page numbers for printed editions is included.

Readings for Holy Week Audio Edition sets are now available in time for Holy Week 2019 for $25.00.  For more information and to order, visit https://store.moravian.org/product/readings-for-holy-week-audio-edition-5-cd-set/ or call Jill Bruckart at 1.800.732.0591, ext. 38.  Order April 8 to ensure delivery by Holy Week.

To hear audio samples from this recording, click here.  

CROSSROADS CLASS:

MAPPING THE ROUTE

Join the class for conversations about theology.  Led by the Rev. Dr. Bill Falla, participants will explore questions like Who is God? and What Does Jesus Mean To Me?  Attend the course in person or through Zoom which is Real Time Distance Learning.  This course meets from 6-9 pm on most Mondays and Wednesdays between May 13 and June 17 (except May 27, June 5 & June 12).  For details, text and online registration use the Crossroads link at: http://www.moravianseminary.edu/crossroads or contact Jill Peters at [email protected].  

Schedule of Events:

Saturday, April 27, 2019 – Eastern Region Moravian Women Spring Rally- 9am at Schoeneck Moravian Church; Nazareth. Registration deadline April 15. For more information: [email protected]. Please look for information at your church office.

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

To find out more please visit: http://camphope.org/

May 5 – Unitas Chorale Concert, 4 pm, Nazareth Moravian Church; The Passion of Christ: A Walk With Our Lord Through Holy Week.  Free; donations appreciated.

May 10 & 11, NEMDR: Intro to Mission.  Learn how to live your faith in service to others with fellow Moravians. To find out more please visit: http://camphope.org/

June 20-23, 2019- “Unleash Your Power!” 2019 Moravian Women’s Conference. Embassy Suites 425 North Cherry Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101-For more information or to register: https://moravianwomensconference.org

Saturday, September 28th, 2019 10 am – Moravian Women Northern Province 65th Thanksgiving Service. Held at Central Moravian Church, Bethlehem, PA

Camp Hope Registration is Open!

Registration is now open for both campers, volunteer staff, and paid summer staff at Hope Conference Center!  All previous camper families should have received an e-mail giving their login information for the online registration.   If you have any new campers in your congregation, you can now encourage them to begin registering for camp.  In addition, if you have any potential summer staff in your congregation, please encourage them to apply soon.  We hope to be interviewing for summer staff positions in April.

Campers should go to //camphope.org/youth-conference, and click where it says “Register Here.” Staff members, both volunteer and paid, should go to //camphope.org/volunteers, go to the bottom of the page, and click where it says “Volunteer Here.”  They can choose whether they wish to be volunteer (weekly) staff or paid summer staff in the application.

For more information or assistance call the camp office at 908-459-4435 or email at: [email protected]

 

 

Moravian Congregations Benefit Most from Gifts

Endowed and donor advised funds with your Moravian Ministries Foundation in America generated more than a half million dollars in distributions to ministry in 2018. The largest portion, 30%, was issued to mostly Moravian congregations in the United States to support the ongoing work of individual, local churches. Watch for a more detailed impact statement for the Moravian Ministries Foundation in America in an upcoming issue of The Moravian Magazine. We thank all our Moravian sisters and brothers, congregations, and ministries who invest in the Moravian Common Fund and all who remember the Moravian institutions of ministry in their planned gifts.

Are you above 70.5 years of age?

Have you thought about using an IRA to make distributions for ministry to your church, or your favorite Moravian Agency?  If you have to take your minimum required distribution from an IRA every year (i.e. you are above 70.5 and the IRS makes you take that distribution), then you can make a qualified charitable distribution directly from your IRA custodian to your church.  This prevents you from having to recognize the income (and pay taxes) from that IRA distribution that you have sent to your church. 

Under current law, the maximum amount allowed for this distribution is $100,000.  Unless the donation is for a specific cause, it would be considered regular offering (line 1 income) for your church and is an excellent way to efficiently make your donations for the Kingdom of God.  If you have questions about your individual situation or other charitable planning options, please call Chris Spaugh at the Moravian Ministries Foundation in America (888-722-7923 or [email protected]). 

Be The Church

Workshop Schedule & Sites:

Sites

Dates

Delaware Valley

Riverside

   

4/27/19

Ohio/Toronto

Sharon

 

5/18/19

Metro NYC

John Hus

 

9/14/19

Staten Island

Castleton Hill

 

10/12/19

Participants in this workshop will explore the biblical basis for serving others; hear from churches that have conducted successful “Be the Church” days; learn the basics of Mission Insite for understanding the community around the local congregation; and receive guidelines for conducting your own “Be the Church” day! Please see District Developments January 2019 Issue for full details of the workshop.  Questions? Email: Marie Couts- [email protected]