A Budding Ministry
“So, what are we going to do with the flowers?” Those are common words whispered in so many different circumstances. It may be following a wedding or a funeral, as flowers bring meaning to the moment, but then create a bit of a dilemma as family scrambles to deal with the many leftover arrangements. However, this is literally a weekly problem for many businesses that sell flowers on a daily basis. Flower shops and grocery stores, for instance, traditionally dispose of mounds of flowers that either were not purchased or have aged to the point they are no longer considered “fresh and sellable.” So, in most cases the flowers are simply thrown away or left to whither in a dark corner of a room….that is, unless you are from Raleigh Moravian Church in North Carolina.
During a Joint PEC meeting in Raleigh last month, I had the opportunity to witness a unique and innovative ministry, unlike anything I have seen before. Wanting to bring a bit of beauty to the lives of their shut-ins and those struggling with illness in the hospital, as well as deal with the dilemma of leftover flowers from weddings and funerals, the congregation took a problem and “petaled it,” so to speak. I was told it began small at first — with the ladies of the congregation gathering to take leftover flower arrangements from funerals and weddings and breaking them down to make little arrangements in small glass jars. These small arrangements would then be delivered to congregants who were suffering the difficult trials of the day or who are isolated at home. However, the success of this ministry “blossomed!” Soon, flower stores, grocery stores, and hospital gift shops wanted to contribute to this ministry by offering their “aged” flower arrangements that were unpurchased. The reality is that in a larger arrangement, some of the flowers wilt early while others still have lots of life. So, the weekly Raleigh work crew grew to a number that allowed for some people to be sorting through the recyclable flowers, while others created cute, smaller arrangements, while others were runners washing and delivering recycled small glass vases to the workers. I watched one large funeral arrangement become 7 beautiful, small bouquets for delivery. It was inspirational to witness that which was going to become trash be transformed into that which brings joy. The now hundreds of small, beautiful arrangements now bless the hospital rooms and homes of people all over the city of Raleigh.
As I watched this ministry in action, I was captured by the thought that all of our congregations deal with two very identical dilemmas. We have so many congregational events which inherently have leftover flowers….and we have so many in our midst who could use a bit of joy during lonely and suffering times. In this season of Advent, when we celebrate the birth of Joy into the human condition, I’m grateful to the Raleigh Moravian Church who has provided a tangible example of how to transform one person’s problem into another person’s joy.
The season of Advent is often thought of as a journey…a four-week journey toward the stable where we will greet the newborn Christ child. We can imagine the Magi traveling across borders, following a mysterious star, to find something most unexpected: a poor, homeless child born to peasants, who is about to change the world. The presence of those Wise Men from afar hint that this newborn child is the beginning of something bigger than we can imagine; a reaching out of God’s love to ALL people on this good earth. Of all the gifts that God gives, Jesus the Christ, is the most precious of them. Christmas is indeed the celebration of God’s abundant and amazing grace and generosity.
The season of Advent invites us to make this journey to the manger and to ponder how we can be generous to others in Jesus’ name. We live in a world that is in desperate need of God’s love and at the Board of World Mission we celebrate that we are all journeying together in God’s mission.
We take this sacred moment to thank you for your support of the Board of World Mission through your prayers, your service, and your giving, and look forward to continuing our partnership into the new year ahead. We wish each of you a very blessed celebration of the Advent and Christmas season.
Do you need a grant to help
alleviate hunger and thirst in your community?
By Vince Holbrook
For the first time in our existence, your Moravian Ministries Foundation in America will be making grants early next year to Moravian congregations, fellowships, ministries, or agencies. On August 1 of 2019, we launched the first Field of Interest Fund on the Moravian Giving Portal. The idea was to simplify giving for Moravians of all means, according to their passions and calling. The Hunger & Thirst Field of Interest Fund was the first to allow donors to give generally to a cause. In this case, to make a gift that will address hunger and thirst in communities where Moravians have a presence. A Grant Advisory Team will make the funds available to ministries based on the merits of their grant applications. Your Moravian Ministries Foundation in America will be responsible for due diligence and monitoring to make sure the funds were used effectively as planned.
How to apply for a grant
Since August, our Hunger & Thirst Field of Interest Fund has accumulated enough to make small grants ($500 to $1000). The deadline to apply for a grant is January 15, 2020. Grants will be awarded, and funds dispersed on or around Valentine’s Day (February 14, 2020). It’s easy to apply. Just complete this form and send it to Vince Holbrook at the Moravian Ministries Foundation, 119 Brookstown Ave., Suite 305, Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Or email it to [email protected].
Who should apply for a grant?
Organizations that are affiliated with the Moravian Church in North America are the preferred grant recipients. This includes Moravian congregations, fellowships, emerging ministries, agencies and institutions. The Grant Advisory Team will review applications received by the deadline and make grants to the best projects with the funds available. Organizations may receive a grant from any given Field of Interest Fund once every three years. The Moravian Ministries Foundation in America will manage due diligence on granted funds. Recipients should plan to provide at least an annual report, including photos suitable for publication. Organizations that apply, but do not receive a grant, are encouraged to reapply for the next cycle.
Calendar of Events
January 11, 2020 – VBS Kit Preview & SS Curriculum Review. (Snow date is January 18). College Hill Moravian Church. 9am to Noon is VBS Preview. 1:30 -3:30 pm SS Curriculum Review. Attend one or both sessions with lunch on your own. Register no later than January 8 by contacting Marie Couts at [email protected] or cell: 330-401-1212.
January 24-26, 2020 – Girls’ Retreat at Camp Hope. Girls in 3rd through 8th grade. Cost is $95 which includes housing, food, many craft projects and fun. Registration forms and health forms are available by contacting: Rev. Jodie Harney at [email protected] or 610-838-9344.
May 15-17, 2020 – Eastern District Confirmation Retreat, Hope Conference Center.
June 24-27, 2020 – The 2020 Synod of the Eastern District of the Moravian Church, Northern Province. To be held on the North Campus of Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA. The theme of this synod is, “Into the World…This is the Challenge of Our Mission”.
Grant Monies for Pastors
The research is clear. When ministers thrive, ministries thrive as well. And, among those things that support clergy thriving are opportunities for spiritual, professional, and theological growth and support.
That is why The Lilly Endowment, Inc., is investing more than half a million dollars in grant monies toward Thriving in Ministry: Moravian Clergy Connections, a pilot program designed for pastors in active service to ministries authorized by the PEC.
The fastest and simplest way for clergy to access a share of grant funds is through one or both opportunities provided by the OneToOne project, the first of four projects to be rolled out during the 5-year term of the grant (2019-2023). Funding for OneToOne grants is available on a first-come basis.
(1) Grants up to $1000 per calendar year are available to NP clergy to reimburse expenses for spiritual direction and/or coaching. Grants are in addition to the continuing education funds provided by the congregation. Application and guidelines are available from the Provincial office.
(2) In addition, tuition grants (audit or for credit) for courses through Moravian Theological Seminary cover up to 3 credits per person per calendar year as continuing education. Clergy already holding an MDiv might, for example, enroll for credit in the Seminary’s Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction, or audit courses in missional engagement, prayer or discernment.
Significant discounts are available to alumni of the Seminary!
For Spring 2020, there is still time to enroll in courses such as “Chronic Illness, Death and Loss,” or brush up on “Moravian Worship and Polity,” or study “World Religions” or “Theology from the Underside”. Courses are available in-person or via the Zoom videoconference platform, which permits real-time participation from a distance with the professor and students in the classroom.
Course schedules and information are available at:
Contact Randy D’Angelo, Director of Enrollment, at [email protected].
For additional information on these or other aspects of the Thriving in Ministry: Clergy Connections program, contact Dr. Audrey West, Clergy Connections Project Administrator at [email protected] or 610-861-1456 (office).
Sr. Tammie Rinker, who has been serving Trinity Moravian Church in New Carrollton, MD, has accepted the call to serve the West Side Moravian Church in Bethlehem, PA. She will conclude her ministry at Trinity on January 26, 2020 and be installed at West Side on February 16. Please keep Tammie, her husband Ostomy, their family, and both congregations in your prayers at this time of transition.
Sr. Desna Henry Goulbourne, who has been serving under appointment at the United Moravian Church in Harlem, New York City, has accepted the call to serve at United Moravian. She was installed on November 17. Please keep Desna, her husband Earl, their family, and the congregation in your prayers at this time of transition.
Moravian Seal Lapel Pin
The IBOC is pleased to introduce our new Moravian Seal Lapel Pin. This 1″ metal enamel pin features a black rim with silver lettering and a color Moravian seal, perfect for lapels, collars, ties, lanyards, even backpacks. Pins are $5.25 each. For a limited time, we’re offering free U.S. shipping on these pins; use coupon code PINSHIPFREE at checkout or mention it to Jill when ordering. (Regular shipping charges apply to additional items on your order.)
Watchwords for 2020 Now Available
Watchwords for 2020 are now available for your year-end services. This downloadable file contains watchwords pulled from the 2020 Moravian Daily Texts, formatted into cards for congregational use. Many Moravian congregations use these watchwords as part of their New Year’s services to offer their members a watchword for the year.
To use, simply print the watchwords onto the paper/card stock of your choice; each page is formatted to be cut in half lengthwise and then on the dotted lines to create individual watchword cards.
For more details or to purchase, visit the “2020 Moravian Daily Texts” section of store.moravian.org
Christmas-Themed Bulletin Covers
Looking for the perfect bulletin cover for your Christmas Eve services? The IBOC offers six different styles. Choose from candle themes, putzes, angels or stars!
These bulletin covers feature beautiful full-color images. They measure 11” x 8.5,” and fold to 8.5” x 5.5.” When folded, these covers have a blank inside and back page for printing information about your Christmas service.
Bulletin covers are 10 cents each and are sold in packs of 50 for $5.00. Visit store.moravian.org and click on the “Bulletins for Special Occasions” category for more information. Order by Dec. 13 to ensure delivery for use this Christmas.
Digital Editions of 2020 Daily Texts now available
The digital editions of the 2020 Moravian Daily Texts are in final production and will be available for your Kindle or iPad. Visit www.amazon.com, the iTunes Store or bn.com and search for “Moravian Daily Texts 2018.” Digital editions are 7.99 each.
Advent Greetings from your Eastern District Spiritual Formation Ministry Team! As we look ahead to 2020, we are wondering how we can best continue to help nurture your faith and assist you in discerning God’s call to service and mission. The link below will take you to a short survey we believe will help us in our task. Responses are welcome from all Eastern District congregational members and friends. We request all responses be submitted by December 31, 2019.
Please share this link in any and all ways that work for you – email, newsletters, social media, bulletins, etc. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScEjGmQ2Fy2SvA_no6eU5ZlySYYpMy-I9bw3QgtQ_ULX1DEvg/viewform?usp=sf_link
Hard copies with responses may be mailed to Carolyn Menapace; 469 2nd Street NE; New Philadelphia, OH 44663.
Thank you from: Marie Couts, Barbara Dieterich, Lou Dishong, John Egerton, Desna Henry Goulbourne, Connie Kinsey, Carolyn Menapace, Cynthia Rader-Geyer, Tammie Rinker, Denny Rohn, Linda Wisser
Request for Regional Prison Ministry Advocates
The 2016 ED Synod asked the ED Church in Society Ministry Team to identify a person in each region of the District to “identify a prison ministry in that region, arrange an opportunity for Moravians in that region to visit that prison ministry and then help them reflect together on the ways God might be calling them to respond to the needs of the incarcerated.” The regions are Canada; Delaware Valley; Lehigh Valley; New York; Ohio; Pen-Mar, D.C., VA. If you are doing prison ministry of any kind, are interested in this work, or know someone in your congregation who may be, please contact Sue Koenig ([email protected])or call 301-271-2379; in the NY Metro region contact Evadne Morrison ([email protected]) or call 1516 843 7629 or (917) 957 8774). Thank you for your assistance.