“We look for — and speed the coming of — the new heavens and a new earth, where justice is at home” (2 Pet. 3:12,13).
Imagine! God’s Earth and People Restored
Around the world, the most marginalized communities disproportionately affected by hunger, poverty, and the structural history of colonialism and racism are experiencing the impacts of the climate crisis most profoundly. Women and children in these communities suffer the most.
As Christians we continue to respond actively to the climate crisis with disaster relief to support low-income communities and ecosystems most impacted by climate-related disasters. We work to build resilient and sustainable communities and economies that can create jobs and prevent future disasters. Churches are partnering with youth, indigenous communities, civil and human rights organizations, the international community, and others to address inequality and strengthen the movement for climate justice. One such partnership, Ecumenical Advocacy Days, will take place April 24th – 27th in Washington, DC. Ecumenical Advocacy Days is a movement of the ecumenical Christian community, and its recognized partners and allies, grounded in biblical witness and shared traditions of justice, peace and the integrity of creation. EAD 2020 will explore the intersection of climate change and economic injustice.
EAD annual National Gathering provides participants with tools to be effective Christian witnesses to justice, peace, and integrity of creation around carefully chosen issues of national and international importance. Incorporating music, art, worship, education, and social activities, the weekend event informs and engages the participating advocates in a comprehensive way. Activities include a series of interactive plenary sessions and workshops addressing aspects of the issue on a global scale, with workshop interest sections including Africa, Asia-Pacific, Domestic U.S., Eco-Justice, Global Economic Justice, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Peace and Global Security. There are also advocacy skills training experiences and networking opportunities by state and denomination, preparing advocate groups for a focused Lobby Day conversation with their Members of Congress and Senators on the basis of a specific “Legislative Ask,” which is carefully prepared by policy experts and which articulates solid policy rooted in our common Christian social justice traditions. Are you and or someone you know being called to attend and put your Christian faith into action through the ministry of Ecumenical Advocacy Days? If so, we invite you to prayerfully consider joining a small group of Moravians’ who will attend Ecumenical Advocacy Days this April 24th – 27th in Washington, DC. Registration is open to all ages with scholarships available for ages 18 to 35. For more information about Ecumenical Advocacy Days check out their web page at https://advocacydays.org or contact Rev. Cynthia Rader Geyer at [email protected].
Editor’s Note: Thank you to Rev. Cynthia Rader Geyer for contributing this article.
Did you know that this past November, pastors and leaders from five congregations in Sierra Leone got together for a time of reflection and planning? Just as we are looking back on another year gone by and looking ahead to what this year will bring, the Moravians in Sierra Leone spent some time looking back (to see how they fit into an amazing story that has been unfolding for more than 560 years); looking around (to see how they fit into a wonderful worldwide Moravian family) and looking ahead (to see what God has planned for them in the coming year and beyond!). Plans were made for a National Conference to be held in February 2020. This will be a time to explore ways in which the Sierra Leone Moravians, the Board of World Mission, the Southern Province, the Worldwide Unity, and the Sierra Leone Mission Committee at Little Church on the Lane can work together to be faithful stewards of the exciting ministry that is taking place in Sierra Leone. If you would like to support the work in Sierra Leone, please visit our website at www.moravianmission.org/give.
Donations can also be mailed to our office at 1021 Center Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018. Checks should be made payable to “Board of World Mission”. Thank you!
Three New Year’ Resolutions You Can’t Break
By Vince Holbrook
At the beginning of a new year, thoughts often turn toward resolutions, fresh starts, and new commitments. Many of us vow year-after-year to lose weight, stop smoking, or change other behaviors. But discipline is hard.
Sadly, studies show most New Year’s resolutions are broken in about 21 days – only about one third of the time (66 days) it takes to establish a new pattern. And Lent is just around the corner too. So why not make a resolution you can actually keep! We can help.
Become a “First Fruits” Giver.
Find your church or ministry on the Moravian Giving Portal and schedule a MONTHLY gift the day after your payday. This way your gift is automatic. It’s the first thing you do with your money. You won’t have to remember it. It will happen if you are traveling, sick, or playing hooky from church. If your circumstances change, you can always go in and change the amount of your monthly gift, or the date.
Invest in the church.
If you have investments, you’re probably paying investment fees. But what happens to those fees? When you invest in the Moravian Common Fund, managed by the Moravian Ministries Foundation in America, the fees remain in the Moravian Church and continue to do God’s work. Those fees enable us to provide Stewardship Services at no charge to congregations, distribute money globally to support mission work, issue grants and more. Your investment fees continue to do God’s work when they remain in the church. By spending a few minutes to move your investments from secular managers to MMFA, your investment fees will keep your resolution to support God’s work all year.
Name your church or Moravian Ministry in your estate plan.
The beginning of a new year is a great time to create or reassess your will. If you don’t have one, let 2020 be the year you create one. We can help you organize your thoughts, clarify your passions, and use the tools of philanthropy to make your perfect planned gift. If you already have a will, the beginning of a new decade is a great time to reassess whether it reflects your current priorities and wishes.
So, say “yes” to a resolution that will last longer than 21 days, take only a few minutes to complete, and you won’t forget.
Crossroads Lay Leadership at Moravian Seminary starting in January: My Journey Spiritual Formation with the Rev. Maggie Wellert starting Jan 6, 2020 and Faith Journeys of the Old Testament with Kim Denyes starting Jan 2, 2020. Deepen your spiritual life. Explore the Bible. More info at https://www.moravianseminary.edu/academics/crossroads/upcoming-courses or contact Jill Peters at [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>.
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Hopeton and Shelia Clennon will lead a 10-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land June 30-July 9, 2020. The itinerary includes travel through Israel and Palestine visiting major Biblical sites in Nazareth, Capernaum, Caesarea, Jericho, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. The all-inclusive cost from New York Kennedy airport starts at $3,698 per person based on double occupancy.
The Moravian Music Foundation announces the 24th Season of Unitas Chorale
Singers Wanted- All Voices Welcome! No Audition Required
First Rehearsal Sunday, January 5, 3:00 – 5:00pm
College Hill Moravian Church 72 West Laurel Street, Bethlehem, PA
Rehearsals are held, January through April, at College Hill on the first, third, and fifth Sunday.
Final Concert Sunday, April 26, 2020, 4:00pm Advent Moravian Church, 3730 Jacksonville Rd., Bethlehem, PA
Gwyneth Michel, Director Donna Ambler, Accompanist
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.
February 22, 2020 – East Hills Moravian Church, Bethlehem, PA & Saturday, March 7, 2020 – Palmyra Moravian Church, Cinnaminson, NJ- Hope Conference Camp Season Kick of Dinners with silent auction, camp song sing-a-long (bring your guitar and play along), sale of camp gear and more!
March 27-29, 2020, Hope Conference and Retreat Center – Portals to Prayer Retreat. Take some time during the season of Lent to learn how icons, mandalas, adult coloring, prayer beads, and other techniques can be used to deepen your prayer life. Led by Rev. Dr. Tracy Pryor (Great Kills Moravian Church) and Rev. Michael Pool of Earth and Cup.
April 17 – 19, 2020 – Hope Conference Center Camp Work Weekend. Help open up lower camp and prepare it for the new camping season.
May 8 and 9, 2020 – Hope Conference Center, NEMDR: Intro to Mission. Offered by the North East Moravian Disaster Response.
May 15-17, 2020 – Eastern District Confirmation Retreat, Hope Conference Center.
May 22-24, 2020 – Hope Conference Center Memorial Day Family Camp. Join others from around the Eastern District for a weekend of relaxation. Swim, boat, fish or visit nearby attractions. Bring your own tent or trailer or reserve a cabin.
May 25, 2019 10 am – 6 pm – Hope Conference Center. This event is a celebration for EVERYONE in the Eastern District. Come explore the camp in this free open house. Bring your own picnic lunch; grill and pavilion are available.
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”.
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.