The time is now. Without a doubt our lives are complicated these days with restrictions and the complexities of being the Body of Christ during a time when there is a vicious virus threatening our collective bodies that make up the Body. It has been an inspiration to see how all of our congregations have with perseverance, careful planning, and dedicated resolve found ways to praise God through video conferencing, parking lot services, short-wave radio transmissions, and in some less impacted regions, actual social distancing, mask-bearing, face-to-face worship services. The fact that the desire to worship together has been safely balanced with the priority of health safety is to be commended. As of the writing of this piece, it is still the new norm for the foreseeable future. Therefore, in that spirit, I would like to place clearly on our radar the upcoming Day of Service which was a motivation of both District and Provincial Synods and is being promoted and supported by the Board of World Missions.
Although September 20th, the day (or a designated Sunday of your own) set aside for a special hands-on focus on service to others, seems far away in these complex times, the fact that these are complicated times warrants us to start our planning early. Indeed, the time is now. As mentioned by recent promotional materials, “We realize that so very much is up in the air this year, but even during these times, service to others is worth doing and celebrating……The Day of Service isn’t a one-time thing but an annual event; it is not to replace the great local mission work already going on in our congregations. The Day of Service offers a chance to rethink how your congregation interacts with your community and encourages you to make local missions an enduring part of the Moravian faith.”
We have been encouraged to begin planning “with flexibility in mind” as we consider ministry needs in our area and how best to address those needs intentionally in a safe but bold way. Undoubtedly, this year’s Day of Service will take more planning, not less, as we factor in safety precautions with mission endeavors that make a tangible difference in our community. The materials released to each congregation include resources for a preparatory worship service, ideas for actual mission endeavors as have been completed previously by other congregations, as well as materials that will help you motivate and engage congregational members to take part. If you are having trouble locating those resources sent to your own congregation, they can all be found on this link: https://www.moravian.org/dayofservice
I’m not sure there has ever been a more necessary time for our communities to experience the spiritual surprise of unexpected grace….that which comes when people of Christ use their hands, feet, and hearts to touch lives that have in this day become all too accustomed to being distanced. As necessary as that is, doing that in this complicated day will be dependent upon a great deal of time and thought and innovation so that Christ’s love can be offered in not only real ways….but safe ways. The 2020 Moravian Day of Service…..now is the time to pray, plan, and prepare.
DID YOU KNOW…..That the 2020 Moravian Day of Service is set for September 20, 2020? We realize that so very much is up in the air this year, but even during these times, service to others is worth doing and celebrating. So with flexibility in mind, we invite your congregation to have a worship service that celebrates the many ways your congregation serves both locally and globally, set up service events (appropriate for present-day restrictions), and share what you have done with us so that we can spread the news and inspire more service to all of God’s children. Worship resources, service ideas, and everything else that you will need can be found at www.moravian.org/dayofservice.
If you have any questions or additional ideas, please contact the Rt. Rev. Chris Giesler at [email protected].
Interested in hearing StewardTips for your community of faith? Join Moravian Ministries Foundation in America’s Chris Spaugh and Laura Watson for a webinar on Thursday, August 13, at 2 pm. We will be sharing ingredients for a successful stewardship ministry, with a focus on specific steps for a 2020 financial appeal and securing future funding for your community of faith. It’s a great opportunity for your trustees and stewardship leaders too.
Order a Box of Hope for Your Camper who is missing Camp Hope this summer!
While we can never replace the experience of a week (or three days) at Camp Hope connecting with God and camp friends, we hope that this box of camp fun will bring some joy to your camper!
Each box contains crafts, camp reminders, age appropriate Bible activities and some fun Camp Hope themed surprises!
To Order your box: call the Camp Hope Office at 908-459-4435 or send an email to [email protected].
Every Box of Hope will be customized for the Conference that your camper would have attended with the appropriate Bible activities, and all other items in the box will be the same items (colors may vary). We are offering them at a tiered pricing as we had planned to do with the camp registration fees.
Tier #1 – $70, Tier #2- $85, Tier #3-$100.
You can either pick it up at Camp Hope (arrangements can be made with the office) or we can mail it to you.
Liturgical resources for congregations
The IBOC continues to provide musical and liturgical resources for Moravian congregations to use in preparing online (and in-person) worship. In our latest update, we are offering a variety of Moravian-themed slide backgrounds for use in PowerPoint or Keynote presentations used in online worship. Find them at https://www.moravian.org/2020/07/slide-backgrounds-for-online-worship-services/
We have also updated the Liturgy for Pentecost and August 13 (from Singing from the Heart) including musical accompaniment for this liturgy. Find this and more than 20 other liturgies from the 1995 Moravian Book of Worship, Singing from the Heart and Sing to the Lord a New Song at https://www.moravian.org/2020/07/selected-liturgies-from-the-1995-moravian-book-of-worship/
Please note: due to copyright restrictions, we are unable to post liturgies that contain copyrighted hymns or hymn texts. However, Moravian congregations with appropriate licenses to use these materials in online services may request electronic versions of liturgies by contacting Sue Kiefner, IBOC, at [email protected]
2021 Moravian Daily Texts
Today, more than 290 years after its first publication, the Daily Texts continues its promise of a “daily message from God that is new every morning.” While the texts, hymns and prayers of the 2020 Moravian Daily Texts have been guiding and uplifting us during this difficult time, the IBOC has been working to compile and edit the upcoming 2021 edition of this well-loved devotional.
The 2021 editions don’t begin shipping until late October/early November, but you can pre-order yours at discounted prices now; online pre-ordering for the 2021 Daily Texts is underway at store.moravian.org. The general order form has been mailed to current customers; you can also download it here: https://store.moravian.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/2021preordermailerforweb.pdf.
Order by August 13, 2020 to receive a 10% discount on the paperback, hardcover, large print and journal editions of the North American editions and the German and Spanish-language editions we offer.
Prices for the 2021 edition:
- Paperback: reg. $11.50, preorder $10.35
- Hardcover: reg. $16.00, preorder $14.40
- Large Print: reg. $14.00, preorder $12.60
- Journal: reg. $17.00, preorder $15.30
- Spanish or German, reg. $11.50, preorder $10.35
For more information on all of our items and to learn more about the work of the IBOC, visit: https://store.moravian.org/ or call Jill at 1 (800) 732-0591, ext. 38.
Share Your Story
During the spring and summer of 2020, we’ve seen an astounding variety of creative, caring, spirit-filled efforts from Moravians across the U.S. and Canada. Online worship and outreach, feeding those in need, caring for and supporting those on the front lines, standing up against injustices and reimagining our church lives are just a few of the ways Moravians have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and racial unrest in our country.
Now, it’s time to tell your story. In our upcoming issues of The Moravian Magazine, we want to share the story of how you, your congregations, your families and your communities have responded during the first half of 2020. We’re looking for articles, images and reflections that celebrate and honor Moravian efforts both big and small, while sharing ideas and best practices with others.
CROSSROADS UPCOMING CLASSES
UNPACKING THE SCRIPTURES—TEACHING
Thursday, 6-9 pm
September 10 – October 29
Instructor: Rev. Roberta Kearney
In-person (Bahnson Center) or Real-time Distance Learning via Zoom
THE STORY OF CHRISTIANITY (HISTORY)
Mondays, 6-9 pm
September 14 – November 2
Instructor: Rev. Dr. Bill Falla
In-person (Bahnson Center) or Real-