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District Developments September 2020

Advent Moravian offers mission hospitality in a new way as the host site for the Lehigh Valley’s new Memory Café!

In partnership with Morningstar Senior Solutions, there is now an outreach program that provides hospitality, inclusion and activities for those dealing with dementia in a home setting.

It was in the midst of studying their community’s need that Advent Moravian discovered a partnership with a kindred institution in the Eastern District.  Searching for some way to serve the local community and specific areas of need, the Advent Joint Board prayerfully opened themselves to possibilities for which they might be a blessing to others in a tangible way.  It was into that prayerful discernment that Morningstar Living,  which owns and operates Moravian Hall Square and Heritage Village residential campuses in Nazareth and Senior Solutions Home Care stepped into the picture, as they were seeking a program partner to provide support for not only those who suffer from dementia, but also for those who care for them.

As a leading provider of senior life services, Morningstar Living has offered a variety of free support groups, educational seminars and resources to those impacted with dementia.  The Morningstar Memory Café is a more focused effort to offer a social setting where people feel welcome and free of social stigma that can accompany people living with dementia.  As Pastor Melissa Johnson put it, “The Advent Joint Board was delighted to be approached by Morningstar Living to be the site for the Memory Cafe. As we have studied the demographics and needs of our community, we have been hoping to engage in some type of ministry like this.”

Morningstar Memory Café enjoys the ideal location and fully accessible facilities of Advent.  Each free bi-monthly session is hosted by experienced professionals from Senior Solutions who are Certified Dementia Specialists.  Volunteers who choose to get involved are also asked to participate in training and become a “dementia friend”.

Combining wonderful refreshments with activities, games, music, and crafts, guests are treated to a time of recreation and retreat from the ordinary challenges of the day.  In an article featuring the program in The Morning Call, a local Lehigh Valley newspaper, one of the directors of the program stated, “This is not a place to ‘drop off’ a family member or friend who you’re caring for, but rather, it’s a place to socialize with others who are caring for their loved ones.”  Pastor Johnson reports that they are already seeing the wonderful results of this program, based on the testimony of the participants.  She is hoping that this will be an educational opportunity for the Advent congregation and lead to volunteer engagement to further support those attending the Memory Café.  Through trainings, service and involvement, it will allow the members of the congregation to be more dementia aware and possibly discern further ministries of service to those dealing with dementia and those caring for them at home.  Thanks to the partnership of Advent and financial sponsoring partners at Morningstar Living, there is no cost or fee for those attending the Memory Café.

It is amazing to me to see what God brings forth when a congregation prayerfully opens itself to new ways in which God can work through them.  I’m equally grateful to Morningstar Living, a gold star retirement community specializing in health and wellness, as well as home care services for those who choose to remain in their home.  Their willingness to reach out to a sister congregation for this partnership expresses well the kinship Morningstar Living has with the Moravian Church, Eastern District and the ministry we share together.

A note from the Editor: Thank you to Sister Mollie Santee for her contributions to this article.

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact many different regions of the Moravian world. Here in North America, the BWM has provided grants to over 55 congregations and agencies to help with expenses in making transitions to online worship services and to assist with other communication tools as community gatherings have been curtailed.

As the pandemic continues to spread, Covid-19 is now impacting our Moravian brothers and sisters in Latin America as case counts are rapidly rising in a part of the world that does not have the healthcare infrastructure we take for granted in North America. We have already sent aid packages to Honduras, Peru, and Cuba, and the BWM is now evaluating several larger grant requests for medical and protective equipment, hygiene kits, and food. The pandemic will continue to require us to be attentive to needs and respond with aid for some time to come.

The need to provide significant financial assistance to these areas has begun to stress our Moravian Disaster Response Fund. We are asking for gifts, both large and small, to enable us to respond as generously as we can to help meet these needs. For more information on how to give, including a video about our Covid-19 appeal, please visit our website at www.moravianmission.org.

Help us serve you better in 2021

Brothers and sisters, can you spare just 10 minutes of your time to help the Moravian Ministries Foundation in America do an even better job for you next year? It’s important that we know what’s important to you and what you would like us to do next. Click the link below to take a quick survey about your passions, priorities, and intentions.


Or take a picture of this QR code with your phone. Thank You!


Camp Hope is now enrolling for Autumn Session of Little Silver Explorers Mornings Spent with Nature.

As a parent and a former Montessori preschool teacher, I know that many parents are struggling with the decision of whether to send their children to school this fall. I would like to offer a chance for children ages 3 to 6 to join me at camp to play, learn, and enjoy the great outdoors. We will learn all of those things that help prepare children for kindergarten, but we will do them outdoors, using nature as our classroom, where we can spread out and give each other lots of room. We will learn colors as the leaves change, we will count trees as we take a walk, we will write letters in the sand! We will dig, build, and climb! Class space is limited to 8 children, and all children must be potty trained. There is a safe place for us to gather indoors in the event of severe weather (lightning, hail, wind chill below 32 degrees, etc.), but otherwise, we will be OUTDOORS!

All parents will be asked to provide their child with a snack each day as well as a one-piece coverall, such as a Muddy Buddy. The Autumn Session will run from 9 a.m. until noon on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from September 22 through December 17 (13 weeks). Children may attend one, two, or three days per week. 3 Days per Week $1800, 2 Days per Week $1250, 1 Day per Week $650.

We are committed to following all of the COVID-19 guidelines recommended by the CDC, the State of New Jersey, and Warren County. General school guidelines as well as COVID-19 guidelines will be shared with families when they contact us for further information. As we have learned from the past few months, guidelines are subject to change at any time. If you would like more information, please contact Suzanne Curtis at [email protected] or 484-375-5878.

Coming Soon! The IBOC will be selling 2 different 100% cotton face masks later this month.

Regular price is $16/ sale price is $12.95 plus free shipping

To order, email Jill Bruckart at [email protected], or through our website later in September at store.moravian.org





Thursday, 6-9 pm
September 10 – October 29
Instructor: Rev. Roberta Kearney
In-person (Bahnson Center) or Real-time Distance Learning via Zoom
Price: $240

Learn More and Register


Mondays, 6-9 pm
September 14 – November 2
Instructor: Rev. Dr. Bill Falla
In-person (Bahnson Center) or Real-time Distance Learning via Zoom
Price: $240

Learn More and Register

Pastoral Changes

Sr. Linda Wisser, a 2020 M.Div. graduate of Moravian Theological Seminary, has accepted the call to serve as pastor of the East Hills Moravian Church in Bethlehem, PA. Linda has been serving East Hills under appointment; she will begin her called service at East Hills on September 13.

For the health and safety of the community during these COVID times, Sr. Wisser will be ordained in a small, private outdoor service on Saturday, September 12 at the Emmaus Moravian Church. Br. Hopeton Clennon is the ordaining bishop. This service is by invitation only in order to limit the size of the gathered body. The Provincial Elders’ Conference has given its blessing to Linda’s request to hold a public service of celebration on the one-year anniversary of her ordination.

Expressions of congratulation and prayer may be sent to Sr. Wisser in care of the Emmaus Moravian Church at 146 Main St. Emmaus, PA 18049. Cards received there by September 12 will be presented to Linda at her ordination.

You are invited to pray for Linda, for her home congregation of Emmaus, and for the East Hills congregation in this time of transition.

Br. Darrell Johnson, pastor of the Palmer Moravian Church in Easton, PA, has accepted the call to serve in a half-time position as pastor of the Palmyra Moravian Church in Cinnaminson, NJ. Darrell and his wife Christine (pastor of the College Hill Moravian Church in Bethlehem, PA) will continue to make their primary residence at the College Hill parsonage; Darrell will commute for part of the week to Cinnaminson to serve the community of faith at Palmyra. Installation at Palmyra is tentatively set for October 18, 2020.

Resources for Fall Sunday School and Advent/Christmas Ideas

For more information contact Marie Couts, Director of Christian Education, Eastern District [email protected]    cell: 330.401.1212

Faith Formation/Sunday School Curriculum

  1. https://www.moraviancurriculum.org

This site contains a video explaining the content and strengths of each of the Sunday School curriculum that can be ordered through the Southern Province Resource Center, but since they are not stocking more product than orders received, there will be an added shipping charge for orders placed after the deadline for each quarter.  The deadline has passed for the fall quarter, but orders will continue to be taken and filled as fast as they get them.

  1. https://mailchi.mp/pcusastore/2rap4ldyit-1141384?e=[UNIQID]

Website for curriculum shared in the above video by Beth Hayes.  Sunday School curriculum from Presbyterian Church USA.  “Growing in Grace and Gratitude” – “Growing in God’s Love” – “Faith Questions” – “Feasting on the Word” – “Present Word”

  1. https://www.illustratedministry.com

This site details Faith Formation / Sunday School programs with topics: Lord’s Prayer, Compassion, Earth and Beatitudes.  (Click on “Formation Resources” to see selections)

  1. https://www.genonministries.org

LIFT (Living in Faith Together) is an intergenerational online program.  Families may use this Sunday mornings or any time of their choosing.  Additional family resources available on this site.  Lessons downloadable.

Virtual LOGOS in Community.   Weekly intergenerational online experience with four parts:

Bible Study, Worship Arts, Family Time, and Recreation.


Online training for conducting online intergenerational programming during the pandemic

  1. https://www.reimaginesundayschool.com

On this site are four recorded webinars from Cokesbury — Let’s Reimagine Sunday School; Create Your Own Virtual Sunday School; Celebrate Wonder Curriculum Training; One Room Sunday School.  Note:  Celebrate Wonder is Cokesbury’s newest curriculum (replacing Deep Blue) and they have created a digital option for congregations.  Digital orders must be place directly from Cokesbury.  Also, One Room Sunday School is not a new curriculum, but they have adapted it to offer a digital format as well.

  1. https://spiritandtruthpublishing.com/our-products-and-covid-19/

This site identifies products they offer that meet curriculum needs during the pandemic.  Curriculum adaptive to online includes intergenerational, narrative, lectionary and classroom.  They are identified as “little to no adaptation needed” to “some adaptation needed.”

  1. https://shinecurriculum.com/product-category/product-type/digital-products/

This site shares information about Shine-at-Home Curriculum (for families to do at home) and Connect Curriculum (for pre-school through Jr. Youth)

  1. https://www.pcusastore.com/Curriculum.aspx

Purchasers of “Growing in Grace and Gratitude,” “The Present Word,” and “Feasting on the Word” have permission to use the material with live online classes as well as permission to share resources digitally.

  1. https://www.cokesbury.com/digital-curriculum

This site explains digital options available from Cokesbury.

  1. Living Branches – Moravians Growing in Faith, Love and Hope

13 – week Moravian Sunday School curriculum.  Lower Elementary – grades 1-3; Upper Elementary – grades 3-5; Youth; Adult

Free download by contacting Marie Couts ([email protected]) for link.

Advent/Christmas/Miscellaneous Resources

  1. https://www.illustratedministry.com

Illustrated Ministry will soon be offering a Christmas Pageant that can be used in a variety of settings, including Zoom.  Additionally, they offer outstanding “Children’s Moments” (full color illustrations of Bible stories) as well as Children’s Bulletins in lectionary format that would serve well for children participating in online worship services as well as when churches return to in-person worship services.  Join their email list to receive updates regarding the Christmas Pageant.

  1. https://amplifymedia.com/the-promise-of-advent/worship-music-ritual/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=advent&utm_campaign=1_followup

The Promise of Advent – A four-part webinar series offered by Adam Hamilton.   Part I:  Worship, Music and Ritual: Reimagining Advent Church Services.  Adam Hamilton and others offer suggestions for worship during the Advent season.  Part II:  Celebrating Christmas; (Parts I and II are now available to watch-on-demand.)  Upcoming: Part III:  Advent Hope in Loss and Insecurity; Part IV: Be Inspired by the Name of Christ.   (Register for the upcoming webinars)

Adam Hamilton’s new Advent/Christmas study is entitled “Incarnation.”

  1. https://www.flyawaybooks.com/for-beautiful-black-boys

“For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World.”  Coming soon.  This timely book will soon be available for purchase and will have an accompanying study guide developed by the Mohammad Ali Center.  A special webinar with the authors, sponsored by the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators is scheduled for September 20, 7:00 p.m.   You must register to participate, and registrations are limited.  To register:  https://apcenet.org/event/for-beautiful-black-boys-who-believe-in-a-better-world-a-conversation-with-the-author/

See all the flyaway book options here:  https://www.flyawaybooks.com

Coming Soon:

Online teacher / CEC workshop with Advent – Christmas activities to share with your children and families, as well as ideas for Christmas Pageants.  To join the email list for future resources and workshops, please contact

Marie Couts,[email protected]  – with subject line:  ADD MY NAME