District Developments Events Information Uncategorized

District Developments August 2021

A Greeting from the New Moravian Eastern District President

As I sit in a new office with boxes barely unpacked, I am aware of the significant changes that have occurred in my life – and the life of our district – in the past few weeks. We’ve said good-bye to a district president who has served our district so faithfully for 13 years. We’ve bid farewell to district board members who have committed themselves to this ministry for the past years. I realize that I have stepped into a ministry that is so familiar, and yet there is so much to learn.

Already I have begun to connect with pastors and lay leaders from the congregations of our district. I am hearing firsthand about the wonderful ministries and the daunting challenges. There are many common threads running through the stories. I hope you know that you are not alone as you contemplate the opportunities and challenges of this time. Another common thread runs through some of our congregations who have been able to find ways to unite with one another throughout the particularchallenges of COVID, when it can be easy to find ourselves pulled apart and at odds with one another. It is inspiring to see people working together, setting aside some individual preferences for the sake of the common good. This looks different in various settings, but the spirit of unity feels the same. I pray that each one of our congregations would work together to experience this.

I am humbled and excited to be in a position that puts me in touch with all of our congregations and allows me to work with you. Please know that your Eastern District Executive Board is beginning our work together and getting up to speed on the work that is before us. I can’t thank you enough for your patience and understanding during this time of transition.

As I look forward to getting to know many of you better over the next few years, I want to introduce myself a bit. I grew up just outside of Nazareth, PA, a member of the Schoeneck congregation. I graduated from Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary and have served congregations in New York and Pennsylvania, as well as serving on the staff of Moravian Theological Seminary.

My husband, Frank, and I live in Nazareth, PA on a piece of land that was once part of my grandparents’ dairy farm. Our daughter, Morgen, is 16 years old and just began driving. Our son, Quincy, is 12 years old and enjoys basketball, soccer, and theater. He will be attending Nazareth Area Middle School next month, and Morgen is a cyber school student who spends much of each day in school for dance. Leah and Elliott, our wonderful dogs, complete our household.

As we settle in, please know that the district board is holding each of our congregations in prayer. We are looking forward to learning more about your ministry and working together to equip us for the future.

Blessings Melissa


Grants to be awarded August 13

By Vince Holbrook
Moravian Ministries Foundation in America

What better time to announce ministry grants than the August 13 Festival! Watch for news about the 2021 grant recipients. A record 23 applicants, representing 18 different congregations and agencies from all areas, have requested money from the Field of Interest Funds represented on the Moravian Giving Portal. Those funds include: Hunger & Thirst, Housing & Shelter, Healing& Health, Clothing, Prison Ministry, and Environmental Stewardship. Thanks to your gifts during the Moravian Day of Giving, we have 4x more money (than last year) to award to some excellent proposals!

Click here to learn more and register.

   Did you know

The BWM has given out nearly $100,000 through our Mission Grant program to help bring to fruition the plans and projects designed by our global partners? Among the many grants BWM has helped staff a speech therapist at the Star Mountain Rehabilitation Center in Palestine, provided funding to start up a Moravian Laundromat in Peru to help subsidize growing church ministries, supported new mission outreach efforts in Tanzania, and provided resources for church building projects in Cuba and Sierra Leone. The list goes on! As we witness the ongoing success of these efforts, and the life changing impact they are making, we hope to more than double the size of this program by 2023. You can help by signing up to be a recurring monthly donor in support of “BWM MISSION GRANTS” on our website at MoravianMission.org/give.  Visit the BWM website to see detailed stories about these many Mission Grants!

BWM-Administrative Assistant Position Available

The Administrative Assistant is a part-time (20 hours/week) position responsible for the daily operations of the Board of World Mission based out of the BWM office in Bethlehem, PA. This position is a crucial connection between remote staff members and helps “keep the trains on time”. Applications will be accepted by Executive Director Justin Rabbach via email–[email protected].

Please email a copy of your resume and a cover letter outlining your experience and qualifications related to the position, as well as indicating your reason for interest in the position. Please also include a list of three references with contact information.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Please feel free to be in contact with any questions about the position or process.

It’s time to pre-order the 2022 Moravian Daily Texts

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.” Lamentations 3:22,23

Pre-ordering for the 2022 Moravian Daily Texts is now open.  Through August 13, 2021, the Interprovincial Board of Communication offers a 10% pre-order discount for the 2022 editions, including:

  • 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
  • Large Print German, reg. $12.00, preorder $10.80

To receive this special pricing for yourself or a bulk order for your congregation, click through to our website, download the order form or contact Jill Bruckart ([email protected]) by August 13. Note that you can also pre-order your 2022 Moravian Desk Calendar & Plan Book and 2022 Directory & Statistics at this time.

For more information on our entire catalog 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.

The 2022 Moravian Daily Texts ship in November.

Crossroads is pleased to offer the following courses this Fall.  All courses are offered in person at Moravian Theological Seminary and online, real time through Zoom. Registration and more information is available at  www.moravianseminary.edu/crossroads.  Contact Dr. Jill Peters at [email protected] with any questions.

Traditions, a look at world religions and other Protestant denominations, with the Rev. Dr. Bill Falla on Mondays from 6-9 pm, Sept 13-Nov 1, 2021.

Creative Worship with Rev. Maggie Wellert explores what is worship and how we can bring new life to our worship experiences.  Thursday 6-9 pm, Sept 9 – Oct 28, 2021.

Unpacking the Scriptures – Discipleship with Pam Weiss who leads the discipleship program at First Pres Allentown gives us practical and creative ways to bring people together to explore their faith.  This is our Late Fall Course which meets twice a week (Mon and Thur) from 11/4 until 12/2/2021.

Looking ahead:

Missional Leadership, Mondays 1/3 – 2/21/2022 Dr. Jill Peters

Road Hazards (Congregational Ethics), Thurs 1/6 – 2/24/2022 Rev. Derek French & Dr. Jill Peters

Story of Christianity, Mondays 3/7 – 5/2/2022 (Except Holy Week 4/11) Rev. Dr. Bill Falla

My Journey (Formative Spirituality) Thursdays 3/10 – 5/5/2022 (Except Holy Week 4/14) Rev. Maggie Wellert

Youth and Young Adult Ministry

By Cynthia Radar Geyer

Ok folks let’s admit what we already know, it’s August…which means fall and Advent is here.  Seriously, unless you are one of those leaders who are not swayed by the allure of the summer break, you have likely lulled yourselves into believing two things.  It’s summer, my schedule is calmer, so I’ll give attention to ______.   And fall and Advent are far off, there is plenty of time to prepare!  These statements sound good, easing us into the bliss of the promise of summer.  Yet every year, not only are our summer days fuller than anticipated, but summer is also always shorter than we think.   The fall kick-off that ‘seemed way out there’ becomes a panicked fall that leaves us even more exhausted.  Perhaps you find yourself caught in this reality?

Let’s admit what we know to be true:  the time for fall planning has passed, the time for Advent planning is now, and the time for Lenten planning is just around the corner.  It cannot wait, summer can no longer distract or derail preparations.

The great news is this: The office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries can help.  Now you can prepare for fall, Advent, and beyond by leaning on the work and resourcing offered to develop special programs for ministry.  Listed below are but a few workshops with or without the option of a unique worship service and guest speaker available through the office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries.  These workshops provide valuable insights for members of all ages and are easily adapted to meet the needs of your congregation.

Growing Young: Six essential strategies to help young people discover and love your church.

Churches are losing both members and vitality as increasing numbers of young people disengage. Based on Fuller Youth Institute’s groundbreaking research, develop a strategy to involve and retain young adults and teenagers. This Growing Young Workshop invites you to position your congregation to engage younger generations in a way that breathes vitality, life, and energy into the whole church.

Reclaiming Civility:  In All Things Love

Life is full of conflicts.  To help conflict serve the common good, we need respect for each other and a shared common interest or belief.  Starting with the Moravian Motto and the Covenant for Christian Living, explore ways that communities agree to disagree.  We can survive our differences if they are handled with civility and respect or as Moravian’s claim, we can handle our differences if we remember, ‘in all things love’.

Neighborhood Church:  Making Your Church Invaluable to Your Community

Make the values of love, grace, and justice shine even brighter in your local neighborhood today.  Neighborhood Church:  Making Your Church Invaluable to Your Community is a resource workshop that inspires churches to become a vibrant and engaging community that partners with the families and neighborhoods living around them. Learn practical, essential tools that lead to communal conversion, develop the DNA of listening, spur fruitful partnerships, promote integrated space, and sustain long-term visions. Dare to have audacious hope for your local congregation not only as a sign of God’s kingdom but as life-giving communities that anchor your neighborhood.

Other workshop themes include but are not limited to, Anxiety and the Post Covid Church; Fun with Moravian History; I’m In! Generational Generosity; and Deep Justice in A Broken World, just to name a few.

It’s August – but really, it’s fall, and Advent is just around the corner.  Are you ready?  The office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries can help.  Email [email protected] for more information or to schedule one of these workshops.