WE’RE INQUIRING . . . The district board is on a mission to connect with our congregations to get a sense for your current challenges and blessings. To that end, we’ve begun convening some regional meetings (watch for some feedback regarding those meetings in next month’s edition!) We’re grateful to everyone who took the time to get on Zoom and talk with us. There are certainly patterns emerging. At the same time, we are being blessed with the opportunity to engage the Rev. Ian Edwards in our quest. Brother Ian is called to district service for the next few months and will be reaching out to some of you. He has introduced himself and his purpose (below).
Ok, Ian, what are you doing here?
Conversation, especially with someone intentionally working to be a good listener in the spirit of appreciative inquiry, has the power to open doors and build bridges. That’s the general purpose of my project, applied to agreeable congregations in the Eastern District. I’ll be seeking to identify common themes, share experiences from which we can all learn and identify needs the district may be able to meet.
To start with, I’ll be checking in with churches engaged in the A.I.D. program. As they went through an intentional process of revitalization, those congregations have a lot of wisdom and experience to share.
I’ve also been attending the recent regional Zoom sessions hosted by the district board, and as one of our great prophetic figures would say…my spidey-sense was tingling. There are narratives and experiences that it would be great to capture, share, and learn from. Connecting and sharing is itself a great goal, and it’s possible the district staff will spot something they can develop into a program or supportive system.
So you’re going to reach out to churches and talk to people…what is going to be done with this material?
I’ll be reporting back to the district board, reinforcing their connections with congregations, and letting them know of key themes and needs I’ve identified…especially those the board is positioned to address. Beyond reporting to the EDEB, we’d all like this to be a resource congregations can use in developing and providing ministry. Some of the ideas we’ve noted are…
- An archive of stories of how ministry is happening, as examples, and to build connections through narrative
- A resource to discover and share what other people are good at
- Great illustrations of how the gospel is being lived out, if I have an opportunity for supply preaching while on district service
What form will all this take?
That is still in process, but everything is on the table. How about a website, old school blogs and email newsletters, a library of video documentary clips and podcast type audio content? Regular updates in the District Developments publication? We’ll use the methods and channels that pastors and church people find most effective.
For all this I’ve come up with the term conversational documentarian. It’s made up, but it seems to fit…listen to stories in conversation, discover important things, and share with everyone who needs to hear them.
We hope you will be available to chat with Ian if he calls and give him a glimpse into the life of your congregation. Ian is also available for pulpit supply. If you are interested, please contact Johanna in the district office at ([email protected])
Our churches are rapidly changing. That means there are more opportunities to learn and then to put that education to use. One opportunity is through the Crossroads Lay Leadership Program at Moravian Theological Seminary. Today’s churches need lay people who are experienced, educated and willing to serve. Teaching and leading discipleship opportunities are well known within congregations. But the emerging need is for lay pastors and pulpit supply. Sounds scary and exciting at the same time? It might, but Crossroads can help you discern if you are gifted and called in those areas. We can prepare you for the next step. Contact us to see if these adventures might be in your future. Start by emailing to Jill Peters at [email protected]. Then look at our website at www.moravianseminary.edu/crossroads. Courses are starting in January for Missional Leadership and Congregational Ethics. In March we are offering The Story of Christianity and My Journey Spiritual Formation. Come join us. Crossroads is the intersection of your life and God’s mission.
Advent and Christmas Resources
Advent and Christmas resources are available at MoravianChristmas.org
Recognizing the challenges to planning and celebrating Advent and Christmas celebrations brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, an interprovincial group of Moravians assembled resources, information, and opportunities for the 2020 season. While 2021 may offer more opportunities for in-person worship, we know those resources are still necessary. To bring you those materials, we continue to offer MoravianChristmas.org.
The MoravianChristmas.org website provides a central location to find resources including:
- Music, liturgies, images, video and other resources for congregations in developing their worship and fellowship opportunities
- Family at-home resources for spiritual formation, development and fun
- Streaming video and online events for celebration and reflection
- Ideas for outdoor and “offline” events
- and more!
The website has been updated for 2021; liturgy resources for Advent and Christmas, audio recordings of Advent hymns, ideas for Advent/Christmas pageants, Moravian-themed images, and much more is now available.
Visit www.moravianchristmas.org today!
An Invitation from the
Emerging Ministries Team
“Join the Emerging Ministries Team, of the Moravian Church Northern Province, for an empowering virtual event. This event will leave you with practical tools to begin growing your ministry, starting a new ministry, or creating a new church plant.
Emerge 2022 with the theme, Going Beyond In-House Ministries, is designed to journey with you in your ministry endeavors even after the event is over. No matter where you are in your journey, we will help you discern where God is leading you.
You will learn skills and be given tools to grow an existing ministry, start a new ministry, or start a new church plant. You will also be a part of a team that will do periodic check-ins to ensure progress, provide feedback, and give encouragement.
Emerge 2022, Saturday, February 19, 2022, 9:00am – 2:00 pm via Zoom. Call-in options will be made available.”
Meeting ID: 856 2978 5453 Passcode: 968020
Call in options will be available.
Camp Hope Invites you to Christmas at Camp
Friday, December 10 – Sunday, December 12, 2021
Spend a weekend enjoying the beautiful town of Hope, NJ and learning about its Moravian heritage.
Cabin rental for two nights
Five meals – Friday dinner through Sunday lunch, excluding Saturday dinner.
Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and snacks available throughout the day in the Upper Lodge
Tickets for Hope’s Annual Moravian Christmas Walking Tour on Saturday (a $20 per person value)
Discounts at local eateries, shops and more;
Sunday morning worship service
Cost per cabin is $300 for up to four people; $25 for each additional person.
For more information, call 908-459-4435 or email [email protected]
Camp Hope is following all Federal, State, County and Local Covid-19 guidelines to keep you and your loved ones safe.
The Moravian Church Northern Province Racial Justice Team Presents an Advent Series toward Racial Justice and Healing
Wednesdays in Advent:
December 1, 8, 15, and 22
7 pm ET, 6 pm CT, 5 pm MT
On Zoom – Open to All
Join from Moravian.org or use the link below
The format for all one-hour sessions will include a brief devotion and presentation, followed by extended time in small group discussion.
December 1 “Speaking Words of Grace and Conviction – Developing Race Awareness Responses”
Presentation – Ways to respond to racist comments
December 8 “Speaking Healing Words”
Presentation – Microaggressions & How to Apologize
December 15 “Speaking One-on-One”
Presentation – “One-on-Ones – What they are, why they are important to the work of racial justice, and how do you begin?”
December 22 “Listening and Speaking Together – Next Steps in Congregations”
Presentation – A panel discussion from the Western District Justice Team on next steps for congregations.
Resources for racial justice and healing, and for the series, may be found at https://www.moravian.org/northern/category/racial-justice-and-healing/