Focusing on the Positive, A.I.D. Program in Review
It’s been six months since I received a call to district service, meaning I’m wrapping up my work and letting everyone know what I’ve discovered and discerned in my role as conversational documentarian. I’ve been working from wisdom from Rick Beck that I should notice, appreciate, and wonder…and that I wasn’t a consultant tasked to fix things. He also answered my question about how to not come across as judgemental…don’t be judgemental and you won’t have to worry about coming across that way.
I primarily focused on congregations that went through the Assessment Inquiry Development (A.I.D.) program, as this was an important effort of the district working with churches in need of revitalization.
Whatever happened to A.I.D.? Did A.I.D. work? These were the two questions most people wanted an answer to. This included pastors and leaders from A.I.D. churches, and district staff members. Before anyone jumps to conclusions, in early 2020 the program was in the middle of analysis and reframing based on what elements were impactful. As to whether or not it “worked”, all of the congregations I spoke to are still open, but are still expressing a need for revitalization. Again, before jumping to conclusions, ask yourself is your congregation or ministry also in need of revitalization?
Elements that Work
Three identifiable components repeatedly received positive feedback, both in the A.I.D. congregations and those not in the program.
Discovery Cafe- based on the World Cafe format, an intentional system for sharing a congregation’s story, getting members talking to each other, and recognizing strengths and gifts.
MissionInsites- a system of using demographic data to identify key aspects of a church’s context within its community. You may be familiar with MissionInsites and know we’re no longer subscribing to the service as a denomination, but there are other contextual tools that are definitely available to our churches.
Communal Prayer- intentional efforts to get entire congregations, boards, church groups….basically get everyone praying.
That’s my biggest take away from six months of conversationally documenting: build a system within your congregation to intentionally share your story and strengths, actively know and engage your context, and pray a lot as a group. Sounds simple on paper, but it takes work. Think about how great it will be to share with someone who notices what you’re doing, appreciates you, and wonders what’s next.
Editor’s Note: Thank you to Rev. Ian Edwards for providing this article.
Please spread the JOYOUS NEWS that Camp Hope will be open to overnight camps after two long years. Kids need camp more than ever, and camp needs kids! Click on the links to find out more and to register yourself, your kids, your grandkids, or even your neighbor’s kids for an amazing summer camp experience.
May 27 – 30:
June 13 – 19:
75th Anniversary Celebration
June 29 – July 2:
July 3 – 9:
July 10 – 16:
July 17 – 23:
July 24 – 30:
July 31 – August 6:
August 7 – August 13 All New Specialty Camps!
The Moravian Board of World Mission in North America (BWM) continues to be in conversation with our Moravian partners in Europe to see how we can best help those who are giving refuge to families fleeing the war in Ukraine. Please continue to pray for them.
To date, we have received close to $130,000, and we thank you for this critical support. Using these donations, funding has been sent to the Czech Province of the Moravian Church where a number of congregations are hosting refugees. Among them is the Moravian congregation in Nová Paka, which is renovating space in a hotel they own to house up to 15 families. They are also hosting a Ukrainian primary school, allowing them to set up classes for the children.
Moravian congregations in Germany are also sheltering refugees, and we have sent monetary support to the Moravian European Continental Province to assist congregations in places like Herrnhut, Königsfeld, Ebersdorf, and Cottbus. The money that we collect will help all these congregations provide food, shelter, personal hygiene products, household essentials, school supplies, and transportation for the families. These are tangible ways that the love of Christ is being shared. In addition, refugees are being offered places to worship and a welcoming Christian community.
For ongoing updates, pictures, and videos, please visit MoravianMission.org. For further information, contact the Rt. Rev. Chris Giesler at [email protected] or 610-868-1732. To contribute to these efforts, please send checks to: Board of World Mission, 1021 Center Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018 or make your donation online at MoravianMission.org/Give. Please indicate that your gift is for “Ukraine.”
The first area one-day Confirmation Mission Experience will be held at the Advent Moravian Church on May 14, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Deadline to register is May 7. Contact Marie Couts to register or for more information: [email protected]
A Message from Dr. Jill Peters, Missional Leadership Developer
Moravian Theological Seminary:
This year Crossroads will have an emphasis on getting people ready for lay pastoring. I’m giving you some advanced notice of an Info Session to be held on Saturday, June 18 at Moravian Seminary at 60 W. Locust Street, Bethlehem. We will talk about the program in general and the upcoming courses specifically.
Many of you have talked to me about the availability of Lay Pastors and Pulpit Supply. We will be focusing on that this year. We will be offering the following courses in 2022/2023: Old Testament, New Testament, Preaching, Theology (Mapping the Route), Traditions Mercies (Congregational Care), and Culture & Change.
If you have someone in mind for these courses, Please send their email addresses to me for follow-up. We want to respond to the current needs in our congregations. As always, there is no application for Crossroads. Participants simply sign up for whichever courses they want. There is no expectation that everyone will take every course. We are here to serve you and make available courses that will help your parishioners live out their sense of call.
Thank you for all the support that Crossroads has experienced from all of you!
All your gifts on the Moravian Day of Giving to the Moravian Field of Interest Funds have replenished those grant-making accounts. Our next grant cycle begins June 1 with a July 15 application deadline. Grants will be awarded on August 13. The following funds will be making grants:
Be thinking about how your Moravian congregation, fellowship, emerging ministry, or agency could benefit from grant funding for ministry. Look for more details about how to apply in the June newsletter or visit MMFA’s Grant Central Station https://mmfa.info/grant/
Ministerial & Leadership Updates
Br. Ian Edwards, who has been serving under appointment to the Eastern District, has accepted a six-month full-time appointment of the Provincial Elders’ Conference to a newly created position tentatively called “Remote Pastoral Leader.” He began this new appointment on April 15. Throughout this six-month experiment, Br. Edwards will provide worship leadership and limited pastoral care to three congregations across the province who are currently without a settled pastor. This new position, funded by the Congregational Development Fund, is an intentional effort on the part of the PEC to support congregations and strengthen their sense of connection with the wider church. Ian will work with the PEC to develop metrics and a way to assess the scalability and sustainability of this experiment beyond the six months. Please be in prayer for Ian, his spouse Eileen, and those congregations that will be involved in this new initiative.
Sr. Sylvie Hauser has been hired as a Communications Consultant for the Northern Province to help the province tell the story of how we equip people and congregations to be agents of God’s transforming love in the world. Sylvie will serve the province for 10 hours/week and will develop social media and other communications to reach more people with more information. She will begin her work on April 25. Sylvie, a member of the Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church in Sturgeon Bay, WI, is on the staff of the Board of World Mission and provides communications services for You Belong, the emerging congregation and ministry in Green Bay, Wisconsin. She also operates her own communications consulting business. Sylvie will work in conjunction with Mike Riess and the communication efforts of the IBOC. Please keep Sylvie and the provincial staff in your prayers as they develop this new initiative.
Sr. Blondel Jones-Grant will be installed as a Licensed Lay Pastor at the Great Kills Moravian Church on Staten Island, NY on Sunday, May 29, 2022, during the 11 am worship service. Sr. Blondel is a member of the United Moravian Church in Harlem, NY. She has completed the Crossroads Program at Moravian Theological Seminary and a thorough credentialing process. Please be in prayer for Blondel, her family, and the congregation in this new chapter of their ministry together.
Br. Aaron Linville, pastor of the Millwoods Moravian Community Church in Edmonton, Alberta, will be consecrated a Presbyter of the Moravian Church at Millwoods on Sunday, September 11, 2022, at 2 pm MT, with Br. Sam Gray as consecrating bishop. Aaron was ordained on October 12, 2014, in the Southern Province. Consecration is the second order of ministry in the Moravian Church. All are invited to join in this celebration of the church and affirmation of Aaron’s ministry. The service will be livestreamed; check the congregation’s webpage: https://www.mcchurch.ca/ for more information closer to the time of the service. Please keep Aaron, his spouse Amy, their loved ones, and the Millwoods congregation in prayer at this time.
Refocus on your health and complete the MCNP 2022 Wellness Program!
Eligible MCNP pastors, provincial lay staff and spouses have until December 31, 2022, to earn a $1,000.00 rebate (pro-rated based on percentage of service), split evenly between Provincial Pastors / Provincial Lay Staff and the Congregation. Please visit the Benefits Document Section of the Portal (no login required) at: https://portal.mcnp.org for more information.
IBOC T-shirt Sale!
The IBOC is offering Northern & Southern Province t-shirts for $12-14, a 25% discount. Show your Moravian pride and order one today. https://store.moravian.org
or call Jill at 1.800.732.0591.
DT Special Discount
The IBOC is still offering a deep discount on surplus 2022 Daily Texts. 1 Case (30 books) for $75 plus shipping via Media Mail. Call or email Jill at [email protected]. This is great for summer outreach ministry. ½ price on single DT books:
Paperback reg. $11.50; now $5.75
Hard cover reg. $16.00; now $8.00
Large print reg. $14.00; now $7.00
Journal reg. $17.00; now $8.50
Eastern District Regional Meetings
After the successful regional meetings we held last fall, we are hoping to gather once again via Zoom during the month of May.Pastors and all board members from your region are invited to join Eastern District Executive Board members for a Question & Answer time as per the schedule below.
Click on the link below to submit your questions by May 1st! https://forms.gle/bjzZNQ2b2SfYTUck9. To join your regional meeting by Zoom, please speak to your pastor or VC of Elders or contact: [email protected] Phone: 610-865-0302 Ext 302
All meetings begin at 7:30 pm.
May 9th LV South – Linda Rapp
May 11th LV North – Tammy Lavoy
May 16th NY and New Dawn – Naomi Solomon
May 18th Penn-Mar – Bonnie Robertson
May 24th Del Valley- Lauren Grady
May 25th Ohio – Jackie Pasquinelli