On May 3rd, I had the opportunity to travel to Ohio for the anniversary of Schoenbrunn Village. Perhaps you read all about it in The Moravian Magazine. It was a powerful time of learning, celebrating, facing harsh realities, and pondering how our past informs the present and future. While there, I was amazed by the well-coordinated events. It was obvious that hours of planning and preparation had gone into each detailed opportunity that was presented. The Rev. John Wallace was behind much of the planning, and I asked him to share what this celebration entailed and what it meant to the Schoenbrunn Village community – and our larger Moravian community.
“Reflections on being a Schoenbrunn Volunteer”
From Rev. John Wallace
Two cultures, Delaware Nation and German Missionaries,found ways to share, work, learn, and live together under the grace of our Lord and Savior. Carved out of the wilderness from 1772 – 1777, the site of the first protestant church, the first school and the first set of laws west of the Appalachian Mountains. Rising out of the blood, sweat and tears of following Jesus, this mission site flowed with the water eternal renewal and peace in this valley, the German Moravian missionaries called this site: Schoenbrunn meaning “beautiful spring”.
When I started my call to serve the First Moravian Church of Dover, Ohio, some 13 years ago, I joined the Historic Schoenbrunn Village advisory committee as a Moravian clergy representative. (I think no other clergy really wanted to serve on this committee) I have a passion for history, so this seemed like a natural fit for me.
Photo by Mike Riess
The Schoenbrunn Mission is not “my local history” but it is part of my “Moravian heritage”. I wanted to learn and help tell this Ohio wilderness heritage, so I volunteered at the village as a docent. As a pastor, I have advocated that as clergy we should volunteer and serve in the community where I live.
Beginning in 2018, I was invited to join a team preparing to revamp the museum and plan for the 250th anniversary in 2022. I committed to committee, communicate, champion, connect and recreate a renewed interest in this history. In that time I have must have spent hundreds of volunteer hours on the redesign of the museum, working alongside members of the Delaware Nation and the Ohio History Connection, sketch pad in hand, I drew out my ideas, laid out possibilities and worked the details as well as the problems.
Praying, pausing, planning, phoning, pleading, preparing, passionately inspiring, passionately defending, raising money, emailing, texting, writing grants and rewriting grants, organizing ideas, drawing out plans, and reshuffling priorities for the museum and a yearlong celebration filled my days while serving on the committee. A layer of Covid19, caused us to “hit the brakes” and do very little planning for most of 2020.
Collaborating with others has always been a priority in Moravian circles of faith. This project stretched me to work with other larger governmental and cultures entities including the State of Ohio, the Delaware Nation, the Moravian Northern Province, the Dennison Depot and the city of New Philadelphia. The 250th has had many joys, some bumps and even frustrations along the way. When working with so many organizations, you need to realize – “finding common ground” is essential. We found the better ground and worked our way toward the middle. Like Mic Jager once sang, “You can’t always get what you want.” I learned that lesson as well. Compromise validates lasting results and builds progress for the whole neighborhood.
Photo by Mike Riess
The Schoenbrunn story demonstrates for me how God’s love and human cooperation can thrive in most difficult of situations. History teaches us such lessons.
So. Come. Find us in Ohio this summer and experience this rich lesson of cooperation, peace and common ground along the banks of the Tuscarawas River, a history lesson we can all embrace for our lives.
Editor’s Note: Thank you to Rev. John Wallace for his contribution of this article.
Did you know… that the Board of World Mission not only works with partners around the globe, but that we would love to engage you and your congregation or ministry in mission?
BWM staff members are once again available to hit the road! If you would like to have a mission speaker at your congregation or if you’re willing to host an event for folks who are interested in serving, we would love to come to you! We would be happy to walk you through a process on how to discern the needs in your community or help you identify global ministries that you can be involved in. The BWM covers all of our travel costs to show up at your church’s front door and be of service in any way we can.
Even if your interest is as simple as, “I would like to do mission work, but I don’t know where to start?”… we can help!
If you want to get a head start yourself, visit www.MoravianMission.org and click on “Resources” to see a sampling of what we have to offer!
Adult Mission Camp
Experience the joy of working with others as you join in Christian fellowship, sharing your God-given skills and talents while helping with needed projects at camp. Learn how to live your faith in service to others with fellow Moravians.
Food and lodging provided. There will also be free time each afternoon to enjoy swimming, boating, fishing (bring your own equipment), or just relaxing. Campfires will be held each evening, weather-permitting.
Mission Camp Details
Ages: Open to ALL ADULTS!
Dates: June 13 – 19, 2022
Come for as many days as you are able!
For planning purposes, we ask that you pre-register for the number of days you will be available: Register for Mission Camp
Cost: Thanks to generous support from the Board of World Mission, there is no cost to attend this camp.
- Deans Brian and Janet Diehl, Mountainview Moravian Church, Hellertown, PA
- Chaplain Cynthia Rader Geyer, Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at Moravian Church, NP, ED
- In cooperation with the Moravian Board of World Mission
Calling Youth of All Ages!
The Eastern District Church in Society Ministry Team Invites Youth of all Ages to Create a Visual Expression of Mathew 25:35
“I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
36I was naked and you gave me clothing,
I was sick and you took care of me,
I was in prison and you visited me.”
All visual art is welcome: drawings, photos, fiber, digital…..be creative.
Show us what this important passage brings alive in you!
Submissions will be shared as part of our Art for Justice Exhibit (Date TBD) artists will be celebrated at that time. Submission deadline: September 5. Please send photos of your artwork to:
The Church in Society Ministry Team in care of Rev. Tammie Rinker: [email protected]
Crossroads Info Session
Saturday, June 18th at 10 AM, Moravian Theological Seminary, Bethlehem PA.
Have you felt a desire to learn more about yourself, your call to work within the church or the community, or want to increase your practical knowledge of scripture, theology, leadership or spiritual formation? The Crossroads Lay Leadership Program is a great place to do just that! For over 12 years, we have been providing practical education for church leaders. In this Info Session we will be outlining the program and also exploring the courses to be offered this year which will help anyone who thinks they might have a call to lay pastoring. Lay Pastoring and pulpit supply are just two ways to serve in local congregations.
Register by email with Jill Peters: [email protected]. Come in person or request the Zoom link. We would love to meet you, get to know your educational needs, and share Crossroads with you. www.moravianseminary.edu/crossroads
Unpacking the Scriptures – Preaching
Faith Journeys of the Old Testament
Late Fall 2022
Culture & Change
Ministry Journeys of the New Testament
Mapping the Route – Conversations in Theology
Traveling Mercies – Congregational Care
Traditions – World Religions and Protestant Denominations
Dr. Jill Peters – Missional Leadership Developer Moravian Theological Seminary
It’s almost that time! Pre-orders for the 2023 Moravian Daily Texts will be starting soon.
Keep a look out for the flyer being mailed to homes by July 1.
Herrnhut 1722 – A Fresh Look at the Origins of the Moravian Church: A Three-part Webinar Series via Zoom
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm (EDT) on:
June 21, June 28, and July 5, 2022. Registration Fee: $49.50 for the three-part series (including reading materials).
For more information or to register: