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District Developments January 2023

Dear Siblings in Christ,

I greet you in the name of our Chief Elder as we embark on this new year of possibilities! I am writing on behalf of the Eastern District Executive Board in order to make you aware of a district staffing change this year. Perhaps you recall our previous district synod of 2021, which approved a decreased budget for district staff and charged the EDEB with discerning and implementing a plan. This was mainly a result of decreasing district common ministries collections.

Throughout 2022, we found a way to maintain our two full-time staff positions (Director of Christian Education and Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry). The EDEB made the difficult decision to end the position of Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry as of December 31, 2022. This decision is not a reflection on the importance of this ministry, the importance of the youth and young adults in our district, or the effectiveness of the work of our director. It is simply an acknowledgement that we cannot afford a full-time staff person dedicated to this work at this time.

The EDEB accepts both the burden and privilege of discerning the way forward with regard to ministry with and to youth and young adults. We have begun making contacts with the leaders in our various regions to gain a deeper understanding of these ministries, and we will explore the most effective ways to equip current and future ministry. Surely this is a time for creativity and openness to the Spirit’s leading as we forge a new path. We are blessed with dedicated leaders of all ages who are engaged in vibrant ministries throughout the district.

We are deeply grateful to the Rev. Cynthia Rader Geyer for her years of faithful service in the position of Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. Throughout this time, Sister Cynthia has led by example and shared her expertise and gifts. She has challenged our district to be open to the changes necessary for our congregations to be welcoming of people of all ages. She has taught us what it means to share leadership with young people and help them understand their true value as disciples. She created and nurtured connections between youth of varying geography and showed us how to listen to their passion for ministry. She has taught us about models for mission and led youth and adults alike to explore God’s call to mission. She has been a resource and friend, walking alongside our congregations and pastors as we live out the ministry to which God calls us.

As of January 1, 2023, Sister Cynthia has accepted a temporary call to district service, where she will be working with the EDEB on a variety of ministries. I ask you to join us in upholding her in prayer, offering your gratitude for her ministry and your support as she and the EDEB explore her next opportunities and possible ministry settings.

As 2023 begins, please know that we are grateful for you and the ministry you carry out within your congregations, agencies, and communities. May God bless our partnership as we experience and share God’s love.

Yours in Christ,


The Rev. Melissa L. Johnson

President, Eastern District Executive Board



Reflections on 2022 from

Executive Director Justin Rabbach

 The end of one year and the beginning of another is a perfect time to look back in reflection and ahead in anticipation. As the year ended, we lit the Advent candles of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love, and I gave thanks for the many ways in which those things were reflected in our work.

We shared HOPE through the Moravian Disaster Response (MDR) program. Natural disasters take no breaks, and the La Mosquitia region of Honduras and Nicaragua was once again hit by a hurricane and tropical storm. The BWM has responded to severe flooding of agricultural fields, which destroyed many crops. We are working with our partners to distribute emergency food packs and restore safe drinking water. The BWM is also in the early stages of providing an agronomist to adapt planting and harvest patterns, as well as constructing food storage facilities to prepare for times when crops are impacted by disaster.

We worked to offer PEACE as we responded to the war in Ukraine. Unprecedented donations were received to support refugee families. The BWM was able to support renovations on a hotel in the Czech Republic, which became housing for refugee families. We provided a full year of salary and benefits for five teachers at a Ukrainian school that was forced to relocate due to the violence. Now, families resettling around the world continue to experience the welcoming presence of Moravians offering a safe haven, even as the conflict continues.

We witnessed JOY at the Moravian Resources Conference we held in Panama for all of our Spanish-speaking partners. This inaugural event brought together Moravians who had never met before, but were deeply connected by the end of the week together. The group discussed history, theology, financial management, and mission planning… all in Spanish! The joy present in the worship services, side conversations, and lasting relationships built will strengthen our worldwide Unity!

Finally, we experienced the LOVE of God in so many settings. In this space I want to highlight the work of our staff. Rt. Rev. Chris Giesler, Rev. Angelica Regalado Cieza, Rex Knowlton, Sue Adams, and Sylvie Hauser form our current staff, with thanks to Rick Nelson, Jill Kolodziej, and Elizabeth Thiele who were also part of our team last year. I can’t say enough about the tremendous contributions of these individuals who care deeply about our work and always ensure we are not sidetracked by details or challenges. These folks are on a mission!



                            Imagine the possibilities!

                                 By Vince Holbrook

Think of all the good your congregation could do with $10,000! The 2023 Moravian Day of Giving will provide $10,000 (unrestricted) to one U.S. Moravian congregation or fellowship with the highest level of participation.

The congregation with the second highest level of participation will receive $5,000.00 and the third highest level of participation will receive $2,500.00. Help your congregation do more good by promoting high participation on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 to your congregation on the Moravian Giving Portal.

Click here for more details

Click here to get ready-to-go bulletin insert artwork for February 12 or 19.

Click here for other ready-to-go resources, including scripts, PowerPoint presentation, Social Media or Newsletter posts, logos and artwork.


Crossroads 2023

Winter and Spring Courses

Note: All Courses are in person for those who are able AND also real time on Zoom.  Your choice.

-Ministry Journeys of the New Testament with Rev. Dr. Joanne Marchetto, Mondays, Jan 9 – Feb 27, 6-9 pm

-Mapping the Route – Conversations in Theology with Rev. Dr. Bill Falla, Thursdays, Jan 5 – Feb 23, 6-9 pm

-Traveling Mercies Congregational Care with Greg Krausz and Diane Kareha, Mondays Mar 6 – May 1 (except April 3), 6-9 pm

-Traditions – Exploring Denominations & Religions with Rev. Dr. Bill Falla, Thursdays Mar 9 – May4 (except April 6), 6-9 pm

For more information, Contact Jill Peters at [email protected] or go on the website at www.moravianseminary.edu/crossroads


Camp Hope

Sr. High/Post High Winter Retreat 2023

Hope Conference & Renewal Center, Hope, NJ

January 13, 2023 at 7:00 pm

to January 15, 2023 at Noon

Shades & Truth

A biblically based round table discussion

Program by Rev. Sue Koenig and

the Racial Justice Committee 

Participants must be in 9th -12th Grade to attend

Covid-19 Policy:  The Hope Board of Management has decided that in order to have camp in the summer of 2023, and possible retreats in the winter and spring, campers, volunteers, and staff are required to show proof of a negative rapid test the day of arrival to camp.  Masks are optional, but we are asking that everyone bring a few masks with them in case of any changes to the policy.

Payment information for all participants:  Total cost is $120.00.    

Fee includes:

Meals and snacks beginning with snacks on Friday, January 13th

through Breakfast on Sunday, January 15th

Housing: January 13th – 15th

Program, Fun, Fellowship, and Friends

Registration Opens December 1, 2022, and Closes January 8, 2023 

Website:  https://www.camphope.org/

To register click here:   2023 Sr. High Winter Retreat Registration

To volunteer click here: Volunteer Application – 2023 Sr. High Winter Retreat



 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  

Psalm 139:14

2023 Girls’ Retreat

at Camp Hope

Friday, January 27th 7:00 pm – Sunday, January 29th 1:00pm

Girls in 3rd through 8th grades are invited to come to Camp Hope for a weekend of fun-filled learning, sharing, singing and crafting.

We will focus on who we are in God’s eyes, what helps us to grow deeper in our faith, how we can hear God through the

noise, what we can do to help others and why it’s important to be a good friend. Cost for the weekend is $100 which includes housing, food, many craft projects and fun!

Please note – in order to attend, proof of a negative Covid-19 test is required  

Registration Forms and Health forms  are available by contacting:  

Rev. Jodie Harney at Mountainview Moravian Church  [email protected]  610-838-9344

Please note: Registrations are due by January 12th and space is limited to 30 girls so register soon.