As a pastor, I always appreciated reading District Developments and learning about the things happening in other congregations, especially the ways they were making a difference in their communities. I’ve tried to continue on Dave Bennett’s track of highlighting things of which I have heard. I am delighted to say that the regional representatives of the district board have agreed to help with this endeavor, so the scope will broaden. Each month we will put the spotlight on one of the congregations, so we can learn from one another and be inspired by how the Spirit is at work within and among us.
If you have a ministry you would like to share, please feel free to reach out to your regional representative! We’d love to hear from you.
Ohio Jackie Pasquinelli [email protected]
Penn-Mar Bonnie Robertson [email protected]
Del Val Lauren Grady [email protected]
NY/Toronto Naomi Solomon [email protected]
LV North Tammy Lavoy [email protected]
LV South Linda Rapp [email protected]
I’m grateful to Pastor John Wallace of First Moravian in Dover, OH and the friends mentioned in this month’s Spotlight – for their ministry and for sharing their story; I’m also grateful to Jackie Pasquinelli for recognizing this unique and powerful way of sharing the Good News and asking them to share!
One Step at a Time
Sole Purpose has a simple motto: “Putting shoes on Kids feet”. We have been fulfilling that mission calling since 2011 as a 501C (3) in the Tuscarawas Valley. God has seen this program grow from literally handing out a couple of dozen shoes in 2011 to an organization and ministry that today distributes 600, $30 dollar shoe vouchers, to children in grades K – 5, every year.
We have been blessed by the Lord, our church of 300, and the community for this local ministry. Standing on the shoulders of past leaders and organizers, our youth and their parents, have been instrumental in this project. As one Ryan Yoder, a junior said, Sole Purpose gives me a direct opportunity to make a difference in my community through the simple yet important term: shoes. Shoes give kids self-esteem, personality and confidence around their friends and family.”
Our fund raisers include our annual pancake breakfast in the spring and our “sock market” in the winter. We also have our youth speak at local civic groups and organizations to place this ministry on the minds and hearts of these community leaders and civic-minded organizations. Through those three financial streams and some unsolicited donations from friends of Sole Purpose, the program raises between 12,000 to 15,000 dollars yearly. That is a far cry from when our check book had a meager $89.00 in 2011. Keep in mind that Sole Purpose will spend on average $12,000 dollars on shoe vouchers for children every year.
The program has expanded its base over the past 12 year. Today, Sole Purpose serves all 12 school districts in our county with voucher distribution as well as the annual “Share a Christmas” program. Another high school junior, Thomas Peveto said in a recent radio interview, “When we give out these vouchers for shoes, it makes me feel good because I know I am doing something right for some young kid and their parents. Thanks be to the Lord – who has seen this ministry expand and thrive.
Yoder, when asked why he does this ministry wrote,” I joined Sole Purpose as a way to reach out to my community alongside my fellow members of the church. I have been given the ability to serve and a desire to fulfill that gift. The result of service in my city and schools shows me the positive impact we are achieving. “Then Ryan went on to use, 1 Peter 4: 10, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in various forms.” This verse is one of many that calls us to put our faith into action.” Around 35 high school students over the past 12 years have put their faith into action through this ministry by putting shoes on kid’s feet.
And to think, this whole idea began in 2011 when two high school sophomores, Emily, and Layne, came to the Board of Elders with an idea to put a new pair of shoes on children’s feet. They pitched their dream to the board seeking their support and blessing. Twelve years later, and more than 5000 shoe vouchers later, Sole Purpose continues to bless and place shoes on God’s kids in this rural, Appalachian County in Ohio.
During Lent and Easter we celebrate the sufferings, dying, death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. As Jesus was raised in triumphal rebirth, so our baptism marks our spiritual rebirth into “new creatures”, saved by the Messiah’s blood. A reflection of this divine spiritual miracle is seen each Spring as we witness the natural rebirth of flowers, trees and gardens. We find new reasons to hope for a physical renewal that mirrors the spiritual renewal brought about by Jesus’ sacrifice.
In Central America, our Sisters and Brothers are experiencing a similar sense of hope and physical renewal. Last year, many families lost virtually all of their crops to floods. Rains and floods are increasingly unpredictable. In 2022, during the dry season months of February and March, unseasonable rains destroyed the bean crop. In May it was impossible to plant rice due to continued rains. Perennial crops such as cassava and bananas, along with fruit trees, were lost.
The Board of World Mission’s Moravian Disaster Response program has sent medicines and food to help with recovery. A major effort has been to supply bean and vegetable seeds as families look with hope toward a bean harvest in March or April and a rice harvest in September. As they anticipate more than just the one daily meal that has characterized their existence for many months, there is hope for the future. As our Easter worship celebrates the spiritual rebirth that comes with Christ’s resurrection, we hope for physical rebirth with the planting of bean, rice, and vegetable seeds in Central America.
Tools for Trustees
register by April 17
By Vince Holbrook
If you’re serving on the Joint Board of a Moravian congregation, or are a past, present, or future Trustee, this one-hour online session is for you! Tools for Trustees is an introduction to the resources available to congregations through the Moravian Ministries Foundation in America. You’ll learn how we can help you:
- Develop and support stewardship
- Facilitate giving
- Optimize planned giving
- Manage investments
- Apply for grant funding for ministry
There are two opportunities to join a one-hour session on April 20. At noon or at 7 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. (Both sessions are the same, so you only need to register for one).
Click below to register by April 17 for a session on April 20!
Celebrating 300 Years of Herrnhut, Christian Gregor, and Beyond
A concert featuring the Unitas Chorale, a performing ensemble of MMF, in a program celebrating the 300th Anniversary of the Herrnhut Congregation in Germany, birthplace of the Renewed Moravian Church. Music selected will celebrate Herrnhut (founded 1722) and Christian Gregor (born 1723), known as the father of Moravian music. The Chorale is directed by Gwyneth Michel and accompanied by Luke DiGiacinto. Sunday, May 7, 2023, 4:00pm; Advent Moravian Church, 3730 Jacksonville Rd., Bethlehem, PA.
Reception to follow. No ticket required; free-will offering.
“We are delighted to offer community programs and events with something for everyone.” – Dr. Bruce Earnest, Executive Director
The Moravian Music Foundation (MMF) announces its 2023 season of programming to engage, educate, and entertain. While the Foundation holds a collection of priceless musical treasures, it is also charged with sharing these treasures with the world. MMF presents concerts and recordings of Moravian music and provides education and outreach to bring its treasures to light. Most of the live events in Winston-Salem are recorded and shared on the MMF YouTube Channel.
May 7 is also Moravian Music Sunday, a project of the Moravian Music Foundation. Resources, materials, and music made available online.
New Dorp Seeking
Organist & Music Director
New Dorp Moravian Church on Staten Island in New York City is seeking a person to serve as both Organist and Music Director. This is a part-time position. Please see the Job Description for more information on the expectations for the position. Those applying for the position should include education credentials, work history relevant to the position, music skills, instruments played, and other information that demonstrates suitability of the person for the position. Salary will be dependent upon the qualifications of the candidate. Our budgeted salary had been found sufficient for well qualified musicians. The Job Description may be viewed here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fwjgJ1uD7LJAt0IQJ5OOSnHrFhQvc4nv/view?usp=sharing
Send letters of interest to [email protected].
IBOC April Highlights
This adorable plush lamb is perfect for Easter Baskets and gifts for the children in your life. Made by Gann Memorials, this 8″ tall lamb includes the halo, staff, and banner. Price: $22.50
To purchase, go to
Hope Conference and Renewal Center
A Christian outdoor ministry of the Moravian Church, Eastern District,
providing programs and facilities for people of all ages to experience community and spiritual growth.
SPECIALIZED HELP NEEDED
Currently, we are working to replace the floors in the sleeping areas of six cabins and need specialized help in the area of installing vinyl plank flooring.
We are looking for a professional who would be willing to donate their time and expertise or to work at a greatly reduced rate.
If you are that person or know someone who may be, please contact:
PHONE: (908) 459-4435
15 Ridgeway Avenue
Blairstown, NJ 07825
EMAIL: [email protected]
Adult Mission Camp
Help get camp ready to open for the 2023 season!
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 are 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 as weather permits.
Mission Camp Details
Ages: Open to ALL ADULTS (18+)
Dates: May 16 – 21, 2023
Come for as many days as you are able!
There will jobs for all abilities and skill levels! If you would like to help but aren’t sure how, please email Suzanne ([email protected]) or give her a call (908-459-4435).
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.
- Led by Camp Hope’s Property Team
- Chaplain, Rt. Rev. Chris Giesler, Board of World Mission of the Moravian Church in North America, Director of Mission Engagement
- In cooperation with the Moravian Board of World Mission
2023 Camp Dates
June 25 – July 1 Jr. Lifeguarding (completed grades 5 – 8)
June 28 – July 1 Pre-Primary (completed grades 1 and 2)
July 9 – July 15 Grades 6, 7, and 8
July 16 – July 22 Grades 3, 4, and 5
July 23 – July 29 Musical Theater Camp (completed grades 5 – 9)
July 23 – July 29 Swim Camp (completed grades 3 – 6)
July 30 – August 5 Senior High (completed grades 9 – 12)
For more information and to register: https://www.camphope.org/summer-camps-2023
Hiring Summer Staff
Summer Camp can’t happen without a dedicated crew of kitchen staff, lifeguards, maintenance/housekeeping help, and groundskeepers. If you know someone aged 16 or older who would be a great addition to our staff, please encourage them to apply: https://www.camphope.org/now-hiring