Last month I received several phone calls from adults who were excited about what happened during a weekend at Camp Hope. They described an amazing group of adults and young people who gathered to strengthen relationships, learn more about God and discipleship, and wrestle with some challenging topics. Next, I reached out to some young people I knew were present and heard the same excitement – not just about the weekend, but also about future plans moving into the summer. I asked Andrea Peart- DeFlaviis to share the story here. Andrea serves currently as the dean of this retreat, as well as the dean for Senior High camp at Hope. Thanks to Sister Andrea for her words!
President of EDEB
In January on Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, the Senior High Youth of the Lehigh and Delaware Valleys met at Camp Hope for their annual Winter Retreat. The themes of Justice, Racism and Pilgrimage were discussed. The program was led by the Rev. Sue Koenig, who is Pastor at First Moravian Church in Easton, PA and leader of the Racial Justice Team for the Northern Province. Our Chaplain was the Rev. Brian Dixon of Emmaus Moravian Church. We started with the scripture verse Micah 6:6-8. Pastor Sue went over Brave Space v. Safe Space, Personal v. Systemic Racism, and Beloved Community. Our Senior High Youth learned about the Northern Province Racial Justice Team and about the pilgrimage many of our pastors recently took to Alabama. They got to ask questions, and the question as to what is justice to you was visited, throughout the weekend. The youth got to share experiences and to discuss why racism is a sin and an injustice all while equating it to the Bible. We watched the movie Hidden Figures. Much was learned between the youth but also by the adults present, to the extent that the Senior High Youth will be expanding on this topic this summer at Camp. There was a request from the youth for more scripture relating to this topic and racism within different cultures.
On the Sunday before leaving, we left the youth with the questions: Where is God leading you on the pilgrimage, and with whom will you travel? Our youth are hungry, and they enjoyed this topic. They are interested in not only talking, but also coming up with resolutions. Our youth equated this topic to ongoing issues at school and what is going on in our modern world today. Some of the youth discussed issues of having no experience due to their demographic, which posed a few questions. The weekend was a brave space for all to learn and embrace one another. I leave you with a poem written by one of the weekend participants, Rose Grisbacher of Lititz Moravian Church:
Delving deep can disappoint
When realizing wrongs by people who look like you
To feel the fire from those who hurt
To see disservice saturating our salvation
How can we fix this problem
That plagued us and made our history solemn
To make our future pure
We need to work some more
Mission Development Grant
Program for 2023
The Eastern District Executive Board has approved the continuation of the Mission Development Grant program for 2023, in which the development of new mission/outreach projects in Moravian congregations in the Eastern District is encouraged. With the Northern Province’s commitment to mission ministry over maintenance ministry, the EDEB is making a financial commitment to encourage the congregations of our district to create programs that enhance their ministry to the communities in which they are located. With this grant process, we encourage you to consider . . . how can we move away from “church as usual” and, in effect, join God in mission to the community “out there?” How can our congregations join God in God’s engagement with the community outside the normal congregational boundaries rather than the usual outreach efforts, which try to bring those outside into our arenas? Such efforts are, so often, survival efforts aimed at “shoring up” our ministries and, invariably, lead to failure because they do not ask, “Where is God leading us?” Instead, the challenge of the Mission Development Grants is to discover new ways in which your congregation can be in mission to the community in which you find yourself.
Each congregation in the Eastern District is invited, through the action of its Joint Board, to apply for a Mission Development Grant from the district. Total grant funds available are $10,000. Any one grant cannot exceed $5,000. Please prepare a proposal for a grant and submit it to the EDEB, who will choose the recipients of the grant. It will be necessary for the proposal to be on the desk of the Eastern District Administrative Assistant, Sharon Hergenrother, at 1021 Center St., Bethlehem, PA, 18018 ([email protected] ) no later than noon on April 28, 2023. There will be no exceptions made to the deadline.
If at all possible, have someone familiar with the process of grant-writing help you with your proposal. Perhaps such a person could write your proposal. You might find some generic help for the process on the Internet. Try “Googling” — “grant proposal” “mission.”
Criteria used to select the successful applicants will include, but not be limited to:
- the originality of program
- the need for the program in the community
- the ways in which the program will touch individual lives
- supplementary funding sources
- the involvement of laity
- how it shows obedience to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission
- how it will demonstrate that we are following the risen Christ in mission
Your proposal should also include a ministry plan that highlights how the proposed program would begin a transformational ministry within your congregation and will enhance your congregation’s sense of call.
When a proposal has been accepted, the successful congregation will be required to follow a strict reporting process. The grant proposal should, therefore, include a means for follow-up reporting. We encourage you to think outside the “Moravian Box” in developing this project. Be creative. Be open to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit.
Just as Northern Province Moravians here in North America are preparing for a synod this summer, our partners in Cuba and Peru are holding their own provincial synods this February and August, respectively, and our brothers and sisters throughout the world are organizing Unity Synod in the fall.
Representatives from our Spanish-speaking partner areas began sharing resources and learning Synod-planning best practices from presenters and fellow participants at our 2022 Moravian Resources Conference. Since that conference, the BWM has held a series of pre-synod workshops with Cuba and Peru in preparation for their 2023 synods. These workshops share information about synodal processes and elections, as well as financial reporting and presenting provincial budgets. Provincial leaders and area pastors are invited to participate; leaders have the opportunity to ask questions about the Book of Order and normal procedures of synod. We will continue to prepare leadership within these areas as they move forward with the preparations and at their synod.
We invite your prayers for wisdom, creativity, unity, peace, and joy as many of our church leaders prepare for these important gatherings.
Traveling Mercies – Congregational Care with Dr. Jill Peters, Greg Krausz and Diane Kareha
Mondays, 6-9 pm, Mar 6, 13, 20, 27, (Not meeting Holy Week 4/3), Apr 10, 17, 24, May 1
Texts: TBA. Zoom Option is always available for real time distance learning.
Traditions – World Religions and Protestant Denominations with Rev. Dr. Bill Falla
Thursdays, 6-9 pm, Mar 9, 16, 23, 30, (Not meeting Holy Week 4/6), Apr 13, 20, 27, May 4
Texts: TBA. Zoom Option is always available for real time distance learning.
As a preview for next year:
Fall 2023/Winter 2024 Projected Courses: The following courses will probably be offered next academic year: Compass, Creative Worship, Missional Leadership, Road Hazards – Congregational Ethics, Discipleship, Teaching and Contextual Outreach.
For more information, Contact Jill Peters at [email protected] or go on the website at www.moravianseminary.edu/crossroads
IBOC March Highlights
Enjoy 15% off the 2023 The Moravian Daily Texts! Further your spiritual journey with the Moravian Church’s world-renowned daily devotional or share with relatives, friends and new/prospective church members. Sale prices through March 30: Paperback $11.50 $9.75; Hardcover $16.75 $14.25; Journal $18.00 $15.30; and large print $14.50 $12.30.
HOLY WEEK will soon be upon us.
- Are you hoping to meet in-person to share the Reading for Holy Week, but you don’t have someone to play the hymns?
- Are you unable to get to church because of illness or other circumstances but don’t want to miss this meaningful experience?
- Do you have a loved one hospitalized or in a care facility with whom you would wish to share Jesus’ last week with readings and songs?
Readings for Holy Week CD edition brings this much-loved tradition to life in an audio format ideal for use by small groups, congregations, or those who may not be able to attend local services in their congregation because of distance, infirmity, conflicts in schedule, etc.
This five-CD set includes the complete narration and hymns that make up the printed editions of Readings for Holy Week. Each narration section and hymn appear on separate tracks to allow listeners to access them in a variety of ways. A booklet is provided to make finding the page number that matches the narration or hymn track a simple process. Order yours today! Store.moravian.org. 5-CD set 24.95. Also available in a bundle that includes CD set and either book.
Printed editions of the Reading for Holy Week book are now on sale through March 28. Music Edition sale price is $10.50 (reg. $13.95); Large Print $7.50 (reg. $11.95)
Kay Ward Complete Bundle: Purchase Bishop Kay Ward’s Park Benches, her latest book of stories and reflections, and receive her other 3 books for free! Bundle includes Park Benches, Of Seasons and Sparrows, Heading Home and Hoping for Spring. $12.95 for all 4 books. Bulk purchase discount for churches and women’s groups: buy 5 or more sets for $10 each. Contact [email protected] to place your church or group order.
Does your church need more Palm Sunday or Easter bulletin covers? The IBOC has a limited number
available for purchase. Contact Jill 610.867.0593, ext. 703 or by email: [email protected] to order or for more information.
Moravian Music Foundation
There are opportunities for folks of all ages at Camp Hope — please encourage your friends, family, and congregants to get involved!
May 13 Spring Fling/Open House
1 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Join us to kick off the summer season! This is a great time to tour the property, experience camp activities, and meet some of the summer session Program Deans.
May 16 – 21 Mission Camp
Help get the buildings and grounds ready for campers! Open to adults 18 and older with projects for all skills and abilities. In addition to helping with important work around camp, there will be time for relaxation and fellowship with other participants. Mission Camp is offered in cooperation with the Board of World Mission. There is no cost to attend, and all meals are provided.
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