Events Ministries News

District Developments January 2024

Congregational Spotlight

West Side Moravian Church

Bethlehem, PA

West Side Moravian Church is a small congregation in the city of Bethlehem. Started by seminary students in 1860, it initially served as a Sunday School for canal workers and their families.  The congregation thrived in the early years but for the last several decades membership has dwindled. The congregation understands this is a part of a national trend, but feels the loss very acutely, nonetheless.

About eight years ago West Side leadership, including Rev Keith Harke, chose to participate in the AID program offered by our district leadership. The AID process led to insights that included leaning into the gift of hospitality already present in the congregation and removing an adjacent structure in disrepair.

These two very intentional choices led the congregation to very clearly articulate a desire to serve as a platform for community ministry.

With this clear purpose the congregation has made the choice to welcome:

* A Child’s Choice Montessori School – an outstanding day program serving local families

* Sunlight of the Spirit AA Group – a recovery group meeting five evenings a week

* A Spanish language Christian congregation – sharing the gospel with Spanish speaking neighbors and, most recently, the congregation affirmed the use of the parsonage for Essentials Cafe, a “pay what you can” community cafe.

Welcoming the cafe into our space has been a big adjustment but the profound good of welcoming and feeding visitors, regardless of ability to pay, is already its own blessing. The cafe is a work of the community, we certainly can’t take credit for it. We are happy to be a part of a team that includes volunteers from the neighborhood, local churches, and folks from all over.

The vision of West Side being a platform for ministry to the community is being realized day by day. We are grateful to Spirit who sustains us, to Christ who guides us in sacrificial service, and to God who creates new opportunities for us to explore.

 Thanks to Linda Rapp (LV South region rep. of the EDEB) for providing this article.  A special thank you to Sister Tammie Rinker, Pastor of West Side Moravian Church, Bethlehem, PA, Jane Clugston, and Ralph Wanamaker for writing this article and sharing information on this ministry!

Board Member Spotlight

Naomi Mercia Solomon

Lay Representative to the EDEB for the New York Metro Region

 I believe a lot of people do not know much about Naomi. So, here is a bit of information about Naomi Mercia Solomon.  Naomi hails from the most beautiful twin Island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean.  I was a member of the Montgomery Moravian Church in Tobago and migrated to the United States about 30 years.  I graduated from Moravian Theological Seminary in (’18).  Before relocating to New Jersey from New York, I was a member of the John Hus Moravian Church.  Not finding any Moravian Church in the vicinity where I moved to, I began worshiping at the Methodist Church nearby, and did some ministry within the Methodist Church. Nevertheless, my Moravian heritage beckoned me back home to my Moravian roots.

I was nominated to the Eastern District Board at the 2021 District Synod as the representative for the New York/New Jersey area, and which also includes New Dawn Moravian Church in Canada.  I love visiting the different churches, meeting the members, leaders and experiencing their worship and the different mission and ministries they are involved in for the Kingdom.

I am my sons Mother – Otis and Gabriel. Gabriel is a veteran and is very proud to have serve this country in the US Army.

I worship at Vanderbilt Avenue Moravian Church in Staten Island New York and help to lead worship and the Women’s Bible Study.

I love to sing, read, lead worship and travel.  It is such a blessing to be serving and doing Kingdom business with my siblings in Christ on the Eastern District Executive Board. Blessings to each of you. I love every minute of serving alongside each of you.  May God continue to bless each of you and your families during this Holy and Blessed Season.



BWM 2024 Watchword

Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. James 5:13

Blessed name! the rock on which we build,

our shield and resting place,

our never-failing comfort, filled

with blessings of his grace.

O Jesus, Shepherd, Guardian, Friend,

our Prophet, Priest, and King,

our Lord, our Life, our Way, our End,

accept the praise we bring. (487)

For centuries, Moravians have had a tradition of choosing daily watchwords that are printed in our Daily Textbook and used for daily devotions. Many Moravians also chose watchwords for the year, which is generally done around the new year. Watchwords are scripture texts, randomly selected, that invite us to reflect on how God might be guiding and leading us. For 2024, the Watchword chosen to lead and guide the Board of World Mission staff invites us to pray in times of suffering and sing songs of praise when there is joy. Right now, the BWM staff is seeking to provide clean water where there has been consistent flooding in Honduras, purchasing medical debt to eliminate this burden for families in the US and Honduras who cannot pay, and providing stipends for teachers in Ukraine as the war continues. We are also singing songs of praise for the outpouring of support for these projects from all over the US and Canada. Your giving allows the Board of World Mission to be an answer to the prayers of those who are suffering and to join them in singing songs of praise for God’s never-ending love. 


 Resources for this year were prepared by an ecumenical team in Burkina Faso, a country in West Africa between Mali and Niger, about 100 miles east of Sierra Leone. Of the population of about 21 million people, roughly 64% are Muslim, 9% practice traditional African religion and 26% are Christian. These three religious groups are present in every region of the country, and in virtually every family.

Prayers of Intercession –

Leader – We have been invited to live the divine call to love God and our neighbour as ourselves. As we renew our commitment to this call, may this love strengthen our unity as Christians. With all our hearts, we desire to dwell in God’s love and to have the grace to love our neighbours as ourselves. God of boundless love, we pray that all people may come to know your unlimited mercy and believe in your desire to fill us with your infinite love.

All        Fill us with your love! Make us one in you.

L          We join our prayers to that of Jesus, who prayed for the unity of all who follow him.

God of communion, we pray that we may work together for your greater glory and spread the Good News of salvation for all.

A          Fill us with your love! Make us one in you.

L          Our hearts are broken because of the confusion and division in our world.

God, our healer, we who are scattered like sheep without a shepherd, ask you to gather us into one fold. Enliven us by your Spirit and send us again, two by two, to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth.

A          Fill us with your love! Make us one in you.

L          Our world is scarred by terror and violence. Millions are forced to leave their homes in search of refuge and safety.

God of welcome, grant us the grace to risk embracing the stranger, tending their wounds and standing in solidarity with them. Strengthen our resolve to be kind and merciful and to act towards our sisters and brothers at all times as you do towards us.

A          Fill us with your love! Make us one in you.

L          In our weakness and fear we know that we often pass by on the other side, turning away from those who need our help.

God of power, despite our lack of charity, open our hearts to experience the length, width, height and depth of your love, so that we may love you more and love our neighbour as ourselves.

A          Fill us with your love! Make us one in you.




Senior High Winter Retreat 2024

I Spy

Appreciating God’s Holiness Around Us

January 12, 7pm – January 14, Noon

Come retreat with us as we take time to search for, appreciate, and capture (in photo) the presence of God. Program by Dan Miller, Pastor of Edgeboro Moravian Church, Bethlehem, PA.


Camp Hope (


9th-12th Grade




Friday (snacks only) through Sunday breakfast

Online Registration:

Registration Deadline:

January 7 

(Volunteers Only) Online Registration: