Staff and Board

Justin Rabbach

Executive Director

Justin lives in Waukesha, WI, having moved there from Chicago where he lived after he graduated from the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Masters Degree in International Public Affairs, focusing on International Development. He received his undergraduate degree from the same University majoring in Economics and Social Welfare.

Justin grew up in Ebenezer Moravian Church in Watertown, WI, and got involved in mission work following a trip to Nicaragua in 2007 that really opened his eyes to the possibilities of building relationships and serving God abroad. Since then God has taken him time and again through “new” experiences, and he has found himself serving and encountering God for varying lengths of time in Wisconsin, California, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Alberta, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Israel/Palestine. In these experiences Justin was able to help recruit, equip and engage peers to take part in mission opportunities through the BWM.

Before accepting his a role as a staff member, Justin served as a member of the Board of World Mission and on the executive committee through his role as vice-chair. In 2014 he was hired to become the Director of Mission Engagement, coordinating volunteer service opportunities and providing educational opportunities for congregational mission discernment.

In November of 2017, Justin began work as the Executive Director of the Board of World Mission.

Justin is excited to work with individuals and congregations. Please feel free to contact him with any and all questions related to missions, and he will do his best to answer, or at least point you in the right direction!

Contact: [email protected]

 

Rex Knowlton

Treasurer

Rex joined the staff as Treasurer in July 2015.  Rex has been involved with finances since graduating from Rutgers in 1975.   Rex has served in a variety of leadership roles in his home church, Palmyra Moravian in Cinnaminson NJ, and has served as Treasurer of the Church since the early nineties.

Rex is blessed to work with several smaller companies on accounting and financial related tasks through the Knowlton Advisors, LLC.  Rex worked for almost thirty years in assuring access to non-emergency medical transportation in Philadelphia and surrounding areas through Wheels of Wellness, starting as Finance Director and moving onto Executive Director from shortly after college graduation through 2005.

Rex works to improve surface transportation across the country having served as one of ten Coordination Ambassadors working through the Federal Transit Administrations United We Ride program from 2005 through 2012 and more recently through Community Transportation Association of Americans Tribal Transit program which assist native American nations to access or build appropriate transportation.

Rex and his wife Gina recently celebrated forty years of marriage and enjoy the company of their two children Justin and Megan and their mates Timmy and Tommy and as importantly, the three grandchildren Kaeli, Sammy and Jamie!

Contact: [email protected]

 

Jill Kolodziej

Director of Mission Service

Jill Kolodziej serves as the Director of Mission Service of the BWM who engages individuals in cross-cultural service across the worldwide Unity. The Director coordinates the collaborative exchange with the people who are the site hosts, those that receive the volunteers, as well as the cultural, ecclesial, spiritual, and logistical preparation of the servant or servants.

Jill was inspired at a young age to engage in mission by a missionary visiting her church. Over the years her husband, John, and three daughters, Sarah, Janelle, and Lauren have joined her or been involved on their own in serving others through domestic and international opportunities. Their spouses also volunteer within the community. Another generation, a granddaughter, Jordyn Grace, has begun to serve in their community of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. The other five grandchildren, Mekhi, Eli, Lucy, Gus, and Fern will also be invited to join Jill as they are able.

Jill began as a volunteer with the Board of World Mission in 2006 and has been employed part time since 2009 to the present.

A Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish Education and Master of Theology from Moravian Seminary has served her well in understanding God’s presence and mission in the world and how the work of the BWM supports that mission.

Contact Jill: [email protected]

 

Rt. Rev. Chris Giesler

Director of Mission Engagement

Chris began his ministry with the Board of World Mission in September of 2018 and feels that his lifelong connection with the Moravian Church and its mission focus has prepared him to be part of the BWM staff.

Chris brings with him a wide range of experiences having been served by and serving the wider Moravian community. He lived in Nicaragua, where his parents were serving as Moravian missionaries until he was nine years old. At that time his family moved to Winston-Salem, NC, where he was an active part of the Friedberg, King, and Bethabara Moravian congregations as his father served as pastor. While serving on the M-Staff for six summers at Laurel Ridge he felt the call to serve the Lord and the Moravian Church and thus continued his studies at Moravian College and Theological Seminary. During his college years, he met his future wife Tina and they were married while he was in seminary. Following his graduation, Chris was ordained in 1986 and then served as pastor of the Bethesda and Redeemer congregations in the Southern Province. From there he served for eight years as the Chaplain at Moravian College and Theological Seminary and then became the Director of Youth Ministry for the Eastern District, leading workshops, youth events, camps, and retreats. In this role, he also helped to organize many of the Youth and Young Adult Convos of the 1990s and 2000s. From there he served as pastor of the Edgeboro and Emmaus congregations in the Eastern District, continuing his active involvement with camping ministry. He was elected a Bishop of the Moravian Unity by the Synod of the Northern Province in 2010. Chris and Tina have two adult children, their spouses, and six grandchildren, who light up their lives. He enjoys running and traveling but mostly spending quality time with his family.

Chris’ main focus with the Board of World Mission is to keep congregations and their members informed about Board of World Mission initiatives, as well as to help them find their own passion for mission in the neighborhoods where they are located. He also hopes to assist individuals to hear God’s voice, discern their spiritual gifts and call, and respond in loving service.

Contact: [email protected]

 

Sylvie Hauser

Director of Communications and Development

The Board of World Mission is pleased to announce that Sylvie Hauser has joined our staff as the Director of Communications and Development.  Sylvie graduated from Carleton College with a degree in Political Science and International Relations and is an alumnus of the AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) program. She was raised in the Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church and was involved in mission from a young age, volunteering locally and abroad with her family, home congregation, and the Board of World Mission. Over the years, mission work has taken Sylvie to Minneapolis, New York City, North Carolina, Haiti, Jamaica, the Czech Republic, and Peru. In 2018, she served as a summer intern with the Board of World Mission.

Sylvie is passionate and excited about building connections between Moravians and sharing the stories of the good work being done around the world.

Contact: [email protected]

 

Elizabeth Thiele

Administrative Assistant

Elizabeth grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in the Good Shepherd Moravian congregation. From a young age, she was involved in the life of the church and its mission in the community. Even as a child she knew that serving would be her vocation, but the specific ministry to which she was called did not become clear until later in life. She studied English and International Relations at Salem College then worked in several healthcare related positions before moving to Bethlehem, PA in 2017 to attend Moravian Seminary. While in Bethlehem, she met and married her husband, Stephen. They live in Easton, PA and welcomed a son, Alan, in February 2021. 

In recent years, Elizabeth’s call became clearer as she used gardening in her recovery from a flare of a chronic illness. Growing flowers and vegetables became an integral part of her spiritual practice. Elizabeth is currently working toward earning her Masters in Theological Studies (MATS) and her thesis will examine the Spirituality of Gardening. She hopes to design techniques for use by spiritual directors to integrate cultivating the earth into their work with directees. Additionally, Elizabeth has transformed their 1/3 acre lot into an urban cut flower farm. She hopes to start a flower ministry in the future where she can arrange bouquets for shut-ins and residents of care facilities in the Lehigh Valley. 

Elizabeth is excited about the opportunity to work with an organization dedicated to building a stronger worldwide Moravian community. She looks forward to supporting the staff at the Board of World Mission and sharing in the passion the team has for serving, supporting, and walking alongside our international brothers and sisters in their call to spread God’s love in the world.

Contact: [email protected]

 

Rev. Angelica Regalado Cieza

Director of Mission Outreach

Angelica lives with her husband Ruben and their two daughters in Winston-Salem, NC. Angelica graduated from Wake Forest University School of Divinity with her Masters in Divinity and obtained her certificate of Moravian Studies from the Moravian Theological Seminary. 

A native of Chiclayo, Perú, Angelica came to North Carolina in 2006, following her parents and five brothers, who had immigrated years earlier. Her immigration experience has informed much of her work in the Moravian Church. After her ordination in 2017, Angelica was called to develop a new and emerging ministry serving Hispanic immigrants in Forsyth County, NC. Now the founder and pastor of this ministry called Estamos Unidos, she continues this outstanding work alongside her position with the BWM.

Angelica is excited about building relationships locally, nationally, and internationally in her work with the BWM.

Contact: [email protected]

 


Board of Directors

Current members of the Board of World Mission:

Southern Province

Tommy Cole

Hilda Regalado

Joe Jarvis

Mission Society of the Southern Province

Alina Ricardo Cukiernik

Northern Province

Rev. Dr. Betsy Miller

Northern Province – Western District

Lisa Pampe

Taylor Wickert

Northern Province – Eastern District

Rebecca Turnbull

Northern Province – Canadian District

Donna Gordon

Alaska Province

Rev. Clifford Jimmie

Rev. Arthur Coolidge (mission representative, non-voting)

Unity of the Brethren, Texas

David Miller

Board Appointees

Thomas Baucom

Rev. Dan Miller

Affiliated Membership

Rev. Dr. Errol Connor (Eastern West Indies Province, non-voting)

Phyllis Smith-Seymour (Jamaica, non-voting)

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