Each year, the Board of World Mission presents the Ted Wilde Mission Service Award and the Herrnhut Congregational or Organizational Affirmation to Moravians who have given of themselves for the benefit of others either down the street or around the world.
Nominations for both of these awards are open continuously, but nominations submitted by February 15th, 2023 will be considered for 2023 awards. Learn more about each award below and click on the blue buttons to submit a nomination online or download the nomination forms. Please send any hard-copy nomination forms to Board of World Mission, 1021 Center St., Bethlehem, PA 18018 or by email to [email protected]
Ted Wilde Mission Service Award
The Rev. Theodore (Ted) Wilde served as Executive Director of the Board of World Mission from 1983 to 1995. During his years of service, he worked to expand the Moravian Church’s definition of “world” and of “mission.” Ted was a strong believer in and follower of the Biblical “Great Commission” but challenged the church to see other passages as also being missional. These would include verses from the prophet Micah concerning justice and mercy; verses from Matthew 25 concerning feeding the hungry and welcoming the stranger; verses from Luke 10 concerning loving God and loving our neighbor; and verses from Matthew 10 concerning what to take and what not to take with us when we go out in mission.
The Board of World Mission honors the memory of this servant of Jesus Christ by recognizing individuals who embody the mission spirit described in these words from a hymn written by brother Wilde in 1984:
Christ, engage us in your mission; worldwide let our parish be. We take up this great commission, traveling first to Calvary. There absorbing, Christ-like going, taught by your humility.
Recipients of the Ted Wilde Mission Service Award are Moravians who have been willing to “take up this great commission” by learning from our Chief Elder, Jesus Christ, and then engage in humble service in his name. We honor those who have responded to God’s call to mission in the worldwide parish that we serve.
We invite you to nominate individuals within our congregations that are giving of themselves for the benefit of others either down the street or around the world. Nomination forms should be sent to Chris Giesler at the Board of World Mission Office at 1021 Center Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018, or by email at [email protected]. Submissions are due by the end of the year. This an ongoing award and is granted as worthy nominations are received.
Herrnhut Congregational or Organizational Affirmation
In 1731 the small Moravian community in Herrnhut, Germany, was introduced to Anthony Ulrich, a man of African descent who was the servant of a Danish nobleman. Anthony told the community about the conditions under which several of his family members lived as sugar plantation slaves on the island of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. On that day, hearts were stirred to action, and within a year, Leonhard Dober and David Nitschmann were on the ground in St. Thomas seeking to be the light of Christ to the enslaved persons on that island.
Within ten years, the Herrnhut community had sent missionaries to Greenland, Lapland, Georgia (US), Guinea Coast (Africa), South Africa, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Dutch Guiana (now Surinam), Algiers (Africa), St. Croix (Virgin Islands), Pennsylvania and New York (US). Those who were actively serving on mission fields were supported by the prayers and encouragement of the community back home, and the financial support received from the industries set up to raise funds for this endeavor. This is a story of Christian compassion and determination to see that the oppressed would know of God’s love for them.
The Herrnhut Congregational Affirmation and Celebration for Dedicated Mission and Service goes to a Moravian Congregation in either the Alaskan, Northern, or Southern Province that is in some way following the example of the Moravian community in Herrnhut by actively giving of themselves in terms of time, talent, and treasure to be the light of Christ to others.
We invite you to nominate congregations or organizations within our congregations that are giving of themselves for the benefit of others either down the street or around the world. Nomination forms should be sent to Chris Giesler at the Board of World Mission Office at 1021 Center Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018, or by email at [email protected]. Submissions are due by the end of the year. This an ongoing award and is granted as worthy nominations are received.