Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.Isaiah 60:1
In this season of Epiphany, we ponder new insights about God. Sometimes we see ‘old’ things anew and sometimes we see a new thing that God is up to. What new insights are you discovering about God – and God’s transforming love in your life and in the lives of those around you? How are you sharing those insights?
– Betsy Miller
Ben Ingebretson Joins Staff as Director of Church Planting and Emerging Ministries
The PEC is pleased to announce that Ben Ingrebretson has begun working part-time with the Northern Province to help us reclaim our mission to proclaim the gospel to those who long to hear the good news and equip us to care for a broken world. Ben is ordained in the Reformed Church in America and serves with Susan Nienaber in the United Methodist Church as Director of Congregation Development in the Dakotas Minnesota Area Conference. He has a proven track record of planting new congregations, revitalizing existing ministries to think of new ways to reach their communities, and is committed to equipping leaders to thrive in the challenging work of church development. Ben lives in Grand Rapids, MI and will serve with the Moravian Church ten hours per week. He will work closely with the Emerging Ministries Committee, resource Esperanza and Tricklebee, and help us find and equip new leaders to spread the good news. You may learn more about Ben through his website www.bingconsulting.org. If you or someone you know is sensing a call to start a new worshipping congregation, please contact Betsy Miller ([email protected]).
Annual Reports Due February 28
Annual Reports, that provide a snapshot of the ministry and witness of your congregation, are due February 28. Materials were mailed to all congregations last fall and are also available on the Portal. Please help us serve you better by providing this important information about your church!
Pilgrimage Toward Racial Justice and Healing
All active clergy across the province received an invitation to participate in a pilgrimage toward racial justice and healing September 22-25, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. In response to the 2018 Provincial Synod legislation regarding anti-racism training, the Racial Justice Team has developed a rich opportunity to explore together how to move toward racial justice and healing. We will learn from Dr. Catherine Meeks how to create Beloved Community through an all-day anti-racism training program. We will tour the Equal Justice Museum and Memorial https://museumandmemorial.eji.org/memorial. Registration materials will be available soon, along with suggestions for reading to prepare for this pilgrimage. Registration fee is only $250; all other costs, including airfare, are covered by a bequest identified for this event. To prepare for this gathering, consider watching the newly released movie Just Mercy that tells the story of Bryan Stevenson’s work with the Equal Justice Initiative.
Leaders of the province will journey to Montgomery January 27-31 to prepare for the larger gathering in the fall. Please be in prayer for members of the Racial Justice Team (Marian Boyle Rohloff, Mark Breland, Sanette Fleming, Amy Gohdes-Luhman, Sue Koenig, Betsy Miller, Bruce Nelson, Rhonda Robinson, Bevon White), the bishops, and the Provincial Elders’ Conference as they travel to Montgomery and learn together.
Members of the District Boards and Provincial Elders’ Conference continue the work of Identity, Purpose, and Organization. Following their gathering in November, teams have identified priorities in four areas: Communication, Congregational Care, Lay Leadership Development, and creating a Culture of Experimentation. Stay tuned for reports and presentations to guide the conversations at the three upcoming District Synods.
Lilly Grant Update
It’s a new year, which means new opportunities! Active clergy under call or appointment are encouraged to strengthen their ministry through spiritual direction and/or coaching. As in the past, you may request reimbursement, up to $1,000/year, to reimburse expenses toward coaching and/or spiritual direction. Submit receipts to the Finance Office. Audrey West, Project Manager for the Lilly Grant, suggests considering programs offered by others. For the duration of the Lilly Grant, these options qualify for the $1,000 reimbursement, and are by application. Please note the possibility that one or more of these may be restricted to US clergy only. http://www.couragerenewal.org/events/flourishing-in-ministry-midwest-2020-21/. Another option, available for clergy in their first five years of ministry is: https://leadership.divinity.duke.edu/what-we-offer/programs/foundations-of-christian-leadership/. If you have questions, contact Audrey at [email protected].
District Synods in 2020
Three District Synods will be held this year as delegates gather to deliberate on ministries and elect leaders at the district level.
- April 23-26 – Western District Synod at Mt. Morris Camp and Retreat Center in Wisconsin.
- May 21-24 – Canadian District Synod at Camp Van-Es outside Edmonton.
- June 24-27 – Eastern District Synod at Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA.
Emerging Ministries Updates
- Work continues at Iglesia Esperanza for Bethlehem to bring both the church building and adjacent parsonage up to code and renovate them to provide housing for pastoral couple Tracy and Rhonda Robinson, and fully equip the church to offer worship and a robust after-school program. Thanks to Project Manager Jeffrey Long for overseeing the many aspects of the building work.
- Tricklebee Café in Milwaukee, WI continues to provide delicious lunches at the pay-what-you-can café. Led by Christie Melby-Gibbons, volunteers continue to renovate spaces in other parts of the building for various ministry uses by the café.
- As of December 31, 2019, oversight and responsibility for Common Ground Community Café in Edmonton, Alberta was officially transferred from the Provincial Elders’ Conference (PEC) to the Board of Elders Canadian District (BECD). The ministry of the café continues in their new, expanded location in the heart of Sherwood Park.
UMC-Moravian Coordinating Committee
Our full communion relationship with the United Methodist Church took the next step in developing ways that we might further our witness. The Coordinating Committee held its first meeting in December. Our denomination is represented by Brs. Eric Renner and Bevon White from the Northern Province and Sr. Carol Foltz from the Southern Province. Plans are underway for us to be represented at the United Methodist General Conference this summer in Minneapolis.
On-Line Giving Portal
The Moravian Ministries Foundation in America has developed an online giving portal that makes it easy to give to Moravian ministries such as the province, the districts, camps, emerging ministries, or local congregations. If your agency or congregation invests with MMFA, look for it on the portal page. Scroll down to find all the options. Go to https://mmfa.info/giving-portal/ to make a secure gift.