Southern Province Synod 2014 Small church, big results And more!
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On the cover: Hand-knit hearts filled with treats greeted delegates to the 2014 Southern Province Synod. See story on page 25. Photo by Sarah Hubbard.
Southern Province Synod 2014 Small church, big results
Christ and him crucified remain our confession of faith In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in all things, love
2014 Southern Province Synod 8 Southern Province delegates approve broad range of resolutions 12 Synod delegates discern a vision for the future 15 Recognizing the undefinable: Establishing Manna Ministries 19 Synod resolution affirms spiritual solidarity with Honduras 21 Synod resolution results in Board of World Mission constitution revisions 22 Moravian polity at work—the (non) election of a Bishop 23 Ecumenical partners share thoughts on Southern Province Synod
Member, Associated Church Press
25 Knitters’ work gives Synod more “heart” In Our Congregations 5 A small congregation doing big things with clothing distribution effort 26 Canaan pastor comes “full circle” with birth of her son
Visit our website at http://www.moravian.org. Letters to the editor, address corrections, and other correspondence may be e-mailed to the magazine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Every Issue 4 Ponderings: A walk helps fill the blank screen 28 Official Provincial Elders’ News 29 Obituary: Mrs. Edwin A. Sawyer 3
A walk helps fill the blank screen At the core of my role with the IBOC, I’m a writer. When I sit down
at the keyboard, I love to let the words flow. Sometimes, however, the words don’t come. Maybe you’ve been there—that blank screen, with the blinking cursor daring you to fill it with great thoughts and ideas—yet your fingers are frozen over the home row. When that happens, I turn to my tried and true yellow legal pad and favorite pen. The visceral scratch of pen on paper often gets things into gear. If the pad and pen don’t work, it’s time to find inspiration elsewhere. Looking through a book of photographs, finding an inspirational playlist on my iPod or even a re-reading of my notes can often align the necessary neurons to get my brain and fingers connected. But when all that fails, it’s time to get up and go for a walk. I usually hold this as a last resort (especially during the winter when it’s icy and cold), but it works pretty much every time. There’s something about that 10-minute trip around the block that shakes loose the clutter and gets me ready to write. One of my writing professors at school was a firm believer in getting up and walking away for a bit… a very valuable lesson. In any kind of creative work, taking a step away can work wonders. In this issue of The Moravian Magazine, we provide more in-depth coverage of the Southern Province Synod of 2014. At that meeting in Black Mountain, N.C., the vitality and life of the Moravian Church shone through. In our July/August issue, we’ll do the same for our Northern Province Synod. This issue also celebrates a small congregation doing big things and a parsonage welcoming another generation. As always, I hope you enjoy this issue of The Moravian and welcome your comments. Peace.
(ISSN 1041-0961 USPS 362600) May Vol. 45, No. 5 Publications Agreement No. 40036408 Return Undeliverable Canadian Addresses to: OnTrac International, 121 5th Avenue NW, New Brighton, MN 55112 email: email@example.com Official Journal, The Moravian Church in North America, Northern and Southern Provinces Published monthly, except bimonthly January-February and July-August issues, by the Interprovincial Board of Communication, 1021 Center St., Bethlehem, PA 18018. Subscription rates: $15.00 per year, U.S.A. & Canada; $18.00 per year, all other countries. Individual copies available for $3.00 each. The Moravian is sent to the families of the Moravian Church as a privilege of membership. Periodicals postage paid at Bethlehem, PA. Circulation: 17,800 Postmaster please send address changes to The Moravian, PO Box 1245, Bethlehem, PA 18016-1245. Continuing The North American Moravian, The Moravian and The Wachovia Moravian. Michael Riess, Editor Renee Schoeller, Communications Assistant Arlene Clendenning, Customer Relations/Business Assistant Interprovincial Board of Communication Paul Knouse, Paul Peucker Chair Adam Pristas Jane Burcaw Richard Sides Jane Carmichael Valerie Wagner Lance Fox Jill Westbrook Gary Kniskern Design by Sandy Fay, Laughing Horse Graphics, Inc. Address all correspondence regarding articles, subscriptions, or advertising to The Moravian, PO Box 1245, Bethlehem, PA 18016-1245 FAX: 610.866.9223 Phone: 610.867.0594 800.732.0591 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.moravian.org Contents © 2014, Interprovincial Board of Communications, Moravian Church in North America. All rights reserved
PS: I just came back from a quick walk. And as I sat back down to write, this came together. Like I said, works (almost) every time… 4
IN OUR CONGREGATIONS
A small congregation doing big things with clothing distribution effort Have you ever had the feeling that your con-
gregation was too small to do a great big mission ministry? Maybe you’ve felt as if the age of your congregants would prevent any amazing ministries from happening. Well, I can assure you that if you trust in what God is calling you to do, even a small church can do phenomenal work. In February of 2013, four members of Mountainview Moravian Church in Hellertown, Pennsylvania decided that it would be a good idea to volunteer for a day at the major clothing distribution effort hosted by the Moravian congregations on Staten Island. We loaded into our car and headed to Castleton Hill Moravian, the center of the distribution effort. The time that we spent in New York was great. We learned all about how their distribution works and about all of the people that they have helped in the past 10 years. On the drive home, I asked the women in the car if they thought our little church could take on a ministry like this. After a few minutes of brainstorming, we had the building laid out. We knew that women’s clothing would go in our largest available space and that the Sunday School rooms would hold the children’s and men’s clothing. We figured out how we would go about collecting clothing, sorting clothing and how the June 2014
distribution would work. We were excited… all we had to do was to get the rest of the congregation on board. At our anniversary worship service a few weeks later, I shared with the congregation that our local food bank currently had 637 clients and that there was a need for clothing among these clients. The congregation was shocked to learn that the number was that high: how could our little community have that many people in need? I asked the congregation what they thought we could do to help. After letting them ponder that for a minute, I said to them, “As followers of Jesus Christ, we turn to scripture for guidance and counsel. In the Gospel of Matthew we read, “Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and (continued on next page) Jodie L. Harney is pastor of Mountainview Moravian Church in Hellertown, Pa. 5
(continued from previous page) you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’” (Matthew 25:34-40) I shared with them the dream of the four Staten Island travelers, to have a clothing distribution ministry at Mountainview. I walked them through how the process would work from collection, to sorting, to distribution. I asked them to please sign up for any of the different steps that they would like to help with. I was shocked to realize that 75 percent of the people in worship that day signed up to help, with the remaining 25 percent agreeing to pray for the ministry but due to physical limitations, they were unable to help. With support of the congregation, we applied for a new Mission Ministry grant through the Eastern District Executive Board and we rejoiced and celebrated when we learned that 6
we would be receiving $5,000 to make this dream mission become a reality. We had every intention of following through with this Mission Ministry whether we received the grant from the EDEB or not. We believed that God was calling us to this ministry and we knew that the grant would help us purchase 260 boxes to store and then display the clothing, six new tables, 45 clothing racks, 15 laundry baskets for collecting and sorting, eight 55-gallon storage containers for clothing collection and 1500 hangers. We spent two months collecting clothing through various drop-off locations around Hellertown. We had collection bins at the Methodist Church, the Episcopalian Church, the two UCC Churches, the three Lutheran Churches and the chiropractor office that everyone in town seems to go to. For the second distribution in January, we also had collection bins at the public library and at the local dance studio. In the first month the collection of clothing ended up being a pile that was three feet high and took up half of a Sunday School room. The second month brought in even more clothing and that pile ran the length of our Dayspring Room (fellowship hall) and was at least three feet deep and anywhere from The Moravian
two–five feet high. Needless to say, we had our work cut out for us. With volunteers from 10 churches (Moravian, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Methodist and a Jewish Synagogue) in addition to Mountainview we worked a total of 15 days, 13 hours and 45 minutes to sort by size and gender, check for holes/rips/stains, and fold for storage in order to be ready for the distribution. That amount of time does not include the hours spent assembling racks, setting up for the distribution days, hosting the distribution days and cleaning up afterwards. On the distribution days, which included three days in August and then three additional Saturdays in January/February, we were able to provide clothing for more than 400 people. In addition to the people receiving clothing we were able to provide backpacks and school supplies for over 50 children. Knowing that we would have individuals waiting for their turn to “shop” we had our basement set up with snacks, magazines and coloring books to keep people entertained while they waited as well as a lunch of hotdogs, chips and lemonade outside for after they were done shopping. Many of our volunteers were moved to tears
by the stories of struggles and hardship that the families had endured. Seeing little children leave our church with backpacks full of school supplies brought joy to our hearts. Our Mission Ministry continues to grow and unfold. We now house an emergency clothing bank for anyone who is in need. Area pastors as well as other local agencies are aware of our supply of clothing and our willingness to help everyone in need. Through our emergency distribution we have helped more than 25 people including two families that lost everything in house fires. We at Mountainview have been truly blessed by this ministry. We have heard God’s calling and we have stepped up to the plate to follow his direction. Our prayer is that other churches, regardless of their size, would be willing to take a leap of faith and step out of their comfort zone to do the work that the Gospel calls us to do. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned and by doing these things you will not only be following the words of St. Francis of Assisi, “Always preach the Gospel—use words if you have to,” but you will also be the hands and feet of Christ on earth. ■
2014 SOUTHERN PROVINCE SYNOD
Southern Province delegates approve broad range of resolutions Every four years, the Southern Province of
the Moravian Church brings together more than 200 delegates to “do the business of the church.” In April, those delegates approved a broad variety of resolutions that affirmed new opportunities, approved administrative and ministerial changes and provided direction for the next four years.
The Provincial Synod has the supreme legislative power of the Province in all things not committed to the Unity Synod. Entrusted to the 200-plus delegates are key decisions about the governance and future direction of the church. Throughout the four-day event, delegates presented, discussed and debated more than 25 distinct resolutions. While some resolutions weren’t passed or never made it to a full vote, those that were voted upon spanned a wide range of topics. The 2014 Synod made a greater use of technology to ease the amount of paper used to conduct Synod. Resolutions were distribThe full details on these resolutions, including the “Whereas” statements and full “Resolveds” are available on the Southern Province website, www.mcsp.org. Photos by Mike Riess
uted digitally prior to Synod and presented onscreen. In addition, elections and resolution votes were handled via an electronic voting system that provided instant feedback and results on votes cast. The resolutions passed will be used by the Provincial Elders’ Conference and provincial ministries to manage the church. Below is a summary of the significant resolutions passed. More information on these resolutions and their implications on congregational and agency work will be shared over the coming months. Approval of Revised Constitution and Book of Order of the Southern Province The Synod approved resolutions to adopt revisions to the Constitution and the Book of Order of the Moravian Church in America, Southern Province. These Constitutional and Book of Order changes were the result of the Provincial Restructuring efforts approved at the 2010 Synod of the Southern Province. The revised Book of Order, which includes the revisions to the Constitution, too, will be posted to the Southern Province website once all revisions have been included and properly formatted. Revision of Board of World Mission Constitution Synod approved a number of revisions to the Board of World Mission’s Constitution that corrects wording, allows up to four Directors-at-Large with a specified term limit, permits Affiliate Membership to the Board of World Mission, and discontinues the Board’s role of providing a bishop to a Mission Province. (see story on page 21.) (continued on next page) June 2014
(continued from previous page) Adoption of a “Safe Sanctuary” Policy for congregations and agencies Synod passed a resolution mandating that each congregation of the Southern Province and each board and agency shall develop, adopt and implement a “Safe Sanctuary” policy and procedures related to safety issues for the protection of children, youth and vulnerable adults. The resolution also ensures guidelines will be provided for what is needed in developing those policies. Study and Discernment Regarding Homosexuality Synod passed a resolution that reaffirmed a resolution from 2010 to provide leadership, resources and a process for a conversation about homosexuality in the church that includes diverse viewpoints and opportunities for open and honest discussion, study and discernment. The process of dialogue and discernment should take into account similar efforts made, and decisions that have been or may be reached by sister provinces within the Unity, as well as any actions of the 2014 Unity Board and 2016 Unity Synod. The resolution further stipulates that this work, which was not completed during the last intersynodal period be completed prior to the Synod of 2018. Environmental Stewardship Synod passed a resolution urging all congregations to include active stewardship of the earth as part of their regular stewardship practices and to call upon the Board of Cooperative Ministries Environmental Task Force for educational materials and other resources to support them in this essential ministry.
Annual Pension Fund Report Synod resolved that the Provincial Elders’ Conference in consultation with the Pension Committee provide an annual written report to congregations of the Province that includes information about the current balance and number of participants in the Pension Fund and the status of pension obligations. John Hus Memorial Year 2015 Synod passed a resolution that designates 2015 as a year to honor the memory and teachings of John Hus; and outlined activities and opportunities to honor the legacy of Hus during 2015. It also resolved to encourage the Northern Province Synod, to be held in June, to adopt a similar resolution and that all Moravians be invited to reflect on John Hus’s witness and how his modern spiritual descendants can emulate his example of faithful devotion to Christ. Cooperation and Collaboration with Wake Forest University School of Divinity Synod passed a resolution that directs the Provincial Elders’ Conference or its representatives to engage in an informal, but intentional, dialogue with representatives of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity regarding ways the Moravian Church in America, Southern Province and the WFU School of Divinity can cooperate and collaborate together for their mutual benefit; and present a report at the 2018 Synod describing the progress of this dialogue and collaborative efforts with the WFU School of Divinity. The Moravian Theological Seminary will be invited to participate in these discussions. New Provincial Share Methodology Synod adopted a new methodology to determine congregational share for provincial June 2014
support. This change was based on a share methodology used for budget years 2013 and 2014 that was implemented, monitored, and evaluated by the Provincial Support Services Board and declared a fair and equitable system by the PEC. The resolution passed moves provincial share from an expense-based budget to a new methodology that is income or revenue based. It provides a fair share for congregations while providing a more accurate projection of revenue for annual budgeting. More information on the provincial share methodology will be shared with congregations following Synod. Spiritual Solidarity with Sisters and Brothers in Honduras Synod resolved that the Southern Province, in solidarity with the people of Honduras, should raise awareness and engage in educational activities on how the sale and consumption of illegal drugs in North America deeply affect the people of Honduras and results in much violence. The resolution urges pastors and leaders of the church to give voice to the Honduran people’s plight and to hold Hondurans and global partners in prayer. (see story on page 19.) Cornerstone Campaign Synod resolved that the Southern Province’s Cornerstone Campaign be continued for the next inter-synodal period and that the PEC is authorized to establish policies and procedures; to use Cornerstone Campaign funds for such general financial support of new and emerging ministries; and encourage congregations to consider the Cornerstone Campaign in their budgeting process. (continued on page 30) 11
2014 SOUTHERN PROVINCE SYNOD
Synod delegates discern a vision for the future While Synod is a time for legislating and governing, it is also a unique opportunity to take a look into the future of the Province. Synods harness the gathered creativity, experience, faith and ideas of delegates who only come together once every four years to discern a vision for the future. At the Southern Province Synod this spring,
delegates split their time between plenary sessions—that is, doing the business of synod, passing resolutions, discussing issues, electing board members, etc.—and working in teams called “Pilgrimage Groups.” This group work resulted in a broad vision for the future for the Southern Province. Healthy Congregations As part of its restructuring process in 2009, the Southern Province introduced eight Characteristics for a Healthy Congregation. These include cooperation, growth, leadership, ministry, mission, relationship with Christ (both personally and corporately), stewardship and worship. The 24 Pilgrimage Groups at Synod were organized around these eight characteristics, with three teams focused on each. Over the course of Thursday, Friday and Saturday of Synod, the groups considered where and how the Chief Elder has been and is leading
us, using the “lens” of the assigned characteristic. In four different sessions, the groups looked at where the church has been, where it is now, where God is calling the church, and what we agree on for our future. Following each one of these discerning sessions, the three groups assigned to each characteristic came together in a “Characteristic Group” to share insights and agree on two-tothree proposals for the entire Synod related to the assigned characteristic. While synods have been using discernment models since 1998, this particular model was designed to help ensure every delegate had an opportunity to offer specific input toward collective goals and directives in the province. The four-step process First, the Pilgrimage Groups looked at where the church has been, sharing stories of what they’ve experienced related to the characteristic they were working on. In the next session, the groups considered current trends and discerned ideas and themes of what’s happening in congregations and the overall church today, with the goal of developing a consensus picture of “where we are now.” The next session focused on exploring the future by answering the question, “Where Is God Calling Us?” The Pilgrimage Groups brainstormed what the church would look like in 2022 (two Synods from this one) and how Moravians would sustain congregational health. This session led to some very creative ideas and hopes for the future of the Church. In the final session, the teams combined the work of the previous three sessions to bring specific goals and statements about their assigned characteristic of a healthy congregation to the floor of Synod for all to hear. June 2014
What came out of this work weren’t specific programs, policies or actions. Instead, the groups presented ideas and themes that could serve as the basis for planning, objective setting and opportunities for growth for the coming four years. Watching these groups work illustrated the energy, ideas and commitment delegates brought to the Southern Province Synod. Creative ideas, open discussions, a respect for reality, a hopefulness for the future and a willingness to listen to each other and the leading of the Holy Spirit made each of these sessions a positive experience. (continued on next page)
(continued from previous page) Presenting a future On the final morning of Synod the groups presented their work to the entire Synod. As they did, several common themes emerged: • How all of our efforts in the church are to be Christ-centered and people-focused • The importance of understanding and sharing our Moravian identity and our stories of faith—and educating our members on what it means to be Moravian • The importance of understanding, leveraging and using technology to enhance mission, ministry, communication, learning, leadership and worship • A need for greater flexibility in exploring and implementing varied expressions of faith • An openness to change and a willingness to let go of things that aren’t working • An emphasis on mission, both local and global—a need to move into our communities and better understand their needs, and for RCCs and congregations to be involved in mission that’s both local and global • A recognition for empowering and includ-
ing laity in church leadership, and developing leadership programs to build up those leaders • An ongoing need to look for opportunities to think “outside” the church building, with an openness to different forms of ministry to bring people to Jesus • Understanding, embracing and dealing with change • An ongoing recognition of the abundance of resources (time, talent and treasure) within the Moravian church, and utilizing and sharing those gifts, instead of approaching things from an outlook of scarcity There were many more thoughts and ideas expressed during the presentations. As each group presented their work, the more it became apparent that the Southern Province has a lot to look forward to. The work of the Pilgrimage Groups was collected at Synod and will be used by the PEC and other provincial ministries in developing objectives and plans for the future. This listing is by no means exhaustive—in fact, this is simply a summary. For a more in-depth look at the work of these groups, and to review their ideas, visit www.mscp.org. ■
2014 SOUTHERN PROVINCE SYNOD
Recognizing the undefinable: Establishing Manna Ministries us while being inundated by the many other voices clamoring for our attention? These are a few of the questions we find ourselves asking in the Church today. And the truth is that there are many ways for us to respond to the call of God; there are many ways for us to be faithful as God invites us to begin right where we are. There is no shortage of opportunities to bear witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ, the living hope that restores us from our brokenness and binds us all together. With the passage of two resolutions, the Southern Province Synod created new ways to provide recognition and resources for new ways to take advantage of those opportunities. Come & Worship at Chelsee’s in downtown Winston-Salem
“We pray the Lord ever anew to point to us the way to reach our neighbors, opening our hearts and hands to them in their need.” Ground of the Unity
How do we reach our neighbors in the midst
of ever-changing communities? How do we sustain compassionate ministry amid the complexities of the world in which we live? How do we discern where God is leading Andrew Heil is pastor of Hope Moravian Church in Winston-Salem. Riddick Weber is assistant professor of Pastoral Ministry and director of Supervised Ministry at Moravian Theological Seminary. Thanks to Anthony’s Plot and Come and Worship for these photos. June 2014
A diversity of gifts As Moravian Christians we recognize and celebrate the diversity of gifts that God has given to the Church. Our many vocations and (continued on next page)
(continued from previous page) skills are the evidence that God calls each of us differently. Still, The Ground of the Unity makes clear that we are joined together in fellowship; we are members of a living Church. It is in relationship with one another that we grow in our faithfulness to Godâ€”as we learn to cherish one another, forgive one another when we fall short of our shared values, and daily recommit ourselves as we journey and serve together. And just as every part of life is a part of our life with God, so too must we nurture and encourage the practice of hospitality among us, making room in every moment for the varied contributions that build up the household of faith.
There is no shortage of opportunities to bear witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ, the living hope that restores us from our brokenness and binds us all together. In an effort to gain an ever clearer proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Moravian church has diligently worked to sustain ecumenical partnerships with sister churches. The congregations of the Southern Province have also been organized into Regional Conferences, seeking to promote shared vision and resources between Moravian communities of faith and the Board of Cooperative Ministries. Furthermore, individual congregations are increasingly cultivating meaningful relationships with para-ministry organizations across denominations. These experiences provide us with evidence that the landscape
of ministry is changing and that not all of our ministry partnerships look the same. New and emerging ministries Growth in ministry partnerships is not limited to our congregations. We are discovering that there are new and emerging ministries in our communities that do not fit within the current models and categories that we have known. In addition to several new beginnings in the Northern Province, two communities have begun to reach out in Winston-Salem. With PEC approval, staff members of the Board of World Mission, the Board of Christian Education, and the Board of Evangelism and Home Mission began a new outreach worship ministry in 2008. Now called Come and Worship, this unique worship experience for those interested in varied expressions of church beyond current customs and practices, has grown to the point that it averages a combined worship attendance of 60 for the two services it offers at Chelseeâ€™s, a coffee shop in downtown Winston-Salem. Anthonyâ€™s Plot is a Moravian intentional community of faith that combines residency, community development work, and a socially relevant and spiritually hopeful outreach to bring the good news of Jesus to visible reality. Anthonyâ€™s Plot works to bring about reconciliation among those of different classes, cultures and races by organizing neighborhood meals, worship and events, and advocating for and working with the homeless population in Winston-Salem. These Moravian-led ministries are making a positive difference in the Winston-Salem community, reaching out to our neighbors to share the good news of Jesus Christ. They have also developed meaningful partnerships (continued on next page) June 2014
(continued from previous page) with local congregations and Regional Conferences within the Southern Province. Thus, it became clear that while God is calling us to strengthen existing ministries, God may also be calling Moravians to develop new communities of faith and other ministries that join the Spirit’s transforming work in this ever-changing world, and carry out the vision that God is giving to our church. Still, these ministries and others like them cannot be easily identified in accordance with traditional models of ministry. Manna Ministries Last year, in preparation for the upcoming Southern Province synod, a number of people who were either participating in these new ministries or were encouraging of such ministries began to work together to provide official recognition for them, being careful that such recognition would not force them into existing categories that might limit the spirit and direction that they were taking. In November this group began having more intentional conversations, both over the phone and in person, through multi-person email conversations, and by teleconferences in which we looked at the Southern Province
Book of Order and at ways other denominations dealt with emerging ministries. During one of these teleconferences in March we hit upon the name of Manna Ministries.
We are discovering that there are new and emerging ministries in our communities that do not fit within the current models and categories that we have known. Manna Ministries derives its name from Exodus 16, the Biblical passage where the Lord provides for the Israelites who are traveling through the desert by sending down a breadlike substance and quail. Exodus 16:31 tells us that the people of Israel called this bread “manna” which literally means “what is it?” We saw parallels between the ministries we wanted to support and the manna in the Exodus passage. Both were things not quite like anything the people had experienced before, provided by God to care for people in a time of transition. When this Resolution was introduced to synod, it went through committee work, resulting in some editorial improvements before being (continued on page 30)
2014 SOUTHERN PROVINCE SYNOD
Synod resolution affirms spiritual solidarity with Honduras
In the midst of reports and discussions concerning numerous resolutions, the delegates to the 2014 Southern Province Provincial Synod unanimously passed Resolution 9, “Spiritual Solidarity with Sisters and Brothers in Honduras.” The resolution focuses on the homicide and other violent acts that are directly connected to the trafficking of illegal drugs in Honduras and invites North American Moravians to stand with our partners in “spiritual solidarity.” So, how does this situation affect us as North Americans and what, if anything, can we do about it? It affects us, first of all, because of our mu-
tual membership in the Body of Christ, where, if one part suffers, all suffer with it. It affects us because it affects the Moravian Church in Honduras, and for more than 60 years the Moravian Church in North America has had a special relationship with the Honduran Moravian Church as one of our partner provinces and through the sending of missionaries and mission teams to work alongside our Honduran sisters and brothers. Very importantly, it affects us because most of the drugs being trafficked through Honduras are eventually sold here in the United States. Drug trafficking is a big business, but all too often, our assessment of and opposition to this business has focused (continued on next page) Sam Gray is a bishop of the Moravian Unity and director of intercultural ministry and new work for the Board of World Mission. Photos by Sam.
(continued from previous page) on the “supply” side—the terrible things that drug lords do and the willingness of so many people in other parts of the world to take part in the trafficking. Rarely do we stop to reflect on the importance of the “demand” side of the business. It is this desperate demand or need for illegal substances that creates such a lucrative market. The problem really begins with us! Besides using the best weapon that is available to us (prayer), what else could we possibly do to combat this evil? Here are some suggestions that are laid out in the resolution: Take advantage of the blessing of freedom of speech that is ours in this country and be the voice of our sisters and brothers who often cannot speak out against drug use or drug trafficking because of the danger of retaliation against them or against their families. Try to raise awareness in our churches concerning the struggles that others face. This could be done by showing a film, inviting a speaker with knowledge of the subject, organizing special prayer gatherings, etc. Teach our children and young adults about the consequences of drug use not only for them and their own personal health and safety, but also how buying and using illegal drugs contributes to the incidence of violence and even the murder of many people, young and old, in Honduras and other parts of the 20
world. This should begin at home, but should also spread outward into our schools, our Sunday Schools, our Youth Fellowships, our Bible Studies and even our sermons. Contact our government officials and state and local government representatives, calling upon them to reassess and recreate our U.S. foreign policy and drug policy to address situations of human rights violations, illegal drug trafficking and violence that impact the quality of life for our sisters and brothers in Honduras. Reflect on the question: what is it that creates such a need, such a demand for illegal drugs in our society? What is the emptiness that is longing to be filled? How might the church fill that void or do a better job of introducing folks to the one who can fill that void, Jesus Christ? A young Honduran Moravian heard about Resolution 9 and the overwhelming affirmation that it received at Synod. He said, “My oldest brother was killed by gang members because he would not cooperate with their trafficking. I felt alone and weak. It gives me at least some strength to know that I have many brothers and sisters in the Moravian Church in North America. I thank God for you.” The full text of Resolution 9 can by found at www.mcsp.org. ■
2014 SOUTHERN PROVINCE SYNOD
Synod resolution results in Board of World Mission (BWM) constitution revisions Both the Southern Province (SP), and soon
the Northern Province (NP) are being asked to approve revisions to the Board of World Mission constitution. The Alaska Province and the Unity of the Brethren, official members of the BWM, will also need to ratify the proposed amendments. Much of the work of the BWM has changed since earlier versions of the constitution were enacted, so simple wording edits and changes in mission oversight roles have been proposed. Two additional revisions increase the voices sitting at the table in order to facilitate a broader understanding of the complex issues that often come before the board. The BWM consists of 12 elected directors, including the Northern Province and Southern Province PEC presidents, along with two board-appointed delegates. The boardappointed delegates give the board the opportunity to ask people with a particular gift or needed perspective to serve. For example, this allowed the BWM to have a youth representative and a person with more crosscultural background on the board. The proposed constitution changes allow the BWM to appoint up to four delegates if such a need is perceived. It also limits these appointments to two terms of four years each, something that has not been in place.
Another helpful change is to define a role for affiliate membership. We currently have a member from the Eastern-West Indies Province attending our board meetings, bringing a broader perspective of mission efforts in our global provinces. The Jamaica Province is also interested in partnering with us in mission. Affiliate membership will allow opportunities to build these relationships. All proposed changes to the BWM Constitution were approved by the Southern Province Synod; a resolution has also been submitted for the Northern Province Synod in June. â– Judy Ganz is executive director of the Board of World Mission.
2014 SOUTHERN PROVINCE SYNOD
Moravian polity at work— the (non)election of a Bishop
Synods are a special experience, one in which delegates listen for and discern the moving of the Holy Spirit in making decisions that affect the church. At the Synod of 2014, the Spirit seemed to be saying, “not now” in one area—the election of a bishop. One of the Synod’s key powers is the ability to elect Bishops of the Moravian Unity. Each Synod has the potential to raise an ordained clergy person of the Province to become a “pastor to pastors.” And while this Synod was in the process of electing a bishop, circumstances seemed to signal that now wasn’t the right time. The province lost two bishops over the last four-year period, including Bishop Robert Iobst, who died in 2012, and Bishop James Hughes, who in 2014 moved out of the Southern Province. Bishops in the Moravian Church do not have administrative or Provincial leadership responsibilities—instead, they serve as “pastors to pastors,” ordain new clergy or consecrate higher orders of clergy, and provide counsel to the PECs. They are Bishops of the The Revs. Carol Foltz and Tom Shelton
worldwide Unity, not only of the Province in which they are elected. Electing a bishop of the Unity isn’t like a typical election. There are no candidates, there is no campaigning or electioneering. It starts with delegates discerning a personal selection of a clergy person who would be good in the role, based on the movement of the Spirit in delegates’ hearts. A resolution was approved early in Synod to elect only one bishop during this Synod. Ballotting commenced, with many clergy receiving votes. As the process continued during the next few days, two pastors—Tom Shelton and Carol Foltz—rose to the top of the list. Election of a bishop requires two-thirds affirmation by of those voting. The process continued, and no one was receiving the required two-thirds for election. Delegates prayed over the issue. It was proposed that this Synod elect two bishops, but the proposal wasn’t approved. The Province’s four current bishops remarked that they are not feeling overwhelmed. Several pastors discussed the need for greater pastoral care; others remarked that care of that kind should come from other sources such as pastoral counseling and spiritual development. As Synod was coming to a close on Sunday morning, it became apparent that the candidates were evenly matched and neither would receive the required number of votes. After much discussion, the delegates decided that this wasn’t the year to elect a bishop. The process illustrated that we indeed must listen to the movement of the Spirit at Synod; sometimes, the Spirit says, “not yet.” ■ The Moravian
2014 SOUTHERN PROVINCE SYNOD
Ecumenical partners share thoughts on Southern Province Synod The Synod of 2014 welcomed not only Moravians from across the Southern Province. Two leaders from ecumenical partners—the Episcopal Church and the Church of the Brethren in Texas—also witnessed the work of Synod. Each has provided their thoughts on being amongst Moravians. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop, Episcopal Church I very much enjoyed the Synod of the Southern Province, and learned a great deal about how you make decisions, as well as more about what I’d call your “ethos.” I was deeply moved by your statement about solidarity with the people of Honduras, and mentioned it in a sermon a couple of days later. When we share the pain and fear of our neighbors, nearby and far away, we are transformed. I also found your discernment around the election of a bishop or bishops fascinat-
ing and moving. As a body, you clearly listen deeply for the movement of the Spirit, and are willing to retreat from decisions “in the making” before they come to completion. You have something to teach other Christian bodies in the care you take, and the grace with which you address one another. I give thanks for your hospitality and deeply gracious welcome. May God continue to bless your ministry as a body, and may our efforts toward common mission be fruitful. James D. Hejl, pastor, Taylor (Texas) Brethren Church, representing the Unity of the Brethren The hearts were full. This impression refers not only to the knitted, felted, candy-filled hearts placed at each Synod delegate’s seat, but to the prevailing (continued on next page)
Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, talks with PEC President David Guthrie at Synod
(continued from previous page) The Rev. James Hejl of the Unity of the Brethren Church in Texas, addresses Synod.
spirit of love shown by all present. As an advisory delegate from the Unity of the Brethren in Texas, my memories of the 2014 Southern Province Synod are of a gathering of friends who may not see eye to eye on every issue, but whose hearts are nonetheless joined by the living God who transcends every barrier between people, real or imagined. I found myself to be completely absorbed by moments of worship which were at once challenging and uplifting, and the plenary sessions seemed to strike the right notes of gravity and playfulness when proper. I always welcomed the joyful strains of the brass instrumentalists outside the assembly hall prior to the plenaries. As my church experimented with electronic balloting at our 2013 Convention, I keenly observed the implementation of similar technology at Synod, and found that its use served the parliamentary goals well. Indeed, Synod leaders seemed always careful to have the overall process serve people, rather than expect people to serve the process. The online availability of reports and other documents prior to Synod greatly aided the task of preparation. The moments of candor voiced by delegates from the floor underscore the tremendous challenges facing the Moravian Church and the breadth of passionate views held by her members. My love, support, and fervent prayers are ever with the Moravian Church and I covet the same for the Unity of the Brethren in Texas. As we strive to discern and follow Godâ€™s will and to strengthen our bonds of friendship, my hope is articulated by my defining memory of the 2014 Southern Province Synod: The hearts were full. â– The Moravian
2014 SOUTHERN PROVINCE SYNOD
Knitters’ work gives Synod more “heart” A
special gift greeted all attendees at the Southern Province 2014 Synod: hand-knit and felted heart shaped bowls filled with candy were placed at every attendees’ spot. The dream of the hearts began months before Synod was on the minds of the majority of folks in the Southern Province. The dream became a reality as the hearts began to fill my house and then at Synod as the tellers helped me place the hearts, filled with a variety of candy, at delegates’ places. What a beautiful way to see the work of God take shape. The hearts came from all across the United States and Canada from Moravians and nonMoravians alike. Each of our ecumenical partners sent at least one heart; one ecumenical pastor spun the wool, knitted the heart bowl and then went through the felting process. As each heart was knit, prayers were being offered for Synod of 2014 and that all delegates would be moved by the presence of the spirit. As I’ve listened to folks its clear to me that the Spirit’s presence was felt on several occasions. Completed hearts were blessed by a blessing written by Sarah Hubbard of the Board of Cooperative Ministries—thank you Sarah for your gift of words as you wrote a
beautiful blessing that expressed the meaning behind my dream and ultimately the hearts themselves. Once all the hearts were collected we had a little more than 300. I’ve estimated it took on average 4.5 hours to complete each heart—that’s 1350 hours (at least) that went into knitting the hearts and praying for synod! How very awesome—words cannot express my deep gratitude for the gifts that many knitters gave as they used their wool and needles to knit. I also would be remiss if I didn’t thank Heather Stevenson at the Board of Cooperative ministries as she helped coordinate folks looking for patterns and helped me collect hearts and get them ready to be sent up to synod and lastly, Beverly Johnson as she helped get things copied and sent out countless emails for me. Thank you to all who lent a hand in making hearts, collecting hearts, blessing hearts and to Fries Memorial Moravian for the candy that filled the hearts. As synod began it was fun to watch people admire their hearts and share the candy with one another. As the place card that was placed by each card said “In all things Love!” Love was shared with each other through the gift of the hearts to each delegate and may that love, Christ’s love live long in each of your hearts and continue to guide the Southern Province. ■ Kelly Moore is pastor of Fries Memorial Moravian Church in Winston-Salem, N.C.
IN OUR CONGREGATIONS
Canaan pastor comes “full circle” with birth of her son
The Rev. Beth Rohn-Habhegger was the last baby born to a pastor serving Canaan Moravian Church in rural Cass County, N.D. Now, 40 years later, she lives in what was once her childhood home, she serves as pastor at the same church where her father used to minister, and on Feb. 6 she gave birth to her second child, Anders Habhegger, the first baby born to a pastor serving the church since her own birth. “It’s special. It’s coming full circle,” Beth said. “I never in my life dreamed that would happen.” Beth didn’t expect to be called to serve the congregation of Canaan Moravian. It’s rare for pastors to serve in churches where they were baptized, she said. But two years ago she accepted the call to serve the same church where her father, the Rev. Denny Rohn, began his pastoral career. “I just smiled,” said Denny, who was 24 when he became pastor at Canaan Moravian. He served there from 1970 to 1975,
but says he still feels like a member of that congregation. “I tell people seminary trained me to be a minister but Canaan taught me what it meant to be a pastor,” said Denny, now retired and living in Ohio, where he still fills in for pastors from time to time. Chuck and Dorothy Albright of Lynchburg, N.D., were members of Canaan Moravian when Denny was pastor. Chuck Albright was also involved in Beth’s call to serve the church. They say she is an excellent preacher and see both her father and mother in the way she delivers sermons. “I don’t think that the acorn fell too far away from the tree,” Chuck Albright said. “We are fortunate to have her here,” added Dorothy Albright. Beth says she has known since she was 7 years old that she wanted to be a pastor. “I kind of fought it when I was a teenager, but by the time I graduated college, seminary wasn’t a matter of if, it was a matter of when,” she said. “Growing up, I was always kind of the outsider. I was never part of the in crowd. I was teased and never really felt like I belonged except when I was in church or at church camp. That was the one place I knew I was loved. I was accepted. I could be me and that was OK.” Her mom, who died in 2008, went through a year of seminary and would fill in occasionally for her father, so Beth says she was used to seeing women in the pulpit. Denny says his daughter has always seemed Generations together at Anders’ baptism, including big brother Rhone, grandfather Denny, father Seth and mother Beth.
spiritually ahead of her age. “I had an inkling she would end up going into the ministry when she was 6,” he said. Still, he never mentioned it to her. When she told her parents what she wanted to do, Beth says they tried to talk her out of it. “With four girls, the expectation was that one of us would go into what we referred to as ‘the family business,’ ” she said. “They didn’t want me to go into the ministry because it was an expectation. They wanted me to make sure that I was doing it because I felt that’s what God wanted for me.” While Beth talked about going into ministry, she also talked about wanting to be an actress on Broadway, her father said. When she graduated college, she knew she wasn’t spiritually or emotionally ready for ministry, so she spent two years working as an attractions hostess and character at Disney World and interning at a nearby Moravian church. That experience, she says, really helped her understand that working as a pastor was where God wanted her to be. Canaan Moravian is the third congregation Beth has served. Her first congregation was also a church her dad served. Within months someone from Canaan Moravian told Beth she was one of them and it was nice to have her back. “I felt honored because it wasn’t about being Denny’s daughter, it was about being one June 2014
of us,” she said. “That’s something that a lot of pastors have to work toward and it was a gift that was given to me.” That members of the congregation threw her a baby shower showed her how much they support her, Beth said. “It really shows the connection that I have with the congregation,” she said. “It’s a blessing, it really is. Because I live so far away from my family, it’s nice to know that I have that support.” ■ Thanks to Tracy Frank, writer for Features and Farmer’s Forum Report of The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead for this story. Below: Chuck and Dorothy Lynch welcome Anders Habhegger to Canaan Moravian. Photo by Tracy Frank.
OFFICIAL PROVINCIAL ELDERS’ NEW NORTHERN PROVINCE Outdoor Ministries Sunday, June 22, 2014 The 1994 Synod of the Moravian Church– Northern Province passed legislation regarding the observance of an Outdoor Ministries Sunday. The date for this observance has been established by the Provincial Elders’ Conference as the Sunday after Trinity Sunday, which falls on June 2 this year. Pastors are encouraged to use either of the liturgies prepared in 1996-1997. The liturgies are available in the “Public Documents” section of the Northern Province Portal or by contacting the Provincial Office.
Hope, Indiana Brother Andrew Kilps, who has been serving as pastor of the Palmyra Moravian Church, Cinnaminson, N.J., has accepted the call to serve as pastor of the Hope Moravian Church, Hope, Ind. Brother Kilps will begin his new work August 11, 2014.
A unique opportunity to reach Moravians across North America! 28
Presbyterial Consecration Sister Trina Holmberg, currently serving as pastor for Unionville Moravian Church, Unionville, Mich., will be consecrated a presbyter of the Moravian Church on June 1, 2014. Bishop Douglas H. Kleintop will officiate at the service, which will be held at the Unionville Moravian Church. Retirement Brother F. Jeffrey Van Orden requested and was granted permission to retire from the active call of the Moravian Church effective July 1, 2014. Brother Van Orden was ordained a deacon of the Moravian Church June 24, 1973 and has served the church in pastorates in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia Third), New Jersey (Riverside), Ohio (Church of the Redeemer), and Indiana (Hope) as well as serving under call to specialized ministry at The Lighthouse (a United Fund agency in Philadelphia). The church is grateful for his fifteen years of faithful service. Elizabeth D. Miller Provincial Elders’ Conference
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SOUTHERN PROVINCE Laurel Ridge The Laurel Ridge Board of Directors has announced James E. Fordham III (Tres) has accepted the position of Director, Laurel Ridge Moravian Camp, Conference and Retreat Center. Tres is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in Recreation Management and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a MS in Leisure Studies (Parks, Recreation and Tourism). Tres brings a great mix of skills to the camp through his background and education. Tres grew up at Calvary Moravian Church where he is still an Associate Member. He is married to Dawn Bodford Fordham and they have two children, Jay and Mollie. Tres will assume this role May 1, 2014. Carolyn Griffin Carolyn Griffin, wife of Don Griffin, pastor at Union Cross Moravian Church, WinstonSalem, entered the more immediate presence of her Lord and Savior on April 22, 2014. A committal service was held in God’s Acre in Salem, at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 25, with the Rev. Scott Venable officiating. A memorial service was conducted by the Rt. Rev. Sam Gray at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 26, at Fairview Moravian Church, Winston-Salem. David Guthrie, Provincial Elders’ Conference Ad Policy for The Moravian — The Moravian accepts paid advertising that is consistent with the magazine’s objectives and editorial convictions as they are stated in the purpose and mission of the Interprovincial Board of Communication. Advertisements for activities, services and products of specific interest to members of the Moravian Church have priority. The Moravian does not accept purely editorial advertisements that advocate specific ideas or issues. Articles, columns and letters to the editor are the appropriate vehicles for the presentation of ideas and issues. The Interprovincial Board of Communication is responsible for the content and design of the magazine, including advertisements. Ad rates and specifications are available www.moravian.org.
Mrs. Edwin A. Sawyer Sister
Elizabeth (Stempel) Sawyer died in Lititz, Pa., on April 12, 2014 at age 99. She was born March 3, 1915 in Winston-Salem, N.C., a daughter of Edward and Adelaide (Ross) Stempel. Sister Sawyer attended public schools in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Staten Island, N.Y. and graduated from Bethlehem Business College, Bethlehem, Pa.. She was united in marriage to Brother Edwin A. Sawyer on June 18, 1938 at the Old Chapel in Bethlhem. She served alongside her husband in ministry settings in Pennsylvania (Coopersburg, Allentown, Nazareth, Bethlehem, Philadelphia, Lititz), North Carolina (Winston-Salem), Maryland (Upper Marlboro), Ohio (Dover), Arizona (Peoria) and Alberta (Edmonton). Her husband, Edwin; son, Robert; daughters Jean and Marilyn; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren survive Sister Sawyer. A memorial service was held April 17, 2014 at the Old Chapel, with the Rev. David Wickmann and the Rev. Janel Rice officiating. Burial was in Nisky Hill Cemetery in Bethlehem. Memorials were welcomed for Moravian Open Door or a charity of choice. ■
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Liturgical and Sacramental Unity and Liberty In order to cultivate creative expressions of worship according to need, Synod charged the Interprovincial Faith and Order Committee to develop guidelines for evaluating changes to liturgies, litanies, rites and sacraments, while maintaining official doctrines and our theology of the heart, so that we may continue to celebrate both the unity and variety of our liturgical life and that if agreeable to both provinces, the guidelines be subject to review by the clergy and bishops of the Northern and Southern provinces.
approved by the full synod as Resolution 18. When coupled with the passage of Resolution 17, which authorized PEC “to establish policies and procedures and to use Cornerstone Campaign funds for such general financial support of new and emerging ministries,” these resolutions give the Southern Province much greater flexibility to provide resources and support to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, now and in the future. Equating these ministries with manna is helpful in several ways. First, it recognizes their value here and now while also understanding the potential for God to provide through these ministries, even as those ministries continue to change over time. Eventually the Israelites made it to the Promised Land, and the Lord no longer provided them manna because they no longer needed it. The thought that the Moravian Church would only exist as long as God wanted it to do God’s work in the world has been attributed to Count Zinzendorf. Our church has grown and changed dramatically since Zinzendorf said this, but we trust that we still exist because God is still working through us. Likewise we believe these Manna Ministries may grow and change and thrive as long as God is working through them. Who knows what God may do through them, or through other modes of Manna Ministries that God is about to shower down to be a blessing to us and to others! The full text of Resolution 18 Establishment of Manna Ministries is available on the Southern Province Website (http://mcsp.org/ wp-content/uploads/2013/06/2014-SynodResolutions.pdf). ■
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Unity Women’s Desk Fundraising Campaign Synod resolved that the Provincial Support Service Board will conduct an assessment of a fundraising campaign for the Unity Women’s Desk, and upon approval of the Provincial Elders’ Conference of the Southern Province the Women’s Desk be authorized to establish and execute a fundraising campaign, encouraging the support of churches within the Province. Establishment of Manna Ministries Synod resolved that the Southern Province recognize the role and value of “Manna Ministries,” new and emerging ministries that do not otherwise fit into the existing models and categories of ministry; and that the Provincial Elders Conference determine how to develop guidelines for Manna Ministries that promote sustainability, offer accountability and foster collaboration and discernment. (see story on page 15) ■ 30
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