The Board of World Mission of the Moravian Church North America is pleased to announce that Justin Rabbach has been named the Board’s new Executive Director. [Read more…]
Please return to this page to find the most recent updates on the MDR Responses to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Each dated link below will give a fuller update from that point in time.
DECEMBER 15: CLICK HERE to be taken to the Friday, December 15 update of MDR.
NOVEMBER 10: CLICK HERE to be taken to the Friday, November 10 update of MDR.
OCTOBER 16: CLICK HERE to be taken to the Monday, October 16 update of MDR.
SEPTEMBER 27: CLICK HERE to be taken to the Thursday, September 21 update of MDR.
SEPTEMBER 21: CLICK HERE to be taken to the Thursday, September 21 update of MDR.
SEPTEMBER 14: CLICK HERE to be taken to the Thursday, September 14 update of MDR.
SEPTEMBER 9: CLICK HERE to be taken to the Saturday, September 9 update of MDR.
SEPTEMBER 7: CLICK HERE to be taken to the Thursday, September 7 update of MDR.
SEPTEMBER 5: CLICK HERE to be taken to the Tuesday, September 5 update of MDR.
AUGUST 28: CLICK HERE to be taken to the Monday, August 28th update of MDR.
Make a Donation
Donations to help support MDR as it partners in the recovery can be made online by going to moravianmission.org/give. Please use the online giving form, and in comments designate the Donation for “Moravian Disaster Response”.
Donations within the U.S. can also be sent directly to the Board of World Mission at the address below. In the memo line of any checks please write “Moravian Disaster Response”.
Board of World Mission
PO Box 1245
Bethlehem, PA 18016
Canadian Churches may send donations to the following address in order to receive full tax credit for your donation and they will be sent along to the BWM:
Moravian Church in Canada
600 Acadia Drive SE
Calgary, AB T2J 0B8
NOTE: We are requesting funds be designated for general disaster response to allow the BWM to respond with the flexibility needed in this ongoing situation. All funds under this designation will be used for disaster response.
If you are interested in getting information on joining teams to help in the recovery and rebuilding efforts for this, or other disasters, please use this link to enter your contact information, and the BWM will follow up with you regarding any specific opportunities to get involved.
Please contact the BWM with any questions.
Northern Province Office: 610.868.1732
Southern Province Office: 336.773.1732
Director of Mission Engagement
Board of World Mission
Immediately below is a link to download a prayer resource adapted from the Moravian Book of Worship’s Liturgy “Intercession in a Time of Crisis”, available for personal use or in a group or worship setting.
Meet, Sam Gray!
Hometown: Clemmons, NC (right now!)
Home Church: Come & Worship
BWM Position: Director of Intercultural Ministries and New Work
I am the “connection” for the BWM with our Mission Areas and Mission Provinces and try to raise awareness of and involvement in that work within our congregations. I also help people to see the needs and opportunities for being in mission right where they are.
Years in this position: 13 years (began August 1, 2004) but had also served with the BWM as a missionary in Honduras from 1976 – 1977 and from 1980 – 1992.
Fun Work Fact: I have worked along with 8 BWM Executive Directors (Ted Hartmann, Graham Rights, Ted Wilde, Hampton Morgan, Gordon Sommers, Will Sibert, Bob Sawyer and Judy Ganz).
Camp Involvement: Laurel Ridge, Tar Hollow, Mt. Morris, Hope Center, Van Es
Favorite Moravian Eats: Egg sandwich made with toasted Lovefeast bun
Dogs or Cats: Dogs
Why mission work? Simple answer: because Jesus made it pretty clear that this is what we are called to be and do. So, for me, the only question was, “Do I do mission work along with my vocation or as my vocation?”
Places Sam has been to for missions: Albania, Barbados, Belize, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Israel (and Palestine), Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, Nicaragua, Peru, Poland, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Tortola, U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John)
Favorite mission memory:
A defining moment for me in mission was November 9, 1983 (in Central America that is 9/11 – the 9th day of the 11th month). We had moved to Ahuas, Honduras, where I was teaching at the Moravian Bible Institute and serving as Director of Christian Education for the Honduras Province. We had built a house and filled it with all of the things that we needed in order to serve and minister to the local people.
But on 9/11/1983 our house burned to the ground (interestingly, because of a miscommunication in Spanish and English – long story!) and we lost everything that was inside. Or, I should say, we lost almost everything. In the days before social media and digital cameras, we had made it a point to send wedding photos, pictures of our children and other memories to family and friends in other places. About a month after the fire, we began receiving these photos in the mail. Folks had realized that they would be meaningful to us and were sending them back. And we discovered an important principle for life and ministry: the only things we had were the things that we had given away!
The other defining moment in that event was the morning after the fire when we realized that we had nothing and we were totally dependent on the local people. The youth group took up an offering and brought it to us. People invited us for meals and gave us a place to stay. We were no longer the ones with everything who were there to serve the ones who had nothing. The tables had turned and this left an important “guiding image” in my mind and on my heart.
A story from Judy about her colleague, Sam
It is always wonderful to do mission with Bishop Sam Gray! He has been so many places and knows so many people. And he always finds a way to help with the music. One time we were together at a worship service in Nicaragua at the Miskitu church in Puerto Cabezas (Bilwi). Sam was helping with the piano accompaniment. In Nicaragua they use their Lawana (hymnal) and people would call out a Lawana number and Sam would play it from memory! In Peru Sam joined up with the Rhemanente band to help with keyboard. In Cuba, he was able to get a shy teenager to share her beautiful voice for the congregation as they did a duet together. And sometimes he’ll bring along his plastic trombone in order to accompany songs. While Bishop Sam is proficient in several languages, he shows us that music is a language that crosses all boundaries in sharing the Gospel!
Meet, Jill Kolodziej!
Hometown: Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Home Church: Sturgeon Bay Moravian
BWM Position: Director of Antioch
As Director I coordinate cross culture volunteer opportunities between Antioch volunteers and site hosts who have invited the BWM to join in their work and ministries.
How many years in this position: I have served as the Director since 2009.
Fun Work Fact: One of the most rewarding parts of my role is hearing how Antioch volunteers experience God’s presence in preparation for, during, and upon reflection of their experience.
Camp Involvement: Chetek, Mt. Morris Camps & Conference Center, Mt. Morris Wisconsin, High & Post High young people
Favorite Moravian Eats: Chicken pie, sugar cake
Dogs or Cats: Actually, it was Marcie, our former guinea pig
Why mission work?
As followers of Jesus, God calls us to live life in relationship with God in a way that Micah 6:8 characterizes; act justly, love mercy/compassion, walk humbly with God.
Places Jill has been to for missions:
Hometown, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, North Dakota, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Grenada
Favorite mission memory:
I am always pleasantly surprised and awed by how God’s presence is made visible in very routine human encounters. While in Jamaica with high school young people we set aside time at the end of the day to reflect on our experiences from the day. One young man visited a school and played his guitar for the young students at the school. He recalled that the students circled around him as he played. He said that as he looked into each of their faces he saw the face of Jesus.
On another Jamaica visit, I had a high school girl in my small group that kept to herself and would spend much of her downtime reading. She didn’t socialize much with the large group. One day, our small group was assigned to paint one of two rooms that served as a home for a mother, her child, and a grandmother that was blind. Our Jamaican host, a Moravian pastor, asked if one from our group would please read to the grandmother during our visit. Once at the home, I asked who would like to read. The young gal who found relaxation in her reading volunteered. As the remainder of the group continued to paint the grandmother’s bedroom we could hear the younger voice of the girl reading from the Bible from the other room. Before she could finish a verse the elderly woman would recite the scripture from memory in unison with her. To hear their voices blended together was truly a Spirit-filled experience.
Meet, Deb Swanson!
Hometown: Bethlehem, PA
Home Church: Edgeboro Moravian Church, Bethlehem, PA
BWM Position: Administrative Assistant
I am the administrative assistant for Judy and the BWM staff. I handle all incoming donations, acknowledgements, filing, organizing and re-organizing, meeting planning and coordinating, and any other surprises that may come my way!
How many years in this position: Two
Camp Involvement: I was a counselor with Sr. High Camp at Camp Hope ONCE. One week in a cabin full of teenage girls was enough for me!!! LOL!
Favorite Moravian Eats: Sugar Cake and Chicken Pie
Dogs or Cats? Definitely Dogs! I love my Golden Retriever, Harley. Sadly, I’m allergic to cats!
Fun Work Fact: Although I have never been on a mission trip, I enjoy talking with and hearing about others who have a passion for mission and are always happy to share stories and photos. You never know who is going to call, email or stop by the Mission Office – no two days are ever the same!