Who Would Have Thought?

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BY DOUG RIGHTS |

It has been almost two months since I received some not-so-good news. This news finds me saying to myself, “Who would have thought?”

Who would have thought that the membership of our Southern Province would have declined as it has? Especially since the Moravian Church has so much to offer, including our rich and wonderful history, our special and meaningful traditions, our emphasis on God’s love than on God’s judgment, our value of community, our desire to serve others, and our willingness to accept people with different opinions.

Who would have thought that the financial giving from our Southern Province churches to our province would have declined so much these past several years? Certainly part of this is due to our decline in membership. Yet sometimes I wonder how many of us Southern Province Moravians prayerfully consider what God wants us to give and give that amount. How many of us consider God’s guideline of tithing and tithe or try to work toward tithing? How many of us see the importance of giving not only to our church families, but also the importance of how our giving goes to ministries in our province and ministry to the world?

Young Adult Moravians

Young Adult Moravians (YAMs) at a recent cookout/bonfire event.

And who would have thought our province would be at a point when we could not support a person working full-time with the youth and young adults of our province? Our Board of Cooperative Ministries shared the recent news of a shortfall in our next year’s budget. I think it is really more of a “big-fall.” Our board had to make the very tough decision that it could no longer support a full-time person to serve as Director of Youth, College and Young Adult Ministries.

This decision is my not-so-good news. I am sad I will not be able to continue to serve in a capacity that I have loved these past four years. It has been a joy and a privilege to serve our youth, college age and young adults of the province. Now I look forward to the next step God has for me.

But the greater sadness I feel, along with many others, is that of not having someone in this position. The members and staff of the Board of Cooperative Ministries will do all they can to keep our youth, college, and young adult ministries going. We hope this will also be a time when people will step up and help our youth and young adults feel even more wanted, more loved, and more connected to our churches.

My hope and prayer is that the day will come when I can say: Who would have thought that despite the lack of funds and a full-time staff person, our youth, college, and young adult ministries continue to be strong? That these ministries will thrive in even greater ways, and that our youth, college age and young adults will help bring renewal to our churches and our province!


Read the original announcement about the discontinuation of the Director of Youth, College, and Young Adult Ministries position here.

Read the questions and answers post regarding that announcement here.


If you have questions or need additional information, email (drightsATmcsp.org) or call the Moravian Board of Cooperative Ministries at (336) 722-8126.

The Rev. Doug Rights is the Director of Youth, College, and Young Adult Ministries at the Moravian Board of Cooperative Ministries (BCM). 

Doug with wife Kathy

Youth Matter! Part Two: Serving College Students

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BY DOUG RIGHTS |

A few months ago I wrote a blog about our Moravian college students and the importance of making them feel connected to their congregations while away. With a new school year underway, it is a good time to revisit how churches can serve and meet the needs of their college students.

Even though many of our college students are away from home and away from their church homes, that does not mean they should feel disconnected from home. Our college students are an important part of our churches.

College-Age Cookout

College-age cookout

In my previous blog, I shared some ways our churches can stay connected to our college students. I would like to highlight some of these ideas again and have added some fresh ones.

  • Have someone who is responsible for knowing who your college students are and how to contact them. (I would appreciate getting a list of your college students and contact information so I can contact them too).
  • Have someone from your congregation contact your college students to check in with them. Find out how they are doing. Ask if there is anything your church can do for them.
  • Make sure they get your church mailings, newsletters, and any other church information that goes out.
Moravian students at Christ the King luncheon

Moravian students at Christ the King luncheon

  • Have people in your church take a special interest in caring for a college student (adopt-a-student). Pray for that student and keep in touch with him or her or them.
  • Send care packages, especially during exam times or at the beginning of a semester.
  • Have someone in your church visit them and take them out for a meal.
  • When they are home and come to church, make sure you welcome them back.
  • When they are home, offer them opportunities to get together with other students such as at cookouts, going out to dinner after church, or have some type of class for them. For something like this to happen, it is best to have someone willing to do it and be responsible for it.
  • Also realize that not everyone is called to attend college. Be supportive of everyone who is college age.
Moravian students at Appalachian State this fall

Moravian students at Appalachian State this fall

When the time comes that our college students graduate, they may remain close to your church or they may be far away. Whatever the case, may all of our churches be faithful in carrying out their ministries to college students as they continue to journey with the Lord!


If you have questions or need additional information, email (drightsATmcsp.org) or call the Moravian Board of Cooperative Ministries at (336) 722-8126.

The Rev. Doug Rights is the Director of Youth, College, and Young Adult Ministries at the Moravian Board of Cooperative Ministries (BCM). 

Doug with wife Kathy