Ready for the Essentials

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BY REV. DAN MILLER |

This past July, I was privileged to be invited to Camp Hope, the Moravian camp in Hope, NJ, to lead programming for the senior high camp. I know you didn’t come to this blog to read about camp stories from me, but if you stick with me until the end, I promise there will be something there for you.

Camp Hope’s senior high camp has a planning committee made up of a select group of youth, which is similar to other Moravian senior high camps and Regional Youth Councils. As their name suggests, this group is responsible for planning many aspects of camp, part of which includes selecting an initial idea for the camp’s program and selecting someone to carry it out. When the planning committee came to me with the invitation to do the camp’s program, they explained their program idea. They wanted to know more about the “Moravian Motto” – In Essentials, Unity, In Nonessentials, Liberty, In All Things, Love. They said they knew the motto, but they didn’t know about the first part of it. Their question was simple: if we’re supposed to be united in the essentials, shouldn’t we know what those essentials are?

Yes, that would be important.

So, I set to work creating a program centered around the Essentials first laid out by our Moravian ancestor, Luke of Prague, and most recently reaffirmed by the Northern and Southern provinces at their most recent synods – God creates, God redeems, and God blesses, and in response we live with faith, love, and hope. Since camp always has a fun side to it, I wrapped it up in a survival-theme, because when else does anyone think of what is essential to living until they are alone in the wilderness trying to survive with nothing? Before I knew it, the theme morphed into Survivor, like the popular TV show. But using this theme didn’t quite fit with the Essentials because we don’t simply want to survive as a Christians, we want to thrive. Hence, the name of the program was changed to be called Thriver: The Essentials. The logo was the finishing touch before the program was unveiled at camp.

Thriver logo

The logo for Camp Hope’s Senior High camp program, inspired by the popular TV show, Survivor.

It wasn’t until the third day of camp that the six Essentials themselves were unveiled, and once they were, there was no going back. I was amazed at how quickly the camp soaked this up. Within minutes, everyone knew what the Essentials were. I could almost read the campers’ thoughts as I saw their faces light up – “There’s only six of them? Live with faith, love, and hope? I can do that!” Evening vespers were filled with praises directed towards one of the three God Essentials (i.e. Creator, Redeemer, Blesser). Small group discussions began filling up with conversations about people, things, actions, and events and how they point towards or away from faith, love, and hope. Campers were talking about the program outside of program time. (There’s something so wonderful about hearing conversations about the Essentials in line for dinner and in the pool.) The Essentials were quickly embraced, lived out, and manifested with new flesh and blood. Everyone at this camp was so ready for the Essentials.

Rev. Cynthia Rader Geyer leads a prayer

A body prayer was led each day before program by Rev. Cynthia Rader Geyer to prepare ourselves to receive the Essentials.

So why am I sharing about camp on this blog? I’m sharing this to let you know that the next generation is so ready to know about the Essentials. Children want to know that they are created, redeemed, and blessed by God not because of how much they know or how much they are able to do, but because of God’s love and grace. Youth want to know that there are so many unique ways that they can live with faith, love, and hope. College students want to know what makes them a Christian when they don’t have the chance to see the people and the place that they had associated with being a Christian for so long while growing up.

So teach the Essentials in your Sunday School and confirmation classes. Make them explicitly a part of your worship. Lead some kind of discussion curriculum about them. Be intentional about including them in a name of a group, the title of an event, or even a mission statement. Write them in the bulletin. Put them on Facebook.

A small group at Camp Hope pray together

A small group prays together as they each stand in a valentine from God made to represent one of the Essentials: Love.

Do something to spread the word about the Essentials because the next generation, and for that matter, all people, are ready…

They are ready to be loved and accepted completely as individuals who have unique talents, shortcomings, experiences, interests, insecurities, and dreams.

They are ready to give themselves to a movement, a cause, a purpose, and a Savior that is bigger than themselves.

They are ready to come together and unite with others to show the world faith, love, and hope.

They are ready for the Essentials.

May we be ready to share them.


About the Author

The Rev. Dan Miller

Photo courtesy of Rev. Dan Miller

Dan Miller (revdanmiller@gmail.com) is the pastor of Edgeboro Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He serves on the Interprovincial Board of Communication and the Moravian Theological Seminary Alumni Board. Dan is the co-creator of Moravian Church Without Walls (MCWW), a creative “think tank” for online ministry, which has most recently produced the MCWW Daily Text Podcast Series. Find it at anchor.fm/mcww or wherever you get your podcasts.


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Zechariah and the Day of Small Things

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BY RUSTY RUSHING |

“For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.” Zechariah 4:10 ESV

Earlier this week, a pastor that I follow on Twitter tweeted out this verse of Scripture. He offered no explanation or elaboration on the verse, no context or story; he simply posted the verse. And as I read it, it just spoke to me.

Admittedly, this is a pretty obscure verse of Scripture. In fact, it might even be one that you’ve never read or have simply glossed offer hundreds of times. But, whatever the case, I think it’s a significant verse for us to consider given where we are as a congregation.

This verse is included in a vision that God revealed to the prophet Zechariah during the period when the Jews were just returning to Jerusalem from the Babylonian exile. [1]

At first, there was great joy and hope among God’s people as they returned home and, under the leadership of Zerubbabel, began to rebuild the temple. They laid the foundation of the temple, but, despite the decree of King Cyrus of Persia which granted them the freedom to return and rebuild the temple, the rebuilding project suffered tremendous opposition from people in and around Jerusalem.[2] In time, in the face of this opposition, enthusiasm and hope waned. Fears grew, as did frustration and discouragement over the lack of building progress. Despondency set in and faith faded, leading the people to lose heart for the mission and abandon the rebuilding efforts…Though they had been freed from the physical exile and were allowed to return home, those that returned to Jerusalem were still experiencing a sense of spiritual exile, wondering whether they were still part of God’s plan or whether they had been abandoned.

Many years passed and only the temple foundation remained built. Then, in approximately 520 B.C., God spoke to the people through Zechariah, encouraging them to resume rebuilding the temple. [3] And it was within this context, a call to God’s people to resume rebuilding the temple, that God spoke the words, “For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel” (ESV). These were words of assurance to God’s people that though the rebuilding project looked small and insignificant to them, by the power of His Spirit, He would work through Zerubbabel to ensure the temple was rebuilt. Perhaps even more importantly, however, these were words of assurance to God’s people that His presence was still with them and working for and through them, and that He still had a plan to bless them.

And, just as God assured the people would occur, in 516 B.C., the rebuilding of temple was completed.[4] Through this experience God’s people learned a valuable lesson of faith: though new beginnings may look small and insignificant from our perspective, and though we may face opposition from others and progress may be slower than we want, that does not mean that God’s presence is not with His people, working in and through people of faith to accomplish great tasks, blessing them, and providing them opportunities to rejoice as His plan of redemption moves forward.

Great story, huh? But what does this have to do with us here at Peace? Well, I think a great deal.

Photo of Peace Moravian Church outside of Hawk Ridge Elementary for worship on Easter, 2017

The Peace congregation gathered outside of Hawk Ridge Elementary for worship on Easter, 2017.

Over the last year as Peace has attempted to start over as a church we’ve gone from worshipping in the Moravian House to worshipping at Hawk Ridge Elementary. As we did, I shared statistics showing that new churches that worship in public places, especially schools, have higher worship attendance. And, so as we set out for Hawk Ridge, we did so with great hope and even enthusiasm.

In our short time at Hawk Ridge, we’ve begun serving the community there, collecting school supplies for them and becoming reading buddies at the school, attempting to serve the students and faculty of Hawk Ridge and begin to build relationships with them. In July, a number of us met with the principal of Hawk Ridge to discuss even more significant ways we can serve them and further integrate ourselves into their community next school year.

In addition to our move to Hawk Ridge, we’ve also relocated our offices to Greylyn Business Park. And, Joyce Vance, Peace’s Director of Christian Education, and I have been dreaming about ways our new space can provide us with additional opportunities to connect with one another and the community where we now find ourselves. In particular, I am personally very excited about exploring potential partnering and service opportunities with the Community Culinary School of the Carolinas (CCSC) which is located in Greylyn. CCSC is a wonderful ministry that provides “workplace development” for “adults who face barriers gaining long-term successful employment.” They provide job training, counseling, and assist in helping people develop life skills. CCSC is nourishing the community helping those they serve transform their lives. And, we have begun dreaming about ways we might be able to join them in nourishing the community by being agents of God’s peace.

But, as we look back at our efforts over the past year and the progress we have made, I will be the first to admit that our progress has been much slower than I or any of us would have desired. Securing office space and moving took far longer and required far more time and energy than I would ever imagined.

I also realize that if we examine our efforts and what we’ve accomplished thus far it would be easy for us to be frustrated and discouraged and to begin to lose heart at these “small things,” questioning whether we are still part of God’s plan and whether He has a plan for us. It would be easy for us to abandon the mission and “despise the day of small things.”

However, these things had to happen before we could begin to move forward and discover who and where God is calling us to be. New beginnings often appear to be “small things,” but they set the stage for development, growth, and maturation. Now, with these moves behind us and new relationships with Hawk Ridge and CCSC beginning to develop, we are set to get down the hard work of discipleship, growing as disciples individually and as a community, and joining God in His mission. And that is going to be our focus going forward. It’s going to be hard work, filled with twists, turns, and uncertainties. But if we are willing to become the disciples Jesus calls us to be, one day we will look back on “the day of small things” and rejoice at what God has done in and through us. And I for one am excited about the journey.

This piece was originally published in the June 2017 edition of the Peace Moravian Church newsletter.

Footnotes:

[1] New Bible commentary: 21st century ed. (Leicester (GB): Inter-Varsity Press, 1997)., 863.

[2] Ibid, 863.

[3] Ibid, 863.

[4] Ibid, 864.

 


Photo of Rusty Rushing

Photo by Patti Smith

Rusty Rushing is a provincial acolyte and student pastor at Peace Moravian Church in Charlotte, NC

 

 

 

 

 

Was That Said in Love?

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BY AMY LINVILLE |

“Was that said in love?” I ask in an attempt to bring a sense of lightheartedness to the situation and cease a quarrel between two campers. I know it’s cheesy, but you can only ask them to stop and behave so many times, and it’s a long week. Most of the time, it serves only to bring laughter. But in reality, I hope that this phrase occasionally slips into the mind of the campers as they prepare for bed, reflect during small group, or play “knock-out” on the slab. And the more I hope it for the kids at camp, the more I hope this thought slips into the minds of friends, family, and myself at home.

magnifying glass

I like words. I like to analyze words, study the history of words, search for context of words, and ponder for hours over word choice. I know that most people might not spend as much energy on these pursuits as I do, but I receive a great deal of fulfillment in trying to understand from where our words come. Our words and actions are rooted in our thoughts and emotions. Each piece gives away how we think, process, and feel. The things we say and do offer glimpses into our physical, spiritual, and mental states. My husband knows that many of my words said in anger can originate in hunger (hanger is dangerous and not to be taken lightly). I know that a young camper’s tears and pleading phrases can often come from a place of fear; being away from home for the first time is scary. Perhaps those we see spreading hateful words are really confused, afraid, and maybe a little hangry. Many days, it takes effort and pause for me to ensure that my words are coming from a place of love. I have to be mindful about it.

So, what does it mean to speak, and even act, from a place of love? We all know that “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians, 4-7. NIV). This passage from the Bible is probably one of the most quoted, but I know it is not enacted nearly as frequently. To come from a place of love would require patience and a yearning to understand and listen. It would necessitate us to put aside the vanities to which we cling not out of false humility or even a sense of obligation, but from a true desire to care for our whole communities. If the things we said and did were rooted love, would we give up on others? Would we give up on ourselves?

heart tree picture

At camp this past week, we discussed at length how we reflect God’s loves in our words and deeds: feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, clothing the naked, welcoming the stranger, caring for the sick and imprisoned. I saw the campers reflect God’s love when they laughed with each other, cared for their bodies by going to bed when tired (my favorite thing for campers to do!), spoke kindly to each other, and respected God’s creation. I saw them trying each day to come to the world from a place of love. As the week went on, I asked fewer and fewer campers “Was that said in love?”. I heard, saw, and felt the love in their actions and words. I know it took effort for everyone to pause and work to find that place of love. It’s not easy, but Corinthians doesn’t tell us that love is easy. It tells us that love never fails. Words and actions in love, will never fail to bring us closer to God.

In today’s political, socioeconomic, church, and even weather climate (does this heat make anyone else grumpy?), it becomes ever more important to keep love at the forefront of our thoughts. As we prepare for our Southern Province Synod in less than a year, I hope we can let love guide us. We cannot always say and do the right things, but we can try each day to speak and act in love. Even on the days when we do not like others or ourselves, God has called us to love.


Questions? Comments? Contact Amy Linville at Amy@MoravianBCM.org or call (336) 722-8126 Ext. 404

Amy Linville

Amy Linville is the Interim College Age Ministry Coordinator for the Moravian BCM. She spends her time outside of work taking classes to become a librarian, serving Rural Hall Moravian with her husband the Rev. Aaron Linville, and snuggling her puppy and two cats.

Summer Camp and Faith Formation

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BY BETH HAYES | 

Many of us have had those mountaintop experiences at a camp or retreat. I am no exception. As I reflected on my faith formation journey a couple years ago, it included camps and retreats from my childhood experiences at Camp New Hope (a PCUSA camp outside Chapel Hill), to Montreat (in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains), to Laurel Ridge (the Moravian Camp and Conference Center). It is impossible to replace these experiences; these high moment experiences, where so much growth in one’s faith takes place. A recent article on the Building Faith website, The Lasting Impact of Summer Camp, spoke volumes to me: “campers at these camps are immersed in a faith-forming environment in which the songs, games, and activities become part of a theological playground. They do not just study God or take in information about God, as they might be asked to do in confirmation class or listening to a sermon in church. Instead, they experience a life that is caught up with and dependent on God’s ongoing activity in the world.”

Recently Mandy Petersen, of Friedberg Moravian Church, commented on a photo Laurel Ridge posted on Facebook: Sanctuary is the song I sing to myself to calm down if I’m having a particularly anxious moment or having trouble falling asleep. To me, this picture embodies Sanctuary and the safe warm memories of singing it at camp. 💚💚 I just wanted to take this moment and say thanks for all the beautiful memories I have of camp!”

Laurel Ridge photo

The photo that appeared on Laurel Ridge’s page. Photographer unknown. Photo is likely from Senior High Camp, summer of 2016.

A lot of ministry leaders and professionals have had their lives impacted positively and their life perspective changed for the better by camp experiences like Laurel Ridge. Read the whole article from the Building Faith website and I think it will cause you to ponder on those spiritual formation experiences in your life. The experiences had a major impact on you, and were truly great… but think a little deeper. Why did they have such an impact? These experiences are also about the important relationships built at camp or vacation bible school.

Beth at Laurel Ridge

Beth Hayes at the Laurel Ridge labyrinth.

From the Vibrant Faith website is this wonderful insight on relationships: “many of our leaders are so busy running churches and living up to expectations that they have little time for deep, life-giving relationships of their own–for their own souls. We experienced a profound change in people after they had the opportunity to have conversations that connected them with others… Relationships are the soil for the formation of faith. Leaders need them as much (perhaps more) than the people they serve. They are the music of life. Take time for the relationships of your life. Take time to generate and nurture them.”

Take time, especially this month, as camps begin, to pray for Laurel Ridge. Pray for the campers, staff, volunteers, and ministry that takes place there. Be sure to give the leaders and staff an extra thanks for the positive influence that they have had on your personal faith journey.

Laurel Ridge overlook


If you have questions or need additional information, email bhayes@mcsp.org or call the Resource Center (336) 722-8126.

Beth Hayes is the Director of Congregational Ministries and Resources, Moravian Board of Cooperative Ministries (BCM). Below, Beth appears with her sister, aunt, and cousin along with the family Bible.  

Looking at a Bible

Intern for Hire

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BY JAMES JARVIS |

Working for the Board of Cooperative Ministries (BCM) has felt like settling back into a role I’d already been in before. Maybe it’s because of the many years I’ve spent working around and within the Moravian church, or maybe it’s because of the work-study I did while I was finishing out my freshman year at Moravian College, but I immediately felt like I was right at home as the 2017 Summer Intern. I’ve met and have had to remember the names of an intimidating number of people (I’m really bad at remembering names), been given tasks to complete and responsibilities to take care of, and despite this whirlwind of new activity I feel right at home.

One of the projects that I’ve been put in charge of is creating Action Guides to give to congregations around the Southern Province, which has been taking up most of my time. This was the project I was most looking forward to when coming into the job, because it takes something that I’m interested in, social activism, and gives me the opportunity to pursue it. I’m able to apply what I’ve learned over the last couple years as an activist to approaching difficult topics and helping congregations work through hard issues, which is really cool. I hope to have a good number done by this August, once I get into the swing of things with it.

Another smaller project I’ve been working on sporadically is what we’ve started calling the “photo project.” The BCM has a LOT of old photos around the office. Not just prints of photos but film and slides as well. It’s extremely interesting to see some of the adults I knew as a wee Moravian as wee Moravians themselves. Or at least slightly younger. There are a few of John G. Rights and Doug Rights that are especially fun to see, as well as of past BCM employees (and even current ones)! I’ve been working on scanning these photos and identifying the individuals in them. 

All in all, this first month has been an interesting one. I can gladly say I love working with everyone here and getting to know them, and that I enjoy the work I’m doing. 


Questions? Comments?  Contact James Jarvis at james@moravianbcm.org or call (336) 722-8126 Ext. 403

James Jarvis is the Summer Intern for the Moravian Board of Cooperative Ministries (BCM). He is a sophomore at Moravian College and is studying Studio Art, concentrating in photography. He enjoys hiking, animation, long naps, and junk food. 

Putting the Hashtag (#) in Faith, Love, and Hope

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BY ANDREW DAVID COX |

#MoravianStar2015, #MoravianStar2016, #MoravianLenten, #MoravianMoms, #FaithLoveHope, #ThrowbackThursday. You’ll notice on the Moravian BCM social media sites, we like to put strings of words like these at the end of posts. What do all of these have in common? By the way they’re written, they’re hashtags. What is a hashtag anyways? Well, here it is straight from the horse’s mouth (Google definitions):

“hash·tag
ˈhaSHtaɡ
noun

(on social media sites such as Twitter) a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic.

‘spammers often broadcast tweets with popular hashtags even if the tweet has nothing to do with them'”

The hashtag is strongly associated with Twitter and reportedly first originated as a social media tool ten years ago on that site. Prior to that, and still for a lot of people, the “#” symbol is known as the “pound sign.” The first hashtag on Twitter was created by social technology expert Chris Messina. According to Hashtags.org, Messina wrote to his followers, asking them what they thought about using the pound symbol to identify specific groups. Hashtags had been previously used in Internet Relay Chats (IRC). Essentially, what hashtags do is they allow a post on social media to be searchable by topic. On Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, they become hyperlinks leading to pages for that respective topic.

Girl on smartphone

Hashtags are functional on both desktop and mobile devices

As of writing, #NSHvsPIT is trending on Twitter. The hashtag identifies tweets about the National Hockey League (NHL) Stanley Cup final between the Nashville Predators and the Pittsburgh Penguins. A Twitter user could search “Nashville Predators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins” to find tweets on the topic. But on Twitter, posts are limited to 140 characters, meaning most of the content in a searchable tweet can taken up by the full name of the game. Searching “#NSHvsPIT” should bring up only tweets about the game, and often are more engaging tweets and have more interesting content being shared by people who follow hockey. Their tweets don’t have to spell out the full name of the game, because it is identified by the shorter hashtag. By using the hashtag, hockey commentators don’t have to worry about providing full context for every post, because other fans, by looking at the hashtag, will know what they are tweeting about. The hashtag can save creators from having to sacrifice quality or brevity in content when they feel compelled to give context for content.

This handy functionality of the hashtag was used in the #MoravianStar2015 and #MoravianStar2016 social media campaigns, and every social campaign the Moravian Board of Cooperative Ministries (BCM) has done since. On a Google, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram search, if a user searches “Moravian Star 2015,” it’ll bring up all kinds of posts about Moravians, stars, Moravian stars, and the like, because the search is comprised of terms, when separated, are relatively generic and not specific. By stringing the words together without spaces and with a hashtag in front, information about the social media campaign and posts relevant to it are both immediately discoverable. By adding a year to the hashtag, it makes it even more unique, and limits its timeliness. This allows the BCM to find users who purposefully intended to submit content to these campaigns by using the unique hashtag with their posts. Otherwise, we’d have to sort through every other post with Moravians, stars, or Moravian stars and would wonder if someone intended to share the content with us or not.

The promotional Facebook banner for the #MoravianStar2016 social media campaign

Some general rules about hashtags:

  • A hashtag must be a single word preceded by a pound sign (#) with no spaces
    • #FaithLoveHope works, FaithLoveHope# does not work, # Faith Love Hope does not work
  • Hashtags are primarily functional on social media, and are not intended for texting or email
    • However, you can share in any medium what a designated hashtag is, so people can then use, search, or interact with it on social media
  • There are brand-specific hashtags and hashtags everybody uses
    • Coca-Cola uses #ShareACoke to identify their brand’s specific campaign, but everyone uses hashtags like #ThrowbackThursday or #MotivationMonday each week to share memories or words/pictures of motivation
    • Church or ministry pages should develop their own unique hashtags for their congregants to use, as well as capitalizing on common hashtags to boost engagement
  • Always capitalize the first letter of each word in a hashtag, as #ShareACoke is much easier to read than #shareacoke
  • There are no hard or fast rules as to where to place hashtags–some accounts sprinkle them throughout a post and others at the very end of a post (or both)
  • Try not to use too many hashtags all the time, especially not on Facebook, as it looks cluttered and tacky… try to stick to around five to ten
  • On Instagram, place a double space between your text and your hashtags (if you list them at the bottom), by using a character such as a colon “:” to hold the place of the double space that Instagram would otherwise delete
  • Hashtags will not automatically become hyperlinks if they have special characters in them, but they can end with special characters (a period at the end of a hashtag will not break its link)
    • Example: #FaithLove&Hope will not link to anything on social media, #FaithLoveHope or #FaithLoveAndHope will
  • Posts marked with hashtags typically can not be found by the general public if the account using it posted it with strict privacy settings… for hashtags to be most effective, posts using them generally need to be posted publicly
    • Example: If Ruth Burcaw, with strict privacy settings, posted #Moravian on Facebook, I, being friends with her, could see it and click the hashtag and be taken to a page with all public posts with the hashtag or posts by other friends who used it… but people who are not Ruth’s friend could not find her post

Hashtags are a powerful social media tool. If you’re looking to grow your church or ministry’s page and connect to relevant topics and interested people, hashtags are a must! To get people in the door and doing ministry with us, we need to have faith, love, and hope. But to help people be aware there is a door even to begin with, we need to have #FaithLoveHope.

Other Resources:

Hashtags on Instagram: How many should you use?

Instagram Hashtags in the First Comment?


Questions? Comments? Or need assistance with your church’s
communications and social media efforts? Contact Andrew David Cox at acox@mcsp.org or call (336) 722-8126 Ext. 404

Andrew portrait

Andrew David Cox is the Communications Project Manager for the Moravian Board of Cooperative Ministries (BCM). Andrew is a driven creative person with established experience and skill in a variety of fields. Experience includes communications, social media management, event coordination, marketing, graphic design, photography, customer service, hospitality, security, writing, cartooning, illustration, fine art, and more! His main passion though is creating visually and emotionally interesting creative content for the Internet.

How Will You Let Jesus’ Light Shine?

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BY DOUG RIGHTS |

On Thursday evening, December 31, 2015 at the Youth New Year’s Eve Party in the Fellowship Hall at Fairview Moravian Church, I spread out Moravian Star points and markers on a table that included a sign that said, “On one of the star points share how will you let Jesus’ light shine in 2016 in you, your youth group, and/or your church?” At the party many of the youth and adults who attended wrote on the points. As the new year began, the points were put together and this Moravian Star has hung in my office throughout the year.

Moravian star image

In January I took the star to our Regional Youth Conference Retreat at Laurel Ridge, and many of the youth wrote their thoughts on the points. In February the star traveled to Florida for the Florida District Youth Retreat, and more was written on the star. Later in the year some of our area youth leaders wrote on it when we had a Youth Leaders Get Together. This fall I took the star to our Fall Celebration at Advent Moravian, and more thoughts were added. Here are what some had to say:

  • “I hope God will help us be bold in faith.”
  • “To help me get through my tough times.”
  • “I want to see all the youth on fire for our God.”
  • “Set a fire down in my soul that I can’t contain, that I can’t control.”
  • “I want our youth to shine by reaching out and meeting more people.”
  • “To provide a sense of direction in my life and show me where I should be going.”
  • “That our church loves God! We want Him to help us become the beacon of our community.”

Moravian star image

As this star has been in my office throughout 2015 (except for the times it went to the above mentioned events), it has been a constant reminder of all the wonderful youth and adults we have in our province and the many ways they want the light of Jesus to shine in their lives and in their churches. It is my hope and prayer that not only those who wrote on this star’s points, but that all of us, will let Jesus’ light shine in our lives and that we will see the great difference it makes when we do!

Lightbulbs

As we come to our Christmas Lovefeast and Candle Services later this month, many of us will sing the traditional “Morning Star.” It is my prayer as we finish out 2016 and soon begin 2017, that the wonderful words of this hymn will be evident in our lives and in our province . . . “Jesus mine, in me shine!”


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). Here he is with his new grandson, Nolan Key (photo by Kathy Rights.) 

doug