A Communication from the Chairman of the Moravian Church, E.W. I. Province.
A NEWSLETTER OF THE PROVINCE -- February 2000-- NEW SERIES VOLUME 10 NUMBER 2
Daily Text for EWI Province Drawn
The members of the Provincial Board of the European Continental Province living in Herrnhut have drawn the Daily Texts for all the Provinces of the Unity as well as for all the Unity Undertakings.
The Daily text drawn for our Province is that of March 16.
Bible Correspondence Course Coming Soon For The Province
Efforts are well on the way to fulfill the resolution of the 25th Provincial Synod for us to have Bible Correspondence Courses throughout the Province as a means towards enhancing the study of the Bible among our people.
The PEC is working closely with our Ministers of Christian Education in bringing this on board. The intention is to have two levels for the study programme.
Keep the Bibles at hand and turn the Brain on
It is Bible Study time!!!
Provincial Theme For 2000...
In this era of the Y2K bug, it would be easy to blame that bug for the fact that the supporting scripture reference for the 2000 Provincial theme was shortened along the way; but that would not be fair in this case.
Kindly note that the reference should really be Joshua 3:1-14 and not just Joshua 3:14 Our apology.
"Claiming the Promise"
A Reflection by the Revd Dorothea Rohde Of The Barbados Conference
Claiming the Promise is the Provincial theme for the first year after the end of the century. Claiming the Promise is the theme that should guide us and help us through this year 2000.
In the Bible, Joshua, chapter 3 gives an explanation to the Provincial Theme Claiming the Promise. It describes how Israel after forty years of wandering in the wilderness now crosses the river Jordan. They are standing at the border of the Promised Land. It is the land which they are claiming based on God's promise. This promise gives them the right of ownership. It is not that they claim it from God, they claim it from those who are now the inhabitants, but they do it based on a right - the Promise, which God gave them.
They do not live in the country yet. They do not use the land yet to live in it to work on it and to enjoy the benefits of it but they are there at the border of the Promised Land.
After long years of wandering, after long years of hope and expectation, after years of dreams and desires they reached. It is like a break in the course of time, a special moment. God fulfilled His promise; He brought them into the land where milk and honey flow.
It is similar to the break in time we experienced by reaching the future, the year 2000. Like the people of Israel see lying before them the Promised Land in which they would live, we too see before us the future. It is a future promised to us by the Lord who gave us hope and confidence and life and who ensured this by sending His own beloved Son Jesus Christ down to earth and even down into the darkness of death.
Like that time Joshua affirmed the people, we can know that it is still the same: Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will help you to take possession of the land (Jos.3:10a). He will do this against all earthly powers, which would seek to hinder us from laying claim to the land of future.
There is a saying: 'What you inherited from your father, acquire it to make if your own'. Here for the Israelites it is valid too. They got the land of promise from God, but now they have to acquire it. They have to go into it. They have to make it to their own. They have to work on it in order for the promise God gave them to become reality. It is our responsibility to claim the said promise now and in the future year to come. We have to go on into what was promised, we have to turn it to reality: we have to work for the spread of the gospel, for peace and justice and for love. Thus helping to transform the world to be a better place in which we live. The Lord will be with us in the future as He has been in the past.
The land of future and of promise lies before us, let us begin to go into it and to live there, that the dreams and hopes, the promise of God for a better world may become true. We are able to form the future years and to face the problems which might arise. There is no reason to be afraid for - as Paul writes to Timothy - God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7).
So let us rise up and Claim the Promise.
"World Christian and Mission" Position At McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois
The Caribbean Conference of Churches (CCC) has asked its member Churches to carry this advertisement.
McCormick Theological Seminary, a seminary of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in an ecumenical theological context, announces a new faculty position: the Henry Winters Luce Chair in World Christianity and Mission. McCormick seeks to make an appointment to this senior position beginning July 1, 2001. In this position the person will teach courses selected across a range of topics such as missiology, interreligious dialogue, and World Christianity. The primary aim of the teaching will be to prepare church leaders/ministers to serve the Church in the racially, diverse North American context. The courses will orient students to the reality of global Christianity, address the challenges of ministry in a religiously pluralistic world, and engage the Church in mission in contemporary society.
Applicants should possess an earned Ph.D. in mission studies, Ph.D. in theology or history with a mission-related topic, or a D.Miss. Applicants must have demonstrated scholarship in mission studies and relevant global experience in the Church. Ordination or active participation in the life of a congregation is expected. Rank and compensation will be commensurate with experience.
Unity Offering in March for Estonia
The Unity Chairman, the Revd Dr. Hans Beat Motel wrote:
"The Moravian Church in Estonia is not an independent church. Similar to the Moravian fellowships in Switzerland and Sweden, it is a community which works within the Lutheran Church. By this, it continues the former pattern of the "societies" and the "diaspora work" coming from the time of Zinzendorf. Its members belong also to the Lutheran congregations, but have their own services in order to strengthen their faith and their fellowship, and also to be able to evangelize. This pattern has been maintained up to today since the visit of Count Zinzendorf in 1736. In the 18th and 19th century, the Moravian Church in Estonia was a revival movement, which reached larger parts of the population than in any other country in the world.
Today, the Moravian Church in Estonia has started some new tasks, which cost quite a bit of money. One of the tasks is the receiving and renovation of its former buildings which in the Soviet time were confiscated by the authorities. Before World War II, the Moravian Church had prayer halls scattered over the whole country. They all were taken away in 1948. In the meantime, some of them have been given back but in order to use them again for services, it needs a lot of renovation work. For this purpose and for the entire tasks of this Moravian Community we ask the worldwide Unitas Fratrum for its help by means of the Unity Offering in the year 2000.
Happy Anniversary to Sharon Moravian Church in Barbados
The Sharon Moravian Church in Barbados celebrates its 232nd birthday on February 8.
The Pastors are the Revd Errol Connor, Revd Dorothea Rohde with Sis. Movelle Kellman as the Supplementary Minister.
UTCWI Founders' Day
This year, the United Theological College of the West Indies (UTCWI) in Kingston, Jamaica will observe Founders' Day on March 14-15. The service will be held on the evening of March 14 and the lectures on March 15. There will also be the special annual meeting of the Alumni Association on March 15.
Traditionally, Founders' Day at the UTCWI has been observed on the last Wednesday of April (close to April 27). However, with semester exams starting in late April sometimes, the College has been forced to shift its calendar in order to allow for greater participation by its student body.
The UTCWI is the major center of theological education and ministerial training for most of our Ministers in this Province.
It's A Girl!!
That is the very good news from Barbados where the Revd Mikie and the Revd Winelle Roberts were blessed with another daughter on Saturday January 29, 2000.
Her name is TSAMARA KIELLE and we gladly welcome her into the Provincial family.
The entire family is doing fine and the celebrations continue.
May God bless them all.
Please Pray for
Bishop Robert Foster of the Jamaica Province who was recently hospitilised. Latest news indicates that he has been recovering nicely at home.
* * *
South African Ministers Heading To The Caribbean Region
The PECs of the Provinces of South Africa, Jamaica and Suriname have worked out special arrangements whereby two Ministers from South Africa have accepted calls to work in Jamaica and in Suriname as of February 1, 2000.
The Revd D. Tamboer will serve in Jamaica for several years and the Revd R. Ruiters will serve in Suriname.
Revd Horsford for Bethlehem Symposium
The Revd Cicely Athill-Horsford will be participating in a Symposium at the Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem Pennsylvania from February 9-16, 2000.
This Symposium forms part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Board of World Mission.
PEC Places Emphasis On Team Ministry
The PEC recently shared with the Superintendents its vision for more intentional emphasis to be placed on team ministry in the Province. A small document has since been published outlining the PEC's commitment to developing this aspect of our ministry in our various congregations/pastorates. It has always been the
case that Ministers bring various gifts and abilities to their work and sometimes the emphasis on the gifts which are in short supply has caused frustration for the minister as well as for the work in the congregation/pastorate.
A fundamental intention of team ministry is that it can facilitate the best use of the gifts of the Ministers for the development of the work of the particular congregation/pastorate.
Several of the proposed calls for this year will very much reflect this approach.
It is our prayer that the Ministers themselves will find more fulfillment in their ministry in this way and that the Church as w whole will experience the blessings thereof
At the recent meeting with Superintendents, the PEC shared its desire to take its responsibility for the oversight of the work in the Province as a whole more seriously; and the Superintendents gave their support. The PEC will be more vigilant in consulting individual Ministers when the PEC visits the Conferences.
The PEC will be operating on the simple principle: "What you do not inspect, you should not expect"
Our Unity Board Chairman Reports On Reconciliation In South Africa
The worship services at the congregations of EMBALITSHA and NTLOTA on December 12, 1999 in order to welcome back these two congregations located in the Maluti District have been great and impressive events, blessed by the Holy Spirit. A quotation from the announcement by the Provincial Board: "Today is a day of Thanksgiving. After years of negotiation in our search for peace and reconciliation, we have reached a phase where we can start thanking God for progress. It is well-known that following various incidents of misunderstandings at meetings, conferences and synods, a stage was reached where separation took place between ministers including families and certain church structures .....Numerous meetings with congregations, church councils, Regional Board and District Councils led to the situation where forgiveness was sought and given by both parties affected in the conflict... We have gathered to heartily welcome each other in sincerity and with serious dedication to express our faith: One God, one Bible, one faith and one undivided congregation."
On The Web....
Our webmaster, the Revd Ezra Parris, would like all of us to know that the Journal of the 25th Provincial Synod is now posted on our website. Do visit and tell your friends. We are at http://www.candw.ag/~moravians/welcome.htm
The doctor grabbed his coat and hat and started out the front door. "I've got to go," he explained to his teenage daughter. "Some man on the phone just said he couldn't live without me!"
"Just a minute, Dad!" she replied. "I believe that call was for me"
* * * * *
An old, grumpy doctor with a none-too-good reputation died, oddly enough, in poverty.
His few friends decided to solicit donations for the burial and proceeded to ask several of his patients. Unfortunately, the first one they asked was an old man equally as disagreeable as the doctor and who had no liking for the medical profession.
"What have you scavengers put me down for?" scowled the old man.
"Ten dollars is what we would like," quickly replied one of them.
The old man took out his checkbook, wrote a check for $120, and added sarcastically, "Now, go get busy and bury a dozen of them!"
Happy Birthday to:
Revd Dufferin Culpepper 1
Sis. Binta Mgonela 3
Revd Cortroy Jarvis 7
Sis. Shirley Joseph 8
Revd Willard Prout 10
Sis. June McMillan 17
Revd Errol Connor 21
Revd Esther Roberts 24
Pastor Deslyn Watson 27
Anniversary this Month!
Happy anniversary to:
Revd Ray and
Mrs. Shirley Joseph 7
Bishop Kingsley and
Mrs. Maureen Lewis 19
Revd Rudolph and
Mrs. Megan Gibbs 23
Beloved, Were you asked to do a reflection on the Provincial theme for 2000 to be shared in "The Information"? Please be assured that we are still expecting it to come