The Information

January 2000

A Happy New Year to You and Yours
 We give God thanks that we come this far in this new year and new era with all its predictions and challenges. Indeed, the world is greatly relieved that the computers did not crash at the turn of the year from 1999 to 2000.

As a Province, we continue to trust the God of our ancestors who is also our God and who is in control of times and seasons. He who has led us thus far will surely continue with us.

P.E.C. Names Advisory Committee on Mission

The Vice Chairman of the P.E.C., Bro. Cortroy Jarvis will lead the three member Advisory Committee on Mission for the next inter-synodal period. The other members of the Committee that will be based in Antigua are Bro. Derick Forrester, Pastor of the Lebanon/Newfield pastorate and Sis. Claudette Anthony, a lay leader of the Cedar Hall congregation.

The last Advisory Committee on Mission was based in the USVI Conference.

 Unity Offering on March 5 for Estonia

The Unity Chairman, the Revd Dr. Hans-Beat Motel wrote:

"After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Moravian Church in Estonia was officially recognized again. In 1948, its work had been forbidden, its houses and property were confiscated, and since that year, the Moravian Church in Estonia could only survive in the underground. After the recognition by the new Estonia government, the Moravian Church in this baltic country sees its tasks in particular to reach those people with the Gospel who have lost their faith during the time of atheism. For this purpose, it has taken up the old forms which already had existed in the time before World War II. At various places regular prayer meetings and Bible study groups are organized, and the youth convenes their own meetings."

More information will come in next month's issue of this newsletter.

Provincial Family Service

I am pleased to report that Provincial Family Services took place at central locations in five of our six Conferences; only the Virgin Islands Conference did not find it possible to organise a similar service. From all reports, the Services proved to be a real blessing for all who attended.

May God bless all of you and let us keep the Provincial family together.

Sister Tina Giesler of the USA shares her experience of our Synod

I'm usually a behind the scenes persons, so last spring when my husband, Chris Giesler, was asked to represent the Seminary at the Eastern West Indies Synod in Antigua, we thought it would be a nice way to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary and have a get-away without our children. Having never been a part of any Synod in the past, attending Synod sessions was something I was willing to tolerate in order to have some time away.

Being a behind-the scenes person (organist and choir director) often makes it difficult having a meaningful worship experience. Little did I know what the Lord had in store for me!

Every day was basically the same; a full worship service at 8am followed by plenary sessions, reviewing reports, questions, discussions, lunch, more review and discussion, supper and closing vespers. It was on Friday August 13th - the celebration of the renewal of the Moravian Church that is very much alive in the Moravian Churches in the West Indies - that I realized my spiritual life was as dormant, if not near death, as the grass in Bethlehem. This celebration was a Witness March - about 300-400 people started from about a mile from Spring Gardens marched in parade format while three bands were interspersed. Other Moravians from Antigua were lined up along the street and joined us as we marched to the Church. By the parade's end, nearly 800 people were walking as witnesses for Christ. (On a god day in my hometown, I'm not so sure I would have publicly marched for Christ. Imagine in Antigua, Chris and I were very obviously the only white people).

It ended with lovefeast for 1200 people. Serving the lovefeast took over 25 minutes. Music was everywhere some of it familiar, some of it not, all of it inspirational, uplifting and motivating! The partaking of lovefeast was very foreign to me - but again much more meaningful than any lovefeast I've ever attended. The sharing style (after everyone is served, you get out of your pew and walk around the sanctuary offering bits of your bun to others as they offer their bun to you) is truly a wonderful demonstration of what it means to be like Christ.

It was this past Antigua 13th that I felt the rain of our Lord Jesus Christ, just as the grass in Bethlehem felt the rain of mother nature. If you look closely at the left-for-dead grass in your yard, you will see new green blades returning. I thank god today that I too have been grated a rebirth in my spiritual life and pray that He will use my gifts and talents in ways not just behind the scenes, but in visible ways, in ways that other people maybe even you will be able to stand for Jesus, unlock your faith, and publicly commit yourself to living like Jesus.

The Moravian Churches in the West Indies seem not to have lost that sense of missions that came out of the renewal of the Moravian Church while we in the American provinces like to believe we have past this mission status. Instead of looking outward for mission possibilities, I hope our church can look inward for growth and rebirth of seed planted many years ago.

Sis. Giesler shared this with her home Church of West Side Moravian in Bethlehem, Pennsyvaina, soon after her return from Synod.

Sis. Christina Giesler and Bro. Christian Giesler were among our fraternal delegates at Synod.

Reprinted from ONWard Newsletter Volume XVIII - Nov. 99 issue.


 "Investing in History ...."

This is the caption of a brochure from the Moravian Unity Archives in Herrnhut as it seeks to raise funds for its mandatory expansion.

In 1890 the Unity Archives moved into its present facility especially constructed to house the archival collections. After more than a hundred years the collections have grown so much that the building no longer proves sufficient for contemporary use. The internationally significant collections in the Unity Archives are endangered because of the insufficient conditions under which they are kept.

A building addition is imperative in order to preserve the valuable records for future generations.

The capacity of the new repository should suffice for the next 75 years.

This project will cost approximately 1.5 million Euros (US$1.5 million). the Board of the European-Continental Province of the Moravian Church has already designated 250,000 Euros for this endeavour, another 250,000 Euros have been applied for from the Moravian Church Foundation and another 750,000 Euros from the German Federal Government. Our goal is to raise the remaining 250,000 Euros through a combination of donations by private individuals, companies and foundations.

This Archives also houses material from our Province.

Indeed, just as the name suggests, it is an archive of the Moravian Unity and is monitored by the Unity as a whole.

If you would like to assist, kindly contact our Provincial Headquarters in Antigua or contact:

Zittauer Strasse 24
D-02747 Herrnhut
Tel.: (++49 35 873) 487 31
Fax.: (++ 49 35 873) 487 66

Those interested in making contributions should make checks payable to:

Evangelische Bruder Unitaet
for: Unity Archives building Fund

and send checks to:

Rev. Dr. Albert Frank, Moravian Archives
41 W. Locust Street
PA 18018-2757

Pastor Florence Isaac . . . Off the Mark

Pastor Florence Isaac of the Tobago Conference has submitted a list of names of potential contributors to the Special appeal for the 100th Synod in keeping with the Resolution of the recent Synod. She was the first to submit a list and we thank her sincerely.

We use this opportunity to remind all Ministers that we are waiting to hear from you in order to go into phase 2 of the Appeal.

In the meantime, members are also invited to indicate to their Ministers or to the Provincial Headquarters their desire to be a part of this Special Appeal - "Give and it shall be given to you". Luke 6:38"

UTC Foundation Seeks Support

In a recent issue of "The Information" we reported the launching of the Foundation of the United Theological College of the West Indies (UTCWI) in Jamaica. The College is now embarking on a drive to solicit contributions from the wider community. A special appeal is going out to its graduates and to graduates of its antecedent Colleges.

If you desire further information, please contact the Provincial Headquarters or contact UTC directly at:

P.O. Box 136, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica.

Tele: 876-927-1724
Fax. 876-977-0812

Revd Denise Lewis for Unity Seminar

The P.E.C. has named the Revd Denise Smith Lewis as our Province's representative to the Unity Seminary to be held in Suriname from October 1 to November 10, 2000.

This Seminar will bring together representatives from the various Provinces of the Unity for work and study in exploring important issues to our church relating to the impact of gospel and culture on mission.

Sis. Smith is now the Pastor of the Bethesda/Keys pastorate in St. Kitts. She is married to the Revd Algernon Lewis.

The P.E.C. has also named the Revd Glenvil Gregory of the New Herrnhut congregation in St. Thomas as the alternate.

Letter from Dominica

In the midst of the joy of Christmas season, I received a very thoughtful letter from the Revd William Watty, Superintendent Minister of the Methodist Church in Dominica.

"I have to report to you the death of Llewellyn Christian, a member of the Moravian Church in Antigua who had been residing in Dominica for many years.

In the absence of a Moravian community he associated with the Bethesda Methodist Church in Roseau. He never became a member but remained a Moravian to the end."

Revd Watty continued:

"Between the bouts of pain which twisted his whole frame out of shape he could laugh ad poke fun and then squirm again from the pain.

Enclosed herewith is the Remembrance (Eulogy) which will be read by Mr. Carl Roberts General manager of Cable & Wireless and another ardent Moravian who worships with us regularly."

This bears strong witness to how ministry is being provided to some of our members while allowing them to remain Moravians. Our sincere thanks to the Methodist in Dominica and Revd Watty in particular.

Brother Llewlyn Christian was the older Brother of Bro. Donald D.C. Christian (former M.P.) and a faithful member of the Greenbay Moravian Church in Antigua.

The Revd William Watty is the immediate past President of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas and was President of the United Theological College of the West Indies (UTCWI) while I was a student there.


17 Members of Nicholas Family Home in December
Seventeen members of Revd Nicholas' family were in Antigua in December for about a week. They did not come for Christmas and it was not a surprised reunion. They had all travelled from the USA along with the body of Revd Nicholas's 27 year old niece, Donna Nicholas who had died in the USA after a period of illness.

Naturally, it was a challenging experience for the family but it was a real blessing to have them all here.

The Service of Thanksgiving took place at the Greenbay Moravian Church on December 15, 1999.

Sis. Lilian George Resigns

The P.E.C. has accepted the resignation of Sis. Lilian George as Minister of Christian Education in the Virgin Islands Conference as of January 1, 2000. In her letter, Sis. George pointed to the fact of her extended period of probation and her relationship with her Superintendent as reasons for her decision.

The Province records its thanks and appreciation to Sis. George for her service for over three years and wishes her well in her future endeavours.

Another Director for the Moravian Church Foundation
Bro. David Roth of Nazareth Pennsylvania in the America Province, North, was recently elected as a Director of the Moravian Church Foundation (M.C.F.).

A part of Article 5 of the Articles of Association for the Foundation says:

The Board of Directors of the Foundation shall consist of not less than three and not more than twelve members of whom up to nine members shall be elected by the Unity synod, three of the members to be elected by the Unity Synod shall be from the Surinam Province and two from the Province in which the Foundation has its seat, if this is another than the Surinam Province. Three additional members nominated by the Board of Directors of the Foundation shall be elected by the Unity Board. In case of vacancies occurring in the membership of the Board of Directors in an inter-synodal period the remaining members of the Board of Directors shall make two nominations to the Unity Board for each vacancy and the Unity Board shall carry out the election. The members of the Board of Directors may be dismissed at all times by the Unity Synod as well as by the Unity Board, in so far as the latter has appointed the member in question.

Greetings from Star Mountain

When you visit in these days Star Mountain, you will find our place friendly, and with the sun shinning warmly. The nice, cultivated and irrigated plants of the Agricultural Training Department don't show how dry the last winter and the whole year 1999 have been. Again we are waiting for rain, Together with the farmers around us who build their lives on the agriculture. The ramadan has begun some days ago and changes the order of the day for all people, Muslims and Christians alike. Advent in our environment is not a time of candles and cosyness, but rather austere. For our pupils we are having every day a little party with dancing, music and small presents. They are exercising a small Christmas play to present it on the Christmas party on December 23, when we are going to wait for the Santa Claus.

They also want us to know ..

Waiting for many paying guests in the millennium year 2000, we have renovated our two small guest houses, each for 2 persons. the buildings are located very nicely, and we can offer you a personal and friendly service. For us it is important to have an additional income by renting these rooms to guests. We would be glad to welcome you all for a visit at Star Mountain. Please inform also other interested people about our offer!

Already in our last letter we informed you about our new Tel./Fax number: 00972-(0)2-281 07 51.

In the meantime, our e-mail has been re-installed; the new address is as follows:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Before finishing our letter, we like to express to all our friends, partners and colleagues our great grateful for your support. Our service to people with special needs is possible only with the accompaniment of all of you. Our warm thanks for all the support, and to all of you God's Blessings!

Hajj Said and Hajj Ghazaleh, two of the inhabitants of the former Star Mountain hospital for Lepers' patients, express their greetings to everybody!

The staff of Star Mountain is wishing you a Blessed Advent, cheerful Christmas, a Blessed Ramadan and "Id al-Fitr, and a good 2000!

Birthdays this Month

Happy birthday to:

Bro. Ludolph Brown 5
Revd Glenvil Gregory 8
Sis. Sonia Spencer 11
Bro. George Ramsay 27
Bro. Ray Joseph 27

Anniversaries this Month

Happy anniversary to:

Revd & Mrs. Glenvil Gregory 1

My wife bought a new line of expensive cosmetics guaranteed to make her look years younger. After a lengthy sitting before the mirror applying the "miracle" products she asked, "Darling, honestly what age would you say I am?"

Looking her over carefully, I replied, "Judging from your skin, twenty, your hair, eighteen; and your figure, twenty five."

"Oh, you flatterer!" she gushed.

"Hey, wait a minute!" I interrupted. "I haven't added them up yet."

* * *

Once while I was preaching, a man in the back row shouted, "I can't hear you!"

Another man seated down front got up and shouted back, "I can! Come up here and I'll gladly change places with you!"