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Moravian Mission News

Compiled by the Moravian Mission Society in Germany

Number 2015-07

Here is the next edition of »Moravian Mission News« compiled by the Moravian Mission Society in Germany. - God bless our Moravian Church. "Our lamb has conquered, let us follow him!" - Andreas Tasche, Herrnhut, 20.07.2015, Phone: +49 35873 487-26, E-Mail: a.tasche(at) English websites here.

Germany - Seminar in Moravian Topics is finished

The eighteen-day seminar for Instructors in Moravian Topics from the theological seminars of the worldwide Moravian Church in Herrnhut finished on 5th of July. It led together 17 people, including one woman, from nine countries and 13 institutions of the first, second and third world, most of them from Tanzania, and some guests and lecturers. The attendees experienced the commemorations of the 600th anniversary of Jan Hus' martyrdom and enjoyed the open, fraternal cooperation in lectures, debates, meals, trips and church meetings. All agreed that the seminar will promote theological education in the Moravian Church. Here is a lecture on the mission history and on the mission theology of the Moravian Church. An article about Jan Hus you can find here.

Denmark – Christiansfeld becomes World Cultural Heritage

UNESCO added more places in the list of World Cultural Heritage. After 15 years of attempts to be included the Moravian settlement Christiansfeld (DK) is one of them. A news report from the 4th July 2015 says: »Christiansfeld is an extraordinarily well preserved Herrnhuter settlement in South Jutland. It was founded in 1773 by the Moravian Church and reflects ideals of this religious community. The settlers built the town around central church square. The noticeably modest church illustrates the idea of equality as well as the simple lifestyle of the community«. The »Brodremenighedens Danske Mission«, the sister organisation of the Moravian Mission Society in Germany, is located in Christiansfeld. Some pictures from Christianfeld here. A press release here.

Palestine – no summer pause at the Star Mountain

Although currently the education in the »Star Mountain Rehabilitation Centre« of the worldwide Moravian Church (Palestine) is on a break, there is no summer pause happening. Between the 3rd and 17th of June 2015 several events took place, mostly in cooperation with other organisations and local agencies. They were filled with theatre, dance, music, cinema, sports, drawing and crafting. Highlights were trips to »Ein Hamam Swimming Pool« and »Four Seasons Adventure Park« in Bir Zeit as well as to »Sky Land Park« in Al-Rayhan. The packed lunch served by staff was very popular. Those summer activities were made possible by many people in Palestine who supported them. More here.

Palestine – visit at partner organisations in the South of Africa

Four people from the leadership of the Star Mountain Rehabilitation Centre (Palestine) have returned from a visit in Africa. There they were introduces to two partner organisations. At first they stayed in Harare, Zimbabwe, where they learned about the rehabilitation work of the »Jairos Jiri Association«. This contact came about through the »Austrian Development Agency«. Two times staff from Zimbabwe had visited the Star Mountain in the past. After that they took a trip to South Africa where they were hosted at the »Elim Home« (photo), a facility of the Moravian Church in South Africa for disabled people. They were amazed by their tomato-cultivation project. Of course they didn’t miss the opportunity to see a world-famous place: »Cape Agulhas« at the southern tip of Africa.

Palestine – Star Mountain delivers agricultural quality products

Tomatoes, shallots, green tea, green onion, mint, parsley, chicory, pumpkin, sea kale, thyme, olives, arugula and much more. All those things can be purchased in an excellent quality at the »Star Mountain Rehabilitation Centre« of the worldwide Moravian Church (Palestine). Farah Odeh, head of administration of the centre, points this out and hints at an order code. All products can be considered as bio-products because they are free of chemical substances. Only organic fertilisers are used. A widely branched watering net, which distributes treated sanitary water and stored rainwater all over the area, provides the plants with enough moisture even in dry periods. Thus, Star Mountain generates an own income.

Jamaica – Carribean regional conference 2015 is over

The so called »Carribean regional conference« of the worldwide Moravian Church was assembled from the 12th to the 16th of May 2015 in Jamaica. This is the council of the Middle and South American unity provinces and mission provinces Costa Rica, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Surinam and Eastern West Indies to discuss issues concerning their region every two years below the unity synod level. They especially focused on an enhancement and joint approach to missionary work – regardless of the difficult economic situation in the provinces. In the photo you can see the delegates from the Honduran unity and mission province: Josef Lopez, Harlan Macklin, Mario Mejia, Cristobal Smith (from the left).

Barbados – 250. Anniversary of Moravian Church

On the 29th of September 2015 the Moravian Church on Barbados (Eastern West Indies Province) turns 250. On this occasion Dorothea Rohde, pastor of the Moravian Church on the Island from Germany, wrote a historical Review »250 Years of Moravian Presence in Barbados« - Download here. In the beginnings many missionaries and their children died during their service on Barbados. But then the work, mainly with plantation slaves, made progress step by step. In 1799 a first little church could be built, in 1825 a first missionary school followed. A hurricane destroyed several missionary buildings in 1831 but they could be rebuilt soon. Between 1833 and 1899, the years of slave emancipation, the number of church members increased from 981 to 3,787.

Alaska – Bishop Jacob Nelson passed away

A message arrived from Alaska, stating that bishop Jacob Nelson passed away at the age of 86 on the 19th of June 2015 in Bethel. Jacob Nelson, born on the 1st of August 1928 in Kokak (Alaska), had been the first Yup’ik who was ordained as bishop of the worldwide Moravian Church on the 12th of March 1983 in Bethel. In the summer of 1981 he represented the Alaska Province at the Unity Synod in Herrnhut. Jørgen Bøytler, Unity Business Administrator, writes about him: »He was a humble man. But he also was a Yup’ik who was proud of his origin. He mostly spoke Yup’ik, rarely English. In him I see a genuine bishop of the Worldwide Moravian Church. He didn’t want to be chief or administrator, but he was respected because of his integrity and wisdom«. A film with Jacob Nelson here.

USA – From the 12th Moravian Women's Conference

Participants from the USA, Canada, several Caribbean states, Albania, Germany, the Netherlands and Great Britain were congregated in the »Sandy Cove Conference Center« in North East/MD from the 25th to 28th of June 2015 on the occasion of the »12th Moravian Women's Conference« in North America. The theme of the conference was »Come let us walk in the light of the Lord« (Isaiah 2, 5). Betsy Miller, president of the Moravian Church in America, Northern Province, gave a main lecture on this topic. Craig Atwood from the Theological Seminary in Bethlehem/PA talked about »Five Centuries of Women’s Leadership in the Moravian Church« - Download here. Guests from Albania rehearsed with the attendees the song »This little light of mine« in Albanian language - short film here.

Tanzania/Germany – Four new project films finished

The premier of new project films took place at the Yearly Assembly of the »Moravian Mission Society in Germany« in June 2015. At the corresponding website they can be watched online. The movies are four to five minutes long and were produced by he company »Vistafilm«. All movies present projects of the Moravian Church in Tanzania: a) Planting trees in Sumbawanga – An ecological sample project in the Rukwa Province; b) Renewable energy for Ibaba – A big project to supply the underdeveloped South of Tanzania with electricity; c) Spices, Koran and Bible – Daily routine for the children in Sansibar. The Herrnhuter Academy - Primery and Nursery School; d) Radio Baraka FM – Moravians on air in Mbeya.

North India – Elijah and Meena Gergan traveled further

After visits in Neuwied, Bad Boll, Stuttgart, Königsfeld, Herrnhut, Niesky, Bad Boll once again, Basel and Bern the couple Elijah and Meena Gergan, heads of the extensive church and school work of the Moravian Church in Leh, have left Europa. In all places encounters were impressive and mutually enriching. The new building of the Moravian Church Centre in Leh (photo) – without any financial aid from abroad – has vastly improved the conditions for the 500 members of the Moravian Church. The school with about 1000 pupils is known far and wide as the best. Many questions were asked regarding how the two »neighbouring« Moravian Churches in Nepal were, that built after the big earth quake in April 2015 two temporary little churches. A new earth quake report from Nepal here.

Tanzania – Lisa Vettiger left for Mbeya

From July 2015 Lisa Vettiger from Zurich (CH) supports the work of the Moravian Church as a social worker in a big project for orphans in Mbeya (Tanzania, South Province). She studied social work and for the last two and a half years she was working in social counselling and with asylum seekers. The Swiss sister organization of the Moravian Mission Society Germany »Mission 21« sent her in the scope of the »Professional Exposure Program«, which is a popular program for further education, aimed at young adults with a completed apprenticeship or university degree. It consists of a preparation course, a six- to twelve months long project assignment abroad and a course after their return.

Surinam – Three short news

At a special synod at the 20th of June 2015 in Paramaribo a new bishop was meant to be elected. However even after three rounds of voting none of the candidates had the required two-thirds majority of votes. Bishops and church leadership are now thinking what happens next after this cancelled election. +++ The church leadership has found many pastoral workers and preachers to serve occasionally outside their own church as a volonteer. 53 people have reacted to a respective call for help and get a Special training now. +++ At the end of May 2015 the ruling party »National Democratic Party« got the majority of votes at the parliamentary election. Hence the previous president Desi Delano Bouterse can stay in office.

Several short news

From the 16th to 19th of July 2015 the great summer camp of the Moravian Church in Albania will take place in Pogradec at the beautiful lake Ohrid. About 120 children and young people from all parts of the country are expected. The organisers write: »We experience that our family in faith grows from year to year. Praise the Lord with us!« + + + Together with 23 other young people from Denmark Miriam Bøytler will shortly travel to Sumbawanga (Tanzania, Rukwa Province) to build a playground for the children and to have some activities with the local youth groups. The Moravian Mission in Denmark plays an important role in accompanying the work in the Rukwa Province. + + + Bishop Theodorus Alexander Darnoud has celebrated his 95th birthday on the 24th of May 2015 in Surinam with his closest family. + + + A consultation concerning further work of the Moravian Church in Latvia took place in Riga from the 5th to 7th of June 2015. The senior pastor in Latvia Gundars Ceipe as well as leading people from several Groups in Latvia and the appointees for Latvia of the European Provincial Board, Martin Theile (Amsterdam) and Volker Schulz (Basel), attended.

Herrnhuter Missionshilfe
Zittauer Straße 20 · 02747 Herrnhut · Deutschland
Telefon: +49 (0) 35873 487-0 · E-Mail:
Inhaltlich Verantwortlicher gemäß § 55 Abs. 2 RStV ist Andreas Tasche.

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