Serving With NEW Community Shelter

We will be serving a meal on Sunday, August 21st at NEW Community Shelter at 4:30pm.  Food items for the meal and servers are needed.  This is one of our service ministries that happens the third Sunday of every other month.

 

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Loaves and Fishes- August

We continue to share food and fellowship the fourth Saturday of the month from 8am-10am.  This month’s breakfast is on Saturday, August 27th.  In addition to feeding hungry stomachs, our ministry is dedicated to showing our guests warmth and hospitality while providing a place of fellowship.  If you are interested in volunteering at an upcoming breakfast please contact Patty Jahnke at #680-1733 or PJahnke14@yahoo.comloavesfishes

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Forward in Hope~ August 2016

“Forward in Hope”

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,‘See, the home* of God is among mortals. He will dwell* with them; they will be his peoples,* and God himself will be with them;*4 he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.’
  Revelation 21:1-4 NRSV

 

When considering some of the troubles of our present day where does hope rise?  Where are alternatives to these present realties?

 

I am reading a book called “In Search of the Church” by Keith Russell.  He has some good thoughts about the church including the view that what the church has to offer in this troubled time is a way of life that holds alternatives to hate, violence, greed and destruction.  The church can be a place where this sort of life can be envisioned and made real.  Consider the early churches as they took shape in different cities and locations in the Roman Empire.  They were all similar in that they offered a different way of life.  They lived in the Roman Empire that said Caser was god and the state should have your greatest allegiance.  The church took shape with a different allegiance, namely to Christ.  A different community shaped by Christ that said blessed are the poor, that welcomed the immigrant, the stranger, the exile, the slave, the widow, the orphan as full members of the community of Christ.  These were not, and I would argue, are not our culture’s values today.  It is no wonder that these early Christians got into trouble often.  Case in point is John of Patmos who is said to have penned Revelation.  He was exiled, in part, for calling the Church to be allegiant to Christ only.  He rejected the worship of state and its life-draining values.  This is the way things are now but Christ is making a new reality possible unfolding in John’s time and in ours today.  The scripture from Revelation, listed above, is a passage with words dripping with hope.  Speaking to life that exists now as God dwells with God’s people and creates a community where love is the agenda; love meaning right relationships with one another, respect, and service extended to one another. 

 

Russell, shares in his book a ‘Parable of Possibility’ about a community that New York Theological seminary has sponsored at Sing Sing prison.  Sing Sing is a maximum security prison and they have a master’s level theological training program for prisoners.  Men who are prisoners prepare for a various aspects of prison ministry.  In doing this they have to learn how to pray together, work together, and live together. The overall environment of the prison is violent and negative.  Within this environment is a church community that in the midst of their current situation finds hope.  It is a community not based just on what they have in common but what they are becoming in Christ.  Instead of despair, hate and destructive behaviors, Christ followers are being shaped to dream new dreams and live into a future hope.  If it is possible to build communities of faith and hope in such a place as Sing Sing prison- think what could be accomplished in the church today.

 

Russell goes on to share some options for the church today.  We can look to the past and say weren’t the good old days so good, but glorifying the past will never lead us to the future.  We can be despairing about our present situations or we can look to the Lamb who leads us onward.  We can look to what might be as Christ works through the people of the church here and now.  We can look to the Lamb who walks through the world with us and says you don’t need to settle for the mess that is around us now.  We can look to Christ who leads us to be church, which is a place where alternatives to the life draining ways of our world exist.  This offers the world a future not determined ultimately by gun violence, economic fluctuations, injustice, or terrorism.  The future is determined ultimately by Christ as he is known and experienced.  We are invited to follow our lamb to this future.  He has already conquered and continues still to conquer ways of sin, destruction and despair.  Our lamb is conquering…will we follow him?

 

In Hope, Pastor Marian wedding pic

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Little Lambs Camp~ Saturday, August 27th

All children ages 3-7 we offer a taste of summer church camp the older children and youth attend.  We’ll have snacks, Bible storytelling, crafts and games.  Contact the church office if you’d like to attend.  It is from 2:30pm-4pm on Saturday, August 27th at West Side Moravian Church.

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Saturday, August 6th Work Day at Tricklebee Cafe

Emma, Jaymee, Laura, Josh 8.6.16Schlader's and John 8.6.16Emma and Jaymee front of Cafe 8.6.16A few pictures from the Saturday, August 6th Trip to Tricklebee Café– an urban café focused on joy, sustainable/healthy eating and spiritual renewal. Thank you to the West volunteers and to Tricklebee Café for their work and hospitality.

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Letter of Hope in Response to Grief~ July 8, 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In this first week of July, the… Moravian Church Northern Province has observed Canada Day on July 1 and Independence Day on July 4 – two celebrations of national pride and identity – and the anniversary of the martyrdom of John Hus on July 6 – when we remember not only what one man died for, but more importantly, what one man lived for.

Today, the Moravian Church Northern Province grieves for lives lost – in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota, and in Dallas, Texas – victims of violence. We grieve for lives lost in Baghdad and Bangladesh – also victims of violence. Each of these lives matter, regardless of their color. Each of these lives, whether police officers or victims of police brutality or terrorism, were killed for reasons that are deeply disturbing. Each of these lives matter, whether Christian or Muslim or something else. Each of these lives matter because every one was created in the image of God, holy and beloved.

In 1415, as John Hus faced a decision to recant his faith and live, or stand firm in his faith and die, some of his friends urged him to say whatever was needed to stay alive, arguing that he could do more good for the cause alive than dead. John Hus could not turn his back on God and the faith he held so strongly, and thus was burned at the stake on July 6. We Moravians often talk about what he died for. Today, I believe we need to talk about what John Hus lived for – a world where individuals can hold the faith of their choosing, where ordinary people can speak truth to power, where everyday folks can live peacefully without the fear of violence, where people of every color can live in community, and people of every religion or no religion at all care for one another, where all lives are sacred and God is honored as holy.

I call on Moravians everywhere to live for our faith so that others no longer need to die for their faith, or their color, or their position, or their economic status. I invite us to acknowledge and confess our own role in fomenting racism and religious discrimination, whether by our deeply held, interior prejudices, or our silence in the public sphere. I call on every Moravian to abandon the excuse that such violence against black lives or police officers or children or immigrants doesn’t happen ‘in our back yard’. Take the initiative and risk leaving the safety of our churches and neighborhoods to establish authentic relationships with our brothers and sisters across town, in the ‘back yards’ that exist in every community. It is time for us – as people of faith – to say ‘enough’ and find ways to build bridges of love and hope. It is time for us – as people of faith – to say ‘yes’ to loving, respecting, and caring for our neighbors across the street and around the world.

Betsy Miller
President, Provincial Elders’ Conference
Moravian Church Northern Province

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Prayers for Orlando- Sunday, June 19th during morning worship at 9am

This Sunday, June 19th as part of the prayer time during worship we will invite people to light candles for those most closely impacted by the recent mass shooting in Orlando.
The light for us is a symbol of Christ, who weeps with those who grieve and calls us to compassion and peace.candle

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NEW Community Shelter

One of our meal ministries is serving dinner at NEW Community Shelter.  The next meal is to be served Sunday, June 19th at 4:30pm.  If you’d like to help email pastor@wsmoraviangb.org

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Sunday, May 29th- Guest Preacher

The Rev. Dr. Betsy Miller, President of the Provincial Elders of the Moravian Church, Northern Province, will share the sermon this day.  In the afternoon Betsy will be officiating at Nick and Marian’s wedding. 

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Sunday, May 22nd Worship at Heritage Hill State Park

Worship will be held at Heritage Hill State Park at 9am.  Due to the Cellcom Marathon it is very difficult to get to the 1707 S. Oneida site this day for worship.  We are blessed to have the wonderful alternative of the historic East Moravian Church building at Heritage Hill.  Use Hwy. 172 or Webster Ave to get to Heritage Hill to avoid the marathon traffic.  If you would like to bring a snack for fellowship time on the lawn, please sign up on the office bulletin board.

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