Extending a Welcome to All

Our society struggles with who is truly welcome within our borders.  There are debates about welcoming new immigrants, refuges and people from outside of our County, City and State.  This is an important conversation that impacts so many children, youth, men and women.

As Christians we take our lead from Jesus Christ whose welcome extends to all- people from every country of origin, refuges, people of various languages, cultures, faith traditions and races.

We work to communicate what Jesus is about in what we say and do.  Also, the Elders have placed outside signs that communicate the welcome we seek to extend to all. 

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HUMAN

HUMAN

This past June I attended a concert of one of my favorite bands, U2.  This Irish band has throughout their career had deep affection for the country I call home.  They again lifted up some of the values that resonate deeply with what I love about this land: the variety of cultures and ethnicities, this being a place of refuge and new opportunity that welcomed my own German and Irish ancestors many years ago, and country whose story holds up values of freedom, equality, and justice.  Even though we don’t always live out these values faithfully they are sought out still.  I was reminded that in the United States “We the people” are the government, and have a voice and place at the table.  Also, when issues seem to challenge justice, equality and freedom we don’t despair but work together for just change.  “We do not agonize, we organize” Bono stated to the crowds.  These Irish musicians see in this country the potential to be truly great in our generosity to meet need, great by the vast diversity of cultures that populate this land, and great in the voices that continue to rise up for justice.

At this concert, I also noticed a man who may have been of Indian or Middle Eastern descent.  He wore a black tee shirt and one word was printed across his chest in white-  HUMAN.  I don’t know if this tee shirt denotes a slogan or band name, or maybe he was reminding those who forgot that he too is a human being.  After all, some see others as not worthy of certain rights, or basic kindness, or ability to exist due to race, creed, gender, conviction record or country of origin. I was reminded of an America different than the four Irish lads from U2 described.  One where we can’t assume the fully humanity of all is recognized.

An even more stark reminder of this came to my attention back in February.  One of my distant cousins, Ian, was at a sports bar in Kansas.  Another man entered the sports bar harassing a few people thinking they were of Middle Eastern descent.  Ian stood up for the two Indian men bearing the brunt of racial slurs, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani.  The man bullying them was asked to leave and did.  Unfortunately, the bully returned with a gun and after yelling “get out of my country” began shooting.   Ian ducked under a table and began counting how many shots had been fired.  When he thought the gun was empty he went after the shooter. However, Ian miscounted and was shot in the process.  Ian and Alok survived with injuries, Srinivas died.  In this horrific encounter, we see conflicting understandings of what it means to be viewed as a human being in this country.  Of course, not all question another’s human worth with a gun but in lessor ways by who we choose to welcome into our communities, or who we choose to associate with, or what words we use about others.

Over the years my faith has grown more deeply rooted in God as Creator.  This belief demands that I look on all creation as that which God has made.  Those I call enemy or view as disreputable or those I disdain because they may view me as disreputable- all are HUMAN.  If I am serious about sharing life in relationship with the Creator I must take seriously the human dignity and worth of what the Creator has made.

My cousin Ian is a good example, not only in what he did in that sports bar but in using the publicity from this incident as a way to encourage others to get to know their neighbors.  A good friendship has developed between Ian and Srinivas’ family, Alok and many in the Indian community.  Together they are seeing this as a moment for different cultures to learn more about each other and grow together as a community.

“It’s not about where he’s from, or ethnicity.  We’re all humans.”  Ian Grillot

In Christ, Pastor Marian

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Worship this Sunday, May 21st at Heritage Hill

Join us this Sunday for worship at Heritage Hill State Park as we gather at the historic East Moravian church building. Worship is at 9am with light refreshments to follow. This is a beautiful space with great music and as always wonderful community to celebrate Christ’s love for us and all.

Worship includes several anthems from our Choir as this is the last Sunday till fall for their active ministries.

Please note there is no cost to enter the park for worship and transportation will be provided up and down the hill.

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So I Send You…

So I Send You

“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’  When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’ John 20:21-22 NRSV

This scripture was part of the readings for Sunday, April 23rd.  It is also part of the reflection Jill Kolodziej, the Director of Antioch Ministries for the Board of World Mission, shared with the Jamaica Mission Team after worship this same Sunday.  The Holy Spirit is available to each receptive heart.  This Spirit of our Living God sends us forward into a variety of mission fields.  Pay attention to the many ways people are sent and serve in this Spirit as you read look over our website!

This season we are especially grateful for those who have answered the call to be sent on a mission to Jamaica.  They will be working with our Moravian brothers and sisters in Jamaica in maintenance projects, mostly painting, learn more about the people who live there beyond the tourist spots, and share in worship and community.   The mission team is Courtney Bauder, Tiffany Sadler, Shad Krueger, Shelley Krueger, Julie Srenaski, Jaymee Srenaski, Alexis Srenaski, Seth Wilson (from Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church) and Jill Kolodziej leading and organizing the team.

As they go we invite your prayers and support.  Sunday, June 18th there will be a special time of prayer during morning worship for the mission team.

Below is a prayer watch we invite you to consider in your daily prayers as the team travels, works and shares in community with the Jamaican Moravians.

PRAYER WATCH FOR JAMAICA

Saturday, June 24th–    Pray for safe travel.  The group will be flying out of Appleton and have a stop in Atlanta before arriving in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Sunday, June 25th–       Pray for our Moravian brothers and sisters who gather for worship this day.  The mission team will be sharing in worship this Sunday and getting to know the community better.

Monday, June 26th–      Pray for the ministries of Camp Hope in Jamaica.  This is the place the mission team will receive lodging and meals.  Pray for this Camp that serves children, youth and adults from Jamaica and welcomes in visitors from other lands.

Tuesday, June 27th–      Pray for all in the group as they work in a very hot climate.  Pray for their energy and endurance.

Wednesday, June 28th–  Pray for all in the mission team as they work and pray together.  For God’s Spirit to be at work in the relationships developed among the team and the local people they work and pray with in Jamaica.

Thursday, June 29th–  Rest day.  Pray for the group as they explore the natural beauty of Jamaica and find time for rest and renewal.

Friday, June 30th–          Pray for the group that in their service they may grow closer to Jesus Christ.

Saturday, July 1st–         Pray for safe travel home.  Pray for the group as they return to new opportunities for service and relationship building here in Wisconsin.

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Sunday, May 7th

Join us for worship this Sunday, May 7th as we celebration both the Sacrament of Baptism, welcoming a new child into the congregation,  and sharing in the Holy Family Meal at Holy Communion.  
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The Truth about Solitary Confinement

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Rumage Sale This Saturday!

Spring Rummage Sale at West Side Moravian Church this Saturday, April 22nd from 8am-12pm.  Proceeds benefit the Mission trip to Jamaica.

 

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Palm Sunday Pictures

Foot Washing

Thank you to the Sunday School children, youth and adults for leading a very meaningful service of worship with a Shadow Play depicting the events of Holy Week.

Jesus riding into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday

Jesus overturning the tables at the Temple

The Last Supper

Garden of Gethsemane

The arrest

Jesus carrying the cross

Jesus death on the cross

The tomb

 

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Palm Sunday

This Sunday our Sunday School will lead worship at 9am.  They are sharing the story of Palm Sunday and moments from Holy Week with a Shadow Play.

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Holy Week 2017

HOLY WEEK 2017 Journey To Easter

*Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday on Sunday, April 9th.  The Sunday School will be leading worship with a “Shadow Play”.

*Monday- Wednesday we gather at 6pm to be guided through the story leading up to Christ’s crucifixion.  These services are led by the Moravian Holy Week Readings which incorporate song with the Gospel texts to share this story.

*Holy Thursday worship and Holy Communion are shared at 6pm in remembrance of the Last Supper Jesus shared with his disciples.

*Good Friday we are again led by the Moravian Holy Week Readings as we worship at 12pm.

*Easter Sunday begins with Easter Sunrise at 6am, which begins in the Sanctuary at West and part way through we travel to the West Cemetery in Ashwaubenon.  Following the Sunrise service all are invited to breakfast in the Fellowship Hall- please sign up if you plan to attend.  Worship for Easter Sunday is then at 9am.

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