Not long after I arrived at Home Church as the associate pastor (February 2013), the congregation dove into the process of creating a new church directory. The previous one was five years old, and in that span of time, the congregation had changed. We had lost some faces and gained some new ones. Some members had died; some had moved to other churches. Some families had added members, and the children who were babies in the old directory were now in kindergarten or first grade. I was eager for a new directory that would catch me up and give me an accurate picture of the congregation as I knew it.
Of course, there were things I couldn’t learn from just looking at pictures in the directory. As many pastors have noted, a Moravian church directory really needs to come with a family tree, so that we know who is related to whom. Nor are other relationships evident: Who is friends with whom? Which members have been best friends since they were children in Sunday school together, or were roommates in college? Are there people in the congregation who have bonded by sharing times of grief, darkness, or confusion? Are there members who have hurt one another, who now greet each other cordially, but never quite got over it? None of us can learn about these relationships by looking at pictures in a directory.
And what about the individual stories behind the pictures? Who is quietly proud of overcoming a difficult childhood? Who is undergoing a health crisis? Who struggles to understand why his life has seemed so easy, when he sees others suffering? Who has met disappointment head-on, and transformed it into joy? Who has read the Bible cover to cover many times? Who, among all those smiling faces, carries pain inside? We really can’t get an accurate picture of the congregation without knowing more than just faces on a page.
Now the time has come for another new directory. While you’re preparing for your photo shoot (you have made your appointment, right?*), you might want to find a copy of the 2013 directory and spend some time looking through it. Ask yourself some questions. Of the people pictured, how many became new friends for you in the last five years? How many new relationships did you form, and how has your church life been enriched by those relationships? Whose stories have you learned, and how have they surprised you? Who have you not yet met, and who are you curious about? Most important, how will you get to know them in the days, weeks, and years to come?
We hold one another’s faces dear; but a congregation is more than a sea of faces. Christian community is people with stories, in relationship with one another. As we get reacquainted through our upcoming new directory, think of how we can get more acquainted, and more deeply committed to our walk of faith together.
*If your answer is “Um, no,” call Sally McLeod at 336-971-3237, or email her at email@example.com.
- Getting ready for your Directory photo session
- Home Church Day at Laurel Ridge
- Candle Tea 2019: If you like it, you’d better volunteer for it
- Save the date for this year's Women's Retreat
- Quick Notes: Senior Friends, Shredding Event, Elders
- More links: Men's golf/cookout and retreat, CE happenings in May and beyond, Art Show date set, music, b-days, monthly calendar and personals
At your appointed time, plan to spend about an hour. You will have the chance to purchase pictures, but you will also receive free of charge a copy of your chosen picture and the pictorial directory as soon as it is ready.
Not signed up yet? Photography sessions run through June 4. Sally and Victoria will be happy to sign you up before and after worship services to reserve your appointment or contact: Sally Mcleod at 336-971-3237, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Victoria Remishofsky at 828-258-3499, email@example.com. For on-campus sittings at Salemtowne on May 6, contact CarolAnn Adcock at 336-408-1537, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, June 2, 2019
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Come and worship on the mountain! The day promises to be filled with new experiences, fellowship, a fantastic potluck, nature and quiet reflection. Rain or shine, it’s always wonderful to spend time at Laurel Ridge!
The day will start with an 11:00 a.m. waterside service (bring camp chairs or a towel on which to sit). Following the service, the potluck will be held in the dining hall. After lunch, the choice is all yours! Spend time exploring the trails and visiting the overlooks. Another popular option is canoeing on the pond, which last year morphed into a swimming free-for-all with the children (bring suits and a change of clothes). Bring a fishing pole and spend a couple hours fishing. The day is typically wrapped up with a fun game of kickball followed by an ice cream extravaganza.
Since the service starts at 11:00 a.m., please plan to arrive by 10:30 to allow time to drop off your food items, park, and get to the water for service. Be sure to bring a covered dish to share.
If you’ve never been to Laurel Ridge, this is the perfect opportunity! Families with children who have been thinking about sending their children to summer camp at Laurel Ridge, come explore the camp and get a feel for what the camp is like. The M-Staff (college-age kids who work at the camp all summer long) will be present and will help with worship and lifeguarding at the lake.
Transportation is available, but is limited. If you need transportation, please notify the church office no later than Monday, May 27.
I hope you’ll bring your family and invite your friends. I look forward to spending a wonderful day with you on the mountain!
Paper Folding: Please join us in the Club Room on Friday, May 17 anytime from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.. If you’ve never done this, we can teach you how and have fun in the process. See you there!
Candle Making: Please join us in the candle room (ground floor on the back side of the Christian Education Building on the backside) on Friday, May 31 or Saturday, June 1 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday, June 2 from 12:15 p.m.-3 p.m.. Many hands make light the work and even better fellowship. Once again, if you don’t know how to string a mold, melt wax, pour a mold, or “finish” a candle, this is a good opportunity to observe and learn. Hope to see you there!
If you have any questions, please call or email Bev Moore at 336-978-5592 or email@example.com.
Theme: “Is That What You’re Wearing?”
Leader: The Rev. Ginny Tobiassen
When: Sept. 13-15, 2019
Where: Higgins Lodge at Laurel Ridge
What: A time of laughter, fellowship, prayer, and spiritual growth for all Home Church women
Cost: $160 (double), $260 (single) Includes room, 5 meals (Friday dinner through Sunday breakfast), and retreat leadership. Scholarship aid is available.
Registration: Opens June 1; sign up before July 1 and receive a $10 discount! Download a registration form.
Senior Friends: The Senior Friends program this month will feature James V. Salzwedel and his wife, Sarah. Jim will play music from the 1600s to the 20th century. He will also include some familiar hymns and gospel songs and ask the group to join in a "sing-a-long." Sarah will assist by reading scripture. Date/time: Thursday May 16, noon, potluck in the Parlor, followed by the program in CE 101.
Shredding Event: Sponsored by the World Mission Ministry Team on Saturday May 18 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon in the Salem Fine Arts Center parking lot. The cost is $5.00 per bag or box. Please call Mallie Graham, 336-816-0248, with any questions.
Board of Elders Report: In accordance with Synod resolutions 13 and 14, and in keeping with the plan for discernment laid before the congregation last November, the Board of Elders continues in conversation and prayer regarding the question of same-gender marriage. Please pray for the elders and the congregation as we continue in our difficult but meaningful conversations.
May 10 golf and cookout; Craig Atwood to lead October retreat
For Fall session of 2019-2020 school year
Show & Sale to raise funds for Albania
Choir, Men's Chorus, Band, BellChor
Ill, recovering, rehab, sympathy
Who Are Those Young Singers in the Choir?
Several years ago, the Home Church Music and Worship Committee started a Choral Scholar initiative. A Choral Scholar is a student who is paid a fee to sing in the choir and help lead a particular section (soprano, alto, tenor, bass). It’s a position that’s sometimes called a Section Leader. The difference between a Section Leader and a Choral Scholar is that a Choral Scholar is specifically a college student who is majoring in music and vocal studies. Their fees are intended to help defray college expenses.
The program benefits both the church and the students. Musically, the program strengthens the choir, and also helps the students learn the Moravian choral tradition, while developing their choral skills. Bringing young people into the choir gives these students a sense of belonging, community, and a place to worship. The students often attract friends, who attend worship too. The members of the choir embrace the students as part of the church family. In many cases the students become involved with church life well beyond their duties in the choir, including becoming members of the church. There are currently two Choral Scholars in the choir, but the goal is to have four, one for each section.
This year’s Choral Scholars are soprano Bonnie Blackwell and tenor Christian Burleson. Bonnie will be a senior at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) next year. Eldest of three girls, she was born in Fresno, California, but has spent most of her life in North and South Carolina. Her initial dream was to be a Broadway star, but she discovered that she had a voice and passion for opera. Christian grew up on a farm in Mt. Pleasant, NC, and is one of five children. He found his love of music through singing at his local church and in musicals in high school. He is a senior voice major at UNCSA and will graduate this month with his Bachelors degree in Music.
If you have not had a chance to meet Bonnie or Christian, please take a minute after a Sunday service to say hello.