image-title

Dear New Philadelphia Moravian, 

As I enter into my last week with you, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on all of the joys and the challenges of the past three and a half years that I have served in ministry with you. During the next week, in worship and in the weekly newsletter, I am going to be sharing some of what I have seen, both as joys and as challenges, during my time with you. For this week, I want to focus on one of the greatest joys for me personally and the greatest asset to the ministry of this congregation as you seek to live and love and serve like Jesus. And that is the church staff. 

Prior to coming to New Philadelphia, I had only served in smaller congregations that had very limited paid staff. But New Philadelphia has been completely different. This congregation is very active and it takes many talented, gifted, and dedicated people to make it all run as smoothly as it does and to challenge the congregation to be better than you think that you can be. 

Our musicians are the best in the Moravian Church. Steve, Michael, Sandra, David, and Terri are all extraordinarily talented and are willing and able to use their gifts in a wide variety of musical styles and preferences and bring them all together in a way that allows everyone who joins us for worship to be able to lift their own hearts and spirits and voices in praise to God.  

Our administrative staff is excellent. Rachel always provides a warm welcome and a bright smile to everyone who comes into the church office. She is extraordinarily talented with making our bulletins, social media, and all of our printed material engaging and informative.  Rachel makes sure that the church has what it needs to do what God needs you to do. Rachel is not merely “among the best” she is the best.  Donna understands that the finances of the church are a ministry, not simply a matter of paying the bills, but of serving the Lord. She does her job with dedication, compassion, wisdom, and integrity. Tim knows the church facility inside and out. When something breaks, it doesn’t stay broken for long, because Tim can fix it. As with all of our staff, Tim sees his work as a calling not as simply a job. 

Our pastoral and program staff are amazing. Erin has provided consistent and loving leadership to our youth through a lot of transition during the last few years. She has been someone that our kids know they can count on. Evie is the best Christian Education Director that I have ever worked with. She has unending creativity and is able to use that to give our youngest members a solid foundation in faith. Evie serves the church with tireless dedication. And Clyde. Every church needs a “Clyde” she has boundless energy and enthusiasm. She is the best cheerleader for everything that the congregation does. Clyde has the ability to take any unusual idea that I would have and help make it a reality. (And I guess that I should mention Teddy here too so that she won’t get angry with me.)

In my three and a half years at New Philly, I have never once had a day when I didn’t want to go to the office. The people that I have been blessed to work with have brought me great joy as we have sought to help you all to live, love, and serve like Jesus. I hope that the entire congregation realizes how blessed you are to have all of them. I know that I will miss them. 

Pastor Joe

Read More
image-title
Please help us Serve like Jesus as we help care for those in our community.
The cart will be at the portico Monday-Friday from 10:00 AM- 4:00 PM
 
Donations Needed for Assisted Living Communities: 
-Adult Coloring Books
-Colored Pencils and Sharpeners
-Coffee  Mugs
-Ink Pens
-Chapstick
-Lotions 
-Hard Candies
-Pepperidge Farm Cookies
-Hershey Kisses
 
Donations Needed for Imprints Cares (Preschool and Elementary Age):
-Children’s Coloring Books
-Activity Books
-Crayons
-Colored Pencils
Read More
image-title

Dear New Philadelphia Moravian,

This past week has been one unlike any that I ever remember. In a world that is already overwhelmed by an unprecedented global pandemic which has led to a crashing economy, now our cities are filled with both peaceful protests and destructive rioting and looting.
As I was watching the news on Monday night, it was just too much. There was too much pain and sorrow, too much grief and loss, too much anger and hatred, too much fear and doubt. It was so much that I felt I couldn’t breathe. And I don’t think that I was alone in that feeling. I don’t think that I am alone in those feelings.

 
To try to get those feelings out, to try to be able to breathe, I wrote this prayer: 

O God, we can’t breathe…

Our world is falling apart. 

O God, we can’t breathe…

        Our neighbors are dying

O God, we can’t breathe…

        We are surrounded by hate.

O God, we can’t breathe…

        We are overcome with fear.

O God, we can’t breathe…

       We are overwhelmed with guilt.

O God, we can’t breathe…

       We are weighed down with sorrow.

O God, we can’t breathe…

      We are lost and alone.

O God, help us to breathe…

     And know that you are here.

O God, help us to breathe…

     And embrace our neighbors.

O God, help us to breathe…

     And be filled with your love.

O God, help us to breathe…

      And claim your peace.

O God, help us to breathe…

     And receive your forgiveness.

O God, help us to breathe…

      And lift us with your joy.

O God, help us to breathe…

      And unite us as one.

O Lord, hear our prayer…

And help us. Save us. Deliver us. 

Amen

 

Pastor Joe Moore

Read More
image-title

Dear New Philadelphia Moravian, 

      This Sunday is Pentecost. It marks the end of the Easter season. It was 49 days ago when we proclaimed that “The Lord is risen indeed!” We have had seven weeks to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, to claim the new and eternal life that we receive through his death and resurrection. As far as the church year goes, the end of Easter and the day of Pentecost signal that we are entering into “ordinary time.” This means that there are no big church seasons or festivals until Advent. But we know that the days in which we are living in 2020 are far from ordinary. There has been nothing ordinary about the last 49 days, or even the last 77 days since the global pandemic really began to hit home. 

      This Saturday will be the 77th day since we were required to begin worshipping from home, since we have been unable to come together, in person, as the body of Christ to live, love, and serve like Jesus. The number 77 is an interesting one. In Scripture, the number 7 and variations of it are often used to signify completeness or perfection. Think about the 7 days of creation, or the seven “I am” statements of Jesus, or how Jesus said that we are to forgive not seven times but seventy times seven times. 

      It has me wondering what kind of completion or perfection we should be looking for as we move from Easter to Pentecost and into ordinary time, into this extraordinary ordinary time. It seems to me as if God is using this time when we have been forced to learn new ways of being the church, new ways of living, loving and serving like Jesus, to bring about a new church; to show us that we need to let go of what we are used to doing and who we are used to being as the church, and to open ourselves to becoming something new, to doing things differently. 

      As we come to the 77th day of having our world, our lives, and our church turned upside down, maybe God is telling us that it is finished, that the old is complete and it is time to begin to live into the new. Maybe God is telling us that it is time for us to not keep on looking at what things used to be, and to start looking for what they are going to be. 

      It saddens me that I won’t be here with you to see what God has in store for this congregation. But I know that as long as you continue to seek to live like Jesus, to love like Jesus, and to serve like Jesus, whatever the “new” New Philadelphia will look like, whatever it will be, it will continue to be a witness for Jesus in South Fork, in Winston-Salem, and to the ends of the earth. 

Pastor Joe

Read More
image-title

Dear New Philadelphia Moravian,

Just about three and a half years ago, I received a message from David Guthrie, as PEC President, asking to meet with me. Since I didn’t think that I was in any sort of trouble, I realized that it must be to share a call to serve a new congregation. My mind began to race through all of the congregations that were open and all of the possible calls that it could be. The next day, I walked into the meeting with David absolutely convinced that there were only 2 possible calls that it could be. One that I really wanted and one that I really didn’t want. And the one that I really didn’t want was the one that it was- the call to be Associate Pastor at New Philadelphia. 

I don’t really recall why I was so certain I didn’t want to receive the call to New Philadelphia. Maybe it was the size of the congregation, maybe it was the idea of working with a pastor who had been there for 30 years, maybe it was working with such a large staff, maybe it was what I thought that I knew about the church. Regardless of the reasons, I had received the call that I did not want to receive. And now I had to decide what to do about it.

The easy answer was to just say no and stay where I was. But I wanted to be sure that if I did say no, that I really knew what I was saying no to. So I read all of the call information, the stats and statements about how the Joint Board saw the congregation and how they saw me fitting in, I met with Worth, I met with the Joint Board. And then I went to Laurel Ridge for Sr High Camp. The timing was perfect. I needed to get away to think and to pray, to be in that community that has meant so much to me.

By the time that the week ended, after much prayer and lots of time sitting on top of the mountain surrounded by God’s masterpiece, I knew that I was ready to accept the call that I didn’t think I wanted. And that fall I began my ministry as your Associate Pastor. 

I soon learned that all of my doubts and my fears, all of the reasons that I thought I didn’t want the call were unfounded. I loved being at New Philadelphia. What I thought I knew about the church was wrong. I loved working with the rest of the staff. I loved working with Worth. And I loved being part of such a large congregation. I loved New Philadelphia Moravian. I loved all of you. 

And now the call that I didn’t want is coming to an end. With the calling of a new pastor, my service at New Philadelphia is concluding. And much like I didn’t want the call at the beginning, now that it is coming to an end, I don’t want that either. I would love to be able to continue to worship and serve with you. I am sad and disappointed and hurt that I can’t. 

Yet, as I begin to reflect upon my service among you and with you and for you, I see that perhaps God called me here for a time such as this. For we have been through a lot together over the past three and a half years. There have been dizzying heights and heartbreaking lows. We have seen our church change in ways that we never imagined and right now we are experiencing our world changing in ways that we never imagined. 

I am ready to see what God has planned next for New Philadelphia. And I am ready to see what God has planned next for me. During our last month together, I would love to hear from you. Actually I would love to be able to SEE you but with the pandemic, I don’t know if that will be possible. But I will be here. Call me, text me, email me, or come by. You can wear your mask and we can practice safe social distancing. However you would like, I am ready to listen to you, to laugh with you, to cry with you, as we say goodbye. 

Pastor Joe

 

Photo by Joe Moore/Laurel Ridge

Read More
image-title

May 17, 2020

Dear New Philadelphia Family,
As you know, over the past months the Joint Boards have been engaged in the call process for our congregation. This included the Boards determining that we would move to have one pastor. We appreciate your prayers and support for us and your patience during this time.

We also give thanks for the leadership and care provided by our intentional interim pastor, Rev. Larry Jones, and especially the continued ministry of our associate pastor, Rev. Joe Moore, during the interim period and during the challenges of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. We also are grateful for everyone who has done their part in the continuing work and witness of our church during this time.

Today I am pleased to announce that, at the Joint Boards’ request, the Provincial Elders’ Conference has extended a call to serve as pastor, which has been accepted by the Right Rev. Sam Gray, who is currently Director of Mission Outreach with the North American Board of World Mission.

Based on the Joint Boards’ decision, the Provincial Elders’ Conference will be placing Joe Moore on a leave of absence funded by the congregation beginning in mid-June. During this leave, Joe will be open to Call to another ministry setting. Joe’s last Sunday in worship with us will be June 21.

Bishop Gray was born in Winston-Salem and grew up in a missionary family with his parents, the Rev. Joe and Lahoma Gray and four siblings, and lived in Nicaragua for 11 years.

He graduated from the Stony Brook School (Long Island, NY), attended Moravian College, worked for a year in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, completed studies in Elementary Education at Moravian College, and took additional coursework at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California. For more than 13 years he was a missionary in Honduras as a high school teacher, Director of the Bible Institute, Christian Education Director, as well as organizing pastor of Israel Moravian Church in Tegucigalpa.

Sam returned to Moravian Theological Seminary in 1993, earned the Master of Divinity degree in 1996, was ordained, and served as the Assistant Pastor of Emmaus Moravian Church and Director of Youth Ministries with the Eastern District of the Moravian Church, Northern Province. He was pastor of the New Hope Moravian Church, Miami, FL from 1998 until joining the staff of the Board of World Mission in 2004. Sam was elected a Bishop of our worldwide Unity by our 2006 Southern Province Synod.

Sam and his wife, Lorena, have three sons: Luke, Tim and Christian David, as well as two granddaughters, Rachel and Gabriella Marie.

The church boards will be planning ways we can offer our appreciation and best wishes to Joe Moore as he concludes ministry here next month.

A service of installation for Sam Gray is being planned for Sunday, June 28, and he will begin ministry here at New Philadelphia on July 1.

We know you will join with the Joint Boards as we say goodbye to Joe and prepare for Sam’s arrival. We invite your prayers for Joe and his family, for Sam and his family, for the Board of World Mission, and for our congregation during these days of transition and new beginnings.

In Christ’s Love,
Kay Windsor
Vice-Chair, Board of Elders

Board of Elders, 2020: Frank Chitty, Michael Crane, Cindy Daggett, Maggie Davis (Youth representative), April Greenwood, Cynthia Fearrington, Franklin Nifong, Nancy Renn, Tina Spach, Andi Williams, secretary; Kay Windsor, vice-chair; Tiffany Woods

Board of Trustees, 2020: Alan Barber, Bruce Bradley, Bill Byrd, Tony Ebert, Constance Linville, Brad Pitts, Chris Rogers, secretary; David Stanfield, vice chair; Ron Tedder, Susie Tickle,  Earl Wall, chair; Becky Ward

Read More