Page 5 - Moravian Messenger July 2019
P. 5

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We would like to share with you information regarding two activities we had during this month.
On 3-5 May we had a youth seminar, with the support of the Moravian Church in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Mike Boije as the main leader. The seminar was held in our church in Burrel, with the participation of 20 young people from Burrel, Bathore and Tirana. Our topic was Creation and it was the perfect place where we could talk about God's creation, in the nature and surrounded by mountains.
Kathmandu Retreat,
April 2019
Following the very successful conference at the Greenwich Hotel in Kathmandu a retreat was held in the same venue, to which all serving, retired and trainee ministers were invited. The retreat was well attended and I had the privilege of leading it. Over the course of a couple of days I was given free range as to what topic to use. It occurred to me that it might be a good idea to work on the headship of Christ and the equality of all Moravians under his leadership as our Chief Elder. And, in order to do this, I decided to 'borrow' the way that Patsy's approach to theology is though art, both of her own creation and also from the wider world of art.
With this in mind, I chose works of art that represented various images of Jesus throughout the ages and artistic genres, from the Lego Jesus through to Salvador Dali's Christ of St John on the Cross. These pieces of art were complimented by scripture that gave a flavour of what and who Jesus was, is and will be, from creation through the present and into the future. We began with the delegates sharing images of Jesus that the participants had created themselves and then we continued with small group and plenary discussions about Paul's ideas of Christ being the visible likeness of the invisible God in the first chapter of Colossians. This was presented with an Orthodox Church icon featuring Jesus as creator of the universe. The rejected Cornerstone from Psalm 118 came next with an appropriate painting, followed by Paul's writing about Jesus as the ruler of nations from the first chapter of Ephesians, with a picture of Jesus and the UN building in New York. Paul's ideas of us all being united in Jesus in Galatians 3 was considered next, supported by Disputa by Raphael.
We dipped into the Old Testament next, with the rules about how to treat foreigners in Leviticus 19 up for contemplation. With this came two depictions of 'First Fruits' by John Valentine Haidt, showing Jesus and Moravian missionary interactions with
Youth Seminar
- Leaders and Potential Leaders Seminar in Albania
On 10-12 May we had a leaders' seminar, led by our pastor Jørgen Bøytler, with all leaders and potential leaders of our congregations in Bathore, Burrel, Pogradec, Elbasan, Lezha and Tirana. The topic was Liturgy and we talked about the importance of Liturgy in the church and how we, the six congregations, can create an identity in the near future. The seminar ended with the Sunday morning service, where we celebrated Holy Communion.
Both seminars were very blessed and we witnessed how the Holy Spirit worked in us and through us, as we talked, discussed, prayed and worshipped together.
Thank you for always keeping our work in your prayers. God bless you all!
Kisha Luterane e Moraviane, Shqipëri
Lutheran and Moravian Church in Albania
God's peoples on their missionary journeys. We stayed in the Old Testament with Psalm 67 and the idea that the nations should rejoice because the Lord brings justice to all. This was presented with a rather tacky painting of Jesus wearing a coat made of the flags of nations by Deborah Zellor. The final session brought us back to Paul's writings in Colossians 2, where he warns us to share only God's wisdom and not mere human wisdom with others. We also tackled the idea of the Hypostatic Union (the relationship between the human and divine Jesus) and also the idea of The Purple Headed Mountain. This led me to wax lyrical about Rhododendron not being native to the UK and bringing a false 'purple' to our hillsides, when it really should be heather - don't ask; just an old bug bear of mine. In addition to all this we also examined a series of pictures by Patsy that lead us through Passion Week, with opportunities for the delegates to ponder each of the stages of Jesus' journey to the cross and beyond.
When the retreat came to an end one of the ministers attending the retreat, who shall remain nameless, said, and I quote, that 'I had taught them nothing, but that they had learned a lot'! I am not sure whether this was a compliment, but it does seem that the participants were able to take something away from the retreat. I would like to thank my fellow members of the BMB for the opportunity to go back to Nepal and to take part in the very positive conference and to lead the retreat.
Br Paul M Holdsworth
Minister of Bath Weston, Bath Coronation Avenue and Swindon Congregations
© Br Paul Holdsworth
© Lutheran and Moravian Church in Albania

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