Program & Speakers

The Program

In June of 2011, over 400 Moravian women from across the globe gathered in Concord, North Carolina, for the 11th Moravian Women’s Conference.  The conference challenged attendees to step out of their comfort zones and be the hands and feet of Christ in our communities, churches, provinces and world. The theme Stepping Out of the Boat, based on Matthew 14:29, provided inspiration for worship, music, prayer, fellowship, and education.

In 2015, we’ll explore what happens after we step out of the boat.  What does our journey look like? From where can we draw inspiration and strength? Who were the Moravian women who came before us and how did they walk? How do we overcome challenges, resistance, and adversity as we walk in this ever-changing, complicated world?  We invite all Moravian women to the shores of the magnificent Chesapeake Bay as we explore what it means to Walk in the Light today.

Workshops

Attendees can choose from over 20 workshops on a variety of thought-provoking and inspirational topics, many of which were suggested by past conference attendees. You can download a complete list of our workshops and their descriptions. Other topics of interest will be explored during our free time and will include sharing time for caregivers, praying with color, band, choir, candle-making and more! Check back as conference dates get closer for even more options.

Keynote Speakers

Jennifer Sands
From Darkness To Light:  Jennifer’s Journey
Walking in the Light: Our Journey With Jesus

About the Keynotes: In Jennifer’s first keynote, she shares her testimony of coming to salvation through Christ after her husband was killed on September 11.  During her second keynote, Jennifer will discuss the importance of obedience, patience, and confidence as we abide in Christ.

Jennifer SandsAbout Jennifer: Jennifer’s husband, Jim Sands, was killed in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Since that time, Jennifer became a Christian and offers a message of hope, encouragement, and inspiration to all those “walking in the light.” Jennifer has addressed many different audiences, both secular and Christian, both nationally and internationally, as she shares her compelling and inspiring story of overcoming the trials in life through faith and trust in God.

Jennifer’s favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11, which says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you;  plans to give you hope and a future.”   And indeed He had plans for all of us.  Jennifer was (and still is) a pharmacist; but after September 11, God brought forth a Christian writing and speaking ministry as a way for her to serve Him.  She is the author of three books:  A Tempered Faith, which candidly details her emotional and spiritual struggles (and eventual triumph) in the first year after losing Jim.  Her second book, A Teachable Faith, continues the journey continues as she shares how God uses His Word and everyday circumstances to teach us, heal us, and give us a greater understanding of Him.  Her third book, A Treasured Faithis an account of the wealth discovered when we dig deeply into the Bible and into our soul; and she also shares experiences in her battle with breast cancer.

The Rev. Dr. Craig Atwood
Listening to the Sisters: Five Centuries of Women’s Leadership in the Moravian Church

About the Keynote: John Amos Comenius wrote that women “also are formed in the image of God, and share in His grace and in the kingdom of the world to come. They are endowed with equal sharpness of mind and capacity for knowledge.” The idea that women share equally in the image of God with men was not only the basis for educating women in the Moravian Church, it was the reason that there were so many important Moravian women missionaries, evangelists, elders, deacons, and composers. We will look at the lives of women like Anna Nitschmann and Rebecca Protten and the church’s view of women. We will see that for centuries women played a greater role in the ministry of the Moravian Church than in any other church.

About Craig: The Rev. Dr. Craig Atwood is the Charles D. Couch Associate Professor of Moravian Theology and Ministry at Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. craig atwood casual cr lgrIn his numerous books and articles, Craig has helped uncover aspects of the Moravian past that can inspire and challenge us today. Much of his research has focused on topics of particular interest to Moravian women in the twenty-first century, including women’s spirituality and mission. Some of Craig’s writings and public lectures are available at www.moravianstudies.org. Craig is the author of Community of the Cross: Zinzendorfian Piety in Colonial Bethlehem, Theology of the Czech Brethren from Hus to Comenius, and Jesus Still Lead On: An Introduction to Moravian Belief. 

Craig has presented to Moravians and non-Moravians throughout North America and beyond. He has done extensive research on Moravian women throughout our church’s long history. He will share with us examples of the many brave and courageous sisters of the Unity who have “walked in the light” before us.

Craig received his PhD in Historical Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary; his MDiv from Moravian Theological Seminary; and a BA in History and Religion from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was ordained into the ministry of the Moravian Church in 1987, and served as chaplain of Moravian College, Salem Academy and College, and at Home Moravian Church. He is married to Julie Anderson Atwood and has four daughters.

The Rev. Mary L. Katagile
Gospel of Light: The Essence of Moravian Church Mission

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbout Mary: Rev. Mary L. Kategile is a pastor for the Moravian Church in Western Tanzania. She received her Bachelor of Divinity at Moravian Theological College in Mbeya Tanzania and her Master of Arts in Theological Studies at the Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, PA. She received a Postgraduate Diploma in Education from Teofilo Kisanji University.  Mary  is an Assistant Lecturer at Teofilo Kisanji University, which is owned by the Moravian Church in Tanzania. She teaches Moravian history, Church History, African Church History, African Reconstruction Theology, and Biblical Studies at the Faculty of Theology and she is the head of Historical Department. She attended several workshops on Leadership, HIV/AIDS, Women empowerment and entrepreneurship. Mary is a well-known speaker with a deep interest in and expertise on Women in Ministry.

She is a widow and a mother of seven children and grandmother of seven. Mary sees herself and her ministry as a miracle from God. She has experienced grief and suffering in her spiritual journey and sees the Grace of God to be the mover behind of her life. Philippians 4:13 has taught Mary to totally depend on God for everything.

Special Guests

The Rev. Betsy Miller

Betsy_MillerThe Rev. Dr. Elizabeth D. (Betsy) Miller has served the church as President of the Provincial Elders’ Conference of the Moravian Church Northern Province since 2010. Prior to that, Betsy was the Director of Congregational Leadership and Resources for the Western District of the Northern Province. During her five-year tenure in that position, she equipped congregations to bear witness to God’s love in neighborhoods near and far, worked to strengthen lay leadership, and developed a clergy peer group. Rev. Miller was on the pastoral staff at the Lake Mills, Wisconsin Moravian Church from 1985-2005. She was ordained in 1985. In 2010, she earned a Doctor of Ministry (D.Min) in Congregational Mission and Leadership from Luther Seminary.

She lives in Bethlehem, PA and enjoys walking, kayaking, and reading.

Moravian Women’s Conference | moravianwomen@gmail.com | (302) 703-WALK (9255)

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