Thanks for visiting First Moravian Church of Dover on the web. We realize the internet is a great way to visit and get to know a church without actually stepping through its' doors.
The First Moravian Church of Dover, Ohio, is one of several Moravian churches in Tuscarawas County. Our site contains a wealth of information for both our members and visitors alike. We welcome you to join us for weekly worship opportunities each Sunday from September-June at 8:00 & 10:30 a.m.; Sunday School for all ages is at 9:15 a.m. During the summer months of July and August, we have one worship service at 9:30 a.m. Adult Sunday School is at 8:15 a.m. Everyone is welcome!
We hope you will take the time to search through our site and check out our ministries and activities with a personal visit. We would love for you to experience and participate with us at a First Moravian Church service or event. We encourage you to spend some time exploring our vision, history, and ongoing ministry.
by Pastor John
On my desk currently sit all kinds of objects, besides all the practical items a pastor might need for a desk like a computer, phone, a stapler, sticky notes dispenser or a series of pencil holders that contain colored pencils, felt tip pens, crayons, markers and even a couple paint brushes. With the practical come some silly, sentimental or indispensable items. For example, I have a rubber band ball that reminds me to remain flexible, a dried rose from a bouquet from a funeral that I conducted, a clump of cotton from a cotton field in South Carolina, and a deck prism that would allow light into the deeper parts of the ship.
I also have a homemade wooden stand that was given to me by a member of the church. On it he burned into the wood the words "Unity - Liberty – Love", and a very unique coded scripture passage: ICDATTCWSM. (Yeah, I was not sure what that meant either – until I asked.) Then on the bottom of the folk art piece he printed Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I could not help but smile. Here was this passage I have used so often, but I just couldn’t see it in the code. Now this charming piece of folk art sits on my desk to remind me that Christ is in me, and that is more powerful and meaningful than any other authority on earth. Christ saved me. Christ heals me. Christ inspires me. Christ leads me. Christ calls me still.
Last month Sue gave me a postcard of our church building and neighborhood from 1924. That now sits perfectly on my little wooden inspirational piece from Tom. When I look at that old photo, it makes me wonder what were the struggles and faith issues the Moravians on the corner of Walnut and Fourth faced in 1924? Did they differ much from ours today? Realistically, they faced many of the very same issues, tussles and sins that we see and experience today. Paul reminds us, “All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. That ninety-year-old photo reminded me of the phrase, “the more things change – the more they remain the same”.
I am grateful that we have and need Jesus Christ our Savior. That’s why we tell the “Good News” story of his love again and again, year after year to every generation in our own distinctive manner. From the written Word to art, from acts of grace to prayerful presence, we endure as salt and the light for Jesus. That’s why I will remain your pastor to this fine flock and staff of the first Moravian Church of Dover, Ohio. So we shall tighten up our backpacks, check our gear, look over the map, fill our water bottles, grab our walking sticks and keep serving the Lord and the people he has entrusted to our care.
See you on the path. PJ
You Can Be a Butterfly
by Pastor John
Mrs. Julie and I have planned and prepared some wonderful events for the congregation and Sunday school classes this fall. Plan to join us for this exciting and life-transforming year.
Did you know that this year is the 45th anniversary of the classic book The Very Hungry Caterpillar? We will see a version of this delightful story come to life with the Sunday school students, the Cherub Choir, and the help of the Confirmation Class, as they combine to share a little ballet/play with the congregation. A funny skit under the direction of Kami Stanley, will be presented in worship on Rally Day Sunday at the 9:30 worship service, and then on Oct. 12 the ballet/play, directed by Lee Elliot and written by Pastor John, will come to life at the 10:30 a.m. service. Most definitely set these special Sunday’s aside and be a part of these unique and original ways of telling the story of change.
What happens between August 31 and October 12 will add even more joy to the session of Sunday school and worship, as each child will receive their very own caterpillar and container so they can go home and watch firsthand the magnificent transformation of a bug to a butterfly. In some very subtle and beautiful ways – such is the essence of Christianity – they will learn how Jesus takes the “bug -the ugly, the nasty, the rotten” in us and cleanses our sins and transforms our lives into a beautiful new creation.
Look Out Pink Panther:
Pink Out Sunday Is Coming
by Pastor John
Set Sunday, October 19, aside for our second annual (did I just write that?) Pink Out Sunday. Break out the pink clothing and I will grab my one and only pink dress shirt that I own. On that Sunday we will have a special worship service, led by the confirmation class, which will include pink tulip bulbs for sale after the worship service for members to purchase. Proceeds from the sale will help the cancer support network at the Union Hospital.
Remember to Purchase "Earley"
by Pastor John
Remember this past winter at the Church Council we decided to purchase the Earley home across the street from the church? I thought you recalled that! A Capitol Funds Drive letter was sent to your home last month. We are now in the process of collecting our pledges. What are you willing to give for the Christian endeavors, advancements and achievements for your church family? Fill out your pledge sheet and sent in before September 15. We look forward to hearing from you, as we take another step of faith and expand in our ministry to our neighborhood.
by Pastor John
During the month of September, the Board of Trustees will be forming work crews to clean up and improve our new property. We will need volunteers from carpenters to painters, weeders to wall washers, cooks to cleaners, to volunteer some “sweat equity” time and prepare our home for the rental market. The Joint Board carefully considered feedback from the congregation on the potential use for the property, and unanimously decided to use the property as rental income which will be used to support our church staffing needs. However, we must pay off the property before any profits can be used for this purpose.
Clipboards with sign-up sheets will be circulated through the church, because we will need sisters and brothers to give time and talent for work days and evening events, “a pitch and chuck night” (toss the junk out night), landscaping, tree removal and more, much more!! Come and see and be a part of this great effort. Jesus was a carpenter – we need nail benders and pullers.
Thank you for your help toward this rewarding project.
One Hundred Seventy-five (175) Years of Love!
(In Three Years)
If you would like to be a part of the Church Anniversary Committee, please contact the church office. In just three years, in 2017, the First Moravian Church of Dover will be 175 years old! Can you believe that? Neither could we. We want to know if you would be interested in helping organize a party? Think about it. A celebration of such an important milestone needs the participation of our members. Would you be willing to help? Let us know soon. Give the church office a call (330-364-8831). Currently, we have two people signed up. We will need your help. We want your ideas. Thank you.