Youth ChoirCrossYouth Choir

LEHIGH COUNTY CONFERENCE OF CHURCHES

 

Ecumenical Awards

It is my great pleasure to nominate Gerald Stover as recipient of the Lehigh County Conference of Churches Ecumenical Service Award for 2014. Gerald is most devoted to social action and activism, and his actions are always, first and foremost, grounded in prayer. Each year the Conference of Churches recognizes individuals that have made outstanding contributions to Christian Unity, putting their faith into action beyond their local church, and/ or faith tradition.


It was Gerald’s Mennonite foundation, given by his family and home community of Mennonites in SE PA, and the Focolare community that challenged him, and indeed insisted that he take ownership of, and build upon, his faith tradition. It is a rarity to find one as deeply committed to systemic reflection and issues of Faith and Order as Gerald Stover. Gerald has been involved with the LCCC for greater than twenty years; he’s an

important resource person—and advocate for Christian unity and religious reflection here in our Lehigh

Valley.


Gerald has devoted his life to promoting cooperation and understanding among Christian denominations, and lives out his ecumenism through service on the Conference of Churches Ecumenism Committee and Robert J. Campbell Lectureships on Christian Unity Committee. This year, our 60th Anniversary, Gerald organized and planned the Conference’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Service celebrated at Calvary Baptist Church, also celebrating a 60th anniversary, and he brought in two distinguished scholars and theologians to present and model an Ecumenical Dialogue between the Orthodox Catholic and Roman Catholic traditions, a “first” for the Conference of Churches, of national significance. Gerald’s breath of knowledge of our Christian faith is astounding. His network is grand. His devotion to the Ecumenical work of the Conference of Churches is unwavering, and his gratitude is plentiful.


I am particularly impressed with Gerald’s sensitivity to our own local heritage in the Greater Lehigh Valley, and the great lengths he goes to communicate the importance of the work of the Conference of Churches and in keeping the flame of Ecumenism in the forefront of our ministries. He has been an excellent teacher for me, his emails and calls an almost daily reminder of why I do this work, and I consider him a friend.


I could go on and on about why I nominated Gerald, but perhaps can be boiled down to some very simple things…he remembers anniversaries, he prays for us and our work, keeps our community informed of what is going on with our neighbors, even our global neighbors, and has works tirelessly so that full unity can one day be realized. Gerald is creative in his approach to religious inclusion and demonstrates the highest caliber of integrity, compassion and zeal for Ecumenical work.

 

O Creator and Lord of the Entire Universe,
We know that we are all only peasants
In the pages of Time.

Without Your Presence, Oh Lord,
We are like pieces of dry bread,
Floating on The Sea of Eternity,

Grant us, Holy Father
Unity with Your Own Page
Of Life Eternal

And Also –
The Profundity to continue
In This Present Moment.

 

Gerald Stover 

April 7, 1997 

O Creador y El Rey del Universo Entero,
Sabemos que somos todos solamentes peones
En los paginas del Tiempo
Sin Tu Presencia, O Senor,
Somos como pedazos de pan seco
Flotando sobre el mar de la eternidad
Danos, Santo Padre,
Unidad con Tu Propia Pagina
De La Vida Eternal,
Y Tambien-
La Profundidad para continuar
En Este Momento Presente.

 

Gerald Stover 

April 7, 1997 

 

Ecumenical Service Award Winners

2014

Gerald Stover

1999

Rev. Richard Guhl

2013

Eric Lundberg

1998

Leone Schuler

2012

Rev. Tom Albright from Ripple

1997

Patricia Gaukler & Elizabeth Benke

2011

Refugee Ministry of First Presbyterian Church

1996

Carol Closson

2010

Peace Gardeners of Jordan UCC

1995

Jim & Lois Hunter

2009

J. S. Burkholder Funeral Home & Mrs. Mildred Scrak

1994

Rev. Timothy Downs

2008

Jessie Highet

1993

Rev. Melvin Tatem

 

Rev. George Yoder

1992

Geri Bodnar

 

Peace & Justice Team of HOPE UCC

1991

Herbert Stahl

2006

Henry Acres

1990

Robert Moser

 

SWiM Ministries

1989

Henry & Ruth Messinger

2005

Monsignor John Murphy

1988

Elizabeth Preston

 

St. James AME Zion Church

1985

Margaret Koether

2004

Father Daniel Gambet

1984

James Hottenstein

 

Carmen Machado

1983

Rev. Tom Harris

 

Lauren Reifsnyder

1982

Ruth Holben

 

Luther Crest

1981

Rev. A. Malcolm MacMillan

2003

Alan Jennings

 

Anne Shire

2002

Rev. William Horn

   

2001

William Diehl

 

 

2000

Rev. Gary Piatt & Betty Minor

   
       

 

 

Since 1981, the Lehigh County Conference of Churches has recognized individuals within this community who have made outstanding contributions to Christian Unity. The intention of the Award is not to glorify the individual, but to give witness to the important work of affirming and strengthening Christian unity.

 

The award is given to well-known and little-known individuals, to people deeply involved in the life of the Conference and to those who have offered their gifts elsewhere.

 

To nominate an individual or a group for 2015's award, please print out and mail in this nomination form (PDF) or WORD file by April 26, 2015.