Author Archives: Susan Kiefner

Confessing Our Unity in Christ: Studying the historical and theological background to 
The Ground of the Unity

As part of our ongoing series to share information about key Moravian theology and doctrine, we will be excerpting the Rev. Dr. C. Daniel Crews’ study, Confessing Our Unity in Christ: Historical and Theological Background to The Ground of the Unity. Originally written in 2000 and updated twice, this study looks at the theological and historical underpinnings […]

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Ponderings: Hear them as a message to us…

In my role managing the production of the North American version of the Daily Texts, I am always looking for ways to best describe how to approach and use this book. So when I hear someone discussing the Daily Texts and what it means to them—or better yet, a way to approach bringing the texts […]

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Official Provincial Elders’ News

Prayer Watch The Moravian Church has experienced spiritual renewal and strength through a covenant of prayer. In 1727, the church in Herrnhut, Germany, covenanted for an “Hourly Intercession” which continued for one hundred years with a great blessing to the entire Moravian Church. The Unity Prayer Watch established in 1957 (the quincentenary of the Unitas […]

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Bulletin writings bring a new Moravian inspiration every week

Each week, Moravians across the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean share a common message through their Sunday bulletins. The messages are based on the lectionary text for each Sunday. Brother Hermann Weinlick, retired Moravian pastor and former director of the Interprovincial Board of Communication (that distributes the bulletins), continues to manage the process of collecting […]

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Handmade carts make Lovefeasts easier

We had a problem. How do we put on two Christmas Eve Lovefeast services, without the physical ability to do so? For years Macedonia Moravian has had two Christmas Eve Lovefeast services, but last year the church thought we’d need to go to one service—not because of lack of numbers, and not because of lack […]

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Starting the day with coffee, a journal and the Daily Texts

  Every morning I honor three familiar Moravian traditions: Reading the Moravian Daily Texts, writing in my personal journal and drinking coffee. I love that these traditions, devotional study, personal reflection on God’s activity and fellowship with a favorite beverage, have been part of our community for generations. Each one offers a steadfast reminder of […]

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Spiritual Companioning: 
Finding strength and a 
deeper relationship with God

Over the past several years, small groups at six Northern Province congregations have been focused on spiritual listening – noticing God at work in people’s lives, sharing their thoughts and listening with their hearts. These new “Spiritual Companioning” groups grew out of a 2014 Northern Province Synod resolution directing a Spiritual Formation Task Force to […]

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Building bridges to overcome hate

It could have been a bright Sunday afternoon at any Moravian Church around the world. Young and old were streaming into the educational building. Men in comfortable clothes. Women in brightly colored attire. Nearly 60 in all. Smiling and chatting. However, this Sunday afternoon they were arriving at a mosque, the Annoor Islamic Center in […]

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Mission Meals: A cook-at-home way to support mission grants

Services that send consumers all the ingredients necessary to create a meal and instructions on how to cook it represent a growing trend in home cooking. The Board of World Mission is trying its own version of this “make it at home” idea called “Mission Meals” as a fundraiser for its mission grant program. In […]

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Donor Advised Fund helps family see hope in sadness

In the fourth quarter of 2017, the Moravian Ministries Foundation in America (MMFA) will launch a new Donor Advised Fund (DAF). The Board of MMFA hopes that this new fund encourages giving in new and exciting ways. We also hope that this opens up philanthropy to new donors who may desire more choice in their charitable […]

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Obituary: Sister Judy Kaaua

Sr. Judy Kaaua, a member of the Provincial Elders’ Conference of the Northern Province, died in Waconia, Minnesota, June 12, 2017, at age 70. Born July 30, 1946 to Wilfred and Inez (Johnson) Plocher, Sr. Kaaua graduated from Moravian College in 1967 and earned a Masters of Business Administration from the Wharton School at the […]

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Obituary: Mrs. Grace Dittmer

Sister Grace H. (Giesler) Dittmer died at Lynden, Washington, September 10, 2017, at the age of 99. She was born November 24, 1917 at Green Bay, Wisconsin, a daughter of Carl and Laura (Dickey) Giesler. Sister Dittmer was united in marriage to Brother James P. Dittmer on July 20, 1940 at East Side Moravian Church, […]

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Festival celebrates spirit and joy of Moravian music

In July, Winston-Salem rang with the sounds of handbells, trombone choirs, bands, orchestras and choral groups all celebrating the joy and spirit that is Moravian music. For an entire week, more than 300 singers, musicians and fans of Moravian music came together for the 25th Moravian Music Festival. Hosted at Home Moravian Church, the Festival […]

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PEC Update

NORTHERN PROVINCE Prayer Day for World Peace and Nuclear Disarmament August 6, 2017 In accordance with legislation enacted at the 1982 Synod of the Northern Province and affirmed by the 1990 Synod, the first Sunday in August has been designated as a day of prayer for world peace and nuclear disarmament. Prayer Day for Public […]

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Obituary: The Rev. Eric J. Schulze

Brother Eric J. Schulze died at Lynden, Washington, July 1, 2017 at the age of 90. Born June 17, 1927 at Edmonton, Alberta, he was the son of Hermann and Emilie (Guenther) Schulze. Brother Schulze graduated from Moravian College, Bethlehem, Pa., in 1950 and Moravian Theological Seminary in 1953. He was ordained a Deacon in […]

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“Standing with Our Sisters” Southern Province kicks-off campaign for the Unity Women’s Desk

As soon as the Christmas holidays were over, the Special Events Sub-committee of the Unity Women’s Desk (UWD) “Standing with Our Sisters” campaign met to begin working in earnest on a special kick-off event to announce the capital fund drive for the UWD. We wanted it to coincide with the International Women’s Day Celebration being […]

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Adopt a Village updates from Tanzania

The Sikonge Special Needs school                         In Tanzania, children who are deaf, blind, or “slow learners,” have traditionally been placed in regular classrooms with as many as 90 other students. In such an environment a teacher has no time to give these children the […]

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Unique partnership helps ministry feed the community

For many churches, dwindling membership can often lead to closure. But what happens when a congregation, despite their shrinking size has  a vibrant community that its neighbors have grown to rely upon – and has helped bring people to Christ? That was the situation facing Reading Moravian Church in Reading, Pennsylvania.  While the congregation was […]

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A week of Moravian Music sounds…and sights

In July, I was fortunate to spend a week in Winston-Salem covering this year’s Moravian Music Festival.  Joining more than 300 singers, musicians, historians and fans, I spent seven days immersed in “Moravian Music.” I’ll admit it: I don’t sing well, I don’t play a trombone or organ and my music reading skills are rudimentary […]

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Are We Hiding Behind Our Music?

An eyewitness account of events at Charlottesville On Aug. 2, 2017, I received a call. The National Council of Churches had joined with Congregate Charlottesville, and they were calling for 1,000 white clergy to come to Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017, to confront and resist white supremacy through direct, non-violent action. It was a call […]

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Ministry in Sierra Leone continues to grow

Last fall the wonderful big step forward was adding solar power to the Moravian Secondary School in the village of Ngiehun. We were so grateful and excited when members of Little Church on the Lane in Charlotte, N.C. arrived to install all the equipment and batteries that had been shipped ahead of time. Now we […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: August 27, 2017

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost — August 27, 2017 Who Are You? “But who do you say that I am?” That question, asked by Jesus to his disciples more than two thousand years ago, is a question that Jesus still asks of all of us who claim to be his followers. “Who do you say that […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: August 20, 2017

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost — August 20, 2017 “Woman, great is your faith!” Or, the women who won’t take no for an answer. At first glance, this text about the encounter between the Canaanite woman and Jesus appears to be simply a story of another desperate person pleading for Jesus’ attention and healing. However, a […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: August 13, 2017

Festival of August 13 — August 13, 2017 Renewal of the Moravian Church On August 13, 1727, exiles from Moravia (now the Czech Republic) on the German estate of Count Zinzendorf felt God’s blessing in a dramatic fashion. They experienced a moment of transformation much as the apostles had at Pentecost. Five years before, the […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: August 6, 2017

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost — August 6, 2017 Source of Compassion Jesus needed to get away. He had just heard about the death of John the Baptist. He sought the solitude of a lonely place, but the crowds followed. When he saw them, he was moved with compassion for them—compassion enough to change his plans […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: July 30, 2017

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost — July 30, 2017 The Kingdom of Grace Treasure stories are common in every culture, and were very popular in Jesus’ day. The rabbis frequently told treasure parables: “A man buys a field and works the land. His plow hits something hard, and behold, there’s a great treasure, making the man […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: July 23, 2017

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost — July 23, 2017 The Weeds and the Wheat Today’s bulletin cover draws attention to the wheat, but I’m equally aware of the weeds. The parable’s matter-of-fact acknowledgment and response to evil (the weeds) is not to my liking. I want evil to be addressed and eradicated immediately. Jesus’ teaching doesn’t […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: July 16, 2017

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost — July 16, 2017 A Parable of Hope When reading this parable, I thought of a song about people being seeds in God’s hands. My second thought was that this is not so. Jesus, while unclear in the first telling, is very clear in discussing it with his disciples. The sower […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: July 9, 2017

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost — July 9, 2017 Rest in Jesus The front of this bulletin shows Jesus’ words from Matthew 11. Another version reads, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” You may be reading this message at a church service. During the service the […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: July 2, 2017

Festival of John Hus, Martyred July 6, 1415 — July 2, 2017 The Human Face of the Good News Keenly aware of the growing corruption in his beloved Catholic Church of the early fifteenth century, John Hus saw a disconnect between the biblical witness and how the church was actually living out its purpose. Because […]

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