Author Archives: Susan Kiefner

Weekly Moravian Message: April 23, 2017

Second Sunday of Easter Jesus Is with You After revealing himself to Mary Magdalene on Easter morning, Jesus sent her to share the glad news of his resurrection with his disciples. We may never understand their state of mind when they received the news from Mary, or whether they even believed her. But later that […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: April 16, 2017

Easter Sunday Good News The belief we share that Jesus of Nazareth was God incarnate, and that he lived, suffered, died, and lived again, is good news. We think of it as such and call it so. We declare it to be the Good News, news surpassing in goodness all other news. And it was […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: April 9, 2017

Palm Sunday God Is in Charge Through this Lenten season (and these bulletin backs), I have asked how God dares to enter into our world, “grounding” Godself with the very ordinary stuff of our lives, in order to show how the extraordinary happens. Walking through the Gospel stories from John about the ordinary things like […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: April 2, 2017

Fifth Sunday in Lent Weeping Someone once said that there are only two things certain about life: death and taxes. Yet it is one of those certain things and one of those ordinary things about life—death itself—that Jesus challenges in our Gospel passage from John today. Lazarus, we are told, has physically died—an ordinary death, […]

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A hymn makes for a happier birthday

While traveling for work remains a fun part of my job, being away from home and family on my birthday is something I typically try to avoid. I’m also a fan of quiet birthday celebrations. This year, my birthday fell the Saturday of the Southern Province’s 2017 Inter-Synodal Conference in Winston-Salem. I hoped I would […]

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The making of an Easter Putz

In January, when most people are taking down their Christmas decorations, Calvary Moravian Church in Winston-Salem just puts a curtain up to hide their Christmas Nativity Putz. It isn’t to cover it up until next year, like leaving up a Moravian star, and it isn’t because they are too lazy to take it down. It […]

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Exploring a potential new Moravian music resource

For many years, the music that is written and sung as a part of the regular worship life of our congregations and communities has significantly reflected the Moravian Church’s witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the world. The practice of writing and collecting hymns is part of an ongoing conversation with God and […]

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Making a positive impact on the lives of women and girls around the world

The Unity Women’s Desk (UWD) is a ministry of the worldwide Moravian Church whose purpose is to positively impact the lives of women and girls by coordinating the spiritual, financial, educational and material resources that exist throughout the Moravian Unity. The UWD’s vision is to bring about global change for Moravian women around the world—women […]

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Come & Worship team “Goes & Serves” in Peru

Come & Worship, an emerging ministry in Winston-Salem, N.C., recently put together a team to serve on a mission trip to Peru. The team, which included The Rev. Brad Bennett and his wife Sue, Diane Ebert, Antoinette Brey, the Rt. Rev. Sam Gray and Sandra Dorr from Come & Worship and Emma LaBella from Christ […]

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GiftLegacy: remembering
 congregations and agencies in estate plans

The Moravian Ministries Foundation helps Moravian individuals, churches and agencies grow and sustain the ministries that are central to our faith. We do this through investment management, gift planning and assisting with stewardship development and capital fundraising. Our GiftLegacy planned giving service works with individuals, couples and families who want to create plans for giving […]

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Inter-Synodal Gathering generates 
ideas and excitement for the future

Emerging ministries. Adaptive change in church structure and education. Resource sharing. Young adult and youth involvement. Focus on God’s Essentials. Bi-vocational ministry. Reintroducing Jesus to the disillusioned. At February’s 2017 Inter-Synodal Gathering, Southern Province Moravians generated and discussed more than two dozen topics in an effort to answer the question, “What will it take to […]

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Seminary students learn of Moravian life and history in Jamaica

Jamaica in January. For course credit? Sign me up! Seven of us made our way from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to Jamaica this past January for the course Jamaica: History, Culture, and the Moravians offered at Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem. The Rev Dr. Craig Atwood and Bishop Hopeton Clennon led our travels; along for the ride […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: March 26, 2017

Fourth Sunday in Lent Seeing You will read this passage about light just a few weeks after our clocks have been turned ahead one hour in most of the United States to observe Daylight Savings Time. This will bring more light to our evenings, so that many of us will enjoy an extra hour of […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: March 19, 2017

Third Sunday in Lent Thirsty The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge writes, “Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink,” words from a sailor challenged to find a way to quench his thirst amid the salty sea water. Fresh water is essential to human survival, re-minding us of the ordinary nature of the story in John’s […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: March 12, 2017

Second Sunday in Lent Shining Last Sunday, as the season of Lent began, we suggested that God was present in the midst of the temptations of Jesus, that God could use the ordinary struggles that Jesus faced—of bread, mortality, and power—to do extraordinary things. Over this season of Lent, we will be walking through several […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: March 5, 2017

First Sunday in Lent Grounded   In teaching his disciples how to pray, Jesus shares this: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (or as the NRSV version of Matthew 6:13 states, “And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one”). Yet in our […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: February 26, 2017

Last Sunday after the Epiphany Transfiguration of Our Lord The Rhythm of the Christian Life Why do you come to worship on a Sunday morning? Maybe you come to find a bit of peace; to get away from your problems for an hour. Or maybe you come to get motivated and empowered to face your […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: February 19, 2017

Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany Another Way It just seems too good to be true, but then again . . . Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount about nonviolence and the love of our enemies are a bit of a head-scratcher. Does he really mean what he says? “Turn the other cheek . […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: February 12, 2017

Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany Understanding the Law In our text for today, Jesus does not discard the law. Instead, he interprets the law by teaching that the laws are not mere rules. They are actually the way to being in right relationship with God and with neighbor. As Jesus cuts through the people’s understanding […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: February 5, 2017

Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany The Jesus of Flavor In the past couple of years, during my time at our children’s ministry at Esperanza for Bethlehem, I kept hearing these remarks from our kids regarding the meal preparation: “Pastora, you did not prepare this meal right.” Because it needed some “adobo” Spanish seasoning. I realized […]

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Mission Team connects with more than 100 Cuban youth and young adults

Last summer, the 2016 Camp Cuba Mission Team of six youth and young adults and two adults traveled to Cuba to participate in Camping and Youth Ministries. Over the course of their mission experience the team connected and built relationships with more than 100 young people in Cuba! The 2016 Camp Cuba Mission Team is […]

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I hear you knocking…

I was driving home from South Carolina just as the heavy rains hit that state in October 2015, and a song came on the radio. A woman was singing in a “blues” sort of style, “I hear you knocking but you can’t come in.” She was referring to a lover of yesteryear who now wanted […]

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Ground of the Unity, Part VIII

Following the outline established by the 2005 Jesus Still Lead On study guide, we are sharing different aspects of The Ground of the Unity, one of the worldwide Moravian Church’s key doctrinal statements, in The Moravian. In our final installment, we’ll discuss Serving the World, Authority of Christ and the Conclusion of the Ground of […]

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Filling the freezer to feed those in need

On a November morning this fall, 23 people gathered in the kitchen of East Hills Moravian Church to cook together. Four hours later, 500 meals filled the church’s large freezer, all to be donated to anyone who needed a meal. This group was composed of members of four Moravian churches and Holy Infancy Catholic Church—five […]

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Fairview outreach offers appreciation for Winston-Salem police

Jesus said, “Greater love hath no one than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” The love shown by our police in facing danger everyday as they risk their lives to protect our community exemplifies that love described by Jesus Christ. In fact, since 1895, 18 Winston Salem’s police officers gave their lives in […]

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Thanks for the prayers

I’ve often written in this space about how special working for the Moravian Church can be. Whether in joy or sorrow (or sometimes just on “regular” days), I continue to be heartened by the concern, caring and connectedness of my Moravian brothers and sisters. Four days before Christmas, my sister texted with a serious concern […]

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Sharing gifts with a growing church in Albania

  When the Rev. Patty Garner, Coordinator of the Unity Women’s Desk, first met Vjollca Mazi and Dena Fortuzi in 2013 at the European Women’s Conference in Albania, little did she realize what extensive friendships and connections would result. Nor did she imagine what gifts Home Moravian Church would receive from our brothers and sisters […]

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Official Provincial Elders’ News

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2017 The Moravian Church is privileged to join with Christians throughout the world in prayers for the unity of the Church during the week of January 18-25. The theme for this year is “Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us”, based on 2 Corinthians 5:14-20. Ecumenical […]

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62 languages and counting

For 2017, three new languages were added to the large number of editions of the Moravian Daily Texts: Syriac Aramaic, Tok Pisin (a language spoken in Papua New Guinea) and Vietnamese. Local church groups, often working with partners in Germany, took the initiative to translate, publish and distribute their version of the Moravian Daily Texts. […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: January 29, 2017

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany “Favored by God” The scriptural Beatitudes are an important list of nine “blessed” verses, or “favored by God” verses, as the Greek word actually translates. In this, the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus confers a blessing upon various groups of people who are characterized by what they […]

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