Author Archives: Susan Kiefner

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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Weekly Moravian Message: January 22, 2017

Third Sunday after the Epiphany “Come with me!” “Come with me!” (Matthew 4:19 CEV). That is one version of Jesus’ invitation “Follow me.” Sometimes we call ourselves “followers of Jesus.” I prefer that phrase to “Christians,” because of some of the statements and actions that people label as Christian. I ask, “Would Jesus do that? […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: January 15, 2017

Second Sunday after the Epiphany Jesus Our Lamb When John the Baptist cried out, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” you can imagine how startling that may have been to those who stood by. Every Israelite understood and at one point had experienced the sacrifice of a lamb—or […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: January 8, 2017

First Sunday after the Epiphany Baptism into God’s Family What would our reaction have been if we were firsthand witnesses to one of the major events of Jesus’ life and ministry? In our Gospel lesson from Matthew we see that John was surprised and reluctant to initiate the baptism of Jesus. John recognized Jesus as […]

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Weekly Moravian Message, January 1, 2017

First Sunday after Christmas Threatened by Jesus Herod was a wise man. He knew Jesus was a threat. So he tried to kill him, in what we call the slaughter of the innocents, a preemptive strike against a political rival. Is Jesus a threat? To us? Matthew 1 gives a genealogy of Jesus, his Jewish […]

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Weekly Moravian Message, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day O sing to the Lord, for the Lord has done marvelous things! Once upon a time, a few years ago, I read a story in a Bible study. A boy of about six years of age was sleeping in his bed, when suddenly there was a fierce thunderstorm. He awoke and called out […]

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Moravian Weekly Message, December 18, 2016

Fourth Sunday of Advent The Birth of the Messiah Matthew’s telling of the birth of Jesus is very simple, brief, to the point. Read it through several times, in order to hear precisely what Matthew does say—and what he doesn’t! This is not Luke’s story! This story centers around Joseph! Joseph chooses to hear and […]

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Weekly Moravian Message, December 11, 2016

Third Sunday of Advent “Are you the one?” John asks of Jesus, “Are you the one?” Jesus responds with words that might have come from Isaiah, or the psalm, or from his mother Mary! With God’s salvation come healing, wholeness, reconciliation . . . restoration! The blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, those […]

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Weekly Moravian Message, December 4, 2016

Second Sunday of Advent Prepare . . . prepare the way . . . prepare the way of the Lord! This is my annual Advent challenge. I actually do a lot of preparing. I have a church list, a gift list, a grocery list, a card list, an invitation list, and an RSVP list. In […]

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Diverse team brings aid to Ahuas

As an elementary school teacher, I have many opportunities to help my students and fulfill their needs. Between tying shoes, giving permission to use the bathroom, offering small group instruction and learning about students’ home lives, I hope that I make some small difference in their lives. For Moravians, mission is the goal of fulfilling […]

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A message to the Unity

In August of this year, delegates from around the world met for the Unity Synod in Jamaica. Unity Synod meets once every seven years as the governing body of the worldwide Moravian Church. Over the next several issues, we will be discussing a variety of the actions taken by Unity Synod. To begin the series, […]

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First Moravian Church launches biography of distinguished pastor

Visitors to First Moravian Church in York, Pennsylvania, on a September Sunday afternoon, gathered to learn more about one of their illustrious pastors and to join in the launch of a new book, Re-Inventing the Wheel, The Incredible Story of S. Morgan Smith, Minister, Inventor, Industrialist. Three members of First Moravian collaborated to produce this […]

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Sunnyside Ministry helps clients gain financial control

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not […]

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