Author Archives: Susan Kiefner

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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Weekly Moravian Message: June 25, 2017

Third Sunday after Pentecost — June 25, 2017 Nothing to Fear In today’s Gospel passage Jesus shares with his disciples sayings about facing opposition, before they go off on a mission of healing and preaching. As Jesus was called names, we will be called names as well. We experience struggle and opposition at times. If […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: June 18, 2017

Second Sunday after Pentecost – June 18, 2017 That’s what you do Jesus is on a mission: teaching, proclaiming, and curing, as he travels through the countryside. He cannot help but notice that the crowds—and there are always crowds—appear harassed and help-less. Who can blame them? Beaten down by problems and cares, surrounded by illness […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: June 11, 2017

Trinity Sunday June 11, 2017 I am with you It is fitting that Matthew’s Gospel, which begins by naming Jesus Emmanuel, meaning “God is with us” (Matthew 1:23), would have the last words of the Gospel remind us that “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (28:20). Everything between describing the […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: June 4, 2017

Pentecost Sunday June 4, 2017 The Only Way to Attain Peace English teachers caution against the passive voice. “The ball was hit.” Who hit it? In the passive voice it’s not always clear who controls the action. “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, […]

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Laurel Ridge focuses on love for 2017 season

The days are getting longer and warmer on the mountain! It’s almost time for camp! The theme for our 2017 Camps is LOVE, based on Colossians 3:14, “Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”  Laurel Ridge is a mountain place set apart for forming disciples of Jesus Christ who live and learn […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: May 28, 2017

Seventh Sunday of Easter Be Prepared The motto for both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts in America is simply “Be Prepared.” We can’t know exactly what will happen in the immediate future, much less in the months and years to come. The days may progress more or less the way we have hoped […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: May 21, 2017

Sixth Sunday of Easter Spirit Watchers Each one of us sees the world differently. Our experience, expertise, and knowledge can sometimes sharpen what we notice about the world around us. For example, when I taste a bland dish for the first time, I might say, “This needs something, but I don’t know what.” Yet a […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: May 14, 2017

Fifth Sunday of Easter Troubled Hearts When we lived in the Midwest, a visit to distant family could at times seem like more effort and trouble than it might be worth—days away and pastor coverage, arrangements for flights and rental cars, pass-ports and time zones. However, whatever time of day or night we arrived, no […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: May 7, 2017

Fourth Sunday of Easter Listening to the Good Shepherd Jesus is our shepherd and leads to the way of life. A clear truth spoken to in John’s Gospel—a truth, however, that is sometimes hard to grasp. How often do we look for other guides for life’s ultimate answers? How often do we look to a […]

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Ponderings: Documenting the work of Moravians in mission

Welcome to one of my favorite issues of the year. Each spring since 2011, I’ve had the honor and pleasure of helping to produce the Board of World Mission’s Annual Report. This 20-page publication highlights the extensive work being done around the world by Moravians dedicated to our church’s centuries-old call to mission. And each […]

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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 […]

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Ohio church offers “rural immersion” mission/service experience

Based in the unoccupied parsonage of the Fry’s Valley Moravian Church in rural New Philadelphia, Ohio, The Farmhouse offers a retreat-style setting and an ambitious program that puts participants in the field, literally, to learn first-hand the joys, challenges, issues and importance of farming and of feeding the world.

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Unity Women’s Desk launches Southern Province campaign

The Unity Women’s Desk began its Standing With Our Sisters capital campaign in the Southern Province in March, with a goal of raising $250,000.

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Congregation tries new tradition with “Saturday before Easter” rounds

Steeped in tradition, we Moravians often find that if they do something twice, they just keep doing it. Sometimes we don’t even remember why it is done. Could the tradition have even become outdated? Maybe such is the case for the tradition of the Salem Congregation’s Easter Morning “rounds” in certain areas of a community. […]

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Festival to bring together many for Moravian music

The 25th Moravian Music Festival, to be held in Winston-Salem, July 23 – 29, is where dedicated church musicians convene and conference to reaffirm their work and service to the Lord. The Festival is the opportunity to connect to the larger Church and the Worldwide Unity.

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Official Provincial Elders’ News

Northern Province Union, New Jersey Brother Michael Poole, Jr. has accepted an appointment to serve as part-time pastor for Battle Hill Moravian Church, Union, New Jersey. Brother Poole was installed April 2, 2017. York, Pennsylvania Brother John Fritts, who has been serving under call to Specialized Ministry at Marquardt Village, Watertown, Wisconsin, has accepted the […]

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Weekly Moravian Message: April 30, 2017

Third Sunday of Easter Encountered by Jesus On what road is Jesus encountering you? As a few disciples walk and talk about what has happened, Jesus comes near and goes with them, but “their eyes were kept from recognizing him” (Luke 24:16). Jesus inquires about their discussion. They stand “still, looking sad.” What gives you […]

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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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