Moravian Church in North America

In Essentials, Unity; In Nonessentials, Liberty; In All Things, Love.

Moravian Church in North America
North: Bethlehem, Pa.
South: Winston-Salem, N.C.

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Moravian Magazine December 2012

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On the cover: A scene from the putz at Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This scene is featured on the 2012 Christmas City Seal. Photo by Mike Riess.

Ponderings: Weathering the storm

ponderingsintroOn October 29, a most unwelcome guest visited the northeastern U.S. — a hurricane/superstorm named Sandy. As that blustery Monday wore on, we knew we were in for an event many would remember for a long time.

The wind and rain rose throughout the day and into the overnight, taking down trees and limbs all over Bethlehem. Most of the city lost power. Schools and some businesses closed for days. Thankfully, the storm took no fatalities in our area.

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Prayer shawl ministry spreads in ever-widening circles

shawlintro“As God created the heavens, the earth, and life itself, may God give birth to new life in us. May God’s love be known to us today through Jesus Christ. And as tiny pebbles thrown into a pond cause ripples to move outward in ever-widening circles, may our love move from this place outward—expanding to embrace our neighbors, our community, our human family, and our world.” (MBW, p. 47)

One day, a few women were chatting about the various ministries of the Staten Island (SI) Moravians in Mission (Great Kills, Castleton Hill, New Dorp, and Vanderbilt Avenue Moravian Churches). One of those women shared a devotion she had read. The writer spoke about the prayer shawl ministry of her denomination and the amazing undertaking that was part of their ministry. For a national church gathering, those who knit and crochet prepared enough prayer shawls for each delegate to receive one. 

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Paraments for churches: Looking for God in other places

paramentintroWhere can we find God in our lives and how can we serve him? In the spring of 2009 when our church closed the sanctuary for renovations, we needed to consider other places for worship. Our Fellowship Hall was remodeled for Sunday services. We now felt comfortable and assured that God was in our presence as we gathered together on Sunday mornings. But these changes caused us to ask, “Where else do we experience God and live out our faith?”


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A message from our Staten Island churches

In this issue of The Moravian, we feature two stories from pastors on Staten Island. These stories were penned long before Hurricane Sandy came ashore on October 29 and 30. That storm devastated large sections of Staten Island, along with many areas in the New York metro area and 
Long Island.

Both churches featured—Great Kills and Castleton Hill—are working together with their sister congregations New Dorp and Vanderbilt Avenue to assist efforts to help those affected by this storm. In mid-November, the four Staten Island churches shared the following:


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The fog is lifting in Labrador

labradorintroAs we stood on the gravel tarmac next to the small building that housed a check-in counter and scale for the luggage and freight, we noticed the fog coming in closer over the village of Makkovik along the Labrador Coast. We were fearful that again the plane would turn back to Goose Bay as it had earlier that day, which might mean another four days in Makkovik until the fog was predicted to lift. And then we heard the plane and eventually saw it circle the building and land. After a quick refuel, we were on our way back to Goose Bay-Happy Valley where we would catch our flights home.

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Annual clothing drive helps Staten Island residents feel blessed

clothingdriveintro“God bless you!” We often hear these words from the people who come to get clothing at the Staten Island Moravian Clothing Distribution. When they first come in to wait their turn or when they say goodbye with their bags full of clothing, they shower us with this simple, personal benediction.

And indeed God has blessed us. For the past nine years, the four Staten Island Moravian churches have worked together to offer clean, gently used clothing to children and adults in our community. Our efforts have grown from 2004 when we served 83 children and a few mothers to 2012 when we served 1086 children and adults.

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Moravian Daily Texts


Tuesday, September 18 — Psalm 107:23–32
1 Samuel 9; John 1:1–13

Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening. 1 Samuel 3:9

Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. 1 John 2:24

Lord, you speak to us in many varied ways—in the beauty of creation, in the cry of one in need, in the still small voice within us. Open our hearts to understanding and discerning your desire for us. Then use us Lord, just as you will. Amen.

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