Tag Archives: December

Books offer deeper look into Moravian History

Are you interested in learning more about the history of the Moravian Church? Here are three volumes offered by the IBOC that can teach you what you want to know, answer your questions and strengthen your connection to those who made the Moravian Church what it is today.

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Call for Papers: Bethlehem Conference on Moravian History & Music

122013callforpapersintroThe fourth Bethlehem Conference on Moravian History and Music is coming to the campus of Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary October 2-5, 2014. The conference explores Moravian history and music in a worldwide context from the 15th to 20th centuries.

The conference is sponsored by Moravian College, Moravian Archives, and the Center for Moravian Studies, in partnership with the Moravian Music Foundation, Moravian Historical Society, Moravian Theological Seminary, and Historic Bethlehem Partnership.

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The Beeswax Candle: A Moravian symbol of light and hope

122013beeswaxintroThe lights are dimmed, the candles are lit, a little voice begins singing Morning Star, O Cheering Sight and the congregation responds. It’s Christmas Eve, a night full of Moravian traditions. You’re familiar with the service, but do you know the origins of the beeswax candles that you are holding during the Christmas Eve lovefeast?

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A good time to look up

122013lookupintroWhen I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? Psalm 8:3-4

It was the first Sunday in Advent, the beginning of the church year, and the preacher had begun the familiar preparation sermon. “Prepare the way of the Lord,” the preacher toned from the high pulpit. “All who have ears let them hear.” Directly over the preacher’s head was a traditional Moravian star, nearly six feet across, lit for the first time just minutes before.

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Images from the December 2012 edition

Testing, testing…


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Obituaries: Ronnie White, Kenneth Robinson

The Rev. Ronnie Keith White

Brother Ronnie Keith White passed away on October 25, 2012 in Winston-Salem, N.C.  He was born on August 1, 1953 in Ahoskie, N.C. He graduated from Southeastern Baptist Seminary with an M.Div. in 1979.


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Eastern District seeks director of Youth and Young Adult ministries

As a result of a Synod resolution passed at the 2012 Eastern District Synod in June, the Eastern District of the Moravian Church, Northern Province, is seeking a new director of Youth and Young Adult ministries. 

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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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Schoeneck Moravian Church celebrates 250 years of worship and service

Sunday, October 14 was a day planned and anticipated for almost a year, as the Schoeneck Moravian Church, just north of Nazareth, Pennsylvania, celebrated its 250th anniversary with a lovefeast, special anthems and a guest bishop.


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Central Putz featured on 2012 Christmas City seal

putzsealintroBethlehem, Pennsylvania’s oldest community putz—a unique Moravian display of miniature scenes and figurines in a home or church, which tells the biblical story surrounding the birth of Jesus—is honored on the 2012 Christmas City Seal.


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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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Oak Grove celebrates 125 years

oakgrovechurchA large and joyful congregation gathered on Sunday, September 23, 2012 to celebrate Oak Grove Moravian Church’s 125th anniversary. The service included a lovefeast, special music by the choir and band, and an anniversary sermon preached by Bishop Graham Rights.

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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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Conference attracts Moravian scholars from around the globe

conferenceintroMoravians and those interested in Moravian history and music converged on Bethlehem in October for the third Bethlehem Conference on Moravian History and Music. Attendees came from the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

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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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