Tag Archives: December

Am I my brother’s keeper?

A personal reflection on Ferguson by Betsy Miller “Am I my brother’s keeper?” took on new meaning for me when I was in St. Louis, Missouri last month. The National Council of Churches had made a deliberate decision to hold its annual meeting in St. Louis to stand with our brothers and sisters in Christ. […]

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Ponderings: Picturing Advent and Christmas

We all have our own ways of picturing Christmas in our heads. For some, it’s baby Jesus in the manger, surrounded by Mary, Joseph and a cast of animals, shepherds and kings. For others, Christmas imagery is Santa on a massive sleigh, his reindeer guiding the way. And for still others, it’s a scene of […]

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Moravian Magazine December 2013

On the cover: Beeswax candles burn brightly during a Christmas Eve Lovefeast. Photo by Mike Riess  

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Moravian Magazine December 2012

Open publication – Free publishing – More moravian   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.

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Washington DC pastor shares why it’s the ministry that matters

122013dcpastorintro“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last…
John 15: 16 (part)

Those were the words that gave the Rev. Bevon H. White his motivation to enter into Ministry some 25 years ago.

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Songbook makes musical addition to services at Trinity

122013songbookintroWhen John Foltz, a life-long member of Trinity Moravian Church in Winston-Salem, attended the 2013 Moravian Music Festival in Pennsylvania, he discovered a new resource that is having a big impact on the congregation’s music ministry.

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Small stitches make a big difference

122013quiltintroA small group of women is using their passion for stitching to make a big difference to Hope Conference & Renewal Center.

The Hope Quilters have contributed over $4,000 (and counting!) to Hope Conference Center in 2013, money earned by stitching patchwork quilts, potholders, wall hangings, and anything else that can be created and quilted out of small pieces of fabric. The women (so far they are all women, but men would be welcomed, too) get together several times a year to plan, shop, and work on their quilting projects. Many of the women also stitch on their sale items at home in their spare time.


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Ponderings: A tale of two coffees

122013ponderingsintroLike many, coffee is central to my morning. Sharing a cup with my wife is how we start every day. It fuels my writing, helps me on long drives and provides a conversation starter at my local donut shop.

But I never realized that coffee would be part of my religious life until I began attending Moravian services. During one weekend in early November, I found coffee to be the connection between two very different worship services; this is the tale of two coffees.

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Official Provincial Elders’ News for December 2013


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Memories of Moravian Christmas on the Kuskokwim

122013kuskokwimintroIn our October issue, we shared several stories of Moravians visiting Alaska. During one of those visits, visitors met Ruth Strand Williams, a lifelong Alaskan. Ruth told visitors of her memories of the now abandoned Moravian Children’s Home. One of those visitors, Alice Mosebach, encouraged Ruth to share her remembrance of Christmas in Alaska during that time.

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A celebration of the Bible and ecumenism: the 400th anniversary of the Kralice Bible

122013kraliceintroThis September, the small town of Kralice in the Czech Republic came alive to celebrate a national treasure—the Kralice Bible.

2013 marks the 400th anniversary of the final, third edition of the Kralice Bible, the first complete translation of the Bible from the original text into the Czech language.

At the festival celebrating this anniversary, more than 2000 visitors attended exhibitions, lectures, poetry readings, films and more highlighting the importance of this book. The town, about 100 miles from Prague, was decorated with verses from the Bible for the event.

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In Memoriam: The Rev. Dr. Brigitte Schloss (1927-2013)

122013brigitteschlossintroThis summer, a fixture of the Labrador and Newfoundland’s Moravian community passed away. The Rev. Dr. Brigitte Schloss touched Moravians in Germany, England and for many years, Labrador. We share a remembrance from Hans Rollman, a professor of religious studies at Memorial University in Newfoundland.

On the afternoon of Aug. 24, 2013, while Brigitte Schloss’ earthly remains were buried at Nain with a memorial service in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador, I attended at the Anglican Church of Saint Mary the Virgin in St. John’s, a moving celebration and thanksgiving for her life. That service was arranged according to her wishes, with many of her friends attending, including a large contingent from Labrador.

I met Brigitte in the early 1990s after she had retired from her position as coordinator of Memorial University’s (MUN) native teacher education program in Labrador.

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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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