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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We gathered Together: impressions of the Intersynodal Gathering

0712spgatherdavidguthrieAs information began to come in about the Southern Province Intersynodal Gathering for this April, I struggled with why we were referring to this particular halfway point between Synods as a “Gathering” instead of a “conference” as we typically did. I even found myself having to correct myself mid-sentence to stop from referring to it as a conference.Earlier in the year, churches received a bulletin insert to help with education about the Gathering and about the changes the Southern Province was experiencing. The bulletin insert was titled “We Gather together to ask the Lord’s Blessing.” This changed my perception of what exactly was going to happen during this proposed Gathering. I no longer envisioned a keynote speaker addressing the gathered body but rather each participant speaking and listening to one another and all of us gathering together to worship.

0712spgatherrussmaySince the implementation of the new structure for the Southern Province I have been a part of two different RCCs (Regional Conference of Churches) and each of them have functioned very differently. At first I served a church in which the RCC couldn’t quite get it together because of the vast distance between us. This was recognized and the implementation committee and the Board of Cooperative Ministries gracefully found ways for all of those churches to be part of different RCCs. Currently I serve a church that is a part of a very active RCC and one that meets together monthly.

At the Gathering I found it informative to listen to how the other churches, representatives and RCCs were working together and what they were doing in combined ministry. These conversations happened formally and informally.

After reflecting on my conversations with Gathering attendees during our time together I’ve come to see once again that change, even if the end result is positive, is hard! So there was a mix of emotions that filled our time; from fear and apprehension to excitement and joy. There’s no doubt that the church, as it changes, is grieving the loss of what once was, even as we look forward to what will be.

Through all of this, I must confess that at times, I too have wondered what we are doing and why we are doing it this way. The Gathering reminded me once again that the Moravian Church is truly blessed by many people, both clergy and lay, who have dedicated their lives to service of our Lord and Savior through the Moravian Church Southern Province. Many people have given many hours and shed many tears in discernment of the new structure and how to move forward as a Church called by Christ.

0712spgatheringmeetingI’m truly blessed to be able to serve among so many gifted folks who give graciously of their time, talent and treasure. So I say thank you to those who have worked tirelessly on putting the details into practice; I say thank you to those who have constantly prayed for direction and guidance and for the church as a whole; and I say thank you to those who have faithfully served our province in ministries of the past and those who continue to serve as we go forth.

As time passes since our Gathering at Friedland, I feel confident in saying “We have gathered together to ask the Lord’s Blessing” and it is with that blessing that we are called to move on to the great things our Lord has in store for us!

Kelly Moore is pastor at Fries Moravian Church in Winston-Salem, N.C.


From the July/August 2012 Moravian Magazine


Related Articles
Southern Province Intersynodal Gathering: Moving Forward Together
Open the eyes of our heart, Lord: impressions of the Intersynodal Gathering


Moravian Daily Texts


Thursday, September 20 — Psalm 108:1–5
1 Samuel 11,12; John 1:29–42

God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself. Psalm 49:15 (NIV)

Christ Jesus abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 2 Timothy 1:10

Christ the everlasting light, with great love and sacrifice you have freed us from the bonds of death. How can we ever thank you enough? Help us to live up to your sacrifice—to seek you in all that we do— to be your hands and feet in the world. Our Lamb has conquered! Let us follow Him. Amen.

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