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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Ponderings: Steeping myself in Moravian theology and history

112013PonderingsIntroSince joining the staff of the IBOC, I’ve been fascinated (and sometimes confused) by the history and theology of the Moravian Church. Whether it’s the Ancient Unity, the work of Comenius, the church of Zinzendorf’s time or the modern-day Unitas Fratrum, I’m still trying to get my arms around what it means to be Moravian.

Fortunately, I have access to historians, theologians, professors and archivists who can help guide my discovery. Within ten minute’s walk of my office, I have the Northern Province Archives, the Moravian Theological Seminary and historic Bethlehem—a good place to be to work on this journey.

This fall, I took advantage of an opportunity to learn more about the roots of Moravian theology at the Seminary in a class taught by Dr. Craig Atwood. Throughout the class, I’ve been struck by those “ah-Ha!” moments that demonstrate how the core essentials of today’s church were envisioned hundreds of years ago.

Learning this theological history also helped pique my interest in an article by Lanie Yaswinski, the former assistant archivist for the Northern Province. Previously shared in conferences and in The Hinge (the publication of the Center for Moravian Studies), I found Lanie’s work on looking to our 18th-century Moravian brothers and sisters to envision a 21st-century choir system to be a very interesting proposition—and one that readers of The Moravian Magazine may find challenging and inspiring.

And I’m not alone. In this issue, we also feature a story of young Moravians visiting the European birthplace of the Moravian Church as part of the 2013 Unity Youth Heritage Tour. While there, they walked in the footsteps of the founders of our church.

I hope you enjoy this issue of The Moravian. In the meantime, I have some reading to do for my next class…



From the November 2013 Moravian Magazine

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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