In August of this year, delegates from around the world met for the Unity Synod in Jamaica. Unity Synod meets once every seven years as the governing body of the worldwide Moravian Church. Over the next several issues, we will be discussing a variety of the actions taken by Unity Synod. To begin the series, we share the message delivered from Synod at the close.
The Unity Synod has been in session on 12th – 19th of August 2016 and sends greetings to he whole Unity. About 80 Moravians from Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas were together for deliberations, prayer, worship and fellowship. Together we experienced wonderful Jamaican hospitality.
The theme of the Synod, “Discerning the Unity Together” gave perspective to Bible Studies, in conversations and in discussions. Worship services gave the Synod opportunities to experience the Unity together with Jamaican Moravians in a very special way.
Unity Synod also had the opportunity to listen to reports of the Moravian churches in the worldwide Unity, showing the scope of the Moravian Church. The reports illustrated the richness of the many task and challenges we meet in countries and cultures in which the Moravian Church is present. The Moravian Church is truly a worldwide Unity, giving wonderful opportunities for living Christian witness.
A number of committees worked on finance, ministry, mission in culture, theological education, Unity affairs and questions concerning faith and order. It was particularly joyful for the Unity Synod to ratify designations of eight new Mission Areas, three new Mission Provinces and six new Unity Provinces.
Many resolutions on various topics showed that the Moravian Unity is a living church. We experience challenges in a world, where social injustice, poverty, terrorism, secularity, and war resulting in many refugees threaten millions of people around the world and calls the Moravian Church to social action, peacemaking efforts and preservation of creation. The need for mission, bringing the Gospel to the world is our calling.
Although we as a church and as Christian sisters and brothers are challenged with difficulties in the world, the many different topics being discussed also gave witness to what a living and vibrant church the Moravian Church is. We are seeking to be a Church that addresses the needs of people, whether spiritual, social or other.
The delegates can look back on blessed days with much work, Christian fellowship with brothers and sisters from many parts of the world and comfortable accommodation. At times the discussions were touching on difficult issues, which could be dealt with in a Christian spirit of love and trust. At times Unity Synod bowed in prayer in sympathy for brothers and sisters in Christ that had lost loved ones. At times the joy of Christ filled our hearts. We are thankful for being part of the Moravian Church and we affirm our wish to serve Christ.
As we discern the Unity together, Unity Synod 2016 agreed and invites the whole Unity in declaring and living on the motto “Our Lamb has conquered; let us follow him.”