As you’ll read in this month’s Special Feature, I traveled to the Czech Republic and Germany on the 2015 Jan Hus Memorial Tour with the Moravian Theological Seminary. Through the nine-day journey, I (and 50 others) experienced firsthand the landmarks of our church’s history up close and personal.
Actually being in the places I’d only read about gave me a new appreciation for the foundations of our church. No longer are Herrnhut, Kunvald, Chalice Rocks or Prague just marks on a map or words in a book. Thanks to this trip, they’ve become part of my personal history AND spiritual journey.
I still marvel that I stood in the town where Jan Hus was born, walked the streets of Prague he walked, prayed and sang in the chapel where he preached and experienced a city honoring him in so many ways on the 600th anniversary of his death. Being one of thousands taking part in the ecumenical service, watching the musical oratorio of Hus’ life and death and joining the candlelight walk from the Old Town Square to the Vtlava River, is something I’ll never forget.
As we climbed through the Chalice Rocks, I understood why our persecuted ancestors used the remote rock formation to worship and pray in secret. As we walked and prayed in the little town of Kunwald, I gained a greater appreciation for those who started the Unity of the Brethren.
When visiting the church and God’s Acre in Herrnhut, I was awed to be where our Moravian forefathers and mothers, supported and led by Count Zinzendorf, built our modern-day church. If I’d only seen photos of the small church in Berthelsdorf where the August 13th, 1727 renewal (and the original lovefeast) occurred I would likely be unimpressed. But actually sitting in the pews and singing hymns there offered an overwhelming sense of spirit.
We learned many things about the places we visited from those on our trip. Our tour guide, our hosts and Seminary professors on the trip added education and insight everywhere we went.
Part of my purpose in going was to bring back images and video for use by Moravian Seminary and the IBOC. But in many places along the way, I had to put the camera down to simply breathe in where I was and what I was doing.
This trip added so much to my story, and I have many tales to tell. I hope that through the words and photos beginning on page 11, you too can experience a little of what this journey meant to us.
From the September 2015 Moravian Magazine