In my time working with the Interprovincial Board of Communication, I have come across dozens of descriptions of “being Moravian.” Some describe our church practices; others describe our faith; others share our customs and traditions; and most tap into our heritage.
But I’ve also learned that our church’s members have their individual view of what it is, and what it means, to be a part of the Moravian Church—which can make it difficult to create an all-encompassing statement beyond our core church understandings (the Ground of the Unity and the Moravian Covenant for Christian Living) that we can share with the world about our church. I know. I’ve been trying for years!
Over the past year, with older publications as our starting point, we worked with the church’s Faith and Order Commission and others to develop a short, easy-to-use brochure that lays out simple facts about the Moravian Church. This brochure is now available (to view the contents of the brochure, click here.)
Over the next few months, each congregation in the Northern and Southern Provinces will receive a supply of these brochures to share with visitors, members and others interested in the church. We will also make PDF versions available and include the new text on www.moravian.org.
It is important to remember, however, that there is so much more to discuss when it comes to our church…like how individual congregations interpret our traditions and practices; how we approach questions of theology or social issues; how welcoming our churches are; our hopes and dreams for the future; and yes, what it personally means to be a Moravian.
Our unofficial motto, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, love,” offers us the space for differing opinions. Our intent with our new Moravian Church brochure is to provide a basic understanding of who we are, what we practice and how we live as followers of Jesus. It’s a starting point for individual congregations to have engaging conversations with newcomers and long-time Moravians alike.
I look forward to hearing what folks think of this new effort. We’re open to suggestions for improvement and hope individuals and congregations find this new brochure helpful.
I hope you enjoy this issue of the Moravian, with a wide range of happenings in our church. As always, I welcome your feedback.