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Rituals

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BY THE REV. CORY L. KEMP |

Of all the Moravian traditions and celebrations, my favorite circles around again next week, August 13th, the anniversary of the renewal of our denomination.  There is something particularly wonderful about being able to point to a specific time and place, an otherwise ordinary moment, and know the influence it has made in our church’s life.

God does visibly work through whatever the circumstances surrounding our lives.  A spontaneous picnic, after extended discontent among the Herrnhut residents, must have felt like a tremendous weight had lifted off their collective shoulders.  Sharing this meal together expressed that renewed lightness, the joy of simply being with one another in purposeful, active faith, serving God.  

Herrnhut, Germany. Photo courtesy of Mike Riess.

We need these moments to make connections with what we haven’t quite been able to bring out into the tangible world.  Rituals help us do just that. My mentor, Joanna, is trained in ritual, and has taught me so much about the importance of rituals in personal and community life.  She also values tradition, the anchor it can be for us when we need some stability. I believe that August 13 worship gives us both.

While more happened than met the eye that day in Herrnhut, August 14 dawned with its own work to do.  The prior day’s experiences clearly informed that day, and the years that followed. The participants didn’t bask in the glow of that Sunday picnic; they let its light shine to reveal the path forward that God had for them.  Our path. It’s always been a risky one that has demanded a lot from us. It still is.   

Where is the path leading on which God’s light shines for us this August 13?  How can that light strengthen and support us, you and me, in bringing God’s unseen work into the tangible world in which we live and worship as the Moravian Church?

Ye who called, ye who called 

To Christ’s service are

Join together, join together 

Both in work and prayer!

Venture all on him our Lord, 

Who assures us in his Word

We are always, we are always 

Objects of his care


Corey Kimp

Photo courtesy of the Rev. Cory L. Kemp

The Rev. Cory L. Kemp is founder and faith mentor with Broad Plains Faith Coaching. Cory, employing her signature Handcrafted Faith program, supports ordained and lay women leaders in visualizing, understanding and strengthening their beliefs, so that they may know, love and serve God and their communities with generosity, wisdom, and joy.


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