Moravian Faith Communities Past and Future
Saturday, November 9th, 2019 | 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Hope Moravian Church
Today we think of a church as a congregation with a building or buildings including a sanctuary, classrooms, offices, a fellowship space, and a kitchen. We think of a church having a professional pastor, music director, secretary, and maybe additional staff. It is a place where we hear a sermon, study the Bible, meet friends, give money, have fun, eat meals, and volunteer our talents. Denominations are made up of such congregations, and denominations have programs to build (or plant) more congregations. We call this “church growth”. Congregations are important, and many people have been richly blessed by their ministries.
But what if there are other ways of being church? What if there are other ways to have Christian community and serve Christ? When we look at our Moravian history we see that our forebears in faith were innovative and experimented with a variety of forms of church. In the past we have had house churches, societies, chapels, preaching stations, Sunday Schools, missions, businesses, workshops, choir houses, boarding schools, day schools, sea congregations, and settlements. We have also had people serve in various ministries and offices: pastors, deacons, accoluths, bishops, choir helpers, musicians, evangelists, missionaries, teachers, business managers, scholars, ship captains, farmers, lawyers, translators, counselors, and the list goes on.
In this workshop we will look at several types of Christian ministries and communities Moravians had in the past and look at some of the emerging ministries Moravians are developing now. We will also explore new possibilities for the church of the future as we respond to changes in American culture. The church as we know it is transforming. Just as the caterpillar seems to die in the cocoon before it re-emerges as a butterfly, our church may be transforming into a new and beautiful form of Christian community.
Event leadership: The Rev. Dr. Craig Atwood, Professor of Moravian Theology at Moravian Theological Seminary, will discuss the past and the Rev. Andrew Heil, Associate Pastor of Home Moravian Church, will discuss the future.