Individual Moravian Experience Small Group

Start Here

Welcome to The Moravian Experience! We’re glad that you’re interested in developing your spiritual life as a Moravian Christian, whether on your own or as part of a group. Begin your journey by asking yourself a few questions:

How do I want to grow in my relationship with Jesus Christ? Is this a solitary, inward journey for me?

If so, begin with a reading of the Moravian Experience essentials, outlined below.  The Spiritual Growth and Spiritual Disciplines categories provide an excellent starting point. You may also want to venture into the Individual audience posts as well. A deeper dive into Moravian doctrine might provide some enlightening insights too.

If I want to undertake this spiritual work in community, how do I want to come alongside other people during my journey? As part of a small group at my church? Online? With new or familiar friends?

Consider inviting friends or fellow Moravians (in your church or others) to join you in a small group experience. Explore the Community category, which provides opportunities to take a deep dive into the community of the early Moravians and explores ways their experience might still be relevant for us today.

How might I take meaningful action to live the essentials in the world?

The Mission category features a variety of resources to assist in your work to share faith, love, and hope with the world.

What kind of resources might help me and/or my faith community most?

Visit the Moravian Experience launch page frequently to see what is new and to browse through our various topics. Remember, you can search for small group experiences as well as items for individual spiritual practice. If you don’t see something you’d like to see or you have questions, please let us know!

How can I truly make the most out of my Moravian Experience journey?

The following elements, adapted somewhat from our Gemeinschaft initiative, will prove essential to you as you journey into your Moravian Experience. Strive to:

  1. Balance your inward journey with an outward journey, in keeping with Moravian tradition.
  2. Practice the spiritual disciplines of prayer, reflection, journaling, and reading of Scripture.
  3. Participate in the regular worship life of a Moravian congregation and/or ministry, including traditional festival celebrations and seasonal liturgies.
  4. Participate in Moravian community, including fellowship with Moravians, small group interaction, and relationship-building.
  5. Incorporate the principles of the Ground of the Unity, the Easter Morning Liturgy, the Moravian Covenant for Christian Living, and prayerful reading of the Moravian Daily Texts into everyday life.
  6. Study the beliefs and practices of the Moravian Church as revealed in Moravian history, liturgies, hymns, and statements of faith, and by Moravian Church leadership, not forgetting the Moravian connection to centuries of Christian history and worship.
  7. Develop personal theological beliefs and one’s own practice of Christian living alongside personal study of the spiritual development, teaching, and example of Jesus Christ as portrayed in the four Gospels.
  8. Establish and maintain a personal Rule of Life.
  9. Write a personal Theological Credo.
  10. Write your spiritual autobiography (Lebenslauf).
  11. Reach out to others in mission.
  12. Serve others.
  13. Consider the various ways you can truly live the essentials:

Acknowledgements

As the Covid19 crisis unfolded, BCM went to work providing technical support and resources for our Moravian faith communities. We soon realized that additional useful Moravian content would be very helpful to faith leaders as they considered online ministry options. We appreciate the tireless work of Michael Terry, BCM Convener and member of Rural Hall Moravian Church. Michael carefully reviewed and adapted some of the most appropriate elements of Gemeinschaft, an intensive small group spiritual growth initiative of the Southern Province that began in the 70s. Heather Stevenson transcribed many of these resources as there were no digital copies available. We then began to search our sizeable library of Moravian resources, to see what could be adapted for online use. We are grateful to the Rev. Tim Byerly, who spent time adapting Living Faith, a small group experience developed in 2016 and based on the prayer bands of the early Moravians.

Special thanks to those who provided much of our source material:

  • Interprovincial Board of Communication (IBOC): We appreciate the work of Mike Riess, Executive Director. He adapted several IBOC publications for online use and continues to offer his wisdom and expertise (and Moravian.org) in the shaping of this collection.
  • The Rev. Dr. Craig Atwood: As our pre-eminent Moravian historian, Craig’s fingerprints are all over many of these resources. His work on the essential framework and his tireless efforts to make old, dead Moravians relevant have provided much inspiration and challenge to modern-day Moravians. His series of lessons on the Easter Morning liturgy provide yet another invaluable resource
  • The many speakers who have provided us with excellent content for our educational events, particularly the Comenius Learning Series and Leadership Focus.
  • The Rev. Judy Knopf: Judy is a pioneer with the Church’s Gemeinschaft initiative and her years of work have really shaped spiritual formation for modern Moravians. Gemeinschaft was a three year program of spiritual formation designed to nurture and challenge the interior and exterior Christian journey of Moravians in a small group context. The program offered the opportunity to focus awareness of God’s saving grace and power in our lives in a deliberate, intentional, and committed manner in a community of believers.
  • Kay Windsor, who sprang into action during the tumultuous early days of the pandemic to lead a series on the lebenslauf (spiritual autobiography).
  • Various members of the Board of Cooperative Ministries, who’ve worked hard alongside staff to curate and develop relevant Moravian resources. BCM staff, particularly Hanna Jackson and Austin Craver, used their impressive technological skills to adapt many of these resources. We’re always thankful for the hard work of Beth Hayes, who continues to produce relevant Moravian resources well into her fourth decade of service to the church.

We hope this is just the beginning of your meaningful journey into what it means to be a Moravian Christian today and that your work reaps significant rewards for you, your siblings in Christ, the larger Church, and the world.