6/14/2009

Full Communion with the Moravians: A Good Thing.


The Standing Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations has proposed Resolution A073, on Full Communion with the Northern and Southern Provinces of the Moravian Church in America. The document detailing this proposal is titled, "Finding Our Delight in the Lord." Since it is a document being put forward in both churches is meant to be voted "up or down" without further changes.

It is a sizable document, but the upshot is that by voting for it The Episcopal Church and the Moravian Church will be in full communion, as we are with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In particular the sharing of ministries will become increasingly possible and the sharing of mission will be given new energy.

For a number of years I worked closely with
The Rev. Gary L. Harke, one of the persons in the leadership of the Moravian Church in matters having to do with Campus Ministry. He and I saw mostly eye to eye on matters of faith, mission and the work of campus ministry. He was a joy to work with. After a long time of not being in contact I saw him this last fall here in Lewes, the village by the bay and the big water. I'm hoping he will be around at General Convention and that we can celebrate this new phase of our two churches in relation.

Full Communion with the Moravians is a very very GOOD THING.

We might also look at the Church order of the Unitas Fratrum, the governing constitution for the global Unitas Fratrum. Are there hints there of a way forward for Anglican unity?

4 comments:

  1. Could you say a little more about the Church order for the Unitas Fratrum? My knowledge (and probably others' as well) is a tad limited when it comes to the Moravians.

    Thanks,
    Kevin

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kevin M... here is a wonderful site on all this..Unitas Fratrum's home site.
    http://www.unitasfratrum.org/pages/ground_unity.html


    I'm very impressed.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My former next-door neighbor (still a friend) is a Moravian. He told me much about their history, but we never discussed specifics of doctrine. He did mention that he often attended Episcopal services during his military career. (Moravian churches/communities are in clusters, with the largest in North Carolina and Pennsylvania).

    He is a man of quiet, not showy faith, and so are his friends from his home North Carolina community.

    Their web site has a great deal of information here: http://www.moravian.org/believe/

    (The verification word is "norad," and oddly enough, my Moravian neighbor worked with NORAD as a meteorologist.)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I had the privilege in serving a parish where there were very strong ties to Moravians. The father-in-law of the rector who served from 1895 to 1935 was a Moravian bishop. That rector's two daughters were both active members of the parish and some days, after MP, we would walki to their house for coffee and the Moravian version of Forward Day by Day.For Christmas the sisters assembled a putz, an elaborate Nativity scene in which the whole world is seen going to Bethlehem. I conributed a totem pole that my missionary nurse great-aunt had sent me from Alaska.

    ReplyDelete

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