WORD FROM THE PASTOR
In June, the confirmation class had an extended time together at the church to continue to catch-up on the material that we were unable to cover during our time apart due to Covid. We finished with Moravian Church history (using a new curriculum, I even learned a few new things) and we walked through the newly published updated Moravian Catechism.
The updated Catechism is laid out differently than the ones previously used. Instead of being a question with answers, it is discussion based. It expands on our motto, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, love.” From the introduction of the Moravian Catechism, “This principal is not uniquely Moravian, but it reflects the character of our tradition. We are a ‘Worldwide Unity,” and yet we recognize that we are not always united in the ways we worship, pray, or interpret Scripture, or administer the Sacraments; in the languages we speak; or the cultures in which we live…These are all important aspects of who we are, but they are not the source or the foundation of our unity as Moravian sisters and brothers. We find our unity in the core essential beliefs that we share in common.”
The Moravian Church has defined the essentials, “On God’s part: God creates, God redeems, God sustains. On our part: We respond in faith, love, and hope.” We believe God is in relationship with us and with our world. God reached out by creating all that is, through Jesus Christ, redeeming the world from that which has separated us from God, and continues to sustain us in relationship through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Relationship is a two-way street. God reaches out to us, but in order to be in relationship we must respond. Our essential response to God’s part is through our faith that God indeed loves us and wants what is best for us. We live in love – caring for one another as Christ cared for us and others. We have a hope that God will remain faithful to God’s promises and will be with us through all times and circumstances of life – this one and the one to come.
In the introduction to the Moravian Catechism we are reminded, “Love makes it possible for us to be united in the essentials of our faith and to move forward together in hope.”
As siblings of Christ’s law – to love God with all we are and to love our neighbors as ourselves – we seek to live in community. We may be different, we may not always agree, but we are all one in Christ. We are all made in the image of God. And we all are a part of the body of Christ. Each of us has a place in the church family and each of us are valuable to it. God acts, we respond. How are we being encouraged to reaffirm the essentials in our own lives and in the life of our congregation?
n Chrirst’s service,