Who are the Moravians?
Our Moravian Church, which is formallly known as “The Unity of the Brethren” or "Unitas Fratrum", started in what we now know as The Czech Republic. It’s connection to Moravia earned us the ‘pet name’ Moravians. The founding of the church was strongly inspired by a Czech Reformer John Hus, (1369-1415) who also was a professor of Philosophy and Rector of the University in Prague.
Gaining support from students and the common people, he led a protest movement against doctrinal positions of the Roman clergy and hierarchy. He was particularly adamant that forgiveness of sins came only through Jesus Christ and not through the selling of indulgence. He was accused of heresy, underwent a long and unjust trial at the Council of Constance and was burned at the stake on July 6, 1415. It is after this martyr that our congregation is named.
The Moravian church arose as followers of Hus gathered on the estate of Lititz, Bohemia and organized the church. This was sixty years before Martin Luther began his reformation and One Hundred years before the establishment of the Anglican Church. By 1467 the Moravian church had established its own ministry and in the years that followed, thee orders of the ministry were defined: Deacon, Presbyter and Bishop, which still remain. A Bishop of the Moravian Church is recognized throughout the Unity.
By 1517 the Unity of the Brethren had grown quite considerably. After a period of persecution the Moravians suffered severe setbacks in growth. The noted Educator, John Amos Comenius (1592—1648) was the prime leader in this very difficult period. In the 18th century, through the hospitality and patronage of Count Nicholas Louis Von Zinzendorf, a pietist nobleman, on his Herrnhut estate, In Germany, the church experienced a wonderful renewal. Since then the Moravian church has grown to 23 provinces spread over many countries.
What do Moravians Believe?
- Moravians recognize the example of Christ’s life and proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord.
- We believe in God as expressed in the Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- In baptism we are united with Christ in His death and resurrection.
- The Holy Bible is the authority and guide for our faith.
- We accept the Apostle’s and later Nicene Creeds as valid expressions of our Christian faith.
- Our Christian faith must continually be nourished if it is to remain living and vital, therefore we desire to grow in our spiritual lives through personal prayer and study, family devotions and the opportunities for spiritual development offered by the church.
- We consider it a sacred responsibility to be faithful stewards of all God has entrusted to us: our time, talents and financial resources. We view all of life as a sacred trust to be used wisely.
- We consider it our responsibility to demonstrate within the congregation life the unity and togetherness created by God who made us one.
- We recognize that through the grace of Christ, different denominations have received many gifts and that God’s Church may be enriched by these many and varied contributions. We welcome every step that brings us closer together and therefore cooperate with other churches.