As of today I have officially become a Minister of the British Province of the Moravian Church, serving the Cliftonville Congregation in North Belfast. Many people have asked me: ‘Who are the Moravians’? And that’s quite a common question that is hard to answer in a few short paragraphs! But here goes:
The Moravian Church is one of the oldest Protestant denominations in the world, with its heritage stretching back to the fifteenth century. Doctrinally it is a mainstream church, with a global membership, and is a member of the World Council of Churches; the British Province is a member of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and the Irish District belongs to the Irish Council of Churches.
The main motto of the Moravian Church is Vicit Agnus Eum Sequamur (Our lamb has conquered, let us follow him), which emphasises our focus on Christ as the head of our denomination. Another oft used motto of the church is: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, love.”
In a lecture series delivered at the Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Moravian Bishop Clarenice H. Shawe described the ethos of the Moravian Church as having five guiding principles: simplicity, happiness, unobtrusiveness, fellowship, and the ideal of service.
If you want to find out more about the Moravian Church, the following websites will give you much more detail. Whether you’re interested in doctrine, customs or ecumenical relations, you’ll find that information here:
http://www.irishchurches.org/members/moravian-church-irish-district (An brief overview of the Irish District of the British Province).
http://www.moravian.org.uk/index.php/the-moravian-church/beliefs-and-practices (Information on Moravian beliefs and practices by the British Province).
http://www.moravianseminary.edu/moravian-studies/about/introduction (A quite detailed introduction to the Moravian Church by the Moravian Theological Seminary)