August 02, 2009

As the Moravian Unity meet in London from July 27-August 07, 2009 for its 26th Unity Synod of the renewed Church, the Church throughout the Western world is being challenged by a “Post Christian” society in which individualism and consumerism are rife. It is clear that it is the institution of the Church that is being seen as increasingly irrelevant to modern day life. However, there is still considerable interest in spirituality and the Church has to find new ways of touching people’s lives and introducing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Moravian Church, if it is going to remain relevant and viable, must open itself to new and dynamic ways of doing ministry. There are some persons who would like the Church to remain at Bohemia/Moravia (1457), some who would like it to remain at Herrnhut (1727), while those days were good, we live in different times and so the Church must operate differently. It is true that one cannot change history, but ones history can come alive in new, different and dynamic ways as one seeks to be relevant in our time.

The Eastern West Indies Province uses the Hymnal produced by the British Province. The Liturgies, Litanies, Canticles and Hymns are wonderful and they have served a good purpose. However, as a people with a different experience, we must allow God to speak through our Caribbean people to develop worship patterns that speak to Caribbean realities and make our worship more meaningful and relevant. The question is, did God speak to our fore-fathers? Is God still speaking and if so, will he not speak to us of his desire for us as a Church? The Moravian Church is challenged to use what God has placed in our hands to worship and glorify his name. The Psalmists in Psalm 150 challenges the Church to use every instrument to praise God.

The writer of Hebrews declares, “God , who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” (Hebrews 1: 1-2). Many of our Moravian Provinces have lost grounds and so the Unity Synod needs to find ways to challenge our Provinces to grow the Church.

The British Province which once stood as a beacon of hope for the Kingdom of God is in trouble. The report of the British Province to Unity Synod 2009 states: “The period 2003-2009 has seen a continuation of the trend of diminishing membership and congregations for the British Province. Our adult communicant membership is now below 1400 with an average Sunday attendance of little over 1000. We now have 32 congregations and 4 societies and fellowships in the Province, with 19 serving Ministers.”

There is much hope as the work in the Congo, Kigoma, Zambia, South Asia, Eastern Tanzania and Zanzibar, Malawi, Northern Tanzania, Albania, Cottbus, Cuba, French Guiana, Kenya, Latvia and Peru is growing rapidly. God is still calling and challenging us to be Kingdom builders and he will continue to bless our efforts.