While awaiting the results of the vote, delegates at the 2014 Synod of the Moravian Church Northern Province rise to join one another hand-in-hand around the assembly hall to sing beloved Moravian hymns.

While awaiting the results of the vote, delegates at the 2014 Synod of the Moravian Church Northern Province rise to join one another hand in hand around the assembly hall to sing beloved Moravian hymns. RNS photo courtesy Mike Riess/IBOC Moravian Church in America, used with permission


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

(RNS) The Moravian Church’s Northern Province approved a proposal to allow gays and lesbians to be ordained and to create a religious ceremony for same-sex couples.

By a vote of 181-62, delegates to the 2014 Synod approved a proposal Sunday (June 22) that also includes provisions to revise the Northern Province’s Book of Order to reflect the changes.

“Moravians understand that God’s call to us is to welcome all people, because God’s embrace is far larger than our capacity to imagine,” said the Rev. Elizabeth D. Miller, president of the Provincial Elders’ Conference of the Moravian Church Northern Province.

This decision affects only those churches in the Northern Province, the largest of the denomination’s three provinces in the U.S. and Canada.

Four years ago, the province’s Synod mandated congregational forums for dialogue and prayer about the role of gays and lesbians in the church.

During an earlier session, delegates approved a resolution that affirmed the Northern Province’s commitment to be inclusive of differing views regarding gay and lesbian ordination.

Rick Santee, chair of the 2014 Synod of the Moravian Church Northern Province, delivers the result of the vote to Synod delegates.

Rick Santee, chair of the 2014 Synod of the Moravian Church Northern Province, delivers the result of the vote to Synod delegates. RNS photo courtesy Mike Riess/IBOC Moravian Church in America, used with permission


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Based in Bethlehem, Pa., the Northern Province includes more than 21,000 members in 93 congregations in 13 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. The province spans New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, California, Ontario, Alberta, and Washington, D.C.

The Moravian Church was founded by Jan Hus, who was burned at the stake in 1415 for his criticism of the Roman Catholic Church.

Moravians, as they are called because of their origin in the Moravia and Bohemia regions of the Czech Republic, arrived in America in the early 1700s and built their first permanent settlement in Bethlehem, Pa.

“We know that there are Moravians who deeply love God, who honor the authority of Scripture and love the Moravian Church who do not agree with this resolution,” said Miller. “It is my prayer that as Moravians, in relationship with one another, we can continue to walk together in love, even as we acknowledge our differences.”

The worldwide Moravian Church consists of 21 provinces with more than 1 million members, half of which live in Africa.

KRE/AMB END SHIMRON

12 Comments

  1. I’m glad to see the Moravian Church’s Northern Province is becoming a welcoming and Affirming denomination. However, the major Christian, Jewish and other denominations that are marrying same gender couples now are being denied their right to practice their religion freely in 30 US States. These denominations will marry same gender couples in 20 US States and the District of Columbia:

    Affirming Pentecostal Church International
    Alliance of Christian Churches
    Anointed Affirming Independent Ministries
    The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists
    Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
    Community of Christ
    Conservative Judaism
    Ecumenical Catholic Church
    Ecumenical Catholic Communion
    The Episcopal Church
    Evangelical Anglican Church In America
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
    Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals
    Inclusive Orthodox Church
    Metropolitan Community Church
    Old Catholic Church
    Presbyterian Church USA
    Progressive Christian Alliance
    Reconciling Pentecostals International
    Reconstructionist Judaism
    Reform Judaism
    Reformed Anglican Catholic Church
    Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
    Unitarian Universalist Church
    United Church of Christ
    Unity Church

  2. CarrotCakeMan

    “A pastor who presided over his son’s same-sex wedding ceremony and vowed to perform other gay marriages if asked can return to the pulpit after a United Methodist Church appeals panel on Tuesday overturned a decision to defrock him.

    The nine-person panel ordered the church to restore Frank Schaefer’s pastoral credentials, saying the jury that convicted him of breaking church law erred when fashioning his punishment.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/methodist-panel-overturns-pastors-defrocking/2014/06/24/c074d0a4-fbbf-11e3-b8bf-54b8afb537b6_story.html

  3. So sad that a Church with such a rich history of devout unwavering commitment to God’s Word falls like a paper house (this is certainly NOT speaking for all Moravians for sure).
    You, like so many others have become the modern day Pergamum church.
    A might blow has been dealt here, but God’s Word will still prevail. Pergamun will face the battle of God’s sword. Rev. 2:12-17.
    Good luck with that.

  4. Goodbye Moravian Church.

    This clearly illustrates that the Moravian Church (northern province) no longer uses the Word of God as the basis of their faith and practice. They may say they do but their actions prove the opposite. How sad.

    Instead, it appears that the leadership of the Northern Province is motivated predominately by liberal social issues and political activism. They are more concerned with not purchasing clothing made with ‘sweatshop’ labor than winning a lost and dying world to Christ.

    They are more than happy to be on the forefront of anti-tobacco, anti-gun legislation but do not proclaim the name of Jesus as being too offensive in public.

    Their hymnals and sermons have completely eliminated references to the ‘blood of Christ’ and the word “sin” as being too offensive. Instead, they have liturgy’s full of love for the environment. One of their recent resolutions included a call for political activism to further environmentalist legislation.

    God pronounced that he would bless those who bless Israel, and punish those who do not. Nevertheless, the Moravian Church supports organizations who openly call for the destruction of Israel and label anyone who disagrees as a “Zionist”.

    Our Lord predicted that in the last days there would be a “falling away” and people would no longer accept the teaching of God. The Moravian Church is an excellent example of this for anyone to see.

    Here are my predictions for the Moravian Church during the next 4-8 years.
    1. They will redefine marriage as ‘two individuals in a covenant relationship’
    2. They will require their clergy to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.
    3. Like other denominations that have embraced homosexual clergy; their numbers will dramatically dwindle.
    4. There will be hundreds of empty moravian church buildings for sale.

    Will those in charge care about any of this….heck no, they are all about political correctness and view the church as a vehicle to further their agenda.

  5. This is sad times in the Eastern District Province for our members who are disturbed by this decision. I never believe in my life time I would see the Moravian Church bend God’s word to conform to intellectual trend and diluted standard based on people’s choice of life style

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