Fries Memorial Moravian is a diverse congregation with strong ties to our Moravian brothers and sisters.
Among our most important tenets of our belief is the importance of community. We worship and serve in community because we believe that Christ taught us that we should be known by our love for one another. This close bond of fellowship is very evident in our community of faith here at Fries MemorialMoravian Church.
The Moravian Church traces its roots to the pre-Reformation followers of John Hus, who lived in the Czech lands of Bohemia and Moravia in the early 1400s. A Catholic priest, Hus did not intend to start a new church but tried to reform the Roman Catholic Church from within. Among the reforms he proposed were:
- The abolition of the sale of indulgences for the forgiveness of sins.
- The use of the vernacular language for the Scriptures, sermons, and hymns.
- The offering of both the cup and the bread to the laity in Holy Communion.
In 1415, these reforms were considered heretical, and he was burned at the stake following a trial at the Council of Constance on July 6. The followers of Hus continued to press for these reforms, but finally they came to the conclusion that they would need to start a small church within the larger church, which they called the Unitas Fratrum (the Unity of the Brethren).
Because of their affiliation with the Lutherans on the estate of Count Ludwig von Zinzendorf in the 1700s, our church has much in common with the Lutheran tradition. We are a mainline denomination with churches in nineteen Provinces around the world.
Our beliefs are succinctly stated in three documents:
- The Ground of the Unity
- The Moravian Covenant for Christian Living
- Easter Morning Liturgy found in our Moravian Book of Worship
The first two of these documents may be viewed in their entirety on the website of the Moravian Church Southern Province. An excerpt from The Ground of the Unity expresses well our Trinitarian belief:
With the whole of Christendom we share faith in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We believe and confess that God has revealed Himself once and for all in His son Jesus Christ, that our Lord has redeemed us with the whole of humanity by His death and His resurrection; and that there is no salvation apart from Him. We believe that He is present with us in the Word and the Sacrament, that He directs and unites us through His Spirit and thus forms us into a Church. We hear Him summoning us to follow Him, and pray Him to use us in His service. He joins us together mutually so that knowing ourselves to be members of His body we become willing to serve each other.