Friday 16th November
My wife Larissa and I were invited taking part at the Consecration of Bishop Sr. Sarah Groves, Moravian Church (Herrnhuter) in Gracehill, Ballymeena, Northern Ireland. It was a lovely service with a lot of singing and I was officially invited to take part in my black “pastoral” robe, representing the Lutheran Church and to greet Sarah.
Two interesting observations:
The Moravian Church has Bishops, but they are not “above” the other clergy, they are beside all pastors and members, doing pastoral work for the pastors and telling the gospel as everybody is doing that. They are not bound to a specified territory, only to the Province, which has one up to four bishops in the same time.
The election of a Bishop takes place in the Synod of the Province. There is no discussion and no panel with candidates! After somebody suggested an election it starts. In this case after three rounds Sr.Sarah was elected – and surprised. If it happens that after many election rounds no clear majority for one of the pastors occurs, the Synod postpones the election: The Holy Spirit says it is not the time yet for the election.
The Lutheran Church in Ireland uses the Moravian Church University Road in Belfast since thirty years for a Service in German language every last Sunday of a month and ist very grateful for this act of hospitality.