The Southern Province of the Moravian Church in North America voted in its synod April 20 to enter full communion with the United Methodist Church. The Northern Province of the Moravian Church will at its synod scheduled for June 21-25.
The votes complement the United Methodist Church’s May 2016 vote for full communion with these two Moravian provinces.
The Moravian Church in North America, which traces its roots to the Hussite Movement of the 15th century, is divided into four parts:
- The Northern Province, based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
- The Southern Province, based in Winston-Salem
- The Alaska Province, based in Bethel, Alaska
- The Moravian Church in Newfoundland and Labrador
Moravian missionary growth throughout the world, including in Africa, the Caribbean, and what are now the United States and Canada, began after the renewal of the Moravian movement by Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf in the 18th century. London’s Moravians were also important in deepening John Wesley’s spiritual life as an Anglican, and he went on to inspire the beginnings of the Methodist tradition.
The Episcopal Church has been in full communion with the Moravian Church in the contiguous United States since 2011; Moravians are also in full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In addition, the Episcopal Church is engaged in dialogue with the United Methodist Church; the proposal A Gift to the World is circulating for discussion and comment.
Richard J. Mammana