One of the things I love about my work is learning—and using—new words. Before joining the IBOC, I had never used words like “hymnody” or “Lovefeast” or even “Interprovincial.” My word for today? “Intersynodal.”
It’s a term used to describe the time between major provincial synods, which in the Moravian Church happen every four years. Right now, I’m in my own intersynodal period—the time between the Southern and Northern Province Synods of 2018.
I’m fortunate that the interprovincial nature of my work requires me to attend and cover all synods. Just a few weeks ago, I was among more than 230 Southern Province Moravians in Black Mountain, N.C., (a ten-hour drive) and in just a few weeks from now, I’ll be with nearly 260 Northern Province Moravians at Moravian College in Bethlehem (a mere ten-minute walk). Regardless of the distance, provincial synods continue to be high points for this job.
With each synod I cover, I come away with a greater appreciation for how we govern and the strong commitment of our members to the future of the church, along with a powerful sense that the Holy Spirit is at work in our discernment and deliberations.
My experience with at the 2018 Southern Province Synod in April was no exception. I saw the election of two bishops, the confirmation of a full communion agreement with the United Methodist Church, and the discussion, debate and passage of more than 20 different resolutions. I heard a broad range of opinions about what we believe, how we see our church, and what we think is our best course forward. I also experienced meaningful worship, great conversations, beautiful music, and the opportunity to photograph the workings of the church.
During my brief “intersynodal period,” I can look back on one powerful experience and look forward to yet another one. In this issue of The Moravian, we offer a recap of the events and work of the Southern Province Synod, along with a brief preview of what’s to come when the Northern Province gets its turn.
Thanks to our provincial synods, in the span of two months, I’ll have come into contact with hundreds of my brothers and sisters, all focused on making the best decisions for our church. These synods also gives me a chance to use words like “courageous,” “blessed,” “committed,” “discerning,” and “hopeful for the future.”
As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.