Moravian Church in America

Essential Features of the Unity

The Unitas Fratrum and Its Congregations

       The Unitas Fratrum was called into being by God as a Church which stresses fellowship. After its apparent destruction in the land of origin, it was renewed in Herrnhut, Germany.

       We recognize that it is the Lord's will to confront and call to Himself each individual through His Spirit and that formal membership in a congregation is for no one a substitute for a personal encounter with the Savior, nor does it relieve any from making a personal decision to accept Him. We learn from the Scriptures however that it pleased God to make the Church the place where God's fellowship with humanity becomes a reality. A living Church is the clearest witness for its Lord to the world.

       A Church is and remains a living one when it:

  • is attentive to God's Word,
  • confesses its sins and accepts forgiveness for them,
  • seeks and maintains fellowship with its Lord and Redeemer by means of the sacraments,
  • places its whole life under His rule and daily leading,
  • ministers to its neighbor and seeks fellowship with all who confess Christ,
  • proclaims to the world the tidings concerning the Savior,
  • awaits wholeheartedly the coming of its Lord as King.
  •        Within each congregation the various groups may become aware of, and participate in, the special gifts and tasks which can be dawn from the pattern of Jesus' life on earth.

           Such congregations are "living stones" out of which the Lord will build His Church on earth.

           Wherever such congregations exist in the various parts of the Unitas Fratrum they form a living Church -- a member of the body of Christ on earth.

           Communicant members of the Unitas Fratrum are those who have been received in one of the following ways:

  • baptized and received into communicant membership by confirmation,
  • received by adult baptism,
  • received from other Christian churches by letter of transfer and received by the right hand of fellowship,
  • received by reaffirmation of faith.

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    In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in all things, love

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