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Our Ministries & Partnerships
Sharing God’s love with our members and in the community is one of our highest callings. We do this through our congregational ministries as well as a myriad of mission and outreach opportunities, working closely with several downtown agencies and organizations.
CALVARY IN THE COMMUNITY
The Calvary congregation has a heart for service, and we seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our community. To that end, we actively assist local agencies and ministries through donations, volunteer work, and more. Whether you call it a “mission project” or just an act of care for the community, Calvary is at its best when we’re taking care of our neighbors through acts of lovingkindness, with no strings attached. Here are a few of the groups we work with most frequently:
City With Dwellings
A Community First Initiative works to end the crisis of homelessness in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, providing a unique platform for volunteers across the community to connect and build relationships with individuals who are experiencing homelessness. Calvary assists in this important work by providing hot meals, supplies, and more.
Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministries
Founded in 1977, the Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministry has helped thousands of incarcerated men and women discover the true meaning of Christianity, and what it means to live as a Christian. Calvary supports this ministry financially as well as with periodic volunteer Bible studies and prayer.
greeNest is a unique local program that provides household furnishings to individuals and families transitioning to sustainable housing. For a nominal fee, participants, accompanied by caseworkers from various partner agencies, will choose donated items that best suit their needs and preferences. Calvary assists by routinely providing “Welcome Home” buckets, with cleaning supplies and other new home essentials.
Sunnyside Ministry is a non-profit organization founded by the Moravian Church that provides food, clothing, and emergency financial assistance to families in crisis. Calvary has an ongoing collection of nonperishable foods, among other supplies.
Brunson Elementary is a Title I school in close proximity to Calvary Moravian. Children from our church’s immediate surrounds attend this school, and because they are our neighbors, we take seriously our call to love them through donations, volunteerism, and more. This includes but is not limited to: A large toy and coat drive for Christmas, snack drives periodically during the year, school supply drives, teacher gifts and treats, and on-site assistance with testing and other needs.
It is an honor to engage the Winston-Salem community with our Holly Avenue and downtown neighbors. We are blessed to collaborate often with the Piedmont Opera & the Piedmont Youth Chorus, Bookmarks, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem, Salem Presbyterian, and Centenary United Methodist Church. It truly takes a village!
Traditional Moravian Christmas services involve a Lovefeast: A symbolic shared “meal,” which, at Calvary, is a lovefeast bun and Moravian-style coffee (sweet, with lots of cream). Our Christmas Lovefeasts also include red-trimmed beeswax candles and beautiful music. To make this sensory experience accessible to those who live far away or are home-bound, our Sister’s Fellowship members assemble and ship boxes that contain Moravian cookies, ingredients to prep Moravian-style coffee, a trimmed candle, and the service bulletin with which to follow along with the livestream worship service on Christmas Eve. Boxes are for sale every fall during the month of November (size options include single, double, family, or bulk). Money raised from the sale of these boxes is used toward community care projects. To purchase, please visit this website: https://lovefeastinabox.com.
More information about the history of this program can be found here.
One of the most treasured traditions of the Moravian Church is the Christmas Eve Lovefeast. Loosely based on the agape meals of the ancient church, the lovefeast of Apostolic times was resuscitated in its original simplicity by the Moravian Church of the 18th century. After a particularly powerful celebration of holy communion on August 13, 1727, Moravians were reluctant to separate and return to their own homes for the noonday meal. Their patron, Count Zinzendorf, sensing the situation, sent them food to share as they continued in prayer, religious conversation, and the singing of hymns. This incident reminded Zinzendorf of the primitive agape, and the idea was fostered until lovefeasts became a custom in Moravian life.
The lovefeast of today is primarily a service of music and prayer, during which simple foods are shared. It is not a sacrament. Rather, it is a time of meaningful worship and meditation that brings people together in a spirit of unity and peace. We welcome anyone and everyone in the community to partake.
While there may be a brief word from the pastor, the hymns furnish the primary subject matter for devotional thoughts. There is no rule as to the food to be offered, except that it be simple. In the Moravian Church in North America, the most common fare is a mug of sweet, creamy coffee, and a lightly sweetened bun. Helpers called “dieners” serve the coffee and buns, and while the congregation partakes, the choir sings an anthem.
There are many services during the year at which a lovefeast is appropriate, such as liturgical festivals and church anniversaries. On Christmas Eve, the lovefeast meal is further enhanced by the lighting of hundreds of candles, adding even more warmth and symbolism to the experience. The sanctuary at Calvary is filled with guests from miles around on Christmas Eve. Calvary members consider it a great privilege and joy to provide this service of love and light to anyone who comes to join us. We offer this as a gift to our community, born from the joy and love we have received from Jesus, whose birth we celebrate on Christmas.
Music is one of the central aspects of the worship service each week and is an inherent worship tool for all Moravians. Whether singing hymns, leading liturgies, offering choral anthems, or antiphonally singing the Hosanna with our Children’s Choir, we take great pride in learning and sharing music that enhances all of our worship services throughout the year and, most importantly, glorifies God through music.
The Chancel Choir is open to everyone from 6th grade through senior adult. Each Sunday, the choir meets in the third-floor choir room at 10:30 a.m. for 30 minutes prior to the 11:00 a.m. service and rehearses immediately following worship each week until 1:00 p.m. in the sanctuary choir loft. The choir sings anthems in worship a couple of times each month, though choir members are also welcome to sit in the loft during off weeks to help lead congregational hymns.
Everyone is welcome! Anyone can learn to sing, and we welcome those that want to learn, make music, and be a member of a fun-loving ensemble that strives to make a joyful noise! We enjoy preparing and offering a wide variety of traditional choral music repertoire, as well as sharing and perpetuating Moravian composers and arrangers from our past and present day.
Calvary’s band is deeply rooted in Moravian tradition. The band consists of musicians who play brass or woodwind instruments. The band plays a prelude every Sunday, starting at 10:30 a.m. The band also plays preludes throughout the year for other services, including Christmas Eve Lovefeasts, Holy Week, and Easter.
Calvary’s band joins with other bands of the Salem Congregation to provide the music for the Easter Sunrise Service. Additionally, the band plays at funerals for members.
Calvary is fortunate to have five octaves of Schulmerich Handbells and 4 octaves of Malmark Handchimes with which to ring. Our handbell choir plays between 8 and 10 times per year, including our three Christmas Eve Lovefeasts and during each Holy Week.
Rehearsal is from 9-9:45 a.m every Sunday morning, just prior to Sunday School. Our rehearsal room is on the 3rd floor, located near the elevator.
In learning to play these beautifully crafted instruments, we learn rhythm, musicality, note reading, and how very important it is to work in an ensemble. Each person is vital to the success of our choir. Similarly to the Chancel Choir, anyone is welcome, and anyone can learn to ring!
Our children’s music program focuses on helping children learn simple songs and enjoy the warm tradition of church music. We teach using hymns, children’s Bible songs, Laurel Ridge camp songs, as well as simple rhythm games and melodies. The children sing several times a year during worship services, including during Advent, at our three Christmas Eve Lovefeasts, and on Palm Sunday to begin our Holy Week experience. Every child is welcome and encouraged to come learn with us!
Children in grades Kindergarten through 5th grade meet from 6:00–7:00 p.m. on Wednesday evenings during our Calvary@The Table program, which runs seasonally in fall and spring. During this time slot Calvary also has programming for older children and adults, as well as nursery care for infants and preschoolers. Children of all ages are also invited to join Family Chime Time on Sunday mornings, and older youth are welcome to join our adult choir and handbell groups.
This ministry is a family affair! Chime Time is a program for adults and kids of all ages. We rehearse each Sunday at 9:45 a.m. for 25 minutes in the third-floor handbell room (at the start of the Sunday School hour). No experience or music-reading skills required. It’s a great chance to learn and enjoy fellowship with friends, kids, and grandkids. No pressure, no stress, and if you can’t make rehearsal every week, no worries!
CALVARY AT THE TABLE
Calvary@The Table is our Wednesday evening midweek ministry for all ages. We meet for approximately 9 weeks, twice a year. Our Fall 2022 segment runs from September 14 through November 2. Our Winter/Spring 2023 dates will be published soon. We begin with a bring-your-own dinner gathering from 5:30–6:00 p.m. in our first floor (basement) Fellowship Hall and then continue with a variety of Bible studies, fellowship groups, and mission opportunities for every age, infant through adult, from 6:00–7:00 p.m.
Children ages newborn to preK are welcome in our nursery. Our nursery is a safe, clean, age-appropriate, and comfortable space, staffed by trained and background-checked professionals. Nursery care is available Sunday mornings from 9:45 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., and Wednesday evenings from 6:00–7:00 p.m. during our seasonal Calvary@The Table programming.
Each week our youngest members are invited to leave worship after the Children’s Sermon for their own experience of worship using the Godly Play curriculum. Godly Play teaches the Bible in story form, using hands-on methods of learning as well as interactive instruction.
They learn about the church year and seasons, and the Biblical stories taught each week are in tandem with those that are heard in Sunday School, the children’s sermon, and worship. We use our beautiful Children’s Chapel located on the third floor as our Godly Play sacred space. Children ages 3yrs-2nd Grade are invited to this time of worship and creativity as they continue to study the scripture and stories of the day, just in their own way!
For our children grades Kindergarten to 5th, we foster the Moravian Church Milestones and Stars education program. Through this Sunday school-type program, and in conjunction with our weekly children’s messages during Sunday worship, Godly Play Bible stories, and midweek music opportunities, we teach fundamental and formative scripture passages, songs, prayers, and creeds that form the basis for our lifelong walk of faith. This class meets weekly in our children’s educational wing, down the hall from the front office, on Sundays from 10:15–10:45 a.m. Take a look at all the Moravian Stars hanging in the hallway to see our children’s progress!
Calvary Moravian’s dynamic and energetic youth group provides an opportunity for those in grades 6–12 to grow in a supportive community. Join us as we empower each other to be the church through mission, education, and service. We gather on Sunday mornings from 9:45–10:45 a.m. before church for a time of inquiry and scripture study. As a group, we encourage everyone to participate, and we welcome all insights and questions.
Additionally, during our seasonal Calvary@The Table Wednesday evening ministry, we meet for fellowship and to engage in outreach and enrichment opportunities. Some highlights from previous years include working with H.O.P.E. Ministries, the annual CROP Walk, participation in Calvary worship services, attending Mission Camp at Laurel Ridge, taking an annual beach trip, and hiking at Stone Mountain. There are also amazing opportunities for growth during the summer, both at Calvary and Laurel Ridge Moravian Camp and Conference Center.
Calvary’s New Life Class is an adult group (open to any age adult) which meets on the third floor, conveniently located next to the elevator, each Sunday from 9:45 – 10:30 a.m. The group usually has coffee/tea/hot chocolate, etc. and a chat until 10:00 a.m., with the lesson concluding at 10:30 a.m. to accommodate our choir and band members.
Each lesson is aligned with the Scripture from that day’s service, providing a deeper understanding to enrich the 11:00 a.m. service experience. Many lessons are linked to specific Moravian history and beliefs, such as The Ground of the Unity. We encourage all levels of participation in the discussion, from the reflective listener to the active “discussant.” Mainly, we seek fellowship with each other and Jesus Christ.
The Friendship Class is an eclectic group of many ages that meets on the 1st floor (basement) in the Burke Conference Room on Sundays from 9:45–10:45 a.m., rotating study topics every four to six weeks. The class delves into spiritual topics that impact members’ daily lives. Attendees enjoy discussion and fellowship together each week. New faces are always welcome!
Sisters Fellowship is a loosely organized group of women who gather for friendship and fellowship, and who support one another through the ups and downs of daily life. The Sisters also work together on community care projects such as Lovefeast in a Box™ ahead of Christmas each year, and they coordinate “Bereavement boxes” for individuals and families who have experienced the loss of a loved one. While there is not a set time or place for Sisters Fellowship events, they typically gather on Wednesday evenings during our seasonal Calvary@The Table programs in fall and spring, and they also get together periodically for playdates with their kids or for coffee and cocktails. New faces are always welcome! Ask Amanda Moody-Schumpert on staff to connect you!
Women’s Fellowship groups are a common feature of Moravian congregations. At Calvary, our Women’s Fellowship takes the form of what we call “Circles,” which are groups of ladies who gather monthly for Bible study and fellowship. Because everyone has different schedules and commitments, each Circle meets at a different time, some in the evenings, some during weekdays. But all Circles participate in fundraisers to help support local community care and mission projects.
Historically at Calvary, our Women’s Fellowship members are also involved in the loving cultivation of church traditions, such as trimming candles for Christmas Eve Lovefeasts, hosting the annual Day of Prayer, cooking hundreds of Moravian chicken pies, and much more.
New faces are always welcome! For information about when and where Circles are meeting, check our weekly Sunday bulletin notes or contact the office.