Today, we celebrated Moravian Academy’s 276th birthday with the All-School Birthday Lovefeast!
Students of all grade levels, teachers, staff members and parents alike gathered in the Central Moravian Church to honor our school’s many years of growing and inspiring young people in mind, body, and spirit.
Throughout the service, student-led prayers and responsive readings unified everyone in worship. Beautiful music, shared by our talented Music Director Mrs. Kidd, Lower School String Orchestra, Chamber Singers, 7th and 8th Grade Handbell Choirs and Middle School Chorus, lifted everyone’s souls in attendance. A cornerstone of the Lovefeast, I would be remiss to not mention the cookies and juice, which were served while hymns were sung. After collectively joining in the Moravian Grace, everyone partook in eating together. The entire service was truly a magnificent celebration of Moravian Academy’s past, present, and future.
I could attempt to describe everything that I said and heard today, but my account wouldn’t do the service justice. Instead, I would like to share with you some of the reflections shared by a few members of our senior class, who played a key part in leading today’s Lovefeast. I hope their words help to capture the event and, more holistically, the spirit of Moravian Academy.
So in celebration of the school’s birthday, pull up a chair (…and a cookie and some juice…), view photos from the service and check out these words of wisdom shared by our very own seniors:
(Photo Credit: Amey Owen)
Lovefeast Opening: Drew Warner ‘18 and Shaylan Patel ‘18
Shaylan: Hey Moravian, have we told you recently that you look good for your age? You don’t look a day over 26, let alone 276.
Drew: Regardless of your age, Moravian, we know that it’s not what is on the outside that matters, but what is on the inside.
Shaylan: And your insides have fostered an amazing community filled with incredible students, teachers, and people for many, many years
Drew: Like anything else, Moravian is not perfect. But, I truly believe that in many ways, Moravian has achieved greatness. The thing about greatness, however, is that when it is attained, it is easy to become complacent.
Shaylan: But not here. What has kept people coming back to Moravian for each of its 276 years is that fact that this school never settles. It is a community of people who are always reaching for improvement, and never stop building…Before we wrap up here and go pick up the birthday cake, I wanna say something to the younger kids: You have the opportunity to go to an amazing school with incredible resources, and I urge you to take advantage of them and never stop building.
Introduction to the Lovefeast: Bailey Hancharik ’18
Although it may not be something you think very much about once you have passed through your first Lovefeast, I have begun to appreciate the actual passing of the cookies, possibly (and I know the younger kids in attendance will be shocked to hear this) more than the actual eating of the cookies. It is, at the heart, a cooperative task shared by everyone in the pew. And, in addition to that, the voices of the room are raised in songs of praise or joy of celebration of community. The voices that fill the room only add to the togetherness that Lovefeasts bring to Moravian Academy.
Benediction: Hunter Zahmn ’18
Yes, we are celebrating the school’s birthday, and to me, that also entails honoring the progress that has been made within our community the last 276 years. I also believe that this is a time to recognize the work that still needs to be done….With everything going on around us: lives being lost, new communities being created, a dichotomy of thoughts and understanding, now is the time to focus on what could be…
Everyone in this room is vital to our future as Moravian Academy, because, without you, there would not be a Moravian Academy… Go ask questions, be uncomfortable, learn, grow and help others do the same. And together, we create a community that really does go in peace. Amen.
Meditation: Daniel Elmi ’18
Moravian Academy has been built for centuries on the power of shared strength. Strength passed from one generation to the next…As we are here to celebrate Moravian Lovefeast, let’s remember how this tradition began…. Just like we did, [Count] Zinzendorf called the village together for an intense meeting on what community life should look like. What Zinzendorf thought, and what I learned from my [soccer] season, was that we can do more together than any of us are capable of our own. For generations past and present, we build this community as a team. We live, win, and lose as a team. And when we lose, we pick each other up and learn from our mistakes and we move forward together.
Just like Zinzendorf’s community was always there for each other, I know my brothers will always be there for me. As I end my Moravian career and begin college, I will remember what I learned this season, and remember to be passionate and work hard in whatever I choose to do. And to the future of Moravian Soccer, I hope we taught you guys well, and I hope you guys play with the same passion we did.