Currently viewing the tag: "Graceham Moravian Church"

Area churches and organizations in Emmitsburg, Lewistown, Rocky Ridge, Sabillasville, and Thurmont are working to provide students in need with school supplies for the 2020-2021 school year. This program is to assist students attending the Catoctin Feeder Schools. These schools include Emmitsburg Elementary, Lewistown Elementary & Pyramid Program, Sabillasville Elementary, Thurmont Primary, Thurmont Elementary, Thurmont Middle, and Catoctin High.

The Annual Catoctin Community School Supply Drive will be held on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., in the Graceham Moravian Church parking lot, located at 8231 Rocky Ridge Road in Thurmont. 

Due to Covid-19, these changes will be in effect this year:

•   This will be a drive-thru event. PLEASE DO NOT GET OUT OF YOUR CAR.

•   Backpacks will already be packed with basic supplies according to FCPS guidelines and handed in your window.

If you would like to donate to this program, please drop off school supplies, cash donations, or gift cards (Walmart) to the church on August 12 from 9:00 a.m. until noon. 

Any questions or concerns, please contact Coordinator Jennifer Harbaugh at 301-639-9970 or caringind@aol.com.

Area churches and organizations in Emmitsburg, Lewistown, Rocky Ridge, Sabillasville, and Thurmont are working to provide students in need with school supplies for the 2019-2020 school year.

This program is to assist students attending the Catoctin Feeder Schools.   These schools include Emmitsburg Elementary, Lewistown Elementary & Pyramid Program, Sabillasville Elementary, Thurmont Primary, Thurmont Elementary, Thurmont Middle, and Catoctin High.

The 2019 Annual Catoctin Community School Supply Drive is going to be held on Tuesday, August 20,  from 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., at the Graceham Moravian Church, located at 8231 Rocky Ridge Road in Thurmont. 

If you would like to donate to this program, please drop off school supplies, cash donations, or gift cards (Walmart) to the church on August 14 from 9:00 a.m. until noon. 

Any questions or concerns, please contact Coordinator Jennifer Harbaugh at 301-639-9970 or caringind@aol.com.

On Tuesday, August 21, 2018, students in the Catoctin feeder district went “shopping” for free school supplies, thanks to generous donations from local churches, organizations, and the Stuff the Bus school supply drive. A total of 206 students, along with their families, gathered at Graceham Moravian Church in Thurmont for the annual Catoctin Community School Supply Program.

After selecting a brand new backpack, students went to the “store,” where they found hundreds of supplies, including folders and notebooks in nine different colors, stacks of binders and notebook paper, crayons, pens, pencils, rulers and more. Also, every student received a pair of headphones; middle and high school students were given USB drives.

Jen and Laura Harbaugh have been coordinating this event for ten years. They were joined this year by volunteers from Graceham Moravian Church, Harriet Chapel, CASS, and students in the Lewistown 4-H Club.

Area churches and organizations in Emmitsburg, Lewistown, Rocky Ridge, Sabillasville and Thurmont are working to provide students in need with school supplies for the 2017-2018 school year.  This program is to assist students attending the Catoctin Feeder Schools. These schools include Emmitsburg Elementary, Lewistown Elementary & Pyramid Program, Sabillasville Elementary, Thurmont Primary, Thurmont Elementary, Thurmont Middle and Catoctin High.

The Annual Catoctin Community School Supply Drive is going to be held on Tuesday, August 21st  from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Graceham Moravian Church located at 8231 Rocky Ridge Road in Thurmont.

If you would like to donate to this program, please drop off school supplies, cash donations or gift cards (Walmart) to the church on August 15th from 9:00 a.m. until Noon.

Any questions or concerns, please contact coordinator, Jennifer Harbaugh at 301-639-9970 or caringind@aol.com.

by Theresa Dardanell

Graceham Moravian Church

The very popular “Served With Grace” monthly community meal is what most people know about Graceham Moravian Church, but it is only part of their very extensive ministry. Held on the first Monday of every month, this free dinner is a social event that brings the community together, while providing a nourishing meal. What you might not know is that some of the food that is served during the dinner is grown in the garden that is located on church property. Members of the Garden Ministry grow potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and other vegetables. Surplus vegetables are donated to the local food bank.

“Served With Grace” is only one of the many local community outreach programs. They participate in the Thurmont Ministerium’s summer lunch program for children and Christmas Gift Program; organize and host the annual school supply drive for students in the Catoctin feeder district; and support the Thurmont Food Bank, Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs, Seton Center, Safe and Sane, Hospice, and Catoctin Community Medical Fund.

“Angie’s On The Bend” is a housing ministry for women who have experienced homelessness or who are in need of safe, affordable housing. The Women’s Fellowship Group at Graceham Moravian Church makes Valentines to send to shut-ins and the elderly, creates ornaments at Christmas for nursing home residents, and visits St. Catherine’s nursing home to lead games and social activities. The Garden Ministry also grows sunflowers, zinnias, and perennials, which are then given to members and friends who are confined to their homes. Youth members also visit and deliver flowers to nursing home residents.

Prayer, of course, is an important ministry. An Opioid Prayer Group meets on Thursdays at 5:45 p.m. to pray for those struggling with addiction, as well as their families and those providing services, and they pray for a solution to end the crisis. There is a Prayer Shawl Ministry and a Prayer Chain Ministry. Worship leadership at St. Catherine’s is provided several times a year.

Community outreach is not limited to local organizations. The congregation supports the Sowers’ Family Mission work in Honduras; their work includes feeding centers for children, training for pastors, and building hospitals. Shoe boxes and backpacks full of essential items donated by church members are assembled by the Christian Education Committee and sent to children in Honduras. The annual youth mission trip is an opportunity for the young members of the congregation to travel to other areas of the country and provide services, including exterior painting, building new porches and wheelchair ramps, and roofing. The church also supports the work of the Moravian Church’s Interprovincial Board of World Mission through monetary and in-kind gifts, as well as participation in mission trips.

Fundraising helps to support all of the many outreach programs.  The popular Turkey and Oyster dinners are held every March and October. Over two days, between 750 and 1,300 family-style meals are served. Some of the dinners are prepared for home delivery by the Caring Team Ministry. Along with the turkey and fried oysters, diners enjoy stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans sauerkraut, coleslaw, cranberry sauce, rolls, cake, and beverages. Peanut butter balls made by the Women’s Fellowship Group, as well as crafts and baked goods, are available for sale. Other fundraisers include a Valentine’s dinner in February, cake auction in August, yard sale at the church during Colorfest, and the senior citizen’s Christmas dinner in December.

Christian education takes place throughout the year. Classes for adults and children are provided by a dedicated staff of teachers and assistants at 9:15 a.m. on Sundays, from September through May. In June, July, and August, children attend Summerfest during the 9:15 a.m. worship service. Children who are members of the congregation have the opportunity to attend retreats and camps at the Hope Conference and Renewal Center in Hope, New Jersey. An annual silent auction provides half of the registration cost for each child. Children in the community are invited to participate in vacation Bible school, where they rotate through stations and enjoy games, crafts, music, stories, and snacks.

The Music Ministry is very busy. The different groups alternate to provide joyful music during the services. There is a Children’s Choir, a Hosanna Choir, and a Praise Team. The “Bells of Grace” handbell choir, which is open to children and adults, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016. In addition to performances at Graceham Moravian and other churches, they have performed at St. Catherine’s and in various states over the years.

Graceham Moravian was founded in 1758. The original wood building was replaced in 1791, and the new sanctuary was added in 1822. Additional wings were built over the years, with the latest addition in 1989. There are currently about 250 members who are part of the worldwide Moravian church. Their mottos are “Our Lamb Has Conquered, Let Us Follow Him” and “In Essentials, Unity; In Non-essentials, Liberty; In All Things, Love.”

Everyone is invited to join the Sunday worship services, which are held at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., September through May.  There is a 9:15 a.m. service in June, July, and August. The church is located at 8231A Rocky Ridge Road in Thurmont.

Visit www.gracehammoravian.org or call 301-271-2379 for more information.

Pastor Sue Koenig (second from right) is shown with members of the Graceham Moravian Church.

The Graceham Moravian Church recently marked five years of serving a free “First Monday” community meal through its Served with Grace ministry. The congregation began offering the monthly meal in October 2012. Different groups in the congregation prepare and serve the meal on a rotating basis, supported by a number of people who help out every month. Groups that have assisted include Graceham’s Joint Board members, Sunday School classes, teachers and the Christian Education Committee, Women’s Fellowship, the Youth Mission Team, Bells of Grace Handbell and the Hosanna voice choirs. Others from the community that have assisted include members of the Catoctin Area Civitan Club and Trinity United Church of Christ.

The average number of meals served per month over the past three years has been 95; and to date in 2017, the average has been 107. Each month, a main course is served, with one or more side dishes, a salad bar, and a variety of desserts. The church maintains a garden that supplies much of the produce used for the meal. Some of the favorites are chili, pasta with meat sauce, bread pudding, and pickled beets, made with a recipe of Graceham’s Director of Christian Education Joanne Fuss, who also coordinates the meal. Once a year, the meal is catered and fried chicken is served, using donations received. Donations for the meal are appreciated but not required or expected.

Members of the community, the congregation, extended family and friends, are among each meal’s guests. “We begin each meal with prayers of thanksgiving and intercession for those who are sick or in need, and we always give thanks for the community that has been formed around the tables at the Served with Grace meals,” said the Rev. Sue Koenig, pastor of the Graceham congregation. “It is a great blessing to us to be able to offer the meal and to see how God works to bring us together. People have come to know and care for one another. They ask about those who are not present, and they welcome those who come for the first time.”

A monthly newsletter, Between Meals, is prepared for the Served with Grace community, which includes highlights of church activities and contact information for local ministries, such as the Thurmont Food Bank, the Thurmont Ministerium’s special services, the Catoctin Community Medical Fund, the Thurmont Clothes Closet, the Seton Center, and the Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs. The free First Monday Served with Grace community meals are open to all. The December meal will be served on December 4, 2017, from 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Deb Abraham Spalding

In the October issue of The Catoctin Banner, the cover article was called “The History and Mystery of McAfee Falls.” In it, we explored the McAfee family, who were the landowners of the falls, now called Cunningham Falls and part of Cunningham Falls State Park. We invited people to help solve the mystery about why the falls were named Cunningham Falls at some point in the early 1900s. Despite hundreds of hours of research, the reason Cunningham was selected as the name of the recreation area and falls remains a mystery. After printing the article, some tidbits came to light that may further help to eventually uncover the mystery about the naming of the falls to Cunningham Falls after being called McAfee Falls or Hunting Creek Falls in various news articles.

After our article published, one of the McAfee family’s patriarchs, Rob McAfee of Foxville, was told by a lady that she believes there was a family of Cunninghams that lived near the falls on the way to Foxville. Also, a family in Thurmont invited me to take a photo of an 1822 watercolor painting of the falls by Samuel Reinke (see photo). The artist painted himself and his wife, holding a parasol over him, in the lower center of the picture. From The History of Graceham, compiled by Rev. A.L. Oerter in 1913 from the Graceham Moravian Church diary, “Friday, October 25, 1822 Bros. and Sr. Samuel Reinke arrived from Lancaster to participate in the dedication of the new church on Sunday, October 27, 1822.” 1822 is the date of the painting.

The inscriptions or marks on the bottom of the painting say Herman’s Falls Near Graceham Maryland, signed lower right: S. Reinke pxt. 1822.

Note: This past July, the McAfees held a family reunion and staged some family photographs that were similar to those taken by their ancestors at the falls. In last month’s cover photo, Becky Hurley was misnamed as Pauline McAfee. Our apologies, Becky

Area churches and organizations in Emmitsburg, Lewistown, Rocky Ridge, Sabillasville, and Thurmont are working to provide students in need with school supplies for the 2017-2018 school year. This program is to assist students attending the Catoctin Feeder Schools: Emmitsburg Elementary, Lewistown Elementary and Pyramid Program, Sabillasville Elementary, Thurmont Primary, Thurmont Elementary, Thurmont Middle, and Catoctin High.

The Annual Catoctin Community School Supply Drive is going to be held on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, from 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., at the Graceham Moravian Church, located at 8231 Rocky Ridge Road in Thurmont.

If you would like to donate to this program, please drop off school supplies, cash donations, or gift cards (Staples or Walmart) to the church on August 16, from 9:00 a.m.-noon.

Any questions or concerns, please contact the coordinator, Jennifer Harbaugh, at 301-639-9970 or caringind@aol.com.

by Theresa Dardanell

Graceham Volunteer Fire Company — An All-Volunteer Company

100% Volunteer Fire & EMS Corporation
spotlight
Pictured from left are William Morgan, Amy Morgan, William Ott, Timothy Lott, Kenneth Simmers, Sterling Seiss, Michelle Powell, Louis Powell Jr, Brian Boller; (standing on 184) Julie Durgan and James Kilby.

Fighting Fires is their job, but preventing fires is their passion. The members of the Graceham Volunteer Fire Company (VFC #18) take every opportunity to educate the community about fire safety and fire prevention. Each year during Fire Prevention Week, they visit the students at Thurmont Primary School and distribute fire safety information packets. The children get to see and touch the firefighters’ gear so that they learn not to be afraid if they are ever involved in an emergency situation. To make it fun, the firefighters have a race to see who can be the first to put on their gear. Company members also distribute fire prevention literature for adults at many locations and events. During the fall, they set up a table at the Lawyer’s Farm corn maze. Graceham Moravian Church is another location where the members distribute information. In 1994, Kathleen Grady, one of the members, was named Miss Frederick County Fire Prevention Queen, and was later selected as Maryland State Fire Prevention Queen First Runner Up.

Although Graceham VFC #18 was actually incorporated in 1960, the original fire company joined the Frederick County Firemen’s Association in 1936. The station, still in its current location on Graceham Road, was built in 1963, and serves an area that includes Graceham, Creagerstown, and Thurmont Primary School.

The original building had two bays, but renovations added an additional bay. A 100-gallon hand-pulled Ajax tank was one of the first pieces of equipment used by the original fire company. Today, the company has several vehicles: Engine 183 with a 1000-gallon tank, Engine Tanker 184 with an 1800-gallon tank, and a brush truck. They also have two vehicles to provide EMS service.

The most impressive fact is that the department has paid off the mortgage on the station and does not currently owe any money for the apparatus. This is due to the hard work and dedication of the members, as well as the tremendous support from the community. However, the twenty-six-year-old pumper will need to be replaced in the near future. Fundraising is critical. The 25 Club, raffles, and turkey shoots provide the funds needed for new equipment and expenses. The 25 Club is held twice a year and gives the community an enjoyable event, as well as an opportunity to support the department. It includes a dinner and a chance to win cash prizes. Gun raffles are held twice a year and turkey shoots are monthly events. Event dates and times can be found on the Facebook page for Graceham VFC #18.

The department has responded to many different fires and emergency situations over the years. One incident recalled by the members was the 1991 Loys Station Bridge fire. A car on the bridge was set on fire, and Graceham VFC #18 was one of the many departments that responded to the call. The bridge was unfortunately destroyed but was later rebuilt.

The membership of the department includes Administrative Officers: Louis Powell, Jr.—President; William Morgan—Vice President; Hilary Blake—Secretary and Fire Prevention Chairperson; Julie Durgan—Assistant Secretary; Sterling Seiss—Treasurer; Brian Boller—Assistant Treasurer. Operational Officers are: James Kilby—Chief; Louis Powell, Jr.—Assistant Chief; Valaria Kilby—Captain. Board of Directors members are: Hilary Blake, Brian Boller, Kenny “Doc” Simmers Sr., Eugene “Sonny” Grimes, Sterling Seiss, and Amanda “Katie” Miller. Other members include fundraising staff, kitchen committee, and junior members.

More volunteers are always needed and welcome. Assistant Chief Louis Powell would be happy to talk with anyone who is interested in joining the group. If you are interested, you can contact him at ff_emt06_18@yahoo.com.

50-yrs-bells-1On Sunday, October 23, 2016, the Graceham Moravian Church celebrated its fiftieth anniversary of the first performance of handbells at the church. The Graceham Moravian Church Handbell Choir was founded in 1966, under the direction of the late Dr. James L. Fisher. The celebratory worship included Bells of Grace, the current handbell choir, directed by Dr. Linda Franklin, performing “Christian Joy,” composed by Dr. Fisher, and “I Will Praise You, Lord,” composed by Mr. Jack Fisher, who also directed the choir for the ringing of the piece. An Anniversary Choir, including several alumni of past choirs, performed “Simple Gifts,” arranged by Dr. Fisher.

In addition to Mr. Fisher, former directors of Graceham’s bell choirs present for the celebration were Tom Fugate, Joy Flickinger, Mark Long, and Sandy (Blake) Sigel. Other directors included Morris Blake and Bill Eyler. Of the nine original handbell ringers, five were able to be present: Sandra (Blake) Sigel, Belinda (Filler) Humerick, Mark Long, Gene Stitely, and Pam Wildasin. Ringers remembered in a moment of silence were Dr. James L. Fisher (Director), Kathy Sue Fugate, Sallyann (Trapane) McCarthy, John David Keilholtz, Katrina (Blake) Reedy, and Diane (Spalding) Miller.

During the service, Mary Fisher, wife of Dr. Fisher, and Thomas Fugate, were presented with fifty-year pins for their faithful music ministry to the church, and in recognition of Dr. James L. Fisher’s extensive contribution to Moravian and church music. The pins were presented with expressions of gratitude by the Graceham Moravian Church, and the Moravian Music Foundation.

The Moravian Music Foundation, with offices in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Winston Salem, North Carolina, is celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year. As part of its ministry to the Northern and Southern Provinces of the Moravian Church, they provide the means for congregations to recognize outstanding achievements to Moravian music, and specifically provide a distinctive pin for those who have contributed fifty years of music service to the church.

The Graceham Congregation was also celebrating its two hundred and fifty-eighth anniversary. The congregation’s Children’s Choir, and Hosanna Choir, joined the handbell choirs in providing special music for the service, which included congregational singing and a Moravian lovefeast. A display of memorabilia from the fifty years of handbell choir ministry at Graceham stirred much conversation, and a History of Handbells of Graceham was researched and printed for the service. A luncheon provided by funds from the Katrina Blake Reedy Memorial Fund, in memory of Mrs. Reedy, followed the service and was enjoyed by all.

The Graceham Moravian Church Handbell Choir was founded in 1966, under the direction of the late Dr. James L. Fisher. October 23, 2016, marks the 50th Anniversary of the first performance of handbells at Graceham Moravian Church.

The Graceham Moravian Church will celebrate this milestone with an Anniversary Lovefeast on October 23 at 10:30 am. Bells of Grace will play “Christian Joy,” composed by Dr. Fisher; and “I Will Praise You, Lord,” composed by Mr. Jack Fisher, who will also direct the choir for the ringing of the piece. An Anniversary Choir, including several alumni of past choirs, will perform “Simple Gifts,” arranged by Dr. Fisher. For the first performance in 1966, Dr. Fisher led the first nine ringers in an arrangement of “O God Our Help in Ages Past.” A Moravian Lovefeast is a service of singing and sharing together a simple meal of Moravian sugarcake and a beverage. A luncheon will follow the service. The celebration is open to all.

Bells of Grace, the current bell choir, is directed by Linda Franklin. Since 2012, she has introduced the choir to a variety of new techniques and an expanded repertoire of music. Franklin, and many other ringers, received their first experience and training in the art of handbell ringing as teenagers under the guidance of Dr. Fisher. Other directors include Jack Fisher, Sandy (Blake) Sigel, Tom Fugate, Mark Long, and Morris Blake.

In addition to playing for worship services several times a year at the Church, Graceham Moravian handbell choirs have performed at many churches in Thurmont, throughout Frederick County, and around the country. They have given concerts at a wide variety of venues, including Moravian Music Festivals, the Weinberg Center for the Arts, Fairview Chapel, Knott Arena, and Catoctin Colorfest. They have played solo and mass-ring pieces for Frederick County Bell and History Days in Emmitsburg, and workshops and accompanying concerts sponsored by the Westminster Ringers. Most recently, Bells of Grace performed for the Catoctin High School 2016 Baccalaureate service.

Other performances of Bells of Grace for the remainder of the year will be the Thanksgiving Lovefeast on Sunday, November 20, at 9:15 a.m.; the Christmas Concert on Wednesday, December 14, at 7:00 p.m.; and Christmas Eve services at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., all at the Church. Graceham Moravian Church is located at 8231-A Rocky Ridge Road in Thurmont. All services are open to all.
graceham-moravian-bell-choi
Members of the Bell Choir in the 1970s.

Mission-TripA Mission Team of seven teenagers and four adults from Graceham Moravian Church recently joined with 385 other teens and adults from twelve different states for a week of service in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. All of the participants were housed at River Road Middle School during the week of June 19-25, 2016, participating in one of the many Home Repair Workcamps throughout the country, sponsored by Group Mission Trips based out of Loveland, Colorado.

This was Graceham Moravian Church’s seventeenth Youth Mission Trip, with the first trip in the summer of 2000. The Mission Team has traveled to Canada, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Garret County in Maryland.

The Elizabeth City-based River City Community Development Corporation provided building materials for the region, while the volunteers provided tools, painting supplies, and ladders, and labored in the hot North Carolina sun. During the week, a total of sixty-six crews worked on forty-four homes in Elizabeth City and the surrounding areas, including home repair projects in Camden, Pasquotank, and Perquimans counties. Local resident’s homes received fresh coats of paint, new porches, wheelchair ramps, and roofs during the week, with volunteers logging in an amazing 3,555 man-hours.

In addition to the work, time is set aside for morning and evening worship, as well as daily work crew and youth group devotions. This is a life-changing experience, impacting the lives of the residents who are served, as well as the teens and adults who participate.

The Graceham Moravian Mission Team is currently beginning the planning stages for their summer of 2017 trip to Erie, Pennsylvania. They will be sponsoring a fundraising yard sale at Graceham Moravian Church on October 6-8, 2016, from 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (rain or shine). Many items will be available for purchase, including the popular “$5 Fill a Bag with Clothes” special. All proceeds from the yard sale will benefit the 2017 Mission Trip. Food will also be available on Friday and Saturday. For more information, please contact the church office at 301-271-2379.

Theresa Dardanell

Hundreds of colorful school supplies filled the basement of Graceham Moravian Church on Monday, August 8, 2016. The Catoctin Community School Supply Drive, coordinated by Jen and Laura Harbaugh, collected donations from churches, organizations, and individuals from Emmitsburg, Thurmont, Lewistown, Sabillasville, and Rocky Ridge.

Volunteers from Harriet Chapel and Graceham Moravian Church, along with members of the Harbaugh family, sorted and counted the supplies and purchased additional items with money and gift cards that were also donated. On distribution day, 271 students from ninety-nine families in the Catoctin feeder area chose supplies from tables stacked with backpacks, notebooks, crayons, markers, scissors, glue sticks, pencils, and more.

According to Jen Harbaugh, students were very excited to pick out their own supplies. “I just like to see the kids get what they need to go to school and their smiles when they get it,” said Laura Harbaugh.
SCHOOL-news--Teresa-Dardane
Pictured are volunteers Jen Harbaugh, Don Clabaugh, Pat Plum, Timothy Bentz, Fran Hennessy, and Paige Sweeney.

In the light and fragrance of a trimmed beeswax candle, award-winning artist Rebecca Pearl recently completed a historic portrait of the Graceham Moravian Church entitled, Morning Star Graceham Moravian Church, 1892.

The Graceham Moravian Church was organized in 1758, and the current building was erected in 1797, a combination parsonage, church, and school; the current sanctuary was added in 1822. The painting shows the Church in the original red brick, prior to a change to white stucco in 1942, and several later additions.

Before beginning Morning Star, Ms. Pearl read a History of Graceham and watched a Moravian Christmas Homecoming video created by the congregation. She was intrigued with the beauty and simplicity of Moravian traditions and architecture and, in particular, with the spiritual significance of the joining of home and sanctuary.

Speaking of her experience, Ms. Pearl said, “This was far more than just doing a painting of a building. With the great help, love, and support of Pastor Sue Koenig and the parishioners, this work of art was conceived. The collaboration gave me an insight and education of the history of the Moravian people from centuries ago to present time. I had no idea of the gentle simplicity and deep faith in the “Lamb” of God by these people. I love the magic of the Moravian Star and the beautiful symbol it carries.”

The painting was unveiled at the formal opening of the new Main Street Center in Thurmont on Friday, November 13, 2015, the same building that was the Thurmont Moravian Church, built in 1874. It was one of eight churches included in a second painting unveiled the same evening by Ms. Pearl, entitled the Spires of Mechanicstown.

Ms. Pearl met with members of the congregation in the church’s Heritage Room, sharing faith beliefs, practices, and traditions of the Moravian Church, looking at photographs and images of postcards from the late 1800s from the church’s records, and provided by the congregation and the Moravian Archives. The Joint Board, with input from the congregation, suggested the Christmas Eve setting. (Portraits of the present-day church in spring were painted by artist Rebecca Bennett, daughter of the Rev. Warren and Mrs. Doris Wenger, as a gift for the congregation’s 250th Anniversary in 2008.)

Ms. Pearl is graciously giving a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the prints to the Graceham congregation; in turn, the congregation will use the funds received to support ministries and services in the community.

Ms. Pearl will share her journey of the painting at the 10:30 a.m. worship service at the Graceham Moravian Church on Sunday, November 29. A reception for conversation with Ms. Pearl and print signing will follow the worship. The church is located at 8231-A Rocky Ridge Road in Thurmont.

Prints of Ms. Pearl’s painting, Morning Star Graceham Moravian Church 1892 are available in two sizes: (14”x18” and “12×17”) at $95.00 and $55.00. A few larger prints (22”x30”) are available on request at $175.00. Ms. Pearl may be contacted at rebeccapearl123@gmail.com.