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Last Moravian missionary recalled in Labrador
Posted by: Richard Brezet (ID *****5603) Date: June 29, 2005 at 14:13:23
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There are a few references to the Moravians under the CANADA forum of ""
Jun 28 2005 - CBC News

For the first time in 234 years, there will be no missionary presence of the Moravian Church in Labrador. This week, the Moravian Church recalled its minister in Hopedale, the last ordained clergy in the region. From now on, the Moravian congregations will be responsible for tending to their pastoral needs themselves.

Rev. Sam Propsom bade an emotional farewell this weekend to his community, after almost five years on the north coast of Labrador. "The missionary presence of being sent here is ending but the Inuit Moravians and settlers are just standing up now and becoming the indigenous church," said Propsom, an American. "I'm very, very honoured to be, with my wife and son, the last Moravian missionaries sent, and we stand on the shoulders of some very good people who loved these people, as we do."

Propsom was recalled before training with five volunteer ministers was complete. Now, lay clergy such as Sabina Hunter must minister to a vast geographic region, with communities that suffer high rates of accidental death and suicide.

"I would say that the Moravian Church is going to survive very well," Hunter says. "It survived the flu, it survived the closing of some communities, [and] it survived many, many challenges and issues along the way."

The Moravian church, a Protestant episcopal faith, was founded in what is now the Czech Republic. It spread to Protestant Europe. Moravian missionaries founded their first permanent mission in Nain in 1771. Nine others were subsequently founded. Apart from Hopedale, the Moravian church still maintains churches in Nain, Makkovik, North West River and Happy Valley-Goose Bay. It also has a fellowship in Postville.

The Moravian Church will be keeping its ties with Labrador. This summer, it will pay to restore its historic church in Nain.

EXTERNAL SITE: Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage: The Moravian Church

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