A Moravian Lovefeast for Community and Connections


Faculty, staff and students congregated in Johnston Hall for a Lovefeast on Sept. 21, celebrating Moravian College’s first Heritage Day and the 275th anniversary of the College’s founding.

Speakers talked about the duty that every Moravian College student has to contribute to the community. Students were encouraged to participate in community service on and off campus. A variety of volunteer groups participated, including Second Harvest, Meals on Wheels and the New Bethlehem Ministry.

The focus of the event was the Lovefeast, which involves sharing food between individuals to strengthen the bonds of community and religion.

“We decided to do a Lovefeast because it connected us to our cultural heritage of the school and our history,” said Jennika Borger, Moravian College Chaplain.

For this event, the Lovefeast centered on creating a sense of community by bringing students and faculty together.

The Lovefeast tradition began in 1727 when Nicholas von Zinzendorf, a leader of the Moravian Church, noticed arguments between members of the Moravian community. Zinzendorf  brought food to the people and shared it with them to renew their feelings of love and justice. As a result of this event, their ideals were strengthened and the tradition of the Lovefeast began.

As quoted by John Amos Comenius and recited by Borger, “We are all citizens of one world, we are all of one blood. To hate a man because he was born in another country, because he speaks a different language, or because he takes a different view on this subject or that, is a great folly.  Desist, I implore you, for we are all equally human….Let us have but one end in view, the welfare of humanity; and let us put aside all selfishness in considerations of language, nationality, or religion.”

After USG president Angelo Fattore gave a speech highlighting the importance of love and community, the Lovefeast began. One member from each of the tables received a basket filled with chocolate chip scones and blueberry muffins to share. After the food was passed around the table, participants ate and conversed. In the room, people were smiling and laughing, enjoying the respite and peace.

“I enjoyed the Lovefeast much more than I thought I would because I was at a table with people I know instead of strangers,” said Katelyn Snyder, a sophomore English major. “The administration didn’t try to emphasize religious connotations of the Lovefeast but rather emphasized love, friendship, and a sense of community. It was a lot of fun eating with the community as we laughed and talked, and the music in the background added to the great atmosphere.”

The Lovefeast allowed students to gain a better understanding of the traditions of the school and what it means to be a part of the Moravian community.