Saturday, 20 July 2024

Consecration of Sr Rhoïnde Mijnals-Doth

The first woman to be consecrated a Moravian Bishop in the European Continental Province (ECP) was Sr Rho•nde Mijnals-Doth on Sunday 22nd October at Zeist Moravian Church, in the Netherlands. I was delighted to be invited by the (ECP) to share in this wonderful and hopeful occasion.

Sr Rho•nde is the Moravian minister in Utrecht. She was born in Curacao, grew up in Suriname and came to the Netherlands in 1987. Here she studied theoloŒgy and is involved in refugee work, among other things as chairwoman of SKIN (Samen Kerk in Nederland), an organisation of migrant communities and involved in woman's work and ecumenism.

The Church in Zeist was packed for the service as guests from all the congregations in the Netherland and ecumenical friends gathered together. The service was also livestreamed so that members from the rest of the province could share in the day.

The consecrating Bishop was Br Theodor Clemens, and he was assisted in the consecration by Br Humbert Hessen, Br Renold Pansa from Suriname and myself. Br Theodor preached on Micah 6:8 ‘He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’ The service included congregational singing and modern pieces, performed by a joint choir of the parishes of Utrecht and Zeist.

After the consecration service there was a short break and then a Lovefeast began. The Church was so full that only buns could be served, no tea or coffee! The hymns in the Lovefeast were many and varied, old and new, some in Dutch, German, English and Surinamese and one in the language of Curacao. It was such a joyful multicultural occasion.

At the end of the Lovefeast Sr Rho•nde and her family greeted the many guests and members of the congregation whilst the rest of us mingled and chatted to friends old and new. I loved meeting a gentleman who was so proud of his Men's Fellowship tie that he had purchased a number of years ago on a visit to British Moravian Churches. I also had the joy of meeting Br Renold Pansa again - we had last met in Suriname in 2000 during the Unity Seminar. I have good memories of him showing us round Suriname with such pride.

Wonderful refreshments were served during this time, and no one wanted to leave! It was such a privilege to attend this consecration and I am so grateful to the ECP for inviting me to share in this.

Sr Sarah Groves
Bishop of the Unity

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Church House is the Headquarters of the Moravian Church in the British Province and is located in London at:
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