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Graceham Moravian begins
 celebration of 250 years

James Rada, Jr.
Thurmont Dispatch

(9/20) The Moravian Church dates back to 1457, but the first Moravians didn’t come to America until 1722. And then more than 20 years later, they came to Frederick County.

“This will be the celebration of 250 years since the Moravians started the community of Graceham,” said Pastor Jeff Gehris of the Graceham Moravian Church.

To mark the occasion, the Graceham Moravian Church is beginning a year-long celebration. The first event will be an Anniversary Lovefeast Concert featuring Brian Henkelman at the organ. The concert is Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Graceham Moravian Church at 8231 Rocky Ridge Road in Thurmont.

Henkelman was born in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, where his parents were serving Memorial Moravian Church. He attended Moravian College, where he earned a B.A. with a concentration in music. He later attended Moravian Theological Seminary, earning a Master of Theological Studies Degree. In 1990, he earned his Master of Church music degree from Concordia University. Through the year he has served churches in a variety of denominations as organist and director of music. He is currently organist/accompanist at Fist United Methodist Church in Gransbury, Texas. Composition has always been of great interest to Henkelman. He has published works for organ, keyboard and instruments, and choir with instruments.

During a particular time in the lovefeast, a group of individuals known as Dieners will serve a piece of Moravian sugar cake and a beverage to all in attendance. After everyone is served, special music will be played and everyone will eat the lovefeast together. The concert will then continue.

“We’ve got 10 concerts scheduled over the next year with the last one in October 2008,” Gehris said.

For more information visit the Internet at www.gracehammoravian.org or call (301) 271-2379.

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