It’s easy to see Candle Tea as community outreach. Congregations that host Candle Tea can quantify the number visitors, number of artisans and vendors, dollars earned for ministry, and more. It most certainly is an opportunity to share our Moravian history and traditions with our neighbors. And it’s easy to view it as strictly external in focus.
But, isn’t hosting Candle Tea also a great exercise in stewardship, teamwork and unity for the congregation? All those many hours of planning and coordinating create lasting bonds. Surely it helps develop the next generation of church leaders as members of all ages work together for a common goal. Just as early Moravian children learned their trades as apprentices in the Single Brothers’ or Single Sisters’ House, the next generation of modern Moravians learn the vital skills of organization, leadership, implementation, and tradition. Experiential learning occurs when all involved collaborate with their time, talent, treasure, and testimony side-by-side.
Lest you be discouraged by poor turnout from the community, consider the possibility that the internal benefits of hosting Candle Tea are worthy in their own right. The “inreach” of Candle Tea might be as vital as the outreach.