Resources to Prepare for Easter

We encourage you to put some thought into how you want to get ready for Easter this year. The goal is to figure out something to do from now all the way until Easter Sunday (the 4th of April). If you missed the beginning, then start from today. There’s nothing magical about a particular date; the best day to make a change is today.

Here are a bunch of resources to help you.

This Sunday: Preparing for Easter: the Road to Jerusalem

Sunday, 14 February - 9:30am

Easter is still pretty far away (7 weeks, more or less). But the time from Ash Wednesday (17 February this year) until Easter Sunday is generally seen as a time of preparation for the holiday. You may remember that last year we suggested giving up a bad habit or picking up a new spiritual practice in this time period. This year we’ll suggest similar ways to prepare. Specifically, this Sunday we’ll look at how Jesus’ steady ascent from the backwater of Galilee along the road up to the metropolis of Jerusalem and His own death can help us prepare for our own celebration of His resurrection at Easter.

The service will be broadcast live at https://www.facebook.com/newchurchwestville/live. You can also watch the service later at that same link.

  • Song Lyrics
    About 10 minutes before the service starts (9:20) we will have some songs that you can sing along with at home. You can download the lyrics to the songs here.
  • Readings
    The readings for the service can be found here.
  • Text Sermon
    A PDF of the text version of the sermon can be found here.
  • Additional Resources

If you are planning on attending in person you must fill out the Health Screening Questionnaire each time you are attending on the Sunday morning before the service.

You must also read the full explanation of the rules.

This Sunday: What Do People Do After Death?

Sunday, 7 February - 9:30am

A lot of people have lost loved ones recently. When someone we love dies we can have a lot of questions. First, how do we know that they are still alive somewhere? If they are alive somewhere, what is their experience like? What do they do with their time? Is it a pleasant experience; is it an unpleasant experience? There is a lot of information about the afterlife in the teachings of the New Church. This Sunday we will scratch the surface of that body of teaching and try to cover some of the important basics of a New Church understanding of what life is like after death.

The service will be broadcast live at https://www.facebook.com/newchurchwestville/live. You can also watch the service later at that same link.

If you are planning on attending in person you must fill out the Health Screening Questionnaire each time you are attending on the Sunday morning before the service.

You must also read the full explanation of the rules.

 

This Sunday: False Virtues

Sunday 31 January - 9:30am

We put great pride in certain virtues, both as individuals and as a society. When we embody these virtues it is a sign that we are spiritually growing. But virtues are not as easy to identify as we like to believe. Certain qualities that we view as virtuous are in fact unrelated to meaningful virtue. To take a simple example, many people take busy-ness to be a virtue, as if always being busy reflects on their character. In actual fact, being overladen with work says nothing about one’s character: it may be a sign of love for others, but it could just as easily be nothing of the sort. We need to evaluate where we put our worth, and if it is in false virtues then we need to look to the Lord to find the virtues that truly reflect a good spiritual life.

This Sunday: Practicing to Be Spiritual Through Meditation

Sunday, 24 January - 9:30am

How do we get better at being the kind of people we want to be? How can we get better at catching ourselves before we do the mindless or hurtful things that we find ourselves prone to doing? The same way that we get better at most things: by practicing. Practicing meditation is one way to practice being more spiritually awake. This Sunday we will talk about a New Church Christian approach to meditation and then we will practice it together.

The service will be broadcast live at https://www.facebook.com/newchurchwestville/live. You can also watch the service later at that same link.

In line with the new Level 3 Lockdown regulations, we will have no in-person church attendance. We will still livestream the services from the church but nobody besides those involved in making the service happen will be allowed in the building.
  • Song Lyrics
    About 10 minutes before the service starts (9:20) we will have some songs that you can sing along with at home. You can download the lyrics to the songs here.
  • Readings
    The readings for the service can be found here.
  • Text Sermon
    A PDF of the text version of the sermon can be found here.

This Sunday: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Sunday, 17 January - 9:30am

It’s bad enough to not be in a great place, either outwardly or spiritually. But it’s much worse to not just be in a bad place, but to actually be going backwards, undoing any progress that has been made. When things are going the wrong direction it can lead to hopelessness about the future. It would be nice if the Lord said going backwards was fine, but He doesn’t: in fact, He makes it clear that it is dangerous and damaging thing to experience. Rather than accepting backsliding as just another part of life, the Lord can give us hope that our prior progress has not been lost and that a better future is possible.

The service will be broadcast live at https://www.facebook.com/newchurchwestville/live. You can also watch the service later at that same link.

In line with the new Level 3 Lockdown regulations, we will have no in-person church attendance. We will still livestream the services from the church but nobody besides those involved in making the service happen will be allowed in the building.
  • Song Lyrics
    About 10 minutes before the service starts (9:20) we will have some songs that you can sing along with at home. You can download the lyrics to the songs here.
  • Readings
    The readings for the service can be found here.
  • Text Sermon
    A PDF of the text version of the sermon can be found here.

This Sunday: Take Refuge in the Lord

Sunday, 10 January - 9:30am

Things do not feel particularly safe or secure in the world these days. There are many reasons for people to feel upset, fearful, and anxious. This Sunday we will reflect on passages from the Word about taking refuge in the Lord. How can we take refuge in the Lord? And then, from that place of security and peace, how can we move back into the world to face whatever we need to face?

The service will be broadcast live at https://www.facebook.com/newchurchwestville/live. You can also watch the service later at that same link.

In line with the new Level 3 Lockdown regulations, we will have no in-person church attendance on the 3rd or 10th of January. We will still livestream the services from the church but nobody besides those involved in making the service happen will be allowed in the building.
  • Song Lyrics
    About 10 minutes before the service starts (9:20) we will have some songs that you can sing along with at home. You can download the lyrics to the songs here.
  • Readings
    The readings for the service can be found here.
  • Text Sermon
    A PDF of the text version of the sermon can be found here.

This Sunday: Keeping to a Spiritual Timeline

Sunday, 3 January - 9:30am

Transitions are a useful reminder to reflect on where we have been and where we are going. We see this most prominently with the New Year: it is a time of appreciating all that has happened in the previous year and looking forward to what the next year has to bring. Or in the case of 2020, trying to forget most of the previous year and hoping things improve in the new. But deep down, we all know that the changing of the calender does not actually change anything. Covid is still with is, the problems of yesterday are mostly the problems we still face today. Although these natural-world cycles are useful reminders, the reality is that spiritually, any moment can be a new day, a new year, a new opportunity for change. Instead of being chained to the steady march of time, we can make our own beginning at any point, when we look to the Lord and His spiritual goals for us.

The service will be broadcast live at https://www.facebook.com/newchurchwestville/live. You can also watch the service later at that same link.

In line with the new Level 3 Lockdown regulations, we will have no in-person church attendance on the 3rd or 10th of January.

We will still livestream the services from the church but nobody besides those involved in making the service happen will be allowed in the building.

  • Song Lyrics
    About 10 minutes before the service starts (9:20) we will have some songs that you can sing along with at home. You can download the lyrics to the songs here.
  • Readings
    The readings for the service can be found here.
  • Text Sermon
    A PDF of the text version of the sermon can be found here.

This Sunday: The Perspective of Anna and Simeon

Sunday, 27 December - 9:30am

After Christmas life goes on. Life can seem pretty long and hard without something to look forward to. How can the stories of Simeon and Anna, two old people who meet Jesus shortly after His birth, help us to gain a different perspective on our lives?

The service will be broadcast live at https://www.facebook.com/newchurchwestville/live. You can also watch the service later at that same link.

  • Song Lyrics
    About 10 minutes before the service starts (9:20) we will have some songs that you can sing along with at home. You can download the lyrics to the songs here.
  • Readings
    The readings for the service can be found here.
  • Text Sermon
    A PDF of the text version of the sermon can be found here.

If you are planning on attending in person you must fill out the Health Screening Questionnaire each time you are attending on the Sunday morning before the service.

You must also read the full explanation of the rules.

Christmas Morning Service

When Jesus was born the Gospel of Luke mentions two groups in particular that were present: shepherds who protected their flocks by night, and angelic armies sent from God on high. Both groups, in their own way, are powerful images of truth. Truth is not ideas. Truth, Divine Truth, is the Divine power that protects all goodness. Just as shepherds protect their sheep and angelic armies protect the heavens, truth, when lived, protects against all the forces of hell.

The service will be broadcast live at https://www.facebook.com/newchurchwestville/live. You can also watch the service later at that same link.

  • Song Lyrics
    About 10 minutes before the service starts (9:20) we will have some songs that you can sing along with at home. You can download the lyrics to the songs here.
  • Readings
    The readings for the service can be found here.
  • Text Sermon
    A PDF of the text version of the sermon can be found here.

If you have RSVPed that you are attending in person you still must fill out the Health Screening Questionnaire before you arrive at the service.

You must also read the full explanation of the rules.