If you would like to read more about how New Church Westville and Kainon School are responding to this crisis click here: Read more…
This Sunday we will have our church service only online. See this page for more information: Worship and Connect Online.
In the challenges that we face, and that many of us are facing right now, it is important that we continually go back to the Lord. Spiritual life does not just happen: it takes intentional and persistent work, work that goes on even when life is at its hardest. Remember that this service will be streamed live online at 9:30am this Sunday. There will be a children’s talk before the adult sermon. We encourage you to not just watch the video, but to actually experience worship: open your own copy of the Word, light candles, kneel for the prayers, sing some worship songs before or after the service, and so on.
The teachings of the New Church point out how important it is to distinguish between things that are spiritual and things that are natural. This might sound like a bit of abstract philosophy, but you’ve probably run afoul of doing it wrong: have you ever felt like a bad person for cheating on a diet or wearing the wrong thing to a wedding? That guilt comes, in part, from lending spiritual weight (being a bad person) to a natural rule (diet or dress code). If we can do better at distinguishing spiritual from natural, it will lift an unnecessary weight from our lives.
We are all going to die someday. That’s not exactly a pleasant thought but it can be useful. It can be useful to spend some time reflecting on our mortality—the reality that our lives in this world will not last forever and in fact they could end at any moment. And so, on Sunday evening, we’re going to take some time to think about this and the value of knowing that we are dust and to the dust we shall return.
When we think of removing things from our life, our mind probably goes to the harmful, destructive, negative things. After all, why would you get rid of something that is helpful, good, and positive? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But at times, our attachment to something good holds us back from moving on to something better. This Sunday we will look at how to recognize those times when we need to move on, even if it means the end of something good.
Give Lent a Try This page has resources to help you observe Lent. The main things are a worksheet and two sermons and then there are few other resources at the bottom of the page. Lent begins on Wednesday the 2nd of March this year (2022). The goal is to figure out something to do…
Have you heard of Lent? Have you ever given something up for Lent? People often think of Lent as a Catholic or Anglican thing because those are some of the churches that observe Lent. We’ve never observed it at New Church Westville before, as far as I’m aware. But could there be a value in giving something up for the period leading up to Easter? Come on Sunday and we’ll talk about it.
It is frustrating when we miss an opportunity for something good: It is impossible to go back and change what happened, but we like to dwell on what might have been, if only we had known. This same mindset troubles us spiritually. It is not pleasant to think, “if I had made different choices earlier today, or last week, or last year, right now I would be a kinder, better, happier person. But since I missed my chance, I’ll never be quite as good as I could have been.” The Lord, however, in bringing His friend Lazarus back from the dead, gives us hope that even if we cannot change the past, we never lose the chance for a better future.
This Sunday evening I want to give the adults a chance to hear about the “Circle of the Church Year” that we use in Godly Play. It’s an opportunity to think about the different religious celebrations we have in the year the value of those times and the times of preparation that lead up to them. And it will also be an opportunity to reflect more broadly on the value and purpose of the time, state, or season that we find ourselves in.
Would you be willing to sign a legal agreement with the Lord, committing to do what He tells you to do? The Children of Israel made covenants with the Lord and, if we want to make progress in our relationship with Him, then we need to as well. Part of us does not want to do that. Let’s talk about the value of a covenant with the Lord and how we can get through our resistance to the idea and make that commitment in a meaningful way.