Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Welcome to New Covenant

Welcome to the blogspot of New Covenant United Methodist Church.
New Covenant is a small but active church where we are working to live God's word through worship, prayer, study and service.  As the people of God we gather every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. for prayer, praise and worship.  To help you get a deeper sense of who we are, here are some frequently asked questions:

Q: If I visit New Covenant will I have to pray out loud?
No. We pray every week during our worship service. However, during our worship the work of public prayer is given to specific leaders in our congregation. If you come to worship with us at New Covenant we will certainly pray, but you will not be asked to pray out loud.

Q: If I visit New Covenant will I have to talk to strangers?
Yes. New Covenant is a friendly church. We make it a point to welcome all visitors in Christian love. This means that if you visit our church people will definitely come and greet you. We regard this hospitality as a gift and we hope you will receive it as such.

Q: How would you describe your worship style?
We have two worship services. Both of our worship services are informal and free flowing. Our 10:30 a.m. service is a more traditional and structured service using the United Methodist Hymnal and other forms of traditional worship such as the Apostles Creed. We also have a 6 p.m. worship service which uses more contemporary worship music and is very informal.

Q: What if I’m running late?
Our worship life at New Covenant is led by the Holy Spirit not the clock. We welcome all people to come to worship at any time. In fact we leave the back row open just for people who need to slip in a little late. If you are running late we encourage you to come on in anyway.

Q: Will I be asked to give money?
Like all communities, from a family to a nation, the church needs money to run. An important part of church membership is supporting the work of the church through our givigin. Accordingly, every week we take up an offering from the Church membership. Visitors are not expected to give money to New Covenant.

Q: If I visit New Covenant, does it matter where I sit?
As a visitor to New Covenant you are welcome to sit wherever you like.

Q: Is there child care at New Covenant?
At this time we do not have regular child care during our worship services.
Q: Will I be welcome at New Covenant?
All people are welcome to worship at New Covenant. The church is open to people of all ages, races, nations and lifestyles. If you are seeking God, you are welcome at New Covenant.

Q: Why should I visit New Covenant?
At New Covenant we are striving to live God’s word through service, worship, study and prayer. We do this through a small but active community of mutual love and support. If you are seeking friends in the faith and a deeper relationship with God, you should definitely come and visit us at New Covenant.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Windows On God's Design

On Friday Jan. 21st and Saturday Jan. 22nd New Covenant will be hosting a time of study and fellowship for women.  'Windows on God''s Design' is a seminar designed to explore Biblical perspectives on what it means to be a Woman and a Wife in the world today. 

Life offers us many competing ideas of who we are as women and what marraige should be like.  However God has a design which offers the fullness of life to women and men.  At the seminar we will explore
  • How women and men uniquely reflect God
  • Biblical perspectives on womanhood and marriage
  • How our current perspectives have gone astray
  • How we can live God's design today.
The seminar will unfold as follows

Session 1-Friday night 7pm
Session 2-Saturday 9am
Session 3-Saturday 1pm
Q & A-Saturday 4pm
Session 4-Saturday 7pm

Lunch will be provided on Saturday by McAlisters Deli and dinner on Saturday night will be provided by Mazzio's.  For further information please contact us at jwilson@altawoodsumc.org

Monday, June 21, 2010

Prayer for the Day

Give us the strength
LORD our God, Thou knowest our sorrow better than we know it ourselves. Thou knowest how easily our fearful soul entangles itself with untimely and self-made cares. We pray Thee: Let us clearly discern their inappropriateness and scorn them proudly, these busy self-made cares. But whatever care Thou dost inflict upon us, let us receive from Thy hand with humility and give us the strength to bear it.

Søren Kierkegaard (b. 1813, d. 1855) was a Christian writer, poet, theologian and philosopher.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wesleyan Devotional

Matthew 5.5-7
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness; for they shall be filled.

Eating and drinking are absolutely necessary for sustaining healthy human life. Without food, and more importantly water, human life is unsustainable. Even more than our need for food and water is our desire. As is clear to anyone who has ever tried fasting or been forced by circumstances to miss a meal or two, the desire for food can quickly become all consuming.

In his sermon ‘Upon our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount II’ John Wesley makes three connections between physical hunger and thirst and spiritual hunger and thirst.

First, he says that “hunger and thirst are the strongest of our bodily appetites.”

Secondly, “from the time we begin to hunger and thirst those appetites do not cease, but are more and more craving and importunate till we either eat and drink or die.”

Finally, “Hunger and thirst are satisfied with nothing but meat and drink. If you would give to him that his hungry all the world beside, all the elegance of apparel, all the trappings of state, all the treasure upon the earth…He would still say, ‘These are not the things I want; give me food, or else I die.” (II.3)

These three insights hold true not just for physical hunger and thirst but also for spiritual hunger and thirst.

First, human beings are created with a strong, unstoppable desire to love God. We hunger and thirst for the living God all our lives (even if we are too stubborn to admit it!).

Secondly, that hunger has been placed in our hearts by our Creator and it will not subside until we feast upon God’s presence. In fact the longer and harder we run from God the more exhausted we become and the more hungry and thirsty we become for God.

Finally, nothing but God can satisfy our hunger for God. All the pleasures of this world (many of them vain and empty) be they money, power, fame, sex, drugs, children, job security- none of these can satisfy the human heart’s hunger for God.

Although this is often a painful state of being for those who are running from God, Jesus calls this state ‘blessed.’ Wesley interprets the word ‘shall’ as a promise, a recognition that the same God who implanted such a hunger within us is also determined to feed us. We have as a promise from God that the hungry ‘shall’ be filled. He goes on to say, “God shall satisfy them with the blessings of this goodness, with the felicity of his chosen. He shall feed them with the bread of heaven, with the manna of his love. He shall give them to drink of his pleasures as out of the river which he that drinketh of shall never thirst-only for more and more of the water of life. This thirst shall endure forever.” (II. 5)

If you are alive you are hungry for God. I challenge you today to prayerfully consider your diet. What have you been eating lately? Is it sustaining you? Are you still hungry?

Peace be with you~

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Prayer for the Day

Thou Are Our Only Hiding Place
O Lord Jesus Christ, the birds have their nests, the foxes their holes, and Thou didst not have whereon to lay Thy head, homeless wert Thou upon the earth, and yet a hiding place, the only one, where a sinner could flee. And so today Thou art still the hiding place; when the sinner flees to Thee, hides himself in Thee, is hidden in Thee-then he is eternally defended, then “love” hides a multitude of sins.

Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) was a Christian writer, poet, theologian and philosopher.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Daily Devotional

Matthew 5.1-3
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are the poor in Spirit. What does it mean to be poor in Spirit? I know what it means to be poor in the flesh. A great many American’s live paycheck to paycheck struggling with poverty and all the hardships that come with it. Few would claim that being poor in the world is a blessing.

I’ve always considered the poor in Spirit to be those who were not enjoying a deep spiritual communion with God. As Christians we claim that a great richness of spiritual blessings await those who pursue an active relationship with God the Father through God the Son by the power of God the Spirit. To live in communion with the Holy Spirit is indeed ‘blessed.’ But how can one be called blessed who does not have a spiritual relationship with God

In his sermon ‘Upon our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount’ John Wesley wrote that the poor in Spirit are those who have come to realize that they are sinners, those who have come to see with painful clarity that they are living in spiritual poverty. The poor in spirit are those who are “convinced that [they are] spiritually poor indeed; having no spiritual good abiding in [them].” (I.4)

Here we may pause again to wonder how it is that spiritual poverty would lead one to claim the kingdom of Heaven. According to Wesley, this spiritual poverty is a gift and represents the first step towards the Kingdom of Heaven. “Real Christianity always begins in poverty of spirit” (I.1)

Once we have realized that we are poor in spirit, that we are sinners in need of God’s grace and helpless to gain the riches of the spiritual life ourselves we have already begun to call out to God for salvation. Poverty of spirit leads to a painful longing for something more and that longing finds its fulfillment in the Kingdom of God.

There are many among us who live daily with a poverty of spirit, a longing for something more without realizing just what it is that they are missing. The poor in spirit are our neighbors, our friends, our children, and sometimes…we ourselves.

Let us pray that through our life at New Covenant the poor in spirit might be drawn deeper into the spiritual riches of the Kingdom of God.

Peace be with you~

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Events


Easter Sunday is the most joyful and exciting Sunday of the year. To recognize that, we do things a little differently at New Covenant.

This Easter we will gather for a short worship service at 6:45 a.m. Sunday morning. We will gather in darkness and watch the sunrise as a powerful symbol of Jesus rising to new life from the grave. Our short service will be followed by breakfast and fellowship time.

After this service we will worship at 10:30 a.m. as we always do…in Spirit and Truth.
Hope to see you there,