Between Labor Day and Memorial Day, we also gather for an hour of Christian Learning following worship.
Who. Children and adults. Senior citizens and teenagers. Some people arrive a few minutes early, some arrive a few minutes late. We’re pretty casual, so do not worry if you’re running late.
Music. We start with a few songs accompanied by guitar and electric piano. Our music is usually a mix of traditional and modern, and even the traditional songs often have a “new” feel to them. People in the congregation may bang a tambourine or clap their hands. We also sing some ancient prayers that the church has sung for nearly 2000 years. “Ancient words set to a new tune” as our pastor likes to say. And many of our songs, together with our Scripture reading and prayers and more, come from the Bible.
Word and Prayer. We’ll read a passage from the Bible, and Pastor will share a sermon, which will often include references to 80’s music, Star Wars, or other aspects of daily life. We follow the sermon with song and prayer. Prayer is one of the central acts of our worship service. We pray each week for the church, the world, and for all people who have need. In our prayers we often cry out for God’s justice and peace, for healing and for hope, and offer our thanksgiving for God’s blessings and grace.
Offering and Mission. We collect an offering each week to support the ministry of New Joy, and also to support the work of the wider Lutheran Church. We also periodically collect offerings for local mission and community organizations, such as Open Doors of Westfield, a food pantry serving our community.
Holy Communion. The high point of our worship service is the Holy Communion Meal. Each week we remember that our Lord freely offers himself to any who desire to receive. All are welcome to the Lord’s table to encounter him in the holy mystery of his body and blood. People of all ages receive the sacrament. Some seek a blessing. All are welcome.
We offer gluten-free bread, and a separate cup, for communion so that those with gluten allergies can receive the sacrament safely. We currently use Sesmark brand Savory Rice Thins. These are marketed as gluten free. Please check the manufacturer website for more details.
Sending. After hearing God’s Word and receiving our Lord’s real presence in the bread and cup of Holy Communion, we go forth with God’s blessings to be God’s people at work in the world, proclaim the goodness of God in word and deed.
Following Worship, we gather to learn.
Jesus spent a lot of time teaching. His followers spent a lot of time learning. The discipline of Christian Learning is key to the Christian life.
Between Labor Day and Memorial Day, we offer a variety of Christian Learning for all ages on Sundays and throughout the week.
Sunday morning Christian Learning is currently a flexible and open ministry. We have activities and experiences most Sundays during the school year, yet different kinds of activities will fill the space throughout the year.
For the Fall 2017 we will be Singing the Story, learning old-school VBS and Church Camp songs as we learn the “big picture” story of the Bible.
In addition, various groups provide opportunities for learning and growing on a regular basis:
- monthly Men’s Group (second Saturdays, 8am)
- weekly Wednesday morning Bible Study at 9:30am
- three Youth Ministries
- 4-7th grade group, Together Growing in Faith, meeting twice/month on Sunday afternoons
- Confirmation Class for 7th and 8th graders, meeting three times/month on Sunday evenings
- Senior High Youth Group, meeting weekly on Wednesday evenings
- occasional book groups and other study groups
- Fellowship groups – Golden Girls (third Thursday evenings) and Seasoned Believers (weekly Tuesday coffee at Chik-Fil-A)
Nursery Care. And throughout our morning, during both worship and learning, a staffed nursery is available for our youngest children.
We hope you’ll join us at New Joy one morning. You’ll be a blessing to us, and we hope you’ll find us to be a blessing to you.