We gather each Sunday at 9:30 am “at the foot of the cross and the opening to the empty grave, to give God our praise and to receive God’s many blessings.” We worship in a way that is traditional, contemporary, informal, and warm.
WHO COMES TO WORSHIP
Children and adults. Senior citizens and teenagers. Our youngest ones might sit at our playmat near the pulpit and build blocks while also singing songs of praise. Some people arrive a few minutes early, some arrive a few minutes late with coffee in hand. We’re pretty casual in both dress and formality, so do not worry if you’re running late.
WHAT SONGS DO YOU SING?
We start with a few songs accompanied by guitar and electric piano. Our music is usually a mix of traditional and contemporary, 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.
HOW DO YOU SHARE GOD'S WORD?
Most of our songs, prayers, and blessings are rooted in God’s Word. Even when we’re not reading from the pages of the Bible, chances are the words we’re singing or saying are based on Scripture. Children gather for a children’s message before returning to their seats to hear the Scripture reading. Pastor shares a sermon proclaiming the promise of God in our lives. We respond to the sermon with song and prayer.
HOW DO YOU PRAY IN WORSHIP?
Prayer is one of the central acts of our worship service. We pray throughout the service in a variety of ways. Each week we pray especially 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. Sometimes we invite people forward for the laying on of hands and prayer, in accordance with James 5:13-14.
DO WE HAVE TO GIVE MONEY?
There is no requirement to give. Yet in response to God’s goodness to us, we give tithes and offerings each week to support the ministry of New Joy and of the church in the world. All are welcome to give, either by setting some money or a check in a basket, or by making a gift with your mobile phone. We also collect special offerings for local mission and community organizations, such as Open Doors of Westfield, a food pantry serving our community.
WHO CAN RECEIVE COMMUNION AT NEW JOY?
All are welcome to the Holy Communion meal. Each week we remember that our Lord freely gave himself to his disciples, and that he continues to give himself to us and to the world he so loves. 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.
HOW LONG DOES WORSHIP LAST?
Our service is about an hour long. After hearing God’s Word and receiving our Lord’s real presence in the bread and cup of Holy Communion, we are sent with a blessing to go into the world to proclaim the goodness of God in word and deed. But before we leave the church building we share some donuts, coffee, and conversation. On many Sundays a mission or learning activity will be held following worship.
WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS?
Children are welcome in worship! Kids sing and shake tambourines, and play on our playmat adjacent to the altar. Yet, we also offer a staffed nursery for our youngest children.