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  • Why We Have Sacraments 1- Baptism

    Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - 18 Sep, 2016

    This Sunday we have the privilege of witnessing an infant baptism. And so, in the sermon, we’re going to be talking about baptism and Holy Supper. Here’s a passage to get you thinking about the topic. Have you ever had thoughts along these lines? If the spiritual meaning of the Word had not been disclosed,… [people] might mutter and say to themselves, “What is baptism but pouring water on a baby’s head? What does that do for the baby’s salvation? What is the Holy Supper but taking bread and wine? What does that do for our salvation? For that matter, what is holy about these rituals, other than the fact that the ecclesiastical hierarchy has traditionally accepted them as sacred and divine and has commanded us to observe them? Although the churches claim that when the Word of God is brought near the elements they become sacred, these rituals are essentially just ceremonial.” … Yet from the point of view of their spiritual meaning, these two sacraments are the holiest acts of worship. (True Christianity §667) When we understand the significance of baptism and Holy Supper they can become a very meaningful part of our spiritual lives, rather than just arbitrary seeming rituals. | By Malcolm G. Smith, Westville, RSA

  • Why and How to Pray for Other People

    Worship Service: Sermon only - 31 Jul, 2016

    When someone we know goes through something difficult or tragic we often say that we will hold them in our thoughts and prayers. Why? What is the value in our prayers? Are we hoping to change the Lord's mind on what should happen? Don't get me wrong: there is real power in prayer for others but when we don't have clarity about what we should pray for and why we're praying it can be hard to do it. Let's talk about why prayer for others matters and how to build the habit of praying for others into our lives. | By Malcolm G. Smith, Westville, RSA

  • As We Also Forgive Our Debtors

    Worship Service: Sermon only - 5 Jun, 2016

    Have you ever wondered why people in the New Church say the Lord's prayer a bit differently from a lot of other churches? One of the differences is that we say, "and forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors." Do you know what that means? How are debts different from trespasses? This sermon puts them in context. | By Malcolm G. Smith, Westville, RSA

  • Holy Supper and Repentance

    Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - 29 May, 2016

    This Sunday we will have Holy Supper or Communion at the end of the service and we will be talking about the meaning of this sacred practice. We have just finished a sermon series on repentance and so we will be talking particularly about the power that taking the Holy Supper can have in the process of repenting. | By Malcolm G. Smith, Westville, RSA

  • The Steps of Repentance 4 - Begin a New Life

    Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - 22 May, 2016

    For the past 3 weeks we've been looking at the steps of repentance, the spiritual process the Lord calls us to go through to reject what is evil and harmful in our lives and begin a new life. This week we come to the final step: actually beginning a new life. Scared? Does it even seem possible to make a real and lasting change in your life? Join us this Sunday to take an honest look at the challenges of beginning a new life and to learn how the Lord makes it possible for us to do this. | By Malcolm G. Smith, Westville, RSA

  • The Steps of Repentance 3 - Pray to the Lord

    Worship Service: Sermon only - 15 May, 2016

    The teachings of the New Church outline 4 steps of repentance. This Sunday we're digging into the 3rd step: praying to the Lord. Prayer can sometimes feel pointless and ineffectual but that's why I love the chance to get to think about it and talk about it in the context of repentance because then we can really see it's importance and power. | By Malcolm G. Smith, Westville, RSA

  • The Steps of Repentance 2 - Recognise and Acknowledge Sin

    Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - 8 May, 2016

    (By Coleman Glenn read by Malcolm Smith)The teachings of the New Church outline 4 steps of repentance. This Sunday we're digging into the 2nd step--a step that is easy to overlook but essential to real repentance: recognising and acknowledging our sin. Sin is a scary word but learning how to recognise and acknowledge it in ourselves in a healthy way is a key step in moving beyond it. | By Malcolm G. Smith, Westville, RSA

  • Steps of Repentance 1 – Examine Yourself

    Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - 1 May, 2016

    The first thing Jesus said when He began public preaching was, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 4:17). But how do we repent? The teachings of the New Church outline 4 steps of repentance. Can you guess (or remember) what they are? And, more importantly, do you know how to use them to repent? | By Malcolm G. Smith, Westville, RSA

  • Worshipping the Lord in Spirit and Truth

    Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - 17 Apr, 2016

    What is worship? What makes worship genuine or fake? What's the purpose of worship? These are some of the questions we’re going to be exploring this Sunday. We’re going to try to get to the heart of internal side of worship. (This was actually recorded in Stanford, Western Cape for the New Church Cape Town Circle.) | By Malcolm G. Smith, Westville, RSA

  • Evaluating and Improving Your Spiritual Health

    Worship Service: Sermon only - 3 Apr, 2016

    How are you doing? How's your life going? How's your spiritual life going? These can be hard questions to know how to answer and hard questions to want to answer. Especially if things aren't going well we can feel a lot of shame and resistance around directly thinking about how we're doing. But, the first step in getting healthier is to take an honest look at how we're doing right now. That's what we're going to do this Sunday. This Sunday, during the adult sermon, I will give a short talk and then give people about 10 minutes to privately fill out a series of pages called the "Spiritual Health Snapshot" and "Spiritual Health Plan." It's a tool for evaluating how you're doing spiritually, picking an area to focus on, and then making a plan to work on it. These will be available on . You can download and print from there. If you've done it before, it can be useful to do it again and see how things have changed since the last time. If you haven't done it before, I hope you'll give it a try. Let's each do our individual work so that we can become more healthy as individuals and as a church. | By Malcolm G. Smith, Westville, RSA