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  • Love Over Ego - Taking a Stand

    Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - 10 Feb, 2019

    This Sunday we begin our series on the Daniel story, Love Over Ego. When the story begins, Daniel is taken far away from his home to live in captivity in Babylon. But Daniel is given an opportunity to get special treatment and to move up the ladder. When we find ourselves in similar difficult circumstances it’s very easy to justify doing whatever we need to do in order to get ahead. But Daniel, instead, does not just go with the flow and take what’s given to him; he takes a stand for what the Lord teaches. Come on Sunday to hear what happens to him and to reflect on how we also can take a stand for what the Lord teaches. | By Rev. Malcolm G. Smith , Westville, RSA

  • God's Goals For Your Happiness

    Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - 3 Feb, 2019

    God definitely wants us to be happy, but it doesn't always feel like it. More often than not there seems to be a tension between what we want to do and what God asks us to do. The Lord understands that we go through this and so He draws our attention to the happiness that lies within keeping His commandments: "Happy are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven," as just one example. Nor is this promised happiness only in the distant future. If we know what to look for, we can see in the moment how denying ourselves and following the Lord aligns perfectly with our own happiness. | By Rev. Joel C Glenn , Westville, RSA

  • Burn Out

    Worship Service: Children & Adult - 27 Jan, 2019

    A number of people online are discussing and writing articles about burnout at the moment, prompted by this article posted a few weeks ago. And so it seemed good to spend some time thinking about burnout from a New Church Christian perspective. What does the Lord teach about burning out and how can He help us to notice when we’re heading that direction and change course? | By Rev. Malcolm G. Smith , Westville, RSA

  • Accept the Gift

    Worship Service: Children & Adult - 20 Jan, 2019

    The difference between payment and a gift is that we are entitled to payment for the work we have done, while a gift is freely given. So if the Lord freely forgives and saves us, why does it seem like we have to work so hard for it? What do we get credit for and what do we have to acknowledge is the Lord's? If we can clearly see how the Lord freely gives us what we need to work with, we'll be able to accept that gift in every situation through the choices we make. | By Rev. Joel C Glenn , Westville, RSA

  • Ezekiel and the Valley of the Dry Bones

    Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - 13 Jan, 2019

    The sermon for this Sunday is one by Coleman Glenn, our former Associate Pastor. The text is a dramatic vision that the prophet Ezekiel had of a valley full of dry bones that come back together, have sinew, flesh, and skin cover them again and ultimately turn into a huge group of living people. It's a dramatic symbolic picture of how the Lord can take what's dead within us and bring us back to spiritual life. | By Rev. Malcolm G. Smith , Westville, RSA

  • We Have Come to Worship Him

    Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - 16 Dec, 2018

    Worship is not something we think of as difficult. Yet there is a lot more to worship than meets the eye. The deeper meaning of worship shows up in the story of the wise men. These men did not simply worship the Lord from where they were. They got up and traveled to find the Lord and give him unique gifts. Likewise, if we want to truly worship the Lord, we have to seek Him out, and offer Him gifts of love, faith, usefulness. | By Rev. Joel C Glenn , Westville, RSA

  • The Two Gates

    Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - 25 Nov, 2018

    This Sunday we have the privilege of witnessing and taking part in the two sacraments: Baptism and Holy Supper. In some ways these two rituals seem worlds apart. In one, water is poured over a child's head as he is dedicated to the Lord. In the other we eat bread and drink wine, symbolic of taking in the Lord's love and wisdom. Yet these two rituals contain the whole span of spiritual life. Baptism represents the very first introduction to the Lord, the first glimmers of spiritual life. Holy Supper represents the fulfillment of that life, as we take in the Lord Himself to dwell within us. They are like two gates, and when we have gone through both, we are in heaven. | By Rev. Joel C Glenn , Westville, RSA

  • Heaven is Not Transferable

    Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - 11 Nov, 2018

    Wouldn't it be nice if someone else could do all the work of getting into heaven for us? In traditional Christianity this idea takes the form of "substitutionary atonement," the idea that because Christ suffered for our sin, we don't have to. This idea is rejected in the New Church, but it is still appealing to believe we don't have to do spiritual work because the Lord is doing it for us. While we could do nothing without the Lord, we actually need to take full responsibility for our spiritual lives. After all, no one else can do it for us. | By Rev. Joel C Glenn , Westville, RSA

  • Heaven is Not for Everyone

    Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - 4 Nov, 2018

    We’re doing a series called “Appealing Heresies” which is about ideas that sound good and sound true but actually are quite problematic when you think them through. This Sunday evening we’re talking about the appealing idea that everyone can go to heaven, no matter what they believe. Many people believe this. Many people think this is what the New Church teaches. It’s not. What’s wrong with this idea? Come on Sunday evening as we unpack the implications of this appealing heresy and try to understand what the Lord actually teaches on this topic. | By Rev. Malcolm G. Smith , Westville, RSA

  • Heaven is Not for Sale

    Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - 28 Oct, 2018

    You can’t buy your way into heaven, no matter how much wealth you amass. That won’t come as a surprise to most of you. Yet somehow, subconsciously, we end up trying. Every time we feel entitled to reward because of our good deeds, we have diminished good deeds to a mere currency with which we can buy a slice of heaven. Every time we feel slighted for the ill fortune that befalls us in spite of our goodness, we have reduced God’s living Providence into a mere balance sheet of good countered by evil. It is only when we realize that goodness is its own reward that we can be free from the allure of heaven as a reward. Heaven is not a reward; heaven is the natural result of a life of goodness. | By Rev. Joel C Glenn , Westville, RSA