We welcome the Rt. Rev. Sam Gray as New Philadelphia’s pastor at the installation service on Sunday, June 28, and the drive-through welcome from 11:30-noon at New Philadelphia. Sam’s first day as our pastor is July 1.
Bishop Gray was born in Winston-Salem and grew up in a missionary family with his parents, the Rev. Joe and Lahoma Gray and four siblings, and lived in Nicaragua for 11 years.
He graduated from the Stony Brook School (Long Island, NY), attended Moravian College, worked for a year in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, completed studies in Elementary Education at Moravian College, and took additional coursework at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California. For more than 13 years he was a missionary in Honduras as a high school teacher, Director of the Bible Institute, Christian Education Director, as well as organizing pastor of Israel Moravian Church in Tegucigalpa.
Sam returned to Moravian Theological Seminary in 1993, earned the Master of Divinity degree in 1996, was ordained and served as the Assistant Pastor of Emmaus Moravian Church and Director of Youth Ministries with the Eastern District of the Moravian Church, Northern Province. He was pastor of the New Hope Moravian Church, Miami, FL from 1998 until joining the staff of the Board of World Mission in 2004. Sam was elected a Bishop of our worldwide Unity by our 2006 Southern Province Synod.
Sam and his wife, Lorena, have three sons: Luke, Tim, and Christian David, as well as two grand-daughters, Rachel and Gabriella Marie.
Dear New Philadelphia Family,
“Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise.” Psalm 66: 1,2
This watchword for the week that begins this Sunday is extremely appropriate as we will be celebrating Moravian Music Sunday during our 10:00 live-stream service. All the music in our service will be written by Moravian hymn writers and composers or performed by Moravian musicians and singers. Our service will be all about making a joyful noise to God.
We celebrate Moravian Music Sunday every spring as we thank God for the rich musical heritage of the Moravian church over the past 500 years. Our Moravian ancestors have shown us how to make that joyful noise to God for many generations.
Yet this year is different. Everything this year is different. As we continue to deal with the impact and effects of the COVID 19 virus, as we watch the number of people infected rise, as we see the death count increase day after day, as we mourn with those who have lost so much- family members, friends, jobs, graduation ceremonies- as we ourselves mourn our own losses, the loss of the lives we once knew, it is hard to “make a joyful noise” to God or to anyone or anything else. We can’t make a joyful noise when we aren’t feeling joy.
For this year’s Moravian Music Sunday, instead of focusing on making a joyful noise to God, let us listen to the joyful noise that God is making for us. Let us listen for God speaking to us in the midst of our sorrow, our grief, our loss. Let us listen for God to tell us that he is with us, he is wiping away our tears, he is comforting us in our grief, and he is loving us through our loss. Let us listen to the joyful sound of our God who assures us that he will never leave us or forsake us.
Ash Wednesday Communion will take place the morning of Wednesday, February 26 at 6:00 a.m. in the church sanctuary.
Ways to serve like Jesus: On the first evening of our Lenten Journey, we will join together for a simple meal of soup, salad, and sliders at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, February 26 prior to our 7:00 p.m. worship service.
Will you make a pot of soup or help with set-up/clean-up? If so, contact Clyde Manning at email@example.com or 336-765-2331 ext. 306
Did you know there is a new Sunday School Class which started back in September 2019? This class was formed by and is led by our church members who are in their 20’s and 30’s; we have guest speakers, too.
The class is welcoming to all and would love to have you join them. It is a fun class with enlightening discussions each Sunday. Our discussions prepare us and help us spread God’s love each week.
The class meets at 10:00 a.m. in room 135, on the ground floor of the church near the preschool area.
If you have any questions about the class, please contact Sydney Sutcliffe (firstname.lastname@example.org).
New Philly Variety Show
January 27, 2019 | 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Warm up your vocal cords! Dust off your nose flute! Polish up your disco moves – whatever your talent or gift, get ready to share it! The Variety Show is an opportunity for anyone at New Philadelphia to share their talent with others in the congregation. As a result, it’s sure to be a fun time for everyone.
So whether your gift is individual or group, serious or just plain silly, get ready to unleash it on the congregation! Adult Sunday School classes, start planning your act now!
Young/Older, Serious/Silly Performance/Art
This evening will also feature an art gallery to showcase the talents of our visual artists. So, get ready to display your sketches, paintings, pottery, etc. for the congregation to admire!
The (Mostly) Southern Writers Book Club meets on the third Thursday of each month, September
through May at 6 p.m. in the New Philadelphia library; in January we will meet at Bookmarks on 4th Street!
January 17…………The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash
February 21………Varina by Charles Frazier
March 21…………..Magic Time by Doug Marlette
*April 25…………..Good Hearts by Reynolds Price (* Fourth Thursday)
May 16………………Inspired:Slaying Giants, Walking on Water and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans