Important Update on In-person Worship Gatherings
At our recent Joint Board Retreat, we were guided by these words from I Peter 5:10:
And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.
We are thankful that God is helping us restore some of the things that we have missed over the past year. We are grateful that God has continued to support and strengthen some of our ongoing ministries and activities. And we are excited about some of the new opportunities that we believe God wants to establish in our congregation (stay tuned for more on that!).
Some of the elements of our Sunday Morning Worship services are being restored. We have opened the doors to in-person attendance in keeping with the safe gathering guidelines that we have set. Please consider attending in person on Sunday morning. Our online registration (through the New Philly website) helps to “save your spot” and you may also simply “show up” on Sunday morning (you will be asked to fill out a contact card and place it in the offering plate in the vestibule before you leave).
For the time being, masks are still required. We are using liturgies that include shorter congregational responses so that you can take part in the liturgy if you feel comfortable doing so. Hymnals and pew Bibles have been restored to their places and may be used during the service. We have marked off available seating in the sanctuary and we have about 95 “spots” where people may be seated. If you attend with other people from your household or “inner circle,” you are all welcome to occupy the same “spot.”
Please continue to hold our congregation (our members, our staff, people who are involved in worship leadership, our musicians, our tech team, and others) in your prayers. The past year has not been easy but Peter’s words remind us that God will indeed restore, support, strengthen and establish us as we move forward rejoicing in hope!
Wednesday, March 31
12:00 Noon Wednesday Lenten Reflection & Reading
Meeting ID: 915 1686 2339
Thursday, April 1
7:00 p.m. Maundy Thursday Holy Communion Registration now open for in-person attendance or take part online.
Friday, April 2
12:00 noon – 6:00 p.m. The cross will be in front of the sanctuary
6:30 p.m. Good Friday Service with The Seven Last Words Registration now open for in-person attendance
8:00 p.m. God’s Acre Drive-in 7 Last Words Experience Details below *
Sunday, April 4
10:00 a.m. Easter Sunday Worship in the Sanctuary Registration now open for in-person attendance
10:45 Resurrection Service begins in front of the sanctuary and continues at God’s Acre (no registration required!)
* Good Friday God’s Acre 7 Last Words Experience instructions:
If you do not attend the in-person service at 6:30, please plan to arrive at the church around 7:45. Come in one of the 2 driveways off of Kilpatrick Street. You will be directed to drive around God’s Acre in a counter-clockwise direction. Please drive slowly and take time to read the words printed on the banners and see the lighted candles on the graves. Please remain in your car and continue on around the back of God’s Acre and then exit by driving around the rear of the church and out onto Country Club Road.
New Philadelphia Easter Celebration Window Art Challenge
This activity is for EVERYONE, kids and adults, too. Join in the fun and let’s decorate for Easter AND share the message with our community that Jesus is risen!
You will need:
• small containers
• Tempera paint (get it anywhere in the craft aisle)
• dish soap
• painters tape
• drop cloth or plastic table cloth
Before you begin painting, place painters tape on window edges and window frame. Cover the floor with a drop cloth or plastic table cloth.
1. Start by choosing a few different colors of paint and adding a small amount to each bowl.
2. Next, add a few drops of dish soap to the paint and mix.
3. Once the mixture has been mixed well, it can be painted on to the windows. Painters tape can also be used to create lines or borders.
The window paint will dry on the windows but can easily be washed off with a cloth and warm water.
Windex will get rid of any remaining streaks.
Super easy and fun! Clean up is a breeze.
Once your masterpiece is finished, send Evie a pic (email@example.com) so we can include it in our pre-service news! Set your creativity free!
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.