Journey To Freedom, Part 8: We Need Support To Overcome Our Battles

One of the realities of life in this world is that there will be struggles. Right now the whole world is engaged in a struggle to overcome a dangerous virus. We all have to do our part to try to remain hopeful and to support each other in a variety of ways as we struggle together.

It is interesting how the series of sermons we have been engaged in about the Children of Israel and their exodus from slavery in Egypt is right there with valuable lessons for where we are in our current struggle. In the next part of the journey the children of Israel faced their first enemy, the Amalekites. The Amalakites come after them. The strategy of the Amalekites was to strike the weaker parts of the Israelite entourage from behind.  However, Joshua led the children of Israel in battle against the them and as long as Moses, on a nearby hillside, kept his hands raised the Israelites prevailed, but when he lowered his hands they lost.
This story illustrates an important truth.  In order to survive our struggles we must raise our thoughts to the Lord and look to the Lord for help (Moses raising his arms).  When we look to ourselves for support and strength we lose (Moses lowering his arms).  We are strengthened in these battles by the Word, our understanding of it and the support of others.  When we give thanks to the Lord and raise our hands in gratitude the Lord is able to bless us.

We hope you can join us online on our Facebook page as we look at this story and its relevance to our current struggles and to our eternal journey.

See you online at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. Stay well and stay connected.

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No Church Service This Sunday, March 15th

Dear Friends,
We gather weekly for worship to take a Sabbath moment from our busy lives and to remember the Lord who has given us life and amazing possibilities for happiness and fulfillment in this life and in the life to come. It is a good time to breathe, be still and reflect. It is also a time to connect with friends and church family and support one another in this journey of life. I find great value in it and hope you do as well. 
That is why this week has been such a struggle. It is so hard to consider cancelling church but it has become evident that it is the prudent thing to do for the sake of helping to mitigate the spread of the Covid-19 virus and to protect the most vulnerable in our population. With consultation from our Board of Trustees we have decided to cancel church this Sunday and more than likely next Sunday as well, not out of fear, but out of love and care for others. It is the appropriate measure to take at this time to support the efforts throughout our state, the nation and the world to slow down the spread of the virus so that our hospitals and health care workers can give appropriate attention to those who are in the most need of their care, and so the system will not burgeon to such a degree that that becomes impossible for them to do so.
I hope you will still take some time on Sunday for a Sabbath moment. May I recommend either conducting your own family worship or watching one of the many services that are archived on either our Facebook page ( or our YouTube channel (
Here is a link to many other live or archived New Church services as well:
I would like to recommend a couple of services you might consider at this time:
Habits That Build Peace
How To Thrive Through Difficulty
Wanting To Know The Future
I will miss worshipping with you this Sunday. Please know that I am here for support if you find yourself stressed over this situation. And don’t forget to put your trust in the Lord. The Lord is there and is caring for us all and leading us to happier things no matter what it may appear like at the time. 
With much love and hope for peace,
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Journey To Freedom, Part 7: Daily Blessings

We are continuing to follow the story of the Children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt to the Promised land of Canaan – a land flowing with milk and honey, as the story describes it. The children of Israel again found reason to cry out in despair.  They were hungry and missed their Egyptian diets.  In response the Lord miraculously gave them manna every morning and quail every evening.  All they had to do was to gather it, prepare it and eat it.

The grief of the Children of Israel pictures the anxiety we feel when we have begun to change but we aren’t yet feeling like there is any tangible, detectible benefit yet. We miss our old habits and the enjoyment we got from them, and in this new “spiritual growth plan” we haven’t started to feel and sense the benefits. We might be asking the question, “What is the point of all this hard work when all I am experiencing is want and loss?”

The good news that the story brings to light is that God does provide us with true and deeper delight if we will keep to the path of spiritual progress. Miraculously each day manna appears. Sometimes we feel it is hard to find or sense delight in our lives–but, it is there, we just have to look.  

In light of this story the task this week is to acknowledge and show gratitude for the blessings that God brings into your life every day.  Keep your eyes, mind, and heart open. Look for the manna. When you feel empty and spiritually hungry for happiness in your life, pray “give us this day our daily bread. Lord, help me to recognize the bread (goodness and blessings) in my life.”

At this difficult time with the Covid-19 virus spreading we will be having our church service, but we encourage you to stay home and watch online if you are at all sick or part of one of the more vulnerable populations. We will be doing best practices for health and cleanliness and encourage you to make choices about attending or not based on what is best for your own health and the health of others.

May the Lord bless you and yours and may we all look for the blessings amid the difficulties.

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Journey To Freedom, Part 6: The Truth Doesn’t Have To Feel Harsh

We are following the story of the Children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt to the Promised land of Canaan – a land flowing with milk and honey, as the story describes it. On the way they face different trials or temptations. After they crossed the Red Sea on dry ground and they sang and celebrated and then marched ahead unable to find any water for three days. When they do finally find water it is too bitter to drink. Moses is instructed to throw a tree or some wood into the water and it is made sweet and drinkable.

The symbolism within the story opens up the meaning for us. The water (truth) can seem bitter and harsh when we don’t see what the good is that it is leading toward. Once we can see the good or love behind (after wood is added) it we can find the truth to be sweet and enjoyable. One example is having to study for a test can be a big pain and we can find it bitter or unenjoyable unless we can see that if we can pass this test then we can be done the course and then we can graduate and get a job and have lots of freedom and money, etc. 🙂

You are invited to explore this story and its personal meaning for our daily lives on Sunday at 10:30 a.m.


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Journey To Freedom, Part 5: Moving Forward When Stuck

Have you ever felt like you were stuck? Like no matter which direction you chose it would be bad? When the children of Israel left Egypt the Lord led them away through the wilderness to the Red Sea.  They were led by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  The Egyptians pursued them and trapped them against the Red Sea. They had the sea on one side and the Egyptian army on the other. What were they supposed to do?

This dramatic story illustrates how the Lord leads us through temptations – times when we feel like there is no answer and no way out.  What the story shows us is that Lord is always there, sometimes in obvious thoughts (pictured by the pillar of cloud by day) and other times in our more subtle feelings (pictured by the pillar of fire by night).  A way forward will show up when we stand still (pray, reflect) and move forward (follow the Lord’s truth as we have come to understand it). A good solution will present itself if we can trust the Lord enough to ask, reflect and listen for some guidance, and take the next step. Do the next one thing we can. A way forward is waiting to appear.

You are invited to worship together on Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

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Journey To Freedom, Part 4: The Passover

When we get stuck, how do we get out or move forward? The Exodus story from the Bible reflects in its deeper meaning our journey from being stuck in hurtful patterns of behavior to a life of freedom and enjoyment.

Our story continues this week after Moses and Aaron confronted Pharaoh with the message to free the Israelites from slavery.  He stubbornly refused until he and Egypt were overwhelmed by all the plagues and especially the pain of the final plague – the death of the firstborn. God gave the children of Israel instructions on how to prevent the plague from striking their households. They were to eat a meal called the Passover. It was a meal of roasted lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs. They were also to paint the doorposts and lintel of their doors with the lamb’s blood, and to be ready to go.

The Passover feast was instituted as a way to remember how God freed the children of Israel from slavery by a mighty hand. For us it is a reminder that it is God who fights for us, protects us, and leads us through our difficulties to spiritual freedom.

We will dig into the deeper meaning of this story as it operates as a mirror to our inner spiritual journey.

Please feel welcome to join us at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.

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Journey To Freedom, Part 3: Pay Attention To The Signs

Stories from the Bible are given to us because we can use them as mirrors to our inner, spiritual journey. The Exodus story, in short, is about our journey from being stuck in hurtful patterns of behavior to a life of freedom and enjoyment.

Our story continues this week with Moses and Aaron confronting Pharaoh, king of Egypt, with a message that he needs to let the children of Israel go free from bondage. Pharaoh stubbornly refuses over and over as plague after destructive plague ravishes the land.

In the deeper, spiritual meaning of this story the plagues picture what happens when we ignore the truth and our higher nature and instead listen to our sensory experiences – following them as our guide and teacher. These plagues picture our progression toward increasingly more tragic states of disorder, pain and unmanageability when we don’t make an effort to to change the things we know we need to.

This week we will consider the signs we are given that may be a call for us to live differently.

See you Sunday at 10:30 a.m.


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Journey To Freedom, Part 2: How God Speaks To Us

Moses was in the wilderness tending his father-in-law’s flock when he saw a bush burning with fire.  God spoke to Moses from the burning bush and gave him the mission of leading the children of Israel out of bondage.
These seemingly simple stories (pictured by the bush) are filled with the God’s love (fire) and we can feel that love inspiring us when we can open up and let go of merely worldly concerns (remove the sandals from our feet).
We will talk about how to take time to hear the voice of God and see and feel God’s leading in your life. What is the message of hope that God has for you? How can you listen more closely for the voice of God by spending time reading, walking, sitting quietly, praying, or meditating? Make space and see what fills it.
We hope you can join us Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
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The Journey, Part One: Discovering Where We Are Stuck

The Exodus story is about our personal journey from being stuck, or bound by hurtful thoughts, attitudes or behaviors, and how we are freed from them and led to a happier and more peaceful way of life. This way of life is pictured by the Promised Land. Of course the journey there is long and the winds through a wilderness. But it is a successful journey.

We begin this journey by recognizing that we are stuck and that we need help moving forward.

Join is this Sunday as we begin to examine how this story is our story and that it holds clues to our way to freedom, peace and joy.

Worship begins at 10:30 a.m.

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Who couldn’t use more peace?

Sunday 10:30 a.m.

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