From The Pastors

Our program at the Washington New Church varies a great deal from week to week, but there are some constants, like Sunday worship at 11:00 am, and regular weekly or bi-weekly meetings of small groups for reading and discussion on spiritual themes.  Among the groups meeting currently are two that are in the midst of a study of the life after death, based on the book, Heaven and Hell, by Emanuel Swedenborg,  one biweekly on Monday nights and the other biweekly on Wednesday mornings, both in local home settings.  All such meetings are open to the public and new members are welcome at any time.
In addition currently we are featuring a short survey course in the Prophets of the Old Testament.  These are scheduled approximately every two weeks on Wednesday evening at the church.

But life at the New Church is much more than just study and discussion.  On November 10th, for example, our young teens will be hosting a “coffee house” social for all ages at the church, and on the first weekend in December we will ring in the Christmas season with a special hymn sing and social event for all members and friends.

In addition we are pleased and proud to be associated with an urban gardening co-operative called Forrested, LLC  that provides innovative insights and hands on training for folks interested in sustainable agriculture and related practices.  A short walk from the church campus, this 10 acre operation is a tremendous asset to our school children as well as the larger community of citizens looking to create a more verdant, food producing urban environment.

In 2014 the church completed a major renovation and addition project that has greatly enhanced our ability to serve not only our own needs but those of the community around us, too.  Although the building is not visible from the main highway it is easy to find on a beautiful, wooded property less than a quarter mile east of Enterprise Road, just south of the Rte. 50 overpass.  We welcome visitors ANY time, and look forward to welcoming YOU whenever you get a chance to stop in.

And don’t forget one of our main uses here is our school – The Washington New Church School.  With grades from Junior Kindergarten through Sophomore year of High School we keep pretty busy with routine and special events focused on the children.  NOTE, whereas the school began 45 years ago as a service for church members, we now have an open application policy and we welcome new students from all over the surrounding community.  We are highly integrated, academically oriented, and spiritually focused.  Check out the parent testimonials on the school page of this site.
Finally, unlike many preachers today, most of us on the pastoral staff write out our sermons and make them available in print or PDF to anyone who is interested.  See Sermons by Category for a listing of recent sermons, including the most recent or featured sermon.
We look forward to meeting and greeting you in person!
 MDG Signature 2

The Word is Love

From
December 28, 2019

I love The Beatles. Their great talent combined with their large catalog allows for all sorts of fun games. For instance, I have long considered challenging a certain fellow-pastor (and Beatles lover) to see who could come up with the best sermon series with individually titled sermons all inspired by a single Beatles album. It’s remarkably easy to match Beatles titles and lyrics to important theological concepts. And it helps that one of their most written-about topics is love.

All you need is love. But of course, money can’t buy you love. And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. I love you, but I’m lazy.

Well, okay, not every line about love is deeply inspiring. But in the song “All You Need Is Love” a strong yet simple argument is made for the overwhelming importance and power of love in the face of all other concerns and endeavors. And yes, we might be tempted to quibble that love is not all we need–wisdom is just as needed, after all. But I find it instructive that we are given nearly relentless reminders in the Word of the Lord that faith alone–the elevation of truth above good–is the root of the downfall of every attempt humanity has ever made at connecting with and following God, and yet there seems very little energy behind reminding us that good apart from truth is also problematic.

Because it is. Good apart from truth is well intentioned but often foolish. Sometimes damagingly so. But the overwhelming and obvious thrust of the teachings for the New Church almost single-mindedly point toward the preference for truth over goodness as the main foe to be vigorously resisted.

The problem is that truth is easily turned to whatever purpose our hearts desire, whether that purpose be for good or for evil. Truth is graspable, studiable, manipulable, and yet powerful. People can use truth to control, to take, to bully, to injure, to threaten, and to punish.

But what of love? The good side of the equation is actually harder to twist, because it is quiet, unobvious, subtle, and, by many people most of the time, completely misunderstood. There are many great quotes about love, but one of my all-time favorites (easily top ten if not top three), is this: “People know that love is, but not what love is.” (Divine Love and Wisdom 1)

But let me tell you what love is. Love is the single most powerful way of growing a church. It may be the only way of growing a church properly. If you, like me, sometimes pray for the extension of the New Church movement to reach more and more people, let me gently suggest that you add to that a personal prayer: that you become better and better at extending true love to the people you meet.

“Love is old, love is new, love is all, love is you.” – The Beatles, “Because”

With love, Rev. Mac Frazier, Pastor

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