The latest updates as we continue to monitor the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The current COVID-19 crisis has created significant health, financial, and security challenges in our community of Elmhurst and Corona and throughout our city. Let us know if you’re in need. Perhaps you recently lost your job, need things delivered, or need to talk to a pastor or deacon. You may also want prayer. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how we can support you. And, if you’re on Facebook, join our New Life NYC COVID-19 Response Group to connect with others in our community.
Grieving Together | May 12, 2020
Pastors Helen and Peter will be hosting an open virtual space this coming Tuesday, 5/12 at 7:30pm. Come and join with others in sharing your stories of loss this season and lamenting in praying together. Feel free to participate silently. Learn more and register at bit.ly/newlifegt
Baptism Class Online | Apr 19, 2020
If you are interested in receiving the sacrament of baptism here at New Life Fellowship, taking the baptism class is the first step. Learn about what baptism is, the biblical and theological foundation of baptism, and get answers to questions you may have about baptism.
Our Spring Newcomers’ Lunch & Communitas Class Postponed | Apr 16, 2020
If you were planing to attend our upcoming lunch for newcomers or our membership (Communitas) class, we will be rescheduling these for a later date. Look out for updates on this page or on our social media platforms.
Weekly Update from Pastor Rich | Apr 9, 2020
Weekly Update from Pastor Rich | Apr 2, 2020
Over the past week, there has been an intensification of suffering in our city. Nearly half the COVID-19 cases in our country have been identified in New York and New Jersey. Our city is under siege. Yet, our God is still with us. In moments of debilitating fear and worry, we must return to the simple, tried and true practices of our faith—prayer, silence, scripture, and joining our lives to others. We are not alone, although it can feel that way.
According to experts, we are at the beginning of what will be a very difficult month. We have already learned of stories of family members of New Lifers who have succumbed to this virus. Our hearts grieve with those enduring unspeakable tragedy. As we journey together through April, we want to be prudent and prayerful; hopeful and hospitable; gracious and generous.
In just over a week, we’ll be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I’m reminded that resurrection always happens while it’s dark. Yes, these are dark days, and while we deeply grieve, we don’t grieve as those without hope.
As I’ve said in previous weeks, my priority for our congregation is to be “meaningfully connected.” Much of what you see below is information you have already read, but it bears repeating:
- Live Streaming Sunday Services: Please join us in worship at 10:30am each Sunday, and let’s call upon the name of Jesus together throughout our city. You can join us on our New Life Facebook page or at newlife.nyc/live. It’s quite possible that we won’t return “home” for at least 2-3 months. As we are scattered, let’s continue to remember our call to bear witness to Jesus in our homes, our neighborhoods, and in our online presence. Please consider inviting a friend to join us on Sunday services, especially on Easter Sunday!
- Good Friday Services: On Good Friday we will have two online services offered (at 4pm and 7pm). We are offering two different time slots to accommodate families and people with varying work schedules. Please join us online at newlife.nyc/live or on our Facebook page. The offering we receive on Good Friday will go towards COVID-19 related relief.
- Midday Prayer with Pastor Rich: To keep us meaningfully connected, one of the opportunities we’ve created is a midday prayer time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 12pm – 12:15pm. During Holy Week, I will lead a midday prayer every day (Monday-Saturday). You can join the midday prayer via Facebook live (New Life’s page) or Instagram live (Pastor Rich’s Instagram @richvillodas).
- Pastoral Care: Our pastors and deacons are working hard to reach out to our congregation. Every week, our pastoral team (as well as our deacons) are reaching out to New Lifers to check in, pray, and assess if there’s any practical needs that we can respond to. Our congregation is comprised of roughly 2,000 people, so receiving a call might take a little while. Which leads me to the next important thing you need to know.
- Need help? Contact our team directly: We have set up email@example.com as the email any congregant can use if they need to speak with a pastor or deacon. If you are in need of prayer or someone to talk with, please reach out to us. We are here to serve you.
- Small Groups: For the foreseeable future, we are asking all small group communities to meet online. Our Community Life team is in the process of helping small group leaders be equipped for these important gatherings. Please contact Pastor Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org or Pastor Helen at email@example.com if you’d like to host or join a group.
- Practicing Generosity: As many of you know, we have online giving as an option to practice generosity. Over the years, our congregation has been so generous in supporting the vision of New Life. In this unprecedented time, I’d like to ask that you continue to help us further the mission God has entrusted to us. You can give at newlife.nyc/give/. Important Note: Effective immediately, any donations made to “Benevolence” will be directed to COVID-19 related relief. Just select “Benevolence” when submitting your online gift.
- Stay updated: Feel free to visit our centralized webpage with information about upcoming events and our response to Coronavirus. Also, sign up for our weekly emails for information about our sermons, connection opportunities and events.
I miss you all. Be strong. Resurrection is near.
Listening Partnerships for Parents | Apr – May 2020
Attention Parents! What if you could push a button and the stress of parenting would melt away? Imagine packing up your frustrations and handing them off to another person. Someone who could handle your biggest feelings, pent up anger and tears. Sign up to connect with a listening partner today by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org!
The Spring 2020 Alpha Course has been postponed | April 7, 2020
Please continue to sign up to stay updated! We hope to resume by June, either in person or online.
Our New Life Community Health Center’s Annual Blood Drive has been cancelled | April 5, 2020
As soon as The New York Blood Center reinstates their blood drives we will be contacting all of our friends at New Life to come out and make this our largest year ever for blood donations!
Following are locations in NYC where you can donate blood during this time: Port Authority Midtown Donor Center, Staten Island Donor Center, Grand Central Donor Center, and Upper East Side Donor Center. Unless a shelter in place order is given, I would strongly encourage you to consider donating blood. There is a desperate need.
Additionally, this link has information about COVID-19 and blood donation –> https://nybloodcenter.org/
Congregational Day Alone With God will meet online | April 4, 2020
This event is being changed from an in-person gathering to an online event that will be free. Please sign up to join our online experience. We will continue to provide updates as they become available on this page and via e-mail to registrants.
We look forward to sharing a wonderful day together!
Grief, Loss, and the Gift of Lent has been postponed | March 23, 2020
Once a new date has been scheduled, we will be sure to send out an announcement to those who registered.
The Genogram Workshop has been postponed | March 22, 2020
Once a new date has been scheduled, we will be sure to send out an announcement to those who registered.
Inner Healing & Deliverance Monthly Gathering for March is cancelled | March 21, 2020
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Course will meet online | March 18, 2020
We will not be meeting in person this coming Wednesday night for the Course. However, we will be meeting via Zoom at 7 pm -8:30 pm.
We will be sending you instructions on Monday about how this will work. Zoom actually has a mechanism that we can meet as a large group and then break up into small groups at Tables! I have seen it done but will need some coaching on specifically how to do this on Monday.
So for now, be sure to read Chapter 7 in Emotionally Healthy Spirituality – Grow into an Emotionally Mature Adult – and stay with week 6 in your Day by Day Daily Office book. It has great devotionals to reinforce last week on Sabbath and rhythms.
Sunday Services are cancelled until further notice | March 15, 2020
Because we care about the health and safety of our community, and in response to the request from city and state officials to limit the number of people at public gatherings, we have cancelled our Sunday gatherings this weekend. This was a tough decision, but we decided to be extra cautious. Your safety, as well as the safety of those in our community, is our biggest priority!
But, don’t worry, because we will still be having church online this Sunday at 10:30am! Thank God for technology! You have a couple of ways to view the service:
Stay tuned for important updates on future Sunday gatherings.
Remote Solutions for NewLife Kids’ Ministry Environments
We all know that consistency is key in ministry. While nothing can replace meeting together in person, we hope that the following resources will provide an online option for you and your families to stay connected even if COVID-19 is preventing us from gathering this Sunday.
Please click on the age appropriate experience and you will find our video lessons for this weekend.
Pause to in-person small group meetings
In light of the growing coronavirus situation, we ask that all small groups temporarily pause gathering in person for the safety of all in your groups. We encourage temporarily taking a break for the moment and exploring either praying and connecting virtually (Google Hangout, Facetime, Zoom, etc.) or by text.
Please join us in praying for the protection and health of neighborhoods and areas affected by the virus and for our church members.
DIY Workshop is going digital | March 15, 2020
Due to the cancellation of services and the closure of the New Life building, we will moving our workshop online via a Zoom video call from 2:30pm – 3:30pm! We will start off with a discussion about how to make more things from scratch at home and how that relates to sustainability. Then I will be walking you all through how to make each recipe (face scrub, mouthwash, shampoo, house cleaner, hand sanitizer, etc…).
Here is our Zoom video call link: https://intervarsity.
If you have never used Zoom before, you will need to click on the link and get setup with Zoom 5 minutes before we start. (it’s an easy download) You simply click on the Zoom link, press “allow Zoom” and then press “join with video”.
Faith & Politics Workshop postponed | March 14, 2020
Unfortunately, we will be postponing our Faith & Politics workshop in order to help mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus. Stay tuned for the new dates.
Friday Night Student Gathering cancelled | March 13, 2020
Follow our New Life Student Ministry’s instagram page for updates on future events.
How to keep yourself healthy and safe | March 12, 2020
This update is to inform you of some steps NLF is taking to protect the health and safety of our visitors during the current health crisis.
- New Life continues to encourage all visitors to the building to wash hands frequently and avoid touching your face.
- All ten bathrooms in our building are being cleaned and sanitized on a daily basis, as well as light switches, door knobs and elevator buttons.
- When hand washing is impractical, you can use one of our sanitizing stations located throughout the building.
- We encourage you to monitor your health and stay home if you feel unwell.
You can visit the CDC website for more information on the COVID 19 situation and how to keep yourself and others healthy.
New Life Fellowship’s Response to the Coronavirus | March 5, 2020
Hello New Life,
Rising concerns about the spread of Coronavirus in the United States—and in particular NYC—have brought a sense of urgency to ensure that New Life maintains a healthy environment for our congregation. In light of new information coming out every day, it is prudent we take some measures to strengthen and communicate our commitment to a healthy church home. Here are some measures we will temporarily implement:
1. Reminders to wash and sanitize our hands: We added signage around our building, including our bathrooms, reminding our congregation to wash their hands regularly. We are also asking everyone in our congregation to wash their hands upon entering the church, and if available, utilize one of our hand-sanitizing stations before entering any environment in our building. Kids ministry leaders will remind kids not to put their hands on their faces and to wash their hands.
2. Reviewing possible changes to Communion: For the time being, we will offer Holy Communion the same way we have. We are still processing various changes we can make if needed. We receive Communion as a community together the first Sunday of each month. For the remainder of March, Communion will be offered after the benediction as is our regular practice. We will leave it up to each congregant to receive or abstain from Communion. Each week, we will regularly review the best option to take regarding Communion.
3. Changes to the greeting portion of our service: For the time being, when it comes to greeting each other (in the sanctuary, lobby, etc.), we are encouraging our congregation to wave, greet each other with a smile (or a peace sign!). Elbow greeting is also an option. This helps everyone to avoid the pressure of having to shake hands. We want to make it clear that we all have the freedom to say something to the effect of, “I’m not hugging at the moment.” Additionally, we also encourage everyone to ask for permission if they want to greet someone with a hug. If someone responds with a “no” please take no offense, as this is an appropriate response.
4. Changes to the prayer portion of our service: During prayer ministry, the prayer team will have hand-sanitizer visibly available. We are also encouraging our prayer team to place their hands on shoulders as they pray for people.
5. Offer option to stay home: For those who are sick—or are concerned that these steps are insufficient—we want to encourage them to stay home and view the service via livestream.
6. Adhere to guidance from NYC and NYS: If it gets to the point where the city prohibits large gatherings, we will comply with city and state recommendations.
7. Encourage our congregation to remain calm and be respectful: It’s important that facts outweigh fear, and the reality is that, currently, the general risk remains low in New York. We encourage everyone to listen to local health authorities and follow common sense precautions to protect themselves and their communities. Additionally, we are aware of racist and discriminatory acts against people from Asian backgrounds—particularly those from Chinese and Korean communities. We want to demonstrate the love of Christ and reject any kind of xenophobia that often surfaces during times like these.
Let us be in prayer for those affected around the world, and for the vulnerable among us. We believe that even in the midst of global challenges like this, God is present among us.
Grace & peace,