The latest updates as we monitor COVID-19 in our city.

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 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.

Update Letter from Pastor Rich | May 20, 2021

Dear New Lifer,

The past few weeks of in-person worship have been so good for the soul of our community. My only sadness is that everyone hasn’t yet had the opportunity to taste the goodness of worshipping in the same space. Prayerfully, more of you will experience this in the coming weeks!

I wanted to take a moment to share some new information regarding in-person worship. After meeting with our team, we have landed on what I believe to be prudent, and wise decisions for this season. In sum, there will be two changes and two things that will remain the same. We will plan to keep this approach in place for the next four weeks, and revisit our strategy at that time. Here’s what you can expect:

1. What’s going to change?

Starting this Sunday, we will gradually open up more space in the sanctuary to accommodate more people. This gives more people an opportunity to worship in person. While we will not pack out the room as we once did before the pandemic, you can expect 50-75% of the room to be filled on a given Sunday.

The second change you’ll notice is that our worship leaders will not be wearing masks as they sing. We have been careful to take a cautious approach with this, but believe now is a good time to make this change.

2. What’s going to remain the same?
We will continue to ask you to register for our services. Additionally, we will still expect those who gather for in-person worship to wear a mask while inside the building. As I have mentioned above, we will assess these decisions—and other relevant decisions—every four weeks.

For more information about our reopening, visit

Thank you again for the ways you have loved and served each other over the past 15 months. By God’s grace, let us continue with that spirit of unity.

I look forward to seeing you!

Pastor Rich

Update Letter from Pastor Rich | Apr 07, 2021

Dear New Lifer,

Christ is Risen! We celebrate the good news that the grave couldn’t hold our Lord. He is alive, and because he lives, we can be made alive as well. In a year that saw so much death, it’s often hard to recognize the seeds of life that are before us. But, this is the call for all of us who call Jesus our Lord. We are commissioned to bear witness to life and light in the midst of death and darkness.
It’s in this spirit that I wanted to share a bit about Sunday worship. When we gather together in person, there’s a particular expression of God’s presence that’s impossible to replicate virtually. Over the past year we have had a couple of short seasons of gathering in the church building for worship. As things are slowly changing in our city and nation, we are seriously considering reopening for in-person worship this Spring.

Part of the data that will help us move in this direction comes from our church community. Before reopening it’s very important for us to know how many people are willing to gather again. This is why we have created a new survey to gauge interest. Please take a moment to respond to the survey linked below. This will help us make informed decisions as to how we will worship moving forward this year.

Survey –>

I can’t wait to see you and worship with you in person again soon!

With deep love and appreciation,
Pastor Rich

Update Letter from Pastor Rich | Dec 08, 2020

Dear New Lifers-

I pray you are safe and well. This is a year like no other, but I’m trusting God that things will turn for the better in the coming months.

I wanted to let you know that effective this coming Sunday we will take another pause from our in-person worship services. As I’ve mentioned in the past, there would be times for a pause like this if there was a rise in COVID cases in our city. That’s what we are seeing once again.

We will be meeting exclusively online for the remainder of 2020. We will assess where things are and discern how to move forward in January.

I’ve been overjoyed to see the level of connection our congregation has been committed to this year. It’s not ideal, of course, but we have demonstrated that no pandemic can keep us from the love of God, or from one another!

Additionally, in light of where things are in our city, we will have our Christmas Eve service exclusively online. While I’m saddened about this, I’m already excited for our 2021 Christmas Eve services!

Thank you for your understanding and support through all of this. I’m truly grateful for you all.

With deep love and gratitude,
Pastor Rich

FREE COVID-19 Screening Available | Sep 18, 2020

A Mobile Testing Van from New York City’s Department of Health will be in the New Life Fellowship side parking lot and open for free COVID-19 screenings and testing Monday, Sep 21 – Friday, Sep 25 from 10am – 4pm. Appointments can be made by calling (718) 565-9844 and walk-ins are acceptable.

We’re Reopening on September 20 | Sep 10, 2020

We recently announced that we will be reopening our services again for another 4 weeks starting on Sunday, September 20.  We’re very excited to be entering into this new season with all of you!  Like we did in the summer, we will start out with 4 consecutive limited in-person Sunday worship gatherings in our building.  Live stream will continue to happen for those who choose to or are not able to attend.  As the 4th week approaches, we will assess what’s going on in our city, as well as our congregation’s response, to determine whether we continue to offer in-person services.  Registration will begin on Tuesday, September 15.  If you plan to attend, we recommend you register early before the guest list fills up. Stay tuned for more announcements at Sunday services and on our social media in the coming weeks.

You can find more information bout our upcoming reopening at

Message from Rich about our Phase 2 Reopening | Jul 16, 2020

We’ve created a list with answers to your Frequently Asked Questions regarding our soft opening this summer.  You can find it at

Phase 2 Reopening FAQ available | Jul 12, 2020

We’ve created a list with answers to your Frequently Asked Questions regarding our soft opening this summer.  You can find it at

Plans for a Phase 2 Reopening | Jun 28, 2020

We announced on Sunday, Jun 28 that we would begin limited worship gatherings in our building again starting July 19. As we prepare to make this transition, we would love your input!

Thank you to those who have already filled out the survey! If you haven’t, please take 2 minutes to fill it out here –

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

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.

The class will take place from 12:30pm – 2:30pm via the Zoom App. Questions? Contact

Click here to register

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

Some in our congregation have been asking how New Life Fellowship is serving our city during this pandemic, and how they can help. While there are many needs to go around, we want to do our part to provide relief and hope to those overlooked, or overworked. Here are three things leadership at New Life has been committing ourselves to in recent days. We will continue to prayerfully explore other opportunities to serve and bless Queens and beyond.
1) New Life Health Center and Homeless Ministry
The health center continues to operate on Tuesdays (3:00 pm to 8:00 pm) and Saturdays (8:00 am to 1:00 pm) providing health services and showers to the homeless. The church building is officially closed so we are now using the entrance from the rear parking lot near the handicap lift.
A maximum of ten clients at a time are received and held in the large room (Shell Room) outside of the health center entrance. Chairs are spaced out allowing a minimum of 6 feet between waiting clients. As clients are finished and leave others are allowed in from the rear parking lot keeping the maximum waiting area at 10 people. Our Homeless Ministry provides a to-go container of food for those that exit. (If you would like to volunteer in preparing a large tray of food for the homeless, contact
2) New Life Building
While we are awaiting word from the city, we have already filed pertinent paperwork, opening part of our building to serve those on the medical frontlines. Should the city need our space, we are more than willing to offer gracious hospitality, receiving guests like Christ.
3) COVID-19 Relief Fund/Food for the Front Lines
We have created a relief fund to serve individuals and families impacted by Covid-19. We are looking to serve healthcare workers at Elmhurst hospital as well as local businesses. Part of the fund will go to a ministry started by Hope Church NYC called “Food for the Front Lines.” Donations made will be used to purchase meals and help businesses reach their weekly goal—helping them to stay in business. Each business will prepare the donated meals and deliver them to nearby hospitals. ***As a result of your generosity, we just made a $5000 donation, ensuring that hundreds of meals will go towards those on the front lines***. To give to the relief fund, go to and check “benevolence.”
Beyond the spiritual and emotional nourishment we are committed to offering during this pandemic, we want to intentionally serve our neighbors in their material needs as well. (You can also find New Life CDC program updates as well as community resources here:

In Christ,

Pastor Rich

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:

  1. 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 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!
  2. 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 or on our Facebook page. The offering we receive on Good Friday will go towards COVID-19 related relief.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Need help? Contact our team directly: We have set up 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.
  6. 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 or Pastor Helen at if you’d like to host or join a group.
  7. 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 Note: Effective immediately, any donations made to “Benevolence” will be directed to COVID-19 related relief. Just select “Benevolence” when submitting your online gift. 
  8. 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.


In Christ,

Pastor Rich

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!

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 –>

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

Our inner healing and deliverance service is cancelled this month. Stay safe and know that we are lifting up all of you up in prayer!

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

Dear Parents, 

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:

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,
Pastor Rich

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