A community of support and comfort.
It hurts to lose people you love. There’s no getting around it. We all experience grief in our own unique way and it’s healthy to allow ourselves to grieve.
The New Church believes that faith in a God of Love can carry us through loss to a life that is not diminished—even if there is something missing.
But how can we work through that grief in a healthy way? Many people have found that talking with others, sharing insights and pain and experience, can provide some solace and validate our feelings. After all, the Lord puts us all here to help each other and progress through life together. By participating in a grief support group, you can help others while finding your own relief.
We offer grief support groups online every week. Our groups are spiritually oriented, open to all, and you can participate freely.
“God loves every one of us but cannot directly benefit us; he can benefit us only indirectly through each other. For this reason he inspires us with his love, just as he inspires parents with love for their children.” (Emanuel Swedenborg, True Christianity 457)
Frequently Asked Questions
Participation in a New Church Group is free. The real price is your own valuable time and energy. Depending on the leader’s and group’s interests, there may be textbooks, supplies, or activities that members pay for on their own. If the group decides to meet at a location that requires rent, participants may be asked to pay their share of the cost.
We believe that healthy human relationships with the Lord, with His Word, and with one another are our most important enduring gifts. A New Church Group is a place to nurture these precious relationships in a safe and supportive environment. In a group setting, you can explore and practice spiritual growth so that you are better equipped to make it an important part of your daily life.
We are thrilled to hear of anyone’s interest in church planting. If you are interested in starting a New Church congregation in your area, please reach out to our Program Manager, the Rev. Pearse Frazier. He looks forward to talking with you. Please contact him at [email protected]
A New Church Group is a gathering in which people who have a mutual interest in the New Church intentionally nurture individual spiritual growth and spiritual community-building.
A New Church Group can take many forms: a worship service in a church, a gathering of three friends who meet every week to talk about their lives in a spiritual context, or moms or dads who host each other and their kids once a month to talk about the hardships and victories of parenting. It can be any group of people meeting regularly and supporting each other in living heavenly lives based on the Lord’s teachings.
At the General Church Office of Outreach, we are passionate about promoting and encouraging people to find or to create and facilitate such groups. We offer support and leader training as well as content, connections, and other resources.
Being a leader is rewarding. We warmly invite everyone interested to consider leading a group based on our model. We will help you all the way. You can start by co-leading with a more experienced leader. Our training process includes three self-guided, introductory training “tracks” which are available on a separate site https://community.newchurch.org. Just open a free account, and you can read through all parts of the training tracks to consider whether you want to go further.
If you want to register your group with New Church Groups, you will need to complete all of the responses in each section of the training tracks. At any point in the process, you can contact one of us at the office of New Church Outreach so we can support you, and so we can get all the details we need to list your group.
There are many different kinds of leaders, but there are a few common key skills we encourage in New Church Group leaders: genuine love and care for others, empathic listening, integrity, trustworthiness, and reliability. Some leaders are savvy with technology to lead groups online, while others delegate that task to another volunteer in the group. Our leader training covers all these things and more.
Look forward to human connection, meaningful interaction, a safe environment, empathic listening, emotional support, satisfying insight, and opportunities for useful service. Look forward to investing your time nurturing your relationships with God and each other. All of these provide a basis for individual spiritual growth and community-building that awaits you. You can also look forward to following a regular set of group guidelines as well as enjoying special activities to accommodate members’ interests and needs.
Each group has a leader to help ensure each gathering feels safe for all involved and goes as smoothly as possible. Sometimes the leader is also the host, but often gatherings are hosted by different members of the group. Gatherings generally consist of reading passages from the Lord’s Word, sharing thoughts and questions, praying together, and planning service-oriented activities that can positively impact you, your group, and others in your lives. Groups may use content already available or develop their own.
These days, due to the pandemic, many groups are online only. As we get back to meeting in person, the physical location of a New Church Group is up to the creativity and resourcefulness of the leaders and members. Some groups meet in churches, others meet in homes, still others meet in more public settings either indoors or outdoors. Sometimes activities help determine where groups meet such as a group of parents meeting with their kids at a playground, or a group that enjoys walks to identify wildflowers. A few groups are tech-savvy enough to do a hybrid of in-person and online.
The scheduling and frequency of group gatherings and the number of sessions is up to each group to decide. Some groups only meet a couple of times. Others meet weekly or biweekly for months or even years.
The most important feature of a New Church Group is the kind and quality of interaction, not the size of the group. The goal is for all group members to nurture a sense of community based on empathy, insight, and useful service. This goal is remarkably scalable. A meaningful and successful group can be very small. As Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20). A large gathering can also be blessed with spiritual community just as Jesus gathered thousands of people and helped them experience His presence through teaching and eating together. (Matthew 14:13-21)
We invite anyone interested in being a group leader to learn how. A few groups are led by a limited number of pastors, teachers, or specialists, but the world needs many more leaders! We in the General Church Office of Outreach are here to support and guide you based on our model. Our model of groups revolves around learning to love God and one another and practicing what the Lord teaches. We provide support, guidance, training, and connection for group leaders at all skill levels to help you succeed.
Being a leader of a New Church Group is personally rewarding, but it is generally a volunteer, unpaid role. The exception is if a group grows to become a part of the New Church organization and a leader (such as a pastor) is hired to serve the group on a regular basis.
The New Church is a Christian denomination that uses Swedenborgian spirituality as a basis for understanding the Lord’s Word, our own spiritual growth, and our world.
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) was scientist, inventor, and theologian. His theological writings, which fill over 30 large volumes, uncover a deep, spiritual meaning within the Bible’s literal stories. The systematic theology sheds new, bright light on notions of faith that have been considered dark mysteries for centuries. The New Church offers a spiritual and psychological framework that emphasizes love and wisdom in active, useful daily living.
To learn more visit https://newchurch.org/get-involved/learn-about-the-new-church/