The Foundations program is your introduction to the teachings of the New Church. This is an interactive experience designed to serve people who are exploring questions about God, life after death, the Bible, and spiritual growth, and are interested in the New Church perspective on these ideas.
This is a seven-week program. Each week will feature a different lesson and reflections. The content is delivered by daily emails with explanations, readings, and reflections.
The program has been organized to explore one topic each week. There are foundational teachings, readings, etc. for each topic, which have been broken up to allow you to explore a portion on each separate day. Most days provide a "Reflection" for you to consider.
- Week 1: the purpose of life
- Week 2: honoring the Lord's presence
- Week 3: seeking guidance from God's Word
- Week 4: living and growing spiritually
- Week 5: spiritual community
- Week 6: serving the needs of others
- Week 7: New Church background
If you prefer, you can also purchase a hardcopy version of the Foundations workbook or leader's guide.
Week 1: the purpose of life
We start with a belief that creation comes from God and that God is love. We also begin with the premise that it is the nature of love to give to others, to want to be connected with them, and to bring them happiness. This suggests that the whole purpose of life is that humans created by God should be happy, not just in this life but after this life forever.
Does this imply that we humans can do whatever we want so long as we are happy? No, not really. God is infinite and eternal and is concerned about our long term happiness. Churches are fallible human institutions, but ideally their purpose is to help people to come to know God and find true happiness. Jesus specifically stated that He spoke to the people in order that they might have His joy in themselves (John 17:13).
Week 2: honoring the Lord's presence
We start with the idea that there is One God, and that God is love. There are three important aspects of this love.
- It is in the nature of love to reach out and connect with and love others,
- To be one with them and
- To enrich their lives.
All of these qualities exist in God to an infinite degree.
Week 3: seeking guidance from God's Word
We have explored the three qualities of love: 1) to love others, 2) to want to be connected with them, and 3) to want to bless them. Because of the second quality, God finds a means of communicating with people. We take for granted our ability to communicate with each other, but some doubt that God can communicate with us.
If there was a time in human history before language was invented, God could still communicate through the wonderful sounds and sights of creation. People often talk of how they can worship better in nature than in a church building. Is this, perhaps, because the beautiful things in nature are a form of communication of the love and wisdom of God? Many people find that to be true.
Week 4: living and growing spiritually
This week, we take a look at what it means to live spiritually, and how to begin and continue growing. First we take on the perspective of eternity, and recognize that regeneration is the process of spiritual growth. Then we take the time to look inside ourselves, choose to let God in, commit our lives to His way, and find joy in our progress.
Week 5: spiritual community
Last week we learned about regeneration and the journey of spiritual growth. As people, we can find support in our journey through other people. A community is not only a social phenomenon, it is also a spiritual concept and spiritual need.
Week 6: serving the needs of others
Communities can become closer when everyone is putting their efforts toward being useful. Serving the needs of others is also a source of joy, which is known even in heaven.
Week 7: New Church background
In the final week in New Church Foundations, you will learn about how the church got started, its history, its commitments and its mission.