What to Expect
Celebrating New Life in Christ and Renewed Hope for the City
Whether or not you consider yourself religious, each of us has to make sense of life’s mysteries: suffering, beauty, death and love, as well as our place in the world. At New Life Presbyterian Church, we believe that the historic Christian tradition provides the best answers for life’s hardest questions. We don’t see those questions as a problem, nor do we expect them to all be answered when we begin to follow Jesus. But by trusting Jesus together, we embark on a journey that enables us to face life with peace, joy, and hope. We invite you to journey with us.
What Should I Expect When I Visit New Life Presbyterian Church?
- We want you to know Jesus. His life and death are the demonstration of his love for you. His resurrection is the reason we can have hope even in the deepest troubles and questions of life. There’s a line of ancient Greek poetry quoted in the New Testament, “In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28) – it describes the whole of our lives with Jesus as the center of everything. That’s how we want to know Jesus.
- We invite you to come as you are. That means you may have questions and doubts about God. You may be someone who has walked with Jesus all your life. You may be joyful and confident or wounded and fearful. Wherever you are in your journey, we welcome you.
- We want you to experience our community as a safe place. You may be afraid that you’ll be judged or that you won’t fit in. But, we hope you’ll give us the opportunity to love you and invite you to experience God’s amazing grace.
What Should I Wear?
Feel free to wear whatever is comfortable and appropriate. You won’t find people dressing to impress. You’ll find everything from bow ties to blue jeans, T-shirts to button-downs.
When and Where Do You Meet?
We meet for congregational worship each Sunday at 9:30am at Cinemapolis Theater, 120 E. Green St in downtown Ithaca. During the school year (September to May), School of Discipleship (educational classes for all ages) follows the worship service.
What is the Worship Service Like?
- The most important thing we want you to know about our worship is that we focus on God – Father, Son, and Spirit. The object of our worship is God, and our acts of worship are ultimately presented to the Audience of One as revealed in the Bible.
- Worship is a kind of conversation with God, a dialogue in which together we speak to and listen to God. Our voices in that conversation are varied and personal. Because we value the long history of biblical Christian tradition, we sing old as well as modern songs. In our readings and prayers, you’ll find us using the Scriptures and borrowing words from Church creeds as well as Christian men and women from the first century to the present day. Sermons are expositional – that is, they are explanations and applications of the Bible to life. Our worship is congregational in that you’ll see lots of men and women (children, too, from time to time) participating in the service contributing in many ways. The organization of our worship service is purposeful. When we are joyful, we can laugh or lift hands in thanks. When we are reflective, we can be silent. We can also lament. In prayer together, we can speak our praises and petitions for what’s happening in our lives right now. We have some structure in the weekly liturgy, but our goal is for the whole service to be united in a thematic narrative. The services are written so that the readings, music, and sermon work together to unite our hearts humbly and gladly before the face of God. Each week, the gospel story we tell in our worship takes us to Jesus – to the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist. The sacrament is the presence of Christ among us that gives us courage, joy, and hope to live as his people, for his glory, in every area of life.
- Worship is also for the whole person, and endeavors to make us whole people by uniting belief, love, and action. We follow Jesus precisely because we can’t and won’t ever get it all together. As Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17). So, come as you are. As the old gospel revival song says, “If you tarry till you’re better, you will never come at all.”
- To see what a worship service looks like, check out any of the weekly “Order of Service” files listed in the Sermon Archive.
Are Children Welcome?
Absolutely. Childcare for infants and toddlers is available throughout the entire worship service and during the School of Discipleship educational hour which follows the worship service. Children ages 4–7 may participate in Children’s Worship during a portion of the main service. Or, parents are welcome to keep their children with them during the main service if the wiggles don’t get the best of them. School of Discipleship is also provided for all ages during the school year.
Am I Expected to Contribute Money?
Absolutely not. We do collect an offering each Sunday as an act of worship. The money collected is used to support the operations and programs of the church as well as to fund missions and benevolence needs. But you are our guest, and we want you to feel no obligation to give.
What is the Mission of New Life Presbyterian Church?
- People who follow Jesus have a mission, a mission that has shaped the life of God’s people from the beginning of history. Jesus (quoting Moses) puts it most succinctly: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
- Missional living begins with worship, allowing God to shape our lives for his purpose.
- Missional living is also the active practice of living an intentional life that aims to bring the beauty, love, and truth of Jesus Christ into the places in which we live, work, play, and worship.
You can read more about our mission and vision here. An important way that we put feet to our love for God and neighbor is by our support for and participation with these ministries:
- Community Faith Partners
- Second Wind
- Chesterton House
- Ithaca Pregnancy Center
- Young Life Tompkins County
- Church Planting
Suggested Reading from Pastor Steve Froehlich
If you are beginning to explore Christianity, consider:
- Christianity Explored
- Why I Am a Christian, John Stott
- Basic Christianity, John Stott
- The Prodigal God, Tim Keller
If you are asking deeper questions or if you want to mature in your thinking and practice as a Christian, consider:
- On God: Knowing God, J.I. Packer
- On Jesus: The Cross of Christ, John Stott
- On the Holy Spirit: Keep in Step with the Spirit, J.I. Packer
- On faith: The Reason for God, Tim Keller
- On the Trinity: Delighting in the Trinity, Michael Reeves
- On the resurrection: Surprised by Hope, N.T. Wright
- On the Bible and knowing God: The God Who Is There, D.A. Carson
- On the story of the Bible: God’s Big Picture, Vaughan Roberts
- On reading the Bible: How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth, Gordon Fee & Doug Stuart
- On the historicity of the Gospels: Jesus and the Eye Witnesses, Richard Bauckham
- On theology, Concise Theology, JI Packer
- On racial reconciliation: Heal Us, Emmanuel: A Call for Racial Reconciliation, Representation, and Unity in the Church, Carl Ellis, Jr. (forward)
- On the Church as community: Jesus and Community, Gerhard Lohfink
- On the Church, mission, and calling: Kingdom Calling, Amy Sherman
- On the mission of God in the world: The Mission of God’s People, Christopher Wright
- On the Christian Life: The Way of the Heart, Henri Nouwen
- On transformation & Christ-likeness: Renovation of the Heart, Dallas Willard
- On suffering and the love of God: The Bruised Reed, Richard Sibbes
- On vocation & work: Every Good Endeavor, Tim Keller
- On the purpose of sex, singleness, and marriage: Divine Sex, Jonathan Grant
- On marriage: The Meaning of Marriage, Tim & Kathy Keller
- On understanding our culture: How (Not) To Be Secular, James K.A. Smith
- Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis
- Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton
- Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan
- Confessions, Augustine (translation by Henry Chadwick)
- On the Incarnation, Athanasius (with introduction by C.S. Lewis
If you wish to purchase any of the books listed above, we recommend to you the services of Byron & Beth Borger and Hearts & Minds Books. At Hearts & Minds you will discover more than a bookstore. You will find valuable resources to help you think Christianly about every area of life. We hope that you will express appreciation to Byron & Beth by giving them your business whenever possible.
New Life Presbyterian Church is a member of the Presbyterian Church in America