Sunday Services at 10:00am
1155 Silas Deane Highway, Wethersfield

The NewLife Blog

June 16, 2020 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Life doesn't always resolve neatly

As I was preparing for the current sermon series on suffering, loss, lament, and trust, I studied the Old Testament book of Lamentations for the first time. There is a reason that most Christians are unfamiliar with the book, for Lamentations isn’t filled with the kind of verses that get used for inspirational Facebook quotes or devotional reading (except for Lamentations 3:22-23, which reads “Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”). 99% of the verses are painful and heartfelt cries coming from a people who are witnessing their homes being destroyed and their family and friends either slaughtered or taken into captivity....Keep Reading

Tags: Suffering, Lamentations, Christian media

June 9, 2020 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Why don't we lament in church?

In my preparation for the current sermon series on lament, one reality that I have heard pointed out often by the authors I have read is that anywhere from 30-40% of the Psalms can be classified as laments, while in our modern hymnals or collections of worship songs, the percentage ranges anywhere from 5-15%. Besides seeing this as an interesting discrepancy, what might this reveal about our modern Christianity? I can think of three things: 1) We are too consumer-driven...Keep Reading

Tags: Worship, Suffering, Lament

June 2, 2020 by Eric Stillman 1 comments

A confession and a commitment

Let me begin with a confession. In my almost 14(!) years as the pastor of NewLife, I have almost entirely steered away from social and political issues, choosing to focus as much as possible on preaching the Biblical text that is in front of me on a Sunday and the people who call themselves a part of our church. I know that there are a wide range of opinions in our church on many issues, and for better or worse I have tried to stay above the fray and point people to Jesus. Having said that, I now believe that I have wrongly erred on the side of silence too often, when my voice needs to be heard....Keep Reading

Tags: racism, Confession, Coronavirus

May 26, 2020 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Why we are NOT open on Sundays yet

One of the challenges when reading the Bible is differentiating between two fancy theological terms: historical particularity and eternal relevance. In other words, when Paul writes in 1 Timothy 2:12, “I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man,” was he addressing a unique concern in the Ephesian church (historical particularity), or was he saying something that is meant to apply to all churches in all cultures in all time periods (eternal relevance)? This challenge is one of the trickiest parts of Biblical interpretation....Keep Reading

Tags: Coronavirus, 1 Corinthians 10:23-24

May 19, 2020 by Taylor Hood 0 comments

Guest blogger: Taylor Hood

Hi, my name is Taylor Hood. I was born June 15th, 1986, on Father’s Day, which made my Dad very happy. Although I was born with a disability, my parents didn’t learn what it was until I was 18 months old. I have Williams Syndrome, a disability that makes me learn slower. Lots of people with Williams Syndrome have many medical issues, but I am pretty healthy. ...Keep Reading

Tags: Suffering, Faith, Williams Syndrome

May 12, 2020 by Amy Swanson 1 comments

Guest blogger: Amy Swanson

Pastor Eric recently made a request for testimonies of learning to trust God through suffering and loss. A hard ask, but one I hope we can rise to because the faithfulness of God appears in so many forms and fashions. And I believe it is through the telling of these stories, even the ones longed to be forgotten, that others can find comfort, assurance, and maybe even a step towards healing. That is my prayer, anyways, and what leads me to share my story. ...Keep Reading

Tags: Jesus, Suffering, hope

May 5, 2020 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The baby died

This Sunday, I will begin a new preaching series on suffering, loss, lament, and trust, using Lamentation and the Psalms of lament as the backdrop. In light of this, I am replaying what I wrote on this blog on September 11th, 2007, after going through a very personal loss. “The baby died.” If there were a list of things you hope you never have to hear, “the baby died” would have to be up near the top, somewhere right above “I’m leaving you” and “It’s definitely cancerous.” Last Wednesday, as I was on the phone with Andy Hood, my cell phone began to ring, with an unfamiliar Manchester number on the caller ID...Keep Reading

Tags: Suffering, Death, hope

April 28, 2020 by Barb Pizzoferrato 0 comments

Guest blogger: Barb Pizzoferrato

A church I attended about 10-15 yrs ago had what they referred to as Growth Groups. They encouraged people to join one close to their home in order to stay better connected. The group I joined was meeting at the home of a young family, but when the Swine Flu/H1N1 virus hit in 2009, it was relocated to my place. Originally, it was both men and women (married couples & singles), but since the move to my home it’s remained predominantly women. Many years have passed and everyone has since moved on to different churches, but we're still meeting every other week....Keep Reading

Posted in: Fellowship

April 21, 2020 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Guest bloggers: Scott Bruce & Annette LaJoie

Last August, Pastor Bryan Bywater, a captain with a ministry called Church Army, preached at NewLife. One of Pastor Bryan’s ministries is a weekly service of worship and ministry called The Street Church that takes place every Saturday on the steps of City Hall on Main Street in Hartford. Since Pastor Bryan’s visit to NewLife, a number of people from NewLife have been going regularly to serve at The Street Church (until the coronavirus forced Street Church to stop meeting). Two of these individuals, Annette LaJoie and Scott Bruce, shared with me about their experiences with The Street Church....Keep Reading

Tags: Outreach Street Church

April 14, 2020 by Andy Hood 0 comments

Guest blogger: Andy Hood

On Sunday April 5th, during our streaming NewLife worship service, Pastor Eric led us in reading together Psalm 23. This is one of my “go to” Psalms during times of uncertainty and difficulties. For me, however, there is an added dimension to reading this Psalm. It serves as a stark reminder of the fact that many millions of people (including many believers) do not have this Psalm (or any Scripture for that matter) in their “heart” language (heart language is simply the language first spoken to you as a child). Imagine life without Psalm 23!...Keep Reading

Tags: Missions, JAARS, Bible translation