New Church Vineyard
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit;
for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
New Church Vineyard is a library of resources to help children and adults learn about the Lord God Jesus Christ, His Word, and the purpose of life. Here, you will find projects, Bible stories, Sunday School lessons, videos, and other resources. These are organized by spiritual themes, chapters of the Bible, and in various lesson programs and collections.
New Church Vineyard is produced by General Church Education, a department of the General Church of the New Jerusalem, which is a denomination of the New Church. Our mission is to assist people in becoming loving, wise and useful by helping them to learn and teach about the spiritual life from a New Church perspective. We hope you will enjoy our materials. Please contact us if you have any questions or suggestions.
The New Church
The New Church is a new Christianity that is based on the teachings of the Old and New Testaments and the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. Emanuel Swedenborg was a theologian who wrote on topics such as True Christian Religion, Divine Providence, and Heaven and Hell. He also wrote about an internal meaning for some books of the Old and New Testaments. The New Church is founded on the belief that the book Swedenborg wrote (often called “the Writings” or “the Heavenly Doctrines”) were divinely inspired by the Lord God Jesus Christ.
Some of the core beliefs of the New Church include:
- The Lord Jesus Christ is the one loving, all wise, and all powerful God. He is never angry and never gives up on us.
- The Bible is the Lord speaking to us through literal stories, parables, and a deeper spiritual meaning.
- Salvation is an ongoing process of believing what is true and living a life of good will toward others.
- Spiritual choice is a gift from the Lord. We choose our eternal destiny.
Life after death is real. Everyone continues his or her life as a complete person soon after death.
- The Lord’s church is made up of all people throughout the world who love Him and live good lives.
- Useful service brings love for others to life. Our willingness to be a blessing in other people’s lives is the heart of healthy relationships.
- Marriage between one man and one woman can become spiritual and can continue forever.
- The second coming of the Lord God Jesus Christ is a new era of Christianity based on a new understanding of the Lord.
The General Church has congregations and religious schools around the world. Visit our denominational website at www.newchurch.org to learn more about our teachings and about where you can find our congregations.
New Church Education
New Church education has been an important use of the General Church since its beginning. We believe it is key to introduce children and young people to truths about the Lord and about spiritual life so they will have the knowledge to help them choose the path to heaven. We also believe that learning is a process that lasts throughout our life on earth, preparing us for eternal life. The opportunity to deepen our understanding of the Lord’s ways and our connection with Him is always there.
The importance of religious education is based on several key ideas drawn from the Writings. Some of these are
- Without knowledges from the Word, people do not know the way to heaven, and without these the Lord cannot dwell with them. (Apocalypse Explained 112:3)
- As people acquire knowledges from the Word by means of their understanding, they prepare the way by which God may descend and raise them up (True Christian Religion 24:1-2)
- All people form for themselves as it were a soul, and such after death does their life become. Nothing therefore is of more importance to people than to know what is true. What should a person have more at heart than their life to eternity? (See Arcana Coelestia 794:2)
- No one can ever fight against evils and falsities until they have learned to know what evil and falsity are, and therefore not until they have been instructed. (Arcana Coelestia 1661:2)
- A person becomes spiritual by means of the knowledges of truth and good from the Word applied to the uses of life. (Apocalypse Explained 195:4)
- Truths are first implanted in the mind through instruction received from parents and teachers, then from the Word of the Lord, and after that from personal reflection on them. (Arcana Coelestia 3762.2)
- The Word needs to be taught mediately through parents, teachers, books, and especially the reading of it. Nevertheless, it is not taught by these, but by the Lord through them (Divine Providence 172:6).