Pastor Mark’s Musings

Where is our Freedom?

     Often times in our culture and society we talk about what “freedom” means, what does it entail?  We talk about our freedom in a political sense very often.  How often do we speak of our “spiritual freedom”?  Probably not as much because we tend to believe that we have already obtained that freedom.  In our society today, I believe that we often confuse our ‘spiritual freedom’ with our ‘religious freedom’, the right to worship where and how we want to.  Spiritual freedom however, is when our spiritual and emotional state are healthy, and we are not ‘bound’ by obstructions that prohibit our relationship with God.

Mark E. Thibodeaux, SJ, states in his book Reimagining the Ignatian Examen, that “we are spiritually free when we are emotionally well-balanced and desirous of being a faithful, hopeful, and loving person.”  On the opposite side of the equation “We are unfree when we don’t feel God’s presence at this moment, and we either don’t care or are too panicky to handle the situation well.”  

Therefore, are true journey in the Christian faith must be focused on the desire to be present with God in a peaceful and calm manner.  As we go through our life we may desire that peaceful presence with God in many types of life.  One of the ways we come to understand this is by asking ourselves the questions such as “What was my most unfree moment this morning?” In other words, when was I in a bad mood?  and then on the contrary, we must ask ourselves, “What was my most free moment?” We are in constant search for the balance of life that presents us to the space in which we are comfortable and living in the presence of Christ.

By asking ourselves these questions we then begin to understand what it means to “work for our freedom” in the presence of the Living God.  We have to remember that it is not just “handed to us” rather we must work for this understanding of the peaceful and non-peaceful parts of our lives; spiritually and physically.

My friends, may this be a continual journey for you in all that you do and may you look forward to tomorrow that it may be a day of spiritual peace within your life.

Peace on this side my friends,

Pastor Mark





Coming Events


Worship and Meeting Notification

As The New Hope Congregation, we continue to keep the Coronavirus Pandemic in the forefront of our prayers.  As a global society, the safety and health of people around the globe is imminently upon us. As Christians, we step forward to lead in serving God and one another through safe means of worship and gatherings.

At New Hope UMC, we will resume worshiping via videos and live streaming on this website on Sunday, July 12.

Tithes and Offerings
You are invited to mail your tithes and offerings to the address below:

New Hope United Methodist Church
PO Box 110
Bethania, NC 27010

Church Office & Prayer Request

For health and safety purposes, the church office will remain closed until further notice.  For prayer requests contact the church office and leave a message or Lou Ann via email

We will worship live on Sundays at 10:00am 

To call by phone, dial 1 (312) 626-6799   –                            The Webinar ID # 819 2456 4445  

The Password is 929053

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Easter Flowers 2020

Flowers at New Hope