New to Faith, Returning and Wondering How to Begin?


As a person in her 50’s who did not grow up in the church, I approach things a bit differently when it comes to worship and study. I remember wondering what it was like, what the people were like, and what do those churchy words like salvation and Body of Christ mean? And what I learned was that even some of the people who grew up in the church don’t know what some of those words mean! We are often in the same boat in many ways. I invite you to come and check it out. Ask questions. I still ask questions! And there are so many cool answers yet to receive.

~ Pastor Theresa

Below you will find a guide to Salvation, learn about prayer and how to begin a new life today. We hope this primer will encourage you to visit. Our churches are casual and friendly and we would love to see you. If you are not familiar with the United Methodist Church, read this short booklet about membership.

If you have questions, contact Pastor Theresa.

Ready to visit? Choose the location that works for you. Come as you are.

God’s gift of Salvation is where faith takes root

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.” – Romans 3:23-24 (NLT)

God loves all of us and wants for everyone to share eternity with Him in Heaven. Nothing brings Him more joy than when a person decides to follow Jesus. Heaven rejoices.

In order to become a child of God; however, you must make a choice. You must decide that you want to accept Jesus as your Savior.

The Bible says that there is only one way to get to Heaven:

“Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.” – John 14:6 (AMP)

Good works can’t save you.

“You were saved by faith in God, who treats us much better than we deserve. This is God’s gift to you, and not anything you have done on your own. It isn’t something you have earned, so there is nothing you can brag about.” – Ephesians 2:8-9 (CEV)

You have to personally make the decision to follow Jesus on your own. Once you have decided to follow Jesus, you must admit that you are a sinner and repent (turn away from) of your sins and invite Jesus to come into your life as your personal Savior.

“I tell you, No; but unless you repent (change your mind for the better and heartily amend your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins), you will all likewise perish and be lost eternally.” – Luke 13:5 (AMP)

“God will accept you and save you, if you truly believe this and tell it to others. The Scriptures say that no one who has faith will be disappointed, no matter if that person is a Jew or a Gentile. There is only one Lord, and he is generous to everyone who asks for his help. All who call out to the Lord will be saved. – Romans 10:10-13 (CEV)

Then, pray. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should come from your heart. I have included a prayer below that you can use if you don’t have the words to say.

Father in Heaven, I know that I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Your Son, Jesus, died in my place to pay the ultimate penalty for my sins and I give You glory that He rose again for my salvation. Father, I need You in my life. Help me to turn completely away from my sinful ways and live a life that is pleasing to You. I want to have a relationship with You. So, now I ask You, Father, to come into my life as my Lord and Savior. Cleanse me, heal me and forgive me, I pray. In Jesus’ Mighty Name, I pray, Amen.

Once you have done that, get into a Bible-based church. If you are looking for a church home, we invite you to read about membership in the United Methodist Church and click the link to learn more about our churches and find the location that works best for you. And in the meantime

Read your Bible daily. God’s Word is your manual for life. As Christians when we read and study God’s Word, we find strength and direction for life and as you grow in your walk with Him you will learn to possess the many great promises contained in His Word for your own. If you do not own a Bible, you can download and install a free Bible app when you click here. You can use it on your smartphone, tablet, pad, or computer and you have numerous versions to choose from. (I use New Revised Standard Version mostly myself.) There are wonderful devotions in the app and you can have a daily Bible verse pop up on your phone or in email if you like. Too busy to read? Let the app read it to you! (I like to listen in my car when driving errands and with my earbuds when I’m cleaning the house.)

“Your word is a lamp that gives light wherever I walk.” – Psalm 119:105 (CEV)

Surround yourselves with believers. It is important to be around like-minded people, believing people. Spending time with other Christians is vital, especially when you are a new believer. You’ll learn quickly they’re just like you, and doing their best each day. Support is awesome. It makes it easier to be around your friends and family who are not where you are in your faith journey. We don’t lock ourselves in a holy huddle. We build each other up so we can expand our circle to include everyone we meet!

Get involved in ministry. We have many ministries to get involved in and we welcome your involvement. You’ll find out more when you see the bulletins on Sundays.

Join me in an online Bible study. Online studies through allow you to go at our own pace, read and post comments of others on the journey with you, and helps you get an idea of what a devotional is for in the comfort of your jammies or during a break at work. You will see all upcoming opportunities on under Growth Opportunities.

If you have decided to accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior, let me be the first to say “WELCOME to the family” and I rejoice with you! 🙂

You have made the best decision in life because there is nothing greater than saying “YES” to God’s free gift of salvation. Know that this is an exciting new journey of a brand new life through Jesus Christ. Equip yourself with the Word of God, get into a believing bible-based church and surround yourself around other Christian believers.

When thoughts of your old life start to creep up (and they will), know that God has forgiven you of your sin and has wiped that memory clean, so don’t live in condemnation. Set your mind on Christ. The scripture below is a letter that the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome who were struggling between their old life and the new life through Jesus. It is a powerful reminder of who we are and how loved we are. Keep it handy.

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.

Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.” – Romans 8:1-17 (NLT)

We, at the Penns Valley Charge Churches; Faith, St. James, Sprucetown and Trinity, are here to aid you in your journey. We are blessed to welcome you to the family of Christ. Click here to learn more our locations and service times. We would love to see you Sunday!

With hands to the plow,

Pastor Theresa

P.S. Consider baptism. “Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.'” John 3:5 Baptism is committing your life to Christ at any age or stage of life. Learn more about baptism here. Some get the idea that baptism is for children and infants. Jesus was in his early 30s and the disciples baptized people of ages. It’s not an age thing, it’s a commitment. If you have questions, reach out.