We are an independent Christian congregation with roots that go back to St. Peter’s Metropolitan Community Church in 1986, and later Hope MCC. We voluntarily left the MCC denomination in 2008 and the International Christian Community Churches denomination in 2014 .
The New Church Family name began as just a temporary corporate name for legal paperwork. After considering more than a dozen other names, the congregation decided they liked the New Church Family label the best. The “New” signifies we are a brand-new work, striving to take our Christian ministry to a higher and better level. “Church” signifies that, indeed, we are a church, not just a discussion group, social club or advocacy organization. We offer all the sacraments and spiritual support of a Christian church, and we are led by an ordained minister. “Family” stands for the type of love and acceptance we endeavor to offer to all who come through our doors. And for the gay, lesbian and transgender community, “family” has a special meaning of safety to be the person God made you to be. We realize our unorthodox name may puzzle some. Bottom line: We are ardently Christian, and radically inclusive, with both gay and heterosexual people working together to exemplify God’s love for humanity.
We worship on Sundays at 10 a.m. at 3520 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach. The location is on U.S. 92, about 3.5 miles west of Interstate 95, and just a few hundred feet west of the I-4 westbound on-ramp to Orlando. We are ground-level with no stairs, easily accessible for those with wheelchairs, walkers or guide dogs. For out-of-towners, we are about 5 miles west of Daytona International Speedway and about 8 miles from the beach.
Our 75-minute service is informal but includes the same elements found in most Christian churches — hymns, Scripture reading, sermon, public prayers, collection, and Communion. Offered voluntarily every week, Communion usually is served at the front of the sanctuary by the pastor and 1 or 2 lay or clergy members of the congregation. A wafer is dipped in grape juice and is placed in the recipient’s mouth or handed to the person as they prefer, and a brief one-to-one prayer is said. We also offer the option of receiving Communion without prayer. Dress is casual — t-shirts, Bermuda shorts and sandals are perfectly okay. Members greet each other with handshakes or hugs, and are encouraged to voice special praises or concerns during the time of public prayer. Worship style varies with the individual – some prefer silent introspective prayer, others feel free to call out “Amen,” clap, sing or dance as the Spirit leads them. Typically, we have light refreshments and a social hour after worship. Usually on the first Sunday of the month, we have a potluck lunch. Anyone is welcome to break bread with us whether or not you bring food.
We call ourselves Christian and believe in God as our Creator, God as our Savior as Jesus (God in human form) the Christ, who showed us how to love one another and lead us to eternal life, and God as the Holy Spirit, the presence of God in our lives on earth today. We come from a variety of denominational backgrounds and each person is encouraged to work out their own beliefs through prayer and reading the Bible, discussion with others and applying that understanding to their own life.
Social events include monthly dance parties, occasional theater and movie outings, house parties, lectures, picnics and the like. Members with musical talent are encouraged to offer a solo at service. Once a month, the church has a potluck lunch immediately following service. We also conduct a weekly Bible study plus occasional God Gab interfaith discussions every month or two.
Newcomers usually attend several services and then make a decision about strengthening their commitment through membership. That can be done through a transfer of membership from another church or by receiving membership preparation from the pastor. Worshipers also can choose to be “friends” of the church – they fully participate in all church activities and discussions but do not have a voting right at business meetings. Speak to the pastor or a board member if you are interested in voting membership.
Not a penny. While Scripture says to tithe and we have accepted the common understanding of a tithe as 10 percent of our lives (time, talent, treasure), we also understand that each person must make their own decision about giving. We recognize it takes time to get to know us and trust that we will follow God’s will in the use of their commitment to this church. We do not require members to sign pledge cards. We encourage members to strive toward the goal of a full tithe, as God leads them, so they may experience the blessings that come.