New Year At New Life

In the latest front-page news about New Life Church, Mike Jones – the gay prostitute that outed Pastor Ted – went to service yesterday, where he was reportedly welcomed with open arms by grateful congregants.

The development occurred the same day that New Lifers were ending a 21-day fast to, as interim Pastor Ross Parsley indicated in a letter sent to supporters early this month, “prepare us for what the Lord wants to say to us in the coming year.”

“What an incredible story that awaits each one of us in the unwritten pages of 2007!” Parsely wrote to New Life family and friends. “Remember that every day God is changing old into new — do not let the past determine your future. Have faith that you are becoming who God created you to be!”

Parsley’s letter went on to describe the options for fasting, but warned that the goal was not to “force” God to do anything – “that’s actually not possible.”From the letter:

“You may want to join us in an extended fast or just fast one day a week. You might fast one meal a day, or try a juice fast. A fruit and vegetables only fast is a healthy option, or you might consider fasting something like television during this 21-day period. Choose the format that fits your lifestyle and schedule.

“Please don’t feel any pressure to do more than you should, but every one of us can do something sacrificial, joining together as a family for this extended time of consecration.

“Let me remind you that we don’t fast to force God to do anything–that’s actually not possible. Neither do we fast only to do penance. We choose to go without food to encourage our hunger for God’s presence, to become more sensitive to hearing His voice, and to prepare our hearts for what He wants to do in this new year.”

Meanwhile, the Denver Post report included the claim that Haggard, who was fired from the church in November for sexual immorality, has returned to Colorado Springs with his wife Gayle from a “treatment center” in Arizona.

Cara DeGette is a longtime Colorado journalist and a senior fellow at E-mail her at