We Need a Politics of Forgiveness

A Politics of Forgiveness


I hope you are all getting a chance for some rest this summer.

We will not have our online service during July and August.

Take a few minutes to read this week's lessons and reflect on what they mean. Feel free to email me questions from the readings and I'll respond in the next newsletter.

A Politics of Forgiveness

This past week I participated on a panel with three other ministers on a how Christian can play a role in healing racism that was sponsored by Braver Angels. They had 300 participants online.

I also spoke to our Convention through a mini-course on how churches can be use to facilitate civic dialogue called Blessed are the Peacemakers. Based on the feedback, the presentation about what we've piloted at church hit a nerve with over 800 viewers.

Now is an important time to begin training churches how to practice what I call A Politics of Forgiveness . Too often we are caught up being right and demonizing others. We've lost the art of collaboration across ideology in our culture.

Jesus offers unique teachings to address this. More important the power of Christ in us allows us to forgive the wrong done to us by others. This is something we can't do alone.

To help foster a politics of forgiveness, our spiritual entrepreneur advisory group suggested at our last meeting to launch a new nonprofit to address these issues through training and using our church as an example.

The working name is the Center for Spiritual and Civic Innovation. If you are interested in learning more, feel free to reach out.

I hope to see you at Elfa's going away Party on July 19th. If you want to join by zoom, here's the link to attend.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 880 7841 2842
Password: 884344

In the absence of Sunday sermons, there are important member activities.

Faith-based Activism Discussion Group:
Just Mercy

Sunday, July 26, 2020 at 5 PM – 6:30 PM
Public · Hosted by  Annabel Park  and  Maria De Los Angeles

Join be connecting through Facebook here:

Summer Reading Group
Dr. Peck is setting up a Swedenborg reading group call in. Please contact him directly as they choose a time. ( aandmpeck@comcast.net )

Elfa Halloway Going Away Party June 19, 2020 5pm EST

Our church administrator, Elfa Halloway is leaving her position this July to return to Germany. Elfa has been in service to the church for over four decades. The church is now faced with the daunting challenge of trying to replace, which is is impossible.

On Sunday July 19th, we will hold an outdoor socially distanced reception at Dr. Peck's home in the garden. I will also set up a Zoom call for 5pm EST on that date. Please mark your calendars. If you can attend with me in person, please email me and I'll send the address. (richtafel@gmail.com)

You can join Elfa's event by zoom here:
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 880 7841 2842
Password: 884344

Pastoral Calls
I am available for pastoral calls throughout the summer. Just email me to set one up.

Physical Distancing

Social Outreach

Spiritual Connection

Your Pastor
Rev. Richard L. Tafel


Readings this Week

Psalm 51:1-4
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence
and blameless when you pass judgment.

Luke 23:32 
Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[ c ] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

Swedenborg Insights

People believe that when our sins are forgiven they are washed away or rinsed off the way dirt is rinsed off with water. However, our sins are not washed away; they are just put aside.

That is, we are held back from doing them when we are kept focused by the Lord on doing what is good; and when we are focused on doing good it seems as though our sins are gone and therefore as though they have been washed away.

Further, the more we have been reformed, the more capable we are of focusing on doing what is good. . . . If we think that our sins are forgiven in any other way, we are sadly mistaken. ( New Jerusalem  §166)

Mail to checks to: 1611 16th St NW WDC 20009
We are planning our going away party for Elfa Halloway on Sunday June 19th at 5pm at Dr. Peck's garden in Arlington VA.

You can join Elfa's event by zoom here:
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 880 7841 2842
Password: 884344

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