Humanity's Growing Pains

Humanity's Growing Pains
Greetings!


I miss you and hope you are having a great 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.

Humanity's Growing Pains

Nothing is the same in this time of pandemic chaos. We thought our time of lockdown last spring would lead to a time of freedom only to see it the virus spiking up in our own country even as it dissipates around the world.

Every week there are new decisions. Sunday we'll be celebrating Elfa's going away part at Malcolm's back yard garden.

Should we even gather social distanced? I'm with my family at the shore this week and we all are sharing stories of how we figure on navigating this crazy time.

What does this mean spiritually?

If Swedenborg's visions are correct we humanity might just be evolving into spiritual adulthood. If true, that gives us some sense of great hope that all of this chaos is leading to something better. I think so.

Read Rev. Kingslake's thoughts in the Swedenborg Insights this week.

Take a few minutes to listen to Rev. Dr. George Dole's keynote from convention. See the link below.

Hope to see you this Sunday at Malcolm's home or on zoom for Elfa's party (details below).

Let me know if you need a pastoral call.


SUMMER ACTIVITIES
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)

If you want to ride to the event with me, just email me and we can coordinate.

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

richtafel@gmail.com

Dr. George Dole's Keynote Message

You will enjoy listening to Rev. Dr. George Dole's amazing keynote presentation "For Heaven's Sake" from the annual convention.
Dr. Dole is our greatest living Swedenborgian scholar. I think you'll find it worth the time.

Readings this Week

Psalm 86:11-17
Inclina, Domine
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
and I will walk in your truth; *
knit my heart to you that I may fear your Name.
12 I will thank you, O Lord my God, with all my heart, *
and glorify your Name for evermore.
13 For great is your love toward me; *
you have delivered me from the nethermost Pit.
14 The arrogant rise up against me, O God,
and a band of violent men seeks my life; *
they have not set you before their eyes.
15 But you, O Lord, are gracious and full of compassion, *
slow to anger, and full of kindness and truth.
16 Turn to me and have mercy upon me; *
give your strength to your servant;
and save the child of your handmaid.
17 Show me a sign of your favor,
so that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed; *
because you, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me.


Matthew 13:24-30,36-43
Jesus put before the crowd another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”

Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!”

Swedenborg Insights

Reflection on this passage from Rev. Brian Kingslake a minister at Church of the Holy City in the late 1960's. You can read more of his ideas here.


Human Race now Adult
The development of humanity has been similar to the development of each individual. It was in its infancy at the time of the Most-Ancient church (a state of celestial innocence). Then followed the curiosity of childhood and its loss of innocence (the Fall), leading to youth (the Ancient church) and adolescence (the Christian church), followed at last by adult maturity that we are beginning to enjoy today. First suckling at the mother's breast, then strict parental control, then high school, then university— always under the authority of others until at twenty-one the young person "comes of age." There is a big family party; they are now answerable to nobody but themselves. From that time onwards they are expected to plan their own life, as they want it to be.

So with the human race. With the Last Judgment in 1757 ( The Last Judgment ), it gained its maturity. True, society is at present in a state of turmoil as it adjusts to its adult responsibilities; but humanity itself is now in control of the world, for good or ill. The responsibility rests on its shoulders; it will be up to all of us how the human race develops in the future or whether it develops at all! Humanity has had the "coming of age" ceremony, and has been given the key of the universe. Let us hope that, with the Lord's help, we will use it wisely!
Rev. Brian Kingslake



Giving is way down, so please send your offering.


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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