Love is Not Enough
This Sunday's Sermon:

Love is Not Enough
(Building on 14th Street two blocks from church)
Transcript of Last Sunday's Sermon below:
Building Resilience
Zoom Video Call in at 5pm EST
As you can see from the photos this week that Church of the Holy City is slowly planning how we can reopen for activity in a safe way.

One big lesson of this pandemic is that we will always broadcast our services going forward. We love our national members.

Things were much quieter in the city this week. We've always been taught that love was all we needed, but is it?


We'll use Zoom again on Sunday.
Here's the link to the Sunday June 12th.

And the call-in number:
(646) 876-9923
Meeting # 85153296920

Thanks again to Kateryna Pyatybratova for her help each week!

I will be online starting at 4:30 PM if want to work out any challenges getting on. If you aren't sure, get on early and meditate.

Social Hour is Discussion Hour
Discussion Hour continues to be a high point in the week for me with such thoughtful discussions.

Here's a good article on what we discussed about genes passing down trauma.

Guidelines for a Good Discussion
This week I'll be speaking about ways your faith can help you be resilient in challenging times.

Come to the discussion time with a curious mind. Be less interested in sharing what you know and more curious about what you want to learn.

Feel free to share differing viewpoints than what you heard in the sermon, but begin you comments with phrases, such as,
"While I found what you said interesting, I came out with a different perspective. Can I share that?"

Use your comments to encourage learning and participation. We are unique among many services that we hold discussions, so avoid combativeness and embrace curiosity.

Remember there's no need to agree with differing viewpoints, but it is important to demonstrate respect for all viewpoints.

Summer Services
In past years, Memorial Day would be the final service for the summer due to the heat in the church, Because we are online and in this crisis, we've decided to continue Sunday worship through June. The church board will come up with ideas to stay connected in July and August when the pastor takes his summer vacation. Let us know if you have an idea.

Service Order
Please save this newsletter and use the service order on the right-hand side.

Please take a minute and send in an offering by using our new link to GoFundMe

We need each other. Please consider joining our church. Let me know if you're interested.

Hang in there. I know these are challenging times. I’m glad we have each other and the Lord.

Physical Distancing

Social Outreach

Spiritual Connection

Your Pastor
Rev. Richard L. Tafel


How to Build Resilience
Here are some phrases I’ve heard this week.
“I’m done with this. I finally got back to work, and the place was destroyed.”
“I can’t take it anymore.” 
“When does this end? I am done.”
“This is too much, too much.”
From the epidemic to the economic collapse to racial injustice to riots and looting, we are all stressed out. This is a time to be resilient and our faith gives us incredible tools for living through a crisis.
Building our resilience is a spiritual discipline.
There are no short cuts, but you can learn what works from the wisdom of others.
I’m going to share 7 ways that I’ve used or seen other spiritual leaders use to foster resilience that we can ask ourselves in times of crisis that allow us to bounce back.
1.The Opportunity to Learn
Our faith gives us a new lens, we are all here on earth to go through challenges. Death is but a transition to a better world beyond our imagination. But we don’t live on earth by waiting for heaven. We must be active to bring more justice to our world while we are here. Resilience training is our soul workout. We know spiritually we grow stronger when we face challenges. In fact, that’s the only way we go.
In today’s text Jesus says the comforting words, “I am with you, even to the end of the age.” That is comforting to know that in this suffering we are not alone.
We believe God is love. God loves you. God is working in your life and wants the best for you. Times of testing and anxiety are the most profound times of spiritual growth. When you feel most alone, the angels are closest to you.
There have been many times in my life, where I’ve said, “I know God loves me. I don’t know about anyone else.” That saying in my head made all the difference. God works with us and through others in our lives in crisis.
During my first year of theological school I felt very alone and my path. This led me to great anxiety. Looking back now, I see it as one of the most profound turning points in my life, but I couldn’t see it then.
Recognize the opportunity to learn in the challenge. Many people during this crisis have told me the same thing, “I’m shifting from what I want to what I need. I’m getting rid of stuff. I’m stopping this. I’m simplifying. I’m focused more on who is important.”
It can be hard to make the mental shift from crisis to a spiritual lesson in your mind, but resilient people do this quite naturally. If we seek to learn in the moment, we will look back at times of crisis as a time of great spiritual growth.
2.Brutal Honesty
Resilient people embrace complications during challenging times and resist the pull toward the superficial solution. With our fractured media and tribal culture, it is harder to really get a handle of what is going on. We are moving toward communicating through simple memes. The resilient see complexity.
One of my favorite business books was “Good to Great” by Jim Collins that speaks to this. He coined a phrase called the Stockdale Paradox referring to Admiral James Stockdale who as a prisoner in Vietnam noticed who was resilient in the prisoner of war camp. It wasn’t the optimists or those who had simple narratives who remained resilient. Instead, it was those who could hold the paradox that combined hope with a most brutal assessment of reality, summing up in this quote:
"You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."
Gaining clarity on the brutal facts, also helps us recognize that we can control how we react even when we can’t control circumstances. Religions that teach that God will never bring harm and offers a simplistic faith set people up for failure. Any teacher who tells you to ignore reality does more harm than good.
We need to be deeply hopeful and brutally honest to be resilient.
3.Know your North Star
Having a mission written down for yourself can be very helpful.
Maybe the best example of this is another case from prison. During the holocaust, Victor Frankl observed in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning” that those who had a higher purpose were the ones who survived. Knowing your north star can help you navigate around the changes you are experiencing in your daily life.
4.    Serve Others
Another paradoxical spiritual teaching for resilience is to ask, “Who can I help?” Our tendency in a crisis is to move to scarcity and turn inward. The great spiritual truth is to get outside yourself.
Study your favorite spiritual leader and you’ll find someone who navigated tough times by serving others. A friend of mine in AA used to say that the way he stayed sober was when the overpowering impulse to drink came, he reached out someone he sponsored and needed his help and offered to help him.
Tom Raffa is the founder of the largest accounting practice in the country based on nonprofits. He shared with me in our company podcast this week that nonprofits who find a way to serve, survive. The same is true for us.
Take time to text, email or call someone who you think might benefit from it. Attending Church is not so much about you, it is also showing up for others. Remember someone who said something to you that made a difference in a tough time and go be that for someone else.
5.   Remember Past Victories
Remind yourself of when you’ve been through tough times before. Did they seem impossible? Did you survive? This memory of past success is another great way to remain resilient. This leads me to another paradox. The older you get the more resilient you get. How many times have we heard an older person say, “I’ve been through worse”-that’s wisdom.
This raises a special caveat for young people particularly adolescents. They often don’t have a track record of success. You may need to be there for them to share your story. Breaking up with your girlfriend or failing a test can be enough to trigger suicide because there just isn’t enough of a track record that you can get through this. We can help ourselves by remembering trials we’ve survived and remember to look out for those who do not.
6.   Get Moving
Action is a great resilient way to break out of anxious feelings. Just working on a solution can build resilience. Physical activity too. I walk every day. That moves my body, releasing dopamine, clears my head, allows reflection. I know that if I were to stop, I’d literally experience chemical changes in my brain and body that would make me sluggish and depressed. Action can also mean getting involved in a good cause. It might involve changing a behavior, but listing out what you can do can build resilience.
Simply going for a walk and saying thanks to God for all you see can shift you toward resilience.
7.   Create Boundaries
Letting go of less important and less purposeful activity is another path to resilience.
Paradoxically again, it could be taking a nap. It can mean saying “No” to more activities. It can mean having clear boundaries. Brene Brown in her book, “Dare to Lead” writes that the one the common trait she found among successful leaders is clear boundaries. She writes, “Daring to have boundaries means loving ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.” This one is a real challenge for me and most ministers. A recent report came out that said many ministers are crashing during this crisis and not being resilient based on their inability to maintain boundaries.
People who don’t use boundaries get eaten up by everyone else’s agenda and ultimately will become resentful and become less resilient.
There are many ways to build the resilience you need. I’ve just shared the seven I found most important in my own life. They include,
Opportunity to Learn
Be Brutally Honest
Know Your Higher Mission
Serve Others
Remind Yourself of Past Success
Get Moving
Create Boundaries
In the process, of trying these out remember to be kind to yourself and be patient. Developing resilience is going to become the most important leadership skill for any of us who seek to follow Jesus.
As we work on this, let’s remind ourselves that wonderful quote from the Christian mystic, Julian of Norwich, “ All will be well.”

Remind yourself of the benediction I give each week in our reading today taken from Philippians 4:7:
May the peace that passes all understanding be with you all.
Elfa Halloway cautiously opening our church doors to prepare for activities this fall.
Order of Worship

Light your own candle.

Set up your Bible or holy book at home.

Opening the Word
Open your Bible at home.

Welcome from Rev. Tafel

Rev. Tafel will greet everyone and ask for readers of the texts.

Read at home.

All: Eternal God, in whom we live and move and have our being,
whose face is hidden from us by our sins,

and whose mercy we forget in the blindness of our hearts:
cleanse us from all our offenses,

and deliver us from proud thoughts and vain desires,

that with reverent and humble hearts we may draw near to you,

confessing our faults, confiding in your grace, and finding in you our refuge and strength;


May almighty God have mercy on us,  forgive us our sins,  and bring us to everlasting life,  through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Psalm 100
Jubilate Deo
1 Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands; *
serve the Lord with gladness
and come before his presence with a song.
2 Know this: The Lord himself is God; *
he himself has made us, and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
3 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise; *
give thanks to him and call upon his Name.
4 For the Lord is good;
his mercy is everlasting; *
and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

Swedenborg Insights

Anyone can see that intending and not acting when we can is not really intending, and loving and not doing good when we can is not really loving. It is only thinking that we intend and love; so it is a matter of isolated thought that disintegrates and vanishes. Love and intent are the very soul of the deed or work. It forms its own body in the honest and fair things that we do. This is the sole source of our spiritual body, the body of our spirit; that is, our spiritual body is formed entirely from what we have done out of love or intent. In a word, everything of our character and our spirit is [embodied] in our works or deeds.

Heaven and Hell

Matthew 9:35-10:8(9-16)
Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. [Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food. Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. As you enter the house, greet it. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

“See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves."


We will save the discussion for after the service in our discussion hour.

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Mail to checks to: 1611 16th St NW WDC 20009

Community Prayers
Here you can simply say your intention with a word or phrase. There's no need to explain details. The Lord knows what's on your heart. All of us will respond together after a prayer is made by saying,
"Lord Hear Our Prayer."

Pastor Prayer

Lord's Prayer (in unison)
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10  Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11  Give us this day our daily bread.
12  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.


Discussion Time
Please stay as long as you like to update each other on how you are doing. Rev. Tafel will stay until the last person has shared. You can ask the minister anything!
16th Street Vigil Against Racism - Tonight!
Photos above and below during the 16th Street protests and vigils. This is the church steps facing 16th.
St. John's Church (above)
Church of the Holy City below.
Armor vehicles located around DC
Pastor in front of church
Police on bikes around the city
Elfa's church gardening is flourishing.
Apple Store at old Carnegie Library Downtown (above)
DC stores are boarded up across the city.

We've added our two most recent pastors to our portrait room. Rev. Jonathan Mitchell and Rev. Andy Stinson.

Church door.

Christ Reformed Church uses our church to broadcast Sunday services. This is something we need to learn to do.

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