What Happens After We Die?

What Happens to our Bodies When We Die?

Most Christian religions believe this is unknowable until we die, but in our tradition, we believe we’ve been given a glimpse into what lies beyond physical death.

In this week’s Bible reading we learn of the time when Jesus appears to his doubting disciples after his own physical death.

Sunday I’m going to explore what we can learn about what happens after we die physically and how knowing more about our life after death applies to our life right now to make us better humans here on earth.


Good Friday

Last Friday we held a short Good Friday meditation with the seven last words of Jesus and the words from the Sermon on the Mount. We had a few comments about how much people liked the meditative space. Thanks to Shalonda Ingram for co-pastoring the service with me.

You can watch it HERE.

Easter Sunday


Last Sunday we talked about the importance of Easter with the good news that good wins out over evil. To challenge the evil in the world and create justice we must start to overcome the evil in our own hearts.

We had a lively discussion and a few participants shared they feel my view of our world evolving in a positive direction might be too optimistic. I really love when people ask questions and we can share our various insights and learn from each other.


You can watch it HERE

I hope you can make it Sunday for our worship and discussion.




Link to Join Sunday Service
Submit Your Offering
Link to Join Monday's Book Discussion

Easter Gathering with the DC-based Community

Summer CHC Schedule Announced

We are delighted to announce that the summer schedule for Church of the Holy City will be driven by entirely by the creativity and energy of our own community! Thank you to all who volunteered to lead one of the sessions.

Please make a point to join these interactive discussions for each other. This is a great way for us to get to know the community at a deeper level, and support one another's spiritual learning and growth.

You're Invited: Join Us at the 198th Convention

of the Swedenborg Church in Los Angeles

The Board of Directors of Church of the Holy City voted last week to support any member who needs financial help going to the denomination's convention in Long Beach, CA June 15-28.

If you are interested, please register below.

The church will reimburse you! Just email Rev. Tafel.

Link to Register for the Convention

Great New Partnership for the CHC

CHC is proud to partner with DeepenYourImpact to bring in more somatic and nature-based wellness practices into our community.

Time and again, it has been noted that nature, movement, taking care of oneself and coming together as a community are key to healing and resilience-building, especially during the difficult times we live in.

The partnership with came by way of Kateryna Pyatybratova and The George Washington University. For the last two years Executive Coach Julia Karpeisky and Integrated Movement Specialist Nancy Sanchez have been leading weekly half-hour retreats via Zoom, combining Movement, Art, Reflection and Community (the MARC Method).

We invite you to join one of their Wednesday sessions (free and open to the public), but RSVPing below.

Link to RSVP for the Wednesday Retreats

Try This Wellness Practice

Other Church Notices

Today, April 20th, marks the 48th anniversary for Cheryl Robertson and her husband! On April 19th, Natasha and Steven Svelmoe also celebrated their 21st anniversary!

May 22nd is the Last Sunday of Rev. Tafel's sermons until Fall

There will be a "town hall" congregation update for anyone interested in learning what was decided at the Church Board Retreat following the May 22nd Service.

Sunday Readings



John 20:19-31

20:19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."

20:20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

20:21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you."

20:22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.

20:23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

20:24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.

20:25 So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe."

20:26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."

20:27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe."

20:28 Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"

20:29 Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe."

20:30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.

20:31 But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.


Swedenborg Insights

Almost all the people who arrive from this world are as astonished as they can be to find that they are alive and that they are just as human as ever, that they are seeing and hearing and talking, that their bodies are still endowed with the sense of touch, and that nothing at all has changed.

Heaven and Hell §456

What the Pastor's Reading

Article of Interest

A nonprofit promotes justice by creating employee-owned enterprises and industrial cooperatives

Inspired in part by Catholic social teachings, The Industrial Commons seeks to create “an inclusive economy rooted in community and dignity.” LINK

The great church property flip: Florida pastors seek salvation in real estate: As membership plummets, church leaders are looking for new ways to make ends meet. Some congregants say they’re selling out LINK

How money from dying churches could breathe new life into communities LINK

Does Religion Make People More Ethical?

Research shows that when it comes to moral behavior, engaging in rituals and practices matters more than identifying with a faith. LINK

One Way to Live Longer: Stop Worrying About Getting Old

New book, ‘Breaking the Age Code,’ aims to reframe how we think about aging, promises benefits. LINK

A Church Without Churches

Does Mainline Protestantism care about the local church? LINK

1611 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20009