Taking the Time to Celebrate and Find Joy

Taking the Time to Celebrate and Find Joy

This Sunday

This is Palm Sunday and we will be exploring how we can find joy, celebration, and connection in the midst of challenging times.

IMPORTANT: We updated the format of the newsletter to allow more room for community engagements. Readings for this coming Sunday can be accessed on the church website, and are linked below. Let us know how we can improve the newsletter.

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Last Sunday: Lesson from a Spiritual Entrepreneur

Last Sunday we loved talking with our Board Secretary and Founder and CEO of Indigo Education Company SheriSmith about her spiritual entrepreneurship journey, and even got a sneak peek into Sheri's upcoming book on this subject!

Check out the full interview with Sheri and Rev. Rich Tafel here: https://bit.ly/3x3OZoF

CHC Holds a Board Retreat

Photos from our Board Retreat in West Virginia this past weekend! Got a lot done but also had a lot of fun together! Check out the full photo album on the CHC Facebook Page here

The Board will have a "town hall" congregation report of what was decided following the May 22nd Service for anyone interested.

Join the Interfaith Iftar with the Rumi Forum

We are delighted to partner with the Rumi Forum to co-host an interfaith Iftar on Saturday, April 9th at 7:30 pm (EST) at our physical church (1611 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20009).

Please join us for the fast-breaking dinner at sunset, and share this joyous occasion with family, neighbors, and community in an atmosphere of fellowship and shared gratitude for Divine gifts.

Church of the Holy City community members in DC can RSVP to join by emailing: katempya@gmail.com.

We Love Hearing from Our Community

What a fantastic summary from one of the longest-standing members, and CHC Vice President Dr. Malcolm Peck that explains our values and the fabric of our community.

You can read about Dr. Peck's career and legacy in the field of Middle Eastern Studies, interfaith and cross-cultural dialogue here: https://bit.ly/3JfUWBp

Three Ways to Help Church of the Holy City

We need your help! Please help our church community grown and thrive, we invite you to commit to one or more of the following:

  1. Share our newsletter with at least one other person in your network this week
  2. Sign up/like our CHC Facebook Page here
  3. We are still looking for six (6) more volunteers to lead a session during our summer series, while Rich is taking a well-deserved break from church duties.

Church Events

Iftar Celebration with Rumi Forum Saturday, April 9th at the church.

Good Friday Meditation will be held on April 15th at noon.

Easter Sunday is April 17th

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.

Congregation Summer Sermon Series is from May 29th through September 4th

Please sign up for a Sunday when you can preach.

Swedenborgian National Convention in Long Beach, CA

June 25th through 28th

The church offers scholarships for anyone who wants to attend.

Sunday Readings

Gospel for Palm Sunday

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:


“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”[b]

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

Nehemiah 8:10

10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Swedenborg Insight

... the greatest in heaven is the one who is least. Whoever wants to be the least has the greatest happiness. Since the person with the greatest happiness is the person who is the least, it follows that such a person is the greatest. What is being greatest if not being happiest? Happiness is what the powerful seek in power and what the rich seek in riches.

I added that heaven does not consist of the desire to be least for the purpose of being greatest, because then the hope and longing is to be greatest. Heaven is wishing better for others than for ourselves with all our heart and serving others for the sake of their own happiness, not for any selfish goal but for love.

Secrets of Heaven by Emanuel Swedenborg, sections #452–54

Ladder to the Light

by Steven Charleston

(The Rung of Action, page 105)

Prayer shared by our denomination President Jane Siebert

"All things come and go.

Be at peace on this blessed day, whether it brings sunlight or storms, serenity or struggle.

Be at peace in passing through it, doing what needs to be done, living as fully as you can, as authentically as you can, at peace in your soul.

Know that all things come and go on the way to where you are called to be.

They pass around you, they pass over and under you, but they do not define you or contain you.

For your life is not an inventory of pains or pleasures but a sonnet of the spirit, a mystery fashioned from and for eternity, a strength so powerful that it can afford to be vulnerable to love.

Be at peace on this blessed day."

1611 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20009