"What is True Christianity" with Steve Svelmoe

This Sunday: What is True Christianity

with Steve Svelmoe

This Sunday, Steve Svelmoe will lead our congregation in a conversation around modern-day Christianity, and how that impacts our social, civic and community engagement in this country and globally.

"The decline in civility and the disarray that we are experiencing in this country and throughout the world are primarily a result of inadequate religious and moral leadership," says Steve. "That is, that the political instability that we observe is a simply symptom of this underlying problem, which needs to be addressed at its root for workable solutions to emerge."

Building on that thesis statement, Steve will work to build on Rev. Rich Tafel's sermon, "What's the Future of the Christian Church", and explore ways in which the Church of the Holy City can begin to address the issue. 

In preparation for the meeting, Steven invites all to rewatch the sermon Rich's sermon (at least the part starting at 14:30 and continuing to the end).  

Click here to view Rich's sermon on YouTube.

Click here to listen to the podcast version.

Please join us, and invite others who may benefit from this discussion. 

About Steve: Steve Svelmoe is a spiritual seeker and blogger, passionate about the intersection of politics and religion. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War, where he served from 1966-67.

Having experienced PTSD as a result of this experience, Steve struggled with depression and homelessness. He credits his encounter with God as a motivation to turn his life around, completing a college education at Cal State University Hayward in 1981, and then pursuing a career in accountancy. Today he lives with his wife Natalie in Stevensville, MT.

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Readings for The Coming Sunday

Old Testament Readings: Isaiah 58: 5-11

  Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the Lord?

  “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed2 go free, and to break every yoke?

  Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

  Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

  Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,

 10  If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.

 11  And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden,

like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

New Testament Readings: Matthew 22: 36-40

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Other Readings:

Oxford professor Thomas Linacre (circa 1520) upon reading the Gospel near the end of his life for the first time in its original Greek

"Either this is not the Gospel or we are not Christians." 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1938) the opening line of The Cost of Discipleship:

Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our church. We are fighting today for costly grace.

Rich Tafel (5/22/22) sermon at Church of the Holy City:

There are also some theological reasons for the decline in church membership, because the church has spent hundreds of years not following the teachings of Jesus and not teaching the teachings of Jesus, to love our enemies, to forfeit power, and to be of service to others.

Recap of Last Week:

Dr. Malcolm Peck on Reclaiming Wholeness

Last week we enjoyed hearing from Dr. Malcolm Peck, the Vice President of the Church of the Holy City, and an internationally-recognized authority on Middle East and Islam.

Many who heard Malcolm speak about his encounters with personal tragedies and grief, and how he had subsequently assisted our former CHC President, Ms. Helen Sioris, in the last months of her life, felt touched by his profound yet actionable way of "living" his faith through love and compassion.

You can view the recording of Malcolm's powerful testimony here, also available in podcast format here.

Some of you had also asked where to find past sermons. As a helpful reminder, sermons are posted on our website and the YouTube Channel, with excerpts shared on our Facebook page. 

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Celebrating Birthdays at Church of the Holy City

We are celebrating past and upcoming birthdays at Church of the Holy City.

Join us in wishing well to Natalie Svelmoe, who just celebrated her birthday on July 28th! Also, if you are not on the list, please send us your birthday date, so that we can reach out to you on your special day!

Movement, Art, Reflection and Community:

Try This Next Wednesday

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.

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). The sessions are free and open to the public.

We invite you to join one of their Wednesday sessions by registering below.

Also, please consider the following poem by Julia Karpeisky to guide you this week.

"Freedom from screen time, freedom from work time.

Freedom for play time, and freedom for beach time.

Freedom from them time, and freedom for we time.

Freedom for you time, and freedom for me time..

Freedom to kill time, and freedom to make time.

Freedom to take time, and freedom to steal time.

Freedom to squeeze time, stretch time, and freeze time.

And most importantly

Freedom to FREE time!"

Register for the next 30-min Virtual Retreat

Food for Thought:

The Role of Church in Today's Society

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