Finding Serenity in Challenging Times

One of the biggest challenges people have these days is finding a sense of peace in the midst of the chaos. A word we almost never use is serenity, which means the ability to be calm in a crisis. There’s so much to be angry at in our world and in our lives. Anger can serve a purpose but it can also pull us down and envelope our lives. 


The great spiritual teachers and the people we most respect are those who can remain calm in a crisis. Serenity is that ability to see the world for all of its challenges and yet find inner peace. I’ll be talking about the power of serenity and how we develop it in our lives this Sunday. 


I look forward to seeing you,


Rich

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Readings for The Coming Sunday:

Matthew 14:22-33 - New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition

Jesus Walks on the Water

22 Immediately he made the disciples get into a boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. 25 And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”


28 Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”


Psalms 37:5

Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.  


Swedenborg Insight

Arcana Coelestia 8478:3

"Very different is the case with those who trust in the Divine. These people, despite the fact that they are concerned about future events, still are not, because they do not think of the morrow with worry, still less with anxiety. Their spirit is unruffled whether they obtain the objects of their desire, or not; and they do not grieve over the loss of them, being content with their lot. If they become rich, they do not set their hearts on riches; if they are raised to honors, they do not regard themselves as more worthy than others; if they become poor, they are not made sad; if their circumstances are meager, they are not dejected. They know that for those who trust in the Divine all things advance toward a happy state to eternity, and that whatever befalls them in time still leads towards it."    


Arcana Coelestia 6210

"It has sometimes happened that I was earnestly thinking about worldly things, and about such things as give great concern to most persons.... At these times I noticed that I was sinking down into what is sensuous; and that in proportion as my thought was immersed in such things, I was removed from the company of the angels.... For when such thoughts possess the whole of the mind, they carry the lower mind downward, and are like weights which drag it down; and when they are regarded as the end, they remove the person from heaven…"


Serenity Prayer

O God and Heavenly Father, Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; courage to change that which can be changed, and wisdom to know the one from the other, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Last Sunday:

Thanks for those who joined our discussion on AI last week. It was fun asking ChatGPT to answer questions in the discussion time!


A link to the sermon recording can be found here and transcript can be found here.

Memorial Service for

Late Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ)

Our Church will be hosting a large memorial service for the late Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) who attended services with us (pictured above, second from the left). If any of you in the area can volunteer on February 4th at 3PM, reach out to Rich (email: revtafel@holycitydc.org). Cindy McCain is planning on attending the service.

Aloha from Hawaii:

Happy birthday to Kateryna who recently visited her family in their new digs in Hilo, Hawaii! Sending pictures and lots of sunshine to the CHC family!

Thought for the Week:

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