What's the Best Way to Deal with Evil in Our Own Lives?

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What's the Best Way to Deal with Evil

in Our Own Lives?

Last Week

Thanks to all of you who joined us for our discussion of why a loving God would allow bad things to happen to good people. During the discussion the practical question was raised what steps can we take in our personal life to confront evil?

So, I’ll cover that this week.

Virtual Coffee Hour

Also, we tried something new last week in our discussion. At the end of discussion time, we broke into small groups to check in with one another. Thanks to Kateryna for guiding this process. Those who did the small groups enjoyed them. Dr. Peck gave this time a new name as our "virtual coffee hour" bringing back the personal check-ins we had in the past.

After breaking into groups we came back as one group and offered feedback. We decided this week to make these changes. First, we’ll ask anyone not interested in a virtual coffee hour to say goodbye. Second, we will split into groups of two. Third, we’ll ask each person to take only half the time. Finally, we agreed to share our thoughts on the sermon and any personal updates on how we're doing that week.

I hope you’ll give a virtual coffee hour a try. If you don’t need it, someone else probably does.

This Week

Following up on last week about why we have evil in the world, this week I’ll speak about specific things we can do in our own lives to combat it.

A few of you asked for the music from last week. Here it is:


I look forward to seeing you Sunday,

See you Sunday,

Rev. Rich Tafel

Parish House door in the snowstorm.

Sunday Service Order


Light a Candle

Open the Word

Take a Deep Breath


Loving God, thank you that you promise us that where two or three are gathered you are there in the midst. Lord, we welcome You amongst us today and celebrate the gift of life that you have given to each of us.


Open our ears so that we may hear your voice.

Open our minds so that we may receive Your eternal wisdom.

Open our spirits so that we may know Your leading and guidance.

And open our hearts so that we may receive Your wonderful love. Amen.




O God, you made us in your own image.

Look with compassion on the whole human family.

take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts.

break down the walls that separate us.

unite us in bonds of love.

and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that we love one another.



Matthew 5

43-47“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the supple moves of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

Swedenborg Insight

Evil spirits take our misconceptions and weaknesses and shape them into a fog of emotion, which they use to block and distort the light of truth; or else they torture us with anxiety.

Another device they use is to train our thoughts on a single issue, with no letup. They fill it up with crazy notions and at the same time secretly tie our cravings into the insanity. They have countless other underhanded methods as well, which could never be described intelligibly. Little of this reaches our conscious awareness... (Secrets of Heaven §1820:4)



We are very close to our online monthly goal for giving at $2,367.46 with a goal of $2,400. If one or two people would give a total of $50/m we'd achieve our goal.


(Lord's Prayer using sins/sin)



Our denomination is partnering with the Friends Committee to provide a five-part course on how average citizens can engage their government effectively. The final session on May 23rd will be facilitated by Annabel Park and myself at Church of the Holy City on successful strategies we've used to engage policy leaders.

Church in last Sunday's snowstorm.

Photo after the storm.

Board Update

The board held its monthly meeting last week where the board thanked Treasurer Tony Raffa for donating furniture and kitchen supplies from a restaurant he closed (displayed above). The board voted to invest half of the $80,000 recent bequest from Helen Sioris in our Common Fund investment. They also plan to host a board and member strategy retreat in WV this spring depending on the ability to meet in person. Agreement on launching a new online marketing effort was also approved. A plan to commence work on the tower and roof was agreed on as well with financial support from the denomination.

1611 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20009