The Mindset to THRIVE

Dear Friends:

Thanks for the great discussion last week, where many of you shared strategies to love your enemies. Your participation in the discussion time was at an all-time high.

This week we are beginning our speaker series of new voices on faith, life, and spiritual resilience. We have a fantastic speaker whose work embodies resilience named Michael Paxton, the Factory Manager with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and Leadership Coach.

In preparation for Sunday’s service, please read his introduction message below and answer his questions as you come to the discussion.


* * *

Sunday Topic:

Are we setting our intentions everyday to withstand the challenges of life, or are we placing ourselves in the mindset to THRIVE? Are you building your foundation up your pillars of strength (Faith, Family, Friends, Community, Exercise)? We will discuss the difference between the need for resiliency and the possibility of thriving.  

Michael Paxton, Factory Manager with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and Leadership Coach via GWU e-Co Leadership program.

Background/Faith story: I have worked in the field of corrections continuously for 24 years consecutively. Originally from southern Louisiana (Algiers, La.), I traveled to many places with my parents via the US Navy. This taught me to be resilient and make friends fast. I unfortunately moved fast and lost touch even faster. Over time I came to long for solid roots and family stability.

I began to practice my faith as a young child at Grace Lutheran church in Lockhart, Texas. This would be where I attended First communion, Catechism, and Church camp at Camp Chrysalis. The very same camp my children would attend decades later all the way through LYLES. I attended classes with the Pastor's son. He brought me into my Christian life the same as he did his own child. With love, care, and devotion. This would make such an impact on my life, that years later, I asked him to travel to preside over my nuptials in another Lutheran church. He gladly accepted! It meant the world to us both. That type of bond in faith and family is one of my pillars that strengthen my foundation. 

I would like everyone to take away a few questions that they can sit with:

  1. What need is this fulfilling in my life?
  2. Does this action or idea inspire creativity?
  3.  Does this connection seem inviting/warm?
  4. Is this person/relationship caring/nurturing?
  5. Am I grounded / Is this grounding?
  6. What kind of connection is this?

And most importantly... What are the pillars in my life from which I draw strength? 

Link to Join Sunday Service
Submit Your Offering
CHC Website

Readings for The Coming Sunday:

Job 14: 7-9 - New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition

For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant.

Philippians 4:8 - New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 

Swedenborg Insight - True Christianity 401 (4-8)

The Lord has provided and arranged that the more our thinking and willing come from heaven, the more our spiritual self opens and adapts.

Maya Angelou:

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.

Last Sunday:

Thanks for those who joined our discussion on What Does it Mean to Love Our Enemies?

One memorable quote from Rev. Tafel's sermon stuck out: "One of the hardest teachings from Jesus is to love our enemies. As we just read, he said, "You shall love your neighbor. And, and you've been taught to love your neighbor and hate your enemy, but I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

[...] And frankly, this passage is maybe one of the most ignored by Christians because it seems almost like from a different world that there's no real connection. Jesus is talking in the abstract. There's nothing practical about it. But I think Jesus absolutely intended for us to live by that. I often said that to the degree that we love our neighbor, that's how we love God. But maybe a deeper definition is if we say we follow Jesus to the degree that we love our enemy is the degree that we love God.

A link to the sermon recording can be found here and a full transcript can be found here. Enjoy!

Pastor's Corner: Rev. Tafel Authors a Chapter on The Power of Inclusion in the "Digital Sanctuary"

A new book is coming out called “Digital Sanctuary,” edited by Rev. Brandan Robertson.

You may remember Brandan’s interview last year on the topic of spirituality and social media. Rev. Tafel has now written a chapter for the book about the power of inclusion in the digital sanctuary, where he shared the stories of how our community moved from in-person to online.

Church of the Holy City to Help Launch a Cultural Translator Training Program

Rev. Tafel is working on yet another book about how we can bring people together across the political divide. Part of the book offers training on cultural translation, and we are beginning to plot out training now. If you’d like to be part of our pilot, let us know by applying below.

This is yet another of the exciting spiritual entrepreneur models to come out of our church!

Click Here to Apply

Overheard on the Grapevine:

CHC Helps Write Winning Grant for the

"New Life for Ukraine" Project

We are celebrating winning yet another grant for the "New Life for Ukraine" project at the Lviv Regional Clinical Perinatal Center (Perinatal Center). The project was awarded nearly USD $300,000 to purchase specialized maternity and postpartum beds to meet the needs of a growing population of internally-displaced refugees.

Last year the Perinatal Center received 5,272 patients (of these 149 were twin births), including a growing number of internally-displaced families from across the country. On average 40% of the patients are residents of Lviv, while the rest (60%) come from other regions.

This is not the first time our Church community has helped the Perinatal Center. Earlier last year Newsy Reporter and our church member Jason Bellini provided important news coverage of the Center during wartime conditions:

CHC Speaker Series:

We Look Forward To Hearing Your Ideas

Check out the speaker schedule through March 12th above!

If you have a speaker, you know who would be great for our Sunday Evening Prayers and Dialogue, or you’d like to share a message, let Kateryna Pyatybratova know by emailing

Thought for the Week:

1611 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20009