A Conversation on Spiritual Life Lessons with Jason Bellini

This Sunday: A Conversation on Spiritual Life Lessons with Jason Bellini

This summer, members of our community are taking a lead with CHC Sunday worship services. This week our Jason Bellini will guide us in a conversation on living a spiritual life, while sharing personal examples we can all learn from.

About Jason: Jason Bellini serves as a Specialty Reporter for Newsy, most recently covering the conflict in Ukraine.

Prior to his current role, Jason spent eight years as a senior video correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. There he produced and hosted a flagship magazine-style show that traveled the world to report on new technologies and other breakthroughs shaping our world. He also did award-winning enterprise reporting and led WSJ's on-the-ground video coverage of major news events. Jason is also an alum of Bloomberg TV, CNBC, and CNN.

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Recap of Last Week

Last week we had a fabulous(!) conversation with one of our Board Members, Nikiar (Niki) Ahmadi, on spiritual resilience.

We are grateful to all those (including Niki's own family) who joined us in the discussion, shared their insights, and asked questions.  We particularly encourage you to listen to Niki's take on how one's understanding of the world - whether the Universe is something that conspires against you, or comes to support you in your purpose - can affect your resilience to life's challenges.

A full recording is now available on: www.holycitydc.org, as well as our Podcast website and YouTube Channel!

Please be sure to "subscribe" and "follow" us on social media for the latest updates, and leave your comments below the posts.

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You Are Invited:

Weaving Reciprocity - the Good Work Showcase

This week join Shalonda Ingram and other worker-owners from 5 different solidarity economy businesses talk about owning their jobs and what's different about a democratic workplace.

Date: June 9, 2022

Time: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EDT

Venue: Online

About the Program: In this time of the Great Resignation, what is good work? Can a workplace ever be liberatory?

Many workers have grown skeptical of what are sometimes called “quality jobs” and are voting with their feet in search of Good Work. But where can it be found? How is it different from most other conventional work? How can we enable more of it through investment and public policy?

This event, moderated by Kate "Sassy" Sassoon (Zebras Unite) and Mike Strode (Open Collective), showcases workers from several solidarity enterprises in order to hear their voices and get a look inside their workplaces, all of which operate within the larger solidarity economy movement.

Click on the registration link below to learn more.

Register for the Event

Our History Corner:

Depicting a Meeting of the Church of the New Jerusalem in 1852 

Item # 22.2 (June 11, 1852, at Professor Pendleton’s)

Scene: “Meeting of the Society of the First New Jerusalem Church, at Professor Pendleton’s”

Dear Rev. Tafel,


I have an amazing story for you so I hope you have a few minutes to take it all in. In 2019 I was given a collection of letters written between 1843 and 1870 by a woman who went by the nickname of “Nanty.” She was Mary E. Dawes, born in Baltimore, MD in 1829 to George Minot Dawes (1802-1871) and Mary E. Greenleaf (1806-1886). Shortly thereafter, the Dawes family returned to Quincy, MA to care for the couple’s aging parents (the Greenleafs).


Nanty grew up in the Greenleaf family home there in Quincy surrounded by relatives, all descendants of the Col Thomas Dawes, William Greenleaf and, most importantly to this story, Richard Cranch. Richard was married to Mary Smith, Abigail Adams’ sister, and he was often referred to as the best friend of John Adams. His son William Cranch, became a Chief Justice of the US Circuit Court in the District of Columbia, serving the court from 1801-1855.


Nanty’s letters are correspondence between she and her cousin “Bones” (Lucy Cranch Dawes) who lived in Washington DC for most of those years. Of greater interest were the drawings or caricatures she included with the letters depicting various family members and activities in and around the local area. Once Nanty finished school, she spent time in Washington with her great uncle William Cranch (the judge) living in his home which was not far from the Supreme Court.


As I reviewed the many “scenes” in her drawings (complete with conversations among the individuals portrayed) I came across a few that I believe would be of great interest to you. One is entitled “Meeting of the Society of the First New Jerusalem Church, at Professor Pendleton’s” dated June 11, 1852. Just yesterday, I began doing research on this church in DC and found an article entitled “History of the Church of the New Jerusalem in the City of Washington” by Job Barnard written in 1922. Page 26 about knocked me over! It mentioned Rufus Dawes and his involvement with the development of the church. With each continuing page I was seeing the names of individuals who were in the drawings and letters – Crutchett, Fairfax, Pendleton, Hall, Hitz, Donaldson. On page 32 Mary’s name appears along with a number of her relatives.

Rufus Dawes was Nanty’s uncle (father’s brother). He was married to Elizabeth Cranch (the judge’s daughter) and lived with her in the judge’s home. Two of the judge’s sons, John and William G. are also among the group in the drawings as are so many others. This is like opening a window in 1852 and seeing what everyone was doing as they planned for the new church building. I have attached a copy of one of the drawings for your review and hopefully amazement.


I just completed a book entitled, “Proving Richard Cranch” which I self-published. In it I take the reader on my 20+ year investigation of a piece of furniture I believe was once owned by Cranch. Nanty’s letters provided me with some critical evidence which is discussed in the book. I now plan to write a companion book, “Discovering Nanty Dawes” to highlight this incredible collection of letters and drawings. After finding the connection to your church, I feel this deserves its own chapter. I am a member Scottsdale Bible Church but know nothing about your church. I would like to know if you would be interested in collaborating with me on this chapter to get its history and theology right.


I did do some research on the church a few years ago before I had the letters. My research took me to Baltimore. There I discovered that Nanty’s parents and her uncle Harrison Dawes and his wife Lucy, were members of the church around 1820-35.


My book is a long way from being published, however I did want to reach out to you now to see what your interest level might be. I do consider the attached image private property at this point and would appreciate your discretion in sharing it with others.


On a side note, I enjoyed watching your sermon on “What’s the Future of the Christian Church.” Living in Arizona, we often discuss the drop in attendance/membership but I have never heard anyone provide predictions for the future. I don’t think you are too far off the mark.


Kindest regards,


Carleen Watts

Something to Think About:

John Adam Reflects on Power and its Pitfalls

"Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God’s service when it is violating all His laws.

Our passions, ambitions, avarice, love and resentment, etc., possess so much metaphysical subtlety and so much overpowering eloquence that they insinuate themselves into the understanding and the conscience and convert both to their party. And I may be deceived as much as any of them, when I say, that power must never be trusted without a check."


 John Adams (letter to Jefferson, 2 February 1816; orthography modernized)

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