How much is Enough?

How Much is Enough?

This Week

In the past few weeks, the company Twitter agreed to be sold to an investor for $41 billion.

That’s a lot to get your head around. How much is $41 billion? It’s enough to buy a meal a day for 42 million people facing famine by giving them one meal per person per day for seven years.


Of course, Elon Musk isn’t taking investment tips from me, but when you have $264 billion, it does raise the question of how much is enough?


This Sunday, I’ll be looking at Scripture and insights into our tradition to answer that question. Is there a limit on how much one person should have in terms of money when millions live in abject poverty? How much wealth should each of us seek in our lives?


Last Week

Last week I challenged our church to take a more leadership approach to help houses of faith play a leadership role in political polarization. Thanks for your emails and comments after the service. It seemed to have hit a nerve with our group and that’s something the board will be factoring in as we imagine our future vision for our work.

You can watch it here.

I hope you can make it Sunday for our worship and discussion.




Link to Join Sunday Service
Submit Your Offering
Link to Join Monday's Book Discussion

The Voices of Our Community

Thank you to the Church of the Holy City's Treasurer Tony Raffa for sharing your insights on the true value of community, and our community's true values.

Also, thank you to all those who volunteered to be interviewed by Kateryna Pyatybratova this year, as we learn from each other about what you are getting out of our time together.

If you would like to share your perspective on CHC, please email Kateryna at to set up a time for a one-on-one interview.

Our Community of CHC Spiritual Entrepreneurs is Advancing the Vision of Justice & Inclusion 

Church of the Holy City seeks to become our nation capital’s first spiritual entrepreneur incubator hub.

Last month Rev. Rich Tafel sat down with CHC Secretary and IndigoPathway Founder and CEO Sheri Smith, one of the thought leaders in the field of spiritual entrepreneurship. Sheri’s book, “Spiritual Entrepreneurship: Raw Reflections of a Female CEO” is due to be published later this year.

Check out the Press Release
Extended Interview Transcript

You're Invited: Join Us at the 198th Convention

of the Swedenborg Church in Los Angeles

The Board of Directors of Church of the Holy City voted last week to support any member who needs financial help going to the denomination's convention in Long Beach, CA June 15-28.

If you are interested, please register below.

The church will reimburse you! Just email Rev. Tafel.

Link to Register for the Convention

Church of the Holy City Hosts Video Production

"Video is the new stained glass."- Shalonda Ingram

Join Weekly Movement, Art, Reflection & Community Retreats with Nancy and Julia

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).

We invite you to join one of their Wednesday sessions (free and open to the public), but RSVPing below.

Link to RSVP for the Wednesday Retreats

Other CHC Notices

  • Big Kudos to Shalonda Ingram for helping the CHC to obtain and maintain its Power Host status on Peerspace! This means that our renter's avg. review score for the space was 4.8 (benchmark being 4.5), with a 94% response rate (benchmark being 90%)!

  • As a helpful reminder, May 22nd is the Last Sunday of Rev. Tafel's sermons until Fall. There will be a "town hall" congregation update for anyone interested in learning what was decided at the Church Board Retreat following the May 22nd Service.

  • Summer schedule, led by members of our own CHC community, is provided above.

Sunday Readings


Matthew 19:23-30

23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[a] or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

Swedenborg Insights

357. Rich and Poor People in Heaven

There are various opinions about acceptance into heaven. Some people think that the poor are accepted but not the rich; some think that rich and poor alike are accepted; some think that rich people cannot be accepted unless they give up their assets and become like the poor - and all of them support their opinions from the Word.

However, as far as heaven is concerned, people who differentiate between the rich and the poor do not understand the Word. At heart, the Word is spiritual, though it is natural in the letter; so, if people take the Word only in its literal meaning and not in some spiritual meaning they go astray in all kinds of ways, especially regarding the rich and the poor.

They believe that it is as hard for rich people to enter heaven as it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle and that it is easy for the poor by reason of their poverty, since it says, "Blessed are the poor, because theirs is the kingdom of the heavens" (Luke 6:20-21).

However, people who know something about the spiritual meaning of the Word think differently. They know that heaven is for everyone who lives a life of faith and love, whether rich or poor. We will explain below who are meant by "the rich" in the Word and by "the poor."

Out of a great deal of conversation and living with angels, I have been granted sure knowledge that rich people enter heaven just as easily as poor people do, and that no one is shut out of heaven for having abundant possessions or accepted into heaven because of poverty. There are both rich and poor people there, and many of the rich are in greater splendor and happiness than the poor.

Last week's sermon was on the coming civil war and what we can do about it and this week in Washington tensions were ratcheted up. Thanks to Maria de los Angeles for sending in this photo of the protests in front of the Supreme Court over the leaked opinion overturning Roe v. Wade.

What the Pastor's Reading

How Civil Wars Start: AND HOW TO STOP THEM 

By Barbara Walter


It’s not just a phase.

By Jonathan Haidt

Some People Turn Suffering Into Wisdom, DAVID BROOKS

How to Make Change, Slowly

Making a difference is not just about charismatic leaders and huge protests. As these books show, social and political shifts are usually the result of sustained, unseen work. By Gal Beckerman

A nonprofit promotes justice by creating employee-owned enterprises and industrial cooperatives

Inspired in part by Catholic social teachings, The Industrial Commons seeks to create “an inclusive economy rooted in community and dignity.” LINK

The great church property flip: Florida pastors seek salvation in real estate: As membership plummets, church leaders are looking for new ways to make ends meet. Some congregants say they’re selling out LINK

How money from dying churches could breathe new life into communities LINK

Does Religion Make People More Ethical?

Research shows that when it comes to moral behavior, engaging in rituals and practices matters more than identifying with a faith. LINK

One Way to Live Longer: Stop Worrying About Getting Old

New book, ‘Breaking the Age Code,’ aims to reframe how we think about aging, promises benefits. LINK

A Church Without Churches

Does Mainline Protestantism care about the local church? LINK

"The good of use. Love and wisdom without the good of use are nothing; they are only ideal entities, and do not become realities until they exist in use."


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