Why Are We So Lonely and Anxious?

This SundayWhy Are We So Lonely and Anxious?  

Dear Friends,

This past week I was part of a conference at Pepperdine Public Policy titled The Quest for Community, and we explored strategies to build back community in our country.

I moderated a panel on Loneliness with two of the nation’s leading researchers sharing their insights. I learned that, beginning in 2015, the level of loneliness in America skyrocketed. This is a full five years before COVID. What I also learned was that anxiety and fear are tracked almost directly to loneliness.

Sunday, I’ll share some insights I learned and look for wisdom from our spiritual tradition to help guide us through our loneliness and fears.

I also wanted to ask everyone to keep our fellow member Ross Capon in your prayers. Ross suffered from a digestive issue and had emergency surgery last Saturday. He’s recovering nicely. When I met him Tuesday at the hospital, he was enjoying his first solid food in four days. Please keep Ross in your prayers.

I’ll see you Sunday,


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Readings for The Coming Sunday:

Romans 8:3

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.

Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

Matthew 6:34

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Swedenborg Insight

When Jesus speaks about not worrying about tomorrow, he does not mean we should not go to the trouble to get the food and clothing or resources for the future. Providing for ourselves and our family is important work.

No, the people with care for tomorrow are those who constantly complain about their role in life and rely on themselves alone rather than relying on God. They focus only on worldly and earthly achievements rather than developing their spiritual life. 

Secrets of Heaven 8478:2-3

Anxiety about the future completely consumes them, as does a desire to own everything and dominate everyone, a lust that burns and grows bit by bit until it exceeds all bounds. They grieve if they do not achieve their desires and become frantic when deprived of them. There is no comfort for the loss because they are furious with God, rejecting him, discarding all belief in him, and calling curses down on themselves. That is what people with care for tomorrow are like. The case is totally different with people who rely on God. Although they do have care for the tomorrow, they do not contemplate the future with anxiety, let alone distress.

Recap of Last Week:

Last Sunday (11/6) Rev. Tafel delivered a moving and powerful message on the theme of death. In a culture that teaches there’s nothing more than what you can see, feel, and touch, it makes sense that death is an uncomfortable subject.

During his sermon, Rich shared a powerful story of assisting his friend, Eduardo, who was dying from AIDS, in coming to peace with his transition. Hear the 1.5-min excerpt here. A full recording of last week's sermon can be found here.

We also recorded the moving community discussion that followed that sermon, which can be accessed here.

During that conversation, Dr. Malcolm Peck recalled that one of the most compelling treatments of this subject is in the form of music, which dramatically explores the nature of life and death at the moment of transition from one to the other, is “Tod und Verklärung”, composed by Richard Strauss in 1889.

"Though only 25 at the time, Strauss presents in his tone poem music that plumbs its subject with passages of transcendent beauty," said Dr. Peck. "It pictures a man who had striven for the highest ideals in his life and is now close to death. In an enchanting melodic passage, his dreams recall past happiness, but he is wracked with pain. As death approaches, he sees before him the goal of his life’s journey and, after a final tormented moment of struggle, expressed in powerful orchestral crescendos, his body succumbs to the angel of death and his soul is released. As the music gently fades away, he realizes the ideal that could only be found in the life hereafter."

Click here to hear that musical composition.

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Overheard on the Grapevine:

New Signage at CHC 

We are preparing new signage for our physical location at 1611 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC, to let our local community learn more about our ministry and our space.

Check out the latest signage to showcase our space as a wedding venue (see a copy of the banner graphic above). For more information, visit Peerspace (link below).

CHC on Peerspace

Thought for the Week:

1611 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20009