Conversation with Annabel Park - Transformational Moments from the 2022 Election Campaign Trail

This Sunday with Annabel Park Transformational Moments from the 2022 Election Campaign Trail

Dear Friends,


The acrimony and fears surrounding this year's midterm elections have reminded us, yet again, of the deep divisions in the fabric of our country; indeed, within our own communities, and even families. Is the future quite as bleak as it feels at the moment?


This Sunday we'll be sitting down with our Church President, Annabel Park, a famous documentarian and political consultant, who has been actively involved in the midterm elections. Together we'll hear Annabel's powerful stories of hope and transformation from the campaign trail. Hope you can make it!


Rich

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Readings for The Coming Sunday:

Matthew 22.15-22

The Pharisees: Is It Lawful to Pay Taxes to Caesar?

15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in Histalk. 16 And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians [members of Herod's party], saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men. 17 Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? 19 Show Me the tax money.” So they brought Him a denarius. 20 And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” 21 They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that areCaesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.


Swedenborg Insight - Heaven and Hell §218

[Good leaders] do not control and command but minister and serve, for doing good for others out of a love for what is good is serving, and making sure that it happens is ministering.

Recap of Last Week:

Last Sunday (11/13) at Church of the Holy City we explored the topic of loneliness, and how the community can help guide us through our anxiety and fears.


"So we are living in a time of great loneliness and anxiety," said Rev. Tafel. "And to the extent that we can be the solution, we can also be a solution to others who are lonely. I think that's a good exercise for all of us this week to think of someone in our life, particularly a younger person, that we can reach out to, and engage in something of a conversation. Because it's quite lonely out there, and it can make a big difference. So that's one practical thing we can do."


Check out the full sermon recording with Rich Tafel here.


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

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On Our Reading List:

Why the End of America's Christian Majority Might Be a Good Thing for Christianity

By: Carey Nieuwhof

In September 2022, Pew Research Center released a startling report that claimed – in rather stark terms – “Christians could make up less than half of the U.S. population within a few decades.“


With headlines like “America’s Christian majority is on track to end” and “America’s Christian majority could end by 2070,” the report’s findings ricocheted across secular news outlets with an unmistakable hint of glee and schadenfreude. 

But for those of us in ministry (or who’ve simply been paying attention), the projections came as less of a surprise. Did we really need longitudinal survey data to tell us what we’ve been witnessing firsthand for years?


Some of us (myself included) would counter Pew Research’s projections with an equally bold claim: America’s so-called Christian majority likely ended decades ago – especially if one considers “lifestyle markers” like regular church attendance, Bible reading, and prayer.


Therefore, Pew Research’s projections might be pointing toward a different cultural phenomenon: An unwillingness to be associated with what passes for Christianity in America today.


And that could actually be good news for Christianity.

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Thought for the Week:

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