Dealing with Conflict in a Community

This Sunday -

Dealing with Conflict in a Community

Dear Friends,

During the Thanksgiving season, we give thanks for God’s blessings. Many will reach out to our community and gather. Some of us will avoid gathering because we fear where the conversation might go. Part of being in a community is learning to deal with conflicts.

One theme that has resonated with me this fall in our sermons and discussions is the importance of building community. 

Last week our board president Annabel Park shared her experiences from being on the campaign trail this fall. She emphasized the need for community pointing out that for years she worked to “bridge the divide” but now sees the challenge differently. 

She pointed out that it is not the divide we need to bridge but the community we need to build. This Sunday after Thanksgiving, I will talk about the importance of community in our spiritual practice and ways we can develop it with a focus on our ability to deal with conflict.

If you are interested in discussing ways to build community, please join us Sunday at 5 PM EST

Communion this Sunday

Also, we will celebrate communion this week, which ritualizes the importance of gathering for a spiritual meal together. Bring your own bread and wine or juice to the call as well.

Guests at the Church

As you can see from this week's photos, leading scholars from different faith backgrounds have been stopping by the church to engage in dialogue about what we believe as we learn more about their beliefs.

Thank You

Working at this church has been one of the great unexpected blessings in my life. I’m wishing all of you a very happy Thanksgiving. Thanks to those who come each week to our service, those who manage the church business each month behind the scenes on the board, to those who help us reach out to new people, and those who manage the church building day in and day out. 

Thank you,


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Readings for The Coming Sunday:

Matthew 18:15-20

Dealing with Sin in the Church

15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. 18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Swedenborg Insights

Heaven and Hell by Emanuel Swedenborg, sections #41–50

The angels of any given heaven are not altogether in one place but are separated into larger and smaller communities depending on differences in the positive impact of the love and faith they are engaged in. Angels involved in similar activities form a single community. There is an infinite variety of good actions in heaven, and each individual angel is, so to speak, his or her own activity.

We can see from this that the good gathers everyone together in the heavens and that angels are differentiated by what good they do. Still, it is not the angels who gather themselves, but the Lord, the source of all that is good. He leads, unites, differentiates, and keeps them in freedom to the extent that they are engaged in what is good. So, he supports every individual in the life of his or her own love, faith, intelligence, and wisdom—and, therefore, in happiness.

Further, people of similar quality recognize each other just as people in this world recognize their neighbors, relatives, and friends, even though they may never have seen each other before. This happens because the only relationships, kinships, and friendships in the other life are spiritual ones and are, therefore, matters of love and faith.

Recap of Last Week:

Last Sunday (11/20) at Church of the Holy City we sat down with CHC President Annabel Park, and learned more about her path to activism, building connections with people across the political aisle, as well as her experiences from the campaign trail during the midterms.

Here is one profound takeaway from the conversation.

"I always feel more encouraged when I am actively involved and talking to voters, real people that I had a chance to talk to at the door, or had a chance to work with," said Annabel.

"Because when I talk to people, even when they are on the other side politically from me, there are always ways to connect with them at a human level. Not always, but often. There are these universal needs that people have that I can plug into. Like, people need to be heard, they need to feel valued and included. There are certain things that I think we can offer as a human being in that moment. I can certainly listen, I can certainly show respect. When I do that, even if what they are saying, I am not agreeing with them, it doesn't matter, because I am connecting with them..."

Check out the full recording here.

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Overheard on the Grapevine:

Guests at the Church

Paul Edwards, who heads up the Wheatley Institute and Brigham Young University, stopped by the church with student leaders to learn more about our church. We discussed some surprising connections between the LDS faith and Swedenborgianism.

Rev. Tafel was delighted to host a meeting with Rev. Chris Davis, a Southern Baptist Church in northern Virginia and to learn more about Rev. Davis’ new book “Bright Hope for Tomorrow: How Anticipating Jesus’ Return Gives Strength for Today.”

Just in Time Renovations at the

Church of the Holy City

Just in time for the freezing weather Church of the Holy City has installed a new boiler system. Thanks to our building manager Jimmy Cox for getting the job done!

Thought for the Week:

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