Developing Spiritual Resilience through Pure Motivation

This Sunday: Developing Spiritual Resilience through Pure Motivation

Dear Friends:

This is our third week in a series on how to become more spiritually resilient. We’ve discussed how to become more self-aware and how to develop moral courage. This Sunday we’ll be discussing the importance of aligning your motivations as you engage the world.

This is one the hardest parts of developing a deeper spiritual life, but critical for us to advance.

See you Sunday!

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Readings for The Coming Sunday

Proverbs 16: 1-2

To humans belong the plans of the heart,

    but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.

All a person’s ways seem pure to them,

    but motives are weighed by the Lord.

Matthew 7:15-23 (A Tree and Its Fruit)

15 Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, by their fruit you will recognize them.

21Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness!’

Swedenborg Insights

… we must examine the intentions of our will. When these are examined and have been laid aside, we are lifted from our earthly will—where the evils we inherited and the evils we have committed are lodged—to our spiritual will. Through that higher will, the Lord reforms and regenerates our earthly will, and works through it to reform and regenerate the sensory and voluntary faculties of our body, until the process has encompassed the whole of us. (Regeneration)

Hypocrites are those who talk well and do well, but they are always thinking about themselves. They talk as angels do about God, heaven, love, and heavenly life, and act rightly, so that they may appear to be what they profess to be. But their thinking is different; they believe nothing; and they wish good to none but themselves. They do good things solely for the sake of themselves, or if they do good to help others, it is only for the appearance, and so just for the sake of themselves. (Heaven and Hell)

Recap of Last Week:

We had a great discussion in the aftermath of the sermon on Moral Courage around the current immigration crisis. Stay tuned, as immigration may become the prompt for Rev. Tafel's sermon topic at the conclusion of the six-week Spiritual Resilience series!

You can view the last sermon recording here.

Also, by popular demand, we wanted to see what community events or discussions may be of interest to the CHC members outside of the church services. Reach out to Kateryna Pyatybratova at with your ideas.

CHC YouTube Page 
Check Out the Podcast Series
CHC Facebook Page
Register for the Book Discussion

Overheard on the Grapevine

Community Updates from the CHC Community

Last week we had a chance to sit down with one of our longtime community members, Jimmy Cox, who some of you may recognize as the Wedding Coordinator at Church of the Holy City.

Jimmy recalled some of his best memories, having served at the Church for over 30 years, and shared some of his pearls of wisdom on faith (see quote above). The full interview transcript is to be published next week.

Did you hear? This past spring Rev. Rich Tafel was elected to become President of the Board at Citizen University and he'll be at their annual conference in Los Angeles next week.

Click here to learn more about the Citizen University. 

Also, this week Rev. Tafel, in partnership with SoulFull Life University, presented a two-hour workshop on entrepreneurship to young leaders, ages 18-24, who are participating in the DC Department of Employment Services' East of the River Career Pathways Program.

Young people volunteered their ideas for starting businesses in music, fashion, hair care and food industries. It was also exciting to see the youth provide advice and consult one another on potential avenues for finding customers and growing their ventures. Rev. Tafel will be returning to the program next Tuesday to provide additional coaching to these young leaders on developing and launching their businesses.

'You are More Powerful Than you Think.'

Why One Man Says It's Too Soon to Write Off Democracy in America

By: John Blake (CNN)

"You are more powerful than you think."

That's the title of one of Eric Liu's most popular books, but it's also a theme that runs throughout the work of the author and activist. He's spent much of his life trying to persuade people that "democracy still works, and is worth believing in."

Liu, 54, is CEO and co-founder of Citizen University, a nonprofit group based in Seattle, Washington, that teaches people how to cultivate civic power. He also is an evangelist for democracy, a charismatic writer and speaker whose philosophy could be distilled in this observation from the late historian Howard Zinn: "Democracy is not what governments do; it's what people do."

"I am a Democrat, but I am not a partisan for my party. I am a partisan for democracy," Liu told CNN.

Liu's optimism may seem misplaced today. One recent poll found that 64% of Americans believe their democracy is "in crisis and at risk of failing." Another recent poll found 72% of Americans say the US used to be a good model of democracy, but not in recent years. More than half of Americans now say they expect a civil war to erupt in the near future.

But where some see chaos, Liu sees vitality. He says engaged citizens get angry; apathetic and cynical citizens don't make noise. And amid anxieties about Russian aggression and an emboldened China, Liu says America's tumultuous political climate is not a weakness but a strength.

Click here to continue reading

Thought for the Week

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