"Behold, I make all things new."              2005

     Vol. CXXV     January, 2005     No. 1

     New Church Life



Sin and Forgiveness
     A Sermon on 2 Samuel 12:13
          James P. Cooper     3

Growing the Church
     Bonnie Cowley 11

A Physical Sign of the Second Coming
     Robert Cooper 14

     Comfort and Hope for Widows and Widowers
          Don Fitzpatrick 19

Editorial Pages
     A Subject into Which the Lord Can Operate      20
     When Thousands Die      20

Announcements      22

Contact Persons for Public Worship and Doctrinal Classes      26



     Rev. Donald L. Rose, Editor


     PHILA., PA 19111


     Second-class postage paid at Bryn Athyn, PA

     Vol. CXXV     February, 2005     No. 2

     New Church Life



No Power Without the Lord; But With the Lord All Things Are Possible
     A Sermon on John 15:5
          Mark D. Pendleton 35

Rev. Harold Cranch (Photograph)      44

Memorial Address for Harold Cranch
     Thomas L. Kline 45

Updating the Science of Correspondences-Why, How and When
     Oliver R. Odhner 50

They Were New Church
     Robert H.P. Cole 55

Editorial Pages
     Time Magazine and Happiness      57

     Mr. H.J. Heinz     Richard Linguist 59
     "Miss Keller Among New Church Friends"     Richard Lines 60

Announcements      62

     Vol. CXXV     March-April, 2005     Nos. 3-4

     New Church Life



The Measure of Our Homes
     A Sermon
          Robert S. Junge 71

     Landmarks in Regeneration
          Kurt H. Asplundh 77

The New Church Online
     Bronwen Henry 79

The Divine Marriage and the Marriage of Husband and Wife
     Julie Conaron 84

Renewing Our Purpose, Invitation to the Assembly      97

Disasters, Judgment and Providence
     Erik E. Sandstrom 98

A Gem in The New Philosophy      107

Editorial Pages
     The Greeting of the Risen Lord      108
     The Late Harold Cranch Talks About "Favorite" Passages       108
     Roving for Months on the Surface of Mars      110

Announcements      112

Vol. CXXV     May, 2005     No. 5

     New Church Life



     A Sermon on Luke 18:1
          Christopher R.J. Smith 119

Memorial Address for Freya King
     Thomas L. Kline 127

Memorial Address for David Simons
     Thomas L. Kline 133

"Tsunami Theology" Sent to Chicago Tribune
     Roger S. Murdoch 139

Masculinity and Femininity: A Comparison of Secular and New Church Concepts
     Wendy E. Cooper 143

Editorial Pages
     When You are Directly Addressed in Divine Revelation (2)      156
     A Bright New Quarterly      157

Announcements      158

     Vol. CXXV     June, 2005     No. 6

     New Church Life



How the Lord Made the Second Coming
     A Sermon on Matthew 24:30
          Erik E. Sandstrom 167

Memorial Address for Frederick L. Schnarr
     Derek Elphick 176

Bryn Athyn College Graduates      183

Spiritual "Hydrostasis" (Truth in Balance)

A Charter Day Address
     Grant H. Odhner 184

The Origins of Life-Theory and Its Limitations-Part I
     James Brush 191

Editorial Pages
     Some Writings of Wilson Van Dusen      199
     When You Are Directly Addressed in Divine Revelation (3)      201
     Essays for the New Century Edition       203

     "A Physical Sign of the Second Coming"
          Rutger Perizonius 205

Announcements      208

Secondary School Graduates of the Academy of the New Church 210

Vol. CXXV     July, 2005     No. 7

     New Church Life



The Call to Assembly
     A Holy Supper Talk
Thomas L. Kline 215

You Can Take It with You
     Philip Schnarr 217

New Church Education Redefined
     Nathaniel Brock 222

Why Do We Believe in New Church Education?
     Susan Odhner 227

Intelligence and Collegiate Education
     Dan A. Synnestvedt 231

Before and After-Assembly 2005-Impressions
     Vera Glenn 237

The Liturgy
     John Odhner 241

The Origins of Life-Theory and Its Limitations-Part Two
     James Brush 243

Declarations of Faith and Purpose
     Michael Eugene Ferrell and Jerome Dube 248

Editorial Pages
     The Editorship of the Life      250
     2005 Assembly      250
     When You Are Directly Addressed in Divine Revelation       251
     A Question from an Atheist About Prayer      252

Announcements      254



     Rev. Kurt Ho. Asplundh, Editor

Vol. CXXV     August, 2005     No. 8

New Church Life



Observations on Traveling and Recreation
     A Sermon
          Grant H. Odhner 259

What and Who Is the Church?-A General Assembly Address
     Brian W. Keith 265

"They Think from Affection"
     Erik Sandstrom, Sr. 283

Editorial Pages
     Church Growth       288
     Three Famous Ladies and the Doctrine of Use      289

Announcements      290

Vol. CXXV     September, 2005     No. 9

     New Church Life



Can We Love the Lord's Law?
     A Sermon
          Daniel W. Goodenough 297

Obsession - Part I
     Andrew M.T. Dibb 305

How Will the New Church Grow?
     Michael Cates 316

Editorial Pages
     New Beginnings       324
     Making the Best of New Beginnings       325

     Origin of Life
          Julie Conaron 326

Church News     

Celebrating 100 years in Hurstville, Australia
     Owen Heldon 328

Report from a Rookie at Camp Winding Waters
     Peggy Gallup 330

Announcements       332

     Vol. CXXV     October, 2005     No. 10

               New Church Life



     Faith: More Than Believing
          A Sermon
               Peter M. Buss, Jr. 337

     Renewing Our Purpose
          Opening Words for the 2005 General Assembly
               Thomas L. Kline 345

     Behold, I Am Coming Quickly
          An Assembly Worship Talk
               Derek Elphick 349

     Obsession - Part II
          Andrew M.T. Dibb 353

          The Writings and Evolutionary Theory
               Westley J. Friesen 363

          Unconditional Love       367

     From the Bishop's Office
          Pastoral Changes      369

     Announcements             371

     Church News
          Report from Maple Camp     Grant Schnarr 373

     Contacts for Worship and Classes      374

     New Church Life

     November, 2005          No. 11



     The Good of Use
          A Sermon
               Willard D. Pendleton 381

     The Psalms of Jesus
          Goran R. Appelgren 387

     Intelligent Design
          Walter E. Orthwein 401

          Natural Disasters and Providence      408


     The Marriage Journey
          Andrew M.T. Dibb 410

     Announcements       412

     Church News

     New Church Day Celebration in Pittsburgh
          Patricia deMaine David 413

     General Church Schools Directory      415

Vol. CXXV     December, 2005     No. 12

     Keeping Watch
          A Christmas Sermon
               Walter E. Orthwein 421

     From Ishmael to Isaac
          2005 Charter Day
               Rev. Bradley Heinrichs 426

     Report of the Secretary
          Susan V. Simpson 434

          Prince of Peace     439

          The Theory of Evolution
               Charis P. Cole 440

     Directory of the General Church      443

     Announcements     455      LESSONS and SERMONS

     Priorities - Rev. Andrew Dibb, #106377

     New Beginnings - Rev. Donald Rose, #105534

     Renewal - Rev. Frank Rose, #106384

     When Time Stands Still - Rev. Kurt Ho. Asplundh, #101763

     Renewal of Life - Rev. Brian Keith, #102245

     Reflection - Rev. Grant Schnarr, #101011

     New Beginnings - Rev. Kurt Hy. Asplundh, #10747

     The New Year and a Story of Saul - Rev. Donald Rose, #101619

     Thou Shalt Endure - Rev. Hugo Odhner, #104588

     A New Year for the New Church - Rev. Wm. Burke, #100115


     All Things New In the New Year - Rt. Rev. Louis King, #103656

     Beginning and End - Rev. John Odhner, #106376

     Open Your Eyes - Rt. Rev. Louis King, #101680

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Title Unspecified              2005

     Vol. CXXV     January, 2005     No. 1

     New Church Life


Notes on This Issue 2005

Notes on This Issue              2005

     Although the text of the sermon in this issue is a single verse, the sermon is really about two full chapters in the book of Samuel. Rev. James Cooper writes, "When we enter the world of spirits upon the death of the physical body, all our deeds, both good and bad, are left behind. The foolishness of youth, the failures in temptation, the experiments that went wrong, they are no longer with us, they are no longer regarded by the Lord. Only the lessons that we learned while fighting the battles remain."

     Mr. Robert Cooper is not a relative of James Cooper. He is an Australian who discovered the New Church relatively recently. His article brings back memories. When I lived in England I was president of New Church Club, a group of men who met for discussions in central London. One of the discussions had to do with what could be meant by Swedenborg's 1766 allusion to "a sign." Oetinger had written from Germany, "Give for us a sign that your doctrine of the New Jerusalem is true." Swedenborg wrote a particularly interesting letter in reply. An entire paragraph downplays the importance of signs. But the paragraph ends with an intriguing comment. "But perhaps some sign will still be given." (Sed forte aliquod dabitur adhuc.)

     Bonnie Cowley reflects in this issue on growing the church. She observes that early church founders were wise farmers who knew that for the best yield from their small numbers, cultivation was required. She observes that growth ensued. She asks whether it is time to change our focus. Educators and evangelists will enjoy her remarks, as will gardeners.





Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die." (2 Samuel 12:13)

     The story of David and Bathsheba creates a vivid and clear picture of the spiritual consequences of sin-and at the same time, the forgiveness that the Lord will provide to those who seek it from him by bringing themselves back into order.

     A typical sermon in the New Church studies just a few verses. In this case, however, the story, which makes a complete whole, is contained in two full chapters. While this prevents our studying the literal story in detail, it is offset by the fact that the story is so well known. A few references from the key elements will serve to remind anyone with a basic acquaintance with the Old Testament of the main elements of the story. In our approach for today in taking the wide sweep of the story in our attempt to see the general context and lesson, the detail is not so important.

     In a brief summary, the story begins and ends with the siege of the Ammonite city, Rabbah. David remains behind in Jerusalem. He commits adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, one of his generals. When informed that she is pregnant, he attempts to hide the adultery by calling Uriah back from Rabbah. Uriah refuses to sleep at home while his troops are in the field, which would have made it possible to hide the adultery. So David orders his death. David marries Bathsheba. The child is sickly, and dies. Bathsheba conceives again, and Solomon is born. David is called to Rabbah and conquers the city.

     Let's look at it again in more detail. The story begins with the siege of the Ammonite city, Rabbah. The land of Israel generally represents the human mind.


All the various Canaanite nations that were originally in the land when Abraham was introduced to Canaan, and against whom Joshua fought and with the Lord's help conquered, represented the various hereditary evils that we face in our own lives. This explains why the Lord was so adamant that these nations be utterly destroyed and driven out: they represented evils. You cannot shun an evil conditionally. You cannot shun the evil of stealing, for example, by vowing that you will never steal again-except on Tuesdays. With shunning evil, it is all or nothing.

     This story begins with the siege of Rabbah, a city of Ammon. This gives us the key to the story that follows, for it identifies the leading evil that this battle, or temptation, is being fought against. The sons of Ammon represent "those who are in an external worship which appears holy, but who are not in internal worship. . . . Such worship (is with) those who are in natural good, but despise others in comparison with themselves" (AC 2468).

     This tells us that while the letter of the story may be about the deeds and misdeeds of Israel's greatest king, as to its internal sense, it is about our own battles with the love of self, with the belief that we are better than others, and that because we are better than others, that somehow we have the right to do, think, and say anything we like. Certainly, this is what we see David doing. And the purpose of this story is to lead us to see that such a belief can only lead to that shattering of all the commandments, and deep personal tragedy.

     The armies of Israel are being led by Joab, while David remains in Jerusalem, which should be noted as something unusual for David. David had built his reputation as the great warrior king beginning with his conquest of Goliath, and continuing with his reputation as the one who, under Saul, had killed ten thousand Philistines (1 SA 18:7, 8; 21:11; 29:5). We can only wonder why David did not lead his armies forth this time, as the text does not tell us.


However, looking to the internal sense, we can see that this may represent our own reluctance to turn away from our evils. We may know they are there, and we may understand that we have to fight them, but yet we are reluctant to begin. We seek excuses to delay, to put off the painful experience we know shunning evil to be.

     There was another aspect to this situation: with all the other men away at the battle, David was relatively alone in the city. Certainly there were servants around, but not the other military men whose opinion mattered to David. He found himself in a situation where he could do pretty much what he wanted without having to justify or explain to anyone of consequence. The Heavenly Doctrines tell us that the thing that keeps most of us under control, within the limits of external order, is our own fear of the loss of our reputation, honor or gain. David was suddenly (at least it seemed to him) freed of this restraint, and he allowed his fantasies to become realities.

     David sees Bathsheba bathing while he walks on the roof in the evening. Inquiring about her, he is told that she is the wife of Uriah. Knowing that, he sends for her anyhow. It is not too difficult for us to imagine the various ways he justified his behavior to himself, but it is clear from the text that he had been specifically informed that Bathsheba was a married woman. He knew it was wrong, but he did it anyhow. And she becomes pregnant.

     In the Divine order of things, every truth has some good conjoined with it. Every knowledge can result in something that is useful and of benefit. But adultery represents that conjunction of a good with what is false, thus destroying both the good and its truth. Certainly, we would not eat adulterated food, for we would know that it had been contaminated with filth. And it is no coincidence that the sons of Ammon, the Canaanite nation that David is fighting, represents the adulteration of good and truth. Thus we can see that the subject of this scripture is not just the specific sin of adultery, but includes all kinds of sin where we deliberately combine what is profane and from the loves of self and the world with what is good and from the Lord.


     When Bathsheba reveals to him that she is pregnant, David knows that their adultery will become known, for she must explain how she became pregnant while her husband was away. This is a scandal which David wishes to avoid. He sends for Uriah, who obediently returns from Rabbah. Three times David tries to get Uriah to spend the night at home with Bathsheba, obviously so the child will appear to be Uriah's. But Uriah is an honorable soldier. He cannot sleep in comfort at home while Israel is at war.

     Reading the scripture carefully, it appears that Uriah knew what had happened, and why he had been summoned back to Jerusalem. This appears when David asks him why he has not yet been to see his wife (2 SA 11:10). Uriah replies, "The ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields. Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing" (2 SA 11:11).

     This is a rather pointed comment from Uriah, because he is saying that what David is doing, remaining at home in comfort with his wives, is improper behavior for a soldier. David could not have helped being stung by such a comment, since the wife in question belonged to one who was in the field risking his life to protect David's kingdom. Did Uriah know? There must have been gossip from among the servants. His steadfast refusal to enter his home may have been a sign that he knew it had been contaminated in his absence. Uriah was a man who loved his country, and willingly fought to protect it. He had risen to a position of leadership in the army, which showed he was politically aware. He may have recognized that for him to openly challenge the king over Bathsheba could have led to civil war and the destruction of his country, and so he allowed himself to be given the "honorable" choice of dying in battle.


     David decides that he must kill Uriah so that Bathsheba will be free to become one of his wives. Or perhaps he believes that he must kill Uriah to prevent a confrontation that might lead to civil war. Certainly there is no indication in the text up to this point that David feels any particular attraction to Bathsheba except for her physical beauty. David already has a number of wives. He commands Joab to put Uriah in the hottest part of the battle and to withdraw from him. Uriah carries his own death warrant to Joab. We have to wonder if Uriah knew the contents of the message. Did he in fact suggest it to David as the only honorable solution to their problem? Certainly Uriah stands on the moral high ground in this issue, and he has repeatedly shown his willingness to give his life for his country. Perhaps he saw this in just those terms. And he soon thereafter dies in the battle when the rest of his unit retreats. Uriah was an experienced man of war. He had no doubt trained with this unit. How could it happen that they withdraw from him in battle without his knowledge, without him noticing? Why did he not fall back with them? Perhaps this was his way of showing his love for the peace and security of his country.

     It is also interesting that Uriah was high ranking enough that a messenger was sent to tell David of his death. Joab sends him a coded message to say that the deed is done and Uriah has died. But Joab's knowledge of David's part in this has given him power over David, so David seeks to control Joab in his reply, carried by the messenger. David said, "Thus you shall say to Joab: 'Do not let this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another. Strengthen your attack against the city, and overthrow it.' So encourage him" (2 SA 11:25).

     And David marries Bathsheba as soon as the period of mourning is over. A son is born. The child is not named in scripture.


The Lord is (properly) angry with David. The eleventh chapter ends with things in the depths of sin and despair. Most of the commandments have been broken, but David still thinks he has gotten away with it. After all, he is the king, and he can do whatever he wishes. Even those who know about what has gone on are too weak to threaten him about it. David feels the false power that comes from hell, the exaltation that comes just before the humiliation of exposure when the truth is revealed-as it always is.

     The Lord sends Nathan to tell David the parable of the Lamb. We may be able to hide our sin from others. We may even be able to hide it from ourselves, but we cannot hide it from the Lord. The parable is supposed to be about a rich man killing and eating the poor man's pet lamb. When David hears the story, thinking it is real, he is outraged and condemns the rich man. Nathan tells him that he is that man. David is suddenly aware of his sin, and is humiliated.

     Nathan was a prophet of the Lord. As everywhere else in the Word, a prophet, because the Lord speaks the truth through him, represents the Word. The Word has many functions in our lives. It instructs us in the laws of the Lord, it comforts us in times of trouble, and as in this case, it helps to see ourselves as the Lord sees us. We read about the life of some character in the Word, and it strikes a chord within us when we see that we have been acting in the same way. David is suddenly aware that his sin has not been hidden, that he has fooled no one except himself. The light of heaven has shone upon him, and the wonderful palaces he imagined in his mind are seen to be mud huts.

     In modern terms, this state of mind is called "hitting bottom," and it is generally recognized that for a person to make real change in their lives, they have to first hit bottom, that is, truly recognize that to continue as they are will mean the destruction of everything they love. From a spiritual point of view, we know that a person cannot fight hell from their own strength, so we have to ask the Lord to help us.


But until we "hit bottom" we are too full of ourselves to admit that we need help. We can't win without the Lord, and we don't seek the Lord until we have clearly seen our own failure when trying to do it alone. David says to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD" (2 SA 12:13). The recognition of sin is the beginning of new life: the old self has to die before the spirit can live. But the amazing thing is that once we humbly recognize our own sin, acknowledge it, and seek the Lord's help in removing it, He does forgive us! "And Nathan said to David, The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die"' (2 SA 12:13).

     It's like when kids suddenly find themselves in big trouble. They say, "my parents are going to kill me!" In fact, it often happens that parents are angry over the little, stupid things, but quite helpful and understanding about the big, serious things.

     The child becomes ill, Nathan says it will die. David mourns dramatically, so that the servants fear to tell him when the child dies. But when he does die, David worships, cleans up, and returns to his house. While the child lived there was hope for a miracle. The child was the result of an adulterous conjunction, and as such was a symbol of David's sin. Even while Nathan had showed him his sin, and there was an intellectual acknowledgment that he had done wrong, yet there lingered within him the memory of the delight, the thrill of the adultery. This lingering affection for the evil is represented by the child. But David held himself in order. He did not commit adultery again, and so as time passed, the delight in that evil faded, and eventually died. It is true that while the affection remained he struggled with it: it was a difficult time for him, but he persevered. And so eventually he knew that it was behind him, and it was time to begin his life anew. He and Bathsheba have a second son, Solomon/Jedediah. In the eyes of the law, David was free to marry the widow Bathsheba, and so the next child conceived was legitimate and in fact became the next King of Israel.


     In spite of how we may feel while struggling in the depths of temptation, there is an end to it, and a life of use and happiness on the other side. With the Lord's help, no matter how deeply we may fall into sin, we can come out again. And we find that Joab is still fighting in Rabbah at least two years later. Joab calls David to the battle. David returns to his proper position as the ruler of the armies of Israel, the sons of Moab are defeated, and all return to Jerusalem. The cycle of sin and forgiveness is complete. Another hereditary tendency to evil is defeated and removed from the spirit, and there is a time of rest, happiness and peace before it is once again time to fight against the evils within.

     When we enter the world of spirits upon the death of the physical body all our deeds, both good and bad, are left behind. The foolishness of youth, the failures in temptation, the experiments that went wrong, they are no longer with us, they are no longer regarded by the Lord. Only the lessons that we learned while fighting the battles remain. Then, as the interior loves of the heart are revealed, we are judged (or more correctly, judge ourselves) on the basis of the deeds that come forth from the heart while in the spiritual world.

     The Lord does not look to our physical appearance, nor does He look to the size of our bank account. Remember what the Lord said to the prophet Samuel when he was sent to anoint the new king from among the sons of Jesse, and Samuel was surprised that the Eliab, the eldest son had not been chosen. The LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 SA 16:7). Amen.

Lessons: 2 Samuel 11:1-11; John 8:3-11; AC 2468




     One of the great things about working in the school here in Washington D.C. is seeing what the various homerooms are learning. This fall, several of the younger classes have been studying plants and seeds and since I love science and especially the world of nature, I found myself looking for examples of plants and seeds, whenever I went walking, to share with my little friends. When I'd bring in an interesting seed or seed pod, the children would crowd around looking at it, touching it and soaking in the wonder of the minute creation. Their delight and curiosity is contagious and I too found myself marveling at all the ways these small seeds mirror how life works. Which led me to reflect on how we are to spread the "seeds" of the New Church.

     Seeds are a wonderful picture of how the Word is spread. The incredible variety of seeds also speaks to the infinite variety of ways in which the church can be spread and take root. The Word itself uses the imagery of seeds all the time to illustrate this. Nature produces seeds in incredible abundance and finds unique ways of disseminating these seeds throughout the world. Some seeds simply fall from the trees and take root at their parents' feet, and some of these same seeds are carried off by squirrels or birds to take root elsewhere. Coconuts are built like spherical boats that can float for thousands of miles to distant islands to start new groves. The students have found seeds like cattail and milkweed whose seeds are like mini parachutes enabling them to float on the breezes traveling great distances. They've found little maple "helicopters," sticky burrs that hitch a ride on unsuspecting passersby. And then there are the seeds in tasty fruits that when ingested by birds return to the ground complete with their own mulch in the bird droppings. One of my favorites is the "touch-me-not."


This is a plant which produces a pod of seeds that when brushed by the wind or an animal explodes! flinging the seeds far afield.

     Being on the Washington Development Committee I've been involved in the process of seeking funds for our new building project. There have been presentations to and dialog with the various foundations and General Church entities regarding how they might help us. The response that we are getting from some of them is that they want to invest their money in outreach or evangelization not education and they want evidence that shows our commitment to growth in order to obtain their support. In other words, can we demonstrate that our efforts here in Washington will grow the church?

     What can we learn about evangelization from nature? The first thing we can learn is that planting the seeds of the church is something we should do and there are many ways to do it. Some of us are like farmers who develop, cultivate and care for the truths from the Word. Some of us carry the truth, traveling far distances into unknown territory, like coconuts or milkweed fluff, looking for fertile ground. Some of us try to live the truths we have learned and, like burrs, stick to those opportunities we find in our community of non church friends hoping, that by association and example, we will find fertile ground there. And then there are those of us who, like oak trees, drop our acorns close by nurturing our children with the protective mulch of our homes or church communities.

     There seems to be two important elements to a seed's success. The first one is health. If a plant is weak, diseased or is not given the proper sunlight and water, the seeds it produces (if any) will be of a poor quality often unable to germinate. I like to think of this as the "education" factor. If we are to spread the church, we have to be educated in the church. We often talk about New Church Education not just as something for our children but something for all of us-a life long endeavor. New Church Education strives to nourish the church, its children and adults alike, with New Church schools, sermons, classes and reading groups.


A large percentage of adults stay in the church when they are being fed and nurtured by the church, their children also tend to join if they have attended New Church schools. And these "plants" and "fruits" bear healthy "seeds" that know and love the truths of the church enabling them to spread the truths further, as hearty examples to the rest of the world of a religion that is of life.

     The second element of successful "seeding" is fertile ground. We all know the parable of the sower. Seeds must have a good place to take root. Only those people who are looking for the truth are interested in hearing about it. It is no wonder that, in the wild, plants have to produce so many seeds with the likelihood that most of them will not find good ground. The Lord broadcasts His truths like wild seeds into all of the world, regardless of whether they land on good or stony ground. But those of us in the church are more like the Lord's farmers-in our finite lives we can only hold and care for a limited supply of good seed. This seed needs to be planted into cultivated ground in order to produce the most fruit. The founders of the New Church were wise farmers. They knew that the best use of their resources would be the education of the Church at all levels. They knew, that for the best yield from their small numbers, cultivation was required . . . and the church grew.

     Is it time to change the focus from education to outreach? Have we cultivated the abundance necessary to freely scatter the precious seed of the church everywhere? It is true, most seeds are designed for travel. The survival of a plant species depends on it being able to spread, adapt and develop into new varied forms. But we are asked to be good stewards of His fields. We must not leave the rich cultivated fields of New Church Education fallow in the effort to grow the church. It is from these fields that a healthy planting seed is nurtured. It is from this strong healthy base that we will, in time, have the abundance to freely spread the church everywhere.





     In a letter that Friedrich Oetinger, a Lutheran prelate, wrote to Swedenborg on October 7, 1766, he asked whether a sign would be given that the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem is true. On the following November 11, Swedenborg wrote back that "signs compel outwardly," but that "perhaps some sign will be given."

     This occurred some years before the advent of June 19, 1770, and it is well past time that the historical record be examined to have the question finally resolved.

Hints and Clues

     The only spiritual precedent to this event was, of course, the first advent or Christ's birth into the world. The Gospel of Matthew spoke of a star "seen in the east"-the Star of Bethlehem as we know it, and which today some think to have been a comet. Indeed the artist Giotto represented the Star of Bethlehem in his Worship of the Magi as a comet having seen Halley's Comet himself earlier.

     Throughout history comets were powerful omens. Halley's comet, for instance, was linked to the death of Agrippa in 11 BC, the destruction of Jerusalem in 66 AD and the Norman Invasion of 1066-featured on the Bayeux Tapestry. Herod himself sought out the exact time that the Star of Bethlehem appeared to fix the age of slaughter in his murderous campaign against the Lord two years later.

     In natural history, it is said to have been a comet 65 million years ago that struck the Yucatan Peninsula, closed the era of the dinosaur and gave mammals dominion of the planet. Comets also turned the tide of human history either by giving courage or inducing fear.


A spate of comets had sapped Montezuma's will to resist the Spanish whilst Comet Hale-Bopp precipitated the suicide of the Heaven's Gate cult group.

     The three synoptic Gospels each contain sections on "Signs of the end of the age." In Matthew 24:3, the apostles ask, "Tell us when this will happen and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?," for which the Lord answers: "At that time the Son of Man will appear in the sky" but that "No-one knows about the day or hour, not even the angels in heaven." And in Luke 21, it is written that, "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars . . . heavenly bodies will be shaking." Further, the Book of Revelations is littered with astronomic references.

     If there is one commonality in the Biblical clues (taken in the literal sense) and the context of human history, it is that the "sign" may be astronomic in nature. Such a sign is also beyond the realm of human intervention and therefore is unimpeachable.

A Possible Candidate

     It is here therefore, in the annals of astronomy, that the quest for a sign was begun. An examination of the record of comets led to a singularly spectacular comet that exactly coincided with the new revelation and measured up to a miraculous standard

     Discovered by Charles Messier on June 14-15, 1770, within the constellation of Sagittarius, it was named Comet Lexell (D/1770 L1)1 after the mathematician Anders Johan Lexell who calculated its orbit. Remarkably, on 1 July, 1770, this comet made the closest approach to Earth in all recorded history, coming within 0.0151 AU2 (2.25 million kilometers) to Earth or the equivalent of six times the distance to the Moon.


Its sighting was also noted in Burke's Almanac.
     1 Modern notation for naming comets: 'D' denotes a non-periodic comet.
     2 An Astronomic Unit equals 149,597,870 kilometers and is the average distance between the Sun and the Earth.

     The comet measured 2'23" across the sky and was first visible to the naked eye on June 20. On July 26, it was noted by Chinese astronomers and the nucleus was described as a brilliant silvery white with nebulosity, but the usual tail was absent. The comet reached perihelion, the point closest to the sun, on August 14, and was then at a distance of 0.67 AU from the sun.

     Comet Lexell disappeared forever after October 3, when its orbit was interrupted and was ultimately ejected by the planet Jupiter. The orbit of the comet was so mysterious that the French Institute of the time offered a prize to anyone who could explain it: The scientist Le Verrier suggested a hyperbola, Lexell an ellipse and others a parabola. It had never been seen previously despite calculations showing that it had had a period of 50 years-its earlier perihelion was beyond Jupiter.

So Why Should This Be a Sign?

     Firstly, the name of the comet itself is certainly telling, being composed of: Lex (Latin for law) concatenated with Ell (Hebrew for God)-hence Lexell. This certainly was not contrived by anyone: Messier already had several comets named after him and so it was fairly awarded to the brilliant Lexell who described the comet's motions; and The True Christian Religion was as yet unpublished.

     And indeed the Writings given to Swedenborg are nothing less than the Law of God written in the Latin language. So the Law of God comet made its visitation to Earth after having passed under the influence of Jupiter.

     Secondly, like a "thief in the night" (Matthew 24:43, Luke 12:39), Comet Lexell's origins and fate were a complete mystery. The place, the day and the hour of its arrival were, as the Scriptures would indicate, completely shrouded.


Even today, two hundred and thirty years later, who would connect Comet Lexell with the Second Advent? The fate of that comet is still unknown.

     Thirdly, the comet is remarkable solely for its amazing proximity to both Jupiter and Earth, and not for being a 'Great Comet'. It didn't have a long tail-indeed it had no tail to speak of; and its magnitude of brightness was unspectacular. Nor was it a periodic comet, this was to be a one-off event.

     The Lord's advents too are about proximity-between that of God and man. He came neither as a warrior or a Caesar, nor did He come with ostentation. His advents required watchfulness and discernment, lest freewill be overthrown.

     Fourthly, the event is steeped in rich correspondences. Both in its coming and going, Comet Lexell was profoundly influenced by Jupiter's gravity. Given the pagan representation of Jupiter as God, the scenario could be interpreted as that of God sending forth a messenger and returning Him. Comet Lexell came as close to Jupiter on both orbital legs without actually colliding.

     And finally, there is the part of Anders Johan Lexell. He was born December 24, 1740, in Sweden, and served as Professor of Astronomy at St. Petersburgh in 1771. Now isn't that a small parable of Swedenborg himself-a Swedish scientist given to examining the details of celestial light and truth? Except that Swedenborg studied the spiritual truths of Faith as represented by St. Peter in all their detail.

     Interestingly, Swedenborg himself speculated on the existence of the solar disk from which the planets were formed. It is the residual part of this disk, or Kuiper Belt, which is the source of comets. Thus Swedenborg inadvertently grasped both the literal and spiritual senses of Biblical prophesy.

     But Swedenborg was right about people's reactions.


I doubt that many will be compelled to believe this sign; but those in the New Church can draw both comfort and excitement from this wonderful connection with June 19, 1770.

     (This article is dedicated to my father-a gifted amateur astronomer who enjoyed his hobby but died short of seeing Halley's Comet-from Earth's perspective anyway!)

Reader Challenge

     Halley's Comet was re-sighted on Christmas night, 1758. Did this conclude the Last Judgement begun in 1757-and would anyone believe it anyway?
www.NewChurchVineyard.org 2005

www.NewChurchVineyard.org              2005

     An on-line family magazine from the G. C. Office of Education featuring materials for all ages focused on a new theme every month.

     The Word in January 2005
     Conjugial Love in February 2005



BOOK REVIEW       Don Fitzpatrick       2005

     Comfort and Hope for Widows and Widowers, by Donnette R. Alfelt (Rochester, MI, Fountain Publishing, 2004)

     "How can I go on?" "Why didn't I tell her more often how much I love her?" "How will I be able to get through the holidays?" "Will I ever be able to go back to the places we loved to visit together?"

     These and other questions like them are all too familiar to those who have lost a husband or wife. The fact that they have no easy answers is one reason the grief over that loss may seem unbearable at times, even for people who know that they will see their partners again in the other world.

     Donnette Alfelt is herself a widow as well as an experienced bereavement counselor. In this small book she has drawn on her own experience and on the thoughts expressed by members of the widows and widowers group she leads monthly to gently suggest ways to deal with such questions and with other aspects of living after the loss of a spouse.

     Following a brief introduction are twelve short sections. The text of each section appears on the right-hand pages, and on the facing left-hand pages are brief quotations from the Old and New Testaments and the Writings as well as from a variety of secular sources. However, the introduction makes clear that the book is intended for all readers who believe that they will be reunited with their married partners after death.

     Some of the subjects included are dreams and visions, guilt and regrets, holidays and anniversaries, the absence of grief, conjugial love, the eternity of marriage and remarriage. The book ends with some suggestions of possible topics for journal entries, some closing thoughts, and a note about the author.

     The book's design is the work of Donnette's daughter, Elisabeth Alfelt Eller, and beautifully complements her mother's words.

     Don Fitzpatrick


Editorial Pages 2005

Editorial Pages              2005


     Last month we spoke of the teaching that Divine providence works through people. When we think of the Lord working "through" us, we may fall into the notion that we are to be passive. People who hear that they can do nothing without the Lord may conclude that they should make no efforts.

     In the Arcana number 1712 we read of some who think, "If I can do nothing of good from myself, I ought to wait for immediate influx." They then remain "in a passive state." But the teaching is that one "must do good as of himself; yet, when reflecting upon the good he does or has done, let him think, acknowledge, and believe that the Lord has done the work in him."

     The passage goes on to show that a person who makes an effort can be a subject into which the Lord can work. What it actually says is, "If he slackens his effort, thinking as has been said, he is then not a subject into which the Lord can operate. The Lord cannot flow into anyone who deprives himself of everything into which power can be infused."


     In the July issue last year there was an unusual article by Rev. Arne Bau-Madsen. It was titled "Disaster, Disease, and Divine Providence." He spoke of the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 and the estimate that it may have registered 8.5 to 9 on the Richter scale. "It is thought that up to 70,000 people died in the disaster" (See p. 250).

     As we go to print there is news of the tsunami disaster, and one is overwhelmed contemplating such a number of deaths.


We look with new perspective at this globe on which we live. The chapter on the immensity of heaven in Heaven and Hell says, "How great a multitude of people there is on the entire face of the globe anyone who knows anything about the divisions, the regions, and kingdoms of the earth may conclude. Whoever goes into a calculation will find that several thousands of people die every day, that is, some myriads or millions every year" (HH 415).

     Swedenborg saw a vision that gave him a sense of the flow of human beings in the universe who enter the spiritual world. "I have sometimes seen as it were a great continuous stream." "The angels said that it portrayed those who come from the worlds." "From the size and rapidity of the stream I could judge that some myriads of people flow to it daily" (AC 6699).

     In an article in The New Church Voice in Florida Rev. Kenneth Alden mentions that over two million Americans die every year. He observes that this comes out to about 5,500 people daily, and since the US makes up around ten percent of the world's population we can conclude that every day between fifty and a hundred thousand people die.



     * * * * *
     The Lord's combat against hell may be compared to "resistance against the whole ocean, breaking in with its waves over demolished barriers upon countries and towns; and the Lord's subjugation of hell is meant by His calming the seas by saying, 'Peace be still."'

     (True Christian Religion 123)



ORDINATIONS              2005


     Keith-At Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, October 17, 2004, Rev. Brian Walter Keith into the third degree, Rt. Rev. Thomas L. Kline officiating.

     Waters-At Westville, South Africa, October 17, 2004, Rev. Gerald Gilbert Waters into the second degree, Rt. Rev. Peter M. Buss officiating.




     Dr. Winyss A. Shepard, 4537 Dolly Ridge Road, Birmingham, AL 35243.

     Phone: (205) 967-3442.



     Rev. Michael K. Cowley, 3607 E. Delcoa Drive, Phoenix AZ 85032. Phone: home (602) 493-0619; office (480) 991-0048. www.newchurchofphoenix.org


     Rev. Glenn G. Alden, Sunrise Chapel, 8421 E. Wrightstown Rd., Tuscon AZ 85715. Phone: (520) 298-1245. glenn@sunrisechapel.org


     Little Rock

     Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Holmes, 65 Haertlein Lane, Batesville, AR 72501.

     Phone: (870) 251-9998.

     Northwest Arkansas

     Rev. Daniel Fitzpatrick, 1001 N. Oriole Ave., Rogers, AR 72756. Phone: (501) 621-9011.


     La Crescenta

     James Synnestvedt, 230 E. Orange Grove Avenue, #230, Burbank, CA 91503. Phone: (818) 563-2332. damesart@hotmail.com

     Orange County Area

     Bergen Junge, 21321 Vintage Way, Lake Forest, CA 92630. Phone: (949) 586-6554. Sacramento/Central California

     Mr. Bertil Larsson, 8387 Montna Drive, Paradise, CA 95969. Phone: (530) 877-8252. San Diego

     Rev. C. Mark Perry, 7911 Canary Way, San Diego, CA 92123. Phone: (858) 610-WORD (9673). cmperry@wans.net

     San Francisco Bay Area

     Jonathan Cranch, 2520 Emerson St., Palo Alto, CA 94301. Phone: (650) 328-2788. jperanch@pacbell.net



     The New Church of Boulder Valley, 1370 Forest Park Circle, Lafayette, CO 80026.Phone: (303) 443-9220. www.bouldernewchurch.org. Pastor: Rev. David C. Roth, david@bouldernewchurch.orgColorado Springs

     Mr. and Mrs. William Rienstra, 1005 Oak Ave., Canon City, CO 81212.

     Phone: (719) 275-4546.


     Bob and Karen Heinrichs, P. O. Box 547, Montrose, CO 81402. Phone: (970) 323-6220.


     Bridgeport, Hartford, Shelton

     Timothy O'Connor, 441 Newtown Tpke., Redding, CT 06896. Phone: (203) 938-0744.

     District of Columbia: See Mitchellville, Maryland.


     Boynton Beach

     Rev. Kenneth Alden, 10621 El Clair Ranch Road, Boynton Beach, FL 33437. Phone: (561) 736-9235. kenalden@access4-free.com


     Kristi Helow, 6338 Christopher Creek Road W., Jacksonville, FL 32217-2472. Lake Helen

     Mr. and Mrs. Brent Morris, 264 E. Kicklighter Rd., Lake Helen, FL 32744. Phone: (904) 228-2276.


     Mr. and Mrs. John Sherman, East Highway 98, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561.

     Phone: (850) 932-4433.



     Mr. W. Harold Eubanks, 516 U.S. 280 West, Americus, GA 31709. Phone: (912) 924-9221. Atlanta

     Rev. Patrick A. Rose, 502 Knollwood Place, Woodstock, GA 30188-4588.

     Phone: (770) 516-5846. pastor@morningstarchapel.org


     Boise Area

     Heidi Shields, 1835 E. Meadowgrass St., Meridian, ID 83642. Phone: (208) 288-2503.



     Rev. David H. Lindrooth, P.O. Box 743, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009.

     Phone: (215) 914-4910. lindroot@voicenet.com



     Rev. Peter M. Buss, Jr., 74 Park Drive, Glenview, IL 60025.

     Phone: (847) 724-0120.

     glenview.newchurch.org Indiana: See Ohio: Cincinnati. Kentucky: See Ohio: Cincinnati.


     Baton Rouge

     Rev. Erik E. Sandstrom, Visiting Pastor, P.O. Box 740, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009. Phone: (215) 938-2584. eesandst@newchurch.edu



     Rev. George Dole, 876 High St., Bath, ME 04530. Phone: (617) 244-0504.



     Rev. Robert S. Junge, 8551 Junge Drive, Kempton, PA 19529.

     Phone: (610) 298-2333. baltimorenewchurch.org Mitchellville

     Rev. James P. Cooper, 11910 Chantilly Lane, Mitchellville, MD 20721. Phone: (301) 805-9460 home;(301) 464-5602 office. washnewchurch.org



     Rev. Stephen R. Simons, 138 Maynard Rd., Sudbury, MA 01776. Phone: (978) 443-6531. pastor@swedenborg-chapel.org; www.swedenborg-chapel.org



     Rev. Derek P. Elphick, 395 Olivewood Ct., Rochester, MI 48306.

     Phone: (248) 652-3420, Ext. 102. newchurch.org/oakarbor Mid-Michigan

     Lyle and Brenda Birchman, 14777 Cutler Rd., Portland, MI 48875. Phone: (517) 647-2190. MidMiNC@iserv.net


     St. Paul

     Karen Huseby, 4247 Centerville Rd., Vadnais Heights, MN 55127. Phone: (612) 429-5289.



     Mr. and Mrs. Paul Johnson, 1508 Glencairn Court, Columbia, MO 65203. Phone: (314) 442-3475.

     Kansas City

     Mr. Glen Klippenstein, P. O. Box 457, Maysville, MO 64469-0457. Phone: (816) 449-2167.

New Hampshire:


     Bobbie and Charlie Hitchcock, 63 E. Wheelock St., Hanover, NH 03755.

     Phone: (603) 643-3469.

New Jersey:


     Jay and Barbara Barry, 474 S. Maple, Glen Rock, NJ 07452. Phone: (201) 445-3353.

New Mexico:


     Mrs. Carolyn Harwell, 1375 Sara Rd., Rio Rancho, NM 87124. Phone: (505) 896-0293.

North Carolina:


     Steven and Gail Glunz, 6624 Providence Lane West, Charlotte, NC 28226.

     Phone: (704) 362-2338.


     Mr. and Mrs. Charles Runion, 106 Maple Lane, Rosedale, NC 27889. Phone: (252) 946-7138.



     Rev. J. Clark Echols, 4418 Main Street, Darrtown, OH 45056-8914. Phone: (513) 523-0005 (home) or (513) 772-1478 (church). jcechols@newchurch-cincy.org Cleveland

     William B. Alden, 4142 Brecksville Rd., Richfield, OH 44286. Phone: (330) 659-6060.



     Mr. and Mrs. Jim Andrews, Box 99, 1010 NE 365th Ave., Corbett, OR 97019.

     Phone: (503) 695-2534.


     Bryn Athyn

     Pastor: Rev. Jeremy F. Simons, P.O. Box 277, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009. Phone: (215) 947-6225. jeremy@bacs-gc.org


     Mr. Meade Bierly, 431 Sunrise Blvd., Elizabethtown, PA 17022. Phone: (717) 367-3964.


     Dianna Murray, 5648 Zuck Road, Erie, PA 16506. Phone: (814) 833-0962.


     Freeport (Sarver)

     Rev. Ethan D. McCardell, 980 Sarver Road, Sarver, PA 16055. Phone: (724) 353-2220. pastor@sowerschapel.org


     Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Odhner, 829 Stoney Run Valley Rd., Kempton, PA 19529. Phone: (610) 756-3168.


     Mr. Grant Genzlinger, Settlers Inn, #25, 4 Main Ave., Hawley, PA 18428.

     Phone: 800) 833-8527.


     The Ivyland New Church, 851 W. Bristol Road, Ivyland PA 18974. Pastor: Rev. Thomas H. Rose. Phone: (215) 957-9760. Secretary: Sue Cronlund (215) 598-3919.


     Rev. Lawson M. Smith, 171 Kunkles Dahl Rd., Kempton, PA 19529. Phone: (610) 756-0093.


     Philadelphia New Church Korean Circle, Bryn Athyn College, 2895 College Drive, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009. Pastor: Rev. John Jin, 537 Anne Street, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006. Phone: (215) 914-1012 or (215) 947-8317. yjjinnewchurch@msn.com


     Rev. R. Amos Glenn, 299 Le Roi Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15208. Phone: church (412) 731-7421. pastor@pittsburghnewchurch.org

     Sarver (see Freeport)

South Carolina:

     Charleston area

     Wilfred and Wendy Baker, 2030 Thornhill Drive, Summerville, SC 29485.

     Phone: (803) 851-1245.

South Dakota:

     Hot Springs/Rapid City

     Sharon Romey, HCR 52 - Box 120, Hot Springs, SD 57747. Phone: (605) 745-6768.



     Aaron Gladish, 10312 Bilbrook Place, Austin, TX 78748. Phone: (512) 282-5501. aaron.gladish@amd.com



     Rev. Martie Johnson, Jr., 7708 171st St. NW, Edmonds, WA 98026-5013.

     Phone: (425) 776-2524. martie@cascadenewchurch.org

Washington, DC: See Mitchellville, MD.



     Mr. Warren Brown, 130 Greenbrier Dr., Sun Prairie, WI 53590.

     Phone: (608) 825-3002.



     Perth, W.A.

     Sydney, N.S.W.

     Rev. Garry B. Walsh, 26 Dudley St., Penshurst, NSW 2222.

     Phone: 61-02-9594-4205. newchurch@optusnet.com.au


     Rev. Andrew Heilman, Pastor. 1050 Mountain Road, Kempton, PA 19529. Phone: (610) 756-4415. andrewj@entermail.net

     Campo Grande

     Sr. Marcus Marques, Rua Heitor Mota Ferreira, 117, Campo Grande 23071-080, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil. Phone: 213316-5528.


     Rev. Vinicius Guerra, Rua des Gracas, 45, Bairro de Fatima, 20240-030, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil. Phone: 21-3155-5380.




     Rev. Michael Gladish, 248 Arbour Crest Drive, NW Calgary, Alberta T3G 4V3. Phone: (403) 374-0087. mgladish@shaw.ca Edmonton

     Michael Hamm, C/Frame 30 Productions #202, 1081A-82 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T6E 2B3. Phone: (780) 499-1245 (cell).

     Grand Prairie

     Lavina Scott, RR 1, Crooked Creek, Alberta TOH OYO. Phone: (780) 957-3625. British Columbia

     Dawson Creek

     Dorothy Friesen (Secretary), P. O. Box 933, Dawson Creek, BC V1G 4H9. Phone: (250) 782-1904.



     Rev. Bradley D. Heinrichs, 58 Chapel Hill Drive, Kitchener, Ontario N2R 1N2. Phone: office (519) 748-5802.



     Mr. and Mrs. Reynalds Becherel, 121 Donald Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1K 1N1. Phone: (613) 745-5117.


     Rev. David W. Ayers, 2 Lorraine Gardens Rd., Etobicoke, Ontario M9B 4Z4.

     Phone: church (416) 239-3054. dayers@on.aibn.com



     Mr. Jorgen Hauptmann, Strandvejen 22, 4040 Jyllinge. Phone: 46 78 9968.



     Rev. Matthew Genzlinger, Colchester New Church, 175-181 Maldon Road,

     Colchester, Essex CO3 3BL. Phone: (home) 44-1206-767644, (church) 44-1206576337.

     matthew@genzlingerfreeserve.co.uk London

     Rev. Frederick Elphick, 21B Hayne Rd., Beckenham, Kent BR3 4JA.

     Phone: 44-208-658-6320. fredelphick@onetel.net.uk


     Mr. Mark Burniston, 24 Pumbro, Stonesfield, Witney, Oxford OX8 8QF. Phone: 44-(0)-199-389-1700.


     Mr. Nathan Morley, 27 Victoria Road, Southern View, Guildford, Surrey GUI 4DJ.



     The Rev. Alain Nicolier, Bourguignon, Meursanges, 21200 Beaune. Phone: 33-80-26-62-80.



     Rev. William O. Ankra-Badu, Box 11305, Accra North. Phone: 233-21-243662.

     Asakraka, Nteso, Oframase

     Rev. Martin K. Gyamfi, Box 10, AsakrakaKwahu E/R.


     Rev. Nicholas W. Anochi, 2 Rocky St., Dome, P. O. Box TA 687, Taifa.

     Phone: 233-21-405518. Madina, Tema

     Rev. Simpson K. Darkwah, Hse. AA3,

     Corn. 4, c/o Box 1483, Tema. Phone: 233-22-200583.



     Mr. Roger Koudou, B.P. 944, Cidex 1, Abidjan 06.


     Mr. Tatsuya Nagashima, 30-2, Saijoh-Nishiotake, Yoshino-cho, Itano-gun, Tokoshima-ken, Japan 771-14.



     Rev. Dzin P. Kwak, Seoul Church of New Jerusalem, 75-21 Nokbeon-Dong Eunpyeong-Ku, Seoul, Korea 122-828. Phone: 82-(0)-2-555-1366. dzinkwak@hotmail.com


     The Hague

     Mr. Ed Verschoor, Van

     Furstenburchstraat 6, 3862 AW Nijkerk, Netherlands.



     Jenny Keal, 186 Atkinson Road, Titrangi, Auckland 1007, New Zealand. Phone: 649-817-7949.




     Rev. Christopher D. Bown, Supervising Pastor (see Buccleuch).


     Rev. Christopher D. Bown, P. O. Box 816, Kelvin 2054. Phone: 27-11-804-1145. chrisbown@mweb.co.za


     Rev. Jacob M. Maseko, P. O. Box 261, Pimville 1808. Phone: 27-11-933-4815. KwaZulu-Natal


     Rev. Bhekuyise Alfred Mbatha, Supervising Pastor, P.O. Box 817, Clernaville 3602. Phone: 27-31-519-1390.

     Durban (Westville)

     Rev. Erik J. Buss, 30 Perth Rd., Westville 3629. Phone: 27-31-262-9043. erikbuss@newchurch.co.za


     Rev. Bongani Edward Nzimande (see Kwa Mashu).

     Impaphala, Empangeni

     Rev. Bhekuyise Alfred Mbatha (see Clermont).


     Kwa Mashu

     Rev. Bongani Edward Nzimande, P. O. Box 848, Pinetown 3600. Phone: 27-31707-5463.

     Midlands (services held at Howick) Rev. Gerald Waters, 9 Chiltern Gardens, 39 Pitlochry Road, Westville, KwaZuluNatal 3630. gerald-waters@telkomsa.net

     Zululand Group (services held alternately at Eshowe, Empangeni, Richards Bay)

     Rev. Gerald Waters (see Midlands) Mpumalanga


     Rev. Reuben Tshabalala, P.O. Box 851, Kwaxuma, Soweto 1868. Phone: 27-11932-3528.

     Nkkumba (see Hambrook).

     Westville (see Durban)

     Western Cape

     Cape Town

     Janey Moore, 35 Cromer Road, Mizenberg 7945. Phone: 27-21-788-1752, (cell) 27-83490-3009. jamoore@mweb.co.za



     Pastor: Rev. Ragnar Boyesen,

     Oxelgatan 6, S-565 21 Mullsjo. Phone: (home) 46-392-13396; (office) 46-39213339. ragnar.boyesen@swipnet.se Stockholm

     Rev. Goran Appelgren, Tegnelunden 7, SE-111 61, Stockholm. Phone: 46-(0)8411-13-99. 19.6.1770@telia.com

     When dialing from abroad, leave out zero in parentheses.

     Note: Please send any corrections to the Secretary of the General Church: Sue Simpson, P.O. Box 743, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009.
Position Available for 2004-2005 School Year 2005

Position Available for 2004-2005 School Year              2005


     A full-time position in Special Education will be available July 1, 2005. Applicants should have a Master's Degree or a Bachelor's Degree with requirement to attain a Master's Degree. Previous experience and tutoring in language arts, ESL, and mathematics are desirable.

     Please submit a letter of application and a resume to Margaret Y. Gladish, Principal of the Girls School, PO Box 707, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009. Please call 267-502 2595, or e-mail: Margaret.gladish@ancss.org for further information.




     At the Academy of the New Church Secondary Schools, we prepare our students for a good and useful life. As an educational arm of the General Church of the New Jerusalem, we lead students through a rigorous academic curriculum so that they may find meaning, fulfillment, and happiness. As we instruct our students in the teachings of the New Church and encourage a life according to New Church principles, we develop their intellectual powers, teach them about spiritual realities of life, and offer them many avenues to practice spiritual and moral virtues.

     In early February we will mail recruiting packages to age appropriate families who appear in the General Church database. These packages include an application form for admission of new students to the Schools. If you do not received a recruiting package and would like one, please contact the School Secretary at 215-938-2556. Requests for application should be made by March 1, 2005. Letters should be addressed to Mrs. Margaret Gladish, Principal of the Girls School, or Mr. R. Scott Daum, Principal of the Boys School, The Academy of the New Church, Box 707, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009. Please include the student's name, parents' address, the class the student will be entering, the name and address of the school he or she is now attending, and whether the student will be a day or dormitory student. We should receive completed application forms by April 15, 2005.

     All requests for financial aid should be submitted to the Business Manager, The Academy of the New Church, Box 711, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009, by June 1, 2005. Please note: The earlier the request is submitted, the more likely we will be able to meet the need.

     Admission procedure is based on receipt of the following: Application, Transcript, Pastor's Recommendation, Agreement Form, and Health Forms.

     The Academy will not discriminate against applicants and students on the basis of race, color, gender, and national or ethnic origin.

CALL FOR PAPERS              2005

     Swedenborg's Science and Philosophy: "Putting Forth to Sea"

     These papers will be presented at a conference sponsored by the Swedenborg

     Foundation and the Swedenborg Scientific Association in preparation for

     the new translation and publication of the New Century Edition of the scientific

     and philosophical works of Emanuel Swedenborg. The conference will examine

     Swedenborg's ideas in the context of eighteenth-century thought.

     Suitable topics for papers and oral presentation include:

     Swedenborg in the context of Enlightenment Europe in such areas as philosophy,

     cosmology, mathematics, physics, chemistry, geology, mining and metallurgy,

     human anatomy and physiology, neurology, and religion and science.

     Conference to be held October 26-28, 2005

     in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania

     Send abstract of paper by June 1, 2005, to:

     Rev. Dr. Reuben P. Bell Jr.

     President, Swedenborg Scientific Association

     P.O. Box 554, Fryeburg, ME 04037

     Email address: reubenbell@adelphia.net; Telephone: (207) 935-2434

     Information about hotels, program for the conference, and other arrangements will be available through the conference coordinator listed below or through the SSA website: www.swedenborg-philosophy.org. To register for the conference at a discounted rate, please send registration fee of $180 by July 1, 2005: the cost will be $220 thereafter.

     Send registration fee to:

     Reuben P. Bell III, Conference Coordinator

     P.O. Box 757, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Email address: reuben.bell@glencairnmuseum.org;

     Telephone: (267) 502-2984

     "The sciences are indeterminate and of no profit or advantage, unless they be applied and made subservient to uses . . . All things, at the present day, stand provided and prepared, and await the light. The ship is in the harbor; the sails are swelling; the east wind blows; let us weigh anchor, and put forth to sea."-Swedenborg: The Soul's Kingdom
Comfort and Hope 2005

Comfort and Hope              2005

     FOR WIDOWS AND WIDOWERS by Donnette Alfelt

     $8.95US, pb

     Donnette Alfelt, a widower since 1981, has been leading widow/ widower groups for many years. In these groups, bereaved husbands and wives speak not only about their grief and rebuilding their lives, but also of a marriage relationship that continues. This little book offers thoughts, hope and comfort that have come from experiences and beliefs expressed in Donnette's groups.

     "When married partners love each other tenderly, they think of eternity in regard to the marriage covenant, and not at all of its being terminated by death." - Emanuel Swedenborg


CAMP WINDING WATERS-JULY 7-10              2005


We invite you to be part of Camp Winding Waters this summer. After a break of several years, this popular New Church camp will be renewed at Wallowa State Park, near Joseph, Oregon-from Thursday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, July 7-10.

     Our theme this year: "And who is my neighbor?" (Luke 10.29). This is a question for all of us, as we interact with different kinds of people. Our neighbors are close, distant and world-wide, both individual and collective. David Lindrooth, the General Church's new evangelization leader, will join Dan Goodenough to present New Church teachings and lead discussion about how to think of our many neighbors-wherever we live, whatever our life situations. We hope we can all return home with new inspiration and ideas for daily life among our neighbors.

     Improved facilities at camp now include seven modern round cabins (each with bathroom), besides more "rustic" cabins, and a modernized main lodge. There is space for campers, trailers, and tenting (including tipi). Nearby motel-type accommodations are available. The peaceful setting remains as beautiful as ever, beneath tall evergreen trees at the foot of the Wallowa Mountains (and a short walk from lovely Wallowa Lake, and from Eagle Cap Wilderness).

     The Wallowa valley is close to many scenic places, and you may want to schedule some extra time to enjoy one of America's most unspoiled beauty and history spots. This country is also the traditional home of the Joseph bands of the Nez Perce tribe.

     Space is limited-register early. (We ask those who definitely plan to attend to send a $25 deposit by March 1, to hold your place.)

     For more information contact Pam Latta, pamelalatta@hotmail.com; or

     Dan Goodenough, dwgooden@fiberpipe.net, phone 307-6734621.


Title Unspecified 2005

Title Unspecified              2005

     Vol. CXXV     February, 2005     No. 2

     New Church Life




Notes on This Issue 2005

Notes on This Issue              2005

     The passing into the spiritual world of Harold Cranch is a momentous time for many in the General Church. We pause and look at the photograph and remember important things and little things. The address brings to mind some of the moments of this remarkable man and his remarkable wife. Besides the memorial service conducted by Bishop Kline in California in January, it was decided to hold a service in the Bryn Athyn cathedral on February 4th.

     One of the things that struck me in the sermon by Mark Pendleton in this issue is the teaching about imploring the Lord's help. On one page Mark brings that teaching out in italics as quoted from three books of the Writings, Doctrine of the Lord, Doctrine of Life and Divine Providence. The phrase really stands out. Then on the following page there is the teaching from Arcana Coelestia about the capability of imploring the Lord's mercy. Another thing I noticed was the difference between a "calm," and a "great calm."

     "For three years we have been building a web site called HumanOrganic.org." It is devoted to subjects related to correspondences. So reports Oliver Odhner in his article in this issue.

     Were you aware that the 1903 play Man and Superman vividly summarized the concept of heaven in the book Heaven and Hell? You are probably not aware that George Bernard Shaw once said, "Concentrate on Heaven and Hell, that will be your best-seller." This was overheard by the late Dennis Duckworth. We have Richard Lines of England to thank for this information and for other observations in his letter.

     Call for Papers

     On the final page of the January issue there is a call for papers for a conference in Bryn Athyn in October of this year. If you missed that notice, please revisit that issue for the nature of the papers and the June deadline for an abstract.





"Without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). "With God, all things are possible" (Matt. 19:26; Mark 10:27).

     Today's sermon begins with a real-life story. This will set a context for the subject and teachings from the Lord's Word which will follow after.

     Garland McDonald, nicknamed "Doc," is an elderly gentleman with neatly groomed, silver-gray hair and mustache. Doc will tell his life's story to anyone who wishes to hear.

     Doc's drinking days began in his early twenties, and for over a quarter of a century he experienced many of the hard and jarring ups and downs that people typically do who are beset with a spiritual, moral, social and physical disease like alcoholism.1
     1 It is noteworthy that the "Big Book" of Alcoholics Anonymous uses the words "physical, emotional, mental and spiritual" to describe the disease of alcoholism.

     At one point along his spiritual journey Doc hunkered down and did what they call "white-knuckling it" through a four-year period of abstinence. But eventually his own human efforts to change his life failed him, and he returned to a drunken life-style. By age forty-nine the combination of forces in Doc's life finally caught up with him. By that time his alcoholism had caused him to lose nearly everything he had: his wealth, his house, and his wife and family, who left him because of his alcoholism. By that time too Doc had tried everything he could think of to "pull up on his bootstraps," quit drinking, and change his life for the better-including any number of what he calls "prescribed prayers" that he'd been taught to say while growing up. But nothing had worked.


     One night at eight o'clock in the evening he sat in his apartment alone. His alcoholic roommate was out on the town drinking, and he wouldn't be home for hours. He knew this to be true because his roommate had no car, and normally Doc was the one who would go to the bar and drive him home each night. So there was Doc-alone in his apartment. In his hand he held his roommate's loaded 38 revolver. At that moment he was trying to decide how best to use the gun to kill himself. In Doc's own words, he was "done," he was "lost," his life was "over." It was the darkest moment that he can remember in his life. Finally, in brokenness and desperation he opened his heart to the One who could help him. "God, help me," he said.

     Three small words-"God, help me." They were words of submission and surrender. They were a cry for the Lord's mercy, help and power.

     That was a major turning point in Doc's life. Seconds after he spoke those words his roommate showed up at the apartment. He was home early from his drinking, and he saw Doc with the gun in his hand. Was his roommate's arrival an answer to Doc's prayer? Only the Lord knows. But from that point forward, Doc began to turn his life around. He joined an Alcoholics Anonymous group and sobered up. He found his way back into successful business. He bought a new house. He remarried. His family returned to him. And, for the last twelve years of his life he has devoted himself to helping other people avoid or get out of some of the same troubles that he had encountered. When I spoke with Doc yesterday on the phone to clarify his testimony for this sermon, he said to me, "Mark, my life has never been better."

     Here is a life-related question that Doc might have asked himself many times before that fateful night. It's a question that some of us may ask ourselves from time-to-time as well-consciously or otherwise: "Why do I keep stumbling into this or that form of disorder that has gotten into my life? I fight against it, and at times I seem to make progress, but then I watch myself slip back into it.


What is going on?" The disorder that we are dealing with in ourselves may be one that stands out to other people around us, or it may be one that is a more private thing within us-something lurking within the thoughts and intentions of our hearts, which we are able to hide from the observation of others. But the question remains: "Why does this thing have such a foothold in my life, and what can I do about it?"

     There are any number of answers to questions like these, and those answers are as individual as we are. One of the answers, I believe, lies in a number of teachings in the New Testament scriptures that have to do with the Lord's power relative to the power of human beings.

     After the Lord's resurrection, and just before He ascended into Heaven, he told the disciples, "All power has been given to Me in heaven and on earth" (Matt. 28:18). All power. In another place in the scriptures He says, "I am the vine; you are the branches. Unless the branch abides in the vine, it withers and is cast out. For without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). And in another place the Lord couches it in more positive terms, when He says, "With God all things are possible" (Matt. 19:26; Mark 10:27; emphasis added).

     Based on scriptures like these, the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Church teach that "the Lord alone has power to remove evils from a person, to withhold him or her from evil and hold them in good, and thus save them" (HH 5, ref. to AC 10,019). Another way this is taught is that when a person is engaged in spiritual combat (which in the New Church we call temptation) the Lord fights for us, that is, He fights on our behalf (AC 63, 1691, 1693; HD 653; emphasis added). And though we do have a part to play-by learning the truth of His Word, by deciding how we will respond to the spiritual crisis, and by exercising our God-given will to that end-it is still the Lord alone who has the power to fight for us. Any power of thought, will, or action that we exercise as part of cooperating with Him, is actually His power acting into and within us.


"People are very greatly mistaken," we read, "who believe that they are able to rule over evil from themselves. [The truth is that] the Lord alone rules over evils residing with a person, and over hell residing with him or her" (AC 987:1, 3; emphasis added).

     One of the reasons why the forces of hell can feel so powerful in our lives, and why we need the Lord's help in fighting against them, is the way in which these forces unite themselves against us in times of spiritual combat. We read in the Writings of the New Church:

All of heaven appears before God like a single human being, and on the other hand, all of hell is like a single gigantic monster. Consequently, to act against a single evil and its falsity is to act against that gigantic monster or hell, and this no one is able to do except God, because He has all power. From this it is clear that unless a person approaches the all-powerful God, he has from himself no more power against evil and its falsities than a fish has against the ocean, than a flea against a whale, or than a grain of dust against an avalanche, and much less than a locust has against an elephant, or a fly against a camel. Moreover, a person has all the less power against evil and falsity because he or she is born into evil tendencies, and evil cannot act against itself. [As it says in the Gospel of Mark, "Satan cannot cast out Satan" (Mark 3:23)] From all this it follows that unless a person acknowledges God and His omnipotence, and the resulting protection against hell, and also on his or her part fights with evil in him or herself, they cannot but be immersed and overwhelmed in hell and there be driven about by evils, one after another, as a skiff at sea is driven by the storms. (TCR 68)

     Notice how the truth of this teaching is nestled in the New Testament scriptures -like the diamond of a ring in its setting. In three different New Testament accounts, the disciples are in a boat in the middle of a storm (Mark 6:34-52; Matt. 14:35-41; Mark 4:22-33). They're straining at rowing-tossed about, beaten, almost completely swamped by wind and waves.


It is only when the Lord comes on board, or when He rebukes the wind and speaks to the sea, that the wind ceases and there is a great calm.

     This is a picture of what our lives can be like, and sometimes are like. Many of us know what it's like to strain at rowing against the winds of false, vain, or even insane thinking that sometimes enter our minds from hell. Many of us know what it's like to be tossed about, beaten down, or swamped by sensuous or materialistic cravings, or by an unhealthy desire to control people and things around us. But amazingly, at times when, from our hearts, we invite the Lord on board in our lives, there is a sudden and powerful sense of calm that can come over us-like the eye of a hurricane passing overhead. And notice, it wasn't just a "calm" that the disciples experienced. It was "a great calm" (Mark 4:39; emphasis added). It was an experience of peace which so amazed them that their amazement couldn't be measured or put into words (Mark 6:51); and it caused them to come to the Lord and worship Him (Matt. 14:33).

     Many of us know this feeling of great calm that can come over us, the moment we invite the Lord on board in our lives, and the moment that He arrives. "Behold, I come quickly," He says (Rev. 3:11). And in another place we're taught, scarcely moments intervene between the death and bodily and worldly interests, and waking up into a new spiritual state (see AC 69-70).

     Little wonder, then, that Doc McDonald was able to enjoy such a significant new beginning in his life when he uttered the words, "God, help me." With those words he began the process of submitting himself to the Lord. He turned to the Lord for what the Lord alone can and always does want to give us -His help and His power. Without Him we can do nothing; but with Him on board, all things are possible.


     The angels in heaven especially know this to be true. Angels in the spiritual world have tremendous power over infernal spirits; and in fact, we're taught that it is in part by means of angels that the Lord fights for us (i.e., on our behalf) during spiritual combat. Listen to the teaching about the power of angels in the world of spirits:

So great is the power of angels in the spiritual world that if I should make known all that I have witnessed in regard to it, it would exceed belief. Any obstruction there that ought to be removed because it is contrary to Divine order the angels cast down or overthrow merely by an effort of will and by a look. Thus I have seen mountains that were occupied by the evil cast down and overthrown, and sometimes shaken from end to end as in an earthquake; also rocks cleft asunder to their bottoms, and the evil who were upon them swallowed up. I have seen also hundreds of thousands of evil spirits dispersed by angels and cast down into hell. Numbers are of no avail against them, neither are devices, cunning, or combinations of these, for the angels see through them all and disperse them in a moment. (HH 229)

     This is what the power of angels is like in the spiritual world; but notice that right after describing their power, Swedenborg adds a quick qualifier. He writes:

     But it must be understood that the angels have no power whatever from themselves, but that all their power is from the Lord, and that they are powers only so far as they acknowledge this. Whoever of them believes that he or she has power from him- or herself instantly becomes so weak as not to be able to resist even a single evil spirit. (HH 230)

     All power has been given to the Lord in heaven and on earth. And so it is impossible for any human being or any angel to rule over evil from themselves (AC 987:1, 3; HH 230). "The Lord alone rules over evil residing with a person, and over hell residing with him or her" (AC 987:3). It is His power within us, and within angels, that allows us to exercise our thought, our will, and our action against any form of disorder that has gotten into our hearts, minds, or lives.


     But let's return again to Doc McDonald's three words - "God, help me." He said those words in a moment of utter desperation; and when he said them, notice what he did: he asked the Lord for help. He even begged and implored Him for that help. Doc's words seem to echo words from the book of Psalms where it is written, "Then I called upon the name of the Lord: 'Oh, Lord, I implore You, deliver my soul!'" (Psalm 116:4). Doc's words also echo the words of a leper who came to Jesus, fell on his face, and begged Him, saying, "If You are willing, You can make me clean" (Mark 1:40; Luke 5:12). And finally, Doc's words echo the words of a man who came forward from a crowd of people and cried out to the Lord -in front of everyone -"Teacher, I implore You to look upon my son, and come down and heal him, for he is at the point of death" (Luke 9:38 and John 4:47 combined).

     These people were able to be healed by the Lord, in part, because they acknowledged His power to help and heal them, and because they begged Him for that help. At least one of these people even did this in front of a crowd of onlookers-apparently without hesitation, pridefulness or embarrassment.

     We read in the doctrine of our church:

Sins cannot be taken away from a person except by actual repentance, which consists in his or her seeing their sins, imploring the Lord's help, and desisting from them. (Lord 17:3)

Every person by nature is such that he or she can shun what is evil, as of himself, from the Lord's power, if he implores it, and what he or she does after this is good from the Lord. (Life 31)

When a person sees and knows what sin is he is able, if he implores the help of the Lord, not to will it, but to shun it and afterwards to act against it, if not wholeheartedly, still he can exercise constraint upon it by combat and at length turn away from it and hate it. (DP 278)


     What is your personal experience of going to the Lord, turning you heart and soul over to Him, and asking-or even begging- for His help? Is that a part of your relationship with Him, as it was for the people who sought the Lord's help in the New Testament, and as it has become a part of Doc McDonald's life? At times when you're seeking the Lord's help and power, are you able to break through any feelings of pride or embarrassment that might stand in the way? And what are some of the ways that you've been able to accomplish this?

     This summer I listened to a man who was speaking in a public forum, saying that at times it is hard for him to genuinely ask or implore the Lord for help and power. He has noticed that part of what makes this difficult for him is an inner pridefulness that he feels against doing so. At other times it is a desire to accomplish things by his own efforts that prevents him from asking the Lord for help. These are obstacles that any number of us may have experienced. They're a standard part of the human condition. And the Lord talks about these things as very real obstacles to our spiritual growth. For example, when the doctrine of our church speaks (specifically) about imploring the Lord's mercy, it says that "in proportion as [a person] thinks that he can do good of himself and thus merit salvation, the less capable he is of imploring the Lord's mercy" (AC 981). And, going back to the New Testament accounts of the disciples in the storm, the reason for their amazement at the calm that came over them, was that they didn't understand about the Lord's power to bless the efforts of their lives, because their hearts were hardened against Him (Mark 6:52; emphasis added).

     These teachings may seem somewhat confronting, especially at times when we find it difficult to beg the Lord for help. But the truth is that they can help set us free, if we can open our hearts and lives to hearing them.


And the good news is that the same person who I heard talking about his pride and ego getting in the way of asking the Lord for help, went on to say that at times he has been able to say to the Lord, in a heartfelt way, "I need Your help with this." At times when he has been able to do this, he said, the Lord's help and power have been immediately present with him, providing him with calmness and strength that he has needed to make important changes in his life.

     A middle aged man reaches a point of crisis and desperation in his life when, for a moment, he opens his heart to the Lord, and he utters the words, "God, help me.". . . All power has been given to the Lord in heaven and on earth: He alone can have power within us to fight and conquer what is evil and false, if we are able and willing to ask for that help. . . . Without Him we can do nothing, but with Him all things are possible. Amen.
www.NewChurchVineyard.org 2005

www.NewChurchVineyard.org              2005

     An on-line family magazine from the G. C. Office of Education featuring materials for all ages focused on a new theme every month.

     Treasuring Marriage in February 2005
     Easter in March 2005




     [Photograph of Rev. Harold Cranch]



     In the Gospel of Matthew, the Lord spoke the words, "Well done good and faithful servant, you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things, enter into the joy of your lord" (Matthew 25).

     We often think of this verse of scripture at the death of a loved one. "Well done good and faithful servant. . . ." We remember all the good things the person has accomplished in his life. And the words: "Enter into the joy of your Lord": we remember that the life of our friend has not ended, but his life continues onward, even greater than before.

     "Well done, good and faithful servant." Just think how much these words remind us of our friend, our father, and our loved one, Harold Cranch. Harold was the true and faithful servant, dedicated to the cause of the New Church. Harold was a true servant of the Lord.

     How many of us in this very room were touched by Harold's service as a minister of the New Church? In fact, how many of us in this room this morning were first brought into contact with the truths of the New Church by the evangelization efforts of Harold Cranch? We can think of how very many people throughout the world can say the words, "Yes, Harold was my pastor." And how many ministers of the New Church, young and old, were inspired, even brought into the love of evangelization, through Harold's vision?

     Jesus told us that we should let our light shine so that people could see the glory of our Father in heaven. Harold let his light shine, whether it was in the checkout line at a grocery story or preaching from the pulpit of the church. He was there with a gentle sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye, ready to make friends, talk about what is true and good, and lead to a vision of the New Church.


     Harold was ordained into the priesthood of the New Church in the year 1941, and first assigned to the Sharon Church in Chicago, Illinois. But for Harold, the Sharon Church was just the stepping-off point for a vast area of church growth consisting of everything west of the Mississippi.

     Everything west of the Mississippi-it was a vast geographical area, dotted with families, some who had backgrounds in the church, some whose names were found on mailing lists, or some who were just potential newcomers. It was an evangelization task comparable to Johnny Appleseed's spreading the doctrines throughout the Ohio valley- except it was over fifty times larger and more ambitious.

     Harold took on this enormous vision of growth in the west with energy and enthusiasm, traveling by car, train, airplane and even stagecoach. Doctrinally, it was a "wild west," waiting to be tamed by a vision of the New Truth. And tame it Harold did. And so, in 1951, Harold, Jean and a growing family moved to the Los Angeles area to set up a base of operations for the growth of the New Church in the west.

     Harold was something of a renaissance man-he had a broad repertoire of talents and fields of interest that he could use to serve in his calling. He was a scholar, artist, musician, archeologist, filmmaker, recording studio engineer, and most of all, a good friend to all that he met. That warmth of friendship was his key into the hearts of newcomers.

     It was no accident that one of Harold's early converts in the Los Angeles area was the artist, Ken Hultgren. Ken worked for Disney Studios, and together Harold and Ken could begin to apply the Disney philosophy of multimedia presentation to spread the truths of the New Church.

     But Harold did not perform his ministry alone. It was really a partnership-a partnership of Harold and "Jeanie-baby" together.


We do not have time this morning to list all the stories of Harold and Jeanie-baby-they could literally fill a book. But briefly stated, Jean and the children supported Harold in this calling. Their house, their home, was the congregation's house and home.

     Often, Jean was left at home with the children for weeks at a time as Harold made his journeys throughout the district, and we need to acknowledge that such dedication doesn't come without hardship and sacrifice on the family and family life. It is easy to think of Harold and Jean as saints and giants, but we also need to know that they were also just ordinary, fallible human beings with strengths and weaknesses like all of us. We can strive to love the good and forgive the weaknesses.

     Harold's career continued after Glendale. He was pastor and headmaster of the Toronto Society, evangelist in Glenview, and interim pastor in Boston. But eventually they came back and retired in sunny California.

     When the Lord was on the earth, He spoke about the good shepherd. He said that He, Jesus Christ, was the good shepherd. And then, through His lifelong ministry He gave us beautiful examples of what a good shepherd does. We see the merciful shepherd: the picture of Jesus taking the little children up in His arms and blessing them. We see the healing shepherd in the words, "They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick" (Matt. 9:12). We see the teaching shepherd: Jesus preaching on the mount, the multitudes astonished at his words; the sacrificing shepherd: "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep" (John 10).

     This picture of the good shepherd is a description of the use of the priesthood. We read in the Writings of the New Church: "Priests who teach truths and by means of them lead to the good of life, and thus to the Lord, they are the good shepherds of the sheep"-the very shepherds spoken of in the Gospel of John (AC 10794). Concerning the priest himself, we read:


"If he looks to the Lord and shuns evils as sins, and sincerely, justly, and faithfully performs the work of the ministry enjoined upon him, he does the good of use continually, and becomes charity in form."

     Six years ago, Jean passed into the spiritual world. At first it seemed that Harold was to follow her soon, but this was not to be. Harold remained here, suffering a series of strokes, causing him to gradually lose his physical and mental abilities. Sometimes we wonder why the Lord allows a person to remain here on earth through such times of old age. One answer is that the Lord is putting finishing touches on an angel. Another beautiful thought is that for a person who has cared so much about others, before he can go to heaven, he has to learn the delight of being cared for by others. For Harold to let in the love that he so easily gave out-and Harold was cared for by his family. We have only to talk to Gabrielle and Rhaina, or any of the other children and caretakers, and we see the testimony of an angel in the making, the wise giant becoming the little child. As Jesus said, "For of such is the kingdom of heaven."

     We are told in the Heavenly Doctrines that the Lord's Church on earth can only grow to the extent that it first grows in heaven. That New Heaven is a little bit stronger this month because Harold and Jean and there together, working as a team. And if we think that everything west of the Mississippi was a large area to spread the church, the western quarters of the spiritual world are gigantic in comparison.

     We can picture Harold and Jeanie-baby, stronger than ever, strengthened by the food of "spiritual carrot muffins" and riding on heavenly stagecoaches as they go throughout the spiritual world, spreading the good news of the Lord's Second Coming.

     A friend has departed from us. We can picture Harold, alive and well in the spiritual world. He will see Susie and Nora, and all the friends that have passed on before him.


He will find a body, well and whole, a body youthful and able to perform the things he so loves to do, and he will rejoice at the calling and ministry that lies before him. For a good and faithful servant has come into the Lord's kingdom, and he will be given uses greater than before. He will indeed enter into the joy of the Lord.

     (This address was given at the La Crescenta Church in California.)

     [Photograph of Rev. Harold Cranch]





     In the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg the science of correspondences, which relates the spiritual world to this world of nature, was by the hand of Divine providence rediscovered for the sake of revealing the internal senses of God's written Word.

     The Ancient Church, having learned about correspondences of the mind and body from its ancestors, used the forms of nature as a Language to describe the world of spirit. Mind to them was the reality. Matter was but a mirror to see mind's reflection. The Lord was able to use that Language to describe the forms of spirit and divinity.

     But as generations were born and died, the Ancient Church drifted into worldliness. The reality of spirit became a myth, and finally even a fiction in the opinion of many. The Language was forgotten so that the stories written in it were seen as adventures of the imagination. Materialism, which denies the existence of a spiritual world, became dominant, and the Divine Human has been questioned and even denied.

     The Lord opened Swedenborg's spiritual eyes, enabling him to consciously see the relationship between mind and matter, and even to communicate with the spirits from the Ancient Church. The first thing Swedenborg was led to do in delivering the revelation of the Second Coming of Christ was to teach us the doctrine of correspondences. The large book of many volumes entitled Arcana Coelestia reveals in detail the spiritual meanings in two books, Genesis and Exodus, of the Holy Bible, which was written in the Language of correspondences. That was in 1749-1756, followed by sixteen more very prolific years of continued revelation.


     In these writings Swedenborg mostly gave the correspondences used by the ancient scribes and prophets. However, as he was also a leading scientist and philosopher of his time, he was able to tell us much of the correspondence of the two worlds of spirit and nature in terms of natural science that had been discovered since the time of the Ancient Church. Those correspondences along with the biblical ones are included in the "doctrine of correspondences" which has been studied and preached intensively since Swedenborg's lifetime.

     But since Swedenborg's lifetime much more has been discovered in the science of nature. For example, in his day oxygen was unknown. His insight into nature was so acute that he predicted many things we now know, but that were not yet known in his day. Those insights are in the area of philosophy, not science. Today in science there are genes, atomic particles, microbes, vitamins, black holes, etc., etc. What do they correspond to?

     Who cares! Why does it matter?

     Well, if you think of the science (knowledge) of correspondences as a Language, it matters. If the world of spirit is important, it matters. If nature is a mirror, and we want to see the living reality it reflects, let us polish the mirror as much as possible.

     If a knowledge of nature is to serve any purpose other than our material pleasure and temporal curiosity, let us do what we can to rise above our body to the level of our mind by discovering what nature really means. Without meaning, knowing nature is useless. Without use, knowledge is meaningless. People's concern for ethics in science and technology is growing in this world lately. Their concern is the use of the scientific knowledge and its exercise with regard to human society and the world we live in. Our concern is also their use in the other world where we will live forever, earth being but a stepping stone. Let us also probe the meaning of nature in regard to our eternal destiny with our Lord.



     The difference between Doctrine and Science is like the difference between Revelation and Discovery. One can know from instruction, and from experience. (a priori vs. a posteriori). Both paths are generally needed for belief.

     The doctrine of correspondence can be summarized as the belief that everything in creation in general, and in every particular and singular, corresponds to the Divine Human. (The belief that this doctrine is divinely revealed adds strength to it, but as an axiom it does not depend upon that assumption.) Reasoning from this doctrine, one postulates that everything in creation great and small is in the human form, which may seem strange to one who defines the human as Homo sapiens. But if one also assumes that man was created in God's image, and not God in man's image, then the human form takes on a higher meaning.

     The doctrine of correspondences as summarized above has an exception. Swedenborg points out that the prime human faculties are Freedom and Rationality, which distinguish people from beasts. These in God are infinite and real. In man are their image and likeness, a finite copy. God's freedom reflected in man gives us the ability to reject receiving it, so we can become slaves to a state of irrationality called hell. This is not human in form, as a matter of our own choice, and fails to correspond.

     So much for the theoretical face of correspondence. Its other side consists of evidence that the theory is right.

     In the revelation announcing the second coming of Christ, Swedenborg confirmed this doctrine by the Language of correspondences used in the Bible that had been passed down from people of the Ancient Church. They developed it while their knowledge of the spiritual world was still fresh and interesting to them. Back then that Language was alive - not dead as some say Latin and ancient Hebrew are today.


It adapted to their daily lives and changed with every new experience. Many studies of natural science grew out of their religious concern for representing spiritual realities (e.g., astronomical phenomena, weather, geological events, etc.).

     How can we vivify that Language which has been sleeping for millennia? The most effective way would be to use it. This is an act of the will. We do use many of the symbols of nature in our common speech without paying attention to them. Words like heart for love, gold for value, see for understand, hand for help(er), idol for obsession, and so on. But by paying attention to higher meanings, our vocabulary could be so much greater. It is the language that is used in daily conversation that is considered living.

     The other way to awaken the Language of correspondences is to study how nature does correspond to the current state of society. This is an act of the intellect. We expand the vocabulary of the Language by defining new words. With civilization expanding at the rate it has been, there are plenty of words (concepts of natural science) that need defining. Let's define their real meanings correctly, and then use them. Here's our plan:

     1. Open a web site devoted to the doctrine and science of correspondences.

     2. Publish on it literature concerning the doctrine and Language of correspondence.

     3. Create a think tank for the study of correspondence and definition of the symbolic meaning of scientific concepts.


     We have already started. For three years we have been building a web site called HumanOrganic.org. In it are published in full text various books, essays, etc., dealing with subjects related to correspondences. This site has now come out under a different name, Higher Meaning (<highermeaning.org>).


It will continue to publish books and essays on correspondences. It will also be supported by a think tank (Human Organic Group) that will be working in the background on the creation of an Encyclopedia of Correspondences. As this work comes into being, it will gradually be published topic by topic on the Higher Meaning web site for public use.

     With this think tank project and its Higher Meaning web site is the expectation of a slow, sure expansion of the vocabulary of the Language of correspondences that will be filtered into the public tongue. We expect the mirror will gradually become clearer, our spiritual environment will become more visible, and our society on earth more in tune with the perfect Human Itself.

     Please visit Higher Meaning at www.highermeaning.org. There is plenty to browse.


     Dr. Ashok Gangadean is the founder and director of the Global Dialogue Institute, which specializes in cultivating common ground and deeper global awareness among diverse worlds and cultures.

     Dr. Gangadean hosts "Global Lens," a weekly television program broadcast on cable station WYBE. A professor of philosophy at Haverford College for thirty-five years, Dr. Gangadean has written books on global reason, philosophy and dialogue among cultures.

     On December 13 the subject of the program was "Swedenborg's Global Influence." Dr. Gagadean interviewed Deborah Forman of the Swedenborg Foundation and Jonathan Rose of Bryn Athyn. He will address the annual meeting of the Swedenborg Foundation in May.




     Amena Pendleton Haines: Beloved Classic Children's Author, Best-Seller's Niece, Bishop's Daughter, and Her Literary World

     "Especially, I want to mention Amena Pendleton Haines who gave the initial impulse for this undertaking and has been a constant source of heartwarming encouragement" (Cyriel Odhner Sigstedt, "Foreword": The Swedenborg Epic).

     Amena Pendleton Haines was born in Chicago, Illinois, July 12th, 1881. The family later lived in Glenview and Philadelphia, where the Rt. Rev. William Frederic Pendleton served as minister, pastor and bishop. She attended the Academy Schools on Cherry Street. They lived on Wallace Street. Then, when they moved to Huntingdon Valley, her father suggested the name: "Bryn Athyn" for the Borough (Hill of Cohesion, or Hill of Stick-Togetherness).

     Following her Academy education, Amena attended Pomona College in Los Angeles, California, where she studied history and different languages, especially French, as well as society cultures. She later became involved with Academy administration, as Children's Librarian. (Brother-in-law Reginald Brown, and her sister Freda, also served as librarians.) We learned much from Amena of the French language, "savoir faire," and other gems, taught in her gentle charming way. Her travels would include Virginia, Georgia, New York, Connecticut, Boston, London, Paris, Amsterdam, other publishing and cultural centers.

     Mrs. Haines or "Aunt" Amena, as she was affectionately known by her many younger relatives, and their friends, had an extraordinary talent for writing, publishing, and translating French to English. Her two New Church Books:


The Golden Heart and Other Stories, and The Pomegranate With Seeds of Gold, were exceptionally well received, and have become classic children's stories, based on the Memorable Relations found in the New Word. She had many friends in the literary world; among them, Eugenie Foa, author of The Strange Search and The Mystery at Castle Pierre-Fitte, Frances Jenkins Olcott, Author of The New Arabian Nights; also Marie Sherr, of Paris, Oxford and Bryn Athyn. (Louis Pendleton, her Uncle and Alnwick Road neighbor: Best-selling author of The Wedding Garment, The Invisible Police, In the Okefenokee, Kidnapping Clarence, and Lost Prince Almon was also a friend.)

     Miss Sherr told Amena, and this writer, that the tea set she served us with was the favorite of her best friend, Rudyard Kipling. Upon her death, she bequeathed it to yours truly! Many other authors and writers were often Amena's weekend guests at Pendle House, her Bryn Athyn home, which she shared with several of her sisters.

     Along with other patriotic ladies, Amena did volunteer work in the Undercroft during World War II. Their "special-care activities" included, producing and sending blankets, along with food supplies and Cathedral service sermons to French New Church families and other Europeans in occupied countries. Following the War, helped much by Mildred Pitcairn, Creda Glenn and others, several newly-freed French young men attended the Academy College.

     "Aunt" Amena loved little children. She always joined with her sisters to welcome them at Christmas. Her arms full of thoughtful presents. Often they were her own books personally autographed.


Editorial Pages 2005

Editorial Pages              2005


     Being intrigued by the subject of happiness, I did two editorials about it in the year 2003, "Happiness and Geography" and "Happiness and the Poor." In February of 2000 the editorial was "Are People Happier These Days?" Well, the January 17th issue of Time magazine this year is devoted to the subject of human joy.

     Scientists and thinkers give us input on the subject of human happiness. Helen Keller is quoted: "When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us."

     Another author says, "Unbroken happiness is a bore; it should have ups and downs." One is reminded of the teaching in Heaven and Hell. "Sometimes angels are in a state of intense love, sometimes in a state of love not so intense." There are many reasons why their happiness is not constantly intense. The delight of life "would gradually lose its value if they were in it continually, as happens with those that are in allurements and pleasures without variety" (HH 158).

     What can we do to increase our overall happiness? An infusion of money apparently has little promise of accomplishing this. A practice that does have promise is once a week to consciously count one's blessings. Direct the attention to the blessings we have. I think of Jacob at the Jordan River praying to God, "I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant" (Genesis 32:10).

     One of the questions posed on the cover of this magazine is: "Does God want us to be happy?" The article seems to answer in the affirmative. The Writings are emphatic on this question.


In Divine Providence we read, "He who wills that we should live to eternity also wills that we should live a state of blessedness. What would eternal life be without that? All love desires the good of another-the love of parents desires the good of their children; the love of a bridegroom and husband desires the good of his bride and wife; and friendship's love desires the good of friends; - why not, then, the Divine love? And what else is this good but delight? And what is Divine good but eternal blessedness?" (DP 324).

     A favorite passage for many is number 43 of True Christian Religion. "It is the essence of Love to love others outside of oneself, to desire to be one with them, and to render them blessed from oneself." The passage goes on to say, "All love breathes forth delight from itself, and the Divine love breathes forth blessedness itself, happiness and felicity to eternity."
Title Unspecified 2005

Title Unspecified              2005

     * * * * *



     June 5th to 8th, 2005

     In Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania

     There will be events and activities for ALL ages

     Adult Workshops Children's Programs

     Programs for Teens

     See the invitation from the Bishop on page 65


MR. H.J. HEINZ 2005

MR. H.J. HEINZ       Richard Linguist       2005


Dear Editor,

     Copies of My Story of the Bryn Athyn Cathedral (reviewed in the May 2004 issue of NCL) have been planted in good ground I believe. Julia Schmucker, who works at the cathedral, and I have had the joy of distributing about one hundred copies to New Church men and women. The book has been appreciated very much especially by the current group of eighteen cathedral guides and others who serve at the cathedral. The distribution will continue.

     You and the readership of NCL may recall that in the book review I wrote of the relationship between Mr. Heinz, Mr. Lawrence Saint and the opportunity of evangelization-all related to a bottle of ketchup.

     Recently I discovered the following information in the September 1915 issue of NCL that I would like to share with you.

     "We had an interesting call (visit) from Mr. Heinz of the '57 varieties' fame. He talked freely about Mr. Carnegie having been raised in the New Church and was desirous to learn what Swedenborg teaches. I thought he wanted to read the Writings themselves and suggested that he procure the 'True Christian Religion.' But when he saw the work he said it was too much of an undertaking. He purchased a copy of Smyth's lecture on Swedenborg."

     This information came from Rev. L.G. Landenberger's report about the contacts he made while tending a booth at the New Church Exhibit at the Panama Exposition in 1915.

     Richard Linguist
     Huntingdon Valley, PA



"MISS KELLER AMONG NEW CHURCH FRIENDS"       Richard Lines       2005

Dear Editor,

     I was delighted to read your article "Miss Keller Among New Church Friends" (NCL, November 2004, page 429), but would like to correct you on one point. Helen Keller did speak in the present Swedenborg Hall, which was opened in October 1926. Hart Street is the old name for what is now Bloomsbury Way. The name was changed in about 1938. The event on July 8, 1932 was organized by the General Conference of the New Church, not by the Swedenborg Society, and the Society's Annual Report for 1932 makes no mention of it, although it is recorded that Helen was given Honorary Life Membership of the Society that year and mention is also made of the publication in February 1933 of the Everyman edition of The True Christian Religion with an introduction by Helen Keller.

     I was interested to note that she had met George Bernard Shaw during her visit to Great Britain. She does not say that they spoke about Swedenborg, but the Rev. Dennis Duckworth told me some years ago that he had seen Shaw looking at The Swedenborg Society's stand at a book fair in London's Regent Street in the mid-1930s and had heard him say, "Concentrate on Heaven and Hell, that will be your best-seller." I asked Dennis to put his recollection in writing, which he gladly did in a letter to me. In his essay on Swedenborg, "Testimony to the Invisible," the first essay in the book of that title published by the Swedenborg Foundation, Jorge Luis Borges wrote (9) that "Swedenborg's extremely original concept of heaven and hell" is "vividly summarized" in the third act of Shaw's play Man and Superman (1903) in the narration of John Tanner's dream. Borges adds that, as far as he knew, Shaw never spoke of Swedenborg and suggests that he may have got the ideas through Blake or arrived at them independently.


Dennis Duckworth's testimony shows that Borges was wrong about this.

     Whatever may be said about Shaw, there is no doubt that Helen Keller's books have had a profound influence, as I can attest personally, in bringing many newcomers to the Writings.

     Richard Lines

     Secretary, The Swedenborg Society

     London WC1A 2TH, England

     * * * * *

FROM THE BISHOP'S OFFICE       Rev. Thomas L. Kline       2005

     I am pleased to announce that the Rev. James P. Cooper has accepted a call to serve as the Pastor of the Olivet New Church in Toronto, Ontario, Canada effective July 1, 2006. Jim will continue to serve as Pastor of the Washington New Church in Mitchellville, MD until that time.

     I am also pleased to announce that the members of the Olivet New Church have unanimously affirmed the Rev. Jong-Ui Lee as their Assistant Pastor, effective immediately. He has been serving as assistant to the pastor there since last July.

     Rt. Rev. Thomas L. Kline

CORRECTION              2005

     The report of the baptism of Daniel Ryan Walsh in the January issue should have listed the parents as Phillip and Larah (Flynn) Walsh.



INVITATION FROM THE EXECUTIVE BISHOP       Rev. Thomas L Kline       2005



     The theme for our Assembly is "Renewing Our Purpose." We read in the Arcana Coelestia: "The whole of the Lord's kingdom is a kingdom of ends and purposes, so that not even the least thing occurs there which does not have a purpose to achieve some end in view" (AC 3645).

     Let us, through this gathering of New Church people from around the world, renew our vision and commitment to the fundamental truths of the Lord's Second Coming in the goals and directions for our church organization.

     In the main program there will be four Plenary Sessions directed toward an overall vision for the church and toward the specific uses of education and evangelization. There will be smaller workshops that will focus on religion in our lives. Equally importantly, this will be a family assembly with programs accommodated to the states of teens and children, the future of our church.

     On behalf of the General Church, I would like to ask that you consider including this event in your plans for June, contributing by your presence to the renewal of the Lord's purpose in the life of the church that is both within and without us.


     Rt. Rev. Thomas L Kline


Academy of the New Church 2005

Academy of the New Church              2005

     Master of Arts in Religious Studies Program

     Facts are the ultimate and outermost things, in which in their order interior things are inclosed; and because facts are ultimate and outermost things, these more than all other things must be things of service . . . Every fact must exist for the sake of a use, and this is its service (AC 1486).

     No matter what our life's work is, we need facts in order to do the work. More importantly than facts, however, we need to understand the meaning and purpose of life so we can order and arrange knowledge to make it more useful and effective.

     The Master of Arts in Religious Studies program at the Academy of the New Church is a program in which students learn

     -     the facts of their religion

     -     how to organize them into ideas and concepts that affect every other thing they know and do

     Exploring a range of knowledge in the light of the Doctrines helps people to see interior things previously hidden. A new base of understanding expands our world view, with the result that we are better able to be of use and service in every other sphere of life.

     We are currently taking registration for the

     2005 Spring term

     Please contact:

     Becky Henderson

     Administrative Assistant to the Dean

     P.O. Box 717 - Pendleton Hall

     Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     (215) 938-2640

     e-mail: becky.henderson@brynathyn.edu
New Audio Books 2005

New Audio Books              2005

     Arcana Coelestia, vol. 7

     and The Four Doctrines

     Available on Cassette or CD

     We are delighted to announce the release of Arcana

     Coelestia, Volume 7. Siri Yardumian-Hurst offers her

     intonations in continuing this project under the

     generous sponsorship of Mrs. Mimi Mitchell.

     Arcana Coelestia, Volume 7

     Series #333, 21 Cassettes - $25.00 or CDs - $30.00

     Additionally, Mr. Don Fitzpatrick lends

     his voice to the reading of The Four Doctrines.

     The Four Doctrines

     Series #336, 13 Cassettes - $25.00 or CDs - $30.00

     New Church Audio would like to thank

     Mimi, Ski and Don for their vision

     and support of this important use.

     NEW CHURCH     PO Box 752, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009
     AUDIO)))     267-502-4980

Title Unspecified 2005

Title Unspecified              2005

     Cairnwood: A Home in the Country tells the story of the events leading up to the building and early years of Cairnwood, the home of John and Gertrude Pitcairn. The Pitcairns were instrumental in founding the New Church community of Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, in the late 19th century.

     During the 1880s, the Pitcairns and other members of the Academy of the New Church became dissatisfied with their living in Philadelphia, and moved both the school and their own homes "out to the country" in the Pennypack Creek Valley. In the years that followed, the Pitcairns left an impressive architectural legacy to the town of Bryn Athyn which, more than a century after its founding, remains a worldwide center for the New Church.

     This fifteen minute documentary includes more than sixty historic photographs, along with video of present-day Bryn Athyn and spectacular aerial footage of Cairnwood, Bryn Athyn Cathedral, and Glencairn.

     Available on DVD and VHS. $9.95

     Directed by: Christopher Smith

     Written by: Ed Gyllenhaal

     Produced by: Ed Gyllenhaal and Stephen Morley Narrated by: Chris Waelchli





     At the Academy of the New Church Secondary Schools, we prepare our students for a good and useful life. As an educational arm of the General Church of the New Jerusalem, we lead students through a rigorous academic curriculum so that they may find meaning, fulfillment, and happiness. As we instruct our students in the teachings of the New Church and encourage a life according to New Church principles, we develop their intellectual powers, teach them about spiritual realities of life, and offer them many avenues to practice spiritual and moral virtues.

     In early February we will mail recruiting packages to age appropriate families who appear in the General Church database. These packages include an application form for admission of new students to the Schools. If you do not receive a recruiting package and would like one, please contact the School Secretary at 215-938-2556. Requests for application should be made by March 1, 2005. Letters should be addressed to Mrs. Margaret Gladish, Principal of the Girls School, or Mr. R. Scott Daum, Principal of the Boys School, The Academy of the New Church, Box 707, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009. Please include the student's name, parents' address, the class the student will be entering, the name and address of the school he or she is now attending, and whether the student will be a day or dormitory student. We should receive completed application forms by April 15, 2005.

     All requests for financial aid should be submitted to the Business Manager, The Academy of the New Church, Box 711, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009, by June 1, 2005. Please note: The earlier the request is submitted, the more likely we will be able to meet the need.

     Admission procedure is based on receipt of the following: Application, Transcript, Pastor's Recommendation, Agreement Form, and Health Forms.

     The Academy will not discriminate against applicants and students on the basis of race, color, gender, and national or ethnic origin.



ELDERGARTEN 2005              2005

     New Church Audio is delighted to announce that the recordings from this year's Eldergarten, which was held in Boynton Beach, Florida, are now available. The topics of Eldergarten, while chosen for the senior members of the New Church, may be enjoyed by all. These recordings are available on either cassette or CD. Our sincere thanks goes to Mr. Patrick Arnoux for his dedication and service in creating these recordings and thereby making them available to you.

Two Approaches to (the) Truth
     Five-part series given by Dr. Dan A. Synnestvedt
     Catalog #106792-106796

Noah and the Flood: The Lord's Care For Us As We Grow Spiritually
     Five-part series given by the Rev. Eric H. Carswell
     Catalog #106797-16801

The Exodus
     Five-part series by the Rt. Rev. Thomas Kline
     Catalog #106802-106806

How Do I Gain Eternal Life
     Sermon by the Rev. James P. Cooper
     Catalog #106791

     Prices: Individual series - $10.00 for cassettes or $15.00 for CD's

     Complete set (16 total) - $30.00 cassettes or $35.00 for CD's

     Note: Only the complete set comes in an attractive audio album.

          PO Box 752, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     NEW CHURCH AUDIO      267-502-4980
     )))     newchurchaudio@newchurch.org


Title Unspecified 2005

Title Unspecified              2005

     Vol. CXXV     March-April, 2005     Nos. 3-4

     New Church Life




Title Unspecified 2005

Title Unspecified              2005

     In the February issue we had an invitation from the Executive Bishop to the General Assembly in Bryn Athyn. In this issue (p. 97) there is a warm invitation from the assembly organizing committee. You have probably received a twenty page brochure entitled "Renewing Our Purpose." May 15 is the deadline for registration, and the Assembly begins on Sunday afternoon, June 5th. On page 5 is a list of twenty-eight workshops with the names of the presenters, and then on page 15 there are program abstracts to help you make your choices. Starting on page 12 there is a description of programs that will be available for children.

Coming Soon!

     A beautiful full-color catalog from New Church Associated Publishers. What is the New Church Associated Publishers? This organization was created about one year ago to promote materials that present a General Church view of the Heavenly Doctrines. Currently, it consists of four groups, each with its particular publishing niche.

     -     Academy of the New Church Press produces printed and electronic materials which are supportive of the Charter purposes of the Academy. This includes work by teachers and ministers that pertains to New Church education and Latin editions of Swedenborg's Theological Writings.

     -     General Church Office of Education publishes religion lessons that teach New Church concepts; children's books about the Lord, the Word and heaven; parenting books to support children's first teachers; and topical materials for study and reflection by young people and adults.

     -     General Church Publications sponsors and prints books to reflect teachings from the inspired works of Emanuel Swedenborg. These include editions of new translations of the Writings themselves-in clear and modern English-which are faithful to the original Latin, as well as doctrinal studies and collateral literature.

     -     Swedenborg Scientific Association publishes the pre-theological works of Emanuel Swedenborg, and studies of these works that examine their relationship to the cultural environment of the 18th century and beyond and to the preparation of Swedenborg for his later role as revelator.

All the materials listed in the catalog will be available at the New Church Bookstore and on-line through www.newchurch.org. Watch your mail for the arrival of this great new resource!





     It is commonly accepted that the home is the basic unit of society. The values and life of our homes collectively make up the values and life of our country and society in general. The content and tone of the media, for example, generally reflect the content and tone that appeals to many homes. Violence and sex are presented, because so many desire them. When homes become invaded by pornography, to a greater or lesser extent it reflects the tolerance of society as a whole for pornography. Premarital sex, adultery and homosexuality are accepted in society to the same degree as they are tolerated in the families and homes of the land.

     There is a common attitude towards life that can be observed in the many activities which are imposed upon us or which we freely invite into our homes. Just as every individual human being is born to be of use to his fellow man, so every home has its unique use. Every home has its potential useful place in the body of society, just as every cell has its place in the human body. Thus the common good exists from the goods of use that individuals perform.

     Sadly the corollary is also true. The common evil exists from the evils that individuals accept and engage in. These days what our nation seems to stand for has been severely criticized by other nations. It is a criticism that we as individuals should also take to heart, for we are part of that nation. Some seem to dismiss that criticism by saying, for example, "They don't really know us. They base their ideas on the movies we export." But those movies were created in the first place to cater to the individual and common desires of our own people. This is just one example. The evils of the common society in which we live could make a long list. Nations, particularly when criticized should examine themselves in the light of their values, even as we individuals must examine ourselves in the light of ours.


It is not enough to make a universal confession that we as individuals are total sinners, nor is it enough to condemn the society in which we live as all bad. We need to examine our nation, and ourselves and discover a few manageable evils at a time, which with the Lord's help can be rejected. It would be well for all of us here, to go home determined to shun one or two things in our homes that contribute to the common evil of the society in which we live. And with reflection we might also discover one or two things in the policy or actions of our nation that we can address, adding our voice to that of others to unleash the forces of/for change. It is not simply a matter of changing our image as some pundits might urge. The moral fiber itself of our nation can be strengthened. The Doctrines make clear the vision we should seek.

     They point out that the general (or common) good consists in these things: That in a Society (or nation) there shall be,

1. What is Divine with them. 2. That there shall be justice with them. 3. That there shall be morality with them. 4. That there shall be industry, knowledge, and uprightness with them. 5. That there shall be the necessaries of life. 6. That there shall be the things necessary to their occupations. 7. That there shall be the things necessary for protection. 8. That there shall be a sufficiency of wealth; because from this come the three former necessaries. (Char. 130)

     Ask yourself some questions as we go through that list again.

     1. The Divine with them. What is the attitude towards churches, towards religion? 2. Justice? Are our laws just and are they justly interpreted and enforced? Is the primary concern in business that it be conducted sincerely, justly and fairly? 3. Morality? Moral law is the law of reason firmly based upon the Divine law such as the Ten Commandments. Is the life of society and its behavior firmly based upon reasoning from such fundamental spiritual principles? Or is it formed merely by natural and pragmatic concerns?


4. Industry, knowledge, and uprightness? Are our schools up to this ideal? Do we subscribe to hard work and integrity in the workplace? 5. Necessaries of life? What of hunger and poverty? 6. Things necessary to their occupations? What of a satisfying occupation, or even employment itself? Do we subscribe to the ideal of useful service? 7. Protection? Are we safe? Do we feel safe? 8. Sufficient wealth? How much does money influence our decisions as a nation?

     Each of us in our own way freely, thoughtfully and from conscience needs to take responsibility for our part in the society in which we live. And that part begins in our own homes, for they are the basic unit of Society.

     1. How do we provide that the Divine shall be in our homes? The Doctrines mention such things as prayer morning and evening and at dinners and suppers, thought and conversation with others about charity and faith, God heaven, eternal life and salvation. Instructing children and reading the Word and books of instruction and of piety, reflection upon our thoughts and intentions, aversion of the mind from impious, obscene and filthy language (Char. 174-5): this is the short list and we must ask ourselves how do our homes measure up?

     2. Perhaps the sense of justice and fairness seems to apply largely to raising children. Certainly it also applies to the mutual respect and just behavior between married partners. But we might note that just as having the Divine in our homes can lead to a deep and precious sense of innocence and peace, so a sense of justice leads to a sense of full confidence and natural tranquility.

     3. Morality in the home implies a thoughtful application to our daily lives of those principles we see in the Word and the reasoned implications we draw from them. Consider just for one example the importance of parents really communicating with their children. Do our children understand the reasons for what we ask of them?


Effective communication is no simple matter in a society where parents need to struggle hard even to "be there" with their children. If we are not there to explain our reasons for certain behaviors, they will get their reasons from elsewhere, and there is no assurance that they will be good reasons or that their behavior will comply with our expectations. And communication cuts two ways. It involves speaking our thoughts and sharing our affections. But it also involves encouraging others to speak and share through careful listening. A moral home is ordered by the innocent desire to live by the truth wherever it leads.

     4. How can we uphold a sense of industry in our homes when society encourages the feeling that we are owed things rather than that we earn them? Every member of a well-ordered household needs to have a useful and accepted place in it. The truth flows into organized knowledge and thought. It sheds light wherever there is an effort to live uprightly. Recreation is necessary, but idle minds lead only to a lack of concern for others and boredom. It needs to leave room for cultivating knowledge, for the truth flows into organized knowledge and thought. Recreation is necessary, but idle minds lead only to a lack of concern for others, boredom and apathy.

     5. We need the necessaries of life. But it takes thought to find the balance between unnecessary luxury and privation. It is quite possible to find richness in simple things. Often it is simply a matter of recognizing that the reality of human loves and relationships far surpasses the apparent necessities of things and physical pleasures.

     6. The place of work and the things necessary not only to the home, but also in the workplace is a challenge in a Society where both partners feel the necessity to work outside of the home. All the varied uses we have been considering, both spiritual and natural, have their focus in the home. And that home is the individual use that makes up the common good of the society in which we live.


Yet for many the home seems to have become little more than a place to eat the evening meal and to sleep. Do we really have a sufficient vision and respect for the role of a wife and mother? All of the needs we have been describing center in our homes, where the mother's love and affection is dominant. Do husbands really honor and uphold those precious states of innocence and peace that can be the most valuable contribution a wife makes to the home and to human society itself? Have we as husbands and fathers gone to the Word and seen with humility the importance of that eternal love between a man and his wife? That most sacred love comes to us from the Lord, through our wives. It is not an abstraction, but it dwells in and expresses itself through all the various uses we have been describing. The work of wives and mothers warms and inspires the heart of a nation.

     7. When the Doctrines mention protection in regard to the nation, we think of our sense of security. But wise couples will see the need to protect all the uses of the home both from outside threats and from those things that threaten from within. Of course these uses must be protected from outside physical threats, but perhaps more importantly from outside influences of the mind and heart that would undermine and even destroy the very things we hold most precious. And even more so, they must be protected from the influence of hell within ourselves. As we consider the anger, impatience, the fears, and the legion of foes that can invade, they can be faced if we but remember that we are not number one. The love of self is the underlying enemy.

     8. Finally a great many marriages have been destroyed and the home with them through arguments over money. What is a sufficiency of wealth in the home? What do we really need? It is not always easy to sort these things out when whatever we decide affects others. What will really make the others in our homes happy? The gift of love is the most precious of all, yet it has no monetary value, and it can be expressed in words and deeds that have no monetary cost.


But there is a cost. We must be willing to give up the love of the world and open the way for a genuine love of others to flow in and take form.

     There is then, no lack of vision for where our homes should be and could be. The vision is high. It begins with providing for the Divine there. But it points the way to everyday life even to the things we buy and use every day. The challenge is clear. The choices are ours on the ascending path to our eternal homes. It is a matter of will and of determination to act. Will we or will we not, be like Joshua when he said, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Josh. 24:15)?
www.NewChurchVineyard.org 2005

www.NewChurchVineyard.org              2005

     An on-line family magazine from the G. C. Office of Education featuring materials for all ages focused on a new theme every month.

     "Lo, I Am with You Always" in March 2005

     Guardian Angels in April 2005



REVIEW       Kurt H. Asplundh       2005

     Landmarks in Regeneration, by Rev. Douglas Taylor

     The Rev. Douglas Taylor is the author of other books for the New Church, most recently, Spirituality That Makes Sense. Readers have appreciated his clear and direct style. Landmarks in Regeneration continues this tradition.

     Landmarks is a book about how we progress through stages in spiritual development. The "problem" Mr. Taylor addresses is the common feeling that we seem "stuck" spiritually and are not making progress in regeneration. Mr. Taylor shows that the Lord has provided goals or "landmarks" to guide us.

     The landmarks for which this book is named are the letters to the Seven Churches in Asia as recorded in the 2nd and 3rd chapters of the book of Revelation. These letters, from the first addressed to the Church in Ephesus to the last addressed to the Church in Laodicea, describe a series of spiritual steps leading to a regenerate or heavenly way of life. To understand this progression we must learn it from the spiritual meaning contained within the literal messages of these letters. The meaning as it applies to states of human regeneration is to be found revealed in the Heavenly Doctrine, especially in the work Apocalypse Explained. Mr. Taylor draws from the teachings of this work to expound the hidden series of landmarks that show how the human mind can be led toward a heavenly goal.

     Each chapter of the book is devoted to one of the Seven Churches and the regenerative state that is meant by it. Following the natural pattern of the letters, each church is identified first by the spiritual idea of the Lord in it; second, by the good feelings and true thoughts for which the Lord commends it; third, by the evils and falsities of which it must repent; and fourth, by the punishments or rewards that come according to its life.


     The entire book, then, presents a description of our life's spiritual journey and the landmarks we can identify along the way. We see how we must move from the mere love of learning (Ephesus) to a state of charity (Philadelphia) where we must remain steadfast and not backslide (Laodicea). Mr. Taylor gives a rich explanation of the spiritual details of each church along the way based on selected passages from the Heavenly Doctrine. The gems mined from Apocalypse Explained are especially cogent and clear.

     Mr. Taylor often stops to define or explain terms included in the Writings which convey meanings beyond (or different from) their common use today. This is helpful for all of us and especially for those reading the book who may not be well acquainted with New Church doctrine.

     While Mr. Taylor has addressed this book primarily to a New Church audience; to those who are familiar with the concept of a spiritual meaning within the literal sense of Scripture, I hope it will find a larger audience. Most of it is quite accessible to newcomers, given Mr. Taylor's longtime interest in evangelization. In particular, the book offers a powerful illustration of the exposition of the Word by correspondences now revealed for the New Church. Such revelation is for the New Church what miracles were to the early Christian Church.

     Those reading the book will find themselves carried along from chapter to chapter, from Church to Church, eager to learn "what's next?" The various stages of human life are outlined here in depth: human affections good and evil, temptations, new insights, punishments and rewards. Readers will find themselves examining their own lives to discover what personal landmarks they have passed and what ones remain.

     I recommend this slender volume and I commend Mr. Taylor for adding another of his useful books to the literature of the church.

     Kurt H. Asplundh




     The Internet presents a powerful opportunity for growing and strengthening the church. In December 2004, we received over 25,000 visitors to our Web site www.newchurch.org. We receive e-mails daily from people who discovered the New Church on the Internet and want more information. These inquirers thank us for the amazing information provided and often ask: "Why did I not hear about this before?". A man from Portugal, living in the United Kingdom, writes and says he believes he has found his "spiritual church," when he discovers the New Church online. We received an e-mail from a gentleman in Uganda looking for a New Church in his area. We disappointingly tell him that we do not have any New Church contacts in Uganda, but in the neighboring country, Kenya, there are two ministers. Six weeks later, we hear from one of the ministers in Kenya that he met with the man from Uganda and they formed a strong connection over the teachings of the New Church. A gentleman in Canada writes to confirm that the New Church is truly Christian and biblically based before he visits a local congregation. In Colorado, a gentlemen finds a book of the Writings in a college library; after reading it and being inspired, he searches for the New Church online and locates the New Church of Boulder Valley, then drives three hours to attend worship and learn more. Each of these journeys uniquely displays the powerful opportunity the Internet provides to connect people to New Church teachings and communities.

     New Initiative for Growth

     Despite people still debating whether we should grow the church or not; the church is growing in many more ways than we even know.


At General Church Outreach we are happy to report on the amazing influence and force for good that the Web site www.newchurch.org is having in the world for the New Church. We are also delighted to announce that over the past year we have devoted much time, energy, and expertise to making this Web presence more effective, more professional, and more of a unified front for the General Church than it has ever been before. Please check out the Web site today and let us know what you think. It is our aspiration to increase the number of visits to the site and to clearly communicate what the New Church has to offer to the world.

     In 1997, The Office of Evangelization (now General Church Outreach) first launched www.newchurch.org a Web site devoted to introducing the New Church to the world. This was a phenomenal undertaking, that has gone through numerous revisions over the last seven years. Now www.newchurch.org is a new step forward. As one user of the new site wrote "[I] just wanted to let you know that I think the new Web site is very professionally done, very modern, and a quantum leap forward. Keep up the good work!" This new online presence for the General Church formally began in May of 2004, when the General Church Board approved funds for the project. This initiative is coordinated by General Church Outreach. This new presence takes the next step forward in a number of different ways. It serves local congregations, members, and newcomers alike, helping them discover what the New Church is and connecting them to a New Church community.

     Unified General Church Presence

     One of the primary objectives fulfilled through this new Web site is a consolidated presence of General Church congregations and departments. Formerly, when a user navigated between different congregations and different uses, such as the Office of Education, Development Office, Young Adult Connection, or General Church Outreach, the user may not have known that they were all part of the same organization.


[Picture of the home page.] Now, on the new Web presence it is clear that we are all on the same team! We are a unified whole, working toward a common goal. We are delighted to have all the departments working together. In fact, the process of creating this Web site was a huge effort in team work, communication, understanding, and consensus building.

     We launched the Web site with five congregations integrated in the new look and feel: these congregations currently include the Ivyland New Church; San Diego New Church; Sarver New Church; Swedenborg Chapel in Sudbury, Massachusetts; and the Bryn Athyn Church. We are able to build these Web sites for any congregation interested (at no cost to the local congregation). We have already received requests from eight additional congregations (one from Australia, two from Canada, and five from the United States) who want to get on board, and we are in the process of making this reality.


New Features

     There are quite a few new features provided through this revision. The site is now searchable, so users can immediately locate the information they are looking for. There is the opportunity to donate to the General Church online. Our online bookstore now has credit card capabilities. We encourage you to set up a user account today and purchase a book online. In addition to purchasing books online, there is free access to online audio sermons and ministers can post audio sermons online hours after they are delivered and recorded.

Connecting Members

     Current announcements of what is happening around the world in the New Church are featured to keep members and friends up to date. This 'news and events' is a new item on our Web presence. We are eager to keep it up to date, current, and reflecting our international church. Members can go to our Web site and find information on programs and resources, the organization, leadership, how get involved, publications, sermons, inspiration and much more. Perhaps the most exciting opportunity for members with this new presence is that it is a resource where they can send their friends to find more information on the New Church.

Online Welcome Center

     When we improve our service to members, we are also serving newcomers better, and vice versa. This whole site strives to be newcomer friendly, and we also target newcomers specifically. You will notice on the site at the bottom left of every screen there is access to an online welcome center for newcomers and easy access to location information. As mentioned in my opening paragraph, the New Church online is a major force for connecting newcomers to local societies.


There is also an 'About Us' section providing an overview of New Church teachings, Swedenborg, and the General Church organization. Throughout the site, a tool for newcomers and members is the "contact" link, providing a simple way to request follow-up information.

     As we look toward the future, we realize that in many ways this new Web presence is a starting point. There is so much work still to be done with marketing the Web site, making it more internationally-friendly, and integrating more and more of the amazing resources General Church people are developing around the world. It is written in Arcana Coelestia, number 9793 that "The Word received from the Lord has been so published and preserved . . . that the revealed Word is therefore going to remain forever on this planet." Knowing that the teachings of the New Church will remain forever and that with this new technology we can reach more people than ever before gives us comfort and great hope as we move forward.

Note: Please feel free to contact me at General Church Outreach at outreach@newchurch.org with questions, ideas, feedback, or for more information on how you congregation can get involved. I welcome information on how we can make this Web presence better (from small details like typos to large ideas and visions for the future) and I am also open to anecdotal feedback and stories of how this is working for you in your life.





     The Lord, Jehovah, God from eternity, created the universe and everything in it by means of His Divine Love, through His Divine Wisdom (DP 3). He alone is Life (DLW 363). Love and wisdom are His essence. Love, or good, is that from which all things are. Wisdom or truth is that through which they come into manifestation (AC 3703, 2173). Because these two attributes are one, that is, married or conjoined in the Lord, everything in His created universe also has these conjoined or "married" elements in it. Whether you say love and wisdom, love and faith, will and understanding, celestial and spiritual, it is the same. The former refers to good and the latter to truth. Without the conjunction between these elements, nothing in nature can exist.

     To understand how these characteristics relate to the Lord, the Divine Human (that human He put on and glorified to save mankind-DLW 282), His kingdom, angels and man, I have captured the essence of some of the Lord's teachings in a chart, showing how they are related. The union of the Divine essence with the Human, and vice versa, is the Divine marriage of Good and Truth. That Divine marriage is indeed Jesus Christ, or the Lord, our Savior Himself, Divine Good and Truth. From this comes the heavenly marriage in His kingdom (AC 2803). The heavenly marriage is the source of Conjugial Love, that spiritual marriage love between a man and a woman, which endures to eternity.


          The Marriage of Good and Truth

                    DIVINE HUMAN
      /      \               |
      \      /               |
     DIVINE RATIONAL          |


References: AC 2803, 3004, 3703, 3960, 2063, 3077, 3211, 4575, 2508; NJHD 260, CL 87

     Good (or love) is the essence, or being; truth (or wisdom) gives form to that essence (CL 87). Neither can function without the other, especially in the Lord (DP 3). Implanted in them from creation is the inclination to join together into one (CL 83). The unifying of these attributes is the means by which the Lord is conjoined with all things of His creation "in an eternal covenant like that of a marriage" (CL 115).

The Divine Marriage in Creation

     "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep" (Genesis 1:1, 2).

     The Divine Marriage is reflected in God's creation, as shown in the Introduction. The Lord created the universe and everything in it from Himself, by means of the spiritual sun, the form of His Love and Wisdom, which is visible in the spiritual world (DLW 290).


He did not create the universe from nothing (as some have believed-DLW 282). However, the created universe is not an extension of Him; it's as if the Lord's life were withdrawn from His creation (DLW 55). The angels explain it by saying that "they are in God and God in them, and yet have in their being nothing of God which is God."

     The spiritual sun is responsible for the creation of all life. The sun in the natural world, by contrast, is nothing but fire, which is essentially lifeless. However, it was created to complete the work of creation in this world, both suns being necessary for creation to exist.

     In men and animals, the heart and lungs are sources of life; they are essential for life (CL 87). They each need each other just the way good and truth do, to which they correspond.

The Relationship of the Lord and His Church
     (Another Marriage)

     The conjunction of the Lord with His church is a special relationship, illustrated by the following diagram:

     LORD           =      "BRIDEGROOM"
      |                    \
     / \               |
\               /          |
|               |     IN MARRIAGE OF GOOD AND TRUTH
|               |/

     "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready" (Revelation 19:7).


     Divine Love and Wisdom proceed from the Lord "perfectly united" as the Sun, the Love as heat, the Wisdom as light. These attributes are received by angels and men of the church as two, but the Lord unites them in each person (see paragraph one of The Marriage of Good and Truth in Man also). Put another way, man receives truth from the Lord, and the Lord joins good to it, which forms the church in a person. This influx from the Lord, and the reception by men and angels, is why the Lord is called the Bridegroom in the Word, and the Church the Bride and Wife (DP 8; CL 116). The conjunction of the Lord with the church, and the reciprocal conjunction of the church with the Lord is called a marriage (CL 116). When the church and individuals are in that marriage or union they are an image and likeness of the Lord. In this situation, their will and understanding, charity and faith, or doctrine from the Word with their life makes one, just as in the Lord (DP 8). The "offspring" from this marriage of the Lord and His church are spiritual truths, from which come understanding, perception and thought, and goodness, from which comes love, charity and all affection (CL 116).

The Marriage of Good and Truth in Man

     The human soul is a superior spiritual substance, which receives influx from the Lord immediately, whereas the mind, being more inferior, receives it mediately through the spiritual world (ISB 8e). The body receives influx from the Lord mediately through the natural world. Good of love and truth of wisdom flow into man's soul from God as one, but they are divided by man in their progression. They are conjoined again when man allows himself to be led by the Lord.

     The joining of good to truth or good of charity to truth of faith, and vice versa is the conjugial relationship (AC 3952, 7022). When they are joined together, the heavenly marriage is effected.


This heavenly marriage exists in a person when his pleasure or delight stems from spiritual love, that is, love towards the neighbor, country or the general public. It exists even more fully when it stems from celestial love or love to the Lord. When these loves pass from the internal or spiritual man into the delights of the external or natural man, they are then joined to the doctrine of the external or natural. Needless to say, this marriage cannot exist with the evil, who do not have good as the end in view.

     All mutual love, indeed all good loves, exist from the marriage of good and truth (AC 2733, 2737, 2738). Every doctrinal of faith has in itself the heavenly marriage (AC 2516).

The Need for Vessels to Receive Him

     While goodness and truth are universal in creation and in all created forms, they are present in their created vessels according to each one's form (CL 83).

     As the natural sun radiates heat and light, which warms and illumines us, so does the spiritual sun, the radiation being His Love and Wisdom (DLW 363). In order for the Lord to dwell in man, and give him life, He had to create and fashion suitable recipient vessels, one for His Love, the other for His Wisdom (DLW 360, 375, 395). The vessel receiving His Love is the will, the other receiving His Wisdom is the intellect, or understanding . . . These two are the Lord's in man, being termed the soul, from which springs all a person's life (DLW 398). While these are distinctly two, they function as one in every operation and sensation, because they cannot be separated in their functions (DLW 395; CL 87). They exist in the brain, and consequently in the body in the whole and every part of each (DLW 362, 375). There is a correspondence of the will with the heart, and the intellect with the lungs, which function in like manner (DLW 371, 372).

     The character of the love determines the character of the wisdom and thus the character of the person (DLW 362, 375).


The character determines a man's fate in the spiritual world: either heaven or hell, in accordance with his life's love (DLW 369). In order for a man to be saved, the Lord has made it possible for a man's intellect to be raised above his inherent love into some light of wisdom, so he can see and be taught how he should live in order to come into that love, and so enjoy bliss to eternity (DLW 395). Some have abused that ability, and destroyed their means of salvation by making their wills the abode of love of self, and their intellects the abode of love of the world.

     Love, or the will, prepares a home or bridal chamber for its future spouse, the wisdom or intellect (DLW 398). Conjunction is effected firstly through an affection for knowing, from which comes an affection of truth; secondly from an affection for understanding, from which springs a perception of truth; and, lastly, through an affection for seeing that truth, from which springs thought. It is love that conjoins wisdom to itself. It is love's power that enables wisdom to be elevated into heavenly light, and, if it desires, it can be elevated with the wisdom and become purified, becoming spiritual and celestial. Love becomes elevated by putting into practice the truths of light which it understands, and shunning evils as sins (DLW 422). Living one's life in accordance with the wisdom is what brings about the elevation. The man then becomes like a garden of Eden, in the enjoyment of a spring-like light and warmth. If love does not join the elevated wisdom it will become defiled, becoming natural and sensual. Even in the latter case, though, the faculties of rationality and freedom remain.

     Man has the ability to become spiritual or celestial. Celestial love is a love of good, while spiritual love is a love of truth (DLW 427). Both celestial and spiritual people perform uses, but their motivation is different. . . . The celestial, who are those who live in the third heaven, are the wisest of all.


They possess a marriage of love and wisdom from the Lord, and relate to heaven's kingdom of the heart.

     From the marriage of good and truth, which flows in from the Lord a person acquires truth, and the Lord joins good to this, which is how the church is formed in a person (CL 122). The person assimilates the truth into himself as if it were his own . . . this appearance ensuring that he may be a human being and have the means of reciprocating the Lord's love. Man is born with the faculty of knowing, understanding and becoming wise . . . Since the female was created through the truth of the male, and is formed into a love of it more and more after marriage, it follows that she also receives her husband's truth into herself and joins it to her good.

The Divine Marriage in the Word

     "The Lord gave the Word: great is the host of them that bear the tidings" (Psalm 68:11). "The Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105).

     All things in the Word treat of the Lord's kingdom, and, in the highest sense, He Himself (AC 4137, 7022). It may appear that there are repetitions in the Word, but they are never without meaning. One will relate to good or the celestial, the other to truth or the spiritual. This ensures there is a Divine marriage and thus a heavenly marriage in every part of the Word (AC 3880, 6343, 3960, 4575, 2173; AE 775). The holiness of the Word is due to the presence of the heavenly and Divine marriages within it, down to the last detail (AC 6343; NJHD 260). Parts of the Word dealing with evil also treat of falsity, because there is a marriage of these also (AC 5138). If faith and love or faith and good works are separated in a person, then the Word becomes falsified with him.

     The Word is the means by which the Lord is conjoined to us, and we to Him (CL 116, 128). For this reason it is called a covenant, which signifies conjunction (CL 128).


When a person reads the Word and draws truths from it, the Lord attaches good, unknown to the man. He may have a sense of this taking place, because he feels the delight that flows into him when in that state of enlightenment, but it only takes place inwardly with those who read the Word to gain wisdom and form a church in themselves.

The Divine Marriage in Men and Women

     "Jehovah God . . . took one of the ribs of the man, and closed up the flesh in its place. And the rib which He had taken from man He fashioned into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And the man said, 'She is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. Therefore she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Manr' Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:21-24).

     It is owing to this original formation that a male is born intellect-oriented and a female will-oriented, or in other words that a male is born with an affection for knowing, understanding and becoming wise, while a female is born with a love for joining herself to that affection in the male (CL 33).

     ". . . How well we fit together-You could be so good for me," are two of the lines from a song by Amy Grant called "Good for Me." There are hundreds of love songs illustrating the truth that men and women need each other to be complete human beings: they are puzzle pieces that fit together, and complement each other. One is not superior to the other; they are both necessary to complete God's creation.

     Men and women were created to be the image of the marriage between good and truth (CL 83). They are an image of that marriage in their inmost qualities, and thus in their subsequent ones, as the inner faculties of their minds are opened. Love of the opposite sex is an external love shared with animals.


It originates from the marriage of good and truth in the same way Conjugial Love does with the difference that Conjugial Love is peculiar to mankind, being a love of the internal or spiritual man.

     Men and women are totally different beings. Nothing in the two sexes is the same, although there is a capacity for conjunction in every detail (CL 33). Both have a will from good, but their inner qualities are very different (AC 3538). The inmost quality of the masculine is love, veiled over with wisdom (CL 32). The inmost quality of the feminine is that same wisdom veiled over with love. Masculine love is the love of becoming wise and is given to a husband by the Lord, according to his reception of wisdom. The feminine love is given by the Lord to a wife through the wisdom of her husband. So the male is a form of the wisdom of love, and the female a form of the love of wisdom. As a result of these differences after death a man is still a man and a woman still a woman (CL 33).

And So to Conjugial Love

     Are you ready for a thing called love?
     It doesn't come from you and me-
     It comes from up above.

     "Thing called love," a song by Bonnie Raitt

     The marriage of the Lord's Divine itself and the Divine Human, which is the Divine Marriage of His Good and Truth, is the origin of heavenly marriage. The heavenly marriage is the marriage of good and truth, the origin of conjugial love (AC 3960, 2728, 2729; CL 83). It really does come from "up above." Good cannot exist without truth, nor vice versa (as shown in the Introduction). Consequently, there is an eternal marriage between them, the source of Conjugial Love. The derivation of Conjugial Love from that marriage cannot be seen by man, but it can be seen from influx or correspondence or from the Word (AC 2728, 3132, 3538, 3960).


It may become clear from influx, in that from the union of good and truth which flow in from the Lord heaven is compared to a marriage and is called a marriage; from correspondence, in that when good united to truth flows down into a lower sphere it presents itself as a union of minds and when it flows down into a lower sphere still it presents itself as a marriage. Consequently the union of minds springing from good united to truth from the Lord is Conjugial Love itself: the union of two minds from the marriage of good and truth (AC 10168, 10169). They who are in good and truth can be in Conjugial Love, but others not, although they may suppose themselves to be (Spir. Exp., minor 4642).

     Conjugial Love in a person lies within love for the opposite sex, like a gem in its native rock (CL 83). A love for the opposite sex in a person is not the origin of Conjugial Love but is its first stage, being like any external natural quality in which an internal spiritual one is implanted. When Conjugial Love has been implanted love for the opposite sex turns around and becomes a chaste love for the opposite sex.

     Since Conjugial Love is in itself spiritual and therefore holy, a marriage should be consecrated by a priest (CL 308). Conjugial Love descends from the Lord so the state in the married couple will depend on the state of the church with them, because it depends on the state of their wisdom (CL 116). In a (spiritual) marriage, the husband is in the form of truth and the wife a form of the good of that truth (CL 115). In that state, they can both experience the blissful delights of innocence, and thus the happiness the angels of heaven enjoy.

     "In such a state," the angel said, "the husband's power of insemination would continually be in the spring of youth, and he would therefore remain in the effort and power to transmit his truth, and the wife, out of love, would be in a continual state to receive it.


     "The wisdom that men have from the Lord knows no greater delight than to transmit its truths. And the love of wisdom that wives have in heaven knows no greater pleasure than to receive them as though in a womb, and thus to conceive them, carry them, and give them birth.

     "That is what spiritual procreations are like among angels of heaven. And if you would believe it, natural procreations come also from the same origin." (CL 115)

     A husband does not represent the Lord, nor does his wife the church, because together they form the Church (CL 116). This is true in marriages both in heaven and on the earth.

     Conjugial Love Proceeds Through the Female to the Male

     In the case of married couples, the church is implanted first in the man, and through the man to his wife, because the man with his understanding acquires the truth that the church teaches, and the wife acquires it from the man (CL 125). But the reverse is not according to order. Nevertheless, this does sometimes happen, but only in the case of men who either are not lovers of wisdom and so are not part of the church, or who hang like slaves on the bidding of their wives.

     Male and female were created to be the very image of the marriage between good and truth (CL 100). This is because the male was created to be an expression of the understanding of truth, thus a picture of truth, and the female was created to be an expression of the will of good, thus a picture of good, and implanted in both from their inmost beings is an inclination to conjunction into one (see above, under the Divine Marriage in Men and Women). So the two together form a single image, which imitates the Conjugial model of good and truth.

     We say that it imitates this model, because it is not identical to it but similar. For the good that attaches itself to the truth in a man comes directly from the Lord, but the wife's good that attaches itself to the truth in a man comes from the Lord indirectly through the wife.


Consequently there are two kinds of good, one internal, one external, which attach themselves to the truth in a husband, and cause the husband to remain constant in an understanding of truth, and so in a state of wisdom, through the agency of truly Conjugial Love.

     A married couple is an image of that marriage in their inmost qualities, and thus in their subsequent ones, as the inner faculties of their minds are opened (CL 101). Every person consists of three components which follow in order in him: soul, mind, and body. The inmost one is his soul. The intermediate one is his mind. And the outmost one is his body. Everything that flows into a person from the Lord flows first into his inmost component, which is the soul, and descends from there into his intermediate component, which is the mind, and through this into his outmost component, which is the body.

     A marriage of good and truth flows in from the Lord in a person in the same way. It flows into his soul directly and continues from there into the subsequent faculties, and through these to the outmost constituents. And thus conjointly they bring about Conjugial Love.

     It is apparent from a consideration of this influx that a married couple is an image of the marriage between good and truth in their inmost qualities and thus in their subsequent ones.

     Spiritual Adultery

     If a Christian marries more than one wife, he not only commits natural, but also spiritual adultery (AE 339). This is because the marriage of good and truth, to which marriage corresponds, is defiled when a man takes more than one wife, and the Christianity is destroyed.

     This is (also) according to the Lord's words, namely, that it "is not lawful to put away a wife, because from the beginning they were created to be one flesh;


and that he who shall put away his wife without just cause and shall marry another, commits adultery" (Matt. 19:3-11). Still more does he commit adultery who does not put away his wife, but retains her and takes another as well. The law concerning marriages laid down by the Lord derives its internal cause from the spiritual marriage, for whatever the Lord spoke was in itself spiritual, this being what is meant by the words: "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life" (John 6:63).

     To Sum Up

     The source of the marriage between husband and wife is the Divine marriage of the Lord's essential Divine with His Divine Human, or His Divine Love (or Good) and Divine Wisdom (or Truth). This creates the union of good and truth in His heavenly kingdom, the source of Conjugial Love.

     Everything in the universe was created by His Divine Love through His Divine Wisdom, which is the Divine Marriage. The Lord created the spiritual sun, whose heat is love and light is wisdom, these two making a one, being imaged in all of creation (DP 5).

     The Lord's Love and Wisdom operates in men and women through their differing reception of His attributes (see above). Before marriage, the man represents the Lord, and the woman the church. However, after marriage, together they form a church (see the section on the Divine Marriage in men and women). Together they are an image of the marriage of good and truth.

     The Lord's end or purpose is to create a heaven from the human race, where we can be eternally happy and useful. Conjugial Love is the most blessed of all human loves and it takes its form from the Divine Marriage. Those in this love are in eternal blessedness and happiness, and are an image of the marriage of good and truth. "The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works" (Psalm 145:18).


Renewing our Purpose 2005

Renewing our Purpose              2005


     The members of the organizing committee for Assembly 2005 warmly invite you to come to Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, USA during June 5-8 to participate in an exchange of ideas, perspectives, and cultures from around the globe.

     The Assembly is a unique opportunity for inclusion, reminding us of the diversity that is needed for any healthy ecosystem (including church organization). The main Assembly program covers a wide variety of topics focusing on New Church perspectives, religion in our lives, and outreach. Use the workshops to find birds of a feather to flock with, or seek to broaden your outlook by delving into an area that may be less familiar and comfortable; either way, you are bound to find inspiration and renewal.

     Continuing the spirit of inclusion, this year there is a special emphasis on involving children, teens, and young adults. These programs are intended to provide a positive Assembly experience and personal connections at all age levels. We also intend to Assembly to be rated "E for Everyone," so we are accommodating the disabled in our facilities, the wheat intolerant in our meal plans, and the spiritually inquisitive in our sessions. Please let us know how we can accommodate your needs.

     The Bryn Athyn Community is excited to be hosting Assembly 2005. Please note that early registration provides advantages in planning, which enables us to pass along cost savings and more readily meet the preferences of each individual or family. We aim to maximize your experience, so any help you can give us by signing up now will be much appreciated. See you in June!




     On Dec. 26, 2004, a tsunami in the Indian Ocean took upwards of 160,000 lives in 11 countries, maybe even more when all the missing are included. We have become used to earthquakes taking thousands of lives every year. But the entire world was horrified this time, since actual footage of the waves were shown on all media. The same old question is raised again: Why does the Lord, Who is good, allow such evils to strike? One survivor said "Your Christian God is a bad god." His crippled son had survived, his healthy son had not. One boy up one coconut tree survived, the boy in the next tree did not. Why?

     A disaster on earth of course is not a judgment on the individuals who perish. The rule on this is put in the New Testament: "One is taken, the other is left" (Matt. 24:40)r It means "those will be saved who are in truths from affection, and those will be condemned who are in evils from affection" (AE 555:11). Each individual determines his or her spiritual destination, not the Lord. That is why the Lord "makes the sun to rise on the evil and on the good and sends the rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matt. 5:44, 45). "Our Father in the heavens flows in with the evil equally as with the good, but the reception of it must be on man's part" (AE 644:23). We who receive life, decide our fate. Even the ability to remove evils that oppose, seems to belong to us, "although it is of the Lord" and is "continually given" to us (Ibid.). But we do not think of that when the basement is flooded, or our house burns down.

     We can all remove evils which oppose, first in ourselves, and then around us. Does that have anything to do with which of the boys in the coconut trees survives? The Writings do explain why disasters happen: but first we accept that no evil comes from God, and a disaster is not a judgment on anyone.


Scholars also agree that you cannot "draw a line from suffering to sin, but you can draw one from sin to suffering"! Just because you suffer or die, does not mean that you were sinful. But if someone is sinful, then it follows he may suffer or die for it. But no one is guilty of anything just because disaster struck, or took them. No disaster strikes just the sinful. That happened only in the Bible, but only for the record: the stories link the Church to heaven.

     But what about the evil events themselves? They never happen "in providence," since providence is only over good things. Evils happen by Divine permission which is only over evil things (AC 5155, 5195, 6489, 10781). But the "rules" about this are exactly the same whether it is Providence or Permission (DP 234). The Lord rules by the same laws over a happy family gathering as over a criminal murdering innocents. The same "line and hook" both draws the fish (providence) and pays out the line to keep it hooked (permission).

     That is why God is blamed for evils happening. The problem is that "letting" an evil happen looks like "making it" happen! "It is believed that evils are from the Divine from the fact that the Divine permits and does not take them away; and He who permits and does not take away when He can, appears as if He wills it so, and thus to be the cause" (AC 8227). But He does not: He wills only good not evil, but "cannot avert [evil] on account of the end, which is salvation" (DP 234). "He cannot bring a remedy in view of the urgency and resistance of the end, which is the salvation of the whole human race" (AC 7877e). In fact, were the Lord to "bring a remedy, it would be doing evil, which is contrary to the Divine" (Ibid.). That is why it says the Lord "blinds the evil . . . lest they convert themselves, and I should heal them" (John 12:39, 40; AC 9049).

     Imagine praying for the Lord to prevent a disaster, amounts to asking Him to do evil. It is tricky, this: but the reason the Lord bringing a "remedy" would be to "do" evil, is that just wanting a Divine intervention stems from an evil desire.


"An evil generation seeks a sign" (Matt. 12:38-40; Luke 11:16, 29, 30). It would be like reminding the Lord to act on our request.

     And so the Lord cannot prevent all disasters. That does not mean that He does not prevent evils: "Unless the Lord defended man every smallest part of every moment, he would instantly perish" (AC 59). So although no disaster happened today, we should thank Him for still being alive, any time. "Lead us not into temptations" means He does not, we do. He then "delivers us" from evils of our own making. He is never to blame.

     Because we interact in freedom with our own salvation, the Lord cannot avert all disasters. All of us are born with inherited evil inclinations of all kinds. Our immediate ancestry - "enemies of your own household"-gives a small "spin" to it. What makes us mad at home is a good starting-point for repentance. Since everyone spontaneously refuses to admit "Here lies the cause of all my misery, mea culpa," this is the main reason why evils happen.

     Now we're ready for the explanation of misfortunes: "If people were exempted from [misfortunes] they would ascribe it to their own goodness, thus they would claim to themselves merit and justice. Lest this should happen, they are let into common misfortunes, so that they come to grief as far as life, riches and possessions are concerned, equally with others" (SEm 4630).

     "Equally with others." We drive past the person changing a tire and say, "Glad my tires are OK" Then we have a flat and curse everyone driving by. Everyone claims credit. So "why" this tsunami struck, is claiming God's merit for themselves. Unchecked, this will take people to hell. Repentance often prevents but does not always exempt one from misfortune. So since salvation hangs in the balance, when every other shout and holler from revelation has gone unheeded, people bring on themselves disasters as last ditch reminders, jogging their minds.


     But this is not fate: no evil has to happen: the Lord does not act "from necessity, but in a manner applicable to the freedom of man" (AC 6487). There is no "fate" hanging over anyone's head. The tsunami was not destined to happen, nor can anyone predict anyone's future: it would look like material scattered all over a building lot. Only the Lord sees the future house (DP 327). But although "unforeseen misfortunes" arise from evil influx, there are also "unforeseen goods coming forth from the Lord." "Incredible, but true" (SE m 4758)! For example, prior to the tsunami it was not foreseen that so many nations would be cooperating in a very short time!

     So if the cause for disasters is unrepentant evils, why are natural disasters called "acts of God"? These are distinct from human evils. Whoever deserves a God-activated tsunami?

     An "act of God" just means no one can figure any reason for it. The answer therefore is simply: finition. Everything finite rebels and resists the spiritual. So natural "misfortunes, grief and anxiety, arise from bodily causes" (AC 762). All finite things receive life from the Infinite. That is not evil. Diseases are finite things which "break down the life of pleasure and desire" and have the effect of "fixing thoughts on higher and nobler things" (Ibid.). Natural laws, such as gravity, wind and wave action, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, avalanches, icebergs, etc., are also part of this finite world. A tsunami is not evil, just a natural disaster. Meeting up with any of these finite events may "fix our thoughts" on higher things! When God made everything, He did not "copy Himself' into human beings, since then everyone would be "god" (DLW 12). Instead, men, spirits and angels are all finite. Even spiritual substance is finite (TCR 40). God in creating the universe had to remove finite humans so far from Himself that there could be freedom in spiritual things. Any closer and we'd be robots.


But finite matter so far removed from its Maker is in an "equilibrium": All finite matter reacts to the "infinite action" of Life from above (DLW 68). Since the planet itself is finite it also is "more general, slow, inert and cold" (AC 7270:2) and "devoid of all Divine in itself" (DLW 305). But although inert and cold, the earth contains a "conatus" or endeavor to return to its Source: The Divine. Germination of seeds, which no scientist has yet explained, comes from the spiritual sun, but the earth helps with solvents. Within the laws of nature, the earth exercises a semblance of human "freedom": it quakes, erupts, spills over, etc., facsimile symptoms of natural freedom. An earthquake or tsunami therefore is not "evil," still less an "act of God." The Lord has instead handed over the controls of nature to the independent laws of thermodynamics, nuclear physics, etc. Although these laws operate within the bounds of spiritual and Divine law, we must understand that we can't pray for a tsunami to stop in mid ocean.

     Of course some will ask about the Lord stilling the storm: Can't we pray to stop a tsunami then? It may sound callous of the Lord to say "prayers at the sight of oncoming disaster is of no avail . . . [Those who] . . . have recourse to prayers . . . supposing that assistance would be afforded them, can realize no assistance . . r from this source" (SE 3678).

     The Lord's Advent ended the era of miracles, when "representatives came forth into actual realization" (AC 1675)r The Lord stilled that storm to represent the states of the Church, and He did it through spiritual atmospheres operating instantly by correspondences within nature. But such miracles came to an end, and instead the invisible aspects of every miracle still happen today (SE 2434). Water turns into wine, not actually but within human situations. We just don't notice the human equivalent for water turned into wine, or the lame walking. But it happens: just look around next time.

     So we can forget about the laws of nature responding to prayer. Understanding how and why has to apply instead to bystanders and witnesses of disasters.


They are the ones who wonder "Why does God let such terrible things happen!?" It is hard to hear that prayers when facing disaster is of no avail. And it gets worse: even when we are in personal temptations, the Lord does not hear prayers which are contrary to the end of salvation of all people involved (AC 8179). Any prayer has to move beyond just "sounds of the voice" and arrive at the final "self-abasement" of the one who is praying (AC 7391). That is why praying for one's own deliverance during temptations are "little heard." Angels hardly pay attention. Not until the temptation "reaches the final limit," and man is about to "sink down" (AC 8165), does the Lord raise him up. The limit for the Lord's saving us has to be of the temptation, not the frenzy of the prayer. Temptations are in life, on our feet, not on our knees.

     Suppose prayer could avert disaster: people would soon become cocky and say "this will never happen to me." With no evils coming into the open, and no repentance of secret evils, their evil heredity would survive intact from cradle to grave. They would enter hell with flying colors! And so "He makes His sun rise . . ." Evils befall us as much as anyone else, especially when "bodily and worldly interests abound" (AC 933). But when they are regenerated, and do not attribute good to themselves, they "would be more often be exempted from ordinary misfortune" (SE m 4630).

     How do we turn to the Lord in adverse circumstances? Temptations happen when we are good and the Lord steps closer to us (AC 4299). His closer presence is veiled by a greater apparent absence, giving us a greater freedom to resist evil (Cf. AC 1937, 1947)! The tale of Joseph and Benjamin explains this point: Joseph "accused" Benjamin of stealing his silver cup which he in fact had planted in his brother's sack. This talks about every person attributing merit and justice to themselves, and not the Lord (AC 5747). We have to be "accused" of claiming our freedom to be from ourselves and not from the Lord (AC 5763), in order to reverse that situation.


If not, we get cocky and issue invitations for bad luck to bring us down.

     It seems as if justice is totally blind and unfair. But the rule which may taunt us is that evil punishes itself. Every evil comes attached with its own pain (HH 550). This started with goodness being its own reward: We may prefer the cash, but only an unselfish love knows the truth of it.

     So when human beings invented evil, the law of the reward being attached, stayed put. That is why the Lord said, "They shall have their reward" (Matt. 6:2, 5, 16). Can any greater justice for evil doers be imagined, than finally to receive their own "fire that is not quenched" (Mark 9:43, 45) turned into a greater pain than is worth enduring just for the pleasure of inflicting it on others! The fury at realizing that inexorable law is hell fire.

     The mechanism whereby "evil punishes itself" (AC 696) is the same as when the Lord is blamed for our own anger. The "anger of God" in the Word is "not that God is angry with man, but that man from his evil is angry with God" (BE 62). "What a person is in himself determines how he sees the Lord" (AC 3605:4). The Lord is so far from anger that He cannot even "look away" from anyone, let alone look at anyone with a "stern face" (TCR 56). His mercy even suspends punishment for all evils done on earth; everyone is punished after death only for evils they then do (HH 509). How different from the anger of God is this! The Lord postpones the pain of all evil deeds, no matter how dreadful. Just think of the mercy of this: if we felt pain the very instant an evil was done, our hate would be inflamed to the melting-point of our soul, and no one would be saved. The postponement is aggravating for the innocent bystanders and victims, but thereby "but for the grace of God" go all of us. Everyone would be inflamed with anger against God if the slightest evil we did came with instant pain as a penalty. We would all have a meltdown.


     So the Lord's tolerance of evil for the sake of our salvation explains calamities, but also horrible Bible stories. Why are there such stories? Levi and Simeon butchered Shechem and Hamor and all males in that tribe (Genesis 34.18-24). Why permit it and write about it? But the story shows how the Lord rescues good out of human intentional evils. We bring them on, and the Lord delivers us from them-every day! Hamor and Shechem were Most Ancient Church remnants, our own genuine internals or remains. If they had associated with the sons of Jacob, their internals would be closed "causing their eternal destruction" (AC 4493)! To prevent this, they were all slaughtered in their sleep. This "evil was not willed by the Lord," and was not "preventable" (DP 234). So why did it happen? The secret reason for Hamor's slaughter "which otherwise would not have been permitted," and which in no way "exculpates the sons of Jacob's . . . enormous crime," was that "Hamor and Shechem with their families were saved" (AC 4493).

     The Lord had prevented their damnation by allowing their slaughter. Now suppose we pray to the Lord to "bring a remedy" to any disaster: but then the anger of the evil doers would "eat away every human spark of life" (DP 251)! Like cancer or gangrene it would burn out the soul's marrow. Divine intervention would prevent "the repentance and amendment . . . of evil people," and would cause their evils to "increase until it had dominion over the good" (AC 8227).

     Amazingly enough, disasters or misfortunes allow secret evils also out into the open, and people can resist them and be saved. We could never tell this just from looking at the tsunami footage. But now we know how we are not consumed by the anger of evil. Disasters, although never "acts of God," still serve for God to act in our redemption. The Lord averts "eternal destruction" by permitting disaster. Can we even hope that many of those who perished in this tsunami are now entering heaven, instead of hell?


And still see that the Lord did not "send" this or any evil?

     If evil were divinely prevented, it would "eat away every human spark of life." How can profanation destroy the spiritual fabric of our soul? If it did, we could have no conscious eternal life, whether in heaven or in hell. The Lord will not allow the "undoing" of His creation. So in order to prevent profanation, other evils such as war become "mere" items permitted in their stead. That homosexuality is such a profanity is clear from Lot's offer of his daughters (Gen. 19:8). That is why Lot "shut the door behind him" when making the offer, a prevention of profanation (AC 2357). A war is 'better' than forfeiting eternal life. The prevention of profanation is meant by the Lord's words: "It were better for that man if he had not been born" (Matt. 26:24; Mark 14:21). Also, by the unclean spirit which "returns" to the swept house, so the "last state of that man is worse than the first" (Matt. 12:45; AE 1160:2).

     So witnessing terrible disasters or war, calls for patience, a word which means "suffering." We suffer when we see evils happen. And one reason we suffer is to prevent profanation, allowing for evil to come into the open. We may then "see" them and "be induced to resist them" (DP 251). We can be jogged to "think of higher things" (AC 762). We mount a human intervention. We can't complain when the Lord takes extra time to go after the "lost sheep."

     We have to keep turning to the Lord, in good and evil times. The simplest faith is that the Lord saves the good and punishes the wicked. That is Job's "the Lord gave, the Lord has taken away, Blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1:21). It means we grieve when deprived of truth, calling for instruction (AE 395:9, 12). We must turn to the Lord for more truth, even in disasters, and not blame Him for letting them happen, even as we thank Him for not letting them be worse. Then as is said of the soldier, if "he lives, he lives in the Lord, if he dies, he dies in the Lord" (Char. 166).


The victims wake up and are "taken or left," judged by their lives, all younger people being brought up in heaven, and their memories of the last moments are put aside forever.

     "All things, and the least parts of all things, are directed by Divine Providence, even as to the slightest step and slightest nod; and that when such a state prevails as is contrary to the influx from the Divine, misfortune happens. But [real] misfortune is such as concerns man's eternal happiness and felicity, and not that which concerns such things as are in the world; for these appear to man as happy when yet they are hurtful" (SE 4562).

GEM IN THE NEW PHILOSOPHY              2005

     The July-December issue of The New Philosophy has a special article which manages in only twelve pages to convey the results of an enormous amount of study and reflection on the things written by Emanuel Swedenborg.

     In this address to the Swedenborg Scientific Association, Rev. Dr. Reuben Bell writes: "[Swedenborg] didn't just fall out of the sky, in 1745, and begin to reveal the truth. Who did the Lord enlist, of all the people in the world at the time of the Last Judgment? Not a man who had all the answers, but a man who had been wrestling with the right questions for almost thirty years, that's who. And If you don't have the questions, what earthly good would all the answers be?"

     Swedenborg's interest had been "a systematic search for the soul's operation in the body, and the nexus of their interaction. He was bound to fail; but fail we must if we are ever to learn to let the Lord take over and lead us to our goals. Swedenborg finally did. And then the Lord did. And the rest is history."

     Dr. Bell speaks of a "pyramid" in what Swedenborg writes with the following three elements. 1. Ideas from other philosophers. 2. Swedenborg's original ideas. 3. Doctrines appear for the first time in fullness in the theological Writings for the New Church.

     This is highly recommended reading.


Editorial Pages 2005

Editorial Pages              2005


     The chapter about "peace" in the book Heaven and Hell mentions the ancient greeting ratified by the Lord. "Peace be unto you." We read, "When the Lord Himself appeared to the apostles, He said, 'Peace be with you.'"

     There in number 287 of that work we see three references in the Gospel of John to the Lord's using that greeting. (The greeting is also quoted once in the Gospel of Luke.)

     In John, chapter 20, we read that the disciples had heard from Mary Magdalene that she had seen the Lord. It was the first day of the week. That evening the disciples assembled in a room. The doors were shut.

     All at once Jesus came to them "and stood in their midst." He gave the greeting of peace. As they looked at Him and saw His hands, their awe gave way to gladness, and then He addressed them again, saying, "Peace to you!"

     This is when He breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit." One disciple had not been present. It was Thomas. When he heard the other disciples say, "We have seen the Lord," he just could not believe it.

     Eight days later Thomas was with them when they met again behind closed doors. Jesus came and stood in the midst and said, "Peace be to you!" This is the occasion when Thomas said, "My Lord and my God!"



     I have asked several ministers about their favorite passages in the Writings. Mr. Cranch said that for him there were many. He went on to say:


     "The Writings are full of beautiful and inspiring passages. Many exactly fit the immediate interests or needs of the reader. At that time the passage that meets his need becomes the favorite passage of the moment. Some are of such universal application to his life that they become lasting favorites, capable of rousing inspiring thoughts, positive action, or a complete change of mood, at any time.

     "In my work as a traveling pastor there were many opportunities for small classes or private doctrinal discussions. In them I found need for brief, concise statements of our doctrine from the Writings. I would use them as soon as I could, to begin the discussion on the subject which interested or troubled the isolated member or newly interested friend. There are hundreds of brief, challenging, thought-provoking or comforting quotations which quickly introduce a subject and lead naturally into an active discussion. All of these are among my favorite numbers. Each one, at one time or another, helped to make my comparatively short and infrequent visits more effective.

     "At the height of my travel work I was the only minister of the General Church serving the isolated in all the United States west of Chicago, from border to border. The trips would take from one to two and a half months, and on a full trip included as many as 72 stops. Where one of the stops was a metropolitan area I tried to make a personal call on every member or prospect in that region. It is easy to see that to be effective on these visits it was important to get into personal doctrinal discussion as soon as possible. That is where favorite numbers became so important. As soon as I could get a lead on the dominant interest or concern of the member or prospect I was visiting, I would mention an appropriate number to start things off.

     "The Writings are full of teachings which comfort the grieving or troubled; of stimulating ideas, and satisfying answers for those seeking a true religion.


How comforting to one who has made a poor judgment and is suffering the consequence to read: "Everything which happens is of the Divine Providence" (AC 5508:2), and "There is no such thing as chance" (AC 6493e). How stimulating to one questioning the doctrines of the church in which he was raised to learn of our duty to use our own minds: "A thing is not true because the leaders of the church say so. . . . The Word is to be searched" etc. (AC 60470). How useful and satisfying to learn how we are to cooperate with the Lord in a proper "care for the morrow" (AC 8478).

     "Similar teachings are found for every personal problem or aspect of life today. Such teachings stimulate the thought in regard to marriage, raising children, our understanding of God, prayer, the uses of external worship, the use of the church (despite small numbers), the reality and nature of the life after death, and the importance of each person. Individual reading of the Word, home worship, remains, and church support are all subject of prime interest to the isolated, and the Writings provide not only the full answers to be studied and applied, but also the concise, stimulating numbers which stir our interest and begin our discussion or study."


     The March issue of the impressive magazine Sky and Telescope has an intriguing article about the explorations of the Martian surface by two vehicles for the better part of a year.

     Eight years ago I had little expectation that we would have such a close on-site scrutiny of this planet. At that time we had an editorial in New Church Life entitled "Was There Life on Mars Long Ago?" There it was pointed out that although Swedenborg was able to see through the eyes of people the surface of planets outside our solar system (See no. 135 of Earths in the Universe) he never saw the surface of Mars, presumably because there were no beings on Mars through whose eyes he could have seen.


     It was also pointed out that a vision of a stone bird may have symbolized the termination long ago of life on Mars (June issue, 1997, p. 279). But was there a time when Mars was a very different scene? Years ago the presence of water on Mars seemed impossible, but in the latest explorations scientists asked whether Mars "was once much more Earth-like, perhaps water-rich, perhaps conducive to life" (p. 42 Sky and Telescope).

     A series of careful tests were made, and we read that "given the sum of our findings, the inescapable conclusion is that sometime long ago (the site) lay underwater." How long was that water there? "It must have been for a very long time, perhaps even millions of years" (p. 47).


     JULY 7-10, 2005

     Jacob's Creek is located in western Pennsylvania. The theme this year is "Evangelization."

     All information and registration materials may be found at our web site: www.geocities.com/jcfamilycamp/index.html
     To have registration materials sent to you, contact:

     Blake Messman







     Please see www.kemptonproject.org. You can read the Word in the Kempton Project revision, a work in process, aiming for consistent translation of the Hebrew and Greek into English, guided by the Heavenly Doctrine. What is wonderful is that you can quickly and easily look up and read all the passages in the Writings that quote any verse of scripture that you choose. This could help you prepare for family worship and enhance your reading of the Word. You can also offer your comments on the present state of the translation.
Spirituality That Makes Sense 2005

Spirituality That Makes Sense              2005

     by Douglas Taylor $14.95US, pb



     Taylor looks at personal morality in Swedenborgian terms, addressing such concerns as what is "saving" faith, what is the nature of evil, how to escape from evil feelings, and why we must take responsibility for our actions.

     Supported by biblical passages, in this book you will find:

     That the Creator and Redeemer are the same person [p9]

     That the Lord HAD to come 2,000 years ago, not earlier or later. [p45]

     That he did not come to save us from the consequences of our sins, but from being compelled to sin. [p58]

     The Throne Room of Heaven

     adapted and written by Karin Alfelt Childs Illustrated by Anna K. Cole Volden $19.95US, hb

     John, the beloved disciple, has been banished to the isle of Patmos. There, a door opens in heaven, and he is shown the most amazing things...

     The Lord protects us in many ways. He protects us with true ideas, that we can learn in the Word or in other places, because God is everywhere. True ideas from God are powerful, like a lion.



Title Unspecified 2005

Title Unspecified              2005

Vol. CXXV     May, 2005     No. 5

     New Church Life




Notes on This Issue 2005

Notes on This Issue              2005

     It is a rare thing to have two memorial addresses in one issue. In this case they are both by Bishop Kline. We expect yet another memorial address in the June issue, and that too will be by our bishop.

     What is the result when we pray? How does the Lord answer our prayers? The sermon in this issue engages those questions.

     I received a letter from Roger Murdoch. He sent off something quickly to the OPED editor of the Chicago Tribune responding to essays recently printed. One has to work fast in responding to something in a newspaper. Roger says, "I feel that New Church people should communicate with the world at large their views on current issues so that the teachings of the New Church can take their place in the public discussion of those issues and thus become a useful and influential element of public opinion."

     This is a very interesting point. It is hard to succeed with very large newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune. But we can learn as we try. What might you have written in this case?

     The article "Masculinity and Femininity" was written by Wendy Cooper as part of a course in the MARS program in Bryn Athyn. Wendy is the daughter of Rev. Jim Cooper.

     It has been published: Emanuel Swedenborg Essays for the New Century Edition on His Life, Work and Impact. We found some space on page 155 to say a little bit about this welcome volume.
Title Unspecified 2005

Title Unspecified              2005




PRAYER       Rev. CHRISTOPHER R.J. SMITH       2005


     "And He spoke also a parable to them, to the end that men ought always to pray" (Lk. 18:1).

     Prayer is defined as "talking to God and at the same time some inner view of the things that are being prayed for" (AC 2535). If the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart are acceptable to Him, then there's communication going on. In fact, it is said that prayer is "nothing but communication" (AC 3285). So we may say that there's a dialogue. I speak and the Lord answers.

     His response or His part in the dialogue comes in one or more of the following ways (AC 2535):

     1. He may give us a better perspective or clearer understanding of whatever it is that we are praying about. We may suddenly see or remember something we had forgotten. That is why we are told: "To pray signifies in the internal sense to be revealed" (AC 2535). A solution may present itself that was not apparent before. We see an example of this when an angel came as a result of Manoah's request to understand what was to be done with his promised son, Samson.

     2. When answering a prayer, sometimes the Lord may give us a sense of hope, when that is what is needed and it may be that we had not even realized it. The souls under the altar "cried with a great voice, saying, How long, Lord . . . dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood. . . . And it was declared to them that they should rest yet a little time . . ." (Rev. 6:10-11).

     3. Other times we may feel comforted or consoled. Weep no more, the Lord has heard your prayer. Consider Hezekiah.


After hearing his death sentence, "he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, 'Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart. . . .' And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Then it happened, before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 'Return and tell Hezekiah . . . Thus says the Lord . . . I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you'" (II Kings 20:1-5).

     4. There also may be times when, as a result of my praying, the Lord will fill me with a sense of well-being and even joyfulness, for that is one of His wishes-that I may have a wonderful sense of being alive. "I am come that they might have life, and might have it abundantly" (Jn. 10:10). "These things have I spoken to you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be fulfilled" (Jn. 15:11).

     5. On occasion the answer to a prayer may be quite dramatic. Elijah's request for fire on Mt. Carmel was certainly that. Often an account in the Heavenly Doctrine might amaze us. Swedenborg wrote: "I saw some English clergy . . . who prayed to the Lord that they might be permitted to ascend to a society of the higher heaven; which being granted, they ascended" (AR 341).

     Now what if we pray and then receive or feel none of these good things? Could it be that the Lord has not heard and therefore not answered? Impossible! He must hear. He always hears.

     When we don't feel a prayer has been answered, it may be that the answer is simply, No! Or it may be that the Lord is saying, "I won't help you. Don't talk to Me." "I say to you, I know you not whence you are; stand back from Me, all ye workers of injustice" (Lk. 13:27). Because of the wickedness of the people, the Lord told Jeremiah: "Do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me; for I do not hear you" (Jer. 7:16). There was once a woman from Canaan.


She had a daughter possessed by a devil and she came to the Lord asking for help (Matt. 15:23). She spoke, if you like, she prayed to Jesus, knowing, we are told, "that He was God" Himself (AE 815:5). But He answered first with silence and then a rebuff. There was, therefore, something about her request or state that was not acceptable to Him and needed changing. Once that happened, her plea for help was granted.

     Whether by silence, or whether by a rebuff of some sort, the Lord does answer! So, after praying, if we do not feel any response, any new understanding, any sense of hopefulness, any consolation, or any feeling of joy, the Lord may still answer by bringing into our consciousness a recollection of that story about the Canaanite woman.

     Another story we may suddenly find ourselves remembering is that of Saul coming to Samuel to complain about the Lord not answering his prayers! "Saul [said], 'I am deeply distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God has departed from me and does not answer me anymore . . ."' (I Sam. 28:15). How could the Lord answer or help Saul after he had not once but twice deliberately rejected the Lord's instructions? On top of that he filled his heart with hate and vengeance toward David. That is why it is said in the Psalms, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear" (Ps. 66:18).

     The Lord's apparent silence may bring to mind, by His secret touch, one of these stories in the Word, for, we are told, "no announcements or responses are ever made from heaven except through outmosts such as are in the sense of the letter of the Word" (TCR 222; AE 1089e; AC 6047:2, 8694:3).

     The Lord may bring to mind another teaching from the Word that tells us about two conditions that are to be met before prayers can be answered. One condition has to do with our general attitude. It must have humility in it. The other condition has to do with the subject of our prayer.


It must show concern for one's own regeneration and the happiness of others. If either condition is missing, then the prayer is "mere babbling"(AC 1094). It is seen in the spiritual world as a "bad smelling odor" (TCR 108), or as a mere "vocal sound" (AC 7391).

     If we have not humbled ourselves, how can the Lord enter our hearts? We are then like Moses before he took off his shoes at the burning bush. We are like Nebuchadnezzar boasting about his city, Babylon, just before he became a wild animal for seven years. We are like Peter contradicting the Lord, with the result that the Lord turned and called him Satan!

     If we do not pray for things that will help in our spiritual life or promote the Lord's kingdom, how can He possibly respond? We are then like Saul asking the Lord to essentially maintain his reputation and glory. But the Lord cannot and will not "heed prayers that are contrary to the end, which is salvation" (AC 8179:3).

     If we should find our prayers going unanswered, we will do one of two things. Either we will give up, at best just going through the motions, in compliance with what the Lord says, that we are to pray "daily," (AC 5135:3) "morning and evening, also at dinners and suppers" (Ch. 174; AR 159), or we will learn to be humble, to change our state, so that we may enter the temple of the Lord's holiness to speak to Him.

     Bringing us into a state of humility is, in fact, a primary purpose of prayer. It is, therefore, a very effective way of helping us to find humility. "He who supplicates is in humiliation" (AC 7391). And when there is humility, then prayer works. "The Divine can flow in and be perceived" (DLW 335).

     "The Lord does indeed demand humiliation . . . in man (but) for his own sake; because when he is in this state the Lord can flow in with heavenly good" (AC 5957). The flower must turn itself to the sun! Like a flower that turns and offers itself to the sun, we also have something we can actually give to the Lord.


When praying, we are offering Him our minds, our attention. He, who is our spiritual sun, will in turn bless us with the light and warmth of heaven.

     Because of the wonderful response, sometimes incredible power we are given from the Lord as a result of taking time to talk to Him, it should be no surprise to see the frequent occasions when prayer is used in all three parts of the Word-prayers that are answered!

     "So Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech" (Gen. 20:17). "Then the people cried out to Moses, and when Moses prayed to the Lord, the fire was quenched" (Num. 11:2). "Therefore the people came to Moses, and said . . 'Pray to the Lord that He take away the serpents from us.' So Moses prayed for the people" (Num. 21:7). Hannah prayed to have a child. Her prayer was granted and Samuel was born. "And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you" (I Sam. 7:5). "Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you" (I Sam. 12:23).

     Solomon prayed at the dedication of the temple (I Kings 8). Elisha prayed many times. Jonah prayed to be released from the belly of the fish (Jonah 2:1). Hezekiah took the letter of Sennacherib into the house of the Lord and prayed (II Kings 19:14). Daniel prayed three times a day (Dan. 6:10). Many of the psalms are prayers. 0 Lord, "Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer" (Ps. 4:1). The Lord says in Isaiah as well as in three of the Gospels: "My house shall be called a house of prayer" (Is. 56:7; Matt. 21:13).

     In the New Testament it is often said that the Lord Himself prayed. "He went up into a mountain privately to pray" (Matt. 14:23). "And it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He had ceased, one of His disciples said to Him, 'Lord, teach us to pray' (Lk. 11:1). He then taught them the model for any prayer, the Lord's Prayer. Later He showed that they "always ought to pray" (Lk. 18:1).


     Pray about what?

     "And after these things the Lord appointed seventy others . .. Then He said to them . . . Entreat therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He may send out workers into His harvest" (Lk. 10:2). "He who knows anything of the Lord's coming, and of the New Heaven and New Church, thus of the Lord's kingdom, should pray that it may come" (AR 956).

     "He who desires truth, should pray that the Lord may come with light, and . . . he who loves truths, will then receive them from the Lord . . ." (AR 956). "Everyone who, while reading the Word, approaches the Lord alone, and prays to Him is enlightened in the Word" (L 2e; TCR 165).

     "Show me Your ways, 0 Lord; teach me Your paths" (Ps. 25:4). "It is because prudence is from God and not from man that a Christian . . . prays that God will lead his thoughts . . . and deeds" (DP 191:2; SD 3527). "0 Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps. 0 Lord, correct me . . ." (Jer. 10:23-24).

     Pray for married love, for it is given to "those who from youth have . . . asked the Lord for a legitimate and lovely partnership" (CL 49e).

     In prayer we are to follow the Lord's own example, as in the Garden of Gethsemane. "And being in agony, He prayed more intently" (Lk. 22:44). We are to "fight against the falsities and evils which are . . . injected by the hells" (AC 8179:2). In doing this, "a man must act of himself but from the Lord's power, which he must petition for" (Life 104e). "Every man is so constituted as to be able, by the Lord's power, if he begs for it, to shun evils as of himself' (Life 31e). "In order to refrain from sins and shun and turn away from them, [a person] must pray to the Lord for help" (AE 803:2). "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt" (Matt. 26:39).

     We are also to pray about people who upset us. "Pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you" (Matt. 5:44).


"And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any . . ." (Mk. 11:25; AE 325:8). Pray for others to be forgiven their transgressions as well as to receive spiritual food. "Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts" (Matt. 6:11-12). Let prayer for others often be included in our petitions to the Lord. James wrote: "Is any among you sick? [Then] let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him. . . . Pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects" (James 5:15-16). "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired you, to sift you as wheat. But I have entreated for thee, that thy faith fail not" (Lk. 22:31-32).

     By praying for the spiritual welfare of others, we provide greater co-operation for the Lord to perhaps use our own help. Also, it would seem that our spheres are brought closer together, allowing greater influx from heaven, with its obvious benefits. This might be illustrated by a team of players backing and supporting each other, working together, so that their game is more effective and enjoyable.

     Now doesn't the Lord know all this without my praying about it? What difference does it make for me to pray? Here is the answer: "Man should first will, desire, and pray, and the Lord then answer, inform, and do; otherwise man does not receive anything Divine. . . . The Lord gives them to ask, and what to ask; therefore the Lord knows it beforehand; but still the Lord wills that man should ask first, to the end that he may do it as from himself, and thus that it should be appropriated to him; otherwise, if the petition itself were not from the Lord, it would not be said in those places, that 'they should receive whatsoever they asked"' (AR 376).

     Yes, we are to pray, "devoting much time to prayer" (HD 124), every day (AC 5135:3, 8391). "Men ought always to pray" (Lk. 18:1). And we will be blessed. "Therefore I say to you, All things whatever you ask for having prayed, believe that you shall receive them, and it shall be done to you" (Mk. 11:24).


"If you shall ask anything in My name I will do it" (Jn. 14:14). "Ask, and it shall be given you" (Matt. 7:7). "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy chamber, and when thou has shut the door, pray to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who sees in secret shall reward thee openly" (Matt. 6:6). Amen.

Lessons: 2 Kings 19:14-20; Matt. 6:1-8; AE 1148:4 ONE PERSON'S TRUTH TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER? 2005


     One person's truth cannot be transferred to another, for when it is transferred it passes into the form that is peculiar to the recipient and takes on a different appearance. But this arcanum demands exploration which is too deep to enable it to be revealed in just a few words. This explains why the mind of one person is never exactly like another's but that the differences in people's affections and ways of thinking are as numerous as the people themselves. It also explains why the whole of heaven consists of angelic forms which are endlessly varying. Arranged by the Lord into the form heaven takes, those forms act as a single whole. For no single whole is ever composed of parts that are identical but of those that are various existing in a single form and which make one in keeping with that form.

     Arcana Colestia 4149



MEMORIAL ADDRESS              2005

[Photograph: Freya King]




     Jesus said, "Assuredly, I say to you, who ever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it" (Mark 10:15).

     We are gathered today to remember our friend, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, wife and loved one, Freya King. When we think of Freya and her life, there is one word, one theme that stands out, and that is innocence. Freya had an innocence that touched so many areas of her life, an innocence that reached out to others. It was an innocence that was constant throughout her life, an innocence in her welcoming and open arms, with no airs, put-ons, or pretense. It was an innocence that allowed her to celebrate life, to celebrate the lives of others, and to look for the good in others. It was the kind of innocence that the Lord spoke about when He said that we must become as a little child again: it is called the innocence of wisdom.


     There are many teachings in the Writings of the New Church about the subject of innocence. Let us just read some of these teachings about innocence as we remember different aspects of Freya's life.

     The first teaching is that innocence is simply a willingness to be led by the Lord alone (see HH 278). This was true for Freya; the Lord and His Word were the true source of her strength. She dedicated her life to the service of His New Church. Literally, wherever that leading of providence took both Freya and Louis, they were there to follow and serve. She followed the Lord's calling, whether it be raising their family, serving in a pastorate, or traveling throughout the worldwide church as the bishop's wife. Both Freya and Louis willingly laid down their lives for their friends, wherever the Lord called them.

     Another teaching about innocence is what is called the "innocence of wisdom." We read in the Writings: "Innocence dwells in wisdom, and an angel has as much wisdom as he or she has innocence" (HH 278). It is an innocence and wisdom of life.

     Freya and Louis were both 19 years old when they were married. They entered Bryn Athyn College together. But because their first baby came along shortly after their marriage, Freya was never able to take but a few college courses before she had to drop out and focus on raising their family. Because of this, Freya would sometimes feel a little like a second class intellect-maybe she wasn't smart enough, because she did not have that college degree. And yet through college, Freya was there to help Frat pass his courses. She was the one who taught him to type. She would be the one who would read and critique his sermons before he gave them. Although she never received that slip of paper, a college diploma, she was incredibly sharp, intellectually and doctrinally.


She loved the Arcana Coelestia, and the pages of her books of the Writings were worn with care, love and study.

     It is significant that when the Writings speak about the innocence of wisdom, they use the phrase "the wise at heart" (see AC 9938). This is said to be the true innocence of wisdom. When we think of those words, "wise at heart," we can think of Freya, because she led with her heart. Often she sought to tackle major issues in her life, in the church, with her family, from her heart-from love. She gave so much from her heart. It was said by a family member that the reason why she struggled with heart conditions on a physical level was symbolic of the spiritual way she wore out her heart in a good way, by a lifetime of giving and loving others. She was a "wise heart" that touched so many lives.

     When the Writings speak about innocence, they also speak about conjugial love. We read in the Arcana: "Innocence is the indispensable element of truly conjugial love . . . since genuine conjugial love is innocence itself' (AC 9960).

     Freya and Louis were a beautiful model of conjugial love to their family and to the church through the genuineness of their looking to the Lord together. They first met when they were in the sixth grade. They were both playing together in a soccer game. Louis, visiting from Glenview, was half her size, and yet he immediately fell in love with the beautiful Freya. According to Frat, "It was only later in high school when I was tall enough to look her in the eye that she accepted me."

     In high school, Freya was the Social Representative, and part of her job was to discourage students from going steady with each other. So, much to Louis' distress, she dated other boys out of a sense of duty to her job. But true love prevailed and they were married when they graduated from high school. Freya supported Louis through college and theological school, and then together they formed the team that served the church for the rest of their lives.


It is not our place here to speak of all the ways they served the church as a couple, but just a few stories will suffice.

     Once, both Louis and Freya visited the first grade class in Caryndale. At lunch time, one of the six-year old boys came home excitedly to tell his mother that his class had been visited by Bishop King. But then he went on. He told his mother that an even more exciting person had visited their class, more important than Bishop King-it was "Bishop Queen."

     And Louis relates the story, "Never will I forget looking down the hillside in Zulu Impaphala in South Africa and watching a jazzy curving line of children dancing up towards the thatched Church. They were chanting to drum beats and laughing. And there was Freya in the middle of the line, in high heels, red dress, and dangling earrings keeping in beat with swiveling hips. And the children called out, 'Look! Bishop Queen can dance!"

     Wherever they went, they would hold hands. In the last five weeks, a day didn't go by that she didn't say to Frat, "I love you." She knew that Louis needed her. She was a true help-meet for him. Their marriage was an example for their children and grandchildren.

     Another teaching about innocence speaks about little children in heaven who receive an influx from the third heaven, which is the heaven of innocence. And when speaking about these little children in heaven, the Writings describe angel mothers. These angel mothers love their children tenderly and each mother is given as many children in her care as she desires from a spiritual parental affection (HH 332). Freya loved her children and family. She loved them unconditionally, with no restrictions on her love, no agendas, but with a love and reaching out to them in ways that went beyond language. And as her children became adults, when problems arose, both Freya and Frat held their opinions to themselves and kept the door open.


They were true friends to their children and let them all know that they would be there for them. Even when major problems and issues arose, there was an unspoken message: "We will get through this."

     When the Writings speak about the heaven of innocence, they say, "All this entails perfect freedom, for all freedom is attributable to love" (AC 2744). So loving another entails loving another's individual freedom, and Freya and Frat lived this principle of respect in relation to their children, encouraging them to live their lives, explore new ideas, and take on new challenges. Their home was a home to all of their children, even those who married into the King clan.

     Freya gave birth to 14 children. Add more children that she was a second mother to: add 5 more teenagers she was temporary mother to, add three teenagers that were court-appointed to her, add two more teenage live-ins while they attended the Midwestern Academy, and then add 106 grand and great grandchildren-and you have some idea of her love of family life and children. She had grandchildren all over the world, even those who were not actually her own. And she was able to make a one-on-one connection with each grandchild, taking them to dinner, making them feel important and central to her life. Picture Freya dancing with them, making faces with them, standing on her head, loving them. She knew each one by name.

     Another teaching about innocence speaks about innocence and the love of the neighbor. We read, "They (who are in a state of innocence) love everything that is good and they delight in everything that is true . . . and that loving truth is loving the neighbor" (HH 278).

     Freya loved the neighbor. She could walk into a crowded room and somehow connect with each person there, knowing their special interests, meeting them on their own level. No one can remember a time when Freya was nasty to anyone. She looked patiently for what was good from the Lord in others and persisted until she saw it.


She was understanding, perceptive, and brought out the good in others. Her innocence sometimes took on a playful or even outlandish openness, and sometimes in delicate political church or social situations she would say things that were outlandish, but her genuineness always won out and her love was what shone through. If we think of all the people that Louis blessed with his hands through his ministry, Freya touched just as many with her hands as she ministered in her special way. And she was there to support ministers' wives, acknowledging their often difficult and challenging role in the church.

     The Writings speak about innocence and heavenly joy. We read, "Morning accordingly corresponds to the coming and presence of the Lord, which takes place when an angel enters a state of peace, innocence, and heavenly love, and consequently has a feeling of joy" (AC 9387). A friend has departed from us. It is a time of sadness and it is right that we grieve. But it can also be a time of joy: joy when we think of the states of peace, innocence, heavenly love and joy that she is now entering. She will be reunited with her son, Dag, who passed away when he was only five months old. She will meet her grandson, Laban. Picture beautiful Freya, dancing, celebrating, yes, standing on her head in joy, rejoicing in the Lord's heavenly kingdom. Picture the Bishop Queen, queen Freya King, preparing a home for her husband. Let us rejoice in her resurrection and celebration of a new life, and may the Lord add His blessing to our friend and loved one.

     Jesus said, "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:2, 3).






     The Writings speak about a stream of providence (see AC 8478). They say that the Lord's providence is like a favoring current that bears a vessel along to its destination. Think of the Lord, gently, imperceptibly, leading us toward heaven. So we have a choice in our lives. We can go in the direction the Lord wants us to go, we can swim with the current of His secret leading, or we can fight against the Lord's leading, and life can turn into a seemingly uphill battle. When we go with the flow of providence, life works. When we go against the flow of providence, life doesn't work.

     How can we place our lives in the stream of providence, how can we swim with the current that leads us toward heaven? We read, "Those are in the stream of Providence who put their trust in the Divine and attribute all things to Him" (AC 8478). We have the courage to surrender our lives over to His leading. It seems so simple, yet it may be one of the most difficult things to do.

     What are our lives like when we are in the stream of providence? We read, "When people are in the stream of providence, they are carried along toward everything that is happy . . . and they are in a state of peace" (AC 8478). We are told that those who trust in the Divine in all things, "advance toward a happy state to eternity, and (they believe) that whatever befalls them . . . is still leading toward (this eternal happiness)" (Ibid.). In another place, the Writings call this trust the "affirmative principle" (see AC 2568). The affirmative principle is simply to believe within ourselves that the things the Lord has given us are true simply because the Lord has said them. We place our lives in His hands.


     When we think of a person, happy, at peace, trusting in the flow of the Lord's providence, affirming the things of the Lord's Word, we are reminded of our beloved friend and loved one, David Restyn Simons. David often displayed the courage and faith to give his life over to the Lord, to trust in the Lord's leading in the service of his country, in his call to the ministry, in his commitment to New Church Education, and as father and husband. David had a carefree and joyful spirit; he was an affirmative spirit. It was as if he could let go and go with the flow. And at the same time he had a purpose and direction to his life that came from a trust in the eternal leading of the Lord.

     David was born here in Bryn Athyn in the year 1918, the third to the youngest of nine children. It was the time of the end of the First World War and so David was given the middle name "Restyn," which means "beloved ones return." He grew up in Bryn Athyn, and when David was ten years old, his father and his oldest brother passed on to the spiritual world. The death of his father and brother brought about several changes in David's life. First, his older brother, Buddy, became like a father to David. Second, David and his sister, Carolyn, moved to the home of Harold and Clara Pitcairn for a year. And third, David relied on his mother for inspiration, and his mother, Gertrude, inspired young David to look toward the ministry as a life-time calling. Gertrude loved to go to church, and she passed that love to young David.

     Here was a young boy, in the sixth grade, who knew for certain that he wanted to be a minister. George deCharms and Karl Alden were role models for him. Even though he would never see himself as an intellectual giant like Bishop deCharms, he could be the loving, people oriented pastor like his uncle, the Rev. Karl Alden, who was principal of the Academy boys' school. As a high school and college student David loved sports, music and the study of the Word.


He was a wide receiver for the Academy football team, he was a fast runner, and because of the musical influence of Raymond and Mildred Pitcairn, he learned to play the clarinet.

     David graduated from the Academy College in 1941 and, like his classmates, he joined the army in anticipation of the Second World War. He became a co-pilot for the B24 Liberator. Before he went to Europe in the fall of 1943, he married his friend from childhood, Zoe Gyllenhaal.

     David flew thirty missions over France and Germany. He was wounded on his 10th mission, receiving the Purple Heart. In the summer of 1944 David returned to the States to train on the P63 King Cobras, but the war ended before he could return to action. He became a member of the Second World War generation: a community of men and women who grew up in the Depression, who served their country, and who helped win the war. This was an experience which would shape the rest of their lives. These men and women of the Second World War formed a real community spirit in Bryn Athyn, a circle of friends who literally got together every day.

     So David and Zoe settled in Bryn Athyn to raise their family, which grew to six children: Richard (who died in Vietnam), Gillian, Christopher, Bronwen (who died in infancy), Jeremy and Jonathan. David began his studies in theological school. His first assignment after ordination was to teach in the Bryn Athyn Elementary School where, within a year, he became principal of the elementary school, a position he held for the next twenty years, from 1950 to 1970.

     Think how many students, literally more than a generation, passed through the school with David as their principal and teacher. As principal, David was something of a renaissance man. Imagine a minister who was as comfortable on the football field or in the concert hall as he was in the classroom. He was a wonderful role model for the students. He was not only a teacher, but he was a doer, and through that doing he touched his students' lives.


David was not just a teacher, he was a leader in education for the church. He was one of the first ministers to use visual aids in his children's talks and he was one of the first to see the power of ultimates in education. He taught education courses at the Academy College for twenty-five years. How many former students remember David's Friday morning chapel talks? In these talks he used the power of stories to illustrate a point, usually a story about a fictional character, a story about something that was happening at the school. They were called "where does it lead?" stories, and the students were riveted to his narrative, speculating what active school issue or what actual student he was speaking about.

     Besides two children's books, David wrote two books on education. In his book Unity in the Universe, he demonstrated the relation of religion and science through correspondences, and in his book In His Light, he outlined a philosophy of New Church education.

     After his years of serving as principal, David became the Director of Education, moving his office to Cairncrest. There he worked to promote the cause of New Church education throughout the church, and to solidify the Religion Lessons which would be sent throughout the world. In 1973 David moved to Glenview where he served as principal of the Midwestern Academy for three years. His next assignment was pastor of the La Crescenta Society in Los Angeles, and finally he became the pastor of the Baltimore Circle.

     David and Zoe retired in Bryn Athyn in 1986. Two years later Zoe passed to the spiritual world.

     David Simons was a widower and Janet Austin was a widow. They both lived in Bryn Athyn. They fell in love and were married in 1991. David, considering himself an old man, guaranteed Janet five good years. Not only did David keep his promise of five good years, but fourteen good years.


Their love and care for each other brought great happiness for each during this part of their lives. During the last months, Janet, the loving wife, cared for and nurtured David during the time of his transition from this life to the next, and on Friday afternoon, David, with Janet at his side and his family gathered around him, peacefully passed to the spiritual world.

     When asked recently what he wanted to do in the spiritual world, David responded that he wanted to begin his life on the other side by doing further study of the Heavenly Doctrines. And where did he want to study? He said he wanted to study at the heavenly University where Bishop deCharms is now teaching. He didn't know whether he would end up a minister or teacher in heaven, but he would wait for the Lord to indicate this eternal use.

     The Writings teach that we can often see the leading of providence when we look back over our lives. This is so true with David's life. The Lord was leading him, every moment. The Lord brought David's talents and skills together into a beautiful whole, whether it be defending his country, serving his church, or raising his family. When we look at his life we see the stream of providence-that hidden current that gently guided and carried him.

     Let us picture David, awakening in the spiritual world and continuing on the journey of his life, a journey of courage, conviction, ministering, teaching, caring and loving. For the stream continues and leads to eternity, and those that trust in the Lord will find the peace and joy of heaven.

     Have you not known?
     Have you not heard?
     The everlasting God, the Lord,
     The Creator of the ends of the earth,
     Neither faints nor is weary.
     There is no searching of His understanding.
     He gives power to the weak,
     And to those who have no might He increases strength.


     Even the youths shall faint and be weary,

     And the young men shall utterly fall,
     But those who wait on the Lord
     Shall renew their strength;
     They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
     They shall run and not be weary,
     They shall walk and not faint.

          Isaiah 40:28-31 Renewing our Purpose 2005

Renewing our Purpose              2005


     The Bryn Athyn congregation is eagerly awaiting the worldwide gathering of New Church people at the General Church Assembly, June 5-8.

     Many volunteers have spent the past nine months creating a versatile, inspiring event to appeal to all ages, cultures and perspectives. Finally, the puzzle pieces of planning, creativity, communication and coordination are forming a meaningful, tangible structure. Now we enthusiastically await the multitude of people we hope will come and breathe life into it.

     We extend a genuine welcome to those coming hundreds and thousands of miles. In addition to attendees from all over the United States, we expect friends from at least 15 other countries: Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

     On behalf of the Bryn Athyn congregation, The Assembly Committee extends an eager welcome to all those who will join us in June "Renewing Our Purpose" as a united, hopeful and purposeful New Church congregation.

     Please check our website, www.assembly2005.org, for more information.




To the editor of Perspective

Dear Sir,

     The opinions published in the February 6 issue of Perspective under the heading "God's Hand" were very thought provoking and they lifted up the awareness that most people are at a loss to understand and accept the meaning of tragedies, large and small. This has prompted me to add my views on the subject (which are enclosed) for I feel they may be a useful addition to the mix of beliefs which have been expressed.

     My beliefs are based on the teachings contained in the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, 18th century Swedish scientist, philosopher and theologian. These beliefs are shared by the members of the worldwide New Church (Swedenborgian) and provide a rational framework for knowing God and His creation and our individual development of use within it.

     I hope that you will find this material interesting and useful in developing your readers' interest in this important subject of God's Hand. Thank you for devoting valuable space to it.

Sincerely yours,

Roger S. Murdoch




     The recent tragedy of the Indian Ocean Tsunami is stimulating many to question their beliefs as to the nature of God and the operation of His creation. How could a loving God allow this to happen? Why couldn't (wouldn't) God prevent it? Is there a God? What are we here on earth for?

     There have been many answers offered. Among them: It's God's will; It's a mystery; It's God's punishment; etc. People seem to be struggling and are angry.

     My faith helps me to deal with this massive event by giving me the perspective to separate the material/physical facts from the spiritual realities. In dealing with spiritual issues such as the nature of God, creation, providence, the afterlife, etc., time and space play no part. They are measures of the physical, natural world.

     The physical event of the Tsunami is pretty straight forward. Science has explained it. Why, some ask, could not God have changed the physical laws of nature (His creation) to prevent this from happening? After all, He is supposed to be Omnipotent. However, God has a broader viewpoint (Omniscience) and end in view with a time line of eternity.

     Who is God? God is love itself, pure love, and therefore life itself (life being love). Because it is the nature of love to want to connect and share and to bring happiness, God wanted a heaven from the human race and so created humans to populate it. He created the natural world in which they could grow and prepare for the spiritual life in which they could receive God's love (life) and react to it. To help people do this, God gave us His Word in many forms to suit the various needs of people throughout the ages. But God wanted people to be able to accept or reject the gift of His love for He didn't want to create automatons incapable of receiving and returning that love (reciprocation).


So His created people were given freewill to make spiritual decisions as of themselves and to bear the consequences, good or bad. Because God wants everyone to be happy, He is constantly leading all who will follow to heavenly use and happiness. Not all will follow, and this is permitted because everyone is left in freedom.

     Our reaction to tragic losses, large or small, is eased and comforted by the knowledge of the existence of a spiritual reality and spiritual life in a world much like our own, not limited by space and time, where people who have recently died awaken in the spirit without the encumbrance of a physical body, and take up their lives and join others who are "soul mates" in an active life. Children are cared for and educated by angels who love children.

     Why didn't God stop the event from happening? God operated in accordance with a defined order (since He is order itself) by means of laws. We are familiar with natural, scientific laws. The Divine Providence operates by means of spiritual laws, looking in everything that it does to what is infinite and eternal and to temporal things only so far as they agree with eternal things. Even the timing of our death follows certain guidelines to assure that the unwavering purpose of creation is met. The time of our death is based on: 1) our use to other people in the world, 2) our use, while we are in the world, to spirits and angels, 3) the course of our own regeneration (spiritual progress and renewal) and 4) our use in the other (spiritual) world. It would seem, therefore, that any interference by God with the events that caused the destruction from the tsunami would not serve any eternal purpose, difficult as this is to accept. We should also bear in mind that there were warning techniques available which were not applied and that there were warnings which were ignored. It seems that God did do His part.

     The over 150,000 dead are being well taken care of in the spiritual world, the wounded and displaced are suffering a temporary setback (in the perspective of eternity) and the property damage can be repaired over time.


While the world appears to be in chaos, God through His Providence is providing for our eternal welfare according to order.

     There will be positive benefits resulting from this tragedy. It is causing people to reflect and question and discuss the spiritual significance of this event and it is drawing peoples of the world together to help relieve the pain and suffering of the victims through service and contributions of money and material.

     My beliefs help me to survive life's tragedies with a positive outlook. They are drawn from the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, 18th century Swedish scientist, philosopher and theologian, which I find make sense, although not always what I want to hear. For more information refer to Swedenborg on the Web.
www.NewChurchVineyard.org 2005

www.NewChurchVineyard.org              2005

     An on-line family magazine from the G. C. Office of Education featuring materials for all ages focused on a new theme every month.

     Trust in the Lord in May 2005
     The Tree of Life in June 2005




     Concepts of masculinity and femininity are not only pervasive in all human interactions, they are also intensely personal and important to almost everyone. The question of whether or not a person has fulfilled the expectations of his or her gender seems to dictate to a large degree how a person feels about him- or herself. These expectations are imposed on us by culture and society, but also come from within as part of our genetic and spiritual inheritance. A lot of scientific research, both biological and psychological, has been devoted to studying these influences from within and without, and sadly not a lot of positive themes have emerged. The goal of this paper is to discuss some of the theories and "truths" that secular study has provided us regarding the true nature of masculinity and femininity in contrast to the spiritual truths about these issues which the Lord has provided for us in His Word.

     Overall, the studies on gender have upsetting tendencies towards negativity. The conclusions drawn by researchers are conflicted in that results of experiments are seldom clear and decisive, or else the initial question asked assumes something as true which is actually not so true after all. A lot of angst is created by pitting the masculine and the feminine against each other, as competing species. The feminine is measured as "inferior" in the categories ascribed as more valuable by society, whereas the masculine emerges as oppressive, power hoarding, and unfeeling. Gender has become a handicapping element, in short, and while the differences between the genders occur automatically (whether by nature or nurture is still up for debate), the consensus is that our current state is unsatisfying and imbalanced, and we need to work to change this by reducing or eliminating gender differences as much as possible.


     One of the popular theories held up by scientists today is that masculinity and femininity are not strictly correlated with the male and female genders, but rather are opposite extremes on a continuum of individual characteristics. Any person, male or female, may be situated at any point along that continuum; thus males may have feminine characteristics attributed to them, and vice versa. Developmentally, however, it is recognized that masculine and feminine characteristics tend to cling to their respective genders. Studies of little children show that they prefer to play with other children of their own gender, use toys that are perceived to be for their own gender, and from a young age have a highly developed set of gender stereotypes which they use to make judgments about other people. "Gender effects are pervasive and powerful in young children, suggesting some sort of organizing role for gender" (Martin 46). Therefore it is generally agreed that gender in some way organizes the way people think, and specifically the way they think about other people. Whether or not this is deemed as desirable depends on who is conducting the study. In order to separate the recognized characteristics from assigned genders, psychologists renamed the feminine as "expressive" and the masculine as "instrumental." Interestingly, they have found that while stereotypes about other groups (such as racial minorities) have changed significantly over time, basic stereotypes about men and women based on these characteristics of expressivity and instrumentality have not (Glick and Fiske 195). From this it can be understood that research shows there to be something inherent and permanent about masculine and feminine characteristics.

     The Writings agree on this point, and state this in even stronger terms. Concepts of masculinity and femininity in the Word are directly derived from the concepts of good and truth.


"Good's truth or truth resulting from good is masculine, and truth's consequent goodness or good resulting from that truth is feminine" (CL 90). There is a correspondence between the masculine and feminine, and the two halves which make up the Divine: Truth and Good. This pair is the essential building block of creation, and the marriage of truth and good is what is represented by the conjugial love shared between a husband and wife: the ultimate destiny of masculinity and femininity. "The truth of good . . . is in the male and is the masculine itself, and . . . the good of truth . . . is in the female and is the feminine itself, and . . . there is a conjugial union between these two" (CL 61). There is nothing transient or acquired about being male or female, masculine or feminine. This is a person's essential nature, and it infills every part of a person's being, mind and body, from conception through eternity. "Masculinity in the male is masculine in every part, even in the least part of his body, and also in every idea of his thought, and in every bit of his affection. So, too, with femininity in the female" (CL 33). There may be a continuum for feminine and masculine characteristics on which each person falls, allowing for a lot of diversity within each gender -but men are on an exclusively masculine continuum, and women on an exclusively feminine one, regardless of the characteristics which are displayed externally in their personalities and demeanors. This is an idea that some researchers have briefly touched on in noticing that the differences exhibited within the group of one gender or the other are often more interesting and telling about that gender than the differences when comparing one gender to the other.

     However, for the most part, studies on this issue are still primarily centered around a comparison between men and women on some quantifiable level. Research has come to some interesting conclusions. In a study on men's and women's differing motivations when it comes to love and sex, it was discovered that men are more romantic than women.


They "are more likely to fall in love at first sight, become deeply committed to a romantic dream, and suffer bitterly when their romantic fantasies fall apart" (Hatfield 111). On the other hand, women are more passionate than men, experiencing more "symptoms of love" (115), and they perceive that their love for their partners is more companionate or friendship-oriented than their partners' love for them (117). The most important difference regarding sex-that men are more motivated to seek out sex with multiple partners, whereas women place limits on their sexual activity and tend to seek out a long-term, intimate, secure relationship with one person-is determined to be purely biological and instinctive (124). This has to do with the reproductive consequences of sex; women have to be more discerning because of the physical and economic cost associated with a resulting pregnancy.

     Another study highlights the modern state of the masculine in terms of its inherent weaknesses. Men are perceived to be strong in public, but are often "weak, indecisive, and childlike in [their] private relationships" (Seidler 21). They focus primarily on their work outside of the home, attaining success and achievement. The attribute of strength is associated with independence and self-sufficiency. Seidler states that "often we have to forsake our relatedness to others to prove our masculinity" (143). Masculinity is also proven via sexual conquests. Love is a weakness which leads to a lack of freedom, and emotion is considered an interference in following the dictates of reason. Because women do follow their emotions, rather than reason, men learn not to trust women. "Masculinity is an essentially negative identity learnt through defining itself against emotionality and connectedness" (7). This is quite a grim picture; Seidler does not seem to have much that is positive to say about current societal definitions of what is masculine, other than that it needs to be rediscovered and redefined.


Unfortunately, his redefinition strayed suspiciously towards finding the feminine within the masculine - a concept which is difficult to reconcile to the spiritual definition of male and female distinctness.

     Commentaries on modern femininity are not any more positive. The classic "ideal" feminine is seen as demure, withdrawing, sensitive, emotional, dependent, vulnerable, and ultimately weak:

The idealization of emotional femininity, as women prefer to see themselves affirmed, is more exquisitely romantic: a finer temperament in a more fragile vessel, a gentler nature ruled by a twin need to love and to be protected . . . a flame-bearer of spiritual values by whose shining example the men of the world are inspired to redemption and to accomplish great things. (Brownmiller 208)

     The traditional feminine is soft, emotional, and completely passive and dependent on men. Her entire life is focused on caring for and nurturing her husband and children. These are all characteristics that are notably opposite to those ascribed to modern masculinity, and most of them tend to have negative connotations for people in general these days, where value is assessed in a more economic context. The one positive aspect of femininity which Brownmiller highlighted was a woman's inability to separate sex from love, only she removed the moral value of this trend by relating it back to the biological consequences mentioned above (216). With so little going for it, it is no wonder that today's women are highly motivated to buck off the traditional feminine label.

     One religious take on the subject, offered by Dietrich von Hildebrand, is happily congruent with the principles on masculinity and femininity outlined in the Writings. He writes that "we find in woman a unity of personality by the fact that heart, intellect and temperament are much more interwoven; whereas in man there is a specific capacity to emancipate himself with his intellect from the affective sphere" (13). This sounds like a rephrasing of the New Church principle that women are will-oriented, and men are understanding-oriented.


Specifically, "a male is born with an affection for knowing, understanding and becoming wise, while a female is born with a love for joining herself to that affection in the male" (CL 33). A man's masculinity is defined by his understanding and the degree to which he elevates his understanding and makes it spiritual. Accordingly, a woman's femininity is defined by her love of wisdom, wisdom here being the masculine understanding elevated to a moral and/or spiritual degree. In a married couple, their respective masculinity and femininity is clarified and nurtured by their relationship with each other.

     The differences noticed by scientists in studying the genders have inherently positive causes and connotations for both men and women, even though these researchers do not see them. The physical differences in men and women are caused by the differences in their spiritual minds, not as an indication of either gender's superiority or inferiority in comparison to the other.

The changes of state, which take place successively in both men and women from childhood up to maturity, are designed to complete the form of the intellect in men and of the will in women . . . In both cases the outer form, that of the body, is completed in keeping with the inner form, that of the mind. (CL 187)

     The feminine characteristics that are described as being predominantly emotional, sensitive, passive, gentle, and loving, have to do with a woman being will-oriented in terms of the way her mind works. These characteristics which are cast as weak are precisely the characteristics that reflect a woman's innate perceptiveness (which is from love) towards her husband, her children, and others, allowing her to garner more accurate communication about their thoughts and feelings than they may be able to verbalize. Her inability to separate sex from love is a consequence of receiving the conjugial directly within herself, orienting her towards marriage with one man (although the biological aspect does complement the overall picture).


All this allows her greater competence in caring for her family and maintaining communal relationships. Hence the feminine nature is instrumental in maintaining the structure for families and society in general. This is her strength and her wisdom. Male characteristics that come across as being strength and power oriented, competitive, insensitive, and "more successful" all reflect the masculine focus on attaining wisdom. Men put their energy into their careers, knowledge, expertise and success in the public domain, because this is how they expand their intellect, increase their understanding, and, hopefully, elevate it. This is how they serve society as a whole and achieve competence in meeting the needs of their wives (the love of wisdom must have an object). It is their strength. Modern takes on these characteristics can only see them as negative when taken out of the context of the spiritual relationship between men and women, and when the basic truth, that men and women need each other and are cohabiting one world for very good reason, is ignored.

     Another area where contemporary society struggles with masculine and feminine concepts is the arena of roles and expectations. Reigning over all is once again the belief that current roles and expectations are negative, limiting, or oppressive in some way. The predominant role for women is that of motherhood. This has been biologically determined; only females can produce babies, and babies must be produced in order to ensure the continuation of the human race. "Motherhood is . . . universally perceived as the ultimate proof of the feminine nature and the intended purpose of the female existence" (Brownmiller 230). Logically, women are also assigned the primary role of raising children and presiding over domestic affairs. "The wife is charged with maintaining the emotional connection, even with the husband's side of the family," which is often seen when wives handle all birthday cards, phone-calls between households, etc. (Brownmiller 216).


Traditionally women are expected to devote their energies to supporting their husband's career, rather than pursuing one of their own. While in the past few decades a working mother has become common, and in many cases, an economic necessity, on some level this is still seen as an "exception" to the rule, and the circumstance is accepted on condition that she continues to keep up with all her domestic responsibilities. This is seen as oppressive to women who are motivated by success in the workplace; they risk being seen as less feminine, or sacrificing the needs of their family for selfish purposes.

     Men, on the other hand, are linked inextricably to the role of provider, and men who are unable to fulfill this expectation are cast in an even more negative light than women who choose to pursue careers. There is still a feeling of pity or prejudice - even if silent - against men who earn less money than their wives, or choose because of circumstances to stay home with the children while the wife goes to work. A huge amount of value is ascribed to that role of breadwinner, the head of the family who provides financially such that everyone has what they need. Furthermore, men are expected to hold certain types of jobs, although this seems to be changing. "The endorsement of rigid beliefs about the appropriate roles and traits for men and women (e.g. only men can be brave or only women can be nurses) is now widely regarded as undesirable" (Bigler 130). Men have traditionally been expected to contribute much less to the running of the household, and the importance of participation in the nurturing aspect of home life, and specifically the marriage relationship, has been downplayed. "Researchers found that . . . both men and women agreed that, in general, men contribute less to a marriage than women do and get more out of marriage than do women" (Hatfield 119). In short, women are expected to handle the marriage, the children, and the home, and men are expected to provide the financial stability required for that purpose.


Attempts to move too far out of these boundaries, even today, are approached with suspicion or discomfort.

     These traditional roles do have some correlation to spiritual principles, but not in the prescriptive way that is often perceived by some readers of the doctrine. It is true that an essential part of femininity is motherhood. This is because the love of children is a derivative of the conjugial love which women receive directly into their minds from the Lord. A father's love of children is less tender because his reception of the conjugial is indirect, via his wife. When the feminine qualities of being will (or love) oriented, and a woman's ability to perceive the feelings of her loved ones based on touch and observation, are considered as well, it becomes clear that women are better equipped spiritually for motherhood, especially with very young children and babies. The Writings are very clear that the raising of children is a joint activity, however, in which the masculine role is equally important.

     The primary duty, which binds, associates and brings together into one the souls and lives of the married couple is seeing jointly to the bringing up of children. In dealing with this the duties of husband and wife are at once different but linked. (CL 176)

     While the wife has the more hands-on role with parenting, especially when the children are very young, the husband's participation in supporting her and caring for the children is integral to the family and to the marriage. What is interesting is that his specific activities in this role are not defined, leaving opportunity for married couples to find the balance that works best for them.

     The masculine and feminine roles within the marriage relationship are also described in the Writings. The overarching duty of the masculine and feminine is to aspire to and create a conjugial relationship with each other, that can represent to the best of the couple's ability the marriage of good and truth.


It is a husband's role to love spiritual wisdom and pursue it. It is the wife's role to love the spiritual wisdom which her husband is actively pursuing, thereby imparting the conjugial to him, and inclining his love toward herself and the marriage. This reciprocal conjunction forms a permanent bond between them, by which the Church is formed on earth (essential for the health of both the spiritual world and the natural world), true conjugial love is formed in the marriage, and an image of the Divine marriage of good and truth is formed in correspondence. The husband's and wife's roles are specific and ascribed only to the masculine and feminine respectively: "A man has his own duties and a wife has hers; a wife cannot take over her husband's duties, nor a man his wife's, and perform them properly" (CL 174). The next passage goes on to say that "a wife also performs her duties out of will, affection and love, while her husband performs his out of understanding, thought, and wisdom. Consequently, their duties are by nature different" (CL 175).

     Notice that once again these duties are not practically assigned, in terms of it being the husband's job to mow the lawn, and the wife's job to do the laundry, or that the husband will go out to work and the wife will stay home and keep house. There is enormous variety in marriages, and each one is as different as the couple that composes it. It is stated that a wife's duties are domestic, and a husband's public (CL 91), but this is in no way a limitation. A wife who works outside the home, or a husband who happens to do the laundry and change diapers, may still be fulfilling the spiritual roles in their conjugial relationship even though their marriage may look "different" based on purely external characteristics. The important information to draw from this is the spiritual action that the married partners are engaged in behind the external roles, and that the work of the two partners together - the cooperation and conjunction of the masculine and feminine roles-is what makes a home and family, built around a conjugial marriage.


     A crucial missing element in the research on gender is the effect the marriage relationship itself has on masculinity and femininity. Scientists seem inclined to automatically separate men and women, and examine them out of that essential context of marriage. Men would not be masculine if there were no women; likewise women would not be feminine if there were no men. It is no wonder that studies on gender come up with such negative and to some degree useless conclusions when conducted this way. Von Hildebrand recognized this when he wrote that:

Men are in danger of becoming coarse, dried out or depersonalized by their office and profession when they are completely cut off from any contact with the feminine world. And women are in danger of becoming petty, self-centered and hypersensitive when they are completely cut off from all contact with men. (15)

     In New Church terms, men without women become enamored with their own self-intelligence; and women without men become manipulative and focused on imposing their will on others. Of course, this can happen within a marriage as well, but only when the couple are not engaged in a kind of married love that is working towards love truly conjugial. It is conjugial love in a marriage that heightens and intensifies the masculinity and femininity of each partner, making "the wife more and more a wife, and the husband more and more a husband" (CL 200). Masculinity and femininity are hereby defined as the spiritual role men and women play in the representation of the marriage of good and truth. The natural characteristics measured in scientific research, the statistics assigned and the conclusions drawn about societal values and gender bias, do not even touch on the true depth of what is being examined.

     It is sad to see how disillusioned and angry modern authorities on this subject have become.


The importance of the revelations about masculinity, femininity, and spiritual marriage contained in the Writings has never been made more clear to me as in the study of this subject. Brownmiller writes that "the problem is not that some women are feminine failures, but that femininity fails as a reliable goal" in the specific context of women relating to men (237). On a similar vein, Bigler notes that "intergroup bias is rooted in the evolutionary-genetic heritage of human beings and . . . whenever two separate groups are identified, [people] will show prejudice and bias toward their own group" as an explanation for the seemingly natural tendencies toward competition between the genders (145). The conclusions being drawn are that masculinity and femininity are destructive concepts, harmful to children's development and society in general, and should be eliminated as a category above and beyond physical distinction. The negativity associated with masculinity and femininity implies some sort of human failure, whether it be the failure of the individual to meet society's standards, or the failure of society to create standards that the individuals can live with. The truth is that from a spiritual light, masculinity and femininity can only be construed as positive terms, with all the delight in and enjoyment of the characteristics of your own sex and the opposite sex that is enjoyed by the angels. Men and women in heaven are not troubled by the limitations of their gender roles; they celebrate their differences and corresponding roles as the core essence of their conjugial marriages and useful lives. It is hopeful for the future that as the revelation in the Writings reaches more and more people, society will rediscover the wonder and enjoyment of simply being men and women, without defensiveness or bias. Perhaps then the conjugial "love of being joined into one" (CL 32), and the more complete humanity which results from that conjunction, will become the new status quo in our otherwise fractured society.


     Works Cited

     Bigler, Rebecca S. "Psychological Interventions Designed to Counter Sexism in Children: Empirical Limitations and Theoretical Foundations." Sexism and Stereotypes in Modern Society: the Gender Science of Janet Taylor Spence. Ed. Swann, Langlois, and Gilbert. Washington DC: American Psychological Association, 1999. 129-151

     Brownmiller, Susan. Femininity. New York: Linden Press, 1984.

     Glick, Peter and Fiske, Susan T. "Sexism and Other "Isms": Interdependence, Status, and the Ambivalent Content of Stereotypes." Sexism and Stereotypes in Modern Society: the Gender Science of Janet Taylor Spence. Ed. Swann, Langlois, and Gilbert. Washington DC: American Psychological Association, 1999. 193-221.

     Hatfield, Elaine. "What Do Women and Men Want from Love and Sex?" Changing Boundaries: Gender Rose and Sexual Behavior. Ed. Allgeier and McCormick. Palo Alto, California: Mayfield Publishing, 1983. 106134.

     Martin, Carol Lynn. "A Developmental Perspective on Gender Effects and Gender Concepts." Sexism and Stereotypes in Modern Society: the Gender Science of Janet Taylor Spence. Ed. Swann, Langlois, and Gilbert. Washington DC: American Psychological Association, 1999. 45-73.

     Seidler, Victor J. Rediscovering Masculinity: Reason, Language and Sexuality. New York: Routledge, 1989.

     Swedenborg, Emanuel. Conjugial Love. Newsearch 98.

     Von Hildebrand, Dietrich. Man and Woman. Chicago, Franciscan Herald Press, 1966.


     The Swedenborg Foundation has published a volume of 580 pages (including the index) which is rich in the fruits of extensive research.

     This is the essay volume for the New Century Edition of the Writings. In the preface more than forty people are thanked for helping out in this ambitious production. The editing work was done by Jonathan Rose, Stuart Shotwell and Mary Lou Bertucci.

     There is a paperback version with the title, Scribe of Heaven, and there is a hard bound version with a binding matching the volumes of the New Century Edition which have already been published.


Editorial Pages 2005

Editorial Pages              2005


     Last month we noted that a few times the reader is addressed in the Writings as "reader." Here are the final lines in the chapter on repentance in True Christian Religion: "Therefore, kind reader, look into yourself, search or more of the evils within you, and from a principle of religion, remove them; if you do so for any other reason or end, you only succeed in concealing them from the world" (TCR 566).

     And number 644 concludes as follows: "But do you, my reader, open your ears, and read the Word; and you will clearly perceive a different kind of faith and imputation from what you had persuaded yourself to believe."

     These are challenging passages that invite the readers to consider what they would do if they had no fear of consequences.

     "Consider in respect to yourself, when these external bonds have been taken away, as it done with everyone after death, if there are no internal bonds, which are from fear and love of God, thus from religion, to restrain and hold you back, whether you would not rush, like a devil, into thefts, adulteries, murders, false witnesses, and lusts of every kind, from a love of these thus from a delight in them" (AE 948:5).

     In number 12 of Doctrine of Faith, there is a message for people who wonder if they can have faith. "Shun evils as sins, and come to the Lord, and you will have as much of it as you desire."



     We have plenty of magazines for New Church people. What about a magazine specifically for people who are just "interested in the New Church"? It is an idea that has been discussed a number of times. Well, now it is an actuality!

     The first issue has been printed. It is called New Church Connection. This is a highly professional production, and congratulations go to the production team: David Lindrooth, Joralyn Echols and Bronwen Henry.

     They have chosen the subject of Divine providence as a theme for this issue. They have enlisted Rev. John Odhner to write the main article entitled "Why Bad Things Happen." Other contributing writers were Frank Rose, David Roth, Grant Schnarr.

     The color and the photos and the graphic effects are not for me to describe but for you to see for yourself. You can contact the production team at outreach@newchurch.org. The cost for four issues pretty well devours a twenty dollar bill.

     The purpose of the magazine is to inspire, inform and connect people who are interested in the New Church. You are invited to send in an article or personal story.

     On the back cover in big glamorous letters is the following quotation from Divine Providence:

     The more closely we are united to the Lord,
     the more clearly we seem to have our own identity,
     and yet the more obvious it is to us
     that we belong to the Lord.






     Many are already pre-registered for Camp Winding Waters (July 7-10 at Wallowa Lake, Joseph, OR). There is still available space in "rustic" accommodations (bunkhouse) or as a commuter (if you stay at nearby motel-style accommodations), as well as camping spaces for tents or RV's, and also a couple of tepees. If you're interested, act now to reserve a space. If finances are a hardship, some scholarship monies are available-please feel free to apply.

     For follow up, contact Pam Latta, pamelalatta@hotmail.com; or Dan Goodenough, dwgooden@fiberpipe.net, phone 307-6734621. We'd love to see you there!



POSITION AVAILABLE              2005

     Information Swedenborg Incorporated, a non-profit, Canadian charitable foundation for the promotion of knowledge of the life and teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg, is poised to assume responsibility for the operation of the Swedenborg Book Centre in Toronto beginning this July. At that time, the position of Executive Director of ISI will expand to include the management of the Book Centre as well as other existing duties including the operation of the ISI Internet website, publication and dissemination of information about Swedenborg in print, video or electronic formats, organization of promotional events, and communication of all sorts with enquirers.

     This position will begin on a part-time basis, approximately 4 days a week. However the hope and plan is that it will develop into a full time position as soon as the necessary funding can be secured. The starting salary will be approximately $30,000, and will be paid by the General Church in Canada. A possible benefits package is under discussion at this time.

     The new Director will have regular office hours at the Olivet Church in Toronto and will report directly to the Chairman of the Board of ISI (who is, ex officio, the Executive Vice President of the General Church in Canada). He/she will also collaborate on site with the Pastor of the Olivet Church.

     Qualifications for the position include extensive knowledge of the literature by and about Swedenborg, commitment to the doctrines revealed through him, proven management ability, facility with standard office computer software, some experience with website management, and strong interpersonal communication skills. If you are interested in this position please write or call and send a detailed resume to the Rev. Mike Gladish as soon as possible at 248 Arbour Crest Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta T3G 4V3, tel. 403-374-0087, email mgladish@shaw.ca. The deadline for applications is May 29th.


Living Fountains CD 2005

Living Fountains CD              2005

     Karen Childs Elder $12.00 US

     Living Fountains

     Karen Childs Elder

     Living Fountains songbook

     Karen Childs Elder $22.95 US

     Now you can sing and play along with Karen's latest CD, Living Fountains, with the Living Fountains Songbook. Each of the 34 songs are quoted directly from the Bible. These are indexed and have both a condensed version with references, and the full version with chords. The songbook adds that visual cognitive element that allows one to quickly see how the Scripture is divided into easily learnable portions of chorus, verse and bridge. As well, a learning schedule is suggested for student listeners, spanning two years on the school calendar, including High Season songs.


WILSON VAN DUSEN              2005

     Dr. Wilson Van Dusen passed into the spiritual world on April 25th. We are inserting this page at the last minute.

     For some of us the story began when in 1972 Harper and Row published Van Dusen's book The Natural Depth in Man. It is evident to the reader that this author is really impressed with the works of Emanuel Swedenborg. Then came the important book The Presence of Other Worlds in 1974. To have such a direct treatment published by Harper and Row was quite something. Here's a comment from this magazine (May, 1975). "This is the first work bearing on Swedenborg by a major publisher in a long while. It will soon be out in paperback and is to be published in England. It probably will be the most widely read work on Swedenborg in the English speaking world in the coming year."

     The review of the book by Kurt P. Nemitz concludes as follows: "Each attentive mind into which the light of the new revelation falls uniquely, reflects some particular aspect of the Divine truth, So it is with Dr. Van Dusen's devoted scholarship. He has given all of us in the Church-both the church universal and the church specific-an opportunity to see yet more of the wonders and beauties of the Divine light in the heavenly doctrines which the Lord has now revealed" (NCL 1975, p. 35).

     In 1991 the Swedenborg Foundation did a printing of the work, and in 2004 the Foundation published a Thirtieth Anniversary Edition.

     During the 1970s New Church Life printed at least seven articles by Dr. Van Dusen. Notable among them was a key article on Messiah About To Come, which Van Dusen calls "a lovely, significant, unnoticed gem among Swedenborg's works."

     He authored at least nine other books. We hope to say more later.
Title Unspecified 2005

Title Unspecified              2005


          Available on CD or Cassette


     our Purpose     

     ASSEMBLY 2005     

     Plenary Sessions - Audio Recordings

     1. What on Earth are We Doing Here? - Rev. David Lindrooth

     2. New Church Education: You Can Take It With You - Rev. Philip Schnarr

     3. Who and What Is the Church? - Rt. Rev. Brian Keith

     4. Renewing Our Purpose - Rt. Rev. Thomas Kline

     Workshop Presentations - Audio Recordings

     1. A Message to All People: A Vision for Tiered Mass-Media Evangelization - Rev. Jonathan Rose

     2. Seek Ye the Kingdom of Heaven First - Peter Rhodes

     3. The Trajectory of Church History and Future of the New Church - Rev. Prescott Rogers

     4. Embracing the Challenge - Rev. Kurt Horigan Asplundh

     5. Live Your Best Life: Recognizing and Using Your God Given Gifts - Anna Woofenden

     6. The Doctrine of Genuine Truth: Open the Door To the Word - Rev. Goran Appelgren

     7. Responding Affirmatively - Rev. Peter Buss, Jr.

     8. Resolving Contradictions In Our Understanding of God - Ned Uber

     9. Psychology and Religion - Soni Werner

     10. Microboundaries: Protection of Love - Rev. Mark Carlson

     11. Marriage In All Its Aspects - Julie Conaron and Nita Holmes

     12. "Mythos" and "Logos" In the New Church - Beryl Simonetti

     13. Marketing the New Church - Chuck Ebert

     Sunday Worship Services - Audio Recordings

     1. The Call To Assembly - Rt. Rev. Thomas Kline, adult service which includes the ordination into the 1st degree of Candidates Jerome Dube and Michael Ferrell

     2. Two Witnesses - Rev. Jeremy Simons, family service

     3. Behold, I Stand At the Door - Rev. Grant Schnarr, contemporary family service

     Prices: Cassette $3.00, two-cassette set $4.00 or CD $5.00, two-CD set $6.00

     To order contact: New Church Audio, PO Box 752, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009-0752 267-502-4980 or newchurchaudio@newchurch.org

     Note: Invoices will be included with your order.


Title Unspecified 2005

Title Unspecified              2005

     Vol. CXXV     June, 2005     No. 6

     New Church Life




Notes on This Issue 2005

Notes on This Issue              2005

     This magazine is to have a new editor. Rev. Kurt Horigan Asplundh, as affirmed by the June Assembly, will become editor as of July 1, 2005. See page 190.

     Rev. Erik E. Sandstrom is now "Doctor Sandstrom." His sermon in this issue gives a perspective on the Second Coming.

     The memorial address for Rev. Fred Schnarr was first delivered in Boynton Beach, Florida, and then it was repeated in a service in Bryn Athyn, a service in which Bishop Kline also participated.

     Rev. Grant Odhner's address about "Hydrostasis" was delivered last October when the annual Charter Day procession took place. The cathedral was filled to capacity. The many class banners added beautifully to the occasion.

     The Swedenborg Foundation has published a volume packed with the fruits of extensive research. See page 203 for some information on this scholarly production.

     We have managed to print in this issue the names of this month's graduates from the Academy of the New Church and from Bryn Athyn College. See pages 183 and 210. The graduation ceremonies this year were impressive and delightful.

     Note: The Annual Report of the General Church for the year 2004 is available. It comes to 24 pages. The report of the Secretary, Susan V. Simpson, tells us that 176 new members were received into the General Church, bringing the total membership to 4,911.





"And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (Matthew 24.30, Mark, 13.26, Luke 21.27).

     The Old Testament was composed over many eras, the most excellent work ever written, surpassing all great literature. For every word contains deep secrets of heaven and of the Lord, just as the Lord Himself said: "Search the Scriptures, . . . these are they which testify of Me" (John 5.39).

     Just before the Lord came on earth, these Scriptures were being read in Synagogues. When however that connection too was "completely broken," so that the human race stood in danger of another annihilation, but this one total, the Lord then came on earth and established a link within Himself. We read "when the connection between the human race and heaven was altogether broken, insomuch that the human race would have perished . . . the Lord then came into the world, and [united] . . . the Divine Essence with the Human Essence in Himself' (AC 2243).

     The Lord established the connection in Himself. That is why the Lord began His mission on earth by reading His own Word in the Synagogue at Nazareth, reading: "The spirit of Jehovah is upon me" (Luke 4.18, citing Isaiah 61.1, 2). For the Lord on earth had learned His own scriptures: for His soul was the omniscient Jehovah, the Divine Love, or the Father Himself and therefore the Lord "had all knowledge prior to learning" (A 1469). So He taught Himself their internal and divine meaning by studying His own Word. He knew not only that the Scriptures had to do with His entire life (A 1461), even down to the "very intentions and thoughts" (AC 2523); but also that they "had first come from Him" (AC 1461).


He had in fact inspired the Word to be so written that He could come on earth and read it for Himself, and thereby receive instruction from the Father, His own Divine soul, in how He was to save the entire human race (A 1999, 1791, 2519e, 2171, 5121e). Some of this instruction was heard as a voice from heaven, and so recorded in the Gospels. Thus the Lord read His own Word, and fulfilled every verse of it, meant by His last words on the Cross: "It is finished," meaning "it is fulfilled" (Lord 11).

     But while the Lord lived, He Himself was the only source of Divine Truth. The connection was altogether broken. So now He Himself taught it (AC 9818.14). That is why the people "heard Him gladly," (Mark 12.37) "were astonished," (Matt. 7.28) saying "no man ever spoke like this man" (John 7.46).

     The Lord Himself teaching the Word was the beginning of the New Testament: people remembered what He had said, and out of those memories the Lord later inspired several accounts of what He Himself had said and done. Thus most of the Gospels are the Lord's own words recollected, and the "rest is from the spirit of His mouth" (SS 2). That spirit is the holy spirit, which means the Lord's presence after His resurrection. For the Lord was united with the Father on the Cross, that is they became at one with each other, the At-one-ment, now mispronounced the atonement. The Father and Son atone is the Divine Human, God and Man together. The Son was made fully Divine, without human remainder. The Divine Human is God in One Person, and the trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit are as soul, body and saving work of God in Person, the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone now reigns for ages of ages.

     And it is in the New Testament that the Lord prophecies: "You shall see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." The Second Coming.

     The consummation of the age, when the son of Man will come in the clouds, is the end of the wrong ideas about Him.


When all confused attempts finally fall by the way, then the world will be ready for the true ideas, which were in fact known and spread far and wide in the first century of Christianity. But while the Lord Himself was teaching, He spoke in parables. "Without a parable he did not speak to them.

     However, it was only in public that the Lord spoke parables: when alone with the twelve, "He explained all things to his disciples" (Mark 4.34). He did this also on the road to Emmaus, and back in Jerusalem: "He opened their understanding that they might comprehend the Scriptures, and beginning with Moses and all the prophets, and the psalms, He expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself, . . . how it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day" (Luke 24.27, 45, 46).

     The Lord began to give an internal sense of the scriptures. Can the Lord do the same for us today? Can He open our understanding to comprehend the Scriptures? Can He explain what is meant by the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory? If He could, then we would know once and for all about the Second Coming, and what is meant by the consummation of the age, or by the abomination of desolation of Daniel standing in the holy place.

     This explanation can be supplied by taking the Word to be both internal and external. It is literal, but has also a spiritual meaning. The Lord even said this, "The words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life" (John 6.63).

     And so it becomes clear that the Word of the Lord must deal with the Lord, and with His kingdom of heaven; even while the Word in the literal sense is talking of the world (Cf. AC 3712). Therefore this text must mean something different from the actual words. The clouds of heaven thus means the literal words of any Bible text. The Internal meaning of any text having to do with heaven and the Lord, are meant by the power and great glory in the clouds of heaven. Thus the Writings of the New Church explain:


It has so far been unknown that the clouds of heaven mean the Word in its literal sense, and that glory and power, with which He is to come at that time (Matt. 24:30), mean the spiritual sense of the Word. This is because no one has even guessed that there is a spiritual sense in the Word. . . . Since the Lord has now revealed to me the spiritual sense of the Word, and has allowed me to associate with angels and spirits in their world, as if I were one of them, it has been disclosed that the cloud of heaven means the Word in its natural sense, glory the Word in its spiritual sense, and power means the Lord's strength through the Word. This meaning of the clouds of heaven can be seen from these passages in the Word:

     There is none like the God of Jeshurun, riding on the heaven, and in magnificence upon the clouds (Deut. 33:26, 27).

     Sing to God, praise His name, extol Him who rides upon the clouds (Ps. 68:4).

     Jehovah riding upon a light cloud (Isa. 19:1). (TCR 776)

     The Second Coming of the Lord will therefore be the explanation of the internal sense of the Word, a deeper more profound meaning. That deeper meaning was called the allegorical meaning in the 3rd to 5th centuries of Christianity when Tertullian and Origen and others wrote out such senses. But Scholasticism from the 9th to 13th centuries placed human reason and revealed truth on opposite poles; and the Bible was closed to deeper meanings.

     Later the Bible was liberated from its tomb by martyrs who translated it into their own language, such as Tindale, Cranmer, Jan Hus. Then Luther also translated it into German, armed with Gutenberg's invention that could print more copies than could be burned, showing his proof passages to make the Reformation survive. This led to one of the fiercest religious wars, the Thirty Year War. Once begun, Divine providence entered to raise nations to secure Protestant territory to safely publish the Bible into all languages (Cf. Invitation 24). It was over by the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, and 40 years later in 1688 the man through whom the books of the second advent were to be published, was born.


The clouds of heaven were flying through all northern skies, in which the power and great glory of the Second Coming was ready to take place.

     The Word of the Lord links the Lord, heaven and the church on earth together. The literal text, clouds, is for men, but the spiritual sense, glory, is for angels (AC 2242). When people read the text, angels see the heavenly meaning (HH 254). But the Lord on earth "opened our understanding, to comprehend" just that meaning! People also can benefit from the internal sense (AC 3016). And the reason we can understand it, is because the "spiritual sense of the Word coincides completely with the universal angelic language, with spiritual speech which is . . . their thought . . . a product of the light of heaven . . . shin[ing] from the Lord" (AC 4387).

     That is why the Second Coming of the Lord could only take place by means of a someone who could also speak with angels, using their own language. People have heard angels speak for millennia, for everyone already knows this language, because it is the language of thought. Everyone automatically comes into the full use of this language upon death. That language coincides completely with the internal or spiritual sense of the Word. When Moses spoke face to face with Jehovah, it means that the Word or Moses, has a literal sense which is face to face with its spiritual meaning: The clouds of heaven have power and great glory face to face in them. So Moses face to face with God means seeing and being conjoined with the Lord in the interiors of the Word (AC 10544.3, AE 412.16). And the Lord on earth, when alone with His disciples, began to explain that internal meaning, interior doctrine put into plain Aramaic at that time. The Lord had broken the code. So also after the resurrection, He opened their understanding to comprehend the Scriptures. Anyone can understand the Word of the Lord, when the Lord explains it to us. It can be put into any rational language on earth.


     Since the Second Coming in the clouds of heaven, is a spiritual meaning given to comprehend the Scriptures, it is therefore not a coming in person, no actual figure of Jesus riding on clouds in the sky. We read: "This, the Lord's second coming, is not in person, but in the Word, which is from Him and which He is" (TCR 776). "Since the Lord cannot show Himself in person" for His second advent - and look at what happened when He did at the first Advent: He was crucified, ". . . it follows that He will do this by means of a man who can not only receive intellectually the doctrines of this church, but also publish them in print" (TCR 779).

     Someone had to go there, and come back and tell us. That is what everyone has been saying for generations: "I will only believe if someone comes back and tells me."

     The man who did this, for 29 years, was so used to speaking with angels, that one angel called him "miratus visus et non visus" or the "wonder-man, invisible open-eyed one" (TCR 280). This man spoke to angels about awesome topics: the Lord, redemption, regeneration or the rebirth of man, and providence. He spoke in angelic language, the language of thought. It was that language the disciples spoke at Pentecost, when the forked flames of fire on their heads (Acts 2.3) indicated the presence of the Lord Himself as the spirit of truth. Every person listening swore that they spoke in their own native tongue (Acts 2.8). That is the signal of spiritual or angelic language: it is heard as your own language, since we habitually put our thoughts into that language (HH 246).

     But when the man chosen to go there and come back and tell us, experimented with the angels and carried the words in his mouth, so that when he had come fully back to his worldly senses, he could write it out, he found it was "impossible." No words "were to be found by which to express it" (De Verbo 3). Well, when the Lord is not in that experiment, no angel, no man can put the Word of God into any human language.


But when the man "read the Word," (TCR 776) i.e. the Scriptures, then all those things angels talk about, which coincides with the spiritual sense of the Word, "could still be described in words of natural language, even to rational comprehension . . . There are not any Divine mysteries that cannot be perceived and expressed naturally" (De Verbo 3.4). The key is to turn to the Sacred Scriptures, and then the Lord can explain them in plain language.

     Thus the Writings of the New Church, drawn from and confirmed by Scripture (SS 56), came into publication between the years of 1749 and 1771. The Consummation of the Age also took place in between those years, with repercussions even up to the present day. Although the "wars and rumors of wars" at the consummation meant spiritual battles, still history obliged, since a world war was going on between the years 1756 and 1763, the Seven Year War, pitching grand armies of Duke Frederick of Prussia, Peter of Russia, later those of Catherine the Great, George the II and Pitt of England and the Kings of France and Spain, and yes also Sweden, against each other; not only in Europe but also in this country, with Washington fighting in the French Indian wars. Clive was fighting in India as well. Do we find the abomination of desolation spoken by Daniel standing in the holy place during this war? The abomination in the internal sense means "the betrayal of truth by the falsity and hostility against good by the evil, by those who under the facade of being law-abiding people of high repute, secretly strive for their own wealth, and from deadly hatred lay into each other, aiming to seize others' goods without being detected, and who butcher their victims, no matter how innocent they may be" (AC 3488, 3489).

     Were there such plots? There were more than can be accounted for, but all of them were uncovered in the afterlife, the guilty unmasked by having their own memories of the events displayed in public. That is the book of life: our own recollections shown for all to see, what you have whispered proclaimed from the housetops (Luke 12:2-3).


The glory in the clouds revealed how the angels can see exactly how the death of the Church in Europe is represented in all its wars (DP 251).

     One such plot involved the overthrow of democracy, the restoration of despotism, in the man's own country, which would have resulted in a similar blood-bath that was seen in the later French Revolution: where people of high repute laid into each other, church leaders were executed, goods seized, people butchered. Neighbor betrayed neighbor, family members each other. Another plot hatched was against the publication of the Arcana Coelestia a plot was so atrocious it could not even be described, namely to destroy these books, and so extinguish the glory coming in the clouds of heaven (SE 4988). This plot was unearthed in the after-life, together with a great. An actual earthquake also happened on earth the same month and year, (Nov. 1755) resulting in the same Church leaders executed on earth, as were scattered in the afterlife (NCL March 1991, p.120). Earthquakes in the Word mean the end of a Church.

     The Lord restored His Church, making His Second coming with glory in the clouds, by means of a man who could not only receive the doctrines of the Church intellectually, but could publish them by the press. Emanuel Swedenborg did so, 18 titles over 22 years, 14 of the 18 titles anonymously, many more printed posthumously. These publications have had the impact of starting the New Church by the force of self-evident truth which "opens the understanding to comprehend the Scriptures." They claim the source to be none other than the Lord God Jesus Christ. No angels, no man could do this without the Lord: it was impossible. But when the Lord inspires the process, then there is no Divine secret that may not be expressed to our rational comprehension, in natural language. It could only happen "from the Lord alone while I was reading the Word," (TCR 779) that is the Scriptures.


The Word is therefore open to be seen: human beings can read the same Heavenly Doctrine as angels do, as we read: "Because this was revealed to me out of heaven, it is called Heavenly Doctrine, and to present this doctrine is the purpose of this book" (NJHD 7). This Word in heaven and on earth just "sound different" (A 8862; TCR 280).

     The risen Lord Jesus Christ has made His second coming, by revealing the spiritual sense contained within the literal sense of the Old and New Testaments, exactly as He prophesied. He is the Lord God Almighty who will rule His Kingdom with power. The new era of His reign has already begun, and our lives are secure in knowing His providential hand is over all good and right things. We use our prudence in the service of His providence, by living according to His commandments and His Heavenly Doctrine. "You shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power the great glory." Amen.

Lessons: Exodus 33.7-10; Matthew 24.15-18, 29-31; De Verbo 3; NJHD 7 www.NewChurchVineyard.org 2005

www.NewChurchVineyard.org              2005

     An on-line family magazine from the G. C. Office of Education featuring materials for all ages focused on a new theme every month.

     The Tree of Life and the Crystal River in June 2005

     The Ten Commandments in July 2005






     "And God saw that it was good." This phrase is repeated five times in Genesis chapter 1-five times for emphasis. Then on day six when man is created in God's image and likeness, God sees what He has made and its not just good, but very good.

     Genesis chapter 1 also contains an invitation: be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that creeps upon the earth.

     The very first chapter of Genesis gives us a big clue, a big hint, as to how we ought to interact with the world around us. The Lord wants us to see that it is good, very good. He wants us to enjoy His creation. He wants us to explore it, study it, to be filled with awe. He wants us to fill the earth with good and useful activities, to be "fruitful and multiply."

     It's important for us to stop and look at the good in God's creation because it represents a much deeper reality. "All of creation" we read, "is a theater representative of the Lord's [heavenly] kingdom." In other words, this world is here to represent another world. This world is here to remind us that an even bigger, more beautiful, colorful, complex world awaits us all-and one that is permanent and everlasting.

     And it is into this world-the spiritual world-that Fred Schnarr, our dear and trusted friend, has entered.

     It is fitting that we get a chance to honor this man because he spent his life shunning any kind of recognition. He avoided "praise" and "recognition" like the plague! If you tried to acknowledge something good he'd done he'd be quick to tell you to "knock it off."


Yet Fred's humility (and humor) is the chief, underlying quality that attracted so many people to him, from so many different walks of life.

     Today we stop to recall the good things of the church which Fred loved and to which he skillfully drew our attention. We will also stop to recall the good and wholesome things in this world which Fred loved and shared with us. We do this together, remembering him as a caring father and grandfather, brother, minister, friend and mentor.

     Frederick Laurier Schnarr was born in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada on April 6, 1929. He grew up in the Kitchener, New Church community and spent his childhood and youth doing the things that boys his age tend to do. Some of Fred's childhood friends and classmates survive him today.

     Once Fred left Canada for his schooling in Bryn Athyn, PA, his life's work and passion would keep him on U.S. soil but his expansive, visionary mind stretched way beyond the borders of any one, country. Fred's time at the Academy of the New Church was a major turning point in his life. His boyhood dreams of being a Canadian "Mountie" or hockey player were replaced with a new vision and love for the New Church.

     Fred married Edna Funk in Bryn Athyn on June 22nd, 1954. Fred and Edna spent 37 happy years together before she was called into the spiritual world in 1992. They had six children. Two of these children, twin boys, James and Frederick, passed into the spiritual world shortly after birth. Fred leaves behind his sister and close friend, Mina, a brother, four devoted daughters, Karen, Sarah, Tina and Rachel; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

     After Fred graduated from the Academy of the New Church Theological School in 1955, he and Edna took up a post at the Sharon Church in Chicago, IL. Three years later, Fred was called to Washington, D.C. to shepherd the flock there and for the next 19 years that congregation got to witness Fred's amazing ability to inspire and lead.


     The story of Fred's years in Washington where he raised his family and where he motivated a whole generation of people, young and old, to start up a New Church School really could fill a book! What made this feat particularly impressive were the overwhelming odds that he and his congregation faced at the time. But Fred never took "no" for an answer and pulled from a seemingly limitless supply of skills.

     Depending upon the task at hand he would play the role of chief-negotiator, organizer, diplomat, counselor, motivator, communicator and, at times, arm-twister! Often he would simply be a "listening ear." And if all else failed, he could make you laugh and forget what it was that was bothering you!

     Sometimes when chatting with Fred-or "dialoguing" as he liked to call it-you'd start to think that the conversation or "brainstorming" session was headed toward a depressingly bleak conclusion but Fred was just "warming up." He had a plan. He always had a plan. He would identify all the potential obstacles that lay in front of the particular issue and would methodically go about eliminating them, one by one. Fred wasn't simply an "ideas" man, a visionary-he was a doer too.

     Fred exercised his remarkable blend of leadership skills in other venues too. For example, he became visiting pastor to the isolated groups of New Church people in the Southeast. Some remember fondly the "mini-assemblies" he conducted at Pineville, S.C., and at Pawleys Island. Fred had a real concern that no one be left out and had an uncanny way of getting everyone to work together for a common goal. One year with the help of a small group of volunteers, Fred managed to draw over 100 people to a church assembly at Pawleys Island.

     From a professional standpoint, Fred's greatest leadership asset was his ability to communicate New Church doctrine clearly and accurately. He was a vision caster.


Fred had a way of repeating doctrinal themes and concepts over and over again until they stuck. That was the secret to his success. His approach was always calm, methodical and persistent. As one church member notes, frequently he would follow a profound reading from the Word with the statement: "Make no mistake what the Lord is telling us here . . ." and then he would expand on it. This steady, methodical leadership from the doctrines served Fred well in his ability to teach and lead.

     Again, from a professional standpoint, Fred had become the acknowledged leader of New Church elementary education in the General Church. After supervising the move of the Washington society to Mitchellville, Maryland, founding Acton Park, overseeing the construction of a new building dedicated to the uses of worship and New Church education, Fred received a call to be the Principal of the Bryn Athyn Church Elementary School in 1978. For the next 10 years, Fred gave strong yet sensitive leadership and direction in that school and to the wider uses of curriculum development, teacher training and support, and many other initiatives. In 1988, Fred became the director of a newly formed department in the General Church-the Office of Education. This office was formed to support our New Church Schools around the world.

     Eight years later, just before Fred's "retirement," the uses of the Office of Education had, not surprisingly, expanded to include a completely new religion curriculum for our schools as well as updated Religion Lessons for isolated New Church families. Everything coming out of that office seemed to have Fred's "signature" on it. And there was one, last initiative which Fred unveiled before leaving office - Eldergarten - a new program aimed at supporting New Church education with seniors which has now enjoyed 9 superbly successful years!

     So we've seen a small sampling of the "good" which Fred saw in the church, the "good" to which he skillfully drew our attention and rallied support.


We've seen the uses he promoted throughout the church. And we've seen them grow in strength and number. We've seen them bear "fruit" and "multiply" over the years. Fred was clearly in his element when he could see the uses of the church finding expression in people's lives.

     Another area which put Fred in his element was his enjoyment of life in general and people in particular. He loved music and singing, nature (especially birds and plants), history, archeology, geology, fishing, traveling to new places (especially the planning that went into it). He had a few simple pleasures like cigars and opera (usually enjoyed simultaneously). He loved working on his rock and fossil collection. Fred stayed curious and full of wonder all his life, pursuing knowledge and truth. Fred loved spending time with his family and friends either at his cabin in West Virginia or by taking driving trips out West. And even though he had the opportunity many times to march off into the wilderness on his own, Fred preferred to enjoy all that was good and true in life with people by his side.

     When Fred moved down to Boynton Beach, FL in 1996, he didn't really "retire." He simply traded in all the official, administrative duties and responsibilities he'd had in active employment and replaced them with all his pet projects - Eldergarten being the chief one. We will remember him for the staggering amount of time and energy he poured into Eldergarten (the story of Eldergarten could fill a book too). We will remember him for his great sense of humor; that twinkle in his eye; that twitch of his eyebrow. And we will remember his wise spiritual counsel, the advice he gave us, not simply as a minister, but as a friend.

     Fred's daughters will remember him for his calm, humble, gentle advice, for the sense of safety and well-being he gave them. He will be remembered for his originality, for rocking the boat, questioning the status-quo, for challenging his girls to "dream big."


He will be remembered for his personal discipline, strong work ethic and sense of use. He will be remembered for his generosity, for the unique way he was a friend to so many people; for the way he honored every individual's beliefs, leaving each person in freedom; and how he seasoned every difficult or awkward situation with humor and silliness.

     Near the end of his life in this world, Fred wrote a book entitled, Thy Kingdom Come. It is a book about heaven - Fred's favorite subject. Fred loved the subject partly because our church has so many uplifting teachings about it but also because he saw the reality of heaven all around him. Any time we want, we can take the invitation of Genesis chapter 1 and see that God's creation is good, very good. This is what Fred spent his life doing, seeing the good, seeing the potential, seeing how good and wholesome uses might be "fruitful" and "multiply." He saw these "goods" in the church, in people, and in nature.

     Fred has now entered the spiritual world, the world he taught others about for 50 years -the world that is so much bigger, more beautiful, colorful and complex than the world he just left. We can picture Fred delighting in the things that delighted him here: music and singing, birds, plants and animals, breathtaking scenes of nature; the vegetation and rocks. We can picture him discovering new shapes and colors. We can picture him exploring and studying this new and permanent world. We can picture him traveling through towns, villages, and cities learning a little history along the way, chuckling at this and that. And most importantly we can picture him being re-united with people, with old friends and loved ones, especially his wife, Edna, his twin boys, and all the other people who made an impact on him during his full and productive life in this world.

     These are the spiritual realities revealed by the Lord in the Heavenly Doctrine of the New Jerusalem; and these are the realities which Fred Schnarr, our dear friend, shared with us-sometimes with humor, sometimes with reverence, and always with humility . . .


for what does the Lord require of us all but to "seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God" (Micah 6:8).


     "And here we come upon that urgent and most single reason for the existence of New Church schools. The Doctrines and the Truths of the Lord's Second Coming and the Scriptures upon which they rest are the most important and useful treasures that we can possibly give to our children. This has been the belief of the General Church from the beginning. It has been our reason for establishing schools in the present, and let us hope it is our reason for establishing schools in the future. As the states of the world deteriorate from the fall of the Christian Church, as the essential truths of religious life are denied and rejected, the spirits of confusion and disorder invade and pressure the new generation. The need and urgency of New Church schools increases with every passing year as something of a necessary means to provide that there shall be with men the enlightenment of the New Christian Religion. There must be knowledge upon knowledge, generals and particulars of Truths and Doctrines from the Writings that are clear and that are certain, well understood and digested; that there may be something of greater intelligence and wisdom from heaven with a new generation. Intelligence, enlightenment and wisdom do not come from mere good intention nor from the inclination and sentiment of natural charity. They begin from and upon knowledge of the Lord and His Word and without such knowledge they do not and they cannot exist;


and this is why we have New Church schools, why we must continue to have them, no matter what the struggle, the effort and the sacrifice that we bring to them."


     Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science

Gwynne Bevan
Edmund Emanuel Brown
Cheryl Lynn Buss
Alan Michael Cowley
Joralyn Suzanne Echols
Reid Christopher Heinrichs
Brooke Herder
Tamera Rose Keal
Lauralyn Ashley Kern
Abbey Christine Lee
Derrick Alan Mark Lumsden
Jessica Lee McCardell
Donald Jeffrey McQueen
Edwin Molaleni Mabaso
Calebe Souza Rabelo Nobre
Irene Wendy Odhner
Kirsten Nicole Schnarr
Brian Donald Smith
Freya Louise Smith
Sarah Marie Walker

     Associate in Arts

John Lawson Cole
Laura Gladish
Matthew Jefferson Glenn
Bronwyn Carlstrom Hill
Robin Hill
Rachel Ann Howard
Jesse Coleman Johnson
Jennifer Grace Lindsay
Ian Malcolm Bryce Lumsden
Jenna Lianne Maxwell
Reade Burton McCardell
Archibald Nii Amaa Ollennu
William Alexander Righetti
Ryan Cairns Rose
Malcolm Glenn Smith
Michael Kurt Thomas





     Charter Day Address, October 2004

     "Water, water everywhere, nor any a drop to drink." Those famous words, based on a line from Coleridge's poem, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," present a picture of a man in the middle of the ocean, an ocean of water, who is nevertheless parched with thirst!

     In the grand scheme of the planet, the ocean actually contributes to the balance of fresh water that is necessary to human life. But the Ancient Mariner's plight illustrates a theme we will be developing in this talk: namely, that water needs to be in the right form and in the right balance with other elements in order to serve its uses - especially in the human body.

     Water is virtually the most important element in our physical life. Water literally bathes our planet! It is the chief means of communication-not only of its own life-giving properties, but of other nutrients. It carries these nutrients in streams and rivers and ocean currents, in the settling dew, in the rain, and in the cloud droplets that are borne to all corners of the earth on the wings of the wind. As these waters of the earth carry nutrients, they also moderate the earth's extremes of temperature. They bring coolness to hot areas, and warmth to cold areas. Water is also the great solvent and neutralizer. It dissolves and carries away all sorts of wastes-diluting toxins as it goes, constantly restoring the "pH" of things to life-friendly proportions.

     Water does similar things within the human body. Water accounts for between 60 and 80% of a person's body weight. A 150 lb person contains about 10 gallons! Water transports nutrients around our body through the blood and lymphatic system, and it does the same on a smaller scale within each cell.


It provides for regulation of our body temperature (both warming and cooling). It carries away wastes and neutralizes toxins.

     Water facilitates these "uses" by serving as a medium in which elements are dissolved-proteins, sugars, and carbohydrates, for example, which serve as fuel and building materials. Especially important is the ability of water to dissolve salts into ions or charged particles. The interaction of these ions between cells literally makes for electricity! Without this "battery" in us we'd have no nerve-action, no muscle contraction, no metabolism, no hormonal communication, no life!

     In order for water to serve these uses the body needs to maintain a delicate balance. Getting and maintaining enough water is obviously important. But the body must also make sure that the water is in the right places, in the right proportions. There are three places that fluids need to be: 1) in our individual cells (that's where about 7 of our 10 gal. of "total body water" is; 2) in our blood (about 1 gal.); and 3) in the inter-spaces around the organs and between cells (the remaining 2 gal.). The body maintains these ratios. What's more, the body needs to make sure that there is the right kind of water in these places. In order to serve as a battery, for example, the water in the cells needs to have a high concentration of Potassium ions, and the water outside the cells and in the blood needs to have a high concentration of Sodium ions. All this needs to be most carefully regulated. If not, we die!

     The stories we read from the Word this morning were all about fluid balance. First we read the vision from Ezekiel-of the fresh water pouring out of the temple in Jerusalem, and flowing down through the parched Jordan valley and into Dead Sea (almost 4000 ft below-the lowest spot on earth!). As you know, the Dead Sea is "dead" because of its incredibly high concentration of salt. It is an example of water out of balance. Salt has been collecting in the oceans for eons, but there it is circulated and diluted by many sources of fresh water.


The Dead Sea has no outlet. And the hot, dry climate in that deep trench in the earth guarantees that evaporation will keep any sources of fresh water from ever changing the balance for the better. But in our vision Ezekiel sees that Dead Sea restored to life by the constant, strong flow of water gushing from the Lord's temple. His angel guide tells him:

It shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there. And they will be healed. . . . And it shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim [villages on the banks of the Dead Sea]; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many. (47.910)

     This would have been striking for Ezekiel to hear. He knew that any fish that had ever been carried by the Jordan into the Dead Sea had died in minutes. Nothing lived in those waters!

     Our story from the Gospel of Luke is also about fluid balance. The Lord healed a man with dropsy. "Dropsy" is short for "hydropsy." (Do you hear the "hydro" in "hydropsy?") Dropsy refers to the abnormal gathering of water in the body. Today we call this condition by various names-Edema (when it's in the limbs), Ascites (abdominal cavity), Hydrothorax (chest cavity), and Hydropericardium (when in the heart). We don't know what kind of dropsy the man in our story had, but it's not important to the spiritual meaning. The meaning clearly relates to lack of balance in matters of truth.

     Water is the symbol for truth in the Word. In fact, it corresponds to truth. That means that in every aspect of the functioning of water in the world we see a presentation on a lower level of the functioning of truth in the human mind. What water does for the body, truth does for the mind.

     We gather here today to celebrate the granting of a charter to this institution-of-learning by the State of Pennsylvania.


And this provides an occasion each year for remembering our root purposes. The Academy of the New Church is dedicated to preserving, understanding, studying, and promoting the truths of the Heavenly Doctrine -those precious truths given by the Lord for the establishment of the New Jerusalem, the New Church. We are "about" truth. That is our business. We are about spiritual water.

     Now our story about the man with dropsy suggests, on the surface, that there is such a thing as too much truth. The poor man had some kind of fluid swelling that was hurting him, and undoubtedly would have killed him. Too much "water" is too much truth, right?

     We know that truth can get out of balance. The Heavenly Doctrine refers to this as "faith alone." This condition is when people have the truth and on that account alone delude themselves that they are spiritually right with the Lord. They can talk well and think great thoughts, but the truth isn't really serving its proper uses in their life. It is not entering into their life, like water into the cells-providing the spiritual electricity for right actions, neutralizing evil thoughts and desires and carrying them away . . . Rather that truth is merely collecting in pockets in their minds and obstructing things. This is spiritual dropsy.

     But let me point out something about dropsy. Dropsy is not itself a disease: it is merely a symptom. Since fluids are part of all functioning in the body, there are many causes of it. I will mention three.

     First, obstructions in our veins are a cause of dropsy. Water enters our body cells through the bloodstream, and is moved around by the heart. When the veins become damaged or blocked, the blood pressure builds up behind the blockage and forces fluid into places where it does not belong. Any number of things can cause obstructions in our veins: injuries, tumors, cancer, lung disease, liver disease, etc.


     Second, when the heart itself becomes diseased, it often pumps harder (initially) in an effort to compensate for its deficiencies; this rise in blood pressure can also result in fluid buildup, especially in the lungs or in the chest cavity.

     A third major cause of dropsy is the malfunctioning of our kidneys. The kidneys are constantly regulating water in the blood, either by recycling it back into the bloodstream or sending it to the bladder to be excreted. The kidneys carefully regulate the amount and kinds of salt in the blood, so that the proper balance of ions is maintained in the different fluid compartments of the body (mentioned earlier). This salt-ion balance is kept within a very narrow and precise range!

     I hope you've been thinking symbolically here, as we've discussed these causes of dropsy. If you have, you've already jumped to the conclusion that having too much truth is not really the problem, though it can appear that way! The problems we face with too much truth are really from things like spiritual heart disease1 -when our "heart's in the wrong place," when our priorities are twisted by some selfish or ugly motive. When the loves that are meant to power the truth throughout our life and apply it, are not right, then all the truth we know and can discuss so intelligently is useless and even becomes an obstruction. . . . Or the appearance that truth is out of balance can be due to our spiritual kidneys not working properly2- when we are not making the careful discriminations and judgments that we need to-to notice and get rid of false and self-serving ideas and attitudes . . .


Or truth can seem out of balance when we are not maintaining the proper levels of spiritual salt3-which is affection for truth-the "affection for truth" being our willingness to be led and affected, not by whatever is easiest or what serves our short-term goals, but by what the Lord shows us . . . These are the kinds of problems that result in spiritual dropsy. And they all have to do with our loves, motives, and priorities.
     1 The heart corresponds to our will and its loves: AC 3883 and series.
     2 The kidneys correspond to our ability to examine ourselves, discriminate, make judgments, so that evils and falsities can be separated, and our life be corrected: AC 5377ff and series, AC 10032.
     3 Salt corresponds to the affection for truth: AC 2455.2. Also to "the longing of truth for good, and the conjunction of both; whence comes healing": AC 10300.9

     We are about truth at the Academy of the New Church. Our charge is to foster a knowledge and understanding of the most vital body of truth given to the human race!

     Yet we live in an age and in a culture that easily becomes impatient with the pursuit of truth, with academic ideas, analysis, theory. We want to move on to practical application. The Heavenly Doctrine affirms that the purpose of truth is to guide and give form to a life of neighborly love, life in society, useful activity. Theoretical matters of faith, we are told, should be for the sake of practical ones, ones that relate directly to life (AC 9297.4). But the Heavenly Doctrine also affirms that theoretical matters are important. They perfect faith and make it more useful-useful in the service of life, especially by freeing us from the evils that stand in the way-which stand in the way of our receiving the blessings that the Lord longs to give the world! Our third lesson suggested how important the investigation of truths is. We read:

True faith, by the abundance of truths cohering as if in a bundle, . . . becomes more lustrous, more perceptible, more evident, and clearer. And it also becomes more capable of being joined with the goods of charity, consequently more capable of being alienated from evils, and gradually more removed from the allurements of the eye and the lusts of the flesh, therefore becoming in itself happier. Especially does [such faith] become more powerful against evils and falsities, and thus more and more living and saving. (TCR 352)


     . . . happier, more and more living and saving . . .

     This perfecting of faith-through the gathering of an abundance of truths, seeing their connection and coherence, growing in our understanding of their significance, confirming them more and more fully in knowledge from the world . . . -this is the work that the Academy promotes. I say "promotes" because, if we are doing our use well, we will be looking to the growth of the Lord's kingdom, the extension of His healing truth to all: to our students, to our church, to people everywhere!

     Today we affirm this mission, and prayerfully turn to the Lord, who alone can keep us in a healthy balance as we rejoice in the "abundance" and "coherence" of the wonderful truths He has given us, and as we rejoice in the promise they hold for the world!

And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there. And they will be healed. . . . And along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their waters flow from the sanctuary. And their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine. (Ezek. 47.9-10, 12)


     As noted on page 166, Rev. Kurt Horigan Asplundh is to become editor of this magazine in July. He is an experienced minister who has the confidence of the members of the General Church. I will continue for awhile as "associate editor."

     I have been editor for a quarter of a century, and I feel that the time of the 2005 Assembly is an appropriate one for the magazine to look to renewal. It will certainly continue to be "devoted to the teachings revealed through Emanuel Swedenborg."




     The journal, Science, is an internationally distributed and widely respected scientific publication. Though this author has been reading it weekly for 45 years, it occasionally presents questions concerning how life arose on this earth and the theory of Evolution without any critical analysis. I have thought about those theories since graduate school days more than 50 years ago from the vantage point of the Revealed Writings of the New Church. From that analysis it has been found that there are direct conflicts of some of those scientific theories with the latter Writings-this even though they are sometimes widely accepted, but uncritically, by many scientists. This discussion is to inform those members of the New Church who may be unaware of these conflicts. Further it will be shown that rational and scientific evidence does not support certain of them either- and are, therefore, false.

     The weaknesses of the theories to be discussed, however, have become more apparent to me primarily because they presume within them there is no causation through an Infinite Wisdom from Infinite Love within Nature. Indeed it presents such origins from Nature alone as its only cause. Because of this it also makes great rational errors even on a scientific level concerning which it is essentially in denial that they exist. It needs to be emphasized in this analysis that science in itself has become an extremely useful discipline whose creation is undoubtedly favored by Divine Providence. Nevertheless, the excesses of its unsupported speculations are also a permission of that Providence allowing what is false to be expressed and thereby accepted or rejected in accord with the state of a person's will. It is hoped that this analysis will help correct those excesses for those of the New Church who have not considered them earlier.


They will be discussed under five separate topics, namely:

     1. The 'Primordial Soup' Theory

     2. Foundations of Science in Philosophy

     3. The Chimpanzee as the Precursor of Man

     4. The Human Mind and Time and Space

     5. Spontaneous Generation and the Species

     They will be discussed in two parts, the first two in one part and the last three in a second part:

I. The 'Primordial Soup'

     Concerning origins of life on this earth a relatively recent issue of Science proposed that "organic compounds accumulated in the primordial oceans and underwent polymerization, producing increasingly complex macromolecules that eventually evolved the ability to catalyze their own replication"-this from a recent article by Bada and Lazcano.1

     These authors refer to the work of Stanley Miller,2 who in 1953 it is said, "demonstrated that important biomolecules such as amino acids could be synthesized under simulated early-Earth conditions." There are, however, a few exceedingly large rational problems with such proposals-they have constraints which are completely ignored in proposing a pathway to arrive at even the simplest living cell. The following mathematical argument is one way to demonstrate the foolishness of the proposed argument.
     1 J. L. Bada, A. Lazcano, Science 296: 1982 (2002).
     2 S. L. Miller, L. E. Orgel, The Origin of Life on the Earth (Prentice-Hall, New Jersey 1974).


I. a. The 'Primordial Soup' and its Mathematical Conundrum

     A first question to consider is a representative mathematical one, namely, "Are these speculations mathematically probable?" The indulgence of the non-mathematical reader is urged to "wade through" the problem to gain at least a general idea of the absurd weakness of the argument as it is now conceived. The above-cited theory ignores the fact that a living cell contains an extensive variety of very large molecules of biological origin. Of particular importance are its catalysts which enormously accelerate reactions critically necessary to maintain the cells of all animals, plants and lower living organisms in that living state. Such catalysts, called enzymes, are all made of very large protein molecules which themselves are made only of 20 "building blocks" called amino acids, all but the simplest one of them being of only two possible configurations in space, the L-(not their mirror images, the D-) forms. All ordinary chemical syntheses produce an equal amount of both forms. This means that for a normal mixture of the 19 L-amino acids such a condition where only the L-form exists in Nature is only one out of a total 524,288 possibilities (2 multiplied by itself 19 times)! The average size of an enzyme is about 300 such amino acids long which means the total number of combinations in any chain of them would be 20 x 20 x 20 up to 300 such multiples of the number and can be represented as 20 to the 300th "power" which is customarily written as 20 300. Mathematical custom has also dictated that this number is better represented as a "power" of the number 10 (instead of 20), which would be approximately 2 times 10 390 or in a shorter form, 2 x 10 390. In much less convenient form this would be 2 followed by 390 zeros, which would take over 5 lines of text to write it and would not at all help our understanding of it. But please remember for a few moments this number-2 x 10 390.


I will refer to it again. This exercise in representing large numbers does have some utility, because, we shall see, it helps lead us to see there is enormous foolishness in what some scientists believe in proposing that the cells of living animals and plants could have arisen by "accident"-they would express it by saying that "living plants and animals could have arisen on our planet in the years since the universe began by 'chance' alone." Let us now look at their proposal and we shall see why the proposal is mathematically impossible.

     Each of the several thousand average-sized enzymes in a living cell has only one of this unimaginably large number of possible combinations (2 x 10 390) for each enzyme. To gain some idea about the implications of this truth we can propose to synthesize by ordinary chemical methods all the possible protein molecules 300 amino acids in length from the 20 amino acid building blocks and see how long it could conceivably take to get two protein molecules which are identical. It is now estimated that the universe is 13.7 billion years old, which is 13.7 x 109 years -this is 120 trillion hours. Though this seems like a long time, it is not infinite and puts a limit on the proposals of the above cited authors, Bada and Lazcano which they have not at all considered. Thus, if one proposes that a) one has a reaction vessel the size of the present universe (which can be set somewhat realistically as 8 billion light years in diameter); b) it contains each of the L-configuration of amino acids in a chemically activated form at a concentration of the number of molecules in their "molecular weight in grams" (a rather standard way of expressing a high concentration chemically speaking) c) one performs one chemical reaction per hour, then dries and collects the products together in a big pile (we will assume we can limit the synthesis of proteins to only 300 amino acids in length), one would accumulate about 1 x 10 117 different protein molecules containing different combinations of the 20 amino acids.


We would still require 1 x 10273 times as long a time to get enough molecules to have enough of them to have some possibility of having two which have the same amino acid sequence. Another way to look at this is to say we would have 1 x 10 273 spherical reaction vessels the size of our universe carrying out the same synthesis of proteins to have the required number of molecules to have the possibility of getting just 2 protein molecules of the same identical sequence. Yet every living cell produces 3,000-4000 molecules of the common "housekeeping" enzymes of identical sequence necessary for basic life processes/day. This is a profoundly different order of magnitude which has been achieved in each living cell-far greater than could have occurred by something like the process proposed to occur in Bada and Lazcano's "primordial ocean." To even propose that such could happen is complete foolishness. Figuratively speaking, then, such oceans "do not hold water" enough to explain anything proposed to take place by "Natural Processes." Yet it is minuscule by comparison with some of the most complex proteins -the largest listed for the simplest plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, is now known to be 5,139 amino acids in length-not just the 300 considered. The structure of all of the proteins of this plant was recently determined from its "DNA base sequences." See just below a brief description of what such "base sequences" are.

     Enzymes and especially very large proteins are intricate molecules of extreme order whose structure is determined by the even far greater intricate order of the DNA "base sequences" that form genes, which form a "code" that specifies the amino acid sequences. Rather than burdening the reader with a further set of complex calculations its final result can be presented that trying to arrive at the number of possible molecules capable of being formed through DNA-determined protein-structural-sequences is even more mathematically absurd.


The proposal that forming a living cell from organic compounds accumulating in primordial oceans undergoing polymerization, producing increasingly complex macromolecules that eventually evolve the ability to catalyze their own replication can be seen to be mathematically-impossible absurdities. Yet "something" must select just the right chemical structures for the living cell to live. We, of course know that is the Lord acting from Infinite Love through Infinite Wisdom Who knows what structural sequences of building blocks of amino acids must be in their right order to maintain the life of the body. We are taught that the complexity of the spirit is of greater perfection (and probably complexity) than that of the body.

II. Foundations of Science in Philosophy

     From its beginnings with earlier philosophers it was established by reasonable argument that there was a discoverable order in the Universe capable of being analyzed by human rationality. Building on this base, the experiments and principles that Galileo laid down in his lifetime (1564-1642) established the first roots of Science as we know it. An analysis from reason of the enormous complexity of biomolecules only began to become possible in the 20th century as the chemical components and reactions of the living cell rose from obscurity. Nevertheless Swedenborg anticipated later discoveries from brilliant analysis of what was then known without actual scientific data. Only the barest minimum was known in 1859 when Charles Darwin published his Origin of Species. Darwin analyzed the marvelous multiplicity of the species in the then current knowledge as well as the Fossil Record about the species which had gone before. Yet he chose as his system of thought the concept of Evolution of one species developing out of a preceding one and Natural Selection killing the "unfit species" as the only principles guiding his philosophy-he did not consider that the vast number of species were formed from an Infinite Wisdom creating them from Itself.


In so doing he actually refused to include this -he had had some religious training earlier in life, which he chose to ignore, proposing instead that Nature alone was the source of the species -that Scientific theory formation-the "Scientific Method"- did not require it. His was a product of "Faith Alone" which so divorced that then dead theology from reason that he could propose a theory which was equally dead spiritually. Yet the Scientific Method does require experimental confirmation of theory and this was ignored until about 1930.

II. a. Spontaneous Mutation as a Cause in Darwinian Evolution

     Darwin's followers proposed that new species arose by spontaneous mutation, i. e., from chaotic modification of the genetic material in each cell. In the 20th century they used mutagenic agents to accomplish it, especially x- and ultraviolet ray irradiation of Drosophila Melanogaster, the common fruit fly. Though a large percentage never survived this harsh treatment those that did were never a new species -only permanently genetically damaged fruit flies with missing parts in their resulting anatomical structure. Such experiments in the remotest possibility that it would have achieved its purpose would have put Science in an extremely, extremely precarious position as seen by the following consideration. Humans are confined in their thought to some sort of rational process even though often wrong. They must derive a ratio (from which "rational" has its origin) between two thoughts connecting them with some sort of logic available to the human mind. If chaos were to become an accepted mode of thought, then there is no "ratio" between speculative thoughts - rationality disappears and with it Science. Thus chaos as an explanation for anything in Science is best abandoned as it was in its earliest beginnings in philosophy.


There seems, however, to be a modern affection for it as an explanation for the development of new species in the theory called Evolution! The Writings very succinctly summarizes its irrational basis under the phrase, "From nothing nothing comes."

     Science never formally abandoned Spontaneous Mutation as a Cause in Evolutionary Theory-it was embarrassed by its failure and no longer mentions it in its publications hoping that literature will be forgotten. It began to discover which parts of the fruit fly's chromosomes were destroyed by mutagenic agents and pretended that was its real purpose in such experiments all the time. Now, however, the complete DNA sequence structure of the fly has been determined, which was a very useful advance. Evolutionary Theory nonetheless was left without a scientifically demonstrated means or explanation by which the species in Nature developed. It could only fall back on Darwin's concept that a normal genetic "drift" occurs which can produce new species when they are isolated geographically. This has never been scientifically demonstrated as to how it can occur. Moreover, it is now severely challenged by the discovery that certain species suddenly appear without evolving at deep-sea hydrothermal vents, where centers of volcanic activity in the very deep ocean develop (see the second article in this two-part series).


     The 2005 Catalog of Publications which we mentioned in a previous issue (page 70) is now in print, and it is beautiful. Beautiful and highly informative. The purpose is to promote materials that present a General Church view of the Heavenly Doctrines. Currently there are four groups represented in the catalogue: Academy of the New Church Press; General Church Office of Education; General Church Publications; Swedenborg Scientific Association.

     The catalogue speaks for itself. If you have not seen a copy, write to New Church Life.


Editorial Pages 2005

Editorial Pages              2005


     One of Dr. Van Dusen's best sellers is a booklet called Uses. People buy it and people really like it. Over a period of about a quarter century it has been reprinted to keep up with demand. There is even a large print edition.

     Here is the way it begins: "The simplest and most powerful method for personal spiritual development in Swedenborg's theology lies in the idea of uses. Part of its beauty is its simplicity which permits carrying it out in the midst of ordinary duties and labor, indeed, in any human act. It can be applied anywhere, anytime, by anyone."

     He writes, "Who cannot serve some use, whatever his place? You are stuck in the world's dullest job, screwing nuts on bolts in a factory. How to be of use? Perform your job well. Reflect on the use to others of the machine you are working on. Be of good cheer to fellow workers."

     A book not well known to New Church people is Returning to the Source. This one was not published by the Swedenborg Foundation. It was published in 1996 by Real People Press of Utah. The dedication page has a quote from Conjugial Love, but the intended reader does not know about the Writings. On page 53 Van writes, "At this point I need to introduce you to Emanuel Swedenborg." He tells the reader that when he first read Heaven and Hell he "found it astounding." He quotes the Writings frequently and in a chapter called "The Play of Existence," he quotes at length about innocence and children in heaven. This strikes me as a book with an excellent potential effect.

     The Design of Existence was published by the Swedenborg Foundation in 2001. In his introduction Van Dusen says that when he became versed in the Writings he pondered the question of whether "other mystics" report on the spiritual world as well as Swedenborg.


"The final answer was no." He found other writers with "rather confusing" accounts, "nothing at all like Swedenborg's great work Heaven and Hell."

     Since he has done an extensive study of mystical writing, his testimony is well worth noting. "All told, nowhere in the mystical literature was there anything remotely comparable to Swedenborg's 27 years of exploration of heaven and hell." He says that Swedenborg's unique experience is "without parallel in the world's literature."

     Here are some excerpts from items in New Church Life. I will not use elision marks as I dip into these articles. In 1997 he wrote a two page article entitled "Swedenborg Among the Mystics." "I have surveyed all the world's mystics for some years now. Evelyn Underhill in her classic Mysticism lists only eighty seven published mystics in the western world in the last two thousand years!

     "Swedenborg is unique in his admission into the spiritual worlds and his description of these. In the entire mystical literature I have found nothing of the stature of his Heaven and Hell.

     "If we are to tackle only one literature, I don't see how we could do better than to explore what Swedenborg was shown. Even when standing among the world's great mystics, he still appears to be a giant."

     In November of 1997 Van Dusen reviewed Basil Lazer's book Temptations.

     "This book compiles the essence of all Swedenborg has to say on the subject of spiritual temptations. I feel Lazer has done us a real service. I just wonder how many other useful books could be compiled from the Writings! The Writings' power and wisdom show up better in a compilation such as this."

     This interest in books taken from the Writings comes out in his review of the book Conversations With Angels.


He likes the fact that Memorable Relations or scenes from heaven are gathered together in one volume. "I have long been convinced that there are many books that could be pulled out of the Writings, each presenting all that is said on a particular topic. For both the scholar and the average person it helps to have these compilations. But to my knowledge this is the first such use of the memorable relations. It is successful and most welcome. In this form one can focus on the scenes and better glean the wisdom from them."

     In 1994 Van Dusen reviewed Bruce Glenn's book The Arts: An Affectional Ordering of Experience. The review comes to three pages. Here is the final paragraph: "Glenn's work clears away some of our ambivalence about art. Otherwise we remain suspicious because it is so much pleasure. He presents hundreds of clues as to this process, many from Swedenborg; but for some reason one stuck with me. Art is a direct way to the depths of the human by bypassing ego or proprium and our normal worldly concerns. No matter how tangled our experience, the art is simply there to be enjoyed, and in its gentle way it puts our affections in order. Based on Glenn's seminal work I now see a possibility of using art as a spiritual practice. This is the product of Bruce Glenn's deep love, and it is most impressive. Art is a fine way to the higher aspects of love itself."


     When the Writings say "my reader"

     In the Gospels we find the phrase "whoever reads, let him understand" or "let the reader understand" (Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14).

     A section of True Christian Religion ends with the following appeal to the reader.


"Therefore, kind reader, look into yourself, search out one or more of the evils within you, and from a principle of religion, remove them; if you do so for any other reason or end, you only succeed in concealing them from the world" (TCR 566).

     Another passage is speaking about imputation, and the false idea that the merit of Christ is imputed to those who are in faith. It concludes as follows: "Who among the confirmed leaders of the present church does not, when that faith is attacked, close his ears as if with cotton against hearing anything opposed to it? But, my reader, open your ears, and read the Word, and you will have a clear perception of faith and an imputation other than those which you have heretofore believed in" (TCR 644).

     In Apocalypse Explained there is a passage which says, "But listen, my reader, and so not say to yourself that this is too harshly or too boldly spoken . . ." (AE 1103). And the next passage addresses us on the way we think of the Divine in the Lord.

     "Those who separate the Divine from His human and do not think that the Divine is in His human as the soul is in the body, and that the two are one person, may fall into strange ideas about the Lord, even into an idea like that of a man separated from his soul. Take heed, therefore, not to think of the Lord as a man like yourself, but think of the Lord as man who is God.

     "Listen, my reader: You may think when you read all this that you have never separated in thought the Lord's Divine from His human, nor in consequence His Human from His Divine; but give attention, I pray you, to your thought when you have directed it to the Lord, and see whether you have ever thought that the Lord's Divine is in His human as the soul is in the body; and whether you have not thought instead, and even, if you please, are not now thinking, of His human separately and of His Divine separately" (AE 1104).



     Last month we mentioned (p. 155) a valuable volume published by the Swedenborg Foundation.

     Here is a book of almost six hundred pages containing several unique contributions to Swedenborgian studies. The documentation of Swedenborg's influence is the most panoramic attempt to date. The bibliography of Swedenborg's work is the most inclusive and thoroughly cross-referenced yet compiled.

     One of the sections is devoted to the subject of Swedenborg's unpublished manuscripts. Swedenborg left behind thousands of pages of handwritten material. In the months and years that followed there had to be people with the love and the expertise to preserve these things and make them available. Someone had to turn the handwritten pages into printed pages, and someone had to translate them into English and other tongues.

     "Most of the scholars involved were fully employed in other careers, and their work was often sporadic. As a result, decades were required to copy, translate, and print the material." So writes Rev. Frank Rose in his section of the volume.

     And this brings us to the good news about what has been achieved in this book. Resources have been made available, so that man hours and woman hours may be devoted to scholarship. The results are grand. The series editor for the New Century Edition of the Works of Emanuel Swedenborg is Jonathan S. Rose. The managing editor is Stuart Shotwell. The editorial committee includes: Wendy E. Closterman, Lisa Hyatt Cooper, George F. Dole, David B. Eller, the late Robert H. Kirven, Sylvia Shaw and Alice Skinner.

     As I begin to explore this volume I am treated to ways of seeing "the big picture" and I continually come upon facts I did not know.


I did not know that in Swedenborg's day it took a traveler about a month to make his way from Stockholm to Amsterdam (p. 126).

     In some cases I may have learned something but had forgotten it. For example, in 1770 the king of Sweden issued a decree against "reviews or translations of Swedenborg's works" (p. 122). Some of the things one did not know are only knowable through new technology. The generic Latin term homo, "human being," occurs approximately 28,300 times in the eighteen published theological works of the Writings. This is far more than the approximately 6,100 combined instances of gendered terms such as vir, "man"; femina, "woman" (p. 61). The Writings devote over five thousand quarto pages to the unfolding of the "spiritual meaning" of Scripture (p. 87).

     In one passage Swedenborg uses fourteen similes in a row to illustrate a single teaching (p 95). We read in True Christianity 348 of an egg producing a bird, the eye of a fish, a colored picture on a transparent crystal, a vine bearing grapes, a star in the sky and so forth. Swedenborg's published works come to 13,924 pages and the manuscripts come to over 28,000 pages for a total of over 42,000 extant pages (p. 388).

     Lists in this book are especially helpful. I would like to conclude for now with a quotation about a list of Swedenborg's works.

     "This bibliography steps beyond previous lists of Swedenborg's works in the following ways: It breaks Swedenborg's output into published works and unpublished works, sorting the former by publication date and the latter by initial date of writing; . . . records the length of the items; indicates what was published anonymously; attempts to identify in the short titles themselves the nature of the work; heavily cross-references previous short titles and numbered lists; and includes six items not listed elsewhere." The paragraph concludes as follows: "It should be observed, however, that this list, despite its innovations, is not the list to end all lists. Much has yet to be learned . . ."


     Swedenborg scholars and readers of the Writings will find this an important addition to their libraries. We salute those who did so much work and those who made it possible.

     Note: This volume of essays is available in paperback under the title Scribe of Heaven.

"A PHYSICAL SIGN OF THE SECOND COMING"       Rutger Perizonius       2005


Dear editor,

     In the January 2005 issue of your New Church Life (received here in Holland on March 23) I read an article by Robert Cooper entitled: "A physical sign of the Second Corning" (pp. 15-18). In this article it is suggested that a certain comet should be this sign. For the possibility of such a physical sign the article refers to Swedenborg's remark perhaps some sign will be given made in his letter of 11th November 1766 to Bishop Friedrich Christoph Oetinger. I will quote the opening section of Mr. Cooper's article:

In a letter that Friedrich Oetinger, a Lutheran prelate, wrote to Swedenborg on October 7, 1766, he asked whether a sign would be given that the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem is true. On the following November 11, Swedenborg wrote back that "signs compel outwardly," but that "perhaps some sign will be given."

This occurred some years before the advent of June 19, 1770, and it is well past time that the historical record be examined to have the question finally resolved.

     Since it is, as ardent follower of the Hague Position, my love to search the letter of, what I call, the Last Testament while at the same time praying for illustration, I do know this reply from Swedenborg upon Oetinger's question very well, because in it Swedenborg clearly answers what the sign will be, namely: illustration.


     If we go back to the original of Swedenborg's letter of November 11, 1766, we will get another impression of it than that given by Mr. Cooper, and this not only as to Swedenborg's answer, but also as to Bishop Oetinger's question (emphasis added):

     "1. Query: Is a sign required to show that I have been sent by the Lord to do what I am doing?

     Answer: Signs and wonders do not take place at the present day, because they compel externally, and internally do not convince.

     What effect did the miracles in Egypt and Jehovah's descent on Mount Sinai have upon the Israelitish people, who, notwithstanding, after the lapse of a month made for themselves a golden calf, and worshipped it in place of Jehovah. And what effect did the Lord's miracles have upon the Jewish nation, by whom He was notwithstanding crucified? The same would be the case now, should the Lord appear in the clouds with the angels and trumpets; as described in Luke XIV: 16, 29-31. The sign, given at this day, will be illustration (Signum hodie erit illustratio), and thence an acknowledgment and a reception of the truths of the New Church; with some also there will be an illustration which speaks (illustratio loquens) [R.L. Tafel suggests that Swedenborg here means himself; R.P.], which is more than a sign. But some sign will perhaps still be given (Sed forte aliquod dabitur adhoc)" (English according to: R. L. Tafel, Documents concerning the Life and Character of Emanuel Swedenborg II, doc. 232, 1875-1877; Latin according to: L. H. Smithson, Documents concerning the Life and Character of Emanuel Swedenborg collected by Dr. J.H.I. Tafel, 1855, Supplement p. 76).


     Moreover, the one and only reference under "comet" in J.F. Potts's Swedenborg Concordance (1888-1902) and D.L. Rose's Additions to the Swedenborg Concordance (1980) is True Christian Religion 339 where we read that the permanence of a merely natural faith may be compared with a comet (emphasis added):

     . . . a faith merely natural, or deprived of spiritual essence, is not faith, but only persuasion or knowledge. . . . Such is the faith of all those who deny the Divinity of the Lord's Human; . . . The permanence of such faith in the human mind may be compared to that of the winds in the wings of Aeolus, and to that of light in a falling star; it rises like a comet with a long tail, but like it passes away and disappears. In short, faith in an invisible God is actually blind . . . and the light of such a faith . . . is a false light. (Hague Position followers prefer the more literal Swedenborg Society True Christian Religion translation of 1914 above modern translations)

     If we neglect that the sign given at this day will be illustration, we will certainly never recognize the sign that perhaps has been given.

Rutger Perizonius
The Hague, Holland


     It will begin on January 29th and close with a banquet on February 3rd, 2006.






     Senior Girls-2004-2005

Victoria Alissa Abele
Lianne Pendleton Adams
Ashley Elizabeth Betz
Sarah Ellen Bibler
Fauve Eden Bouchard
Dayna Brannon
Kristin Coffin
Crista Cooper
Emily Amanda Cowley
Natalie Helen David
Brenna Janet Davis
Meghan Elise Dibb
Hannah Fazio
Katrina Rose Gallagher
Anna Glenn
Elizabeth Audrey Glenn
Rebecca Elizabeth Graham
Louisa Victoria Hill
Beata Horan
Caroline Mattair Jackson
Teresa Dawn Kiel
Melissa Jane Kloc
Abigail Lehne Kruger
Miranda Lenore Kufs
Bronwyn Elisabeth Latta
Kristin Paige Lindsay
Laura Alexandra Lindsay
Eden Naomi Longstaff
Megan Elizabeth Malone
Eden W. McQueen
Nadia Mary Metroka
Katrina Nicole Miller
Mallory Kathleen Nelson
Lamar Berith Odhner
Alina Pedchenko
Jaqueline Pennink
Lindsay Jean Poehlman
Jennifer Louise Robert
Laura Suzanne Rogers
Gillian Rose
Brenna Ashley Schadegg
Blair Merrell Smith
Leslie Blake Snyder
Nicole Kirsten Wille

     Senior Boys-2004-2005

Justin Eric Bowyer
Mark A. Bratzler, Jr.
Jesse Raynor Brown
David Casey Campbell
David Benjamin Cass
Ryan Innes Cook
Jason Wayne Cooper
David Collin Deckert
Cabot Ord Doering, Jr.
Jeremy Dean Fehon
Kaejae Enaking Ferrell
Brendan Dean Gephart
Kyle Edward Giannone
David Benjamin Gladish


Anthony Angelo Griffin
Adam Scott Hammerman
Matt Tamon Heilman
Eric Craig Herder
Stuart Leonard Herder
Daniel Kim
Joe Kim
Clayton Matthew King
Daniel Justin Knipprath
Philip Branch McQueen
Ian Richard Nash
Brigdon Dirk Odhner
Christian Olson Odhner
Dylan Craig Odhner
Daniel Christian Shaw
Robert Garrett Smith
Joram Dean Smith
Johan Emanuel Steiner
Sam Sweeney
Blake William Synnestvedt
Swain Nelson Uber
Daniel Erick VanNote


     In 2003 the General Church Military Service Committee, created over fifty years ago to serve our men and women in the armed forces, was reactivated. Its mission is to connect our military personnel with the church, reminding them that they are remembered and appreciated, and offering them access to religious materials. We now have about fifty-five soldiers, sailors, airmen and coastguard receiving our mailings.

     The Rev. Don Rose leads a cheerful and willing committee, each person doing a small share and thus proving the old adage, "many hands make light work." We have different people responsible for formatting, copying, mailing, financial oversight, contributions and a wonderfully committed group of young women who hand-make Christmas, 19th of June and birthday cards for all of our recipients. In addition to the cards, each service person receives a monthly mailing. Most recently the first edition of Connections (New Church Outreach) was included. In addition, they also receive New Church Life.

     For those of us who serve on this committee, it is a labor of love, so, when we do receive a letter from a young service person performing his/ her duty far from family and home, it is as humbling as it is gratifying. Each letter reminds us of our own obligation to do whatever we can to bring the church to them in some small way.

     If you know of any military personnel who would like to hear from us, please contact: the Rev. Don Rose, Box 277, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009 or email: DonR@bacs-gc.org




     Applications are being accepted for the position of Planned Giving Counselor by the Joint Planned Giving Committee of the General Church and the Academy. This is a part-time contract position, beginning in July, 2005, or as soon thereafter as possible.

     Walter C. Childs III will have served in this new position for a one-year trial period as of June 30, but has declined to continue as he is completing his PhD and wants to concentrate on teaching at the college level. Walter has brought in several new gifts and done a lot to invigorate the planned giving program for the Church, the Academy and local societies. He will continue to offer his experience and expertise as a member of the Joint Planned Giving Committee.

     This is a professional position, reporting to the Development Officer. Responsibilities will include:

     -     Educating members, friends and alumni of the church and the Academy about the benefits of planned giving

     -     Contacting those people who may be interested in making planned gifts to the General Church, the Academy and/or a local society

     -     Providing liaison with legal, tax, financial planning, insurance, real estate and other professional advisers, as needed

     Some expense-paid travel is expected. Appropriate college degree, applicable experience, desired compensation, and demonstrated record of success in sales, promotion and customer service should be provided. We are looking for a person skilled at building personal relationships rather than a planned giving expert. We will not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity or national origin.

     A letter of application, together with resume, references and supporting information should be sent-before June 30 - to: Bruce Henderson, Development Officer, Box 708, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009. For further information please call 267-5022526 or e-mail Bruce.Henderson@anc-gc.org.
Title Unspecified 2005

Title Unspecified              2005


Vol. CXXV     July, 2005     No. 7

     New Church Life





     Rev. Kurt Ho. Asplundh, Editor


Notes on This Issue 2005

Notes on This Issue              2005

     Sunday morning, June 5th, the opening day of the 2005 General Assembly held in Bryn Athyn, Bishop Kline led a service of worship at the Cathedral which included the call to Assembly, the inauguration and ordination of two young men as priests and the administration of the holy supper. The Bishop's talk (included here) provides a powerful introduction to the Assembly theme, "Renewing Our Purpose."

     Find a candid article on "Assembly Impressions" beginning p. 237.

     Providing New Church education has been one of our purposes from the beginning of the church. In this issue, we feature four Assembly addresses organized by the Office of Education under the leadership of the Rev. Philip Schnarr, Director.

     In addition to Mr. Schnarr's talk, "You Can Take It With You," Nathaniel Brock, a teacher from the Oak Arbor Elementary School, makes strong case for the importance of foundations for New Church education in the home.

     Mrs. Greg Odhner, teacher and administrator in the Academy Girls School, writes about spiritual and natural tools the faculty seeks to provide students to help them move forward with confidence toward productive and useful lives as New Church adults.

     Dr. Dan Synnestvedt, professor of Philosophy at Bryn Athyn College, has provided us with insights into how the college promotes the acquiring of true intelligence.

     We include the Declarations of Faith and Purpose made by Michael Ferrell and Jerome Dube, newly inaugurated priests of the church. Mr. Ferrell has been assigned to the Washington, DC Society as assistant to the pastor; Mr. Dube has been assigned as minister to the Clermont Society in South Africa. We wish these men well in their work for the church.

     What should we think about popular theories on the origin of life? Dr. James Brush, also known in these pages for his interest in the Ancient Word, concludes a two-part series on the limitations of these theories.



CALL TO ASSEMBLY       Rev. THOMAS L. KLINE       2005


     Our three lessons, read this morning, describe three events that are taking place at this worship service.

     In our first lesson we read how the Israelites were commanded to make trumpets of silver. They would sound these trumpets whenever they needed to call the whole assembly together, when they were ready to march forward in a new direction, and when they were ready to go into war. We are told the silver trumpets, sounded by the priests "signify the proclamation of Divine truth from Divine good" (AE 700).

     Let us reflect how we are gathered together at this New Church Assembly because of the truth of the Lord's second coming. This truth brings us together, leads us in new directions and allows to go forth in battle in the name of the Lord.

     Our second lesson spoke of the good shepherd, a reference to the priestly inaugurations and ordinations that just took place. When the Lord was on the earth, He said that He, Jesus Christ, was the good shepherd. Then, through His lifelong ministry He gave us beautiful examples of that shepherd. We see the merciful shepherd: the picture of the Lord taking the little children up in His arms and blessing them. We see the healing shepherd: and hear His words: "They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick" (Matt. 9:12). We see the teaching shepherd: the Lord giving the Sermon on the Mount and the multitudes, astonished at His words.

     In welcoming these new priests of the church, we read the following about charity with the priest:

     If [the priest] looks to the Lord and shuns evils as sins, and sincerely, justly, and faithfully performs the work of the ministry enjoined upon him, he does the good of use continually, and becomes charity in form.


And he does the good of use or the work of the ministry sincerely, justly, and faithfully, when he is affected with a desire for the salvation of souls. And in proportion as he is so affected, he is affected by truths, because by means of them he leads souls to heaven; and he leads souls to heaven by means of truths when he leads them to the Lord. It is, then, his love diligently to teach truths from the Word; because when he teaches them from the Word he teaches them from the Lord. (Charity 160)

     Our final lesson was about the sacrament of the Holy Supper. The Lord calls us to gather together in the light of His truth, the Lord establishes the priesthood, and then we respond by partaking of the sacrament of the Holy Supper. The Lord gives us the bread, saying to us, "Take, eat; this is My body." The Lord gives us the wine, saying to us, "This is the blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many."

     Let us dedicate our lives to this great cause of the Lord's New Church. Let us ask ourselves how we might serve. And let us go forward with the Lord's love and His truth and find a new commitment, a new vision, and work for the growth of the New Church throughout the world. Amen.

     Lessons: Numbers 10: 1-10; John 10: 14-16; TCR 711 CALL OF DIVINE TRUTH 2005

CALL OF DIVINE TRUTH              2005

     "To sound horns" and "trumpets" represented and thus signified Divine truth coming down and flowing in out of heaven. . . . They were sounded for convocations and journeyings, because Divine truth is what calls together, gathers together, teaches the way, and leads. They were sounded on days of gladness, at feasts, in the beginnings of months, and over sacrifices, because Divine truth coming down out of heaven produces gladness and the holiness of worship.

     Apocalypse Explained 502:4




     The theme for this assembly is "Renewing our Purpose." For over 100 years the General Church has been very purposeful in providing educational programs for its people. And there is good reason for this.

     We are told in the work Conjugial Love that "without education we are not human." The same passage goes on to say that we are not animals either. We are forms of life that can receive things which make us human. In short, "we are not born human but we become human" (CL 152 repeated; Rogers ed.). And education's important role in the humanizing process was seen by the founders of the General Church in countless passages in the Writings. Here are seven tried-and-true teachings that confirm the need for New Church education:

     -     Knowledge of the Lord surpasses in excellence all other kinds of knowledge (TCR 81).

     -     True order is to become wise from the Lord (AC 129).

     -     The Word is to be taught through parents, teachers, preachers, and especially through the reading of it (DP 172).

     -     Divine influx with a person is into the truth in which he has been instructed (AC 8441).

     -     All instruction is simply an opening of the way (AC 1495).

     -     Before regeneration a person needs to be given all the truths and goods of the Word that serve as the means (AC 677).

     -     A heaven from the human race is the essential end of the creation of the universe (DP 332).

     Without clear doctrinal teachings like these from the Lord about education, the end or purpose that drives our efforts will be shallow and spiritually lifeless.


Although we may properly say that a doctrine of New Church education is "derived doctrine," it is hard to refute a rationale for systematic instruction when we have teachings like the seven listed above.

     More than any other group, teachers are entrusted with assembling an organized, methodical system that will prepare our children and youth to become independent, rational and spiritually intelligent contributors to society.

     We advertised this presentation under the heading "You Can Take It with You." This comes from Chapter 38 in Heaven and Hell called "The Wise and Simple in Heaven." It is a mere 15 pages long, but it is packed with big ideas that can shape the New Church goals we have for instruction. We read:

All in the world who have acquired intelligence and wisdom are received in heaven . . . for whatever a person acquires in the world . . . he carries with him after death. (HH 349)

     Obviously, the above passage does not suggest we can take our natural wealth with us. Material goods don't make the trip. But we can take some things with us, and this passage says that our intelligence and wisdom are not lost when we cross the divide into spiritual consciousness at death. We are told very specifically that after we die, we can see into the interiors of the minds of people in the spiritual world.

     The minds of wise people are seen "as transparent from light of a glistening white, flamy, or blue color, like that of translucent diamonds, rubies, and sapphires." The light of heaven gives them this appearance. This is light that goes forth from the Lord Who is the source of all intelligence and wisdom. In the other world we can actually see what people have brought with them.

     Now contrast the previous image with another one; the image of those in spiritual stupidity:


[T]he interiors of their minds were so closed up as to appear black and in consequence they were unable to endure any heavenly light or admit any influx from heaven . . . their heads down to the nose appear callous like ebony. (HH 354)

     How do people who have become the antithesis of heavenly wisdom and intelligence get to look like this? The Writings explain what makes them a picture of false intelligence and wisdom.

     1. They think only from the sensual level of their minds . . . they believe nothing except what they see with their eyes and touch with their hands. They need physical evidence to believe anything.

     2. They do not acknowledge the Divine, but nature in place of the Divine.

     3. They regard the things of the Word in the same way as other sciences.

     4. They are incapable of seeing anything good or true.

     In Matthew 13:13 these people are described in these words: "Seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand."

     And what do these people take with them to the other life? They could have been first in their class at a top university and yet they have gained only a dark mind, closed to spiritual things.

     Now wouldn't we all rather end up with a shining, well-lighted mind? Achieving this state is not so difficult as you may believe. The Heavenly Doctrine (HH 356) specifies just five steps to attain a mind filled with sparkling gems of intelligence and wisdom. They are:

     1. acquire factual and experiential knowledge

     2. apply all things learned to the use of life

     3. acknowledge the Divine


     4. love the Word

     5. live a spiritual-moral life

     These five steps set out a clear direction for New Church educators, whether in schools, at home, or on the golf course. They provide a beautifully simple framework for how all of us can "lighten up," so to speak. And by this I mean to work diligently to open our minds to the Divine light of heaven and to foster this opening with everyone we work with, live with, and especially those whom we are responsible for teaching. An open mind is a happy mind.

     The formula for this is pretty simple, really. Based on advice from Heaven and Hell 356 here's what I see the Lord telling us to do.

     1. Get a New Church education. Explore the unlimited choices in the arts, the sciences and countless fields of practical learning, but combine this with learning the doctrines that the Lord has given to His church.

     2. Apply your education to the uses of life in service to the neighbor and the Lord.

     3. Acknowledge the Divinity of the Lord God Jesus Christ. Use nature to confirm, not prove His Divine design.

     4. Love His Word. Go to it daily, not just out of habit or as intellectual exercise, but as your source of wisdom and support.

     5. Live a spiritual-moral life. In everyday relationships be a good person, not just because it will make you appear good, but because you intend well for others and this, of necessity, requires shunning evils as sins.

     In Matthew, the Lord describes spiritually wise and intelligent people as being continually perfected to eternity. We read, "To him that hath it shall be given that he may have more abundantly" (Matthew 13:12).


     Though this five-step approach is a straightforward formula for success in New Church education, it takes a purpose-driven mindset to make it happen. The educational efforts of the General Church are all focused on this purpose or end. Those who work in our schools, homes, churches and the Office of Education are dedicated to providing the means whereby minds all over the world can be opened to the Divine light of heaven. The process for becoming human is governed by the Lord, but there is no limit to the activity we can enjoy as His agents in communicating His love and wisdom.

     *     *     *     *     *

Editor's note: The program organized for this session of the Assembly included four speakers, of which three are represented by articles elsewhere in this issue. Mr. Schnarr introduced the other speaker as follows:

     "Dr. Janet Krettek, who is a board certified general surgeon and professor for two medical schools, is speaking to us today about her other profession, a full time profession, that of a home-schooling mom." (Dr. Krettek then spoke extemporaneously regarding her experience as teacher to her two daughters, Rosemary and Caterina, basing her talk on Biblical directives and the advantageous learning environment a homeschooler can experience. Although not available for publication, her talk can be heard online at www.newchurch.org and is also available through New Church Audio at 267-502-4980.)




     Today, I would like to look at the definition of "New Church education" with new eyes. I hope to show that one clear way we can ensure the growth of our Church is by inspiring our parents, pastors, teachers, and young people with a new or renewed commitment to nurture a genuine love for the New Church in themselves and those they influence. I hope you'll see we can't rely on our schools and churches to take care of all the spiritual needs of our children-that we must take it on ourselves.

     Historically speaking, "New Church education" has meant "education in the light of the Heavenly Doctrines for the New Church." To Church educators this has meant that, as much as possible, we bring teachings for the New Church into our classrooms. We teach and nurture an affection for the stories of the Word from a young age, and, as the children progress, we begin to delve deeper into the meanings of the stories. We broaden the students' understanding of the Ten Commandments, try to help them see the Lord's truths in all their subjects, teach about the ideals of Conjugial Love, as well as the realities of heaven and hell. Our schools are places where children and young adults learn how to lead moral and civil lives-where love to the Lord and love for the neighbor are paramount ideas developed in many ways over the years.

     I would like you to consider that while this is what we focus on in our schools, perhaps we should be looking at a broader definition of New Church education - a definition from a different perspective. I would like you to consider New Church education as "education where young people are awakened to living a spiritual life and are brought to love and to want to help grow the Lord's New Church."


     The truth is, in one way or another, we are all New Church educators. We strive to awaken young people spiritually and encourage them to love and live the Lord's truths, we support the spiritual journeys of our friends every time we share a teaching and its application to life, we note the Lord's Divine Providence in our lives, and work to set examples of lives of faith. We are taught that "religion is of life and the life of religion is to do good." In striving to be this kind of person we are indeed New Church educators.

     Over the years I have spoken with parents and teachers about fostering a genuine commitment to the New Church in their children and those they educate. It has become clear to me that while our schools play a significant role in connecting our children's affections to the Church, parents are the ones who hold the keys to open a lasting connection between their children and our Church.

     It is no great secret that our parents play a significant role in influencing us as we grow. Whether they instilled good or bad habits, healthy independence or unhealthy dependencies in us, it is very hard to break the patterns of behavior that we witnessed in our childhood. In my own home, growing up, what stands out most was that one of my parents would always come up at bedtime and say the prayer with me. This commitment to attend to my spiritual development in this way, coupled with regular church attendance made a lasting impression on me.

     With this in mind, I put before you the charge to make one of the things you pass on to your children a love for and commitment to the New Church.

     This should be considered a part of our Church's growth initiative! Keeping the "customers" who have been born into the Church is as important as bringing new ones in. In fact, the Lord clearly commands parents to teach their children about the life of religion. The challenge before us lies in how to make the changes necessary to bring this about.


     One obvious way to do this is to involve children regularly in the various programs and activities the church offers: conscientiously bring your children to church, send them to New Church schools if possible or, perhaps, use religion lessons at home. If Church schools aren't available for the elementary years, there is the option to send them to the Academy Secondary School and Bryn Athyn College. While these can be great things to do for your children and will encourage a feeling of connection between young people and the New Church, there is something I believe that is even more important.

     I'd like to share a story that supports the main point I'm hoping to get across-that it is in our homes where the most vital New Church Education takes place.

     A number of years back, my family was at one of the church summer camps. At this camp was a New Church family who raised five children in isolation from New Church communities or schools. The children all came to the Academy Secondary Schools and most to the College. I had always been impressed by the family's commitment to the New Church and the children's commitment as adults. Four of the five were present at the camp with their parents. I asked each one present, and then their mother, what it was that they felt really "brought home" their commitment to our Church.

     Without fail each of the children and then the mother replied something to the effect, "Dad always thought it was important for our family to have worship together." In such homes, children get the message that turning to the Lord daily is essential for a life that is useful and fulfilling. Just like all those other habits that we as parents pass on to our children, a life committed to spirituality can be one as well. And yet there is no magic formula to bringing this about in our children. Certainly, family worship is one key element, but more likely it is the internal worship of parents and their integrity and wisdom of life that are the real keys.


     The Writings are clear about our role at home in leading a spiritual life. In the Doctrine of Charity we read:

The externals of the body which pertain to worship are: in the home: (1) Prayer morning and evening, and at dinners and suppers. (2) Conversing with others about charity and faith, and about God, heaven, eternal life, and salvation. (3) And in the case of priests, preaching, and also private instruction. (4) And with everyone, the instruction of children and servants in such matters. (5) Reading the Word, and books of instruction and of piety. (Char. 174)

     Raising our children to love and live the teachings of the New Church is quite a challenging thing to do as it requires a certain level of comfort with spirituality and our own ability to be spiritual leaders in our families. The good thing is, friends, we're all in this together! We all want our young people to grow to love the New Church. There are ways, no matter in what stage of family we are, that we can enrich our own spiritual life and the lives of those we influence.

     So how do we go about this?

     Already some of our Church school teachers are teaching the students to lead classroom worship with the support of their teachers and classmates. Helping children become comfortable with classroom "family" worship is certainly setting a stage for their choosing to do so later in life.

     Another way might be for pastors to strongly suggest, in some "but I'll leave you in freedom" way, that couples who come to them for pre-marriage counseling begin developing their spiritual lives together. Let them suggest they should be reading the Lord's Word and praying together just as our minister did when my wife and I began our life together.

     Developing parent groups in your congregation whose focus is on supporting those who want to enrich their own and their children's spiritual needs, might be yet another way to accomplish this.


     And if you are at a later stage of life, turn a deaf ear to the evil spirits that tell you that reading and praying daily on your own, as a family or a couple, is just too difficult or uncomfortable - that there's no way you can make time for it. We make time for so many things that daily feed our natural bodies; let's work to find time to feed ourselves and our family's spiritual needs too.

     The key to many of these kinds of activities, at least for my wife and me, is committing to a certain time that they will take place -they fall quickly by the wayside when not prioritized. We also have found that starting our children with family prayers, hymn singing, and reading stories from the Word from the time they are very young helps establish patterns that become hard to break and are missed by the children when ignored.

     I began this talk by saying that it was my hope to inspire New Church men and women with a new or renewed commitment to actively nurture a genuine love for the New Church in themselves and those they influence -to expand the definition of "New Church education" from the foundational one to include, "education where young people are awakened to living a spiritual life and are brought to love and want to help grow the Lord's New Church."

     As we consider "Renewing Our Purpose" with these Assembly meetings -let's take a look into our homes and see what concrete things we can do there to help achieve this goal.

     "You shall therefore keep His statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time" (Deut. 4:39-40).




     What Tools Can We Give Our Teenagers to Move Forward into Productive, Spiritually Fulfilling and Useful Lives?

     I have brought a tool box to this plenary session. What does this have to do with education and the Academy? As you can see I do not have tools in this box; it is empty. I have only cards with words on them: confidence, will power, self-reliance, empathy, kindness, usefulness, and courage.

     My goals and those of the entire faculty are to provide our students with tools like these to go forward after life at the Academy, so that they may live a life from the perspective of New Church values and ideals. We work on these character attributes every day, be it in athletics, social life or academics.

     Though I have the chance to promote our New Church mission in history and literature, I feel one of my most pivotal opportunities arises within the confines of the course, The Formative Years. This is where I make a special effort to provide instruments to fill this tool box for the students. The setting for the course is a life skills class where the students look at real life situations from the perspective of healthy relationships. It is a great opportunity to teach and examine the need for spiritual ideals and values in a natural world.

     We begin from a foundation grounded in the man/woman relationship and the intrinsic beauty of the differences between the sexes. Today, we live in a world and mind-set where equality is considered imperative in most aspects of life. My goal, however, is to instill with the girls the value of being different from the guys, and that we should embrace these differences without shame. I provide them with both New Church material and secular videos created by Gary Smalley.


We look at various numbers in Conjugial Love and study passages such as number 160 which states: "Women are born love and men recipients of love." Then we read the very next number, 161: "Conjunction is inspired into the man by his wife."

     While studying relationships, we also look at what is really important in the relationship between a man and a woman. A major focus at this point is the fact that we are not our bodies: it is our spirit that is the true essence of who we are. This can be seen clearly in Heaven and Hell 432: "Whoever duly considers the subject can know that the body does not think, because it is material, but that the soul, which is spiritual, does." My hope is that with a solid foundation like this we can move smoothly into more difficult life applications and that our discussion about relationships will contribute to the acquisition of adequate tools for life outside of the Academy.

     Once we move through the material on relationships, specific topics are studied. We look at and examine child rearing and childbirth, foster care, adoption and raising children with disabilities. The students see first hand, and not exclusively through me, what these experiences look like. I invite many guest speakers whose own experience is communicated to the girls. The girls have an opportunity to see, through the stories of women and men in our community, how people live, love and even just cope with their children- each in their own way. They also get to discuss with a parent the impact that a child with a disability has on a marriage and a family. They learn empathy, compassion and kindness.

     Many girls have had limited experience taking responsibility for children. In the Formative Years course the girls also have the chance to experience quasi-parenthood on their own. This is done through a teaching concept called "baby think it over." Each girl gets a computerized baby who cries, coughs, eats and sleeps, all while keeping track of its caregiver. The baby is programmed to react as a newborn.


This sounds simple enough but it is not. The girls come to the project ready to learn and experience the joys of parenting and find that it can be rewarding and joyful but also difficult at times. My hope for them is to see that becoming a parent is a wonderful experience. Children can bring out the best in us and the presence of angels can be felt through them. We see this in Conjugial Love 385: "An atmosphere of innocence flows into little children, and through them into the parents so as to affect them." They learn in a controlled and supportive environment that while being a parent is great, it could be arduous if experienced as a teen.

     After this, we go beyond the subject matter of children and childbirth. We take a look at more difficult life issues such as drugs, alcohol, abortion, eating disorders, premarital sex, abuse and depression. The subjects are definitely more delicate but, once again, through the generosity of community members, the students see some of the mistakes that people make and how the Lord is there to love, forgive and guide them into an opportunity to grow, learn and rise above these mistakes. Some of these serious problems will come up during their lifetime and through the environs of the classroom they can see this for themselves without the pain of their own experience. This is powerful; and I feel that the girls leave my class armed with tools that will help them as they learn to become wise and spiritually healthy adults.

     But we don't stop at adulthood. We move on to the finality of life on this earth, looking at subjects such as old age, grief, dying and, above all, our spiritual selves. This is very important, for the girls get the chance to talk to the elderly and to find out what it is like to grow older. They discover that the elderly may look different from them on the outside but are much like them on the inside. They were young once! There is often prejudice and misunderstanding by both the young and the old towards each other.


This interaction between them is invaluable as it dispels some myths and fosters communication between our young people and those in the age of wisdom.

     We come then to our spiritual selves. It is imperative that students know that we are not our bodies. This is a lesson that is taught repeatedly throughout the course. With so much emphasis on physical beauty, it is hard being teenagers in today's world. We give them a chance to observe and learn through videos and involvement with the elderly that true beauty emanates from within; that our soul and mind are who we really are. As one wise man once said to me, "Our bodies are suitcases, and they wear out just like suitcases." But what is in them stays intact and whole and even gets better and more beautiful. I want to have the students discover that their body is temporary and that the Lord is guiding them always to an eternal life beyond this physical one.

     Now, to return to the tool box. You will notice that this box is now full. The tools my students hopefully have acquired by completing The Formative Years course involve spiritual and moral ideals; leading a life of moral integrity, developing patterns of useful service to others and a knowledge of the Lord's three-fold Word. Yet this class is just one small piece of the bigger puzzle at the Academy. All of our teachers are tremendously dedicated and all contribute to this unique tool box. We know in religion they learn ideals of conjugial love, in the dorms they learn cooperation, charity and inclusion and on the athletic fields they learn to work as a team with perseverance and heart. Our goal is to guide each girl so that she can move forward with confidence into a future life as a healthy, productive and useful woman, making spiritually-based moral decisions. She will learn that through a life of use she can be genuinely happy. Most of all she will learn that the Lord provides His unconditional love and is always there to help her in hard times and in good times, provided she makes use of the tools He has made available to her.




     Good morning. You may have heard rumors that I am going to give you a quiz on the previous talks! Don't worry, I'm not that cruel. However, I do have a short quiz for you.

     True or False? Bryn Athyn College is really only for those who want to be ministers and teachers. False. It is true that we continue to graduate students who become ministers and teachers-were the college to cease doing so, the church would certainly be worse off. Yet this year the number of students graduating from the college with a four year degree exceeded the number graduating with a two year degree, and of these four-year graduates, only one third took degrees in religion and education. The other two thirds earned degrees in biology, English, history, and inter-disciplinary studies. In fact, over the past decade, students have gone from Bryn Athyn College directly into medical school, law school, and a variety of careers. And, in case you missed it, a few weeks ago the college announced its new program in business.

     Amidst these changes, one thing has remained constant: the college's mission to educate students for a useful civil, moral, and spiritual life guided by the three-fold Word.

     According to one college president, "In one form or another, church-affiliated colleges are nearly 1,000 years old. They have survived the neglect of their friends and the opposition of their enemies." Yet during the last century, a majority of institutions of higher education in North America became secularized. A great tide of naturalism swept through major portions of Western culture and of the schools that were not riding the crest of the wave, many were pulled along in its wake. I'm happy to report that while this was, and still is, true of the professoriate, administration, and boards, it is less true of the students.


According to a recent research report, between 70 and 80% of American college students place a high value on integrating spirituality into their lives and are searching for meaning and purpose in life. The students surveyed also said that two thirds of their professors never encourage discussion of spiritual matters. Nearly half claimed that they were dissatisfied with how their college experience provided opportunities for religious reflection. Think about it: this represents a providential opportunity for our college to serve a much greater number of students seeking to incorporate spirituality into their educations.

     Lest we rest in smug complacency, thinking that we are the only ones who even dare to educate for spiritual intelligence, we should remember two things. First, there are other successful religiously-based colleges in the world and, second, there are entrepreneurs outside of academia who have expressed interest in starting such a college or in combining spirituality and education. Here is one example. Cindy Wigglesworth spent twenty years in human resources management for ExxonMobil. She has developed a pyramid-shaped diagram that illustrates her position on the different types of intelligence. At the base of the pyramid is PQ (physical intelligence quotient), and then on top of that is IQ (intelligence quotient), and then EQ (emotional intelligence quotient). SQ, or spiritual intelligence quotient, is at the apex. She says this developmental diagram over-simplifies the process we go through, but it is a useful visual aide to discussing what we mean by "intelligence."

     What comes to mind when you think of intelligence? IQ means intelligence quotient or, typically, how well a person's memory and reasoning faculties work. This is related to what Howard Gardner has called linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence and it is what schooling concentrates upon and most frequently measures.


This is what the Heavenly Doctrines call common intelligence, or erudition (HH 346-53). It tends to be external and worldly. Gardner included bodily, spatial (what Wigglesworth calls PQ), natural, musical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal intelligences in his theory. The last two, how we relate to and understand other people and ourselves, were combined into EQ, or emotional intelligence quotient in the 1990s. Wigglesworth calls the final level on her pyramid "spiritual intelligence," which means "the ability to behave with compassion and wisdom while maintaining inner and outer peace regardless of the circumstances." As we will see, this is a pretty good definition, and she has even developed levels of proficiency to assess spiritual intelligence.

     How do you react to this information? You could think: My goodness! She is so close to the truth that she is stealing our unique New Church treasure! We've got competition. Or, you could think: I am grateful to the Lord that He is stirring the hearts of people around the world to seek wisdom and I look forward to having fellow laborers for the harvest. Perhaps your reaction, like mine, is a mixture of these two.

     The Heavenly Doctrines state that true spiritual intelligence is clearly distinguishing what is true and good from what is false and evil from an interior perception motivated by an affection for the truth itself and its application to the spiritual, moral, and civil planes of our lives. By contrast, false intelligence is reasoning and erudition that is separated from the acknowledgement of the Divine. A person might know many facts and reason very keenly, but because a person acknowledges nature (instead of God) and operates from base and selfish motives, that person has false intelligence. While some people in higher education still doubt or deny the existence of spiritual intelligence, we Neo-Christians assert that there is such a human quality.

     The Heavenly Doctrines also describe spurious or illegitimate intelligence, and this is what I will focus on.


This state of mind occurs when a person fails to see and perceive from within what is good and true, but believes simply because other people say so and then the person confirms this belief. For example, Hollywood movie stars used to claim that smoking cigarettes was okay. Spurious intelligence occurs when we think: "Well, if Rosalind Russell says that L and M cigarettes are 'just what the doctor ordered,' then it must be true-and really fashionable. Besides, Uncle Joey smoked for years and he lived to be 81," etc. etc. While our beliefs about our physical good are important, our beliefs about spiritual good are even more important, and it is regarding these beliefs that we especially want to avoid spurious intelligence.

     What does Bryn Athyn College do to discourage spurious intelligence and encourage true spiritual intelligence? The college offers courses that challenge students to compare ways of thinking, feeling, and living. For example, in Introductory Philosophy we compare a number of worldviews, or fundamental philosophies of life. Here is a list of them: Theism, Deism, Naturalism, Nihilism, Existentialism, Pantheistic Monism, New Age, and Postmodernism. This course gives students the opportunity to reflect upon basic assumptions about reality and general attitudes toward life. Here is a partial list of competing moral and political theories that students study in the second philosophy course: Teleological Ethics or Virtue Theory, Deontology, Utilitarianism, Divine Command, Liberalism, Conservatism, Marxism, Socialism, and Fascism. This course provides students the chance to learn civil and moral concepts while seeing how different ideas are applied and the consequences they have for the human race.

     The college also offer courses specifically in comparative religion, which examines Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. But all of our religion classes contain comparisons that are in the Heavenly Doctrines themselves.


New Church theology itself is written in such a way so as to support true spiritual intelligence and avoid spurious intelligence.

     These academic courses are only one side of the collegiate experience. Just as important is the other side: student life. It is in our student life programs that we support daily expression of the virtues (sobriety, chastity, temperance, generosity, courage, friendliness etc.), duties (public, private, and domestic), and developing conscience-all of which support the formation of spiritual intelligence.

     Friends: it is clear to me that the era of isolationism for the New Church is over.

     In an age when information about every conceivable philosophy of life and religion is available to anyone who has access to the internet, and a century in which it will become increasingly common to be born in one country, receive some education in another, and work in a third, it is practical to understand how other people think and live so that we can act with charity. The great dream of the Enlightenment philosophers, including Swedenborg, to democratize knowledge, is continuing to become a reality. This is happening, I believe, because the Lord is providing for a shift from historical faith, to rational faith, on a global scale. So our students do not become spiritually intelligent by remaining ignorant of their options. Rather, they become spiritually intelligent by learning about their options and then reflecting upon them from the Heavenly Doctrines. We must be in the world, but not of the world.

     If we have gone through the process of building spiritual intelligence ourselves and have lived the truth of the Word, then we can have confidence that our well-disposed students will also find that of all the religions and philosophies this planet has to offer, the teachings of the New Church contain the most truth that can be put to good use.


If the Lord is truth itself and we trust that He will lead us into all truth, then we need not fear other people and the investigation of other views.

     Now you might wonder, how do we know that these college courses actually have the desired effect? We know because the students tell us. Students report that such courses give them the confidence and background to think about who they are and what they really believe. They tell us that their beliefs have been clarified, tempered, and contextualized. As one young woman wrote: "I have learned so much about the world around me, not only the specifics about how other people view life, but I have learned how to reason about worldviews and decide what I think. After using my new skills, I actually found myself coming back to Swedenborg and the life of Theism." Upon completing his philosophy courses, a young man said: "I now realize what I am choosing to believe and what I am not choosing to believe. I appreciate that." A second year student wrote: "I can't say that my views concerning any of these basic ideas have changed, but I can say they've been focused considerably. I now know why I believe what I believe."

     By attending Bryn Athyn College, we can guarantee that we give students not just the opportunity to open their interiors, but challenge them to develop those interiors-all the way up to the spiritual level at the top of the pyramid-by learning spiritual, moral, and civil truths in the classroom and beyond. This is what makes for wise and intelligent, not simple, adults.




     There were those who did not feel enthusiastic about this mammoth Assembly beforehand, but by the time it was over everyone that attended had caught the spirit and energy of renewal. From Bishop Tom Kline's warm welcome, illustrated by his favorite quotations from the Writings, to the moving pageant of Noah that closed the Assembly, depicted with beautiful simplicity and innocence by the children, the experience was stimulating and inspiring.

     In the months leading up to June, several expressed the opinion that inviting everyone in the Church, young and old, to the Assembly would make it too big to work. Wouldn't it be better from now on to have smaller, more manageable local assemblies?

     Because of the amazing preplanning, the multitude of physical details that loomed a rocky mountain, seemed to flow smoothly as a river. Especially appreciated was the way in which young people from the Bryn Athyn College and the Academy Secondary Schools worked cheerfully alongside members of the Bryn Athyn Society to carry through the diverse and demanding schedule. Each group: children, teens, young adults, and older adults had their separate programs, yet came together for meals and activities, such as the delightful musical evening Family to Family, that involved family groups of all ages both as audience and participants.

     The sense of the unity of the world-wide Church was a very powerful part of the Assembly. It began with the Asian Gathering and ended with the procession of the flags of the nations. People came from many different countries, representing in person the spread of the New Church around the globe.


Those who stayed home, especially children, were shown to us in a video made by two young men-New Church explorers who went to Africa, Australia, Korea, and other places where congregations are growing. The idea was stressed by all four plenary speakers and reinforced by several workshop presentations that the Lord wants His Church to grow. Bigger is better.

     One thing that had disturbed some people in reading the preliminary listing of Assembly offerings was the apparent lack of doctrinal studies. Perhaps the titles were misleading, for it was evident in the daily worship services, the plenary sessions, and also in the afternoon workshops that the doctrines of the New Church are alive and well in our midst. The greatest moment of affirmation during the Assembly came in response to the pledge that the General Church will remain whole-heartedly committed to the belief that the Writings are the Word of God. They are the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ. Doctrine is being taught in our schools and studied and applied to the life of the individual and the Church all over the world.

     During the Assembly the Cathedral served as a meaningful and welcoming center for the whole General Church. The uses included: worship, the ordinations of two new priests, praise to the Lord sung in the Gloria by Vivaldi, communication with others, food for mind and body.

     Of the many materials prepared and distributed in time for the Assembly, two might be specially mentioned. The new Liturgy, bound in blue, about a half-pound easier to hold, has new songs as well as old favorites, some restored to the original versions. It was used during worship services at the Assembly and was well received. Also, New Church Vineyard: A Collection of Resources for Religious Education, a data CD with over 4,000 entries, put together by the Office of New Church Education for use by families, schools, and societies.




     A Few Miscellaneous Comments from Those Who Attended

     "For me the Assembly opened on Sunday morning with the ordinations and the Holy Supper - a wonderful and uplifting service."

     Four bishops were on the Cathedral chancel to serve communion. One of them remarked afterwards, "Bishops are the fastest growing section of the General Church."

     "Prescott Rogers' review of Church History gave me new perspective on the place of the New Church among the Lord's specific churches on earth."

     "I can see from the Rev. Appelgren's workshop that a greater knowledge of correspondences could help in uncovering the internal sense of the Word."

     "I almost didn't come [referring to Bobbie Hitchcock's workshop] because I'm used to hearing ministers speak from doctrine on this subject, and I didn't think I wanted to hear a woman talk about the correspondence of the heart and lungs to the male/female relationship. However, your approach has been well researched, informative, candid yet delicately expressed. I'm glad to be here."

     "Peter Buss linked the affirmative principle to the practice of charity in life situations. This gives a new slant on love of the neighbor."

     "Outreach through fiction given by Naomi Smith was an encouragement for those like me who would like to try putting New Church ideas into a readable story."

     "When the Lord says, 'I make all things new,' it could be mistaken for novelty, but it's renewal, a renewal of the covenant between God and humankind."

     "I feel there is new enthusiasm and affirmation, a sense of happiness in use in the leaders of the Church and the Academy. It makes me hopeful for the future."


     "The final session, where Tom Kline presented his vision for the New Church, was thrilling!" "The highlight of the Assembly." "He so clearly stated how we're doing things and what it gets us. Then, gave specific ideas on how we can move forward."

     As Bishop Kline said in his Cathedral talk Sunday morning, "The Call to Assembly:"

     "Let us dedicate our lives to this great cause of the Lord's New Church.

     "Let us ask ourselves how we might serve.

     "And let us go forward, with the Lord's love and His truth, with new commitment, a new vision, to work for the growth of the New Church throughout the world."
www.NewChurchVineyard.org 2005

www.NewChurchVineyard.org              2005

     An on-line family magazine from the G. C. Office of Education featuring materials for all ages focused on a new theme every month.

     The Ten Commandments in July 2005
     Worship as a Way of Life in August 2005




     Our new Liturgy for the use of the General Church of the New Jerusalem was used for the first time during the Assembly in Bryn Athyn, and is now available from the New Church Bookstore (www.newchurch.org). It incorporates a number of changes that will be welcomed by many in the General Church. A report in New Church Life in January 2004 detailed many of the changes such as:

     -     a listing of many of the new or changed hymns

     -     a new numbering system (ending confusion about having multiple hymns or recitations with the same page number)

     -     reformatted music, reducing the number of page turns and making more efficient use of space.

     It is worth noting a number of features not mentioned in that article:

     -     The new Liturgy has over 100 added songs, including a wide variety from traditional, well-loved hymns to new contemporary hymns.

     -     Many of the new songs are by New Church composers and authors.

     -     About 70 new recitations have been added, mostly shorter ones appropriate for elementary school children.

     -     There are now 12 offices, 6 using words from the 1966 Liturgy and 6 with new words from the New King James Version.

     -     Though the number of pages is the same as the previous liturgy, a lighter weight of paper was used so it weighs less.

     -     For the first time, we are offering a large print edition of the Liturgy (see samples on next page).


     -     The Liturgy is a lovely canvas blue.

     -     The price is now only $8.

     I would like to thank the committee, including Tom Kline, Terry Schnarr, Margit Irwin, Alaine York, and Jeremy Simons for the many decisions which have brought this revision to a successful conclusion.





     In the first part of this two part series we described two topics in modern Science with major rational conflicts in them:

     1. The 'Primordial Soup' Theory; 2. Foundations of Science in Philosophy. In this second and last part there now follows the last three topics: 1. The Chimpanzee as the Precursor of Man;

     2. The Human Mind and Time and Space; 3. Spontaneous Generation and the Species.

I. The Chimpanzee as the Precursor of Man

     Darwin and his followers have much affection for proposing that men developed out of a forerunner to that species, arguing that every species developed out of a prior precursor species and that the fossil record demonstrates this. We must not deny their hypothesis, for that is part of the Scientific Method. Nevertheless, we must ask them again to utilize the current molecular genetic tools to demonstrate clearly that a short-lived species can develop in isolation into a new species, so we will know the process and can use it usefully to achieve some useful result. If they cannot, then Science should move on to something more useful. But let us return to the chimpanzee and man, for there is yet a great rational gulf to overcome, which is this: Charles Darwin could propose that men are related to the apes through prior species and in particular to a forerunner of the chimpanzee and man. It cannot yet be claimed that this is a scientifically supported hypothesis. Leaving that question aside, the very fact that it was proposed creates the problem-neither the chimpanzee or other ape has ever proposed that he is related to man and no one has as yet proposed that those species ever will!


It takes a considerably developed mind to rationally (and by consecutive rational thought processes) produce such a hypothesis, and chimpanzees and apes do not possess the slightest apparent capability to think consecutive 'ratio-nally' related thoughts and formulate such a theory. Neither do they have the capacity by similar consecutive thought processes to derive Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus; symphonies like those of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, etc. and a host of other strictly human capacities that no other animal possesses, and Darwin wisely never proposed that they would ever have such ability. Succinctly his postulate, therefore, disproves the hypothesis. It is said that the genes of the chimpanzee have 95% identity with those of men, but those genes actually studied can be on different chromosomes -a first major discrepancy that could finally discredit any relationship. In their so-called intelligence, it is known they are surpassed by parrots and macaws.

     Man, though, of all the animals is exceedingly different, not by his body, but by his rational mind. He can indeed think on a sensual nonconsecutive level of thought-certainly an infant passes through this level which is similar to that of animals such as the chimpanzee. But he can later rise to a level of consecutive rational thought which is totally unique to man, and from it formulate theories -this is unattainable by any animal. By it he can reflect on his affections and actions as being good or evil, his thought as being either true or false-and this from theistic revealed systems of thought-or their human-derived atheistic ones. Since these latter are opposites, one must be true and the other false. Nevertheless, the choice is from affections of the will, and each one marshals evidence and thought to support his affection. In terms of numbers, of course, those who choose theistic systems of varying degrees of rationality greatly outnumber their opponents. All other animals who follow an instinctual level are obviously devoid of such capacity.


It can be proposed that the instinctual thought of nonhuman animals is simultaneous with the affectional motivation driving it, and cannot rise above it to consecutive 'ratio-nal' thoughts. Though the human body resembles those of a multitude of other species, the human mind controls the voluntary actions of the body, putting them as well in a category in which evolutionary theory has little if any capacity for analysis. But since the latter is produced from the human mind, it cannot claim the right to not be limited by rational considerations such as those presented herein.

II. The Human Mind and Time and Space

     Of pertinence to the above, however, is also the introspective insight of the Writings that the human mind is, in itself, not in a time-centered universe, but in a mental-state-centered one. It can calculate on paper what has happened millions and billions of years ago, but it cannot think of the difference between those intervening times in themselves-the difference between ten thousand and ten billion years being foreign to human thought. To think of what happened exactly one hour ago requires constantly consulting the watch on the wrist to be reminded that such a time has elapsed. The Writings point to this as a proof that the mind is in the timeless Spiritual World rather than in the world of nature. One's own body, however, separate from the inner world of spiritual state, is in the world of nature and is outside the human mind-one's own body-his heart beat at rest seems to be following a chronometric order separate from his own thought and affection. Moreover, imagination and thought can be taken to a particular place-perhaps even one containing dinosaurs, former continents, galaxies and even one's wife-without the body changing its position. The mind-spirit therefore can think and speak from time and space while being in a world apart from it.


From this perspective, therefore, Science's battle with literalist religionists over the age of the universe and of dinosaurs is one of useless moment on the part of both contenders.

III. Spontaneous Generation and the Species

     Yet, if Darwin's Theory of Evolution is false because it invokes nature as its creator, what is there in its place? The Writings argue that nature in and of itself is dead and all causes of things natural are from the Spiritual World. New species spring forth into nature fully formed initially, it is argued, from thought and affection of those from that world when they ". . . are infilled with corresponding matters from the earth and thus fixed . . ." in nature.1 This is quoted from a conversation in the Spiritual World between two presidents of the English Royal Society, Sir Hans Sloane and Martin Folkes, about the existence of seeds and eggs, in relation to the productions from them on earth. Sloane argued from a position not too distant from that of Darwin, ascribing these things to nature, asserting that to her had been given by creation the power and force for producing things by means of the heat of the sun. The Writings' teaching is somewhat like that espoused in the 19th century called Spontaneous Generation, and presumably disproven by Louis Pasteur. Yet it can be said that what Pasteur demonstrated was only how it could not occur. Spontaneous Generation probably is occurring rather commonly, but Pasteur's pronouncement has held such influence over Science that it is always assumed that what is being observed is only a slight variant of sexual reproduction in both plants and animals. Recently, however, a phenomenon has been discovered that can only be an example of Spontaneous Generation.


In the Pacific Ocean at mid-ocean ridges where two tectonic plates meet, geothermal vents are produced from very hot, volcano-like magma below it, releasing metallic and hydrogen sulfides (the latter being 'rotten egg' gas) in extremely hot water (over 700 degrees Fahrenheit, but which cannot boil because of the very high water pressure at those great depths). The Navy underwater research vessel called Alvin, built to withstand those pressures, began to study these vents in 1977. Somewhat later they discovered that surrounding them were abundant, very unusual sea life communities-giant tube worms, huge clams, and mussels. Extremely unusual bacteria were also present as well, which utilized the chemical energy bound up in the sulfides to provide them cellular energy to maintain their life. In turn, the tube worms, clams and mussels consumed the bacteria to maintain their life. The journal Science recently reported that such geothermal vents have now been found to occasionally disappear-and with them the entire community of sea life surrounding them. Other vents come into existence at considerable distances from the one that disappeared, and with them arises the whole community of sea life like the first one. The sulfide-metabolizing bacteria and tube worms are never found in sea water apart from the geothermal vents. Though Science does not draw this conclusion, any other explanation than that they arise by Spontaneous Generation seems to be untenable.
     1 Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 344 SIR HANS SLOANE'S BIRD 2005

SIR HANS SLOANE'S BIRD              2005

      [A] beautiful bird appeared to Sir Hans, and he was told to examine it to see whether it differed in any least particular from a similar bird on earth. . . . He was told to do this, because he knew that it was only the affection of some angel in his vicinity represented as a bird, and that it would vanish or cease to exist along with the angel's affection, as also happened.

     Divine Love and Wisdom 344





     The Lord has made His Second Coming in the revelation of the Writings for the New Church. He has come and He is coming now and will continue to come to everyone who believes in Him and obeys His commandments.

     I believe in the one God, our Lord and Savor Jesus Christ in Whom there is a Divine Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit; the Father His Divine Love, the Son His Divine Human that He assumed in the world, and the Holy Spirit, His Divine use and operation that proceed from Him and sustain the universe and the life of all people.

     I believe further that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Lord is present in the Word and comes in His Word revealing Himself to everyone who believes in Him and keeps His commandments.

     I believe that while in the world a person should shun evils as sins against the Lord and the neighbor and instead should live a good life of use and service to other people according to the commandments in the Lord's Word.

     I believe that marriage is a holy covenant between one man and one woman and proceeds from the Lord as His free gift. All married partners who dwell together on earth and acknowledge the Lord in heart and in life, after death continue living together as angels in heaven.

     Finally, I believe that there is a spiritual world and the Lord has provided that after death all people in the world who have believed in God and have lived a good life according to their religion continue living as angels in heaven.

     My purpose is to be a good and faithful servant of the Lord and to you, His people. This is my prayer: O Lord, teach me Your truths. Help me to humble myself before You and submit to Your will.


Help me to lead Your people that they may see You in Your Word and in their lives that they may trust in You alone and turn their hearts to You, 0 Lord our God and Redeemer.


     I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ: the Almighty and Everlasting God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Redeemer and Savior of the world.

     I believe in the Sacred Scripture: the Word of God, the Fountain of wisdom, the Source of life, and the Way to heaven.

     I believe in the Second Coming of the Lord, in the spiritual sense of the Word and in the Heavenly Doctrine of the New Jerusalem.

     I believe in the new angelic heaven, in the New Christian Church, in the communion of angels and people, in repentance from sin, in the life of charity, in human resurrection, in the judgment after death, and in the life everlasting.

     Lord God Jesus Christ, I pray, hear the words of your committing servant. I beg you to hear the renewal of a covenant I have promised to keep eighteen years ago. Lord, I vow on this day before You and Your people in Your house, to be a steward of Your house. I vow to be a servant that will serve You and only You. Bless me with a discerning of heart. Help me send Your Word to all the nations of the world, for Your Glory. Strengthen me in a journey that I am beginning today to eternity, to follow You and worship You all the days of my life. Amen.


Editorial Pages 2005

Editorial Pages              2005


     With this issue, we begin a change in the editorship of this publication. The Rev. Donald Rose has served as editor of New Church Life for the past 25 years! His selection was confirmed at the 28th General Assembly held in Canada in 1980. At the time, the acting editor wrote: "We hope that he will be in this position for a number of years." Little did he know then that Mr. Rose was destined to join the notable short list of editors of the Life whose terms of office have been remarkably extensive and distinguished. Since 1900, these have included the Rev. Carl Theophilus Odhner (for over 16 years); the Rev. Dr. William Caldwell (32 years); and the Rev. W. Cairns Henderson (23 years). To this record we can now add Mr. Roses' 25 years. These years of editorship are a testimony to the dedication and love for the General Church demonstrated by these gifted men. At the Assembly, Bishop Kline paid tribute to Mr. Rose for his quarter of a century of faithful and talented service. The Assembly responded with enthusiastic applause.

     2005 ASSEMBLY

     Some people have lost count. It was the 34th General Assembly for the General Church but more likely will be remembered as the Assembly of 2005. One of the unique features of this Assembly was the inclusion of programs for children and teens. The overwhelming sense was that it was a successful and uplifting gathering of nearly 1500 people. In this issue, we include some Assembly items. More will follow in the coming months.




     In the 19th chapter of the Gospel of John the reader is suddenly addressed. "And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe" (verse 35).

     Again in John: "These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing, you may have life in His name" (20:31).

     There are places in the Writings with such addresses to the reader, for example True Christian Religion 484. "But, my friend, shun evil and do good, and believe in the Lord with all your heart and all your soul. And the Lord will love you and give you a love of doing, and faith to believe."

     The reader is called "my friend" here and in at least seven other passages in True Christian Religion. Some of them have an affectionate tone like the one just quoted. For example we read, "My friend, go to the God of the Word . . . and you will be enlightened; and then as from a mountain top you will see for yourself the goings and wanderings, not only of the many but your own also previously in the dark forest below" (TCR 177).

     "But, my friend, do not put your faith in any council, but in the Word of God, which is above all councils" (489). At least three times in True Christian Religion one is addressed as "reader." We will close here with a quotation from Apocalypse Revealed.

     "Do thou, therefore, my friend, go to the Lord, and shun evils as sins, and reject faith alone, and then your understanding will be opened, and you will see wonderful things, and be affected by them" (AR 914).




     The June issue of the Reader's Digest has a brief letter about prayer. A professed atheist anonymously wrote: "Most Christians believe God is all-knowing and has a plan. So if you pray to God to cure you of cancer, you're asking Him to change His plan for you. When God hears your prayers and changes His plan, does that mean He was not all-knowing before?"

     I didn't feel capable of responding effectively in the extremely brief letters the Digest prints. I sent one that has little chance of being printed, but I took the occasion to write a much longer article to a newspaper on the subject, and I will quote part of that article presently.

     Three things strike me about the atheist's question. First, it assumes that cancer is part of God's "plan." What God "permits" is not His intent. Second, it implies that if you tell God something, then He wasn't all-knowing before that.

     The Writings say, "The Lord knows it already; but still the Lord wills that a person should first ask, in order that it may be as of himself" (AR 376). Compare the saying in Matthew 6:8 that the Lord knows "before you ask Him."

     The third matter has to do with God changing His plans. Here is the way my newspaper article concluded:

     "Now, I am going to suggest to you that, although God is changeless in His purpose, He is changing plans for you all the time. God's plan for you is for you to be a kind, thoughtful, humble person, and to do the right thing at all times. You were put on earth to do good, to develop angelic qualities and eventually to go to heaven. Think of yourself as a cute little baby beloved of God. Will that baby grow up and live a perfect life? You know the answer to that.


     "You make mistakes, and you even make selfish choices. God is ready with an amended plan every time you make a choice that is not ideal.

     Suppose in your life, you turn your back on God. Is that the end of the story? Has the plan failed? No. There is a new set of circumstances, and God in His constant love for your welfare invites you to pick up the pieces and try anew.

     "In the book Divine Providence, theologian Emanuel Swedenborg says that God's purpose in each human life is a journey to heaven. But he says not to think of this as if it were an arrow shot from a bow. Once an arrow leaves the bow it is on its own, and if it gets deflected slightly at the outset it will go very wide of the distant mark.

     "No, it is not like that. From infancy God is making accommodations, "adjustments" if you please. If you stray a little, He goes looking for you. Your free choices are vital. Suppose you ask Him to help you see more clearly. He responds most willingly.

     "By the way, I regard atheism as a form of blindness, that is, an inability to see wonders in creation and in human lives. When Jesus healed blind people He asked them if they wanted to see. They needed to want sight and to seek sight, and he responded, and they walked thereafter in new light."

LORD'S PROVIDENTIAL CARE              2005

     The nature of the Lord's Providence is such that it is linked together with Foresight; the one does not exist without the other. For evil things are foreseen, but good ones are provided; and the evils things that are foreseen are constantly being turned towards what is good by means of the Lord's provident arrangement, since the Divine end, which has good in view, governs everything. Nothing is therefore allowed to happen except to the end that something good may come out of it.

     Arcana Coelestia 6489



ORDINATIONS              2005


     Dube-At Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, June 5, 2005, Jerome Dube into the first degree, Rt. Rev. Thomas L. Kline officiating.

     Ferrell-At Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, June 5, 2005, Michael Eugene Ferrell into the first degree, Rt. Rev. Thomas L. Kline officiating.


     It will begin on January 29th and close with a banquet on February 3rd, 2006.


LITURGY 2005 2005

LITURGY 2005              2005

     General Church of the

     New Jerusalem

     $8.00 US


     Lord, We Pray Thee

     From the Eastern Mountains Unto Us a Child Is Born Blessed the Man

     March On, March On

     Psalm 19


     The Lord's Prayer (Childs) Jacob and Rachel

     The Lord's Last Words At God's First Word

     I Will Lift Up My Eyes Myriad

     LITURGY 2005 Large Print

     $8.00 US


     Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee Lo, How a Rose

     Beauty for Ashes

     As We Gather

     Obey My Voice

     Here I Am, Lord

     Non Nobis, Domine



GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2005              2005

     Renewing our Purpose

     Available on CD or Cassette

     Plenary Sessions - Audio Recordings

     1. What on Earth are We Doing Here? - Rev. David Lindrooth

     2. New Church Education: You Can Take It With You - Rev. Philip Schnarr

     3. Who and What Is the Church? - Rt. Rev. Brian Keith

     4. Renewing Our Purpose - Rt. Rev. Thomas Kline

     Workshop Presentations - Audio Recordings

     1. A Message to All People: A Vision for Tiered Mass-Media Evangelization - Rev. Jonathan Rose

     2. Seek Ye the Kingdom of Heaven First - Peter Rhodes

     3. The Trajectory of Church History and Future of the New Church - Rev. Prescott Rogers

     4. Embracing the Challenge - Rev. Kurt Horigan Asplundh

     5. Live Your Best Life: Recognizing and Using Your God Given Gifts - Anna Woofenden

     6. The Doctrine of Genuine Truth: Open the Door To the Word - Rev. Goran Appelgren

     7. Responding Affirmatively - Rev. Peter Buss, Jr.

     8. Resolving Contradictions In Our Understanding of God - Ned Uber

     9. Psychology and Religion - Soni Werner

     10. Microboundaries: Protection of Love - Rev. Mark Carlson

     11. Marriage In All Its Aspects - Julie Conaron and Nita Holmes

     12. "Mythos" and "Logos" In the New Church - Beryl Simonetti

     13. Marketing the New Church - Chuck Ebert

     14. Explore the New Liturgy - Chris Simons and Terry Schnarr

     Sunday Worship Services - Audio Recordings

     1. The Call To Assembly - Rt. Rev. Thomas Kline, adult service which includes the ordination into the Pt degree of Candidates Jerome Dube and Michael Ferrell

     2. Two Witnesses - Rev. Jeremy Simons, family service

     Prices: Cassette $3.00, two-cassette set $4.00 or CD $5.00, two-CD set $6.00

     To order contact: New Church Audio, PO Box 752, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009-0752 267-502-4980 or newchurchaudio@newchurch.org

     Note: Invoices will be included with your order.



GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2005              2005

     Available on CD or Cassette Renewing

     Our Purpose

     ASSEMBLY 2005

     Plenary Sessions - Audio Recordings

     1. What on Earth are We Doing Here? - Rev. David Lindrooth

     2. New Church Education: You Can Take It With You - Rev. Philip Schnarr

     3. Who and What Is the Church? - Rt. Rev. Brian Keith

     4. Renewing Our Purpose - Rt. Rev. Thomas Kline

     Workshop Presentations - Audio Recordings

     1. A Message to All People: A Vision for Tiered Mass-Media Evangelization - Rev. Jonathan Rose

     2. Seek Ye the Kingdom of Heaven First - Peter Rhodes

     3. The Trajectory of Church History and Future of the New Church - Rev. Prescott Rogers

     4. Embracing the Challenge - Rev. Kurt Horigan Asplundh

     5. Live Your Best Life: Recognizing and Using Your God Given Gifts - Anna Woofenden

     6. The Doctrine of Genuine Truth: Open the Door To the Word - Rev. Goran Appelgren

     7. Responding Affirmatively - Rev. Peter Buss, Jr.

     8. Resolving Contradictions In Our Understanding of God - Ned Uber

     9. Psychology and Religion - Soni Werner

     10. Microboundaries: Protection of Love - Rev. Mark Carlson

     11. Marriage In All Its Aspects - Julie Conaron and Nita Holmes

     12. "Mythos" and "Logos" In the New Church - Beryl Simonetti

     13. Marketing the New Church - Chuck Ebert

     14. Explore the New Liturgy - Chris Simons and Terry Schnarr

     Sunday Worship Services - Audio Recordings

     1. The Call To Assembly - Rt. Rev. Thomas Kline, adult service which includes the ordination into the 18t degree of Candidates Jerome Dube and Michael Ferrell

     2. Two Witnesses - Rev. Jeremy Simons, family service

     Prices: Cassette $3.00, two-cassette set $4.00 or CD $5.00, two-CD set $6.00

     To order contact: New Church Audio, PO Box 752, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009-0752 267-502-4980 or newchurchaudio@newchurch.org

     Note: Invoices will be included with your order.


Title Unspecified 2005

Title Unspecified              2005

Vol. CXXV     August, 2005     No. 8

New Church Life


Notes on This Issue 2005

Notes on This Issue              2005

     How many of us have traveled somewhere this summer? The Rev. Grant Odhner explores some of the spiritual implications of our natural travels in his "summertime" sermon beginning on p. 259.

     We might expect a bishop to turn his attention to questions like, "What is the Church?" and "Who is in the Church?" The Rt. Rev. Brian Keith, who was affirmed last fall as Assistant Bishop of the General Church, was looking for answers to these very questions in his Assembly address published here in its entirety. Following the Bishop's address, the audience was treated to a video by two young adults, Scott Maddock and Jeff Smith, of their travels to New Church groups and congregations around the world. This was a moving affirmation that the Lord is at work establishing His church throughout the world.

     The Rev. Erik Sandstrom, now 96 years of age and active as a priest of the church for more than 71 years, continues to give doctrinal classes when invited to do so. In his write-up of an extemporaneous class given at Cairnwood Village in Bryn Athyn, he returns to a favorite topic. In it he calls one of the books of the Writings "the greatest book on psychology ever written." Find out which one on p. 283.

     After twenty-five years, writing editorials has become part of the Rev. Donald Rose's inclination and habit. This month, we welcome his offering on three notable women and how they were supported in their work by the doctrine of use. Turn to p. 289 to learn who these women are.

     Activities for the Academy's Charter Day celebration are scheduled this year from October 13th-17th. See more in the notice at the end of this issue.




It is summertime and many of us have traveled or will travel-to visit friends or family, to find refreshment and pleasure in new environments, perhaps to seek out educational opportunities.

     In our sermon today we are going to reflect on traveling. Traveling appears to be a natural thing. It can be viewed that way, but we are going to use it as an occasion to rise to the spirit.

     When you think of it, it is really the mind that travels. It is the mind that directs our steps in one direction or another. It is the mind that sees and is affected by what it sees. Swedenborg tells of some lower angels who thought they could live in a higher heaven. They traveled there but when they arrived they could not see anyone. Their spirits were not ready or able to see what was all around them (HH 35). When we travel, what we see has more to do with our spirit than our body. So in considering traveling we will be considering ourselves as spiritual beings.

     Spiritually we are all travelers, regardless of how near or far our bodies may go. One can travel far just sitting in a chair reading a book. Swedenborg traveled vast stretches of the spiritual world while his body remained in his small study or bedchamber. New thoughts bring us to new places.

     The Word records many travels. We read in the Old Testament of Abram's migrating from Ur of the Chaldees to Haran. Isaac journeyed too, and Jacob. After their sojourn in Egypt, the children of Israel made the great 40 year journey through the wilderness to Canaan.

     Passing through the pages of the Old Testament we can think of other journeys. Remember when Saul was sent on an expedition to search for his father's lost donkeys?


Instead he found Samuel who anointed him king. The prophet Elijah traveled to Sidon to escape Ahab and the famine in Israel. He stayed with a widow and restored her son to life.

     In the New Testament we also read of travels. Mary travels from Nazareth to the hill country of Judea to see her cousin Elizabeth when she learns that they are both with child. Later, Joseph takes Mary to Bethlehem to be enrolled in the Roman census. There the Lord is born. The wise men travel from a distant land to Jerusalem to find the newborn king. Joseph and Mary flee to Egypt with the child. During His years of ministry, Jesus makes many journeys around Galilee and the surrounding territories preaching, healing and proclaiming the kingdom of God. Finally, there is the last great journey to Jerusalem, culminating with the Lord's triumphal entry into the city and the laying down of His life.

     These, and many more trips and journeys are recorded in the Word. And they all have a spiritual significance. In general, they stand for changes, not in the position of our bodies but in the position of our minds, changes of mental state, changes in the order and progression of our lives. This comes from the spiritual world where there is no set space. There, location is a function of mental states and spiritual relationships. People are close or far based on similarity of love and belief. People there are spiritual and never go anywhere unless their minds are going somewhere. To be near people who are different from them, they must change their location, because they must adapt their minds to them. A striking example of this is when the Lord sent Swedenborg to visit spirits from other planets far removed from our solar system. Even though he was traveling in spirit (which can be virtually instantaneous), it took him sometimes two hours, sometimes ten, sometimes twelve. For one planet it took him two days! He writes:


Since remoteness in the spiritual world does not arise from distance of place, but from difference of [mental] state .. . therefore from the slowness of my progression there, which lasted two days, I might conclude that the state of the interiors with them, which is the state of the affections and thence of the thoughts, differed in a proportional way from the state of the interiors with spirits from our earth. (Earths in the Universe 138)

     (Swedenborg describes being projected through vast spaces along with other travelers. It sounds like a space voyage! Simply fascinating! See EU 157, 168; SE 5513a.)

     About the symbolism of traveling in the Word we read: "Traveling and journeying signify what relates to instruction, and thence to life" (AC 3148; see n. 1293, 1457, 1463, 2025).

The reason [for this is] that in heaven sojourning and migration, or proceeding from place to place, is nothing but a change of [mental] state . . . ; and therefore, whenever traveling, sojourning, and passing from place to place, occur in the Word, nothing else is suggested to the angels than such change of state as exists with them. There are changes of state of both the thoughts and the affections. Changes of the state of the thoughts are knowledges, and in the world of spirits these changes are presented by means of instructions. (AC 1463)

     Instruction is one of the specific meanings of traveling, because when we learn, our minds travel: we are no longer in the same "place;" we can never go back to where we were before; we see things differently and feel differently about them. There are periods of our life where we travel more than others. As long as we are in this world, our minds are more likely to travel. That is because we are doing our basic changing and growing here.

     The journeys in the Word are largely about the changes we must undergo while in this world. For example, the Israelites' journey from Egypt to Canaan represents the progressions we go through as we are made fit for heaven. Each stop and each experience in that place in the wilderness stands for some basic learning experience or some struggle and, ultimately, some change in heart and outlook, that we go through as we let the Lord regenerate us.


Canaan, where each tribe, family, and individual received a permanent inheritance, represents heaven and our own place there, where we find blessing.

     At some point, our spirits find a permanent home. At that point, we continue to learn and grow, but the changes are more in our understanding than in our will. Our thoughts travel, but our hearts stay put. The changes we experience then are more like the changes we see and enjoy in our own home and garden, or in our own town. Swedenborg found that angels rarely leave their own heavenly communities (HH 49; cp. 44; SE 5902). Their home and society represent who they are. To leave that place is like leaving themselves, leaving their own life and their own special wisdom (Ibid.). They do go for walks in parks and travel around their own society for recreation (cp. HH 270.4). But when they serve "uses" outside their own societies (which many of them often do), they do so by a kind of purely mental travel; their bodies and basic loves stay present while they may project themselves and appear elsewhere (cp. HH 192, 121; SE 5647). Evil spirits in hell may lust for travel, but they, too, lose their life when they stray beyond their own communities; therefore a certain fear holds them (cp. SE 3093).

     We began by observing that many of us travel in the summer for recreational purposes. I'm not aware of any reference in the Old or New Testaments to this kind of travel. While virtually all of us have traveled hundreds of miles from our home, and do so regularly, in Biblical times getting from place to place was much more difficult. Most roads were neither large enough nor good enough to sustain travel by vehicles. And few could even afford the animals to ride, let alone a cart or carriage. Of course, merchants who traded and transported goods would travel by land and sea. Messengers, government officials and troops, would make their rounds.


But the greater number of people had less leisure time. Journeys that did not have a clear necessity or purpose (e.g. to escape danger or persecution or to improve one's economic situation) would be unusual. Travel for recreational purposes, or even educational purposes, would have been out of the question for nearly everyone. (We do read of a few quests. The Wise Men sought the Messiah. Abraham's servant sought a bride for Isaac. And we read of pilgrimages. People would go to Shiloh when the ark was there, e.g. Samuel's parents, and later to Jerusalem for yearly feasts, such as Passover.)

     So the Word speaks little of travel for fun. Still, we can readily see the recreational usefulness in travel. The purpose of recreation is renewal. It is to relax the affections that are at work constantly in our daily duties and chores. These affections, the Heavenly Doctrine explains, are like bowstrings. When "on the job" they are taut. If we loosen them regularly, for periods, they retain their elasticity and strength. If we do not loosen them, they become weak and brittle. To function well, the mind needs rest and relaxation! And one of the ways we find this is through change (See Charity 189ff).

     What offers change in greater measure than travel? When we get away from our homes and sleep in different places, when we see new sights, break our routines, spend our time differently, doing different things, we ultimately are able to appreciate our own homes more. We come to value our own life and regular routines. We value the tools that we have collected at home which enable us to carry on the useful activities that we love. We appreciate our own belongings which support and enhance our own life. Getting away from these things refreshes our perspective on what we have.

     Travel can also be educational. Traveling can expand our mental horizons. When we travel we learn; we take in new sights and sounds, new thoughts occur to us, our perspective is (or can be) broadened. Sometimes we return to our home with new things to work for, new aspirations and goals.


Or we see new opportunities right in our own home and our own life, which were there before but we didn't notice them.

     Travel can be useful. It can induce useful changes in our mental states.

     On the other hand, travel can also be a dangerous thing. When we travel without a clear purpose, when we travel with a wandering mind, we can lose our moral and spiritual bearings. Remember: angels don't like to leave their own society. They know that it is within the context of their own responsibilities and jobs and life-in-community that the Lord can give them blessing. They leave in thought for a purpose but they do not forget home. Their heart remains centered there.

     People who have traveled-especially alone-know what can happen when you lose your sense of purpose and bearings. The mind wanders into lusts and empty delusions. Or we lose our sense of belonging and accountability. We may get depressed. When Swedenborg traveled in the other world, he always had guides. Once one of his guides, as they were going to a certain heavenly society, pointed out to him that their path was crossed by many byways that led into thick forests and swamps where there were terrible creatures. Without a guide, people inevitably get lost (CL 75).

     So this summer, in our travels, let us have fun. Let us benefit from the learning and the change of pace and scene. At the same time let us remember our spiritual homes. Let us be guided by the Lord, taking with us in our journey an inner sense of purpose from Him, a sense of purpose that directs us to the "uses" of vacation. And may we let Him lead us back to the physical and mental place where our loved ones and regular "uses" lie, remembering that it is there that we can best serve in human community and know the depth of the Lord's joy! Amen.

Lesson: Char. 189




     What is a church? Why does it exist? Who can be considered as being in the church and who not? What is the relationship between the external features of a church and internal focus? These questions are addressed in the threefold Word and examining them is a way to remind ourselves of our core values and the reason we can call ourselves a "church."

Church-Ideal, or People?

     One of the first issues to consider is whether the "church" is an ideal entity or whether it is simply an organization of people. In other words, can we speak of "the church" in some abstract form distinguishable from people or is the church something that is so intrinsic to the life of people that it has no real existence apart from them?

     In one sense, the church can be identified as a reality apart from people. The "church and member of the church" is a phrase used in the Writings that indicates, at the very least, there is a distinction between the church and those associated with it (AC 1659:3, 1664:9, 1259:2). There are many external features of the church-worship, rituals, sacraments, the priesthood, church buildings and property, organized structures that provide for uses (government)-all of which involve people, but exist separate from them.

     We can also speak of the doctrinal teaching of the church (AC 1798:2, 9086:3, 9209:3; AE 130:2, 911:11). While people form an understanding of truth from the Word and then give it expression, what results can be identified as a formal body of information. This goes beyond any single individual's grasp of truth and becomes a standard for shining light on the passages of the Word which are less than readily apparent.


     More interiorly, it is love and charity that make the church (AC 809, 3355, 3379, 3942, 6364; AR 19e; HD 241). In fact, love to the Lord and the neighbor "abstractly from persons" makes the heart of the church (AC 9276:6).

     So a strong case can be made for the church as a concept, a structure, and a presence of the Lord.

     But what about people? If the church is so impersonalized that it is only an idealized entity, what is it really? Fortunately, the Writings also approach the topic from the human side. The "church" and "member of the church" are often used interchangeably (AC 609, 639e, 809, 1024, 1036e, 3081, 7499, 8938). In numerous places the two are identified (See AC 872, 2986, 7539).

     This is based on the principle that "the church is in a person, not outside of him" (AE 619:7). The Writings are even more emphatic where they declare, "the person of the church is not merely the church itself, but is everything belonging to the church" (AC 768). And they make the point through its opposite by stating, "if the church is to exist at all, the individual must be the church" (AC 1068) and "if a person were not a church in particular, there would not be any church in general" (AC 4292).

     So while we may speak abstractly about the church, it has little reality apart from the people in whom it exists.

     These two aspects of the church are brought together in the teaching that the member of church differs from the church "as love and faith are different" (AC 662e). While we can speak of love and faith as separate things, neither can exist for long without the other. They are mutually dependent.

     It is also a matter of what qualities in people are being considered. For "a person is a church when he is in good and truth" (AC 6113). "In respect to what is their own [proprium] the people of the church do not make the church, but in respect to what is Divine which they receive from the Lord" (AC 10151:3, 10282, 10359; AE 23:2).


     What does this mean? There is a very complex interaction between the ideals of the church and people. We can talk about people being the church but it is only as to the heavenly qualities they receive from the Lord that church exists within them. Yet, as they do receive the Lord's good and truth, they become the church in outward form, both individually and collectively.

"The Church is the Church"

     What, then, is the church that people must receive or become part of? The Writings answer this question in a wide variety of ways. One way to approach it is to look at a phrase that appears nearly seventy times in the Writings: "the church is the church." The Latin for this phrase is equally concise and powerful: "ecclesia est ecclesia." In comparing all the passages that speak of the church, this phrase stands out as one that usefully defines the essence of the church. These descriptions can be roughly grouped into six categories:

     1. Truth

     -     ". . . a church is a church from truths" (AE 764)."

     -      . . a church is a church from knowledges of good and truth . ." (AE 638:4).

     -     ". . . a church is a church from the Word and according to its understanding . . ." (AR 740:2; SS 77).

     -     ". . . the church is likewise a church by virtue of Divine truth from the Lord . . ." (AC 9406:2).

     2. Good

     -     ". . . a church is a church by virtue of its affection for truth . . ." (AC 4449, 3795; AE 280:4, 707, 863:13; AR 357, 434).

     -     ". . . a church is a church by virtue of its spiritual good." (AC 5595, 5646, 6440, 5826:2, 6637).


     -     ". . . the church is a church from the good of love to the Lord and the neighbor . . ." (AE 938).

     3. Good and truth

     -     ". . . a church is a church from the goods of love and the truths of faith . . ." (AC 10545:4, 3379, 3470, 3728:2, 9134:3; AE 403:8).

     -     ". . . a church is a church from doctrine and from life according to it . . ." (AE 384, 799; AR 17, 876).

     4. Marriage of good and truth

     -     ". . . the church is a church from the marriage of good and truth . . ." (AC 4835:3; Marriage Index 1 "Correspondence").

     5. From internals

     -     ". . . a church is not a church by virtue of its externals, that is of its religious observances, but by virtue of its internals" (AC 4831, 9962).

     -     ". . . the church is not the church from external worship, but from internal worship . . ." (AC 10436:2).

     6. The Lord and the Word

     -     ". . . the church is the church from the Lord . . ." (Lord 55:4).

     -     ". . . the church is a church from the Lord through the Word . . ." (AR 44).

     -     ". . . the church is a church from this that the Lord is adored and the Word read" (AE 1069).

     Notice the wonderful and powerful rhythm with the repetition of "the church is the church." Looking at the church through the lens of this phrase provides a view of its essential nature. And these categories are very much what we would expect to find in defining the church.


What is remarkable is what is missing-any external depiction of the church. All the outer trappings of the organized church are absent when the Writings are describing what is fundamental to the church.

     This is not to suggest that the externals of the church are never discussed in the Writings or that they are trivial. There are numerous statements about the importance of regular external worship, baptism and the holy supper, betrothals and marriages, and the priesthood. In fact, there is an entire chapter in The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine devoted to church government -we did not happen upon our Episcopal form of government by accident or historical tradition!

     What is perhaps most significant here is that in discussing the church, the Lord is directing our minds away from its outward aspects to the genuine essence that we should be focusing on. It is always the inner quality of the organization and its people that determines what the church is and whether it is present in the outer forms.

Role of the Lord

     In keeping with an emphasis upon the spiritual essence of the church, let us look at the overwhelmingly strong teachings regarding the Lord's role in the church. As the Lord is the spiritual sun of heaven-the source of all warmth and light for the angels-so He is at the center of everything that can be called the church.

     Thus we find the teachings that "where the Lord is, there the church is also" (AC 3379), "all that makes the church is from the Lord" (AC 4614, 10357), and "nothing is called the church that is not the Lord's own" (AC 2966:2).

     This stands in sharp contrast with what is said about the church not coming from the faults and foibles of people. The church does not exist to glorify people, "nor is the church a church from what is man's own [proprium] . . . but from the Divine of the Lord . . ." (AE 850; AC 10359).


"It is the Lord who gives love and charity; it is the church that receives" (AC 1831).

     Thus the primary focus of church is the Lord. Everything of the church should be derived from the Lord and lead directly back to Him. "The first of the church is to ascribe all the goods and truths of faith to the Lord, and not to self' (AC 9223:3). Again, "the chief thing of the church is to acknowledge God, to believe in God, and to love Him" (AC 10816, 10112).

"All in all"-"Omni in omnibus"

     Another way in which the Writings express this is with the phrase the "All in all." And, once again, the Latin is equally to the point-"Omni in omnibus." "[T]he Lord is the All in all of the church" (De Verbo 8:3). The Lord is described as the "All in all" of the church twenty-five times in the Writings.

     Calling the Lord the "All in all" is a means of emphasizing His centrality to anything that can be called "heavenly" or "of the church." In one sense, this seems to be self-evident. After all, how could one call something "the church" if the Lord were not involved? Yet even as an intellectual belief in the Lord as the "All in all" may appear simple, a person's actual acceptance of this is far more challenging "for the belief that the Lord is the only God, and also that His Human is Divine, does not come easily to him" (AC 7914; emphasis added).

Role of the Word

     How, then, do we have the Lord as the "All in all" of the church? We find the teaching that in the church "the Lord's presence comes through the Word" (AC 8652, 9430e; AE 700:7). In fact, "the Lord in the church is the Word" (AE 790:8). As the Lord said, "on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). "This rock" means "the Lord in respect to Divine truth" (TCR 224:4).


     The Word is the means by which the Lord communicates with those who would be of His church. Through it He reveals Himself and His ways. This cannot be overstressed. Consider the following teachings:

     -     ". . . the church resides where the Word is and owes its existence to the Word . . ." (AC 10707e).

     -     ". . . the Word is the source of all truths which the church possesses . . ." (AC 10251).

     -     ". . . the Lord speaks with the person of the church in no other way than through the Word . . ." (AC 10290:2, 10355:5; AR 576).

     -     ". . . all things taught by the church must be derived from the Word, and teachings from any other source than the Word are not teachings that possess anything of the church within them, let alone anything of heaven" (AC 9424:2).

     Statements about what happens when the church does not turn to the Word for direction are just as adamant.

     -     ". . . when doctrine is not in accordance with the Word it is no longer a church, but a religious persuasion which counterfeits a church" (AE 786; cf AE 1037).

     -     "Before the Lord every church appears as a human being. If it is in truths out of the Word it appears as a handsome person, but if it is in falsified truths it appears as a monstrous person" (AR 601:2).

     -     "For everything of the doctrine of the church, which does not agree with the Word, is not sound, but is sick with a deadly disease; for the doctrine of the church must be from the Word, and from no other source" (AR 576; emphasis added).

     As we know, this is does not mean that the Word spells out exactly how to solve all moral dilemmas or establish all the policies of a healthy external church organization.


For the Word has to be taken in and digested by the people of the church "because without doctrine the Word is not understood" (AC 10763). The doctrine of the church is a collection of clear statements from the Word and interpretations based on a variety of teachings that have been carefully compared and examined (AC 6222:3). We are strongly encouraged to engage the Word for ourselves that we might see what the Lord is saying to us. As the Writings observe, "The Word should be searched with a devout prayer to the Lord for enlightenment" (AC 5432:5). In this way "the Church is derived from the Word, and is qualified by the understanding it has of the Word" (AR 571:2; SS 76, 82; AE 1088; see also TCR 245 for the importance of the "soundness and purity" of the Word).

     The real issue here is what is "normative" for the church's thinking and actions? People of the New Church live in cultures throughout the world that may not support the truths of the threefold Word, and in many ways diminish and even destroy its message. We are constantly bombarded with information, attitudes and experiences that may not promote what is true from the Lord. To the extent that we regularly go to the Word in worship and in our personal reading, we may acquire the tools to sift through this barrage. To the extent that we rely on what we were taught in earlier years or on what others say and are not actively seeking direction from the Word, we become dependent upon cultures and ways of thinking that will subtly erode our allegiance to the Lord. What is "normative" for us is determined by our use or non-use of the Word; thus the Lord's presence with us.

Who's In and Who's Out of the Church?

     Given that the Lord should be the center of the church and His Word should give direction to everything of the church, what does that say about who is in the church and who is not?


While any diagram is flawed, the following simple one takes into account most of the passages that touch on this topic.

     General Structure of the Church

          Lord's Kingdom
          Spiritual Church
          /          \
     Church     Out of the Church

                                   In Evil

     The "Lord's Kingdom" is synonymous with heaven. The "Spiritual Church" refers to those who are heavenly on earth and "it exists throughout the universal world" (AC 3263:2). From this and other passages it has frequently been termed the "Church Universal" (AC 9276:5; AE 351:2, 532:9).

     Two components can then be identified within this larger whole-those in the "Church" and those "Out of the Church." The "Church" is defined by where the Word is, "because the Lord's church is in the whole earth, but specifically where the Word is, and where the Lord is thereby known" (AE 351, 252:2; HH 308; HD 246, 255; see also AC 1238, 4520, 10248:9; AR 593). It is from this that the phrase "Church Specific" has come into our vocabulary, to distinguish it from the "Church Universal." These are not terms that we find very often in the Writings but they do accurately convey the concept.


Finally, those who are "Out of the Church" are Gentiles -good people who do not have the Word (AC 7975:2, 9256:5).

     One additional category is identified as those who are in evils of life. These "are further outside the church than Gentiles" (AC 6637:2). While they are separate from those who are in the church, their relationship with the church is rather complex, and will be discussed later.

     The word "church" can be used for the "spiritual church" and the church specific. However, the primary meaning of "church" is of those who have the Word and are leading a good life. This is how it is used in this article.

     The "church" is described as the "Lord's kingdom on earth" (AC 2425:3, 2571, 2995, 3654, 3705:2, 4286:4, 4837:3, 6067, 6637, 7396, 9139, 9166:5; CL 431), or the "heaven of the Lord on earth" (AC 9808; AE 555:7, 640, 1179). While this sounds very idealistic, there is a recognition that this may not always be the case, for the "church would be like heaven, if all had charity" (HD 246)!

     What distinguishes the church on earth is that it has the Word (AC 4217, 9256:4, 9276:6, 9400e; AE 351:2; HH 305, 308, 328; HD 246; De Verbo 17; TCR 268). Just as the Jewish Church was distinguished by having the Old Testament, and the Christian Church the New Testament, now the New Church is set apart by having the Writings. From this there is the ability to see the Lord in His fullness and to worship Him in life (AC 6637:2).

     This creates a unique relationship with the Lord, for people of the church are the "Lord's own more than others" (AC 8768). This does not intrinsically make anyone good or better than anyone else; but it does create a higher potential for members of the church. Because they have the Heavenly Doctrine they are "able more than others to lead the life of heaven and so be joined to the Lord" (AC 8768:2).


     While having the Word in its fulness distinguishes those who are of the church, it also enables them to serve a vital function for those "out of the church." Those in the church are described as the heart and lungs "of that vast body of which every member of the human race is a part" (AC 2913). The rest of the body lives from heart and lungs (AC 637, 2054, 2853:3, 4217, 9256:4, 9276:6, 9400e; AE 351:2; HH 305, 308, 328; HD 246; SE 4438; TCR 268) and without it the body perishes (AC 637, 2853:3, 9276:7). What is fascinating about this imagery is that both those in the church and those out of the church form one body which is the church! Clearly, we are challenged here to enter into the concepts and not be caught up in language.

     That "vast body" of those who are "out of the church" are Gentiles. Although they have some truth and common sense, without the Word there is a tremendous amount that they do not know, and often they have wrong ideas. "Their truth of faith is not authentic [or genuine]" (AC 9255). They have the "good of life" but not the "good of the church" (AC 3310, 8002). These people, if they sincerely follow what truths they have, will go to heaven; but may need extensive instruction and preparation in the other world.

     What about those who are in evil? Where do they stand relative to the church? Since being a member of the church is predicated on having the Word and leading a good life from it, a preponderance of evil removes one from the real church. For example, he who does not believe that all good and truth are from God "is not of the church" (AC 10151:3). In fact, those born in the church, but leading evil lives "do not belong to the church. For they have nothing of the church within them" (AC 3267e; see AC 6637; AE 20).

     Being in evil places one outside of the church, but this spiritual separation may not be reflected in a natural organization. People may participate in the external functions of the church without having the church within.


For example, those who reason from sense evidence alone and do not really trust the Word are "indeed within the Lord's spiritual church, yet they are not of the church" (AC 2832; emphasis added). Those in evil are "not true members of the church, even though they may be within the church" (AC 10310).

Internal and External

     Another useful way to look at the church is through the distinction between the internal and external church. The Writings speak of people as members of either the internal or external church. Consider the paired words or phrases below that typify the difference between them:

     Internal                         External

Love and charity                    Rituals (AC 1175:2)

Affection for good               Affection for truth (AC 3447:2)

Spiritual good                    Natural good (AC 5965:2)

Wisdom                         Simplicity (AC 7663)

Intelligence and wisdom               Knowledge and cognitions (AE 629:6)

Good                              Delight (AC 8977)

Led by goods to truth               Led by truths to good (AC 7992)

Follow commandments from love          Follow commandments from faith (AC 10762)

     These may seem like different groups of people within the church. They actually are one (AC 409, 2581:5, 3023; AR 486:2; HD 246). "Where there is a church, there must needs be what is internal and what is external; for a person, who is the church, is internal and external" (AC 1083). "Unless both are present spiritual life does not exist with a person" (AC 8762:2).

     We know that externals without internals are dead (AC 409, 1795, 6299:2), but it is also true that apart from external expression, internals wither and die (see AC 1175:2). "The internal church is founded upon its externals, and internals are thereby multiplied and made fruitful" (AE 741:18).


What is more, there is a progression from or through externals to internals: "Every one who is being regenerated first becomes a member of the external church, then later on a member of the internal church" (AC 7840, 10266).

Who's In? Who's Out?-High Standards

     What does it take for one to say he or she is a genuine member of the church? One set of teachings establishes a very high standard. Generally, the standard for church membership is regeneration. The Writings refer to "the member of the Church, or person who has been regenerated" (AC 40:2, 8788; cf. AE 328:18). They also speak of those who are members of the church in the following ways:

     -     A member "must of necessity be a spiritual person, and also a rational one" (AC 6647:5, 9276:4).

     -     He is "in an affection for truth for its own sake and an affection for good for its own sake, thus . . . governed by love towards the neighbor and love to God" (AC 10310, 5816:2).

     -     He is a member "when he does what is good from affection" (AC 6658, 916:2, 5806; AR 815).

     -     His will and understanding "must act as a one for a person to be a true member of the church" (TCR 249).

     In fact, the Writings are often emphatic that only those who are regenerate are really members of the church. For example:

     -     ". . . those who from heart acknowledge the Divine of the Lord, and who learn truths from the Lord by the Word, and do them; no others constitute the church" (AE 388; emphasis added).

     -     ". . . where [affection for good and truth] does not exist the church does not exist" (AE 444:3; emphasis added).


     We are given a rather full description of a religious (externally devout) and a charitable (spiritually regenerate) life: "A member of the Church should pursue a religious life and he should pursue a charitable life; the two should go together" (AC 8252).

The pursuit of a religious life involves thinking and speaking in godly ways, setting aside plenty of time for prayers and acting in a humble manner during them, going to church and listening to sermons there in a devout frame of mind, and attending several times each year the Sacrament of the [Lord's] Supper and likewise all other services of worship instituted by the Church. But the pursuit of a charitable life involves feelings of goodwill towards the neighbor and doing good to him, acting in every task from a sense of what is just and fair and of what is good and true, and in a similar way in all that one is employed to do. In short, a charitable life consists in performing useful services. (AC 8253)

     Do any of us fully meet the criteria set for us to live a religious and a charitable life? Fortunately, there are other teachings that can give us hope even in the darkest of times.

Who's In? Who's Out?-Low Minimums

     One useful way to approach this is to look at the categories found in the following three passages about what qualities constitute membership in the church.

     From AC 3655:

     1. Love to the Lord

     2. Charity to the Neighbor

     3. Affection for Truth

     From AC 9276: 2:

     1. Good of charity

     2. In few truths but love to be instructed

     3. Delight in external truth


     From AC 1062:

     1. Those in charity

     2. Those making faith without charity their guiding principle

     3. Those who "think little about the internal man, but still perform works of charity and sacredly observe the rites of the church."

     Looking at the third category of membership in each list shows that people who are not what might be considered "deeply spiritual" can be included as members.

     Membership is also defined as a state of reception. We are taught that anyone who is "receptive of truth and good" can be a member (AC 6158). Having an openness to the Lord and generally trying to walk in His ways seems to at least get one in the door.

     Nor does having a false idea or heresy or two in one's thinking remove one from the church. "Falsities do not condemn, unless they are such falsities as are opposed to good, and destroy the very life of good" (AC 8311). The reason for this is that there are falsities in which good is hidden, and thus can eventually be bent to truth (AC 9258, 9259). This is not to praise false ideas or heretical thinking, but it is to recognize that, try as we might, our thinking will not always be along straight lines and we should be cautious in being too quick to judge those who might disagree with us.

     It is also important for us to recognize that we do not have to be without sin to be of the church. Consider the teaching on temptations -times of doubt about the veracity of the ideas from the Word, feelings of despair when we are surrounded by a sphere of hell (AC 4843:4, 2338). Those not of the church are not tempted because they are not striving to receive love and its light from the Lord. It is only when we are making spiritual progress, when something heavenly is being built up within that the hells attack and try to destroy what is from the Lord. So members of the church should expect to have evils that rise up and cause problems!


There will always be evils in our lives that we need to confront and, with the Lord's help, overcome. In fact, the church "has not been fully established until after a person has fought against evils and falsities, thus after he has undergone temptations. Only after that does he become truly a church" (AC 6658). That is, even those who have such wonderful truths about the Lord and Second advent, and who are trying to lead good and useful lives, still have evils present that need to be dealt with.

     The Writings even give us an absolute minimum that enables us to be in the church: "Nor does the Lord demand anything more of a member of the church than that he should lead a life in keeping with what he knows" (AC 6706). If we just concentrate on the truths that are clear to us, perhaps even as basic as the Ten Commandments or the Golden Rule, we can still be in the church!

Process of Becoming

     It is important to remember that membership is a process. While we usefully speak of clear-cut distinctions-internal/ external, member/non-member, in/out of the church-membership is a developmental process. Woven throughout the Writings is the sense of a person's spiritual development or the process of becoming an angel. As the Writing note, when "from being a dead person he is becoming a living one . . . he is led through many states" (AC 3913:2, 6554).

     Thus we often find the word "becoming" used in relation to being in the church, for example, when one is "being regenerated or becoming a church" (AC 3654:3, 3876, 3913:2). Even more pointedly, membership can be defined as someone who is in the process of regeneration: "a person who is a church, or one who is being regenerated" (AC 6645:2; emphasis added).

     This suggests that whenever we are in a state of trying to obey the Lord, we are in the church. Every step we take on the Lord's path creates the church within.


     Finally, we are even given an outward sign that the church is being created. To the extent there is a feeling of delight in a person corresponding to heavenly happiness, "he is starting to become a church" (AC 3939).

     What all this indicates is that defining who is "in" or "out" is less an issue of a clear-cut dividing line and more of whether a person is part of the process or not. Yes, there is a dividing line. That dividing line is drawn according to the preponderance of loves - whether for self or the Lord, for the world or other people. Our focus, however, should be participating in the process so that we are becoming a church. Regardless of what has transpired in the past, one can always join in the process.

A Few Organizational Considerations

     What should be the purpose of the externally organized church?

     There are two complementary ways to look at it. The first looks at it from its mission to the heavens and for those who are not part of the spiritual heart and lungs on earth.

The church on earth is instituted for the sole end that there may be a communication of the world, or of the human race, with heaven, that is, through heaven with the Lord; for without the church there would be no communication; and without communication the human race would perish. (AC 10500:2, 8588:5)

     And this end is accomplished as the church provides for the spiritual life of individuals. "A person is born for everlasting life, and it is the church which brings him to this" (TCR 415). "The Lord gives life from Himself, and by the church He gives spiritual nourishment" (AE 966). "Spiritual nourishment" is thus the second way to look at it, that the primary goal of communicating with the heavens may occur.


     But this does not mean that the church is an ethereal entity without any external forms. Worship and instruction, the means to provide for spiritual nourishment, require support-among other things, church buildings, property, musicians, a vast array of volunteers-all for the sake of essential uses.

     It is true in our culture that there is a tendency to expect external organizations to do more and more. That is why we should be guided in our external uses by the essential mission of the church. We should ask, "How does any activity of the church directly contribute to the spiritual nourishment of individuals and thus build a foundation for the heavens?"

     Another way of asking this is, "How can our external organization have the Lord present as the All in all (Omni in omnibus) in its heart and body? How is the Word present and leading our thinking and actions? Or, how is the church the church (Ecclesia est ecclesia)?"

     As we focus on our essential purpose as a church, as we provide for its external development, as we seek the Lord in His Word, then we will be in the process of becoming members of His church. As the Lord truly becomes the All in all of our lives, the Lord's kingdom on earth will be firmly established.
Title Unspecified 2005

Title Unspecified              2005


     An on-line family magazine from the G. C. Office of Education featuring materials for all ages focused on a new theme every month.

     Worship of the Heart in August 2005
     Love of the Neighbor in September 2005




The greatest book on psychology ever written

     I call the work Conjugial Love the greatest book on psychology ever written-the psychology of the male and female minds, and do so on the authority of what is said in a Memorable Relation near the end of the True Christian Religion (TCR 846-848).

     Here Swedenborg is visiting in a society in the angelic heaven and is asked, "What news from the earth?" He replies: "This is new, that the Lord has revealed arcana surpassing in excellence those hitherto revealed since the beginning of the church."

     "What are they?" they asked. Swedenborg then listed the subjects now revealed: the spiritual sense of the Word, correspondences, life after death and others. Then he added: "Something more has been revealed. It concerns love truly conjugial and its spiritual delights."

     After this final addition, we read that "the angels rejoiced greatly." But Swedenborg showed sadness, and explained: "These truths . . . are not regarded on earth as of any value, although in excellence and dignity they surpass all knowledge hitherto made known" (TCR 848).

     And now we note that the evaluation of all those truths revealed by the Lord, that they were superior in excellence and dignity, in a striking way includes the teachings on Conjugial Love. And so I say that this work is the greatest book ever written on the psychology of the male and female minds. Let us read it for our instruction, bearing in mind that the illustrations in it, sometimes dated, are not the points. The points of doctrine are the things illustrated. These stand.


What does equality of men and women mean?

     In the current popular discussion about the place of woman in today's world, there is much confusion about the meaning of the word equality as applied to men and women. There seems to be an almost universally accepted concept that "equality" implies similarity or even sameness. This is a degrading of woman, for it turns a blind eye to the unique and special contributions to society which it is in her nature to make. It prompts her to fake a male character that is not inscribed in her soul and mind.

     Distinction and difference do not rule out equality. A teaching in Conjugial Love speaks to both points: "The male was created to be the understanding of truth . . . and the female to be the will of good . . . and implanted in both from their inmost beings is an inclination to conjunction into one" (CL 100). The distinction, of course, is between the understanding of truth and the will of good, but the equality is in both the male and the female inclination into one. We note, moreover, that it is not as though the woman had no understanding of truth, and the man no will of good; for it is only a matter of what predominates in each (See HH 369).

     The above teaching from Conjugial Love 100 speaks of what is implanted in both male and female "from their inmost beings." That is where the inclination into one begins. And there, also, is where the distinction rising to its height, ends. The elevation to that height with men is "into a higher light," and with women "into a higher warmth."

     This elevation with men may be taken to mean elevation toward a view that is wide and far-reaching, a view that in itself is both philosophical and abstract. If left there, without the influence of warmth, it would probably become purely speculative. But the inmost of women reaches out for -longs for-conjunction. This is the essence of the conjugial. If men respond and reciprocate, then their philosophy is turned into wisdom and wisdom is truth turned into use.


The conjugial essence is with women

     The conjugial essence is from the Lord with women. Men have none of it in themselves. "Husbands are receivers" (CL 161:3). But women (wives) are skilled in imparting in subtle ways the life and beauty of the conjugial with men, thus with their husbands. They do this as though instinctively for conjunction is in the very nature of their minds, or hearts. In a Memorable Relation (CL 208), angelic wives speak of their ability to "enter into the inclinations and affections" of the male mind, thus their husband's mind and to bend those inclinations and affections toward conjunction with themselves and to what is good. They think of this innate skill of theirs as "a wisdom superior" to the wisdom of men, because by means of it they are able to affect the state of their husbands. One might say that men influence women by an external way, while women influence men by an internal way. One is first in time, the other first in use.

The formation of the church in people

     The clear distinction between men and women, or between husbands and wives, also comes into play in the formation of the church with each individual person. Some women seem troubled by the teaching that the church is first implanted in the husband, and through him in the wife, thus in general first in men and through them in women (see CL 63). But this is because the church after the Most Ancient Church, and now the New Church, is a spiritual church. A spiritual church is led through truth to good and not through good to truth. As we have noted, the man is created to be the understanding of truth. However, it is to be seen as well that the church is not fully established, or is not complete, until it is in both partners together; for the woman is created to be a will of good, and the marriage of truth and good is the Church (Ibid.). It is good that is the life of truth, even as truth is the light of good.


     There is often the appearance that the church is first with the wife and through her with the husband. However, if the husband receives the church only because of his wife, then there is not a state of order in the marriage (see CL 125). He must see the truth in his own understanding and so believe it. This, of course, is not to say that a wife may not be the means of bringing the church to the attention of her husband. An orderly development may certainly begin from there.

     It should be said, also, that a woman depends on the male sphere for her own mind to become a church-just as the man depends on the female sphere of the good of use and is not a church without it. A woman does not "belong" to the church because she likes it socially; and a man must not "join" it for the sake of peace in the home. The two depend on each other in building their spiritual home every bit as much as they do in making an earthly home together; and each has a share in the building.

Rational wisdom and moral wisdom

     The process itself by which all the above takes place is both internal and external. The Writings speak of it in terms of rational wisdom and moral wisdom. In each case, conjunction is involved in a true marriage between husband and wife, but in general also between what we might call the male sphere and the female sphere. Individuals who are not married, or are not happily married, can also be regenerated.

     The teaching is that a wife is conjoined with her husband's rational wisdom inwardly and with his moral wisdom outwardly. This means that both have these forms of wisdom, yet always with the distinctly different masculine or feminine flavor. We must not miss the point that both see the same truth whether on the rational or moral plane. Rational truths relate to causes, moral truths to applications in daily life.


Self-examination also comes into view; for men and women alike must be able to detect within themselves the secret, inner motivations that are the causes of their outlook and aspirations in life, as well as the speech or deed that needs correction. But in either case, the male way, without the feminine influence, is to view things in light only; things are interesting but, "so what?" The feminine way, without the male influence, is to approach everything with the "I like it" or "I don't like it" attitude, and she does not know what to do about it. The two need each other.

Thinking from affection

     Everyone, whether male or female, thinks from affection; and this may be a very good thing-if the thought has been formed from the Word and the affection has been born after victory in temptation. But at this point the special quality with the male enters the scene. "He is born intellect-oriented" (CL 33). Because of this he is able to see that a thing is true before the affection of his own will is in it. Instead of his own will there is, with him, in the beginning "an affection for knowing, understanding and becoming wise" (Ibid.). A woman does not have this bent. "She is born will-oriented" (Ibid.). And the conjugial inclination is the latent essence in that will of hers. Consequently, "she is born with a love for conjoining herself to that affection in the male" (Ibid.), that is, she can acquire that affection, and see the same truth, through the male sphere.

     This order substitutes for the innate inclination (with both) to think from the affection of the will of the inherited proprium. It was introduced after the fall of the Most Ancient Church. For thought from that innate affection, with men and women alike, is not to be trusted.


Editorial Pages 2005

Editorial Pages              2005


     A recurrent theme at the Assembly this June was church growth, specifically growth in numbers. How can we "grow the church?"

     There are many ways the church grows; most importantly how it grows in our own life. What about growth in numbers? It should be our fondest hope that the knowledge of the church and its doctrine will spread to new people-not simply to grow a bigger church but to share abroad the heavenly treasures the Lord has given. As Swedenborg himself said, "I am obliged by my conscience to manifest these things; for what is the use of knowing, unless what is known to one be also known to others?" (ISB 18). "No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light" (Lu. 8:16).

     The truth is, the Lord alone "grows" the church. As any gardener at this season knows, growth is a miracle. "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how" (Mk. 4:26-27; emphasis added). We can plant seeds but only the Lord causes them to grow. We observe this miracle in nature when plants appear from cracks in rocks or most unexpected places, durable and steadfast.

     The Lord has given us our part. As we are so often taught, we are not to "hang down our hands" but are to act from ourselves (SE 2161). The joy of harvest comes to those husbandmen who dig the soil and cultivate "good ground." The numerical growth of the church is certain wherever the seed falls on good ground, producing some a "hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty" (Matt. 13:23). As the Lord promised:


"While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease" (Gen. 8:22).


     The concept of being useful as taught in the Writings has influenced significant people. Let us start with Galli-Curci. She is famous enough to be commonly mentioned in dictionaries, an Italian soprano in the United States who died in 1965. She testifies, "I have read Swedenborg's works continually for many years and find them a never-ending source of inspiration and happiness. . . . It is an explanation of life -its meaning and purpose-which satisfies that something within us which we know is only appealed to by the truth." And what about the concept of use? She once wrote: "I am not exhausted at all by my singing. Swedenborg shows the reason, and how life comes in as you pour it forth usefully to others, You don't have to try or worry or fret. You know it is not you but that it is just being done through you."

     Sarah Orne Jewett, whose name is also to be found in dictionaries, was a short story writer and novelist. She had wondered whether writing is a selfish pursuit. But under the influence of the concept of usefulness in the Writings she overcame this obstacle.

     As Sylvia Shaw put it, "The Swedenborgian concept that any vocation, high or lowly, is worthy if one strives to do it well and sincerely, gave Jewett a sense of high moral purpose in her writing, the ardent hope that she could fulfill her usefulness on earth through her honest efforts in writing. She could now see her love for writing as a gift that might help other people."


     Elizabeth Barrett Browning is a well-known advocate of the Writings. The concept of usefulness is evident in her life and in her words. She wrote:

     Let us be content, in work,
     To do the thing we can, and not presume
     To fret because it's little.

     Incidentally, she wrote in a letter to her sister in 1856 her view that Swedenborg "holds sublime truths in his right hand, and most humbly I have used them as I could. My desire is, that the weakness in me, may not hinder the influence."

     Where did I get the above information? It is from the essay by Dr. Alice B. Skinner in the Essays for the New Century Edition (Scribe of Heaven). Her unusual essay about Swedenborg's influence is subtitled "The Power of Three Selected Ideas" (pages 339-372).
CHARTER DAY 2005: OCTOBER 13-17 2005




     The Academy of the New Church welcomes alumni, students and friends to renew acquaintances, recreate memories and honor the Academy during the celebration of the 128th anniversary of the granting of the Academy Charter.

     The theme for Charter Day 2005 is "Heroes of the Academy"-our teachers. The Academy is unique among secondary schools, colleges and theological schools in the world. Our teachers are as unique and valuable as our doctrine and our mission.

     We all have memories of favorite teachers who influenced our lives. Come to the Charter Day banquet to pay tribute to all of our teachers and to hear from a master, Burt Friesen, beloved and renowned teacher of honors chemistry and physics and a constant example of all the Academy stands for.

     Tickets for reserved seats at the banquet-$18.00 for adults and $6.00 for students-may be purchased from Noelene Rose in the Academy Development Office, PO Box 708, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009, or by calling 267-502-4895.

     A complete schedule for the Charter Day weekend will be mailed to alumni and friends in the September Alumni Update. The schedule will also be posted on www.ancalumni.org. Watch for an even bigger and better auction this year. "The Bid" will benefit the Academy Scholarship Fund, library services and classroom support. And make plans to join in the 2nd Annual Richard R. Gladish Tennis Round Robin on Sunday as well as the 11th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament on Monday.
LITURGY 2005 2005

LITURGY 2005              2005

     General Church of the

     New Jerusalem

     $8.00 US


     Lord, We Pray Thee

     From the Eastern Mountains Unto Us a Child Is Born Blessed the Man

     March On, March On

     Psalm 19


     The Lord's Prayer (Childs) Jacob and Rachel

     The Lord's Last Words At God's First Word

     I Will Lift Up My Eyes Myriad


     Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee Lo, How a Rose

     Beauty for Ashes

     As We Gather

     Obey My Voice

     Here I Am, Lord

     Non Nobis, Domine


     LITURGY 2005 Large Print

     $8.00 US



Title Unspecified 2005

Title Unspecified              2005

     Vol. CXXV     September, 2005     No. 9

     New Church Life


Notes on This Issue 2005

Notes on This Issue              2005

     It has been more than a decade since we have published a sermon by the Rev. Dan Goodenough who served as President of the Academy for ten years from 1992 to 2002. Now retired and living with his wife Ruth in Wyoming, Mr. Goodenough serves as a visiting pastor in the eastern portion of the Northwest United States. He asks how a love of the Lord's law can be inculcated in a culture that resists authority, command and obligation of any kind.

     The Rev. Dr. Andrew Dibb, professor in the Academy Theological School, presents a study on "obsession" and how people still are vulnerable to the influence of evil spirits. In this first part, Dr. Dibb makes the distinction between possession by spirits, so often encountered in Scripture, and the obsession by spirits still common today. We plan to publish the second part of this study in a future issue.

     Meet the Rev. Mike Cates, being published in New Church Life for the first time. Mr. Cates tells his remarkable story of finding the Writings after years as an evangelical preacher. Mr. Cates was the recipient, last May, of the Swedenborg Foundation's "Johnny Appleseed Award of Excellence" for his "outstanding contribution" to the mission of that organization in promoting distribution of the Writings. In responding, he thanked the Foundation's members, board, and staff for the important work they do in making Swedenborg's works available and disseminating them to prepare for the advent of the New Church.

     In this issue, we offer two reports under the heading, "Church News." One reports on 100th anniversary events in Australia; the other on a church camp in Oregon. We hope to include more church news in future issues.

     You may notice a few differences in the appearance of this issue. We are working with a new desktop publishing program that eventually will allow us to go online with New Church Life.





"Oh, how I love Your law!" (Psalm 119.97)

     It would be hard to find a statement from the Word that is more out of touch with our times and present culture. The 119th Psalm abounds with enthusiasm for the Lord's law and tells of great delight and happiness in it. This theme is repeated throughout the psalm and echoed in other parts of the Old Testament.

     "The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of shekels of gold and silver" (v.72).

     "I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have given me life" (v. 93).

     "Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them" (v. 129).

     "Trouble and anguish have found me, yet Your commandments are my delights" (v. 143).

     "Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble" (v. 165).

     All this love and delight are not just about knowing the Lord's commandments. What makes them delightful and full of benefits such as freedom and peace is doing them, living by them.

     What an alien idea for a culture committed to private, personal freedom, to authority of the individual, to non-restraint of a person's autonomous wishes. The post-modern view of human life questions even the validity of law, commands, obligation of any kind, other than what individuals arbitrarily select for themselves.


     Tolerance, considering alien and unappealing ideas and accepting the freedom of others to select their own values, has today become a strong and needed virtue. But many people take tolerance to mean that anyone's thinking and wishes are as good as anyone else's and as true as anyone else's. This relativism leaves no room for order, values, or law, much less delight in any law. If there are no accepted answers about the order, meaning, and purpose of human life, then human society cannot cohere. And yes, law becomes merely rules that a few people impose on many.

     Hostility towards obligation, to should and ought to, corresponds with everyone's distaste for having to do something we don't like. No one enjoys shoulds that oppose our wishes. The natural or lower elements in us easily find reasons why shoulds are bad and why a good God doesn't really mean them. New Church people may feel that commands and shoulds are inappropriate from a loving God who wants us to be happy, and not caught up in worry about obligation or in various guilt feelings because we fall short. Doesn't the Lord want us to follow our delights and affections? The Old Testament way of direct command may seem out of touch with the Lord's leading from love. Maybe earlier ages had to have a stricter mentoring by rules and Divine demands, but shouldn't a clear understanding of the Divine love lead to fewer negatives and a more affirmative and happy message?

     An obsession with shoulds also seems out of touch with the values of popular culture since the Great Depression and World War II, and especially with the belief that life ought to feel good. Did you know that some New Church people think that "pursuit of happiness" is a phrase from the Writings?

     Ideas like these are growing during our times and cannot easily be dismissed. So as we read the Word, let us ask: "What is the Lord saying to me? Is He commanding me? Is He asking or requesting? Is He requiring or demanding? Is He suggesting? Is He just presenting the truth and leaving my response completely up to me? Is He challenging me?"


Our perception greatly depends on our own developing and fluctuating states of mind.

     How does the Lord speak to us? Can we love His law, as the Psalmist enthusiastically sings? While the answer has several parts, it's clear that commandment and law are an essential part of the Lord's speaking to us. The Ten Commandments are the first of the Word both in time and because they summarize everything in the Word (DP 326.11; AE 1024.2; TCR 283, 289).

     The Protestant Reformation understood the law as good because it shows us our sinfulness and God's righteousness and goodness. The function of the law in this view is to show how far we fall short of perfection rather than to give us a set of rules that we will, in fact, live by. The Gospel proclaims forgiveness because of our faith in Jesus Christ in spite of our failure to live by God's law. Therefore Protestants see the heart of the Scriptures as the Good News of forgiveness, not the law. In fact, the belief is that this Gospel essentially replaces the law.

     Yet this view of the law undercuts and ignores the Old Testament which insists that the law should be obeyed. The law is not just to be studied but provides goodness and wisdom for those who live by it. Happiness in the law is a reality with those who lead their lives by it. Besides, if we think God commands a law that is hopeless for humans to obey, we see God as unfair or incompetent or even worse.

     The Old Testament is full of commandments and insistent expectations by Jehovah God. It also shows that the law will bring us rewards and happiness of many kinds. To illustrate:

Therefore be careful to observe [these commandments]; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. What great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments which are in all this law which I set before you this day?" (Deut. 4:6, 8)


     Moses acknowledges that obeying the law is sometimes difficult and that the Lord chastens us. He also shows how this is good for us and makes us happy because humility before our Creator is good (see Deut.8).

     While the New Testament has gentler teachings than the Old, often given by parable, the Lord frequently said what people should do. He taught with authority, and not as the scribes (Matt.7:29). His most distinctive and pressing message, His new commandment to all His disciples, was that we should love all people (John 13:15). He repeated this often. Clearly, His followers looked to Him not only for general teachings about life, but asked Him what they should do and say, and He told them. Though they didn't always like what He said, they accepted His teachings as right, as commands they should do. They never viewed His teachings as something they could take or leave, follow or not follow.

     For example, when Jesus spoke to the woman taken in adultery, He didn't threaten her with damnation, and His command "Go and sin no more" sounds like the blessing it truly is. But it did clearly tell her what she should not do (John 8:11).

     One of the best ways to answer our question, "Can we love the Lord's law?" would be to study the Lord's sayings in the New Testament and notice all the different ways He asks, urges, shows, and commands us what we should do. Sometimes He even rebukes His disciples as well as the Scribes and Pharisees.

     The Writings speak to this question in many passages. For example, our lesson from AC 1947 holds the same paradoxical combination of challenge, obligation, and delight. We should humble, even afflict, our rational by compelling ourselves. This is certainly a should, though the Lord never compels us. And when we compel ourselves, the Lord increases our freedom and is closer to us. Through the should of self-compulsion He perfects our heavenly proprium, makes us more and more free, and expands our affection, delight, and happiness.


     In fact, obligation to others outside ourself, and ultimately to our Creator God, comes from the nature of reality itself. Inherent in our human existence is the need, the desirability, to fit in with and be a functioning part of reality. If we are just imaginative figments or toys of God, then there is no reality that we are part of. Then there are no shoulds.

     For instance, if for a time you're living in a storm, then whether you call it a command, a need, or a suggestion, you should act so as to live and preserve yourself in the midst of the reality around you.

     The real universe around and within us defines the actions we need to follow. Even more is this true of the reality that God provides for us: a reality of love and wisdom. It is the nature of love to will and not be indifferent, to want something, to seek and try for something.

     For God not to expect or ask something of His followers would mean that God is without purpose or permanent reality. A universe with no inherent shoulds has no lasting reality or structure. If it has a god, then the god is capricious and inconstant, perhaps, as Gloucester says in King Lear..."As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods; they kill us for their sport." (IV.i.37-38). We may feel like this sometimes, but the whole point of Divine revelation is to show that God is, and that He is not capricious.

     The first thing Jehovah God told Moses was His name: "I Am I Who Am" (Exod. 3:14). God is the I Am: He is, and what is is real. There is purpose and order in what He does. That is why, after Moses gathered the people and led them out of Egypt, Jehovah God's first act was to give the Ten Commandments, the first of the Word.

     A revelation of God would be pointless without some resulting expectations of us: obligations, commands, work to do, however you want to express the concept of should. The life of people without God-given expectations can be seen as similar to the life of a child who is raised without limits or sense of obligation.


Such a child is at risk of growing up not believing life has any real purpose or permanent values.

     Purpose and lasting values of any kind imply something we should do. Ultimately, purpose derives from love; lasting values derive from wisdom. Reality is full of purpose. Our environment has permanent structure because the Creator is love and wisdom. These are what give our life both meaning and obligation. Without a sense of should, human life has no meaning, as post-modern cultural thought clearly demonstrates.

     This may be true enough if we believe in God, yet how can we avoid feeling overburdened by weighty shoulds, by a life dominated by worries, excessive guilt, or false conscientiousness? While the answers to this are not simple, obviously we need thoughtful balance in our lives. For example, the Writings warn against a false conscience that raises scruples about everything, producing silly doubt, anxiety, and endless worries about unimportant matters (AC 5386, 5724; SE 1240). It is one thing to internalize our own shoulds through careful search of the Word and personal reflection, but quite a different thing to impose our own shoulds on other people.

     The real antidote to excessive guilt and anxiety is to appreciate the Lord's love and mercy and His gift of freedom to all people, as well as His love for variety. We cannot do sudden massive spiritual makeovers of ourselves. We must be patient with His regenerating processes. Patience includes trust that the Lord is leading us towards Himself, not that we must be perfect now.

     Especially let us keep in mind the importance of repenting of one or two evils as sins against God on a continuing, regular basis. More than all our anxieties and yearning about our spiritual state, this is what keeps us turned to the Lord and makes us new. A sincere effort to live as the Lord wishes and commands will gradually bring confidence that He is guiding us. We will understand that He does not expect us to be able to comply perfectly with His every precept, teaching, request, suggestion.


     He does expect, ask for, want, even command, sincere and honest effort. "Good which flows in from the Lord is constantly at hand and so to speak entreating [or urging]; but it is up to the individual to accept it" (AC 5471). Whether we feel it as a command or request or suggestion depends mostly on our own inner state of acceptance. Still, His urging or entreaty or knocking, because it is something He wishes, is a should for us. It comes from the permanent reality of His universe. It is based in the reality that comes from His loving Divine purposefulness. And because part of that reality is human freedom, He will not force us to obey His requests or make us answer the door on which He knocks.

     "Oh, how I love Your law!" Can we really do this? If we can, His law won't seem at all like a law but like a light in our darkness, a guideline we long for to give us peace, true liberty, heavenly gold. Natural freedom is hostile to every should, even every suggestion that we act differently from what we want. From purely natural freedom we see authority as our enemy. But the Lord offers us a higher spiritual freedom. This enables us to look down on our passions in true light from above and to feel the Lord's shoulds not as commands so much as urgings, or even as useful instructions for our lasting happiness (see DP 73, 76).

     The Writings show how regeneration brings about this gradual transformation. One interesting example is shunning adulterous lusts. The attitude of a person undergoing such transformation changes over time from just obeying commands to really loving the Lord's law. At first, a person's spirit, as from high above, can see the adulterous promptings of his body as "shams and fallacies." He perceives these fleshly delights as deceptive illusions. Then, persisting in his effort, he sees adulterous attractions as lustful and lascivious evils to be shunned.


As they are shunned, he progressively views them as "harmful and injurious to the soul, until at last he feels them as undelightful, foul, and repulsive" (CL 441).

     Do you see the progression from simple honest perception to a real feeling of disgust at adultery? This final stage of desiring to live a clean life with the Lord's help is also when a person comes to perceive conjugial love as truly delightful and blessed (CL 441; see also DP 278.1; Life 77). The commandment against adultery does not change in this process, we do. Over time, we are cleansed and freed from our merely natural freedom, and the Lord's law produces a life-giving order that we come to love.

     The most challenging and demanding commandment, calling for more change of life than any other should, is that we should love others as the Lord has loved us, His new commandment to all His followers. He says: "You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.... These things I command you that you love one another" (John 15:12, 14, 17).

     Yes, these are commands, but in this very same passage the Lord also calls us friends and no longer servants (John 15:1415). The Writings affirm the literal sense here and note that the Lord's disciples are "friends" or freed men because they live by His truths and so are truly free (AE 409.10).

     The commands have not changed. We come to appreciate and love them by gradually learning to live by them day by day.

     "Oh, how I love Your law!" This is the deep cry of the soul in any age from someone who loves the law because he lives it. The Lord always operates from love and continually urges us to open the door to that love for ourselves. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock," He said. "If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and sup with him, and he with Me" (Rev. 3.20; DP 119). Amen.

Lessons: Exodus 3:13-15; Deuteronomy 7:11-13; John 15:9-17; AC 1947 (sel.)



OBSESSION       Rev. ANDREW M.T. DIBB       2005

     Part One

     Modern society does not put much store in the idea of a connection between mental states and the spiritual world. Taking a materialistic approach to the way the mind works leads people to look to physical and environmental causes rather than to the presence and activity of associate spirits. Ideas of spiritual possession are more the preserve of the directors of horror movies than of either theology or science. As New Church people we do not for one second want to underplay the important role of either the chemistry of our bodies or the impact of the environment in the development of the mind. As Conjugial Love says,

Goodness and truth are present in their created vessels according to each one's form because whatever flows into any vessel is received by it according to its form. (CL 86)

     In a similar vein, we are told that it is important to pay attention to the things of both our minds and our bodies:

Everyone ought to take care of his body in respect to its food and clothing. This must come first, but to the end that there may be a sound mind in a sound body. (AC 6936)

     However, the Heavenly Doctrine speaks at length about the impact of our spiritual associates. Their presence has an enormous impact on who we are. The focus of this study is on obsession by spirits of those who are in soundness of body, and who therefore play a part in opening their lives voluntarily to the evil spirits. This paper is not intended to discuss obsession in people with mental imbalances, and whose obsession, therefore, is involuntary. We are reminded that, in spite of the fact that these spirits are invisible to us, we play a role in granting these spirits access to our minds, and we are able, by working in harmony with the Lord, to take steps toward being protected from them. These are obsessing spirits.


There Are Many Stories in the Word of Spiritual Possession

     In New Testament times it was common for demons to infest people. The Lord's healing of these people is shown in terms of casting out demons. We, in our so-called more learned times, scoff at this imagery, and yet it is real. All of us are spirits clothed in human form. Our minds exist beyond the realms of time and space; love and thought are both spiritual activities. So why then should we dismiss the role of the spiritual world in our mental activities? We are greatly affected by the spiritual spheres around us, and at the same time we are free to think and act as if the spiritual world does not exist. When we are in states of love, peace and tranquillity, when we are acting honestly and sincerely, our spirit is in company with similar spirits who support and reinforce these heavenly states. Unfortunately, the same is true of our evil states. When we burn with hatred or revenge, when our motives are selfish and our actions hurtful to others and ourselves, then our spiritual associates come from hell.

     The Gospels describe many stories in which people are possessed by evil spirits or demons. One such story is given in Matthew 17. We are told of a boy who, when possessed by an evil spirit, threw himself into the fire or water and suffered severely as a result. The Lord healed him by calling the demon out of him. When the disciples pointed out that they could not cast demons out, the Lord responded that this kind of demon could only be cast out by "prayer and fasting."

     Infestation of the body is called "possession" or "exterior obsession," and the Lord protects us from this. There was a time, before the first advent, when spirits could take control of both mind and body of people in this world:

There are also spirits called natural and corporeal spirits. When these come to a man they do not conjoin themselves with his thought, like other spirits, but enter into his body, and occupy all his senses, and speak through his mouth, and act through his members, believing at the time that all things of the man are theirs.


These are the spirits that obsess man. But such spirits have been cast into hell by the Lord, and thus wholly removed; and in consequence such obsessions are not possible at the present time. (HH 257)

     This episode described in Matthew 17, however, is set in a time of different spiritual realities than our own. The Lord's advent changed the balance of the spiritual and natural worlds by conquering the hells and restoring spiritual freedom to people in this earth. Part of this spiritual freedom is freedom from physical spiritual possession: "At the present day interior obsession takes place, but not exterior obsession as in former times" (AC 4793).

     Since the advent of the Lord, evil spirits cannot infest our bodies, but they have a tremendous influence on our minds. Infestation of our minds is called "obsession," and the Lord cannot protect us from this because we can now choose the kind of spiritual company we keep by the kinds of thoughts and feelings we cultivate. The more we allow the disordered and unregenerate states of mind to control us, the more closely we associate with spirits whose presence binds us more and more closely to them. Gradually we lose our resistance to the evil, we think more and more evil things and feel freer to act them out in our lives. Unless something happens to stop this process, we will find ourselves as an evil spirit clothed in a human form. The will to repent will be gone, the image of the Lord transfigured will fade and, like the boy, we will throw ourselves into the fire of evil and be burnt up, or fall into the waters of falsity and drown.

The Difference Between Possession and Obsession

     Possession is the infestation of the body itself by evil spirits, so that a person in this condition may be compelled to do certain things-as in the case of the boy throwing himself into the fire or water-without any free will or ability to resist. Obsession, on the other hand, is the result of spirits occupying our will and understanding, of holding us captive to their own will.


However, this spiritual influence is carried into the acts of the body by the person's own choice-although the ability to rationally make choices is severely impaired by the infestation itself.

The nature of [interior obsession] may be seen if people pay attention to their thoughts and affections, above all to their inward intentions which they fear to reveal and which with some are so insane that if they were not kept in check by external restraints-which are position, material gain, reputation, fear for their life and of the law-they would plunge more than the obsessed themselves into murder and pillage. (AC 4793)

Why Possession Is No Longer Allowed

     Physical possession by evil spirits has not been allowed since the Lord's first advent. There is a very good reason for this, and it hinges on the teaching that spirits do not have the use of their corporeal memory. In other words, they do not remember the things relating to the body itself. Spirits are deprived of this bodily memory for various reasons:

     If spirits were permitted to use the exterior memory

     -     they would then be in similar imperfection as before, when they were men;

     -     that by so doing they would be in gross and obscure ideas, in comparison with those who are in the interior memory;

     -     and thus would not only become more and more foolish, but would also descend, and not ascend; thus would not live eternally; for to immerse themselves again in worldly and corporeal things would be to give themselves again into a state of death.

     If spirits were permitted to use the exterior memory, the human race would perish;

     -     for every man is directed by the Lord through angels and spirits;

     -     and that if spirits were to flow into man from the exterior memory, he could not think from his own memory, but only from that of the spirit;


     - thus man would come to be no longer in the enjoyment of his own life and his own freedom, but would be obsessed (the obsessions of former times being nothing else); besides other reasons. (AC 2477)

     A further reason they do not have this corporeal memory is because if they did, they could enter into and take over, or obsess, the bodies of people in this world, which would destroy us:

[Spirits] do not enjoy a corporeal memory, but put on that of man; for were spirits to retain their corporeal memory, they would so far obsess man, that he would have no more self control or be in the enjoyment of his own life, than one actually obsessed. This is the cause also that it is not permitted a spirit to usurp a corporeal memory, for thus the human race would perish. (SE 3783)

     In other words, if spirits continued to have the memory of the things of their bodies in this world, they would be able to impose their own memories onto the people they are associated with. Remembering their own states, they would impose those onto the people, taking away our freedom to act as we will. Eventually they would be able to enter not only into our minds, but into our very bodies, and so possess us.

     It is interesting to note, however, that even though spirits cannot possess people, they can, and do, possess other spirits.

There are many spirits who wish to obsess others, and when they find other spirits who desire this, they possess them, and, as it were, enter their whole body, and thus completely obsess them, act through them, speak through them, and those who are obsessed tremble violently as though insane. (SE 5981)


     This same passage describes a woman obsessed by other spirits in the Spiritual World, she "was possessed, and, as it were, raved, and flung herself about in every direction, and shouted out, supposing it all from herself" (SE 5981).

     In this condition she does not seem to be very different from the boy flinging himself into the fire, or the man with a legion of spirits who constantly hurt himself. Swedenborg describes a time when he was obsessed with spirits who entered into his corporeal memory (although he was protected by the Lord at the time). He writes:

I was obsessed by spirits who took such possession of my body and all its parts, that I hardly knew, except very faintly, that it was my body. Nevertheless I was still myself, I could think separately, but as if I were closed out of the body, or had the scantiest part of my body, while spirits occupied the whole of it. (SE 2272)

     In this situation, he did not even feel the body to be his own. This is what it must have felt like for those possessed in New Testament times. If the Lord had allowed this situation to continue, humanity would have been defenseless and lost.

     The Heavenly Doctrines give us a warning, that even though possession has ceased, obsession is very common: "Very many people are under their control at the present day, for at the present day interior obsession takes place" (AC 4793).

Types of Spirits Who Would Do This

     At this point we may wish to ask ourselves what kind of spirits are so driven that they want to possess people, or, since that is no longer permitted, to obsess them. It is obvious that good spirits wish to preserve human freedom so that people might be able to respond to the Lord according to His Providence. A true relationship with the Lord must be one of freedom. Obsession, therefore, would go contrary to an angel's conscience.

     This is not true for evil spirits. Broadly speaking, spirits who love to obsess people are spirits who do not want to give up their connection with this world, and who at the same time want to dominate people. The "instinct" to obsess is part of the very make up of evil spirits.


Swedenborg discovered very early in the process of his spiritual experiences that:

Within every evil spirit [there] is the will to be the lord of others and, within some, to be lords of the universe. Hence they are stupid, and so one is easily coerced by another. Each one of them wishes to subject man to himself as a most vile slave. Therefore, if God Messiah did not rule all, all men, being obsessed, would at once perish. (SE 133)

     This desire to control and dominate is not something that develops suddenly after death. Preparation for a spiritual career as an obsessing spirit begins during life in this world. Spirits become obsessors, because "during their lifetime these spirits became addicted to entering a person's affections so as to cause harm, they also retain that desire in the next life" (AC 4793).

     One can speculate how people in this life "enter people's affections so as to cause harm," for example when people try to manipulate and control others in order for their own ends, they obsess them. Someone who tries to control what others think, feel, or do, especially if the manipulator is going to benefit, may well become an obsessing spirit. This manipulation is coupled with a love for the natural world, and a reluctance to leave it behind. For these people the natural world is everything. They do not look to anything higher nor to the future, unless those things too can be brought under their control. The Heavenly Doctrine describes how:

There are spirits who in the life of the body so loved the world as to make it paramount to everything else, and at the same time were bent upon ruling over others, placing in this the delight of their life, and retaining it to their dying day. These spirits in the other life are inclined to obsess man, or to return through man into the world, preferring the dead and defiled things of the world to the spiritual and celestial things which so vastly surpass them. (SE 4198)


     The obsession with the world means that these spirits believe that upon dying they will lose all the delightful things in their lives at death, so they are horrified at the thought of dying. Once in the spiritual world, the only way they can cling to the natural world is through the affections and thoughts of those in the natural world who are in similar loves. To protect people, these spirits are sent as far from people as possible (SE 4668).

     Swedenborg describes how such a spirit described his condition:

A spirit came to me and said that he longs to come back into the world, and therefore loved to be with me, for at an earlier time they had entirely occupied my body, so that they seemed to themselves to be my body as it were obsessed by them, even though I was just as sane as at other times because the Lord had protected me. (SE 2665)

     These spirits, however, not only want to come back into contact with the world, they want to control the people they are with. In this way they not only have the pleasure of contact with the natural world, but they are also able to indulge their worldly affections of dominion.

Evil spirits long for nothing more eagerly than to completely control an earthly human, both the inward regions and most of all the body. Thereby they seem to themselves to return to the life of the body, for they then absolutely imagine they have returned. (SE 2659)

     Obsession, then, is a closer than normal tie between a person in this world and the associate spirits around him or her. Yet the tie is more one of master/slave than that of a helpful presence, as one imagines the angels to be. One passage describes the relationship as "lethal" (AC 4793). The tightening of the bond between person and spirit is the desire of the obsessing spirit, although the person in this world either consciously through choice, or unconsciously through spiritual negligence, allows the obsession to happen. Once these obsessing spirits take control of a person's mind, they then think themselves back in the world.


There are many kinds of spirits who obsess people. One frequent theme is sexual. Many passages describe sirens, who

are mainly females, who during their lifetime have studied how to attract male companions to themselves by interior devices-by worming their way in through external allurements, by captivating the baser mental instincts in all sorts of ways, by penetrating into each one's affections and delights, but with an evil motive, namely that of manipulating. (AC 1983)

     These sirens, both in this world, and in the next, are motivated by adultery and hatred towards the men they obsess. As they tighten the bonds of control around their victims, they "compel and lead spirits to think as they themselves do . . . In this way they gain entry into the baser parts of the minds of others whom they lead on and by persuasion either overwhelm or captivate" (AC 1983).

     Sirens break down people's resistance by systematically destroying the conscience, so that the person obsessed sees nothing wrong with the feelings, thoughts and intentions being transmitted from the siren to himself. He feels these things as his own, embraces them and acts them out, all the while ignorant that a siren has captured his mind and destroyed it.

     Of course not all sirens are women. Swedenborg describes male sirens who had

an inclination that they wish actually to return into the world, thus wholly to obsess people, which they also attempted with me by night while I was asleep. They labored by various arts to enter into me, and thus to obsess me. (SE 4420)

     There is a very close tie between obsession and adultery. The Writings stress this connection many times in different places. When we consider the power of sexuality in the natural world, it should not be any great surprise that it becomes a point of connection between people and spirits, and particularly when the conjugial is lost and replaced by adultery.


In the other life they who have been eaten up with adulteries desire more than others to obsess men, and thus through them to return into the world; but they are kept back in hell by the Lord, lest they should come among the spirits who are with men. The most who are such are from the Christian world; rarely from elsewhere. (AC 2752)

     Connected with adultery is cruelty. Hell, which is ruled by selfishness, is the source of both adultery and cruelty. There is a tremendous similarity between these.

The reason why both the adulterous and the cruel have that desire and intention to possess a person is that they more than all others are governed by the body and the senses. (AC 5990)

     Adultery and cruelty also often overlap in their disregard for others, in fact it is pointed out that most people who, in the life of the body had been cruel, were also adulterers (AC 824):

Adulterers have it in mind to destroy society, and many of them are cruel, . . . thus at heart they are opposed to charity and mercy, they laugh at others' misfortunes, and desire to take away from everyone what belongs to him, which they do insofar as they dare. It gives them pleasure to destroy friendships and to create enmities. (AC 2747)

     Since both adultery and cruelty focus on the physical body itself, it follows that those who relax the bonds of conscience in this regard are victims of obsession, and prone to becoming obsessors themselves after death. This obsessiveness in both the natural and spiritual worlds stands in contrast to the beauty of conjugial love. The manipulation and control of sirens is the very opposite of the consent standing at the heart of conjugial love. Cruelty is totally opposed to the tender, cherishing love of an angel husband and wife. It is not surprising then, that, when hell enters into sexual matters, beauty is turned to ugliness, and the life-giving act degenerates into one of spiritual death.


     Not all obsessing spirits, however, are sexually motivated.

     Another example is the kind who believe themselves to be the Holy Spirit. The True Christian Religion describes how many priests believe that the Holy Spirit, as a God in His own right, speaks through them (TCR 183). When these priests enter the spiritual world, they have to be disabused of this notion and taught the true nature of the Holy Spirit, otherwise they begin to think that they are the Holy Spirit themselves, and begin to infest those who preach on earth. Not all those who think themselves to be the Holy Spirit are willing to give this idea up. These spirits apparently flooded out of their hell at the time when Quakerism emerged in the world.

There are enthusiastic spirits, separated from all others, of such gross perception, that they believe themselves to be the Holy Spirit. When Quakerism commenced, these spirits, being drawn out as it were from encircling forests where they were wandering, obsessed many; infusing the persuasion that they [Quakers] were moved by the Holy Spirit; and because they perceived the influx sensibly, they became so completely filled with this kind of religious persuasion, that they believed themselves more enlightened and holier than the rest . . . (LJ 83)

     (Part II of this study will be published in a future issue)

FIFTEEN YEAR INDEX              2005

     The New Church Life Index for 1988-2002 is now available. Cost $15. For a copy write: New Church bookstore, Box 752, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009; or email: bookstore@newchurch.org. Phone 267 502-4980.




     After the preciousness of the inward sense of God's Word was introduced into my life, I knew I could not remain on the sidelines; I had to share. Yet how to introduce the Second Coming of the Lord in my sphere of influence at first seemed most difficult. I had developed many relationships by instructing and disciplining those with whom I had contact in the Old Church theology, but I knew there had to be others like me, hungry and thirsty, with an affection for truth for the sake of truth. There just had to be others as recorded in the story of the Samaritan in his journey, who would come and see and have compassion (See AC 4956). It would be these that would receive the true doctrine of the Lord (see Luke 10:30-37).

     Some years ago, a friend by the name of Buddy Owens, now residing in Canon City, Colorado, introduced the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg to me. He had found them in a library in his search for allegorical meanings in the Bible. His search was no less the providence of the Lord than the questions I was asking concerning Scripture when he introduced the Writings to me.

     My background since I was a young boy had been in the Evangelical Christian Church. Raised the first six and a half years of my life in a Southern Baptist orphanage, then adopted into a Southern Baptist home, I guess you could say I cut my teeth on the doctrine of three gods, justification and salvation by faith alone, merit, and so on. Religious theology in my life was only an addendum to life, an insurance policy for the life hereafter; it had little to do with a person's character-i.e. keeping the commandments of God, shunning evils as sins against God, much less loving one's neighbor. From my point of view, the only reason we ever pretended to love our neighbor was because we wanted something the neighbor had.

     As I moved into my adult life, however, there was a vacuum that never seemed to get filled.


Many times I had associated that vacuum with the six and a half years in the orphanage or the adoption, but throughout my life I really never felt connected-always on the outside looking in, longing for true relationships.

     In my late teens and early adulthood, I worked with a prominent charismatic leader for a little over eight years, traveling all over the United States, Canada and many other nations around the world, assisting him as he taught a message that faith alone saves. The last three and a half years of the time with his organization, I was in charge of the department that responded to countless thousands of questions from the audience that he reached. I responded from the repertoire of knowledge I had accrued. The answers were pat, with no rationality to them. Licensed and ordained through his ministry, I set out to emulate what I had learned, only to find myself again coming up empty and questioning. Oh, thank goodness for the remains the Lord stores up in us from infancy. Without these, no one would ever seek.

     It was at this time in my life that Buddy put Heaven and Hell into my hands. I couldn't put it down. It didn't just answer questions; it opened the floodgate for more questions. I think Buddy felt I would be served better by reading the Writings for myself rather than having him try to answer these questions. So, soon thereafter, I received in the mail about twenty or so volumes of what is known as the standard green edition. I didn't know what I had at the time. All Buddy told me was that I needed to read at least the first sixty pages of the first volume of Arcana Coelestia. What can I say? The rest is history.

     I, too, have come to realize now over the years that, if a person will read at least the first couple of chapters of the first volume of the Arcana, he or she will at least have some foundation for the rest of the Writings. Swedenborg clearly states that what he had written in Apocalypse Explained 555 would not be understood except by few, unless it were known that the first two chapters of Genesis treat of the new creation, that is, of regeneration. (See AE 555:14)


     This internal sense of the Word given through Emanuel Swedenborg is the Second Coming of the Lord. I realize that many who hear it will not receive it, just as many did not receive the Lord in His first coming because He did not come as they expected. Nevertheless, the Last Judgment has occurred and the New Jerusalem is descending. Unlike any Church before it, though, this New Church will be an enduring Church. Daniel put it this way in the interpretation to King Nebuchadnezzar's dream:

In the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure. (Daniel 2:44-45)

     The Writings point this out again in the Apocalypse Revealed where it is clearly taught that "the falsities of the former Church must first be removed...since truths, which are received and implanted before falsities are removed, do not remain, and they are also dissipated by the dragonists. The like happened with the Christian Church, which increased successively from a few to many" (AR 547, emphasis added).

     I know I sometimes get impatient, especially when reading through the Acts of the Apostles and seeing the rapid spread of the first Christian Church. Yet, as we just noted, though it started with few and increased to many, it did not endure because falsities had not been removed; there was still a commingling with the prior Church. The axe had not been put to the root of the tree. That is not what is happening with this New Church.

     This New Church is distinct from all other Churches that have ever existed. It is cut out of a mountain without hands.


     There is a powerful passage, Apocalypse Explained 732, that gives reasons why this New Church that is called the Holy Jerusalem will first begin with a few, afterwards to be with more, and finally to reach fullness. I am aware that lengthy quotations make for tedious reading, but these three points are so important that it seems critical to cite the doctrine fully and in context. We read:

First, its doctrine, which is the doctrine of love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbor, cannot be acknowledged and thus received except by those who are interiorly affected by truths, and those only can be interiorly affected by truths who have the ability to see them, and those only see truths who have cultivated their intellectual faculty, and have not destroyed it in themselves by the loves of self and of the world.

A second reason is that the doctrine of that church cannot be acknowledged and thence received but by those who have not confirmed themselves by doctrine, and at the same time by life, in faith alone; confirmation by doctrine alone does not prevent reception, but confirmation by life also does prevent, for such do not know what love to the Lord is, nor what charity towards the neighbor is, nor are they willing to know.

A third reason is that the New Church on the earth grows according to its increase in the world of spirits, for spirits from that world are with men, and they are from such as while they lived on earth were in the faith of their church, and none of these receive the doctrine but those who have been in the spiritual affection of truth; these only are conjoined to heaven where that doctrine is, and they conjoin heaven to man. The number of these in the spiritual world now increases daily, therefore according to their increase does that church that is called the New Jerusalem increase on earth (AE 732).


     I want everyone with whom I share the Writings to have the same zeal as I do for the spread of the New Church on the earth. I would love to see the New Church increase instantly; but it is not going to happen that way. There is a divine order, and the Writings have laid it out explicitly. The New Church on the earth will not be greater than the New Heavens.

     So then how is it that the New Heavens grow? As I understand it, the New Heavens grow - and have grown -through the efforts of those in the Church who are enlightened by the spiritual light of the Word by influx from the Lord out of heaven, for the reason that they acknowledge the Divine in the Lord's Human, and are in the spiritual affection of truth from Him. It is these that provide an ultimate basis for the New Heavens. Hence, the spiritual sense of the Word is solely for those of the New Church; these being those whose understanding is enlightened and from this are able to see truth from the light of truth. The New Jerusalem will tarry among those who are in the doctrine of faith separate while it grows to fullness, until provision is made for it among many; for there are those in that Church who have not, like their leaders, confirmed themselves in the doctrine of faith alone separate from the life of charity. (See AE 757-765; Coronis 18: VI).

     In a letter to Dr. Beyer in 1767, Swedenborg writes:

How soon a New Church is to be expected? Answer: The Lord is now establishing a new heaven from those who believe in Him and acknowledge Him to be the true God of heaven and earth, and who also look to Him in their lives, which means the shunning of evil and the doing of good; for it is from this heaven that the New Jerusalem is to descend (see Revelation xxi 2). Daily I see spirits and angels descending and ascending in numbers from ten to twenty thousand and being arranged in order. In so far as this heaven is formed the New Church will commence and grow.


     I asked someone not long ago, where are the Samuel Nobles, the Robert Hindmarshs, the John Clowes, the Alfred Actons, the Hugo Odhners, today? There is tremendous inspiration in the collateral works of men such as these because they draw from the Writings. They seemed to know the distinctiveness of the New Church and were not in the least concerned with accommodating it to the old theology. These men went before us; they took the building materials which are the doctrines of the New Church and truly, with the Lord's help, set out to build the New Jerusalem on the new foundation. They were aware that the New Church would not be instituted and established as prior Churches were; for this truly Christian Church would be established through the revelation of the spiritual sense of the Word.

     But who will receive this genuine truth? How is the New Church to grow? Without knowledges preceding, it cannot! For the influx of angels is into what a man knows and believes, not into what a man does not know and does not believe; for their influx is not fixed anywhere except where there is something appertaining to man (See AC 6208). Furthermore,

Genuine Truth, of which doctrine must consist, can be seen in the sense of the letter of the Word only by those who are in enlightenment from the Lord. Enlightenment is from the Lord alone, and exists in those who love truths because they are truths, and who make truths uses of life. To no others is enlightenment in the Word possible. Enlightenment is from the Lord alone, because the Word is from Him, and consequently He is in it.

[The Lord said in John:] "He that has My commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves Me, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him and I will come unto him, and make My abode with him" (John 14:20, 21, 23). (TCR 231, emphasis added)

     The internal acknowledgement of truth can only abide with those who desire more than just the presence of the Lord; for anywhere the Word is, He is present.


There is a vast difference, however, between being in the Church and the Church being in you. We are taught in Matthew:

Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?" And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" (Matt. 7:21-23)

     This is one of the dangers of trying to accommodate the Word to man's natural intellect. A person may think he understands and may be able to parrot the intellectual knowledge, yet it never affects his evil proprium. It doesn't move him to repentance-shunning evil as sin against God. Without repentance there can be no reformation, and without reformation there is no regeneration. Only the doctrine of the Lord can reveal the man of sin, "who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God" (2 Thess. 2:3-4). Tickling people's ears with hyperboles may cause congregations to grow, but it does not bring about the New Church. (See Matt. 23:15)

     The New Church will grow from those who have an affection for truth for the sake of truth and its uses in life. Though the New Church seems to be obscure and small in the earth today, the Lord has prepared a place for it to be nourished until provision may be made for it among many, until it increases to its appointed state.

     How grateful I am for the diligence of those who have stewarded, preserved, and maintained the precious works given through Emanuel Swedenborg in their integrity. It has been of the Lord's Divine providence; for had they not, this revelation of the internal sense of the Word might not have been so easily accessible to individuals like myself and others to whom the Second Coming of the Lord is being revealed.


Editorial Pages 2005

Editorial Pages              2005


     The book of Joshua marks a new beginning for Israel. A new leader had been chosen to guide the people into the promised land. Past failures were forgotten. The mistakes and weariness of the wilderness journey could be left behind. The Lord urged them forward and exhorted them to obey His law with new strength and courage. He promised prosperity and success.

     Our life, too, continually has its new beginnings; new opportunities for us to follow the Lord. The seasons change; so do our states of life. There are natural cycles and man-made cycles. A new season of church activity begins and a new school year. We begin a new job or a new project. We awaken to a new day fresh with the dew of new opportunities to apply our religion to life. Let us rejoice in the opportunities ahead! "Every single moment of life is the starting point of consequences in life, and like a single seed from which countless results ensue to eternity" (SE 2714; AC 3854:3). "Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go" (Josh. 1: 9).


     The many moments of our life are precious in the Lord's sight and in the sight of the angels because they represent the living states by which He leads us, little by little, toward our place in His kingdom. Each evil affection that is rejected so that a good one may be implanted brings rejoicing in heaven. Each false thought that is stifled and replaced by a true idea calls for spiritual celebration.

     The teaching of the Heavenly Doctrine is that we are led by the Lord continually in every smallest moment of our life. His providence rules not just the great events of history, the megatrends or the broad sweep of progress, but the minute details of our life.


It is true that the very hairs of our head are numbered. Impossible, we think. Impossible for us to comprehend, perhaps, but not impossible for the Lord to carry out.

     The Lord leads each one of us to the best possible end but His leading is continually moderated by our reception and free choice. In every case, even with those who choose hell, mankind could not possibly be better led (SE 3114).

     How can we make the best of these new beginnings? First, by humbly acknowledging the Lord and giving thanks for His secret leading. Second, by looking to Him to find the true direction for our life. Third, by putting ourselves into the stream of providence by shunning the evils against Him that we discover in ourselves. Fourth, by rejoicing in a sense of spiritual progress. "Likewise there will be...joy in heaven over one sinner who repents" (Lu. 15:7).


     An on-line family magazine from the G.C. Office of Education featuring materials for all ages focused on a new theme every month

     Looking for the Good in September 2005
     Disciples of the Lord in October 2005



ORIGIN OF LIFE       Julie Conaron       2005


Dear Editor,

     I was delighted to read the article by James Brush on the widely held theory of evolution ("The Origins of Life: Theory and Its Limitations, Part One," June 2005, pp.191-198). I have to admit I was initially skeptical of his article. As a biologist of some thirty-five-plus years, I have read many strange articles against this theory, often by fundamental Christians who believe in the literal seven days of creation, and whose objection to the theory is purely an emotional one.

     Like James, I have had some reservations about the theory of evolution. It is difficult as a New Church woman and scientist to envision such beauty and complexity in nature being a result of chaotic, random mutations. I got a kick out of seeing the mathematical reasons why it wouldn't work, even though I am not a mathematician.

     However, there does need to be an explanation for the changes in species and types of organisms over the millennia. In order to preserve man's freedom to not believe in God, it needs to also have a physical/natural explanation. Until something comes along that fits the data better, I believe evolution is a product of the Lord's natural laws. After all, He created them, and does not work against them, and could easily have "set-up" the changes to spiritually reflect the changes in man's states and affections since his creation. Darwin was no atheist as some believe. He did not propose that his theory removed God.

     Having now read Part Two (July 2005, pp. 243-247), I am somewhat confused by what James is proposing as an alternative to evolution: is he suggesting spontaneous creation? If so, he has no real data to support it, and it has no physical explanation in natural laws. It actually has less to support it than the theory of evolution has.


In The Evolution-Creation Struggle, a book by Michael Ruse reviewed in New Scientist (July 30, 2005 pages 42-43), there are some remarkable insights on what all this debate is about: Religion is not about thinking, but doing things that change you at a profound level. In his book, Ruse talks about the different modes of understanding the world in the pre-modern era, what Plato calls mythos and logos. Neither was superior to the other. Logos (reason; science) was exact, practical, and essential to human life; it had to correspond to external reality. Myth expressed the more elusive, puzzling aspects of human experience. A primitive form of psychology, helping people negotiate their inner world, it was a program of action. Unless you put it into practice, you could not judge its truth. The word "myth" has changed its meaning in modern parlance to being something untrue. And some religious people also began to read religious myths as if they were logos.

     We know that the seven days of creation, Adam and Eve, Noah, etc. are not about what actually happened, so we don't enter that debate. However, we can get confused about what is the arena of science and what of religion. We'll never prove from science that God exists; nor will we prove science from religion, which seems to be what James is proposing. They are discrete degrees apart. As believers in God, we are able to see His work in everything we look at, especially the beauty in His creation. We are looking at His work through our spiritual eyes. An atheist sees only the problems and flaws, as he does not acknowledge the spiritual.

     It's a very exciting time for New Churchmen to evaluate the significance of all the changes in the animal and plant population, especially the organisms that were virtually unknown in Swedenborg's day, e.g. the microbes. I am sure we will have much to learn as more New Churchmen become scientists.

     Julie Conaron, MS
     Huntingdon Valley, PA


Church News 2005

Church News              2005

     Celebrating 100 Years of the New Church in Hurstville, Australia

     In July, 1905, a number of New Churchmen in Sydney, Australia, decided to form a group with their special focus being on the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg as embodying the Second Coming of the Lord, a revelation that brings new meaning to the Word of the Old and New Testaments.

     By 1921, this group had built a church at 24 Dudley St., Hurstville (now known as Penshurst), which is still the place of worship for the Hurstville New Church. To celebrate this 100 year anniversary, the congregation scheduled a week of special events at the church. These events were featured in the local press by a prominent article including a photo of the Rev. Garry Walsh, the current pastor, standing in front of our church beside a banner advertising the 100th anniversary. This publicity, combined with some local leaflet distribution, word of mouth and invitations posted to anyone who had been associated with the Hurstville New Church, generated a large number of visitors to the week's events and made all the hard work by the Society members worthwhile. Many more people unable to join us for the occasion but there in spirit, sent greetings and photos which filled an entire album!

     The week's events began on Monday, 11th July, exactly 100 years to the day since the beginning of the Hurstville Society. The evening featured a fascinating PowerPoint presentation by the pastor tracing the history of the New Church in Australia right from the beginning of the settlement of Australia by the British. The Writings are known to have arrived on the First Fleet which began the colony in Australia in 1788. It was fascinating to see a number of historic photos of the early days of the Hurstville Society, its founding people, early photos of the church building and to learn details of the New Church Day School that operated in the 1930s.

     We were privileged to have a visit from Bishop Tom Kline with his wife, Nina, to mark the Anniversary occasion. On Friday evening, 15th July, Bishop Kline gave a presentation on what is special about the New Church. There was a full house including a number of visitors.

     The property was open to the public on Saturday. Four young people, Kristen and Sam Johnson, Michelle and Angela Heldon, along with other willing helpers, deserve our recognition and thanks for the hard work behind the success of this event.


Many hours of preparation went into organising it. During the day, a stream of people wandered through the garden and buildings enjoying the beautiful weather and surrounds. Inside the buildings, there were a number of historical displays from the Society archives painstakingly presented by Margaret Heldon. In preparing these, Margaret enjoyed the willing assistance of Angela Allen, our intern from Bryn Athyn, who worked tirelessly with us during her six-week stay in Australia. A special treat was a video of visits by Bishop Pendleton up to 50 years ago, bringing back to life those past years. The Hurstville Society Artwork, a collage of squares done by everyone and produced in time for hanging at the General Assembly in Bryn Athyn in June, was back in Hurstville and on display for the anniversary in the Richard Morse Room. This special collage was the brainchild of the young people and meant that everyone in the Society had something of themselves represented in the artwork.

     Mention must be made here of the fulfilment of Norman Heldon's dream of having the gardens on the property a showpiece not only in a natural sense but also in a correspondential way, linking it to the spiritual world as a mirror of God's creation. Twelve garden plaques, handcrafted with wood-burned inscriptions, were placed throughout the garden for people to read. The gardens themselves were magnificent, the result of months of work by Norman, Ralph Homer and others during numerous Society work days.

     Sunday, 17th July, Bishop Kline conducted the church service, preaching on the inspiring story from John, Chapter 4, about the Lord's meeting at the well with the woman from Samaria. The well is a symbol of the Lord's Word. How fitting it was that during the service, the altar copy of the Word used by the Hurstville Society from its beginnings in 1905, and bearing inside the cover the signature of its first pastor, the Rev. Richard Morse, was rededicated. This special copy of the Word had been beautifully and painstakingly restored thanks to generous donations from several members.

     The sermon and rededication both related to new artwork by Michelle Heldon hanging in the entrance to the church for the first time. The painting shows a panorama of a number of waterfalls in different landscapes and echoed the theme of the Word central to the morning service. The Writings teach us that the voice of the Lord "like the sound of many waters" (Ezekiel 43:2) means the Lord speaking Divine Truths through heaven.


     Following the church service, the large congregation moved next door to the church residence named Baringa. This had recently been repainted and fitted with a wheelchair access ramp, primarily the work of Ralph Homer, and put to good use on the day by two of our Society members, Tom Taylor and Audrey Favell. A luncheon organised by Lori Heldon (who had provided food for all the events of the week) was then enjoyed by all.

     Sadly, during the luncheon, the Society said goodbye to its pastor, the Rev. Garry Walsh, who has been called to take up the pastorate of the Washington D.C. Society in America. For the immediate future, the society will be without a resident pastor but hopefully the enthusiasm of the anniversary celebration will sustain us until we can have our own pastor once again.

     Owen Heldon


     The Rev. Garry Walsh outside the Hurstville Church Building
Report from a Rookie at Camp Winding Waters 2005

Report from a Rookie at Camp Winding Waters       Peggy Gallup       2005

     July 7-10 2005

     Yep, you guessed it; the July, 2005, Camp Winding Waters near Joseph, Oregon, was truly Heaven on Earth. That was my experience!! I am not certain Ashley Turnidge and Diane Geanuleas would quite agree with me when their allergies were raging. We were able to provide speedy medical recommendations from our own Jim de Maine.


So, from all of the visible evidence, a great time was had by all.

     Why not? It was extraordinary. We began with a wedding, ended with a baptism, and talked about "Who is the neighbor?" in between. There were cousins driving in from PA, cousins coming from the North, South, East, and West. Cousins everywhere. It was fun, fun, fun to meet everyone and bask in the loving light of the Lord, families, and the neighbor.

     Rev. Dan Goodenough and Rev. David Lindrooth led us in study, worship, and on hikes. Pam Latta watched over every detail from beginning to end, caring for us and managing the event. She was the recipient of one of Linda Klippenstein's magnificent framed embroidery creations. And--the food was terrific! (which, you know, can't always be guaranteed at camp).

     When folks walked up to me they would pause. They seemed to be thinking, "Do I know you?" The answer is no! Well, that is changing of course. I have moved into the New Church neighborhood and am surrounded by Angels with skin. I don't know if the honeymoon will ever be over. I am happier now with the New Church than I was when I entered at Christmas, 1999. And, it just gets better and better and better....

     Camp Winding Waters is nestled up under the Wallowa Mountains in scenic Northeast Oregon, with the Snake River Gorge just around the corner. The weather was so Northwest USA. We had beautiful sunny days with cool sprinkling days at the end.

     We were fortunate to hear a very rich and informative presentation from Joe McCormack, a member of the Nez Perce Indian Tribe. He works for the Nez Perce Tribe Fisheries as well as providing nonstop support in the interest of restoring the heritage of the Nez Perce people who, before 1877, considered the Wallowa country their home.

     I think that about covers it--a five-star production and accommodations. Okay, I give the accommodations a three, but there are new yurts and only two campers needed to be in the top bunks. Please join us next time!

     Peggy Gallup







     Tom Brecht, a 1979 graduate of the Academy Boys School and a member of the Bryn Athyn Society, has been named Planned Giving Counselor for the General Church and the Academy, succeeding Walter Childs. He reports to the Director of Development.

     Tom will be traveling to New Church societies, working with General Church pastors, treasurers and contribution chairs, and meeting with individual church members to raise funds for the General Church, the Academy and local societies through planned gifts. Planned (or deferred) gifts are contributions from assets (as opposed to annual gifts from income), such as bequests from estates and charitable annuities. Tom will be able to explain all of the options and the benefits to the organizations and the donors, and will help donors with financial professionals.

     Tom has more than 21 years of sales and management experience in the stock exchange business. He is a strong supporter of the Church and the Academy and looks forward to getting out and meeting people throughout the Church. Feel free to contact him at 267-502-4975 or Thomas.Brecht@anc-gc.org.


Charter Day 2005: October 13 - 17 2005


     The Academy of the New Church welcomes alumni, students and friends to renew acquaintances, recreate memories and honor the Academy during the celebration of the 128th anniversary of the granting of the Academy Charter.

     The theme for Charter Day 2005 is "Heroes of the Academy" - our teachers. The Academy is unique among secondary schools, colleges and theological schools in the world. Our teachers are as unique and valuable as our doctrine and our mission.

     We all have memories of favorite teachers who influenced our lives. Come to the Charter Day banquet to pay tribute to all of our teachers and to hear from a master, Burt Friesen, beloved and renowned teacher of honors chemistry and physics, and a constant example of all the Academy stands for.

     Tickets for reserved seats at the banquet - $18.00 for adults and $6.00 for students - may be purchased from Noelene Rose in the Academy Development Office, PO Box 708, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009, or by calling 267-502-4895.

     A complete schedule for the Charter Day weekend will be mailed to alumni and friends in the September Alumni Update. The schedule will also be posted on www.ancalumni.org. Watch for an even bigger and better auction this year. "The Bid" will benefit the Academy Scholarship Fund, library services and classroom support. Make plans, too, to join in the 2nd Annual Richard R. Gladish Tennis Round Robin on Sunday, as well as the 11th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament on Monday.




      (Charter Day 2005 to Graduation 2006)


Oct     14     Fri     Charter Day: Annual Meeting of ANC Corporation (MPAC)
     15     Sat     Banquet (Asplundh Field House)
     31     Mon     Secondary Schools grading day, no school
Nov     1     Tue     Secondary Schools 2nd quarter begins
     18     Fri     College and Theological School fall term ends after exams
     23     Wed     Secondary Schools break for Thanksgiving
     28     Mon     Winter term begins in College and Theological School
               Secondary Schools resume classes
Dec     16     Fri     Secondary Schools Christmas vacation begins at noon
               College and Theol. School vacation begins after afternoon classes


Jan     1     Sun     College and Theological School resident students return
     2     Mon     College and Theological School classes resume;
               Secondary Schools resident students return
     3     Tue     Secondary Schools classes resume
     16     Mon     Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (in-school observance for all schools)
     23,24 Mon, Tue Secondary Schools winter break
     25     Wed     Secondary Schools 3rd quarter begins
Feb     20     Mon     Presidents' Day holiday in Secondary Schools,
               Reading day in College and Theological School
     24     Fri     College and Theological School spring break begins after exams
Mar     13     Mon     College and Theological School Spring Term begins
     24     Thu     Secondary Schools spring break begins after exams
Apr     3     Mon     Secondary Schools 4th quarter begins
     14     Fri     Good Friday holiday for all schools
     17     Mon     Easter Monday holiday for Secondary Schools;
               College and Theological School in session
May     5-7     Fri-Sun Bryn Athyn College Alumni Weekend
     6     Sat     1:00 p.m. Semiannual meeting of Academy Corporation
     26     Fri     6:30 p.m. College Graduation Dinner and Dance (Cairnwood Mansion)
     27     Sat     9:30 a.m. College and Theological School Graduation (MPAC)
     29     Mon     Memorial Day holiday
June     9     Fri     9:00 p.m. Secondary Schools Graduation Dance (Glencairn)
     10     Sat     10:00 a.m. Secondary Schools Graduation (AFH)


New Church and Academy Jewelry Designs 2005

New Church and Academy Jewelry Designs       Carey Smith       2005

     LAPEL PINS (19MM):

     SILVER W/BLACK ENAMEL BAND (shown)     $35.00

     SILVER (ANC only) W/RED ENAMEL BAND     $15.00




     SILVER W/SILVER BAND       $45.00



     LGE SILVER PENDANT     $85.00

     LGE SILVER PIN/PENDANT     $125.00

Title Unspecified 2005

Title Unspecified              2005

     Vol. CXXV     October, 2005     No. 10

               New Church Life
Notes on This Issue 2005

Notes on This Issue              2005

     The Rev. Peter Buss, Jr. has been pastor of the Immanuel Church in Glenview, Illinois, since 2002. Using the story of the disciple Peter, he asks how we can develop a "rock-solid" faith even in the face of tragedies and natural disasters.

     "Renewing Our Purpose" was the theme of the Assembly in June. Bishop Kline spoke to this theme in his opening remarks and keynote address. In the remarks extracted here, he emphasizes four teachings from the Word in a powerful call for a renewed vision and commitment to serve the church.

     In his assembly worship service, the Rev. Derek Elphick, pastor of the Oak Arbor Society in Rochester, Michigan, spoke of the Lord's promise to "come quickly." What does this mean? See p. 349.

     What dangers do we face today from spirit obsession, and how can we guard against them? Dr. Andrew Dibb speaks to these questions in the second part of his article on "Obsession" beginning on p. 353.

     In the June and July 2005 issues of New Church Life, Dr. James Brush presented ideas on the limitations of theories about the origins of life. Dr. Westley Friesen, a young scientist and New Churchman, responds on p. 363 with some assertions of his own.

     We include, from the Bishop's office, a summary of pastoral changes that have gone into effect this year. We also are publishing the current updated listing of people to be contacted regarding public worship and doctrinal classes for General Church congregations and groups worldwide.

     Another way to learn more about many of these locations is to go to the church website at www.newchurch.org. When the home page opens, click on "Locations" at the top of the main screen, and select a location.





     When Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!" And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Matthew 14:29-31)

"O you of little faith"

     The gospels record four times that Jesus used the words, "0 you of little faith." The first time is during the Sermon on the Mount, where the Lord tells us, "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on" (Matthew 6:25). He asks us to consider the lilies, and how He clothes all of nature, concluding, "Will [God] not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?" (Matthew 6:30). The second time is while the disciples were on a boat in a stormy sea. They woke Him, saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!" (Matthew 8:25). He said to them, "'Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?' Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm" (Matthew 8:26). The third time was when the disciples arrived with Jesus at a town and realized they had forgotten to bring bread. As they were struggling with this situation, Jesus "said to them, 'O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread?'" (Matthew 16:8). He reminded them of the miracle He had performed of feeding the five thousand with five loaves and another four thousand with seven loaves, indicating that food was not a problem. He called them to think more deeply about His messages (see Matthew 16:9-12). Finally there is the story of Jesus walking on the water. We heard how Peter, realizing that it was Jesus, asked to be able to come to Him on the water.


As Peter walked, however, he noticed the boisterous wind, grew afraid, and began to sink. "Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, 'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?'" (Matthew 14:28-31).

     What do we learn from these stories? If "little faith" has to do with lack of understanding, with fear, with worry, then "great faith" must have to do with courage, insight, and peace. When the worries of life set in and we wonder how we are going to afford things or do the things we need to do or if things will turn out right for those we love, will our faith be great or small? Will we face those challenges peacefully, realizing that the Lord's providence is at work, or will we feel alone, without any hope? When we lack what we believe we need, will we remember that the Lord has fed us in the past and will again? Will we sink in the unpredictability of life or will we walk confidently toward our God? Is our faith great or is it little?

     All of us would love to be the kind of people who have a rock-solid faith which keeps us strong in even the worst of times. We'd love to have the confidence that no matter what happens, everything will be all right (see Arcana Caelestia 8478:3). We've seen people who have this confidence who seem to manage even the most painful of circumstances with a calmness and inner strength that is admirable.

Fundamental definitions

     How do we develop that kind of faith? What is it, exactly? The Writings for the New Church deal extensively with this subject. They do so in three main sections: in a small book called The Doctrine of Faith, in a chapter of True Christian Religion, and in a chapter of New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine. This last also refers to hundreds of passages on faith in the Arcana Caelestia. The reason for this plethora of teaching on the subject is that faith plays a prominent role in the Gospels, in the book of Acts, and in the Epistles of the Bible. Because of this, it has become a dominant theme in Christianity, even to the point of being synonymous with salvation to millions of people.


     What is a New Church concept of faith? Today's discussion focuses on two fundamental definitions. The most common thought about faith is that it is our belief system, or what we believe. But the title for this talk is "Faith: More than Believing," because one of the most often stated truths in the Writings for the New Church about faith is that it is nothing without a life of goodness (Heavenly Doctrine 8). Faith means nothing unless it leads to action (see True Christian Religion 387). Indeed true faith is not possible without a life of charity or goodness (Arcana Caelestia 3121). In its essence it is not just believing; it is a way of life (see Spiritual Experiences 3429; True Christian Religion 343).


     Nevertheless, faith starts with believing. There has to be something we believe worth living by. There has to be a God from whom we take direction. There has to be a path that we believe is worth following.

     Here we come to one of two partners, if you will, of faith. The first partner is truth. The opening section of the Doctrine of Faith states: "Faith is an internal acknowledgment of the truth" (Doctrine of Faith 1). This section also says that at the present day the term "faith" is taken to mean "the mere thought that the thing is so because the church so teaches, and because it is not evident to the understanding" (emphasis added, Ibid.). In other words, there are things we are asked to believe that we can't understand; in fact, in many people's minds faith is defined as belief in the unknowable. The Writings for the New Church challenge this head on. Faith MUST be based on understanding. Our minds MUST be engaged. We BELIEVE things because we see them internally to be true.

     This does not mean that we have to understand it all. There are things that we may "take on faith" as the saying goes. But the only reason we might choose to do so is because there is a system of belief that we do understand that helps us to absorb what we do not understand.


In other words there is a big picture in which any new or mysterious concept can find a home. If we don't understand it yet, but it is revealed in the Word, we can take it on faith that it is true, because the rest of the picture DOES make sense.

     Take a truth that many people struggle with: that God permits, but does not cause tragedies, natural disasters, or events in which thousands of people die (see Divine Providence 236ff). How many people have their faith tested by such events? How do they reconcile this fact of tragedy that doesn't make sense to them? Faithful people will, at such times, remember the things they do know about the Lord and His system: He is a God of pure love; there is a life after death; every single human being is led by the Lord in His providence toward a happy life to eternity, and this every moment of every day; the Lord brings goodness out of even the worst of circumstances; there is a Word of God that has answers if we but search these pages with an open heart and mind; and so on. Such concepts that a person sees and has seen as true-has internally acknowledged to be true-give that person an inner confidence that somehow, all will be well, despite the challenge to his or her faith caused by a tragedy. There is a backdrop of things known and believed-a belief system of the way things work which helps us to absorb the challenges of life, no matter how large.

     Of course, the strength of that faith is dependent on the array of truths one knows and the amount of time one has spent reflecting on them. People who have a cursory understanding might find their faith to be somewhat shallow and therefore much more affected, even broken, when major hardships arise. On the other hand, people who have a rich and deep understanding of the Lord's teachings will find a greater reservoir of faith to keep them going in times of trial. This is why the Writings say, "An abundance of truths cohering as if in a bundle, exalts and perfects faith" (True Christian Religion 336).


They say that "the ingredients of faith are truths" (True Christian Religion 347). The more we know about God and the way He operates, the more fully will we believe in His goodness. The more extensively we understand His system of order, the more comfortably will we see our place in it. So faith is believing, and this belief is founded on our internal understanding of the truth.

Peter's story: walking

     But again, our title for today is "Faith: MORE than believing." If we stop with understanding we have only half the picture. I mentioned before that faith has two "partners" as it were. The first is truth. The second is what the Writings for the New Church call "charity." It is equally as integral as truth to genuine faith.

     To illustrate this discussion, let us turn to the disciple named Peter. Peter, because of his actions and qualities, is a perfect symbol for faith, a fact that the Writings for the New Church state often (see Apocalypse Explained 820). Those who have studied the gospels know that Peter is very "human" or, in some ways, very fickle in his faith. It was he who denied the Lord three times. It was he of whom the Lord said, "Why did you doubt, O you of little faith?" But it was he also of whom the Lord said, "On this rock I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18).

     We turn to Peter's story today, especially because of what he did at this point in his life, namely walk. He walked on the water toward His God.

     There are so many things about faith that are exemplified in this simple story. Peter, who represents faith, is at first afraid, together with the rest of the disciples. They are afraid because of the stormy sea, and because they see what they believe to be a ghost walking toward them on the water. They don't understand, and therefore their faith is weak. This, again, calls to mind the first dimension of faith we've been talking about. When we don't understand, the trials of life can shake our faith, and cause us to feel "lost at sea." But this story also shows us what to do at such times.


When Jesus called out to tell them who it was they saw, Peter said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water" (Matthew 14: 28). The best thing we can do when faced with a challenge is to walk-in this case, walk toward the Lord.

     Walking is a symbol in the Word for living. Walking toward the Lord is a symbol, for living as the Lord instructs. It is a symbol for faith because the act of walking as the Lord commands demonstrates that we believe in His path-that His commandments and teachings are the means toward a fulfilling and spiritually growing life.

     Let me share with you four teachings that describe the importance of walking toward the Lord, and its relationship to faith:

     (1)"Faith is first in time, while charity is first in intention" (True Christian Religion 336).

     This passage uses the analogy of building a church. The first thing in time is to lay the foundation, build the walls, construct the altar and the rest, but the first thing in intention is the worship of the Lord which will take place within. What this passage is talking about is that all the teachings of the Lord are oriented toward living a good life. The system of belief that centers on the Lord Jesus Christ is an active, cooperative, spiritually participative one. We may learn who our God is. We may learn about His love and providence. We may hear His teachings about heaven as the place He wants us to live to eternity. But all of it, every detail, is taught to enable us to live a good life. We need to walk. If we believe that the Lord teaches us to love one another as He has loved us, then we need to love one another. If we believe that the Lord teaches us to do to others as we would have them do to us, then we need to do to others as we would have them do to us. If we believe the Lord's teaching that those who humble themselves like a little child, or serve, will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, then we need to humble ourselves and devote ourselves to serving (see Matthew 18:4; Luke 22:26-27).


Otherwise, although we may say we believe these things, we really don't.

     (2) This is why we also hear in the Writings for the New Church, that "the internal acknowledgment of truth, which is faith, exists with none but those who are in charity" (Doctrine of Faith 13).

     None of us can say we have faith unless we do what the faith of the New Church teaches, namely live a good life. Using the analogy of walking again, when we try out or walk with the truths we know, such as loving others, serving, humbling ourselves, we will find that these spiritual principles do indeed work. They make our lives better just as the Lord said they would. Here we could remember the story of the man who was healed by the Lord. He was paralyzed-unable to walk. The Lord forgave his sins and showed him how to walk. Symbolically, this story is about a healing in our spiritual lives. Healing takes place when we repent of a negative way of interacting and walk in the way the Lord has instructed. When we try it, we discover a way forward. Things begin to work better. The paralysis of a relationship caused by selfishness is healed when we walk with selflessness as our guiding principle. It works. It heals.

     (3) And so we come to two concluding teachings. The first says that we "acquire faith by going to the Lord, learning truths from the Word, and living according to them" (True Christian Religion 343).

     If we want the confidence that keeps us strong in the stormy waters of life, if we want to face life's challenges with inner calmness and confidence, we need to turn to the Lord, learn from His Word, and do the things the Lord teaches us to do.


It's as simple as that.

     (4) Finally, the Writings teach: "The sum of faith is that those who live well and believe rightly are saved by the Lord" (True Christian Religion 340).

     Notice that the first thing said is "live well." When that component of spiritual life, together with all it implies, comes together with a deep and growing understanding of what we are to believe, we have "saving faith"-we have a way of life, a way of walking which leads to heaven. Amen.

Lessons: Matthew 9:2-7, 14:22-33; Doctrine of Faith 1, 2, 13; True Christian Religion 336.
What Is Charity and What is Faith? 2005

What Is Charity and What is Faith?              2005

     Charity is an inward affection, consisting in a desire which springs from a person's heart to do good to the neighbor, which is the delight of his life. And that desire involves no thought of reward.

     But faith is an inward affection consisting in a desire which springs from a person's heart to know what truth is and what good is, and to do so not with a view to doctrine but with a view to life. This affection links itself to the affection that is identified with charity because it involves the desire to act in accordance with truth, thus to do the truth itself. (AC 8033-8034)





     It is wonderful to see this Assembly taking place and inspiring to think of the hundreds of people volunteering their time to make all of this possible.

     I have asked for a few minutes to present some exciting passages from the Word in relation to our theme, "Renewing Our Purpose." I call these "power passages." They speak to the doing part of our lives, the affections. As we begin this Assembly, just hear the Lord speaking to you from His Word.

     The first passage relates to the seven days of creation. There is a void. The spirit of God is "hovering over the face of the waters" (Gen. 1:2).

     Consider these words. When the Writings talk of this they say it is like a hen sitting over her eggs when they are ready to hatch (see AC 19). Think of the Lord hovering over all of the truth that He's already stored up in your mind. He's hovering so that something can take place, so that something can come alive within you. Just think of the power there. The infinite God of heaven and earth is hovering over those truths in anticipation that something great is going to happen. Something new is going to be born in your life.

     Transfer that to another level-and that's why we're here-to the level of the church. Think how the Lord calls each one of us. He implants a calling, the seed of a calling, in each one of us. He gives us the knowledge of His Word, and then He hovers over that. When we look at the thousand people gathered in this room, think of the great things the Lord has in store for His New Church, the great cause the Lord has called us to serve. The Spirit of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, is hovering over all of the opportunities in this room for the growth of His Church.


     I love this second passage. A leper came to worship the Lord, saying, "Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean." Jesus put out His hand and touched him and said, "I am willing." The Lord is willing. It's that simple!

     Think of the applications of this: "Lord, if You are willing, You can help me get rid of my evils." The Lord says, "I am willing." "Lord, if You are willing, this church organization can grow." The Lord says, "I am willing." The will of God is that good things happen on this earth, especially that good things happen for the growth of His church. The Lord is willing. He wants it to happen.

     The third passage: Jesus says, "Everyone shall be salted with fire" (Mk. 9:49). Some translations actually say the Lord commands "you to be salted with fire. The Arcana Coelestia notes that "to be salted with fire" signifies "the longing of good for truth" and to "long from genuine love" (AC 9207, AC 10300).

     What is it to be "salted with fire?" What's another word for this? You have this in your heart: passion. Ask yourself: Are you salted with fire? Do you have a concise calling and cause that you're following right now in your life that relates to the Lord's kingdom? Is that fire burning?

     And if not, don't feel bad. Go to the Lord's Word and light that fire. This doesn't mean we all have to be evangelists; it doesn't mean we all have to be ministers. The Lord calls each of us in unique ways. If you don't have a passion, get one. An Assembly is a good place to get one. That's why we are here, renewing our purpose. Know what the Lord wants you to do.

     Refer back, for a moment, to the previous passage, "The Lord is willing." The Lord is willing to let His church grow. Ask yourself: "Does the Lord want His church to grow?"

     Think of all the different levels on which the church can grow. First of all, the Lord wants it to grow in our hearts and minds where we have that longing for truth and good to be together, to be "salted with fire."


He wants His church to grow spiritually throughout the whole world. And, this is a harder question: "Does He want His church to grow numerically?"

     Of course the Lord wants His church to grow numerically. We hear that, but we qualify it right away. We don't want growth just for the sake of growth. We don't want a church that is a social club. We don't want a church that's just friends coming together. Sometimes, we qualify it so much that we forget what the original vision was. It is as though the Lord says, "Something great is going to happen," and we say, "But...but...but," and we forget what the great thing is.

     The Lord rejoices over numbers! Notice that. In fact, philosophically, that's the only way the Infinite can be conjoined to the finite-by having the finite growing. The Lord is very concerned about how many people go to heaven and how many people go to hell. He's so concerned that the heavens can grow that He gave the greatest joy of all to procreation, conjugial love, so that literally there can be more people there-the more, the better. So, we ask the question again: "Does the Lord want His church to grow numerically?" Yes! Emphatically and passionately, yes.

     Next is one of my favorite passages. It talks about repentance. "The Lord from His Divine love is in the continual endeavor to reform and regenerate a person and purify one from evils" (Char. 203).

     This "constant endeavor" of the Lord is His hovering over the face of the waters. It never stops. The Lord is there, right now, constantly endeavoring. He never ceases for a moment to remove evils so that good things can flow in. He's trying to build a church with you. Yet this comes into effect only when you truly desire it and make an effort for it (Ibid.).


     I like to say that all you need for something to happen-anything to happen, no matter how impossible it may seem-is for it to be the will of God. And there must be a need. But one more thing is needed, and that is you-to make an effort for it. In summary: the Lord hovers, He is willing, He salts us with fire, and He is in the continual endeavor to reform and regenerate us. Let us take these powerful and uplifting truths into our hearts and put them into our actions as we gather to renew our purpose and commitment to the Lord.

     You have been called. The very fact that you are in this room means you have been called. You could deny the Writings. You've still been called. The Lord said, "I'm going to expose you to these truths." You're one of the few people on this globe that have been exposed to these truths. You need to make a decision. Are you going to follow or not? The Lord has called you in a special way.

     He's called you to the greatest cause in human history. That's no exaggeration. There is no greater cause. This is the healing of the nations.

     Something great is ready to happen. The spirit of God is hovering. I really do believe this church is ready to grow. We have the foundations. We've educated all of these people. We have people with passion. We have financial resources. Something great is ready to happen. That's not a question. That's a fact. The Lord has great things, right away, in store for this church. Absolutely!

     Align yourself with the Lord's vision of His church, and don't limit it too much. You will limit it.

     And go forth, and serve.

[Following the address, Bishop Kline displayed a globe on the screen and invited students from Bryn Athyn College to bring forward the flags of all the nations represented by students in the college. Then he said:] "Think what the students from these nations can do as they go forth after graduation and serve throughout the world!" [This procession of flags was greeted by prolonged applause.]





     What makes something urgent? Is it the doctor saying, Stop smoking now or you'll die in six months? Is it the car mechanic saying, You need to fix those brakes on your car or you'll smash into a tree? Is it the boss saying, I need that report by the end of the week or you're fired? Some things become "urgent" because external circumstances make them so, but other things don't need any assistance or prodding from us to make them "urgent." Take the matter of salvation. A person may not consider his salvation particularly important or pressing, but that does nothing to alter the urgency of it. If people don't look to God and shun their destructive habits, they will have a hard time embracing the life of heaven; and if they start to justify and excuse their evils, the matter of salvation becomes even more urgent.

     Or take the matter of religion itself. Do the members of the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faiths consider their religion important? Yes, of course. Do they consider their message urgent? Yes, most definitely. And as our televisions and papers remind us all too frequently, every religion has its fundamentalists, its radicals, who insist on elevating the urgency of their message to a ridiculous level, claiming certain doom to those who don't join their ranks.

     What about the New Church? Do New Church members consider their religion important? Absolutely. Do they consider their message urgent? Yes, extremely urgent, but not so urgent we'll end up in a nasty place if we don't join. It is, perhaps, this knowledge - the fact that people are not denied heaven if they've lived a good life - that puts the New Church in a unique position. For if we act as if nothing is at stake, then we have no meaningful role to play in the world.


If, however, we act as if everything is at stake, then we assume a role the Lord did not give us. So how do we maintain our sense of urgency without resorting to scare tactics?

     The Book of Revelation gives us a wonderful answer to this question. It begins in verse 1 of chapter 1: "This revelation must quickly come...." Then, in the very last chapter, the theme is picked up again and repeated three times: "Behold, I am coming quickly," "Behold, I am coming quickly," and then finally, "Truly I am coming quickly." We're taught that this is a spiritual expression, not a natural one, since 1,700 years passed before the Lord who revealed the Apocalypse could open it (AR 960). Thus "quickly" refers to the urgency of love, not the nearness of time (AR 947).

     "Behold, I am coming quickly." The Lord God Jesus Christ comes quickly, without delay, because that is the nature of His love. Love, especially Divine love, has an intense, urgent desire to share what is its own with others. And love is not bound by time or space. It will not rest until the goal it seeks has been achieved. The God who is, who was, and who is to come has revealed what is happening, what has happened and what will happen as a result of the Second Coming.

     The spiritual message here is clear: the Lord's Second Coming is a "certainty," a reality (AE 7). Of course, the tangible evidence of the Second Coming is much more striking in the spiritual world since that is where it began. Think for example of "June 19," the birthday of the New Church. This event took place in the spiritual world, and yet we celebrate it each year here on earth. We live in truly exciting times, and the "trickle down" effect of this spiritual event continues to make more and more of a physical impact here on earth.

     As we seek to renew our purpose as a church, what can we expect? We can expect great things so long as we continue to pace ourselves against the "mile-markers" the Lord has given us.


After all, this is His Church, and He has set in motion events that are very much bigger than you or me, events that will literally change the world! But here is one "certainty": we can expect more and more people to find freedom, the freedom to think clearly on spiritual matters and thereby reject the false, oppressive dogmas which are causing so much confusion and distortion in the world (LJ 73; HH 1).

     Another "certainty" is this: we can expect to see more and more people "healed" by the leaves of the tree given for the healing of the nations, healed by the specific teachings, the specific doctrines of the New Church (AR 936). These "certainties" have happened, are happening, and will continue to happen!

     And we must be patient. Living in a world of time and space will make us anxious - anxious like the "souls under the altar" who cried out, "How long, 0 Lord, How long?" The physical growth of the New Church on earth can seem frustratingly slow at times, especially when we consider the sheer magnitude of our message.

     The teachings of our church have a lot to say about the coming of the Lord and about the growth pattern of the New Church - and we still have much to learn. Yet, at the end of the day, we must acknowledge that we don't have our finger on the "pulse" of the human race as the Lord does. We're not privy to much of what the Lord is doing to establish this "Crown of all the Churches."

     A passage in the Heavenly Doctrines, after detailing the beautiful ideals of marriage, ends by saying: "Reader, treasure this up within you, and after death, when you are living as a spirit, inquire whether this is true, and you will see" (AE 984 emphasis added).

     "You will see..." What a remarkable statement!


You can feel the urgency of this message (as you do throughout the Heavenly Doctrines) and yet notice how long the Lord is willing to wait for people to "come around" - until after death, in some cases. However, we can do much now in response to the Lord's Coming, and in this sense there's no time to waste. We're taught that those who know anything about the coming of the Lord and the New Church ought to "pray that it may come" (AR 956).

     Pray that it may come! In many ways, this is what we're doing at this Assembly - praying that the Church may come. Prayer comes in two forms-prayers of thought and prayers of deed. Let us pray in thought that anyone who thirsts and hungers for righteousness may find this new revelation. And let us pray in deed by living our religion, by acting sincerely, faithfully and justly in all that we do. In this way, each one of us has a small part in the coming of the Lord.

     "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life"... (Rev. 22:12-14).


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     Disciples of the Lord in October 2005
     The Lord's Fruitful Harvest in November 2005



OBSESSION       Rev. ANDREW M.T. DIBB       2005

     Part II

How Do People Come to Be Obsessed by Spirits?

     So far we have discussed the origin and nature of obsessing spirits. However, since possession is no longer allowed, only obsession, the question arises about how these spirits have access to our minds. If we have at least four associate spirits with us at all times, and if we are in spiritual freedom, how do we fall foul of these spirits?

     The answer to this question lies in the relationship between us and spirits on the one hand, and the exercise of conscience and free will on the other. It is true that we are totally dependent on spirits at all times. Thoughts and feelings flow into us from spirits, although they have no more awareness of this than we do:

     It is not known to the spirits with man, but only to angels from the Lord, that they are with him, because they are adjoined to his soul or spirit, and not to his body. Those things which from the thoughts are determined into speech, and those which from the will are determined into acts in the body, flow in order into act by general influx, according to the correspondences with the Grand Man; and therefore the spirits who are with man have nothing in common with these things: thus they do not speak through man's tongue, which would be obsession; nor see through his eyes, nor hear through his ears, what is in the world. (AC 5862)

     It would be very different if the spirits were able to possess our bodies, as they did in Biblical times. Then they could cause us to do things against our will, as the boy in the Gospels was compelled to throw himself into the fire or into water. The lack of awareness of our spiritual associations, therefore, is a protection, particularly from evil spirits:

     If evil spirits perceived that they are with man, and that they are spirits separate from him, and if they could flow into what is of his body, they would try to destroy him in a thousand ways, for they hold man in deadly hatred. (AC 5863).


     In the state of obsession these protections break down. Obsessing spirits are able to enter into the people's thoughts and control, even though they are blocked from entering the body itself: "Obsessors are recognized from their entering into the separate thoughts and affections, even the most minute, and continually conjoining themselves to them" (SE 5982).

     Part of the responsibility for this rests with people. Evil spirits by nature long to obsess, to manipulate and control, to act cruelly towards people. Yet they can enter people's lives only through the will and understanding, and this is an area that we have control over through the exercise of free choice. In other words, people can choose the affections they will nurture, and the thoughts they will entertain. They are free to act or not to act. Then their spiritual life is in balance.

     Since all feelings and thoughts flow into people by means of associate spirits, people connect or disconnect from their associate spirits by their response to the influx. Thus people who turn away from evils because they are sins, and who embrace goodness because that is what the Lord teaches in the Word, strengthen their relationship with angelic associates. Those who do not do these things, tighten their bonds with the evil.

     When people fail to shun evils, they open their minds to their spiritual associates, over time becoming more and more closely allied to them. Gradually the bonds holding them in order are weakened. The Lord said, "he who commits sin is a slave to sin" (John 8:34). This slavery is spiritual obsession.

     We are inwardly obsessed when we have filthy and scandalous thoughts about God and the neighbor, and we are withheld from making them known only by external consideration, which are fear of the loss of reputation, honor, gain, and fear of the law and of loss of life (HH 257).


     There are people whose thoughts and feelings are held in check only by fear in the natural world. Internally such people may harbor thoughts and feelings about the Lord in harmony with the thoughts of evil spirits.

     At this point we should observe that people bear some of the responsibility for being obsessed. In order to give in to the pressure from their associate spirits, people have to be willing to relax the bonds of conscience that would keep them from evil. Conscience is the coming together of truths from the Word that guide a person through life. Conscience tells the difference between good and evil. It gives people the strength to resist in temptation. However, when people suspend their conscience in response to pressure from their spiritual associates, they weaken the hold of truth in their minds. It is quickly replaced by the falsity and evil of hell.

     One way to imagine this is to think of people who want to do something they know to be wrong. At first the knowledge may keep them from committing that wrong. In the struggle of temptation, however, they begin to give in. They decide that the act is not as wrong as they had thought, that no harm can come from committing it just this once. So they give in. In the next battle, the capitulation is easier, quicker, and so it continues until they no longer think at all of the truths that had once held them in check. In this state they are under the control of their evil associate spirits, who flow unimpeded into their will and understanding, controlling, manipulating and dominating those people; they are obsessed. It is sobering to think that they would not be in that state, however, if they had hung on to their principles. Part of the responsibility rests with them.

     Only part of the responsibility rests with people, however, because once people relax the constraints of conscience, the evil spirits work at completely undermining and eradicating any final vestiges of conscience:


     Those lethal spirits attempt above all to dissolve all internal restraints, which are

     -     the affections for what is good and true, right and fair;
     -     fear of God's law;
     -     and a sense of shame at doing harm to society and one's country.

     Once those internal restraints have been dissolved a person
     is obsessed by spirits of this kind. (AC 4793)

     Having gained access in this way, obsessing spirits have control of a person's mind. Even though they do not enter into the body itself, they control the actions of the body by means of the mind:

     There are very many spirits at this day who desire to flow not only into man's thoughts and affections, but also into his speech and actions, thus even into the things of his body; when yet the things of the body are exempt from the particular influx of spirits and angels, and are directed by general influx. In other words, when what is thought is determined into speech, and what is willed is determined into acts, the determination and transition into the body are according to order, and are not directed by any spirits in particular; for to flow into man's bodily things is to obsess him. (AC 5990)

     The great difference here is between possession and obsession. The possessed of the Gospels were simply taken over by evil spirits, even to the flesh of their bodies. People of our times who are obsessed have some responsibility in the matter. They have participated in the process by lowering their guard against evil, and, in a sense, collude with the evil spirits by not raising objections to carrying their evil into act. The possessed in Biblical times had to be cured by the Lord, while the obsessed of our times have an active role to play in breaking the obsession.

How Do We Know if We Are Obsessed?

     At this point, not surprisingly, people may perhaps begin to worry that they are obsessed without knowing it.


It is not always possible to recognize obsession in this world. As said above, people are often held by fears in bonds of external decency. The very presence of the obsessing spirits frequently interferes with people's ability to think straight on the subject. Swedenborg noted that when, for his own edification, he was obsessed, that in this state he could hardly think anything other than according to the ruling and state of that [obsessing] spirit, nor scarcely speak otherwise although constrainedly, which could be better perceived by others than by myself. I heard afterwards that when a man is inwardly obsessed in this way, he cannot act and speak otherwise than according to the state and whim [of the obsessing spirit]. This experience continued, as I estimate, for two hours or more. (SE 1177)

     This experience needs to be balanced with the teaching that as long as we are in this world, we are capable of reformation. Obsessions can be broken. The Lord's power is far greater than that of any evil spirit, so that any person turning to Him will, if he or she is willing to accept it, find the strength needed.

     The Heavenly Doctrine gives guidelines to see if we are obsessed or not:

     Whether many persons are at this day thus obsessed may hence, it seems, be inferred:

     -     let a man examine himself [and see] whether he is in any internal bond, so that his thoughts shall abhor and turn away with loathing [from evil];
     -     let him prevail upon himself to abstain in some way from the most wicked, abominable, and obscene practices, inwardly or as to his thoughts,
     -     and let him then consider whether they are merely external bonds that restrain him, which, if they were removed, he would desire, without the fear of the law, to perpetrate them, and would perpetrate them-if he is such a man, then he is inwardly obsessed by such sirens, which obsession prevails at this day. . . . (SE 3716)

     The process of breaking an obsession is one of repentance.


It begins with self-examination, made prayerfully and with humility. This attitude in itself is opposite that of the evil spirits, and yet this kind of self-examination is powerful enough to reveal even the most secret and manipulative obsessors:

     About these I am able to tell that they obsess the mind as if their thought were the inward thought of the person, and therefore that the person can never tell, without the Lord's mercy, that those spirits are there and are ruling him. So secretly do they operate. (SE 1811)

     In other words, while people live in this world, they may not always be aware of the quality of the spirits around them. However, if people use the general guidelines of self-examination with honesty, they can see evidences of obsession and can work towards breaking it.

Breaking an Obsession

     Spiritual health comes from breaking the contact with the evil spirits around us and strengthening our relationship with the Lord. Strictly speaking, only the Lord can break the power of evil spirits over us-just as He cast demons out of people in the New Testament. In the story of the boy possessed who threw himself into the fire, the disciples asked the Lord after He had thrown the demon out,

     "Why could we not cast him out?" So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." (Matt. 17:18-21)

     Prayer, most simply defined, is speech or communication with the Lord. We have no power from ourselves to resist evil. That power is a gift to us from the Lord. When we look over our lives and realize that our disordered states are because of selfishness or greed, or because we are burning with negative passions and our minds running amok with false ideas, then we need to ask the Lord's help and power.


He answers as soon as we ask; the power is ours. This is the source of human freedom, and in that freedom we are able to reject the evil. We cannot do this without communication with the Lord.

     It is not enough, however, simply to ask the Lord for help. He gives us whatever we need to overcome our evil states. The onus is on us to take that help and use it, and the most effective use of truth is the fact that it withholds us from evil.

     The Writings say very little on the subject of fasting, noting that it is used in connection with people's mourning "because they fasted when they mourned" (AE 375:24). The spiritual meaning of "fasting" is clearer from the explanation given to a phrase from the prophet Isaiah:

     It will be as when a hungry man dreams-as if he were eating-but when he wakes up his soul is fasting; or as when a thirsty man dreams-as if he were drinking-but when he wakes up, behold, he is faint, and his soul is craving. (Isa. 29:8)

     "A fasting soul" and "a craving soul" stand for the desire to learn the forms of good and the truths of faith. (AC 9050:7)

     In another passage, "fasting" is described as "a state of unhappiness when good is no longer joined to the truths" (AC 9182:10). The idea is developed further in a brief passage in the Apocalypse Explained which describes the Lord fasting while being tempted in the wilderness for forty days. In this situation, fasting represents "such affliction as there is in the combats of temptation" (AE 730:10). Fasting can be understood as recognizing that while we know truth, we do not practice it. However, if we have a "fasting soul" we have desire to learn the forms of good and truth. The operative word here is "forms"; we may know truth intellectually, but the form it takes in our lives has been undermined as the conscience is relaxed.


There is, therefore, no corresponding good for the truth. Recognition of this, if coupled with a desire to establish goodness and truth, leads to the temptation, or battle against the obsessing evil.

     This, then, is the "fasting" the Lord spoke of. When we fast we stop eating food. A spiritual fast is to stop the activity and presence of evil and falsity in our lives. In other words the Lord gives us the power, but it is up to us to "cease and desist" from evil, although the process involves states of temptation.

Guarding Against Obsession

     Just as people have some part to play in the process of obsession today when they open their minds to the presence of these kinds of evil spirits, so also they can work on protecting themselves from the effects of obsessing spirits:

     This all made it clear to me that such obsessions by spirits cannot work at this day in the same way on one who has faith, that is to say, one does not behave as an insane person, or act as the prophets of old did, who were out of control. But one could still be similarly possessed by spirits, and yet be in control, that is, of one's own understanding and one's own will. For those who have faith in the Lord cannot be possessed by spirits in regard to their faculties of thinking and acting (SE 2279).

     Faith, then, plays a great role in protecting people from obsession. Certainly this is not the emptiness of faith alone, but true faith which simultaneously includes knowledge, acknowledgment and practice of truths. This powerful presence of truth serves to strengthen the conscience against the assault of the evil spirits, giving courage in times of temptation. Evil spirits lose their power in the face of true faith.

     The same thought is put into the negative form in another number: lack of faith opens a person to obsession:


     Whoever is destitute of faith in the Lord is obsessed by such, and at length comes among them, and in the other life is associated with them, and spends his life in the midst of the most disgusting filth. (SE 3721)

     Part of being "destitute of faith" is ascribing things to nature instead of to the Lord. This way of looking at things fixes the mind on bodily things, a frame of mind fully in harmony wit' that of obsessing spirits. In this case the natural world becomes the center of existence, something to be hung onto at all costs (see AC 5991).

     Another protection against obsession, one closely connected with the life of faith, is true worship of the Lord. A life of worship cleanses us of selfish and worldly things:

     Every man is in association with spirits, for without such association and conjunction no one can live, and the spirits attendant on man are in accordance with the quality of his affections or desires. (AE 586)

     A person in true worship, then, is in the presence of the Lord in association with angels. Such a person fosters angelic qualities in mind and body, with the result that evil spirits cannot dram near, let alone obsess. The power of true worship can be seer from its opposite: worship polluted by evils and interfered with by obsessing associate spirits:

     Therefore when man, in his worship,

     -     does not look to the Lord or to his neighbor,
     -     but to himself and to the world, that is,
     -     when he worships God for the sole end of being exalted to honors,
     -     and to gaining wealth,
     -     or desires to do injury to others,

     he worships demons; for the Lord is not then present in his worship, but infernal spirits, who are in association with him. These spirits also are so insane as to believe that they are gods, and are to be worshipped. (AE 586)



     Mental states, therefore, are greatly affected by our spiritual associations. It is true that the state of the body affects the kind of mental life people have, and there is a close connection between body and mind. It may be challenging at times to remember that our feelings and thoughts, which are the source of our actions, are not physical. They belong to the spiritual world and are therefore open to spiritual forces. The greatest pressure in that world comes from the evil spirits, who seek to dominate and control us, and through this to relive their own lives in this world. There is no pity or charity in their actions. Their goal is purely self-seeking. It is no wonder that when we give in to this pressure and carry these impulses into our lives the result is destructive of ourselves and others around us.

     Yet the Lord protects us. First He ensures that these evil spirits cannot enter any further into people than their feelings and thoughts. They cannot control our actions without our cooperation; they cannot fully re-experience life in this world. This is powerful protection, for while it keeps the evil spirits at bay, it also makes it possible for people to have some freedom of choice.

     He extends His protection, then, by making it possible for people to reflect on their state. Perhaps that may be their "rock-bottom" state, to make a comparison between obsession and addiction. He makes it possible for people to restore the power of their conscience and so put up resistance to the obsessors. He promises that through a life of prayer and a willingness to undergo temptation the power of our demons may be broken.

     But we need to remember that we cannot do this ourselves. Just as the disciples could not cast the demon out of the afflicted boy by themselves, so neither can we break our spiritual obsession by ourselves. But with God all things are possible, and these obsessing spirits can be cast out by prayer and fasting.





     I was delighted to see the recent article by Dr. Brush (NCL June-July, 2005). The relationship between the Heavenly Doctrines and the theory of evolution as well as the scientific nature of evolution are topics of considerable interest to me as a New Churchman and a scientist. Because my views contradict some of those presented by Dr. Brush, I wish now to respond.

     Dr. Brush describes what he might term scientific irrationality in the current thinking on the origin of life, and goes on to explain his views on the inability of science to prove evolutionary theory rigorously. Finally, based on the Writings' description of the spiritual world, Dr. Brush seems to make a case for spontaneous generation. I dispute his positions on these issues. Theories on the origin of life may be based on a restricted data set, but they are not irrational. Also, I assert that evolutionary theory is the only viable scientific explanation for the diversity of life, and the Writings do not contradict this. While an entire book could be written, I will briefly state my case for each of these assertions.

     Origin of Life: Dr. Brush thinks that the scientific theories on how life originated (not the same thing as evolutionary theory) are nonsensical. I disagree with this. Current theory holds that relatively simple self-replicating macromolecules formed and were propagated in increasing complexity to form the simplest cellular life. However, I have never heard speculation that complex proteins of 300 amino acids were the first macromolecules. A recent popular speculation is that RNA molecules may have been the first self-replicating macromolecules. This is based partially on the facts that RNA molecules are comparatively simple, are replicated in life today, and have catalytic properties.


The chemical nature and mechanisms for the origin of life are highly conjectural, and most scientists recognize this fact. However, based on the teachings of the Writings and science, I maintain that life arose within the confines of natural order.

     Evolutionary Theory: While the natural mechanisms for formation of the first life on earth may be clouded by the passage of time, how life diversified and continues to change today (theory of evolution) can be seen and demonstrated. There exists a huge and growing body of work over the past 150 years that reaffirms evolution's basic suppositions. It is true, as Dr. Brush asserts, that scientists can never hope to develop an entirely new species experimentally. Such an experiment, according to evolutionary theory, would take thousands of years. However, it has been shown beyond any doubt that specific genetic variations within a population can increase or decrease causing the form and character of species to change.

     There are many examples of this. One simple example is bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Bacteria develop resistance to aminoglycoside antibiotics by acquiring alterations in their DNA sequence coding for a ribosomal RNA gene. In the laboratory, one can simply induce the bacteria to take up a gene that confers antibiotic resistance. Either way, the bacteria have externally changed due to genetic alteration.

     Another example, as discussed by Dr. Brush, involves the study of fruit flies. Fruit flies are extensively used to study organismal development. Most genetic alterations introduced in fruit flies by means of mutagens do (as mentioned by Dr. Brush) produce apparently deleterious changes. This is not surprising and is a tenet of evolutionary theory. Evolutionary theory holds that environmental "pressure" is important for changes to become established within a population. To put it another way, individual variants that reproduce better under a given set of environmental conditions will increase as a proportion of the population.


This is clear in the bacterial example above. In the presence of the antibiotic (specific environmental condition), bacteria with genetic alterations protecting them from the antibiotic will reproduce faster and over multiple generations will greatly outnumber the unaltered bacteria. When a DNA mutagen is applied, a low level of gamma radiation, for example, the bacteria will more quickly develop resistance because a greater rate of genetic alteration is introduced. As in the case of the fruit fly example, the radiation induces a myriad of mutations, some of which will reduce reproductive efficacy, but some mutations will occur that enhance reproductive efficacy in the presence of the antibiotic. Human use of this principle is all around us. Many dogs, flowering plants, and fruit-producing plants have been selectively bred for specific "desirable' traits. In these cases, human definition and selection are the environmental conditions driving the increase or decrease of specific traits.

     These examples serve to emphasize that genetic diversity causes phenotypic variation that is selected either for or against, based on environmental pressure. This is one of the most significant natural forces behind the diversity of life. Envisioning this process over millions of years and combining it with an extensive fossil record and 150 years of scientific study provides strong evidence for the theory of evolution.

     The Writings, origin of life, and evolution: Does evolutionary theory preclude the Lord? Many people believe that it does. I was shocked to learn that 55% (-3%) of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/11/22/opinion/polls/main657083.shtml). Creationism! While reassuring in that it shows that many Americans believe in God, it sadly reveals a profound ignorance of natural life and of the character of the Lord. I believe that everything that happens or exists in the natural world will have a natural, mechanist explanation.


(Of course, there is a lot we still don't know, but this doesn't mean there is no natural description, only that we haven't discovered it yet.) It is congruent that life originated and diversified within the laws of nature.

     The Writings teach that the Lord is order, and that He cannot be otherwise. That is to say, He would not disrupt His own very nature, not to mention our freedom. The Writings teach that a direct correspondence exists between this world and the spiritual world. In the spiritual world time is of no consequence, while on this earth time is a constant. Thus, changes in the spiritual world that seem instantaneous could take millions of years to become manifest here. In His providence, the Lord constantly strives toward a Heaven from the human race, and natural evolutionary mechanisms are part of the actualization of this providence. People can choose to attribute the diversity of life on earth either to chance or Divine providence. This is in line with the order of providence:

     ...everything that befalls or happens, which in other words is called accidental, and is ascribed to chance or fortune, is of providence. Divine providence works thus invisibly and incomprehensively in order that man may in freedom ascribe an event either to providence or to chance...AC 5508

     And: Most things which happen under providence, appear to a man as if they took place by chance. NJHD 276

     Like many people, I often say that new babies are a miracle. Does this mean there is no natural description for human development and life? Of course not. The true miracle is that the Lord has provided the natural manifestation for such a beautiful and innocent love. Similarly, while the origin, evolution, and diversity of life may appear to be the product of purely natural forces and chance, it is actually the Lord's Divine providence working within His natural order.



UNCONDITIONAL LOVE              2005

     We do not find the phrase "unconditional love" in the Heavenly Doctrine. However, we often find it today in Christian and New Age literature. The concept of "unconditional love" refers to a love for others that is given without reserve, conditions or contingencies. It is expressed in the attitude, "I love you no matter who you are or what you do. My love for you will always be there with no strings attached." The question arises as to what we should think of this concept. Is this what the Lord's love is like? And should we strive for unconditional love for others?

     Teachings in the Scriptures and in the Heavenly Doctrine suggest that the Lord's love is unconditional. We are told that it is like the sun that rises "on the evil and on the good" and like the rain that falls without difference "on the just and on the unjust" (Matt. 5:45). "The love of God goes forth and extends not only to good men and good things," the Writings teach, "but also to evil men and evil things..." (TCR 43:2).

     The Lord dined with sinners-forgave their sins. Even as He was being crucified, He said, "Father, forgive them..." (Lu. 23: 34). Further, He taught that we should love our enemies as well as our friends, that we should "go the extra mile" and "turn the other cheek." He exemplified these qualities in His life.

     The Heavenly Doctrine points to the simple truth that God is good itself, love itself, and mercy itself. Therefore He never turns himself away from people (HH 545).

     The fact that God is presented in Scripture as an angry and jealous God full of wrath for those who disobey, especially in the Old Testament, is explained as an appearance. Behind this appearance is a God whose love never deviates from His desire to save and bless all people: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (Jn. 3: 16).


The Lord did not come to condemn the world but that the world might be saved.

     Is this "unconditional love?" It is Divine love. Divine love looks steadfastly to the creation of a heaven from the human race. This is the Lord's will. Yet there is a hell. The fact is, all are free to receive the Lord's love. Some, in freedom, reject it. His love is so great that He permits even this.

     What we must recognize is that the Divine love is united with the Divine wisdom. All love is "conditioned" by wisdom and order. The Lord's love is unconditional in the sense that it ceaselessly operates with goodness and mercy for all. However, when people reject the love, conditions of order take over: "It is a general canon in heaven that God is in every man, the evil and the good alike; but that man is not in God unless he lives in accordance with order" (TCR 70).

     The Lord's unfailing love continues in every person, of whatever quality of life, but only in "the highest regions in him." Even a person living a life of evil still has the ability to understand what is true and to will what is good, if he so chooses. "But so far as man lives contrary to order he shuts up the lower regions of his mind or spirit, and thus prevents God's descending and filling these lower regions with His presence; consequently, while God is in him he is not in God" (Ibid.).

     What of our love? Can we love the neighbor unconditionally? The Lord is our model. He said, "Love one another as I have loved you" (Jn. 15:12, 13:34 emphasis added). Our power to love is from the Lord alone. If we do not have it from Him, we cannot have unselfish love. His "Two Great Commandments" teach us to love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt. 22:37-39).

     And who is our neighbor? Inmostly, the neighbor is the good of use. Just as the Lord loves the supreme good of our salvation and provides for it with constancy and power, so He gives us the ability to love in others those goods of use that promote heavenly happiness.


We may love these goods unconditionally, but the people in whom they are we may love only to the degree that they embrace them. For we are told, "A man who loves the neighbor from charity conjoins himself with his good, and not with his person except insofar and for so long as he is in good" (Faith 21).

FROM THE BISHOP'S OFFICE              2005


The Rt. Rev. Brian W. Keith, having been called by the membership of the General Church, assumed the position of Assistant Bishop of the General Church on July 1, 2005.

The Rev. James P. Cooper, having accepted a call from the members of the Olivet Church in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, assumed the position of pastor there on July 1, 2005. Jim had served as pastor of the Washington New Church since 1992.

The Rev. David Ayers, having accepted a call to become principal of the Bryn Athyn Church School, began serving in that capacity on July 1, 2005. Dave has most recently served for three years as pastor of the Olivet Church in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He will function as Co-Principal with the other Co-Principal, Mrs. Gail Simons.

The Rev. Garry B. Walsh, having been called by the members of the Washington New Church, began serving as pastor on July 1, 2005. Garry had been serving for the past three years as pastor of the Hurstville Society in New South Wales, Australia. The Hurstville Society does not currently have a pastor, but the Rt. Rev. Peter Buss will visit there for three months, starting this September.


The Rev. Frederick M. Chapin, having been appointed as assistant to the pastor of the Carmel Church in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, began serving in that capacity on July 1, 2005. Fred had served as assistant pastor of the Washington New Church since 1998.

The Rev. Michael E. Ferrell, ordained on June 5, 2005, has been appointed to serve as assistant to the pastor of the Washington New Church. He began serving in that capacity on July 1, 2005.

The Rev. Jerome B. Dube, ordained on June 5, 2005, has been appointed to serve as minister to the Clermont Society in South Africa. He began serving in that capacity on July 1, 2005.

The Rev. Stephen R. Simons resigned as pastor of the Boston Society in January of 2005. He had served the church there since July, 2003. The Rev. Grant Odhner has been serving as visiting pastor to the Boston Society since Mr. Simons' resignation, along with his duties as a teacher in the theological school at the Academy of the New Church.



FIFTEEN YEAR INDEX              2005



     The New Church Life Index for 1988-2002 is now available. Cost $15. For a copy write: New Church Bookstore, Box 752, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009; or email: bookstore@newchurch.org. Phone (267) 502-4980.



CHURCH NEWS       Rev. GRANT SCHNARR       2005


     Maple Leaf is one of the oldest General Church camps and continues to be, to my mind, one of the most important camps. It is a camp for New Church teens, under the auspices of the General Church in Canada, spearheaded by Stephanie Kuhl. Stephanie teaches in the Carmel Church school in Caryndale and also serves as administrator for the Maple Leaf camps.

     This year, nearly 100 teens and 16 adult staff members from all over North America gathered at Upper Canada Camp, a beautiful facility an hour north of Toronto. The teens enjoy fellowship, sports and play, but especially the religious program and spirit of the camp.

     A typical day at Maple includes waking up early for breakfast, followed by worship led by one of the ministers on staff. The bulk of the morning involves lecture time and give-and-take between students and the adult presenter.

     Our theme this year was about receiving gifts from the Lord, such as the gift of life itself, as well as the talents the Lord has blessed us with, and the knowledge of how to use them. After lunch, the students have a very structured quiet time when they are allowed to be with only one other student for a walk or a sit-and-talk within the premises of the camp. This is a special time for getting to know old friends and new on a different level. Afternoon brings organized games and recreational activities. In the late afternoon there is free time for relaxing, swimming, napping or working on one of the camp projects, such as the camp banner or other special project.

     After dinner, the camp breaks into small groups led by staff members for a time of fellowship, sharing, and getting to know one another in a smaller setting. The same people meet in the same group each day to ensure that every student can know and feel that he or she belongs. Students often say these groups are a highlight for them. After snack time, the students meet for a final vespers service, and then they are off to their cabins for bed.

     Maple Leaf Camp gives students an opportunity to see their religion as something truly applicable to their lives as teens. It is a place where learning and practicing religion isn't "un-cool" but rather understood, accepted, and loved. I highly recommend the Maple Leaf camp for all New Church teens.

     Maple Camp is usually a seven to ten day camp held in late June. For more information contact: Stephanie Kuhl
     email: skuh103@hotmail.com
     phone: (519) 895-1891.





     Contacts for Worship and Classes


     Dr. Winyss A. Shepard, 4537 Dolly Ridge
     Rd., Birmingham, AL 35243.     
     Phone: (205) 967-3442.

     Rev. Michael K. Cowley, 3607 E. Delcoa Dr.,
     Phoenix, AZ 85032. Phone: home (602) 493-     
     0619; office (480) 991-0048;
     Rev. Glenn G. Alden, Sunrise Chapel,
     8421 E. Wrightstown Rd., Tucson, AZ 85715.
     Phone: (520) 298-1245.     

     Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Holmes, 65 Haertlein     
     Lane, Batesville, AR 72501.     
     Phone: (870) 251-9998.     

Northwest Arkansas     
     Rev. Daniel Fitzpatrick, 1001 N. Oriole Ave.,     
     Rogers, AR 72756. Phone: (501) 621-9011.     736-9235;     

La Crescenta
     James Synnestvedt, 230 E. Orange Grove     
     Ave., #230, Burbank, CA 91503. Phone:
     (818) 563-2332; damesart@hotmail.com.     

Orange County Area     
     Bergen Junge, 21321 Vintage Way, Lake     
     Forest, CA 92630. Phone: (949) 586-6554.     

Sacramento/Central California     
     Mr. Bertil Larsson, 8387 Montna Dr.,     
     Paradise, CA 95969. Phone: (530) 877-8252.     

San Diego
     Rev. C. Mark Perry, 7911 Canary Way, San
     Diego, CA 92123. Phone: (858) 610-WORD
     (9673); cmperry@wans.net.

San Francisco Bay Area
     Jonathan Cranch, 2520 Emerson St., Palo
     Alto, CA 94301. Phone: (650) 328-2788;

     The New Church of Boulder Valley, 1370     
     Forest Park Circle, Lafayette, CO 80026.
     Phone (303) 443-9220.
     Pastor: Rev. David C. Roth,

Colorado Springs
     Mr. and Mrs. William Rienstra, 1005 Oak Ave.,
     Canon City, CO 81212.     
     Phone: (719) 275-4546.     

Montrose Area
     Bob and Karen Heinrichs, 56320 Holly Rd.,
     Olathe, CO 81425. Phone: (970) 323-6220.

     Bridgeport, Hartford, Shelton     
     Mr. Timothy O'Connor, 441 Newtown Tpke.,     
     Little Rock     Redding, CT 06896. Phone: (203) 938-0744.     

District of Columbia: See Mitchellville, MD     

     Boynton Beach
     Rev. Kenneth Alden, 10621 El Clair Ranch
     Rd., Boynton Beach, FL 33437. Phone: (561)     

     Kristi Helow, 6338 Christopher Creek Rd W.,
     Jacksonville, FL 32217-2472.     

Lake Helen     
     Mr. and Mrs. Brent Morris, 264 E. Kicklighter
     Rd., Lake Helen, FL 32744.
     Phone: (904) 228-2276.

     Mr. and Mrs. John Sherman
     East Highway 98, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561.
     Phone: (850) 932-4433.

     Mr. W. Harold Eubanks, 516 U.S. 280 West,
     Americus, GA 31709. Phone: (912) 924-9221.

     Rev. Patrick A. Rose, 502 Knollwood Place,
     Woodstock, GA 30188-4588. Phone: (770)
     516-5846; pastor@rnorningstarchapel.org.


     Boise area     
     Heidi Shields, 1835 E. Meadowgrass St.,     
     Meridian, ID 83642. Phone: (208) 288-2503.

     Russell Rose, 5 Cherrywood Lane,
     Riverwoods, IL 60015. Phone: 847-236-
     1938. Rhrglvwl@hotmail.com.

     Rev. Peter M. Buss, Jr., 74 Park Dr.,
     Glenview, IL 60025. Phone: (847) 724-     
     0120; glenview.newchurch.org.

Indiana: See Ohio: Cincinnati.

Kentucky: See Ohio: Cincinnati.

     Baton Rouge
     Rev. Patrick Rose (see Atlanta, Georgia).     
     Rev. George Dole, 876 High St., Bath, ME
     04530. Phone: (617) 244-0504.     

     Warren Bowermann. 529 Goucher Blvd.,
     Towson, MD 21286-2968.
     Phone: 410-825-6777.

     Rev. Garry Walsh, 11910 Chantilly Lane,
     Mitchellville, MD 20721. Phone: (301) 464-
     5602, home; (301) 805-5622 office;     

     Gavin and Camille Rodda, 4 Goodrich Place,
     Sharon, MA 02067. Phone: 508-934-9682;

     Rev. Derek P. Elphick, 395 Olivewood Ct.,
     Rochester, MI 48306. Phone: (248) 652-
     3420, Ext. 102; newchurch.org/oakarbor.

     Lyle and Brenda Birchman, 14777 Cutler
     Rd., Portland, MI 48875. Phone: (517) 647-
     2190; MidMiNC@iserv.net.

     St. Paul
     Karen Huseby, 4247 Centerville Rd.,     
     Vadnais Heights, MN 55127.
     Phone: (612) 429-5289.

     Mr. and Mrs. Paul Johnson, 1508 Glencairn
     Ct., Columbia, MO 65203. Phone: (314)

Kansas City
     Mr. Glen Klippenstein, P. O. Box 457,
     Maysville, MO 64469-0457. Phone: (816)

New Hampshire:
     Bobbie and Charlie Hitchcock, 11 Mitchell
     Lane, Hanover, NH 03755.
     Phone: (603) 643-2726.

New Jersey:
     Jay and Barbara Barry, 474 S. Maple, Glen
     Rock, NJ 07452. Phone: (201) 445-3353.

New Mexico:
     Mrs. Carolyn Harwell, 1375 Sara Rd., Rio
     Rancho, NM 87124.
     Phone: (505) 896-0293.

North Carolina:
     Steven and Gail Glunz, 6624 Providence
     Lane West, Charlotte, NC 28226.
     Phone: (704) 362-2338.

     Mr. and Mrs. Charles Runion, 164
     Washington Harbor, Washington, NC.
     27889. Phone: (252) 946-7138.

     Rev. J. Clark, Echols, 4418 Main Street,
     Darrtown, OH 45056-8914. Phone: (513)
     523-0005 (home) or (513) 772-1478
     (church); jcechols@newchurch-cincy.org.

     William B. Alden, 4142 Brecksville Rd.,
     Richfield, OH 44286. Phone: (330) 659-

     Mr. and Mrs. Jim Andrews, Box 99, 1010
     NE 365th Ave., Corbett, OR 97019.
     Phone: (503) 695-2534.


Bryn Athyn
     Pastor: Rev. Jeremy F. Simons, P. O. Box
     277, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009. Phone: (215)
     947-6225; jeremy@bacs-gc.org.

     Mr. Meade Bierly, 431 Sunrise Blvd.,
     Elizabethtown, PA 17022.
     Phone: (717) 367-3964.

     Carolyn Yaple, 4004 Pacific Ave.,
     Apt. 221, Erie, PA 16506.
     Phone: 814-833-4478.

Freeport (Sarver)
     Rev. Ethan D. McCardell, 980 Sarver Rd.,
     Sarver, PA 16055. Phone: (724) 353-
     2220; pastor@sowerschapel.org.

     Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Odhner, 829 Stoney
     Run Valley Rd., Kempton, PA 19529.
     Phone: (610) 756-3168.

     Mr. Grant Genzlinger, Settlers Inn, #25, 4
     Main Ave., Hawley, PA 18428.
     Phone: (800) 833-8527.

     The Ivyland New Church, 851 W. Bristol
     Rd., Ivyland PA 18974. Pastor: Rev.
     Thomas H. Rose. Phone: (215) 957-9760.
     Secretary: Sue Cronlund (215) 598-3919.

     Rev. Lawson M. Smith, 171 Kunkles Dahl
     Rd., Kempton, PA 19529.
     Phone: (610) 756-0093.

     Philadelphia New Church Korean Circle,
     Bryn Athyn College, 2895 College Drive,
     Bryn Athyn, PA 19009. Pastor: Rev. John
     Jin, 537 Anne Street, Huntingdon Valley,
     PA 19006. Phone: (215) 914-1012 or
     (215) 947-8317; yjjinnewchurch@msn.com.

     Rev. R. Amos Glenn, 299 Le Roi Road,
     Pittsburgh, PA 15208
     Phone: church (412) 731-7421;

Sarver (see Freeport)

South Carolina:
     Charleston area
     Wilfred and Wendy Baker, 2030 Thornhill
     Dr., Summerville, SC 29485.
     Phone: (803) 851-1245.

South Dakota:
     Hot Springs/Rapid City
     Sharon Romey, HCR 52 - Box 120, Hot
     Springs, SD 57747.
     Phone: (605) 745-6768.

     Aaron Gladish, 10904 Preston Trails,
     Austin, TX 78748. Phone: (512) 282
     5501; aaron.gladish@amd.com

     Dr. James de Maine, P. O. Box 712,
     Medina, WA 98039. Phone: 425-454

Washington, DC: See Mitchellville, MD. Wisconsin:

     Mr. Warren Brown, 130 Greenbrier Dr.,
     Sun Prairie, WI 53590.
     Phone: (608) 825-3002.



Perth, W.A.
     John Frost, 8 Dame Pattie Dr., Willeton,
     WAU 6155, Australia.
     Phone: 89335514X0

Sydney, N.S.W.
     Owen Heldon, 15 Browallia Crescent,
     Loftus, NSW 2232, Australia.


     Rev. Andrew Heilman, Pastor. 1050
     Mountain Road, Kempton, PA 19529.
     Phone: (610) 756-4415; andrewj@entermail.net

Campo Grande
     Sr. Marcus Marques, Rua Heitor Mota
     Ferreira, 117, Campo Grande 23071-080,
     Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.
     Phone: 21-3316-5528.


     Rev. Vinicius Guerra, Rua das Gracas, 45,
     Bairro de Fatima, 20240-030, Rio de
     Janeiro, RJ, Brazil Phone: 21-3155-5380.



     Rev. Michael Gladish, 248 Arbour Crest
     Dr., NW Calgary, Alberta T3G 4V3.
     Phone: (403) 374-0087;

     Michael Hamm, C/Frame 30 Productions
     #202, 1081A-82 Avenue, Edmonton,
     Alberta T6E 2B3.
     Phone (cell): (780) 499-1245

Grand Prairie
     Lavina Scott, RR1, Crooked Creek,
     Alberta, T0H 0Y0
     Phone: (780) 957-3625.

British Columbia

Dawson Creek
     Dorothy Friesen (Secretary), P. O. Box
     933, Dawson Creek, BC V1G 4H9.
     Phone: (250) 782-1904.


     Rev. Bradley D. Heinrichs, 58 Chapel Hill
     Dr., Kitchener, Ontario N2R 1N2.
     Phone: office (519) 748-5802.

     Mr. and Mrs. Reynalds Becherel, 121
     Donald Street, Ottawa, ON K1K 1N1.
     Phone: (613) 745-5117.

     Rev. James P. Cooper, 2 Lorraine Gardens
     Rd., Etobicoke, Ont. M9B 4Z4.
     Phone: church (416) 239-3054;


     Mr. Jorgen Hauptmann, Strandvejen 22,
     4040 Jyllinge. Phone: 46 78 9968.


     Rev. Matthew Genzlinger, Colchester
     New Church, 175-181 Maldon Rd.,
     Colchester, Essex CO3 3BL.
     Phone: Home 44-1206-767644,
     Church 44-1206-576337;


     Rev. Frederick Elphick, 21B Hayne Rd.,
     Beckenham, Kent BR3 4JA. Phone: 44
     208-658-6320; fredelphick@onetel.net.uk.

     Mr. Mark Burniston, 24 Pumbro,
     Stonesfield, Witney, Oxford OX8 8QF.
     Phone: 4440)-199-389-1700.

     Mr. Nathan Morley, 27 Victoria Rd.,
     Southern View, Guildford, Surrey GUI 4DJ.


     Rev. Alain Nicolier, Bourguignon,
     Meursanges, 21200 Beaune.
     Phone: 33-80-26-62-80.


     Rev. William O. Ankra-Badu, Box 11305,
     Accra North. Phone: 233-21-243662.

Asakraka, Nteso, Oframase
     Rev. Martin K. Gyamfi, Box 10,
     Asakraka-Kwahu E/R.

     Rev. Nicholas W. Anochi, 2 Rocky St.,
     Dome, P. O. Box TA 687, Taifa.
     Phone: 233-21-405518.

Madina, Tema
     Rev. Simpson K. Darkwah, Hse. AA3,
     Com. 4, c/o Box 1483, Tema.
     Phone: 233-22-200583.


     Mr. Roger Koudou, B.P. 944, Cidex 1,
     Abidjan 06.


     Mr. Tatsuya Nagashima, 30-2, Saijoh
     Nishiotake, Yoshino-cho, Itano-gun,
     Tokoshima-ken, Japan 771-14.



     Rev. Dzin P. Kwak, Seoul Church of New
     Jerusalem, 75-21 Nokbeon-Dong
     Eunpyeong-Ku, Seoul, Korea 122-828.
     Phone: 82-(0)2-555-1366;



The Hague
     Mr. Ed Verschoor, Van Furstenburchstraat
     6, 3862 AW Nijkerk, Netherlands.


     Jenny Keal, 186 Atkinson Road, Titrangi,
     Auckland 1007, New Zealand.
     Phone: 64-9-817-7949.



     Rev. Christopher D. Bown, Supervising
     Pastor (see Buccleuch).

     Rev. Christopher D. Bown, P. O. Box 816,
     Kelvin 2054. Phone: 27-11-804-1145;

     Rev. Jacob M. Maseko, P. O. Box 261,
     Pimville 1808. Phone: 27-11-933-4815. KwaZulu-Natal

     Rev. Jerome Dube Private Box 1164,
     New Germany 3620, South Africa.

Durban (Westville)
     Rev. Erik J. Buss, 30 Perth Rd., Westville,
     3629. Phone: 27-31-2629043;

     Rev. Bongani Edward Nzimande (see Kwa Mashu).

Impaphala, Empangeni
     Rev. Bhekuyise Alfred Mbatha (see Clermont).

Kwa Mashu
     Rev. Bongani Edward Nzimande, P. O.
     Box 848, Pinetown, 3600. Phone: 27-31707-5463.

Midlands (services held at Howick)
     Rev. Gerald Waters, 9 Chiltern Gardens,
     39 Pitlochry Road, Westville, KwaZulu
     Natal, 3630. gerald_waters@telkomsa.net.

Zululand Group
     (services held alternately at Eshowe,
     Empangeni, Richards Bay) Rev. Gerald
     Waters (see Midlands).


     Rev. Reuben Tshabalala, P.O. Box 851,
     Kwaxuma, Soweto 1868.
     Phone: 27-11-932-3528.

Nkumba (see Hambrook).

Westville (see Durban)

Western Cape
Cape Town
     Janey Moore, 35 Cromer Road,
     Muizenberg 7945. Phone: 27-21-788
     1752, (cell) 27-83-490-3009;


     Pastor: Rev. Ragnar Boyesen, Oxelgatan
     6, S-565 21 Mullsjo. Phone: (home) 46-
     392-13396; (office) 46-392-13339;

     Rev. Goran Appelgren, Tegnerlunden 7,
     SE-111 61, Stockholm. Phone: 46-(0)8
     411 13 99; 19.6.1770@telia.com.

     (When dialing abroad from the U.S., leave out zero in parentheses.)

     Note: Please send any corrections to the Secretary of the General Church: Sue Simpson, P. O. Box 743, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009.



RECORDINGS FROM JACOB'S CREEK 2005              2005

     The New Church Family Camp at Jacob's Creek, Pennsylvania, has become a favorite vacation stop for church members young and old. If you missed it this year, don't despair, we are delighted to be able to offer the following recordings from this wonderful event. Each recording is available on cassette or CD and will include the speakers handouts where applicable.

     Evangelization: What does this really mean
     and what is our responsibility in doing it?
     Lecture - Rev. Bradley Heinrichs
     Catalog #107025

     Part 1-Outreach Through Science:
     The Swedenborg Paradigm: How does God do it?
     Lecture - Vance Genzlinger
     Catalog #107036

     New Church Missionaries?
     Lecture - Rev. Amos Glenn
     Catalog #107035

     Part 2: Outreach Through Science
     The Swedenborg Paradigm: How does God do it?
     Lecture - Vance Genzlinger
     Catalog #107037

     Fruitful Fields: Who is our "target audience" and why?
     How can we reach them and what response can we expect?
     Class - Rev. Michael Gladish
     Catalog #107024

     Please order using the catalog numbers listed. Cassette - $2.00, CD - $4.00, Catalog - 5.00 S and H charges will be included on your invoice.

          PO Box 752 - 1120 Cathedral Road

     NEW CHURCH     Bryn Athyn, PA 19009-0752
     AUDIO)))     newchurchaudio@newchurch.org


Title Unspecified 2005

Title Unspecified              2005

Vol. CXXV     November, 2005     No. 11
General Church Office of Education presents NEW CHURCH VINEYARD TM 2005

General Church Office of Education presents NEW CHURCH VINEYARD TM              2005


     A Collection of Resources

     for Religious Education

     An indispensable resource for New Church education! $40.00 for a single copy-less than a penny a document. Or buy 4 CDs and get a 5th copy free!

     A Collection of Resources for Religious


     -     Electronic library of over 4000 projects, lessons, stories, family talks, sermons, articles, plays, etc.

     -     Find materials by reference from the Word, topic, age-level, document type, and full-text search

     -     Great for Sunday School teachers, ministers, home-school parents, classroom teachers, et al.

     -     For more information go to www.newchurcheducation.org and see the menu on the left

     -     To order call 267.502.4949 or email oed@newchurch.org

     The Office of Education has two different Vineyard projects. The Vineyard Collection. CD (advertised here) and the online Vineyard Magazine (www.newchurchvineyard.org) each offer unique features. The Magazine has free monthly editions with guided topical studies. Over 45 editions are now available online. The Collection is a comprehensive library. Search it to gather materials for your own topical studies. Use them both!
Title Unspecified 2005

Title Unspecified              2005

     New Church Life

     November, 2005          No. 11


Notes on This Issue 2005

Notes on This Issue              2005

     The sermon in this issue is by our former bishop, the Rt. Rev. Willard Pendleton. Bishop Pendleton, who died in 1998 after a distinguished career of nearly 65 years as a priest of the New Church, served as Executive Bishop of the General Church from 1962 to 1976. In this previously unpublished sermon, Bishop Pendleton preaches with clarity and power on the doctrine of the succient definitions, Bishop Pendleton here asks. "What is man but a being endowed by his Creator with the capacity to rise above self and enter with delight into the good of use?"

     In his study of the Psalms, the Rev. Goran Appelgren surprises us by calling them "The Psalms of Jesus" although they were written centuries before our Lord, Jesus, was born. Mr. Appelgren presents convincing references from the Old Testament, especially from the Psalms, to show that we can see the Lord's life in them in a very powerful way. There is but one God, the Lord Jesus Christ, Mr. Appelgren currently serves as pastor of the society in Stockholm, Sweden.

     Intelligent design is a "hot topic" of discussion these days. Addressing it in this issue is the Rev. Walter Orthwein, Assistant Professor of religion in Bryn Athyn College and of theology in the Academy Theological School. Mr. Orthwein's discussion of intelligent design, expanded for New Church Life, originally appeared in the Bryn Athyn College publication, Bacon Bits, under the more lighthearted title, "Monkey Business."

     Included in this issue is the General Church Schools Directory for 2005-2006. More than 120 administrators, teachers and support personnel are employed in the educational work of nine society schools. The total number of students enrolled in these schools is 665. Those in the Academy schools number 400. Total reported enrollments in all schools equal 1068.



GOOD OF USE       Rev. WILLARD D. PENDLETON       2005


     "Thou shalt love thy neighbor     thyself" (Leviticus 19:18).

On the eve of the crucifixion, the Lord addressed His disciples, saying, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another" (John 13:34). The question is: Why did the Lord refer to this as a new commandment? Was it not already clearly stated in the laws of Moses, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Leviticus 19:18)? It is to be noted, however, that the Lord's words were qualified by the statement, "As I have loved you, that ye love one another" (John. 13:34). There is here a difference, for to love the neighbor as oneself is to regard the person of the neighbor with the same concern that one has for oneself; but to love as the Lord loves is to look beyond the person to the use of which the person is a form. After all, what is man but a being endowed by his Creator with the capacity to rise above self and enter with delight into the good of use?

     To love as the Lord loves invokes more than loving one's neighbor as oneself; it is to love the good in the neighbor more than oneself. To the natural man this seems incredible; yet the Writings assure us that such is the case with the spiritual and celestial angels who love the neighbor more than self (AC 4286:2). To understand what is meant by this commandment, we must first understand what is meant in the Word by the neighbor who is to be loved.

     It is obvious from the context of the Old Testament that the use of the term "neighbor" was restricted in meaning. In the mind of the Israelite, it applied to his own people; all others were referred to as strangers, as sojourners, or as enemies. We can understand, therefore, why it was that when the Lord came into the world and extended the meaning of the term to include all peoples, the Jews rejected Him as a legal and theological innovator. This explains why it was that when the Lord was drawn into a conversation with a Jewish lawyer concerning the requirements of eternal life, He reminded him of the law of the neighbor;


but the lawyer, seeking to discredit Him in the eyes of the people, answered Him, saying, "And who is my neighbor?" (Luke 10:29).

     At this day we can scarcely conceive of the impact that the Lord's teachings concerning the neighbor had upon the minds of those who received His doctrine. Here was a doctrine that established a new set of values in human relations and required a complete adjustment in men's ways of thinking and acting. It is no wonder that at first it was received by few. It has rightly been said that nowhere does history provide anything as pure and selfless as the teachings of Christ. We do not mean to imply by this that the Old Testament is lacking in instances of unselfish devotion to others. In Joseph's forgiveness of his brethren, in Jonathan's devotion to David, in the willingness of Moses to sacrifice his life as an atonement for his people, we find striking illustrations of selflessness. What we have here, however, are exceptions which served as supreme prototypes of Him who was yet to come.

     The difference between the Old and New Testaments is clearly reflected in what is best in Judaism and Christianity. Whereas the ideal prescribed in the Old Testament is moral integrity, the New Testament not only allows for human frailty but also provides for the forgiveness of sin through expiation and a new way of life. Judaism was based upon what has been referred to as a negative concept of morality, that is, upon those things which a man must not do if he is to be perfect in the sight of God. Christianity, on the other hand, is said to have been founded upon a positive concept of morality, that is, upon those things which a man should do if he is to have eternal life. "Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal," this was the spirit of Judaism; but like the young man who took pride in the fact that he had observed the commandments from his youth up, one thing was lacking, namely, a positive concept of good. Thus it was that the Lord said, "Sell that thou hast, and give to the poor . . . and come and follow Me" (Matthew 19:21).


In its emphasis upon the doing of good to the neighbor, the New Testament established a new standard of social morality.

     Historically speaking, however, the negative concept of good must precede the positive. This applies not only to Scripture but also to the life of the individual, for how can man do what is good to the neighbor until he first has shunned evils as sins against the neighbor? Surely one does not do good where there is selfish or evil intent. That is why the Writings insist that "the first thing of charity is to put away evils: and the second is to do goods that are of use to the neighbor" (TCR 435). That also is why the New Testament cannot be understood apart from the Old Testament, nor the Writings apart from the Scriptural foundations upon which they rest. We are dealing here with successive concepts of good, and that which is successive is at all times dependent upon that which precedes. We all are familiar with the teaching of the Writings that the Word in its letter cannot be understood apart from its spiritual sense, but it is equally true that the spiritual sense would be without meaning were it not for the basic moral and social concepts of good or of God which the letter provides.

     In the elevation of the Divine doctrine out of the letter, however, the way is opened wherein the mind may enter with spiritual understanding into the basic teachings of Scripture. Were this not so, the Writings would have no claim to meaning, for all religion has relation to life, and the life of religion is to do good. Yet what is this good of which the Writings speak, and wherein does it differ from former concepts? According to Jewish theology, good is a matter of moral perfection, and according to Christian doctrine it is measured in terms of social performance. In both instances, however, the assumption is that good is attributable to the man and that it is attributed to him in the form of merit. Yet the Writings insist that man merits nothing, for the good which he does is not from himself but from the Lord. As the Lord said to the young man who took pride in himself, "There is none good but one, that is, God" (Matthew 19:17).


To do good, therefore, is to do what the Lord wills, and it is His will that man should love his neighbor as himself.

     Again the question arises. "Who is my neighbor?" Upon the answer to this question all else depends. In the explanation of the Scriptures, men have traditionally interpreted the word "neighbor" in terms of the person. According to Christian doctrine, therefore, it is the person who is to be loved; but the Writings insist that it is not the person but the good that is in the person which is to be loved (TCR 417). Some say that this concept of the neighbor is too abstract to be meaningful, that by inference it deprives human relations of those mutual bonds or personal affection in which we experience delight. But this is not so, for what is it that we respect and love in others? Is it not the good that they do? If it is not, it should be, for the measure or a man is not his personality but his devotion to use. Hence it is stated in the Writings: "The man who loves because it is good...loves the neighbor eminently, because he loves the Lord who is good" (TCR 419).

     It is this distinction between the person and the use that distinguishes the doctrine of charity for the New Church the social gospel that men have derived from the Scriptures. The appearance in the Scriptures is that it is the person to whom good is to be done, but the Writings direct the thought from the mind from the person to the use, that is, to the use of which the person is a form. "Who," the Writings ask, "does not see that the person...[is] for the sake of the [use] which he is administering" (DP 217:3)? Also that "he who loves the neighbor from charity conjoins himself with his good and not with his person" (Faith 21)? That is why, in the conduct of human affairs, we must learn to rise above personalities and think and act from use. In no other way can we make righteous judgments. Hence it is said in the Scriptures: "Judge not, that ye be not judged" (Matthew 7:1).

     The judgments which men are not to make are those judgments which are made from friendship, favor, and personal bias.


The appeal of all revelation is to let God, or good, be the judge. But as men have not understood what good they have misinterpreted the teaching, believing that good is to be identified with the person. Note well that the Writings do not say that it is the good of the person which is to be loved but the good that is in the person. The good that is in the person is not man's; it is the Lord's, for all good is from Him, and without Him man cannot do good. But the question arises: How do we know that in the doing of what seems to be good, men act from the love of what is good? Lacking this, how can we make righteous judgments? But it is not the man whom we are called upon to judge: it is the act. If the act is of use, then the neighbor is to be loved because of the use, that is, because that which he does is of use. The fact that a man may do what is good for selfish reasons does not mean that what he does is not good, but it does mean that it is not good in him; but as we cannot judge of this in others, we are to accept the good winch men do as good. To do otherwise would be to make judgments which in providence we are not permitted to make.

     Yet, although we are no     make spiritual judgments of others, we can, if we will, submit our own thoughts and intentions to the judgment of truth. Were this not so, the Writings would not recommend those periodic states of self-examination with which, as in no other state, man is brought face to face with himself. Self-examination, however, is a relatively meaningless process unless self is seen in relation to use. It is true that the acknowledgment of some evil in self is the first of repentance, but what is accomplished by this unless, in the acknowledgement of the evil, man is prompted by a genuine desire to do what is good? By good here we do not have reference to the good which men do from self-interest but to the good of use.

     The term "good of use" shows what the Writings mean by good. It is to be distinguished from all prior concepts. It involves far more than is implied by such terms as occupation, services, good deeds, and the benefactions of charity.


As the Lord said to the Jews: "These [things] ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone" (Matthew 23:23). The other is the good of use, that is, the good which men do when they think and act from the Divine purpose in creation. It is this purpose, now plainly revealed in the Writings, that gives meaning and significance to human relationships. Are we not told that "for this cause," that is, for the sake of the use, "shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife"?

     What applies to marriage also applies to all other human relationships. When seen from the use they are intended to serve, our relations with others take on a new meaning, and life assumes a new purpose. It is this concept of use, which is the doctrine of charity for the New Church, that imparts to the term "neighbor" a meaning which it did not formerly possess; for to love the neighbor is not merely to love him as a person but to love him because of the use he performs. Indeed it may be said that use is the neighbor, and he who loves the person of the neighbor, because of the use of which the person is a form, loves him eminently, that is, in a way and to a degree that is not possible where the use is not seen. It is this love of use that enables man to love the neighbor as self, and as this love is purified, as it is in the life after death, it enables the man to love the neighbor even more than himself. If this seems impossible to us now, bear in mind the teaching of Scripture that "with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26). Amen.

Lessons: Leviticus 19:1-18; John 15:1-21; TCR 418, 419.




     Seeing our Lord Jesus Christ in the Old Testament, especially in the Psalms

Beginning at the Red Sea

     I remember once when I was reading the Arcana Colestia - it was about the sons of Israel fleeing from Egypt and coming to the Red Sea - it suddenly dawned on me, or rather, it hit me like a lightning bolt: It was our Lord Jesus leading the sons of Israel out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage

     I know it is wrong in one sense to think that because "the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified" (John 7:39), and when we say Jesus we mean the Lord after His incarnation. (cf. AC 2921:6)

     But it is true in another sense: There is only One God, and the God we call Jesus was certainly the God who rescued the sons of Israel (cf. AC 9932, 9373). It really meant a lot to me to see our Lord, now called Jesus Christ, acting in His creation at all times: "Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other" (Deut. 4:32-40).

     It was so clear to me - it was our Lord Jesus leading the sons of Israel out of Egypt. No, He was not called Jesus at that time - but it was He! I think we are easily led away from seeing Jesus when we read the Old Testament.


     This study is a consideration of how I think we can make our God Jesus Christ more visible in the Old Testament, particularly in the Psalms.


That is why I call it "The Psalms of Jesus."

     What I find so powerful about the New Church is that we so strongly believe in One God. Whether we read about Jehovah in the Old Testament, about Jesus Christ in the New Testament or about the Lord - as is the preferred name (see AC 14) - in the Heavenly Doctrine, we hear about the same One God of heaven en and earth:

     Hear, O Israel: JHWH (Yehovah) our God, JHWH (Yehovah) is one! (Deut. 6:4)

     The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Matt. 1:1)

     In all that follows the name the Lord is used exclusively to mean the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ (AC 14)

     The oneness of God is given emphasis everywhere in the Heavenly Doctrine: "God is one, in whom is a Divine trinity, and the Lord God the Savior Jesus Christ is that one" (TCR 3).

     My hope is to be able to show how strong the ties are between the Old and the New Testaments, especially between the accounts of David's life in the books of Samuel, the Psalms and the New Testament. The inspiration for this effort comes, of course, from the Heavenly Doctrine.

Jesus in the Old Testament and the New Testament

     From doctrine we know that the Psalms describe the inner struggles of Jesus against the hells. His victories and His praise of the Father within Him, whereas the literal sense talks about David's natural life and struggles:

     Each particular expression [in Psalm 110:1-7] contains arcana concerning the Lord's combats while He was in the world.... This is the sense which is perceived in heaven when this Psalm is read by man. (AC 9809:3, 5)


     That these things are said of the Lord, is evident from the whole of the psalm [Psalm 89:34-37]; for His coming is here treated of, and afterwards the rejection of Him by the Jewish nation (AE 205:5)

Jesus Himself points back to the Old Testament

     When we study the New Testament we will find that Jesus, Himself points back to the Old Testament and says that it is written about Himself:

     These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophet's and the Psalms concerning Me. (Luke 24:44, emphasis added)

Both Testaments are connected

     A similar thing to what Jesus says in the Gospel can be found in the Psalms whereby the two Testaments point to each other:

     Then I said, 'Behold, I come; in the scroll of the Book it is written of Me' (Psalm 40:7, emphasis added)

     Another connection occurs when similar words are used in both Testaments:

     I am the first and I am the last. Besides Me there is no God. (Isa.     44:6)

     I am the first and I am the last (Rev. 1:17)

Flesh and Spirit

     Making the Lord more alive to us is my purpose in this study because this has to do with gaining more spiritual power to overcome temptations. Regeneration means letting the higher gradually take control over the lower, the spirit to take command over the flesh.


"It is the Spirit who gives life: the flesh profits nothing" (John 6:63).

     The beginning and the continued growth of spiritual life in us has to do with fighting from the spirit against the flesh: "When a person is victorious in [temptations] he is strengthened.... It should be recognized that the Lord fights on behalf of the person, and indeed against the hells" (AC 8924:2, 3).

     It is when a person's mind is affected by a higher light that he or she begins to apply that light to the will. The higher begins to fight the lower. But the lower hits back. In very broad images we can see this struggle - the lower, the flesh, the natural man fighting against the higher - for instance in the following events:

     -     The Egyptians oppressing the sons of Israel

     -     Saul persecuting David

     -     The Jews denying and finally killing Jesus

     The pattern is that the natural or external man tries to suppress the growing dominion of the spiritual or internal man. But in all three cases the oppressed won at last. The sons or Israel and David and Jesus-they all put their trust in the higher:

     "The mind of the regenerate man is raised into the spiritual region, and there sees from the higher what takes place in the lower or natural mind." (TCR 603, cf TCR 420)

     It is necessary for the mind to become convinced of the power of Divine Truth over evil yearnings. This conviction will come sooner and be stronger if the mind is fed with pictures, images, stories on which to fix the inner eye, stories that contain those precious Divine Truths that will fight for us.

     The mind, as it were, lives and breathes on all those levels. The Lord provides that we may be able to move from the external level to the internal, from the concrete to the abstract.


Heaven connected With Earth - the Abstract with the Concrete

     In this study we suggest a sequence     from the abstract to the concrete as follows:

     -     The Writings (doctrines, internal sense)

     -     The Gospel (New Testament)

     -     The Psalms (Old Testament)

     -     The historical narrative in 1st and     2nd Samuel (Old Testament)

The Writings

     Some of the abstract thoughts in the Writings are that God incarnate had to fight against the hells all His life in order to unite his Human with His Divine and so rescue mankind from eternal spiritual death. How can that possibly be connected with the very concrete events that go on in the Judean desert during the time of Saul and David?

The New Testament

     When we go from abstract to concrete, the next suggested level is the New Testament. By the unique virgin birth, by the remarkable circumstances around His baptism, by the temptations from the devil in the desert, by the sweating of blood in Gethsemane, in His prayers for His enemies on the cross and by His resurrection, and by many other things, the reader gets the idea that Jesus was fighting for mankind and that His will was to save the whole human race.

The Psalms

     The next level is the Psalms. Much in the Psalms very obviously deals with the Lord's inner life, but on a more concrete level we perceive the strong emotions of King David,     the author of the Psalms.


1st and 2nd Books of Samuel

     When we go to the historical narratives in the 1st and 2nd Books of Samuel, we go further towards the more concrete. In them is a story line which we do not have in the Psalms. We can follow the life of David in a chronological order. It is very down-to-earth.

Parallels Between David's Life and the Psalms

     From these historical narratives, the most concrete and basic level, we now move upwards again. The first thing we want to show is that there is a strong and obvious link between the Books of Samuel and the Psalms.
Some of the psalms can he tied to exact events in David's life. The outstanding example is Psalm which is quoted almost word by word from 2 Samuel 22, (See also 2 Samuel 22:5-7 in relation to Psalm 116:3-4). Apart from that example, other parallels are as follows:

I Sam. 19Ps. 591 Sam. 21:1-15Ps. 341 Sam. 21:10-11Ps. 561 Sam. 22Ps. 571 Sam. 22, 24Ps. 1421 Sam. 22, 23Ps. 631 Sam. 22:9Ps. 521 Sam. 60Ps. 542 Sam. 8Ps. 602 Sam. 12Ps. 512 Sam. 22Ps. 18


     In each of these Psalms we have an introduction directly connected with events described in the 1st and 2nd Books of Samuel. Three examples will illustrate the pattern:

Psalm 57:
A Michtam of David when he fled from Saul into the cave (cf. 1 Sam 22).

Psalm 52:
A Contemplation of David when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said to him, 'David has gone to the house of Abimelech' (cf. 1 Sam. 22:9).

Psalm 51:
A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba (cf. 2 Sam. 12).

     A beautiful reference to the Book of Psalms comes from the historical narrative at the end of David's life: "Now these are the last words of David. Thus says David . . . the sweet psalmist of Israel: 'The Spirit of Jehovah spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue (2 Sam. 23:1-2).

     If we summarize the discussion so far, from concrete to abstract, we have this sequence:
-     We see the hardships of David in the Judean desert
-     We hear his mourning in the Psalms
-     We see the Lord being persecuted in the New Testament
-     We get the spiritual ideas in the Heavenly Doctrine.

And with a different theme:

-     We follow David toward his final victory in the historical narrative


-     We read the last, beautiful psalm of praise in Psalms
-     We rejoice in the Lord's resurrection in the New Testament
-     The spiritual ideas of the Heavenly Doctrine deepen our understanding and affect on for the Lord's life.

     By seeing this and by perceiving the Lord as a real person who is struggling for us and conquering, we may get closer to Him. That is the purpose of trying to tie all this together. Jesus is our Savior. He suffered, He fought in order to liberate us from the bonds of hell, and He won the battle. He is our Savior, and he is very much alive.

     What we hear in the Writings is contained and made alive in the narrative of the Old Testament, in the Psalms, and in the New Testament. In the Writings we hear thoughts, ideas, and rational explanations about what is happening spiritually.

     By combining the different levels, sometimes reading the Books of Samuel, sometimes the Psalms, sometimes the New Testament, sometimes the Writings, we will blend all these levels in our minds, and the Lord will speak more clearly and strongly in our hearts and minds. He will become more alive within us, and we will be more touched by Him as the living, personal God in our lives.

Jesus and "David" in the New Testament

     We have seen the connection between the Books of Samuel and the Psalms. We will now turn our attention to the connection between the Psalms and the New Testament.

     The historical King David is strongly connected with Jesus in the New Testament. The Writings make it very clear: "King David is the Lord." (AE 449) "The Lord is called 'David'" (DL 43). "By 'David' is plainly meant the Lord" (AC 1038:2). the Psalms of David the Lord is treated of in the internal sense under the person of David as a king" (AC 66; cf. AC 1888, 9548, 9954, 10,249:5; HH 526:4; DP 245; AR 174, 954).


     So, are the Psalms of David also the Psalms of Jesus?!

     With such strong evidence for saying that David is a representation for Jesus Christ in the New Testament, let us now: look at the Psalms of David in relation to the life of Jesus as told in the New Testament.

Psalms - New Testament

     There are some quite obvious and striking parallels. Psalms 22 and 31 may be mentioned. They both refer to the Lord's words on the cross-Psalm 22 to Matthew and Mark and Psalm 31 to Luke. Other parallels are listed in this table:

     To give weight to the argument about this strong connection, let us look now at some of these references to incidents in the Lord's life, first from the Psalms and then from the New Testament:

Ps. 41:11     The Beloved Son                    Matt. 3:17; 17:5Ps. 69:4     Despised by     the Chief Priests          John 15:23-25Ps. 41:9     Judas' Betrayal                    John 13:18Ps. 41:8     Mocking the People               Matt. 27:39-40;
Ps. 69:2     Gall and Vinegar                    Matt. 27:34, 48;
                                        John 19:28Ps. 22:18     Dividing His Clothes               Matt. 27:35Ps. 34:20     The Bones                         John 19:36Ps. 22:1     The Cross                         Matt. 46; Mk 15:34
Ps. 31:5     The Cross                         Luke 23:46


Ps. 49:15, 16:10     The Resurrection               Luke 24, 46Ps. 67:1, 2     Salvation to All of Mankind          Matt. 28:19, 20Luke 24:47

The Beloved Son

     In the Psalms, David says to His Lord, which in a representative sense is the Son saying to the Father: "You are well pleased with Me" (Psalm 41:11).

     In the New Testament a voice from heaven was heard, i.e. the Father says to the Son: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matt, 3:17; cf 17:5).

Despised by the Chief Priests

     King David complains about being despised and betrayed without cause: "Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head: they are mighty who would destroy me, being my enemies wrongfully; Though I have stolen nothing. I still must restore it" (Psalm 69:4).

     In the New testament: "He who hates Me hates My Father also. ...[T]hey have... hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the Word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, 'They hated Me without a cause'" (John 15:23-25).

Judas Betrayal

     In the Psalms: "All who hate me whisper together against me; against me they devise my hurt. Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted. He who ate my bread has lifted up his heel against me" (Psalm 41:7, 9).

     In the New testament: "He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me" (Matt. 26:23; Jn. 13:18).

Gall and Vinegar

     In the Psalms: "They also gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink" (Psalm 69:21).


     In the New Testament: "They gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink" (Matt. 27:34, 48).

Dividing His Clothes

     In the Psalms: "They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots" (Psalm 22:18).

     In the New Testament: "Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots..." (Matt. 27:35).

The Cross

     In the Psalms: 'My God, My God why have You forsaken Me?" (Psalm 22:1).

     In the New Testament: "My God, My God why have you forsaken     (Matt. 27:40)

     In the Psalms: "Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Yehovah of truth" (Psalm 31:5).

     In the New Testament: "Into Your hands I commend My spirit" (Luke 23:461

The Resurrection

     In the Psalms: "But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, for He shall receive me" (Psalm 49:15). "For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption" (Psalm 16:10).

     In the New Testament: "Then He said to them, 'Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day'" (Luke 24:46).

Salvation to all of mankind

     In the Psalms: "God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us. Selah. That Your way may be known on earth.


Your salvation among all nations" (Psalm (7:1 ,2).

     In the New Testament: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations. . . teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:19, 20). "Repentance and remission of sins should he preached in His name to all nations" (Luke 24:47).


     I conclude from this that we can read all the Psalms and think of the Lord's life. (cf. AC 66; WH 14: DL 37). When we see Jesus in the Psalms, His life on earth can come more alive to us. We can see Him as a Human Being suffering and struggling as we do. This, of course, does not take away from the fact that His temptations and fights against the hells were immensely, infinitely more intense than what we know, but still, we can see Him more clearly as the One who fought the hells, conquered the hells, and became our Savior.

     Whatever we read in the Old Testament and the New Testament, we read about our Lord: we read what He wrote about Himself as the Redeemer, Savior and eternal God, and we read what He read about Himself when He was on earth:

When He was in the world the Lord thought from the Divine and thus from Himself, and acquired for Himself all intelligence and wisdom through continuous revelations from the Divine. (AC 3382:1, 2)

He who knows that the Lord is meant by David, may know why David so frequently wrote of the Lord in his Psalms while writing about himself. (DL 44)

     That brings me to my concluding idea and really to the whole idea of this study.


Devotional Reading

     A way to get a deeper appreciation for the Psalms is to read them in either of two ways: With some Psalms it is easier to see them referring to the Lord's own experience; with others it is easier to see them as talking about our own human experience of regeneration. Once we have approached a Psalm in one of these two ways, we can better see the other level, and it will speak to us even more fully.

There is affiliation with the angels of heaven by means of the sense of the letter, because within that sense there is a spiritual and a celestial sense, and the angels are in these senses, the angels of the Lord's spiritual kingdom in the spiritual sense of the Word, and the angels of His celestial kingdom in its celestial sense. These two senses are evoked from the natural sense of the Word when it is read by a man who regards the Word as holy. The evolution is instantaneous: consequently the affiliation is also. (TCR 234)

     Perhaps the Psalms more than other texts in the Old Testament make us feel the second of those two inner meanings, the celestial the one about love and doing. If we make Jesus more obviously present in our reading of the Psalms, we may feel the Lord's love more strongly, His compassion and His closeness to us. Then, when we read the New Testament we carry all the emotions and light from the Psalms into that reading and, even more so when we read the Heavenly Doctrine.

     A devotional reading of the literal sense of the Word is important for our spiritual life, because:

-     It is easy to remember a story
-     A picture gives the mind a pattern for grasping higher ideas
-     The literal sense is an oracle for the individual's spiritual needs


-     The Word in its literal sense is the foundation for the two inner meanings
-     The literal sense forms the walls of the New Jerusalem

The Word without the sense of its Letter would be like a palace without a foundation, a palace in the air instead of on the ground, a mere shadow which would vanish away. (SS 33, emphasis added)

When by 'the holy city Jerusalem' is understood the Lord's New Church as to doctrine, by its 'wall' nothing else is understood but the Word in the letter from which the doctrine     is derived, for that sense protects the spiritual sense which is concealed within just as a protects a city and its inhabitants. (AR 898, emphasis added)

And finally:

Isn't it beautiful that right from the books of Samuel to the end of the New Testament we see a shining thread:

He shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises (2 Sam. 23:2, 4)

I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star. (Rev. 22:16)
Title Unspecified 2005

Title Unspecified       AN INVITATION       2005

     The Editor invites readers to send communications to New Church Life. Letters and articles are welcome and will be considered for publication based on appropriate content and available space. The deadline for submissions is not later than the 1st of the month preceding the month of publication. Submissions can be made by mail to: The Editor, PO Box 277, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009, By e-mail to: khoa14@comcast.net.




     Intelligent Design" has been much in the news lately. The Dover, Pennsylvania, school board (elected by the people to represent their wishes) decided that, while evolution would still be what is taught, the students should simply be told that an alternative theory exists. A few opponents filed a lawsuit seeking to have a single unelected federal judge dictate otherwise. The case is now being tried in federal court in Harrisburg.

     The headlines always frame the issue in terms "science versus religion" (i.e. medieval superstitious nonsense versus modern, verifiable fact; or: the dogmatists who persecuted Galileo now want to destroy the folks that brought you your iPod). But this is false - the controversy is not between science and religion but between two opposing philosophical positions: materialism and theism.

     Did nature create itself or did an "intelligent designer" create it? Neither position is more "scientific" than the other: both can point to scientific evidence to support their premise. The controversy stems from the materialistic premise implicit in the orthodox theory of evolution, and its interpretation of natural phenomena. The debate is not between "faith" and "fact," but between two faiths: faith in human intelligence and faith in God.
     Proponents of evolution often use language that has religious overtones. They speak of evolution as if it were a sentient being rather than just a natural process; for example, they say evolution "decides" things and "tries" things. They attribute intelligence to evolution. In speaking of it as they do, they make it a kind of deity. They admit there are things the theory can't account for, but claim that in the future science will provide all answers: in effect, they are saying "have faith."

     The evolutionists and the media claim intelligent design is just a new name for "creationism," but this also is false.


"Creationism" is based on a literal reading of the Bible story of creation: intelligent design makes no appeal to the Bible, but to observable phenomena discovered by science and subject scientific investigation.

     The main point of the intelligent design theory is that biological forms are "irreducibly complex," that is, all the parts must have been put together at once, not in stages, because the absence of even one component would make the whole structure useless and thus of no evolutionary advantage. As an illustration, consider a mousetrap. Take away any one of its parts (the spring, the release mechanism the bait sits on, the metal piece that snaps down, the board they are mounted on) and it wouldn't catch any mice. If it were a living organism, there would be no reason (no survival advantage) for any of the other parts to be "selected" and passed on to future generations. Clearly, all the parts were designed and assembled for the purpose of making a functional trap.

     Personally, I am filled with wonder by the structure of the inner ear, with its tiny, intricately shaped bones called the stirrup, anvil and hammer. The idea that such a complex, useful structure could gradually assemble itself with no purpose and no intelligence guiding it is absurd. Surely this is a highly ordered structure, it certainly exhibits design, and the design is most ingenious. Intelligent design is simply a fact. The only question is: was there a designer? It seems to me that saying "evolution" did it is just substituting the word "evolution" for "God." You might as well say God did it. The Writings note that there is no such thing as intelligence apart from a person: if you see intelligence you are seeing a human attribute (see DLW 286). Obviously no finite human designed the ear, so a human of supernatural intelligence must have in other words, God.

     It is said that evolution, working through natural selection of random imitations over great periods of time, designed the countless ingenious forms we see in nature.


Why this is any less far-fetched than simply saying "God did it" is beyond me. Why would natural selection cause the incomplete and non-functional structure to be passed on to future generations until, by chance, all the components of a functioning organ were in place?

     I know the evolutionists have tried to answer these questions. I do not find the answers convincing.

     The complexity and perfection of nature is even more wonderfully evident at the cellular, chemical and atomic level. The intelligent design people point to the numerous factors necessary for our blood to clot, for example the absence of any which would make us subject to bleeding to death.

     Opponents of intelligent design say it shouldn't be taught in science classes (or even mentioned) because it isn't science. But, I believe, intelligent design is at least as much based on science as evolution is. And since evolution is taught in science classes, this would seem to be the logical place to at least notify students that an alternative theory exists.

     Scientists have a right to define their discipline and say, what is scientific and what is not, but here we have a case in which there are scientists on both sides of the question. Some scientists believe in intelligent design - a far smaller number than believe in evolution, but enough so that we can't just dismiss intelligent design as having no scientific support. I believe that continental drift was considered fantastic when first proposed, but now it is universally accepted. Ancient scientists believed the earth was the center of the Universe. Copernicus' theory was radically new and controversial. I suspect that intelligent design theory, or something similar, will eventually also be universally accepted.

     It seems to me that proponents of evolution overstate the scientific basis of their theory, and understate the scientific validity of intelligent design. In any case, the question is not which theory is more scientific, but which is more true.


     Although the theory leaves the nature of the intelligence that designed the universe an open question, surely most people would use the word "God" for such a supreme intelligence. So I am happy to admit that the theory supports belief in God. And this, I assume, is why the theory is so objectionable to some; it isn't its inadequacy as a scientific theory, but the fact that it suggests a Divine purpose in creation. But if there is a God, isn't it probable that the world He created would tend to support belief in Him?

     To declare a priori that any view of nature that points to God is invalid represents a pre judging of the evidence. If, in fact, there is a God, and if (as the Writings say) He is reflected in the natural universe, then to say that the facts of science must not in any way relate to God is unreasonable. Respect for the facts of science does not require this. If intelligent design implies there is a God, it is because the facts of science imply there is a God-because there is.

     If intelligent design favors belief in God, is it not equally true that the theory of evolution (as popularly understood and taught) favors atheism? That theory also points to a conclusion that reaches beyond the bounds of science. It rests upon an atheistic assumption, and it leads to an atheistic conclusion. And again, it is this extra-scientific component of the theory, not the validity of its scientific method, that makes the theory of evolution objectionable to theists.

     If there is a "hidden agenda" of a religious nature behind intelligent design, there is equally one behind the theory of evolution (as it is commonly presented and understood). Why be coy about it? The controversy is over the "agenda," not the science.

     It is not evolution per se that I object to, but the presumed mechanism of it: natural selection. This explanation is not the only way to interpret the facts science presents, and I think it rests upon a prior assumption that nature is everything, and that life and all its forms arose by chance.


Encapsulating this idea within a scientific theory doesn't make that particular component of the theory any more "scientific" than the theistic premise. And that particular component is the sticking point.

     Can a New Church person believe in evolution? Why not? The idea of evolving life forms in itself doesn't require denial of God, and even the "selection" part of natural selection doesn't bother me, as long as it is understood that Divine intelligence set up the whole system and is operating through it. In other words, it is God in nature who is doing the selecting, not chance or nature on its own.

     Most evolutionists don't come right out and say "there is no God," but the clear message of the theory in its orthodox form is that there is no need for a God to account for the creation of living forms. The message may be subtle, but it is quite clear; and parents who believe in God naturally object to having their children imbibe atheism.

     Proponents of the theory of evolution say the meaning of the word "theory" here is different from the way it is used in ordinary speech; a scientific theory is a well-thought-out and testable explanation for observed phenomena. Fine, but does that definition of "theory" truly and entirely fit the theory of evolution? Is it really in the same category as the theory of relativity or quantum theory in physics? Evolutionists say their theory is just as firmly established as physics theories, but would a physicist ever defend relativity, for instance, by saying it is just as firmly established as evolution? No, they never do. Evolution seems to be more in the category of theories such as "multiple universes" in physics. We can call that a "scientific" theory because it relates to the structure of the natural universe, but it is hardly as solid as many other scientific theories; in fact, there is not a shred of evidence to support it.

     Interestingly, at the same time evolutionists are panicking over the alleged intrusion of religion into science, physicists are raising questions which can only be called theological in nature.


A number of popular books on physics by physicists include the word "God" in the title (The Mind of God, The God Particle, etc.) In physics, there is a convergence of science and religion (or at least metaphysics)-which is not to say all physicists are thrilled with this development. It seems strange to me that it is in biology that the greatest antipathy to any idea that might favor religion is found, since, to my mind, living forms provide the most striking evidence of Divine purpose and intelligence.

     As I understand it, the theory of evolution requires enormous amounts of time for chance to do its work of producing the complex systems that make life possible. But isn't this just using the words "time" and "chance" in much the same way as a theist uses God-to account for things which defy any other explanation? Time and chance are the "God of the gaps" of the Darwinists.

     Nature is full of wonders. I believe that acknowledging God as Creator increases the wonder greatly and makes the study of nature all the more beautiful and exciting. The teachings of the New Church show us the essential humanity of God and how that is mirrored throughout nature in all its infinitely varied forms. We are even told that the angels, when they look at the world around them (which resembles ours), see an image of themselves. (DLW 63) They see human affections and thoughts embodied in what we would call natural forms.

     Seeing God in nature makes God more real and visible to us, it elevates nature and fills it with its true significance and beauty, and it helps us gain a better understanding of our own human nature. Nature devoid of the Divine is also devoid of humanity.

     We live in a time when people are desperate for a sense of transcendent meaning in life-for "spirituality," as they say. This is because of the prevailing materialistic world view, of which the theory of evolution is a prime example and support.


Nature itself has been deprived of its spirit. Through nature, when it is truly seen, the Lord energizes and forms and instructs, inspires and elevates and delights, the human spirit. Casting God out of nature removes the very purpose for which the natural world was created, which is not just to provide for our physical existence, but to serve in the nurturing and perfecting of our minds and souls. Ironically, naturalism destroys nature!

"The created universe, viewed in relation to its design, is so full of wisdom springing from love that all things in the aggregate may be said to be wisdom itself." (DLW 29)

So full of Divine love and wisdom is the universe in greatest and least...that it may be said to be Divine love and wisdom in an image. This is clearly evident from the correspondence of all things of the universe with all things of man. (DLW 52)

     On the other hand:

...to see from effects only is to see from fallacies, from which come errors, one after another; and these may be so multiplied by inductions that at length enormous falsities are called truths. (DLW 187)


Let everyone beware of confirmations in favor of nature: let us confirm ourselves in favor of the Divine-there is no lack of material. (DLW 357)




     Most often we think of Divine providence on an individual scale-how the Lord foresees the quality of our individual lives and secretly leads us away from evils; how He sends angels to guide us lest "we dash our foot against a stone" (Ps. 91: 12).

     But what about earthly events where the seemingly impersonal forces of nature wreak havoc on large numbers of people? In recent months, the world has seen a number of these events. What do the Writings teach about the Lord's providence in natural disasters?

     We should know first that the Divine providence is "universal" because the Lord rules everything of His creation. Everything He has made looks to the sole purpose of forming a heaven from the human race. The preservation of the natural world is part of His Divine plan just as is the salvation of every person on earth. Not only is the human race throughout the whole world under the Lord's care, Divine providence is also present "in the least particulars of nature" (DP 201, emphasis added).

     The key doctrine to give any insight into the occurrence of natural disasters, just as in the case of personal tragedy, must be the doctrine of permission.

     A passage in Swedenborg's Spiritual Experiences speaks to the importance of this:

Anyone who does not understand permissions, yet draws conclusions about them, falls into doubting and negative thoughts about God the Messiah's power over the Universe. (SE 398)

     The Lord permits what He does not will. He allows evil things, even disastrous things, to happen but for the sake of eternal ends of good that are beyond our understanding.


"The Divine end of good reigns universally" (AC 6489).

     The remarkable thing about the Lord's permission is that He unfailingly brings something good out of every disaster: "Nothing whatever, not even the least thing, shall arise, except that good may come from it" (AC 6574). We see, for example, heartfelt acts of sympathy and support for those in need. There are people helping people because they are stirred with a sense of compassion (see AC 6737). Thoughts of spiritual and eternal things that might not otherwise arise may come about as a result of natural tragedy. Nothing is permitted apart from a cause "and the cause is found nowhere else than in some law of Divine providence, a law which explains why it is permitted" (DP 234). Thus, there are "hidden causes at work" (SE minor).

     We should recognize the limitations of our understanding of the Lord's universal providence. We cannot see it in action, only afterward, and then only from a spiritual perspective. If a person were to see this universal providence, we are told, "it could appear to his eyes only as do scattered heaps and assembled piles of materials to passers-by, the materials out of which a house is to be built" (DP 203e). It is symbolic, perhaps, that the images we see of the aftermath of these tragic earthly events consist mainly of "scattered heaps and assembled piles."

     In spite of all the devastation and destruction brought about through natural disasters, the Lord's laws of providence and permission are unfailing. Though doubts may arise in times of crisis, the truth is that "the Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works" (Ps. 145: 9).

     Readers of this publication may remember the article by the Rev. Arne Bau-Madsen entitled "Disaster, Disease, and Divine Providence" which appeared in the July 2004 issue. Mr. Bau-Madsen has prepared a second part of this study which we hope to publish in the coming months.


Marriage Journey: Interviews with Twenty Married Couples from the New Church, by Sarah Headsten 2005

Marriage Journey: Interviews with Twenty Married Couples from the New Church, by Sarah Headsten       Andrew Dibb       2005

     The New Church is unashamedly idealistic about marriage. The doctrine of Conjugial Love promises everlasting and increasing happiness. Many couples through the generations have embraced these ideals, striving to make them their own. In spite of this idealism, marriage in the New Church is challenged just as much as it is in society in general. Even the most exhilarating ideals have to develop in the crucible of human life. Marriage, perhaps more than most areas of life, is challenged as two people work to come to grips with the essential differences of masculinity and femininity, religious beliefs, inexperience in child-raising, work pressures, and outside influences. How do marriages fare under these circumstances?

     Sarah Headsten undertook to find out. Her work, The Marriage Journey, is a rare and privileged look into the marriages of twenty couples. By preserving their freedom in anonymity, Sarah is able to probe deeply into the strengths and challenges of these couples. Their experience will resonate with many couples in the New Church who struggled with similar issues and celebrate similar victories. By tying her research back to specific teachings in the book, Conjugial Love, Sarah makes it possible to see the connections between the teachings of the New Church and the life experiences of these couples.

     The Marriage Journey makes compelling reading for anyone interested in marriage. For single people, it may help to show how the ideals of marriage play out in the reality of life. For those newly wed, it may be useful to read and reflect on the experiences of couples facing similar challenges who, nevertheless, found fulfillment in their marriages. For those well along the way, this book may facilitate a review of their own journey, giving a sense of peace that comes from knowing that others have trod this path.


For all, it gives the confidence that Conjugial Love is not an intellectual idea, but develops gradually, day by day, in the pressures and pleasures arising when two people are being forged into one angel under the Lord's care and guidance.

Andrew Dibb, D. Th.

(The Rev. Dr. Andrew Dibb is Assistant Professor in the Academy of the New Church Theological School.)


     The teachings for the New Church in the work Conjugial Love emphasize the importance and sanctity of marriages. New Church people continue to seek ways to promote and support strong marriage relationships. One example of this is the book by Sarah Headsten reviewed in this issue: The Marriage Journey. This is an engaging account of interviews with 20 couples in the church. Another example is an attractive Marriage website called "livingmarriage.org" launched last June by the Bryn Athyn Church. Anyone may access this new site either directly or through the General Church website at www.newchurch.org. Just in its infancy, this site is beautifully done. Another initiative is a Marriage Conference scheduled in Bryn Athyn in February with the theme "Caring for Marriage." More information on this can be found online at www.livingmarriage.org.


New Church Day 2005

New Church Day       Patricia deMaine David       2005


     Celebration in Pittsburgh

     The annual regional celebration of New Church Day hosted by the Pittsburgh Society is becoming a tradition enthusiastically endorsed by both young and old in western PA and eastern Ohio, with visitors from as far away as Sweden and England. Introduced in 2004 by the pastor, the Rev. Amos Glenn and his assistant, the Rev. Olaf Hauptmann, the celebration draws a crowd of people glad for a celebration of New Church Day.

     This year's program began with a doctrinal presentation Friday evening by the Rev. Goran Applegren, visiting from Stockholm. Saturday's schedule started with a family worship service, followed by refreshments (which were plentiful all weekend long). At 10:00 a.m. the women and children did various New Church Day craft projects under the able direction of Barbara Glenn and many helpers. Concurrently, the men and older boys met for a discussion on becoming a New Churchman, led by Mr. Hauptmann.

     In the afternoon, while the men and children went off on a treasure hunt, the women met for a discussion about true femininity, with quiet leadership by Mr. Glenn. Following that, there was a rehearsal for the pageant, which included all the children. There was also an opportunity to listen to a tape of Bishop Kline's Assembly plenary session.

     At 6:00 p.m., led by Angela Fields, several ladies of the society prepared a wonderful banquet for over 80 adults, served by the older children of the society decked out in red aprons.


Holly Uber gave a slide presentation about her Peace Corps tour of duty in Cameroon, Africa, answering questions following her talk. The principal speaker for the evening was the Rev. Ethan McCardell, pastor of the Freeport Society. He spoke enthusiastically about being proud to present our New Church teachings to others as the opportunity arises. The whole evening--indeed, the whole day-was inspiring.

     Sunday morning brought a family service followed by a beautiful Holy Supper celebration. Everyone then gathered in the church's garden to watch the children in their pageant.

     This was followed by the presentation of a gift from the church to each child. The final event of the weekend was a potluck picnic in the sunken garden at the church. Many people lingered long into the afternoon just enjoying being together with old friends and new.

     Each year the crowd grows, a trend we hope will continue year after year. It is called a regional celebration, but anyone who wants to come to Pittsburgh is definitely part of our "region" as we celebrate this most important of holidays. We welcome you!

     Patricia deMaine David


     An on-line family magazine from the G.C. Office of Education featuring materials for all ages focused on a new theme every month

     The Lord's Fruitful Harvest in November 2005
     Unto Us a Child is Born in December 2005



GENERAL CHURCH SCHOOLS DIRECTORY 2005-2006              2005

Office of Education:

Rev. Philip B. Schnarr          Director
Jill Rogers                    Assistant Director, Curriculum
Barbara Doering               Teacher Support, Home Schooling
Sarah Odhner                Unit Box Circulation
Gretchen Keith               Curriculum Support, Unit Box Development
Rachel Glenn                Publications Coordinator

Bryn Athyn:

Rev. David W. Ayers           Principal, Religion 8
Gail Simons                     Co-principal
Linda Kees                    Kindergarten
Kit Rogers                    Kindergarten
Christine DeMaria           Grade 1
Robin Morey                Grade 1
Jena Pellani                Grade 1
Aline Brown                    Grade 2
Sheila Daum                    Grade 2
Liz Switzer                    Grade 2
Kirsten Cronlund                Grade 3
Judy Soneson                Grade 3
Cynthia Conaron                Grade 3
Lucas Mergen               Grade 4
JoAnne Hyatt                Grade 4
Cara Dibb                    Grade 5
Debbie Cook                Grade 5
Kirsten Schnarr                Grade 6
Megan Asplundh               Grade 6
Carol Nash                     Grade 7 - Girls
Drew Hyatt                     Grade 7 - Boys
Heather Klein                Grade 8 - Girls
Greg Henderson                Grade 8 - Boys
Melodie Greer                PC/Math Coordinator
Alex Rogers                Physical Education
Heather McCurdy               Physical Education
Margit Irwin                Music
Dianna Synnestvedt           Art
Sharon Neiger               Librarian
K. Harantschuk                Science
Lisa Synnestvedt                Coordinator Student Support
Steve Irwin                Special Projects
Gretchen Glover               Kindergarten Aide
Amy Jones                     Kindergarten Aide
Wendy Clymer               Intermediate Tutor/Aide
Sandra Pellani                Intermediate Tutor/Aide
Brooke Herder                 Tutor/Aide
Claire Bostock                Student Support
Jodi Carr                     Student Support
Janna Lindsay               Student Support


Beth Bochneak               Student Support
Kiri Rogers                Student Support
Barbara Rose                Student Support
Molly Cronlund                Student Support
Emily Latta                Student Support
Ivan Maddock                Student Support
Rev. John L. Odhner           Religion 4 and 6
Rev. Grant R. Schnarr           Religion 5 and 7
Sue Hyatt                     Enrichment
Ken Rose                     Enrichment


Rev. Erik J. Buss           Pastor, Principal, Religion 4-7
Vivienne Riley                Grade 1
Marie Rose Sparg                Grades 2-3
Jane Edmunds                Headmistress
Gail Mitchell                Grades 4-5
Heather Allais                Grades 6-7
Maria Gibb                     Music
Warren Short                Sports


Philip Parker                Principal/Science/Math 5-8/PE
Sarah Berto                Assistant Principal, Grades K-2
Laura Barger                Grades K-2
Deborah Lame               Grades 3-4, History 7-8
Rebekah Russell                Grades 5-6, Language Arts, Science
Lucinda Edmonds                Math 3-4, SS 5-6/PE K-2
Yvonne Alan                Language Arts/Grades 7-8 /English, History, 9-10
Rev. Peter M. Buss, Jr.      Pastor, Religion 5-6
                         /Principal, Mid Western Academy, Religion 9-10/Hebrew
Rev. Mark D. Pendleton           Religion 3-4/7-8


Rev. Lawson M. Smith           Pastor, Principal/Religion 7-8
Mark Wyncoll                Assistant Principal, Grades 7-10 /English, 6 Math; PE
Lori Friend                Kindergarten
Kathy Schrock.                Grades 1-2
Michelle Biermann           Grades 3-4
Rev. Louis Synnestvedt           Religion, Grades 5-6
Eric Smith                     Grades 4-10 Math, PE
Barbara Karas                History 7-10
Rev. Andrew J. Heilman           Religion 3-4/9-10 Science/Hebrew
Kate Pitcairn                Science/Latin
Judy Synnestvedt                Art


Rev. Bradley D. Heinrichs      Pastor, Principal/Religion 3-4
Liz Longstaff               Assistant Principal
Suzanna Hill               Jr. and Sr. Kindergarten


Laura Carter                 Grades 1-2
Rev. Fred Chapin               Religion 1-2
Nina Riepert                Grades 3-4
Mary Jane Hill                Grades 5-6
Stephanie Kuhl               Grades 7-8
Muriel Glebe                French

Oak Arbor:

Rev. Nathan D. Gladish           Pastor, Principal, Religion 5-6/7-8
Elise Gladish               r. and Sr. Kindergarten/7-8 Science
Karen Waters                Grades 1-2
Julie Elder                Grades 3-4
Nancy Genzlinger                Grades 3-4
Nathaniel Brock               Grades 5-6
Dawn Genzlinger                Grades 7-8
Rev. Derek Elphick           Pastor, Religion 3-4


Rev. R. Amos Glenn           Pastor, Principal, Religion 4-8
Gerda Griffiths               Jr and Sr. Kindergarten
Colleen Donaldson               Grades 1-2
Venita Smith                Grades 3-5
Cynthia Glenn                Head Teacher, Grades 6-8, Music/Jr. K-8
Caroline David                Grades 6-8, Science 3-5
Gabrielle Uber                Science 6-8
Burgandy Smith                French
Rev. Olaf Hauptmann           Religion Grades 3-5


Rev. James P. Cooper           Pastor, Religion 5-6, 7-8
James Bellinger                 Principal/7-8
Sara Gatti                    Jr. and Sr. Kindergarten
Karen Hyatt                    Grades 1-2, 7-8/French
Judith Pafford                Grades 1-2
Gabriele Pulpan                Grades 3-4
James Pafford                Grades 5-62
Rachel Hasen                Music
India Asplundh                Art
Rev. Jong-Ui Lee                Assistant Pastor, Religion 3-4


Rev. Garry Walsh                Pastor, Principal, Religion 7-10
Jana Sprinkle                Kindergarten/Miscellaneous
Kim Maxwell                     Grades 1-2
Anne Ball                    Grades 3-4
James Roscoe                Grades 5-6
Kathy Johns                 Grades 7-8
Carole Waelchli               Grades 9-10
Erin Stillman                Music/Art
Rev. Michael E. Ferrell      Religion 5-6




     The Academy

Theological School (Full-time)                10
Theological School (Part-time)               2
Theological School Masters Program (Full-time)      1
Theological School Masters Program (Part-time)      6
College (Full-time)                          133
College (Part-time)                          10
College (auditor)                          6
Boys School                               125
Girls School                               107
Total Academy                                    400

     Midwestern Academy

Grades 9 and 10 (Part-time)                     3

     Society Schools

Bryn Athyn Church School                     324
Glenview Church School                          24
Kempton New Church School                    58
Carmel Church School (Kitchener)                43
Washington New Church School (Mitchellville)      54
Oak Arbor Elementary School (Detroit)           39
Pittsburgh New Church School                     27
Olivet Day School (Toronto)                     34
Kainon School (Durban) - 2005                62
Total Society Schools                               665
Total reported enrollment in all schools                1068

GIFT SUBSCRIPTIONS              2005

     This would be a good time to purchase a gift subscription for a year of New Church Life for a member of your family or a friend. We have a gift certificate we use to announce a gift subscription. A year's subscription is still $16, but that may change. Send subscription requests to New Church Life, Box 711, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009. Make out checks to: General Church of the New Jerusalem.
Mom's Christmas Wish List 2005

Mom's Christmas Wish List              2005

From the New Church Bookstore:

     Marriage Journey-Great new book by Sarah Headsten

     Promises to Keep-Zoe and David Simon's son's letters from Viet Nam

     Landmarks in Regeneration-Doug Taylor's new book

     Divine Providence-Translated by Bruce Rogers

     Scribe of Heaven-Essays on Swedenborg

     Comfort and Hope-by Donnette Alfelt--I wanted to give it to our neighbor who lost her husband last fall--she will love the concepts of eternal marriage.

     Word or Bible-engraved with our family name

     Christmas cards /c quotes from the Writings

     Candles-for the kids (or our) worship centers

     Word Cover-One of Dinah Rose's loom woven rainbow covers

     Word Stand-Hand carved by Roger Schrock

     Necklace or Lapel Pin-Silver or Gold Open Word designs by Carey Smith

     Quotes from the Word-Beautiful Calligraphy art, matted and framed

     Music CDs:Liturgy by Bar Scott, Thundered Word by Missing Rachel that new Christmas CD by Solomon Keal, called Advent

     Nativity set-from different parts of the world-to add to our collection

From New Church Audio:

     Handel's Messiah-Bryn Athyn Cathedral Service

     New Church Christmas Liturgy Selections-College Choir Sings

     Why the Lord Was Laid In a Manger-Christmas Service, Rev. Jeremy Simons
The Christmas Story and Abraham-Christmas Service, Rt. Rev. Thomas Kline

     Fulfillment of Prophecy-Doctrinal Class, Rt. Rev. Louis King

     Gifts of the Wise Men-Family Service, Rev. Grant Schnarr

     Church Audio Catalog-thousands of recordings listed

     I'd also like some projects for the kids-maybe something to color-something that's really about Christmas, to help add to the Christmas sphere...



Christmas Audio 2005

Christmas Audio              2005

Vol. CXXV     December, 2005     No. 12

     Past and Present     

     The Christmas Story and Abraham - Catalog #105087
          Christmas Day Service - Rt. Rev. Thomas Kline

     Why the Lord Was Laid In a Manger - Catalogue #106750
          Christmas Eve Festival Service - Rev. Jeremy Simons

     Going Home Another Way - catalog #106754
          Contemporary Family Service - Rev. John Odhner

     The Prince of Peace - Catalog #106751
          Doctrinal Class - Rev. Kurt Ho. Asplundh

     New Church Christmas Selections - Catalog #102772
          Liturgy Hymns - Featuring the College Singers

     Handelss Messiah* - Catalog #106774
          Vesper Service - Bryn Athyn Cathedral

     An Advent Concert - Catalog #105297
          Choral Music and Orchestra Event

     Bethlehem - Catalog #105043
          Archived Sermon - Rt. Rev. Willard Pendleton

     In addition to this sampling there are many wonderful recordings for preparation, celebration and inspirational gift giving as we rejoice in the knowledge of the Lord's birth into the world and within each of us. A catalog of our current collection is also available.

     Invoices will be included with your order.


Title Unspecified 2005

Title Unspecified              2005

     New Church Life


Notes on This Issue 2005

Notes on This Issue              2005

     The Rev. Walter Orthwein teaches at the Academy but also serves as visiting pastor to the group in central Pennsylvania. Mr. Orthwein's pastoral interest is evident in his delightful Christmas sermon, "Keeping Watch. He points out that we all need to "keep watch" in our lives by learning the things the Lord has revealed, thinking about them, and sincerely trying to live by them.

     What does Ishmael, the son of Abraham, have to do with Charter Day'? The Rev. Bradley Heinrichs, pastor of the Caryndale Society in Kitchener, Canada, answers that question in his Charter Day address given in October. In his talk, Mr. Heinrichs identities characteristics of the adolescent mind and how the Academy seeks to develop them in positive ways. (See page 426.)

     The Secretary of the General Church, Susan Simpson, provides an annual report of membership for the year July 1st, 2004 through June 30th, 2005. At year-end, the enrolled membership of the General Church had reached nearly 5000. This report, listing names of new members, begins on page 434.

     A Directory of the General Church for the 2005-2006 year has been provided by the Bishop's office. This Directory, published annually, lists the current officers and board members of the corporate body as well as the current status of various members of the clergy. Societies and Circles of the church are listed along with the names of the pastors or ministers who serve them. The Directory will be found starting at page 443.

     This issue also includes the Index for the year.





     "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night." (Luke 2:8)

     It is hard to imagine a more tranquil scene than this one. We've seen it pictured on countless Christmas cards shepherds in a field at night, watching over their sheep, somewhere among the gentle hills of Judea, with the little town of Bethlehem in the distance.

     The weather in that part of the world is mild, and the air is very clear; and of course because there were no bright city lights in those days to compete with the stars, the night sky must have been a glorious sight. And now, on this night, an even greater glory was about to appear in it,

     A beautiful and peaceful scene but not entirely, for it was night-time, and in the darkness fearful things might lurk. A wolf or a lion or a bear, or even a man, might come and carry the sheep away; so the shepherds stayed awake and watched.

     It is no accident that the Lord was born at night, for the dark of night corresponds to the spiritual condition that prevailed in the church on earth at that time. Very little spiritual intelligence remained. The ancient prophecy had come to pass: "...behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people..." (Isaiah 60:2). A state of ignorance and fear prevailed; the light of truth had vanished, except for small remnants from remote ages past, which still shone in the minds of some, like stars in the night sky.

     The stars in the sky mirror the stars in people's minds that is, whatever knowledges of spiritual truth they have to illuminate the darkness of this natural life. The Writings tell us that communities of angels, because of their intelligence, appear in heaven like shining stars. The host of angels who appeared to the shepherds were angels who especially love to tell of the Lord's advent; and it was that same angelic society that appeared to the wise men as a star.


     Few on earth were interested in the angels' glad tidings, but even in earth's dark sky there were some stars; there were some who remained faithful. And with such people, with those who long for the light of truth in order to live well, the Lord preserves enough understanding for their faith to endure. Let us pray that we are among them. As the stars that shone in the night sky gave the shepherds enough light to watch over their sheep, so even small bits of truth from the Word can enable us to protect and preserve the goodness we have within us from the Lord.

     Stars. Their light is cool, and distant, and dim, like some long-remembered half-forgotten things we once knew. But how beautiful the stars are! They gleam like gems spilled out on black velvet; they lend a serene friendliness to the night; they stir the imagination, inviting us to find patterns in them; they are a guide and comfort, especially for those who need them most for sailors and travelers in the desert, for shepherds watching over their flock by night. So it is with the truths of faith when the sky of the mind is dark. Even if dimly remembered, their weak light is all the more beautiful and welcome.

     As the stars are far from earth, so the truths of the Word seem remote and theoretical when we are in a very different state of life from that represented by those truths. For example, when we read in the Word about the great peace that prevails in heaven, that bit of information seems quite remote when there is little peace in our own lives. It's the same in regard to the joy of heaven, in regard to the delight the angels have in worshiping the Lord, and many other things - conjugial love, contentment and trust in Divine providence, and all the various truths that make up angelic wisdom. We know these things, and believe in them, but perhaps they represent an ideal to be wished for more than a present reality.

     There is a prophetic element in every truth, a promise of some good which can he attained. Every truth describes a condition of life which may come to pass for us.


If it is a bad state, the truth about it is a warning; if good, the truth about it is a promise of a blessing yet to come.

     The prophecies concerning the Lord's birth were both a promise and a warning. They promised great joy for those who would receive Him, and destruction for those who opposed Him. "For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that corneal shall burn them up.... But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings. . ." (Malachi 4:1-2). "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against...that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed" (Luke 2:34-35).

     The story of the Lord's birth reminds us to be on watch lest we fall prey to the ravages of some evil desire or idea, and it reminds us also of the myriad blessings promised by His advent. "Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to number them," the Lord told Abraham. "So shall thy seed be." The stars stand for all the good and true things the Lord's presence brings. (Arcana Coelestia 1808)

     All these things these joys of heavenly life may not be a present reality in our lives, but it is good to know about them, as things to hope for, and look for, and strive for. As stars relieve the darkness of the night, so in the night time of the soul truths of faith from the Word provide hope and consolation.

     As people look at the stars and find patterns in them - kings and queens, heroes and various animals - so we can find even a few scattered truths of faith the meaning of life in a dark world. The more we know, the better, but even a little knowledge from the Lord's Word is enough for us to find meaning in life, if we will look.

     Knowing things is different from perceiving the truth of them, but knowledge is primary. "No one can perceive what he does not know and believe," we are told.


We cannot be "gifted with the faculty of perceiving the good of love and the truth of faith except by means of knowledges, so as to know what they are and of what nature" (Arcana Coelestia 1802:3).

     The difference between knowing and perceiving is the difference between a star and a sun. We do not want our belief in the Lord to remain a distant star, but to grow until we sense His presence with us as the very Sun of heaven, rising with healing in His Wings - warm and radiating life. We want the Lord's advent to be not just a remote historical fact, but a present and living reality in our own lives. We want it to be something we not only know about, but something we see to be true and feel to be true. This is real "knowing," as opposed to mere "knowledge."

     "And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them..." The stars in the sky coalesced into one brilliant light, from which came a living, human voice, and then a whole chorus of voices, proclaiming the most joyous news that the Lord had been born.

     What can we do to prepare ourselves to see the glory of the Lord shining round about us, and to receive these good tidings? The story of the shepherds contains the answer. Notice what they were doing: they were keeping watch over their sheep. In other words, very simply, they were engaged in the performance of their use in life. They were at work! Our work, our use in life, includes many things - but the most essential of all is the work of spiritual growth and development, the work of regeneration.

     It is really the Lord Himself, the Good Shepherd, who does this, but we must cooperate by acquiring from Him the means by which He does it, that is, spiritual truths. The reason the Lord works this way is that it preserves our own freedom and rationality, the very capacities that make us human. We can, and must, freely choose to use our minds for this purpose.

     A "shepherd," spiritually, is one who teaches the truth and by it leads to the good of life. So to be faithful shepherds, we need to learn truths from the Word, so that we will be able to identify what is good and what is not, and effectively nurture the one and get rid of the other.


     The shepherds were "keeping watch," and because of the evils in our natural heredity, and in the world around us, we, too, must "keep watch." That is, we must monitor the states of our lives, and protect and nourish the good affections we have from the Lord. The shepherds watching over their sheep picture a regenerate person watching over and preserving the remains of innocence within.

     "To watch," the Writings explain, signifies to live spiritually, that is, to be in truths and in a life according to them, and to look to the Lord (Apocalypse Revealed 158, 705). We have to be careful to avoid letting such phrases as "live spiritually" and "look to the Lord" become mere cliches. To live spiritually means to give spiritual things priority, and not just to live for natural satisfaction. To look to the Lord means to pray for the Lord's help and guidance, to study the Word, and do what it says. To be "watchful" is to learn the things the Lord has revealed to us, think about them, and sincerely try to live by them. This involves a certain amount of self-reflection - watching over the states of our life and being alert to dangerous influences. And it involves protecting and nourishing whatever is good and true in our life.

     May our celebration of the Lord's birth this year, and every year, serve to awaken the good and innocent affections the Lord has preserved and watches over in each of us. May it strengthen our resolve to be faithful shepherds, responding with wonder, gratitude, and great joy to the good news from heaven. "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." Amen.

Lessons: Isaiah 40:1-11; Luke 2:1-20; Apocalypse Revealed 705, 158




     A Charter Day Address

     "And the Angel of the LORD said to her: 'Behold, you are with child, and you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael. - (Genesis 16:11).

     The text of our talk this morning is about Abram's Egyptian handmaiden Hagar conceiving a son named Ishmael. So the obvious question is: "Just what does Ishmael have to do with celebrating the Charter granted to the Academy of the New Church 128 years ago?"

     The answer is that Ishmael represents the state of life that most of our high school, college, and theological students are in during their stay here at the Academy. So understanding the quality of Ishmael actually has quite a bit to do with accomplishing the purposes of the Academy stated in Article II of the Charter: "The Academy of the New Church shall be for the purpose of propagating the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem and establishing the New Church signified in the Apocalypse by the New Jerusalem, [and] promoting education in all its various forms."

     For today, we will focus in particular on how the Academy helps to establish the New Church within that Ishmael state of its students by means of the education they receive in the Heavenly Doctrines.

     First, let's look at how Ishmael is conceived. He is the offspring of Abram and Hagar. Abram signifies our internal man and Hagar signifies the affection for memory-knowledges in our external man. Ishmael is conceived by the influx from the Lord through our internal man into the affection we have for memoryknowledges. Ishmael signifies our first rational that results from this union (cf. Arcana Coelestia 1890-1891).


     In simpler terms, this is what New Church education in our elementary schools seeks to do. New Church educators strive to give our children not only memory-knowledges, but also an affection for them.

     In addition to the merely natural memory-knowledges about the world, they also give them memory-knowledges from the Lord's Word about the Lord and His heavenly kingdom. These are the most useful knowledges of all, and they serve as particularly good vessels for receiving the influx of the Lord's good and truth through their internal man.

     In this way, New Church education prepares our children for the conception of the first rational called Ishmael. The conception of the Ishmael rational is an exciting time in every teenager's life, full of opportunities for failure and success. However, at this critical juncture, there is still much work to be done before they can become genuinely rational.

     In a sense, we could say that New Church elementary education prepares and sets the table by putting all the vessels in place and even provides some appetizers - a few concepts from the Heavenly Doctrines appropriate to the age. But the main course, the abundance of rational truths in the Heavenly Doctrines, can't be served until adolescence when the Ishmael rational begins to develop.

     One of the founding principles of the Academy was the belief that our children are the most fruitful field of evangelization. Contained within this principle is the realization that being born, baptized, and raised in the New Church does not necessarily make us New Church people. We must freely choose this for ourselves from freedom according to reason (cf. Divine Providence 129:2).

     Note the last part of that statement - from freedom according to reason. Reasoning is not an ability that elementary school students properly possess, so they cannot really choose to be New Church at that young age.


This is why the Academy plays such a vital role in the lives of our children. It is during the high school and college years that these young men and women will be sorting through the teachings of the Heavenly Doctrines and deciding whether or not they will choose to become New Church men and women. In a way, this is where they are "evangelized" or not.

     If the Academy is to reap the harvest of this fruitful field of evangelization, then a good understanding of the Ishmael rational is essential. The Heavenly Doctrines tell us that the ability to have truly rational thought and think for oneself does not really begin until the twentieth year (Arcana Coelestia 2280:3, Arcana Coelestia 10225:1, cf. True Christian Religion 106). This is the time when we hope the Isaac rational, which we will talk about later, starts to develop.

     However, prior to this time, at the onset of puberty, a dramatic change takes place where the ability to reason develops. Conjugial Love 446 says,

At that time a revolution occurs in the mind. Previously the intellect thought only in accordance with ideas instilled in the memory, thinking in terms of them and being governed by them. Afterwards it thinks in accordance with reason about them. (Conjugial Love 446:1)

     It is this newly acquired ability to reason that really characterizes the Ishmael rational. Honing this ability to reason in a proper way is critical to the development of the genuine rational signified by Isaac.

     Indeed, when you think about teenagers, their ability to reason is legendary. If you are brave enough to start a debate with them, make sure you have lots of time at your disposal, and make sure you have plenty of facts to back you up! And even then you will, at best, likely debate them to a draw. There is a great bumper sticker out there that captures this beautifully. It says, "Got questions? Ask your teenagers while they still know everything!"


This ability to reason and debate, often stubbornly, is why the Ishmael rational is likened to a wild ass. As our third lesson put it:

He is quick to find fault, makes no allowances, is against all, regards everyone as being in error, is instantly prepared to rebuke, to chasten, and to punish, shows no pity, does not apply himself and makes no effort to redirect people's thinking; for he views everything from the standpoint of truth, and nothing from the standpoint of good. (Arcana Coelestia 1949:2)

     There was an incident when I was in school which illustrated that teaching perfectly. A male student was debating his teacher, who also happened to be a minister, on a certain subject. It was clear that the student came well prepared for battle. For every argument from doctrine advanced by the minister, the student had a clear rebuttal from doctrine to match. As the war raged on, it seemed that the student was actually getting the upper hand. Finally, the minister conceded, and concluded the debate with these words: "You may be right, but you are not necessarily good!"

     Those words really struck me. "You may be right, but you are not necessarily good!" They summed up so concisely one of the major traits of this Ishmael rational. It is combative, unyielding, and hard in its reasoning, because it tends to separate truth from good. It is primarily concerned with being technically right, often at the expense of goodness and mercy.

     There is a use in these debates because it helps the mind develop critical and analytical thinking, but one of the most important uses the Academy serves is helping to usher its students through this wild Ishmael rational state to the more gentle state of rationality signified by Isaac.

     One of the main ways educators in the Academy do this is by encouraging students to adopt what the Heavenly Doctrines call the "Affirmative Principle" as opposed to the "Negative Principle."


In the Arcana Coelestia we're told that the affirmative principle is adopted "when someone regards affirmatively the things which comprise doctrine drawn from the Word, that is, when he thinks within himself and believes that those things are true because the Lord has spoken them. This is an attitude that leads to perfect intelligence and wisdom" (Arcana Coelestia 2568:4, cf. Arcana Coelestia 2588). Believing that the doctrine drawn from the Word is true simply because the Lord has spoken it is an essential starting point for educating the Ishmael rational.

     The wonderful thing about this teaching is that it doesn't close the door on having doubts or squelch debate. It simply asks us to start from the premise that the things from the Word are true because the Lord has spoken them, rather than assuming they are false to begin with, and relying solely on reasoning from the senses to prove whether they are true or not.

     Once the affirmative principle is embraced, then healthy debate of how to better understand the truth can be engaged in and encouraged. In fact, during this time, we no longer want our students to accept what the Word says to be true simply because we say so but because they are beginning to see it and understand it for themselves.

     This is why we have adopted the symbol of the open Word in the New Church. It is taken from the vision related in the True Christian Religion, where Swedenborg witnessed the open Word enveloped in light and above it the inscription "Nunc Licet," meaning that "now it is permitted to enter with the understanding into the mysteries of faith" (True Christian Religion 508).

     One of the things that is key to entering into the mysteries of faith with understanding is freedom of thought. When teaching religion in the elementary schools there is much more telling them what to think than there is in high school and college. Anyone who has ever taught teenagers knows that telling them what to think is pointless.


It will not work and, in fact, will most likely drive them to the opposite opinion. The faith of the New Church that we hope they will adopt in adulthood can be implanted only in freedom; it cannot be compelled or forced (Divine Providence 129).

     So in this Ishmael state, where the Heavenly Doctrines freely admit that the adolescent is drawn to the things of the world and distracted by them (cf. Arcana Coelestia 5280:4), how can the Academy help students explore the mysteries of faith without coercing or compelling them to do so?

     The answer is by teaching and encouraging them to compel themselves. The Lord has given each one of us an incredible gift, the ability to make ourselves do something we may not naturally be inclined to do. We can make ourselves go to Church, we can make ourselves read the Word, and we can make ourselves pray to the Lord in times of trouble.

     If we choose to make use of this gift and compel ourselves to explore the mysteries of faith, even when we might not necessarily be inclined to do so, then we will find that the Lord can enlighten us. For in self-compulsion, freedom according to reason is exercised, and faith can then be implanted (Arcana Coelestia 1947).

     The other essential ingredient the Academy can offer during these years is an environment that urges people to live according to the commandments of the Lord. More plainly put, the Academy can provide an environment that strives to keep its students safe from sin. In our reading from John the Lord said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin" (John 8:34).

     In this Ishmael rational state where we are encouraging freedom of thought which is essential to the development of that rational, we are at the same time compassionately trying not to let that thought proceed into action if the thought is in error.


It is a lot easier for teenagers to correct a false thought and an evil intention if it hasn't been confirmed in them by being brought into practice. The more we practice something, the more it becomes habitual and a part of our nature, and then it becomes harder to repent of it and change at a later date (cf. Divine Providence 80, True Christian Religion 563). To the extent that the Academy provides a safe environment that promotes responsible choices, it will be doing its part to enable this wild Ishmael rational to develop within safe boundaries.

     Finally, the last use the Academy can perform in helping its students progress from the Ishmael rational to the Isaac rational is described at the very end of our third lesson from the Arcana Coelestia.

     After describing the Ishmael state as being combative, unyielding, and hard because it views everything from the standpoint of truth alone, it says that "the one thing to soften his hardness is the good of charity" (Arcana Coelestia 1949:2). Part of the essential progression from Ishmael to Isaac is going from merely reasoning about truth and using it as a weapon of war in proving one's point, to seeing the good that the truth is actually teaching, and delighting in doing that good.

     In recent years, the Academy has made great strides in providing opportunities for students to practice the good of charity that the truth teaches should be done. This is vital not only in softening the nature of the rational in this state of life, but also for establishing charity and faith within each student. The True Christian Religion plainly teaches that charity and faith are merely fleeting mental abstractions unless they are grounded in good works (cf. True Christian Religion 375-376).

     We hope the time our students spend here at the Academy helps them work through the tumultuous, lively, and exciting times of the Ishmael state, and prepares them to enter the beginning of the genuinely rational state signified by Isaac.


The quality of the Isaac rational is very different from that of the Ishmael rational.

     We're told that this genuine rational always consists of rational good and truth together, and that "rational good never fights, no matter how much it is assailed, because it is gentle and mild, long-suffering and yielding, for its nature is that of love and mercy. But although it does not fight, it nevertheless conquers all" (Arcana Coelestia 1950:2 emphasis added).

     The quality of this Isaac rational is ultimately the goal we are aiming for, but in order to get there, we all have to navigate our way successfully through that Ishmael-rational state. The Academy of the New Church, including the high school, college, and theological school, is ideally set up to help accomplish just that.

     Our New Church elementary schools do a great job of setting the table and providing the appropriate vessels, but the main course of rational truths from the Heavenly Doctrines really can't be served and received until the Ishmael rational is conceived. The harvest of the most fruitful field of evangelization, our children, isn't fully realized until they choose freely according to their own reason and rationality to embrace the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem.

     This Charter Day let us celebrate the wonderful use the Academy provides by educating our students in the Heavenly Doctrines and doing its part in helping the Lord to establish His New Church upon the earth. As the students learn to understand the rational truths given in His Second Advent, they will be free to choose the path the Lord has laid open before them, and they will be able to enter through the gates and into the Holy City. As the Lord said to those who believed in Him, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free... Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed" (John 8:32, 36).




     Between July 1, 2004 and June 30, 2005, 145 members were received into the General Church. Three members were reinstated. During the year the Secretary's office received notice of the deaths of 77 members. Three members resigned during the year.

     Membership July 1, 2004           4911
     New Members (Certs. 9704-9848)      145
     Reinstated Members                3
     Deceased                          -77
     Resigned                          -3
     Membership June 30, 2005           4979


de Figueiredo, Andre G.

Asplundh, India Kay
Friesen, Peter LeRoy
Hendricks, Brian Harold
Taylor, Kathryn Lynn
Vorobyov, Benjamino

van Kooten, Shelley Lea

Cole, Charles Christian

Addo, Francis
Adu, Sylvester Yaw
Agbesi, Alex Yaw
Amankwah, Kwaku
Amesinu, Yaw
Amoako, Nana Yaa Akomea
Anato, Guillaume Joseph K.
Ankomah, Irene
Apau, Margaret
Apedo, Stephen Kwashie
Asare, Geroge
Ato Kwame
Borketey, Michael Angenu
Borketey-Kwaku, Belinda
Bortey, Romeo Borketey
Darkwah, Esther Adomah
Dede, Asante Emmanuel
Forson, Francis Kodjo
Kalifu, Joseph
Konadu, Akua
Kwaku, Ntow Bismark
Obeng, Asante
Obeng, Wiredu Gregory
Odei, Mercy Afua
Otu, Martin Asa
Owusu, Ntiri Emmanuel
Voegborlo, Saviour Delasi

Obiri, Josephine Mosiara


Rangi, Khalid Obiri

Suzuki, Manase

Kim, Wan Sik

Budhathoki, Ram

Baltazar, Ephraim John
Miralles, Nhessie Israel Cruz


Moshaodiba, Mathuthu Aletta

Mthalane, Ntombizodwa C. P.
Mthalane, Nomfundo Zamaswazi

Kantole Basakayi, Joseph

Khulu, Charel Khethokuhle
Khulu, Mziwendoda Ralph
Khulu, Notkazi Clerice

Mthalane, Abraham Zama
Mthalane, Gladys Phindiwe
Mthalane, Thulani Godfrey N.
Mthalane, Wiseman Sandile Z.
Sosibo, Zakubo Gladys

Markhathim, Mecy
Mhongo, Patrica Nomangisi
Xulu, Viginia

Madlopha, Prudence Jabu

Gardner, Alexander James


Coleman, Laura Anne
Ferranti, Janet Sue Bruser
Kanies, Ruth Laurel
Senter, Mary Etta Evangeline
Smith, Carolyn Amanda

Perry, Chandra Michelle
Perry, Hilton Michael
Zarzosa, Alicia
Zarzosa, Amanuel Antonio M.

Freeman, Nina Lester

Allen, Grant Leslie

Smith, Jeffrey Owen

Aldous, David Robert
Schroeder, Brent Charles

Bramel, Thomas Howard
Martin, Lisa Dianne Cowley

Blair, Caroline Chesnut
Blair, Donald Gage
Farrell, Janet Dristy
Heilman, Bradley Daniel
McQueen, Donald Jeffrey
Odhner, Lael Ulam
Rodda, Gavin Bruce
Weldon, Pamela

Steen, Kirk Thomas

Klippenstein, Ivan Daniel
Klippenstein, Stephanie Ann

     New Hampshire
Heilman, Erika


     New York
Sopko, Marcine Gladish

     North Carolina
Civitello, Eva
Glunz, Emily Lowrie
Hasen, Darryl Glenn

Brady, Shannon Neptune
Brennan, Anne Marie
Buss, Cheryl Lynn
Byun, Bok Im
Byun, Kang S.
Dristy, Mark Edward
Fiadino, Dean James
Fiadino, Delana Styres
Friesen, Westley John
Garcia, Mary Wylie
Gephart, Ashleigh Catherine
Gephart, Clyde Eugene
Gephart, Janice Marie
Glenn, Thane Powell
Green, Charles Anthony
Halterman, Darryl Odhner
Hammerman, Linda Marie
Hammerman, Scott Lindsay
Henderson, Glen Stuart
Henderson, Sasha Silverman
Henry, Jeremy Bruce
Jayawardana, Kyra
Keal, Solomon John
Keal, Tirah Marie Echols
Kim, In Sook
Knipprath, Erik Daniel
Knipprath, Jeanine Amanda
Kufs, Lisa Suzanne
Larsson, Krista Lynn
Larsson, Robert John
Leeper, Sarah Rene
Lermitte, Alexander Kayne
Lexie, Miriam Sarah
Luce, Katherine Nicole
Nehlig, Andrew Gilmer
Nehlig, Madeleine Cole
Odhner, Seth Benjamin
Schnarr, Erin Louise
Schnarr, Joshua Philip
Schnarr, Owen James
Stark, Joel Anthony Stevens, Shannon
Synnestvedt, Isaac Roland
Tate, Mary Woodhead
Tate, Richard Anthony Jr.

     South Dakota
Conti, Russell Pau
Romey, Sharon Lindrooth

Montgomery, Daniel Binney

Hinson, Alexander Hilton
Schade-Hinson, Nancy

Junge, Mara
Smith, Peter Lawrence Hansen

Foster, Joni Michelle
Parker, Kenneth Wayne
Tanner, Jonda


Afoh-Yirenchi, Samuel; 67; November 16, 2004; Madina, Greater Accra, Ghana
Banaszak, Raymond Michael; 69; February 4, 2005; Michigan
Beath, Phyllis Roberta; 97; May 18, 2004; Urbana, Ohio
Beiswenger, Cathy Seaborn; 56; February 24, 2005; Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
Biyela, Ester Ntombifuthi; May 31, 2004; Eshowe, Empaphala, KZN, South Africa


Black, John Charles; 88; December 7, 2004; Southampton, Pennsylvania
Brewer, Horace Harvey; 77; March 16, 2005; Ocala, Florida
Brunk, Hanne Karin; 60; December 10, 2002; Kopparberg, Sweden
Bryntesson, Elisabeth Sandstrom; 93; October 31, 2004; Mangskog, Sweden
Buck, David John; 82; September 30, 2004; Bankstown, NSW, Australia
Bundsen, Jerome Jack; 85; September 3, 2000; California
Chamane, Beauty; 69; June 21, 2004; Durban, KZN, South Africa
Clennell, Gordon Stewart; 81; December 18, 2004; London, England
Cockerell, Lorna; 88; October 15, 2004; Durban, KZN, South Africa
Coffin, Betty Lou Lucas; 78; June 19, 2005; Tucson, Arizona
Cranch, Harold Covert; 93; December 19, 2004; Glendale, California
Daly, Jean; 82; August 8, 2004; Milledgeville, Georgia
Deal, Agnes Erin; 90; August 6, 2004; Howick, KZN, South Africa
de Charms, Joan Desiree; 79; August 5, 2004; Abington, Pennsylvania
Deigendesch, Paul Herman, Jr.; 82; February 15, 2005; Pennsylvania
Englehardt, Edward Louis; 85; January 11, 2005; Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
Englehardt, Harriet Gyllenhaal; 88; September 8, 2004; Holland, Pennsylvania
Esak, William; 94; December 16, 2004; Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Farrington, Theodore Conrad; 70; December 6, 2004; Hollywood, Florida
Fornander, Ulf Sten; 89; June 21, 2004; Jonkoping, Sweden
Frazier, Gina Dorothy Thomas; 80; April 6, 2005; Orlando, Florida
Glenn, Helen Ann Smith; 86; August 11, 2004; Sanatoga, Pennsylvania
Glenn, Robert Gurth; 91; December 16, 2004; Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania
Griffeth, John Francis; 82; July 15, 2004; Fernandina Beach, Florida
Haigh, Doris Packer; 77; November 12, 2004; Hatboro, Pennsylvania
Hartter, Walter Gustav; 79; December 16, 2004; Tucson, Arizona
Heinrichs, Henry Bruce; 56; July 21, 2004; Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Heilman, William Barnes; 76; February 18, 2005; Sarver, Pennsylvania
Hotson, Jennifer Scott; 58; August 20, 2004; Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Hyatt, Margaret Shepp; 70; August 27, 2004; Glenn Dale, Maryland
Johns, Karen Synnestvedt; 75; October 6, 2004; Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania
Junge, William Francis; 91; February 4, 2005; Glenview, Illinois
Keiser, Thomas Willard; 66; February 24, 2005; Abington, Pennsylvania
Kendig, Marion Cranch; 89; September 29, 2004; Phoenix, Arizona
Kern, Elizabeth Guthrie; 91; November 30, 2004; Warminster, Pennsylvania
Khulu, Samukelisiwe Eudorah Ntombi; 37; September 3, 2004; Empangeni, KZN, South Africa
King, Freya Synnestvedt; 79; March 1, 2005; Langhorne, Pennsylvania
Kuhn, Raymond Theodore; 90; May 23, 2005; Glenview, Illinois
Little, Kathleen Ninette de Chazal Wellesley Richards; 88; July 24, 2004; Ewhurst, Surrey, England
McClow, Lovelle Julia Marcinow; 77; March 21, 2005; Michigan
McCredie, Patricia Ann Frazier; 68; November 9, 2004; Florida
Nicholson, Mary Scalbom; 97; January 15, 2005; Glenview, Illinois
Nash, George William; 73; August 30, 2003; Tucson, Arizona


Powell, Helena May Kaiser; 94; April 18, 2005; Topton, Pennsylvania
Pratt, Thomas Rockwell; 70; February 24, 2005; Feasterville, Pennsylvania
Ridgway, Debra Ann Glenn; 66; October 20, 2003; Virginia
Ridgway, George Michael; 75; October 6, 2004; Indio, California
Ridgway, Grace Stewart; 96; September 10, 2004; Westville, KZN, South Africa
Rohtla, Eric; 81; March 19, 2005; Abington, Pennsylvania
Rosenquist, Sigurd Pelle; 72; May 25, 2005; Tucson, Arizona
Schnarr, Frederick Laurier; 75; March 1, 2005; Boynton Beach, Florida
Schoenberger; Angella Louise; 97; December 15, 2004; Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania
Schoenberger; Florence Valerie Potts; 88; January 14, 2005; Meadville, Pennsylvania
Schweikart, Helena Marie Junge; 83; May 3, 2005; Puyallup, Washington
Searle, Mary Irene; 96; January 11, 2005; Bromley, Kent, England
Sharp, Olive Norma Lewin; 80; April 26, 2005; Epsom, Surrey, England
Simons, David Restyn; 86; March 4, 2005; Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
Smith, Ivan Keith; 80; March 20, 2005; Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania
Smith, Willie Spain Baker; 97; February 27, 2005; Florida
Stevens, Bruna Franca Bergonzi; 95; May 26, 2005; Evanston, Illinois
Synnestvedt, John Tafel; 78; October 9, 2004; Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania
Synnestvedt, Peter Nilen; 72; July 11, 2004; Muskogee, Oklahoma
Tetevi, Tete Acadius; 35; May 17, 2004; Lome, Togo, Ghana
Tinker, Elma May Johnson; 85; August 20, 2004; Heywood, England
Turner, Helen Mary Teed; 82; February 21, 2005; Lightwater, Surrey, England
Van Dusen, Wilson Miles; 81; April 25, 2005; Ukiah, California
Walker; Louise Billings; 86; October 10, 2004; San Diego, California
Walton, Naomi Myrtle; 91; May 8, 2005; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Waters, Mary Humby; 77; May 11, 2005; Westville, KZN, South Africa
Welch, William Angier; 68; January 30, 2005; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Wood, James Dale; 69; April 16, 2004; Illinois
Wyland, Ray James; 77; April 2, 2005; Clovis, California


Haworth, Merry Jayne; July 20, 2004; Iowa City, Iowa
Tinker, Martha Alden; December 17, 2004; Tucson, Arizona
Walter, Deborah; February 23, 2005; Kennebunkport, Maine

     Susan V. Simpson, Secretary



PRINCE OF PEACE              2005

     The Lord was born to bring peace on earth. His peace is not of this world but a kind of peace that transcends natural understanding.

     True peace is an internal state of mind flowing in from the Lord no matter what our external condition-during war, during tragedy, in the worst of times or in the best of times.

     When shepherds found the Lord, they joyfully approached the Source of all innocence and peace. They were deeply moved by His presence just as we can be.

     At this time of year, especially, feelings of peace and good will emerge, and many hearts are touched by the remembrance of the Lord's birth. The sphere of peace from the Lord is a powerful thing. Yet the world we know is not a peaceful place, and our personal lives are never far from anxiety and turmoil. We may wonder then, has the Lord's desire to bring peace on earth been frustrated? He was born to be the Prince of Peace.

     The Lord's peace is not what the world gives or thinks of as peace. During our lives in the natural world we will continue to have unrest and anxious care, but the Lord's gift of inner peace remains. "My peace I give to you," He declared. The Lord's peace is a gift to all who are willing to receive it. Such peace has in it "confidence in the Lord, that He directs all things, provides all things, and that He leads to a good end." Everyone who believes these things about the Lord is at peace, since "he fears nothing and no anxiety about things to come disturbs him" (Arcana Coelestia 8455).

     May this inner peace be yours at this season and throughout the year.



THEORY OF EVOLUTION       Charis Pitcairn Cole       2005

Dear Editor:

     The idea that only naive and ignorant people question the theory of evolution is widely accepted. As a result, people who believe in God accept most of this theory, but say God directed it. This is the theory that Westley Friesen's article in New Church Life (Oct. 2005) seems to support. But shouldn't we be leery of a theory that is so appealing to atheists? Why do they defend it so passionately? It is because they think this theory supports their belief that God did not create the world, plants and animals, or people.

     Now, many scientists and others are questioning this theory and writing books strongly challenging it. Following are some points I have gleaned from some of these books. My argument is not so much with Mr. Friesen as against those who think creation happened by accident.

     Let's start with dogs. Mr. Friesen notes that dogs and plants can be bred for specific desirable traits. This is true. Dogs can be bred for size and shape and other desired traits more than any other animal, but there are definite limits - they can't be bred as big as an elephant or as small as a mouse. The bigger you breed a dog the less healthy it is and the shorter its life. This is also true of dogs bred to be very small. Can these be candidates for the principle of the "survival of the fittest"? The further you break away from the norm, the weaker an animal gets, and without human interference it will tend go back to the norm. The same is true of plants. So these examples are hardly evidence in favor of evolution.

     It is somewhat the same with Darwin's finches. Their beaks increased in thickness when a drought made seeds tougher, but when it was rainy again the beaks returned to the smaller size.


The scientist Peter Grant and associates discovered that Darwin's finches are now merging, not diverging. The horses that swam ashore from shipwrecks to the Outer Banks of North Carolina were normal size but after a couple of generations got smaller because all they had to eat was sea grass. When they are fed more healthy food, they get bigger again. The size of people can change also when they move from one country to another and their diet changes.

     Evolutionists credit mutations for the changes that make animals advance to more sophisticated species. Mr. Friesen tells us, as we all know, that germs can mutate and become more resistant to antibiotics, but germs are the only things that get stronger by mutation. Everything else gets weaker. For example, when the two-winged fruit fly is made to have four wings (two pairs) through three mutations, it can hardly fly because the new wings have no muscle. Health problems, like sickle cell anemia, are also the result of mutations.

     What disturbs me about some evolutionists is their apparent contempt for and unwillingness to look at arguments against their theories. In the past, they have sometimes used models that have turned out to be false to prove their point.

     Here are some examples: Haeckel tried to show that animals and human embryos are much the same. He drew pictures of animal and human embryos making them all look alike, when actually they are very different.

     Then there is the Piltdown man. The paleoanthropologist Charles Dawson (not Darwin) found some fragments of a human skull and the jaw of an ape with two teeth. He took them to Arthur S. Woodward at the British Museum who put them together as a missing link between ape and man. It had been predicted that the ancestor of man would have a large brain and an ape-like jaw. For years, scientists accepted this because they, like everyone else, believe what they want to believe. Then Joseph Weiner, Kenneth Oakley, and Wilfred Clark proved that the skull, though many thousands of years old, belonged to a man the same as modern man, while the jaw belonged to a modern orangutan.


The teeth had been filed down to look human. A paleonanthropologist, Roger Lewin said, "Given all the many anatomical incongruities in the Piltdown remains, which are glaringly obvious, it is astonishing that the forgery was so eagerly embraced."

     I could tell you about many more cracks in the evolution theory and of other hoaxes. However, I recommend reading some of the many books challenging evolution. Here are some I have been reading:

Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwin Unconvincing, edited by William A. Dembski.

Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth, by Jonathan Wells. Most of my information is from this book.

     These authors talk of "Intelligent Design" but don't claim that creation happened as told in the Bible, as the Creationists do.

Tornado in a Junkyard: by James Perloff.

     Perloff, on the other hand, is a Creationist and even believes that the story of the Flood, Noah and the ark, is literally true - which discredits him. His book, however, is well written and the scientists he quotes are well respected.

Charis Pitcairn Cole
Bryn Athyn, PA



GENERAL CHURCH OF THE NEW JERUSALEM 2005-2006              2005


     Bishop:     Rt. Rev. Thomas L. Kline

     Assistant Bishop:     Rt. Rev. Brian W. Keith

     Secretary:     Mrs. Susan V. Simpson


     Rt. Rev. Thomas L. Kline, Rt. Rev. Brian W. Keith, Rev. Messrs. Kenneth J. Alden, Goran R. Appelgren, Christopher D. Bown, Daniel W. Goodenough, Grant H. Odhner, Patrick A. Rose, David C. Roth, Lawson M. Smith, and Jeremy F. Simons


     (A Corporation of Pennsylvania)

     Officers of the Corporation

     President:     Rt. Rev. Thomas L. Kline

     Vice President:     Rt. Rev. Brian W. Keith

     Secretary:     Nancy L. Heilman, Esq.

     Treasurer/Chief Administrative Officer:     Mr. William W. Buick

     Director of Finance/Controller:     Mr. Ian K. Henderson


Linda F. Abelkis, Louisa Allais, Dean R. Boyce, Michael S. Cole, Jonathan P. Cranch, Edmond P. de Chazal, Jeryl G. Fuller, Terry K. Glenn, Nancy L. Heilman, Robert L. Heinrichs, Murray F. Heldon, Steven D. Hendricks, D. Lee Horigan, Jr., Leslie G. Horigan, Amanda M. Hyatt, Kaye J. Lermitte, Fay S. Lindrooth, Alexander H. Lindsay, Jr., Tracy L. McCardell, Nathan J. Morley, Timothy V. O'Connor, Bryon Odhner, Robert C. Simons, Huard G. Smith, Karen D. Stoeller, Donald O. Synnestvedt, Arthur E. Uber III, John H. Wyncoll, and Candace N. Zeigler

Ex-officio Members:     Rt. Rev. Thomas L. Kline
                    Rt. Rev. Brian W. Keith
                    Mr. William W. Buick



      Keith, Brian Walter. Ordained June 6, 1976; 2nd degree, June 4, 1978; 3rd degree, October 17, 2004. Serves as Assistant Bishop of the General Church, Vice President of the General Church International, Incorporated, Regional Pastor of the Southeastern and Midwestern U.S., Chairman of the General Church Translation Committee. Address: PO Box 743, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009


     Kline, Thomas Leroy. Ordained June 10, 1973; 2nd degree, June 15, 1975; 3rd degree, November 30, 2003. Serves as Executive Bishop of the General Church, General Pastor of the General Church, Chancellor of the Academy of the New Church, President of the General Church in Canada, President of the General Church in South Africa, and President of the General Church International, Incorporated. Address: P.O. Box 743, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009


     Alden, Glenn Graham. Ordained June 19, 1974; 2nd degree, June 6, 1976. Serves as Pastor of the Sunrise Chapel in Tucson, Arizona Society. Address: c/o Sunrise Chapel, 8421 E. Wrightstown Road, Tucson, AZ 85715

     Alden, Kenneth James. Ordained June 6, 1980; 2nd degree, May 16, 1982. Serves as Pastor of the Boynton Beach Society in Boynton Beach, Florida. Visiting Pastor in south Florida (Melbourne, Bonita Springs, Vero Beach). Address: 7354 Shell Ridge Terrace, Lake Worth, FL 33467-7703

     Alden, Mark Edward. Ordained June 10, 1979; 2nd degree, May 17, 1981. Unassigned. Address: P.O. Box 204, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Ankra-Badu, William Ofei. Ordained June 15, 1986; 2nd degree, March 1, 1992. Serves as Pastor of the Accra New Church in Ghana, West Africa, Principal of the New Church Theological School, Accra, Bishop's Representative for West Africa and Visiting Pastor to Togo and the Ivory Coast. Address: P.O. Box 11305, Accra-North, Ghana, West Africa

     Anochi, Nicholas Wiredu. Ordained June 4, 1995; 2nd degree, November 2, 1997. Serves as Pastor of the New Church Dome Circle, Ghana, West Africa. Address: c/o The New Church, No. 2 Rocky Road, Dome, P.O. Box TA687, Taifa, Ghana, West Africa

     Appelgren, Goran Reinhold. Ordained June 7, 1992; 2nd degree, July 3, 1994. Serves as Pastor of the Stockholm Society in Stockholm, Sweden and Regional Pastor for Europe. Address: Aladdinsvagen 27, S-167 61 Bromma, Sweden

     Asplundh, Kurt Hyland. Ordained June 6, 1993; 2nd degree, April 30, 1995. Serves as a teacher of religion in the Academy Secondary Schools. Secretary of the Council of the Clergy. Address: P.O. Box 707, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Ayers, David Wayne. Ordained May 23, 1999; 2nd degree, November 12, 2000. Serves as Principal of the Bryn Athyn Church School. Address: P.O. Box 277, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Bau-Madsen, Arne. Ordained June 6, 1976; 2nd degree, June 11, 1978. Serves as Associate Pastor to Kempton Society in Kempton, Pennsylvania; Visiting Pastor to the Wallenpaupack, Pennsylvania, Circle. Address: P.O. Box 333, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Bell, Reuben Paul. Ordained May 25, 1997; 2nd degree April 11, 1999. Unassigned. Address: P.O. Box 554, Fryeburg, ME 04037

     Bown, Christopher Duncan. Ordained June 18, 1978; 2nd degree, December 23, 1979. Serves as Pastor of the New Church Buccleuch in Buccleuch, South Africa, Visiting Pastor to the Cape Town Circle, overseeing Pastor of the Alexandra Society, and Dean of the South African Theological School. Address: Box 816, Kelvin, Gauteng, 2054, South Africa


     Boyesen, Ragnar. Ordained June 19, 1972; 2nd degree, June 17, 1973. Serves as Pastor of the Jonkoping, Sweden, Circle, and Copenhagen, Denmark, Circle, and Visiting Pastor to Oslo, Norway. Address: Oxelgatan 6, S-565 33, Mullsjo, Sweden

     Buss, Erik James. Ordained June 10, 1990; 2nd degree, September 13, 1992. Serves as Pastor of the Westville New Church in Durban, South Africa, Principal of the Kainon School, and Regional Pastor for South Africa. Address: 30 Perth Road, Westville, 3629, South Africa

     Buss, Peter Martin, Jr. Ordained June 6, 1993; 2nd degree, June 18, 1995. Serves as Pastor of the Immanuel Church Society in Glenview, Illinois, President and Principal of the Midwestern Academy, and Headmaster of the Immanuel Church School. Address: 73 Park Drive, Glenview, IL 60025

     Carlson, Mark Robert. Ordained June 10, 1973; 2nd degree, March 6, 1977. Unassigned. Address: 30 New Road, Southampton, PA 18966.

     Carswell, Eric Hugh. Ordained June 10, 1979; 2nd degree, February 22, 1981. Serves as Dean of the Academy of the New Church Theological School, and Regional Pastor of the Northeastern District of the United States. Address: P.O. Box 717, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Chapin, Frederick Merle. Ordained June 15, 1986; 2nd degree, October 23, 1988. Serves as Assistant to the Pastor of the Carmel Church in Kitchener, ON, Canada: Address: 110 Marl Meadow Dr., Kitchener, ON, Canada, N2R 1L4

     Childs, Robin Waelchli. Ordained June 6, 1984; 2nd degree, June 8, 1986. Unassigned. Address: P.O. Box 707, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Clifford, William Harrison. Ordained June 6, 1976; 2nd degree, October 8, 1978. Unassigned. Address: 1544 Giddings Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507-2223

     Cole, Stephen Dandridge. Ordained June 19, 1977; 2nd degree, October 15, 1978. Serves as Assistant Professor of religion and philosophy at Bryn Athyn College and of theology in the Academy of the New Church Theological School; Head of Religion and Sacred Languages Division at Bryn Athyn College; working for the General Church in compiling a history of its doctrine. Serves as Visiting Pastor to Connecticut. Address: P.O. Box 717, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Cooper, James Pendleton. Ordained June 13, 1982; 2nd degree, March 4, 1984. Serves as Pastor of the Olivet Church in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Address: 2 Lorraine Gardens, Etobicoke, ON, Canada M9B 4Z4

     Cowley, Michael Keith. Ordained June 13, 1982; 2nd degree, May 13, 1984. Serves as Pastor of the Phoenix Society in Phoenix, AZ and visiting pastor to the Albuquerque Circle in Albuquerque, NM. Address: 3607 Delcoa Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85032

     Darkwah, Simpson Kwabeng. Ordained June 7, 1992; 2nd degree, August 28, 1994. Serves as Pastor of the Tema, Ghana, Circle in Ghana, West Africa, Visiting Pastor of the Madina Circle in Ghana, West Africa, and Principal of the Tema New Church School. Address: House #AA3 -Community 4, Box 1483, Tema, Ghana, West Africa


     de Padua, Mauro Santos. Ordained June 7, 1992; 2nd degree, June 12, 1994. Serves as a teacher of religion and Chaplain in the Academy Secondary Schools, and as Assistant Pastor to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Address: P.O. Box 707, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Dibb, Andrew Malcolm Thomas. Ordained June 6, 1984; 2nd degree, May 18, 1986. Serves as Assistant Professor of religion at Bryn Athyn College and of theology in the Academy of the New Church Theological School. Chairs the General Church Publishing Committee. Address: P.O. Box 717, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Echols, John Clark, Jr. Ordained August 26, 1978; 2nd degree, March 30, 1980. Serves as Pastor of the Cincinnati Society in Cincinnati, OH; Visiting Pastor to Indianapolis, IN, and Dawson Creek, BC. Address: 4418 Main Street, Darrtown, OH 45056-8914

     Elphick, Derek Peter. Ordained June 6, 1993; 2nd degree, May 22, 1994. Serves as Pastor of the Oak Arbor Society in Rochester, Michigan. Address: 395 Olivewood Court, Rochester, MI 48306

     Elphick, Frederick Charles. Ordained June 6, 1984; 2nd degree, September 23, 1984. Serves as Pastor of the Michael Church, London, England, and Visiting Pastor to the Surrey Circle, England, and The Hague, Netherlands, Circle. Address: 21B Hayne Road, Beckenham, Kent, England, BR3 4JA

     Genzlinger, Matthew Laird. Ordained May 27, 2001; 2nd degree, August 10, 2003. Serves as Pastor of the Colchester New Church, Colchester, Essex, England. Address: 8 Stoneleigh Park, Lexden, Colchester, Essex, England CO3 5FA

     Gladish, Michael David. Ordained June 10, 1973; 2nd degree, June 30, 1974. Serves as Pastor of the Calgary New Church, Calgary, Alberta, a society of the General Church and Western Canada Conference (General Convention) members co-operating together; Regional Pastor for Western Canada, and continues as Executive Vice President of the General Church in Canada. Address: 248 Arbour Crest Drive, NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3G 4V3

     Gladish, Nathan Donald. Ordained June 13, 1982; 2nd degree, November 6, 1983. Serves as Assistant Pastor of the Oak Arbor Society in Rochester, MI, and Principal of the Oak Arbor New Church School. Address: 320 Oak Arbor Drive, Rochester, MI 48306

     Glenn, Robert Amos. Ordained May 28, 2000; 2nd degree, June 2, 2002. Serves as Pastor of the Pittsburgh New Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Principal of the Pittsburgh New Church School. Address: 299 Le Roi Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15208

     Gyamfi, Martin Kofi. Ordained June 9, 1991; 2nd degree, August 28, 1994. Serves as Resident Pastor for Asakraka-Kwahu Group and Visiting Pastor for Nteso and Oframase Groups in Ghana, West Africa. Address: The New Church, P. O. Box 10, Asakraka-Kwahu, E/R, Ghana, West Africa

     Halterman, Barry Childs. Ordained June 5, 1994; 2nd degree, September 8, 1996. Serves as a teacher of religion in the Academy Secondary Schools. Address: P.O. Box 707, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Heilman, Andrew James. Ordained June 18, 1978; 2nd degree, March 8, 1981. Serves as Assistant Pastor to the Kempton Society in Kempton, Pennsylvania, and as Visiting Pastor to the Campo Grande and Rio de Janeiro (Fatima) Societies in Brazil. Address: 1050 Mountain Road, Kempton, PA 19529


     Heinrichs, Bradley Daniel. Ordained May 23, 1999; 2nd degree, November 19, 2000. Serves as Pastor of the Carrnel Church in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, and Principal of the Carrnel Church School. Address: 157 Chapel Hill Drive, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada N2G 3W5

     Jin, Yong Jin. Ordained June 5, 1994; 2nd degree, June 16, 1996. Serves as Pastor of the Philadelphia Korean New Church; responsible for outreach to the Korean-speaking community in the United States. Address: 537 Anne Street, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006

     Johnson, Martie. Ordained May 27, 2001; 2nd degree, June 16, 2002. Currently serving as a Chaplain in the United States Navy. Address: 7708 171st Street SW, Edmonds, WA 98026-5013

     Kwak, Dzin Pyung. Ordained June 12, 1988; 2nd degree, November 11, 1990. Serves as a Pastor of the General Church in Seoul, South Korea (on special assignment). Address: Seoul New Church, 75-21 Nokbeon-Dong, Eyunpyeong-Ku, Seoul, Korea 122-828

     Larsen, Ottar Trosvik. Ordained June 19, 1974; 2nd degree, February 16, 1977. Unassigned. Address: 2145 Country Club Drive, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006

     Lee, Jong-Ui. Ordained May 31, 1998; 2nd degree, June 17, 2001. Serves as Assistant Pastor of the Olivet Church in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Visiting Pastor to the Ottawa Group. Address: 134 Smithwood Drive, Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada M9B 4S4

     Lindrooth, David Hutchinson. Ordained June 10, 1990; 2nd degree, April 19, 1992. Serves as Director of New Church Outreach (formerly the Office of Evangelization). Address: P. O. Box 743, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Maseko, Jacob Mokaka. Ordained November 29, 1992; 2nd degree, September 18, 1994. Serves as Pastor of the Diepkloof Society, South Africa. Address: P. O. Box 261, Pimville, 1808, South Africa

     Mbatha, Bhekuyise Alfred. Ordained June 27, 1971; 2nd degree, June 23, 1974. Serves as Pastor of the Impaphala Society, Visiting Pastor to the Empangeni Group, and overseeing Pastor of the Clermont Society in South Africa. Address: P. O. Box 60449, Phoenix, 4080, South Africa

     McCardell, Ethan Derek. Ordained May 25, 2003; 2nd degree March 21, 2004. Serves as Pastor of the Freeport Society in Freeport, PA. Address: 980 Sarver Rd., Sarver, PA 16055

     Nzimande, Bongani Edward. Ordained November 14, 1999; 2nd degree May 25, 2003. Serves as Pastor of the Kwa Mashu Society and Visiting Pastor to the Enkumba Group, South Africa. Address: P.O. Box 848, Pinetown, 3600, South Africa

     Odhner, Grant Hugo. Ordained June 7, 1981; 2nd degree, May 9, 1982. Serves as Assistant Professor of religion at Bryn Athyn College and of theology in the Academy of the New Church Theological School, and Visiting Pastor to the Boston New Church. Address: P.O. Box 717, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Odhner, John Llewellyn. Ordained June 6, 1980; 2nd degree, November 22, 1981. Serves as Assistant to the Pastor of the Bryn Athyn Church in Bryn Athyn, PA, and religion instructor in the Bryn Athyn Church School. Address: P.O. Box 277, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009


     Orthwein, Walter Edward III. Ordained July 22, 1973; 2nd degree, June 12, 1977. Recognized as a priest of the General Church June 12, 1977. Serves as an Assistant Professor of religion at Bryn Athyn College and of theology in the Academy Theological School, and Visiting Pastor of the Central Pennsylvania Group. Address: P. O. Box 717, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Pendleton, Mark Dandridge. Ordained June 9, 1991; 2nd degree, May 29, 1994. Serves as Assistant Pastor of the Immanuel Church in Glenview, IL. Address: 2700 Park Lane, Glenview, IL 60025

     Perry, Charles Mark. Ordained June 9, 1991; 2nd degree, June 19, 1993. Serves as Pastor of the San Diego Society in San Diego, California. Address: 7911 Canary Way, San Diego, CA 92123

     Rogers, Prescott Andrew. Ordained January 26, 1986; 2nd degree, April 24, 1988. Serves as President of the Academy of the New Church. Address: P.O. Box 711, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Rose, Donald Leslie. Ordained June 16, 1957; 2nd degree June 23, 1963. Serves as Assistant to the Pastor of the Bryn Athyn Society in Bryn Athyn, PA. Address: P.O. Box 277, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Rose, Jonathan Searle. Ordained May 31, 1987; 2nd degree, February 23, 1997. Serves as Translator for the Swedenborg Foundation and General Church Translation Committee. Address: P.O. Box 717, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Rose, Patrick Alan. Ordained June 19, 1975; 2nd degree, September 25, 1977. Serves as Pastor of the Atlanta Society in Atlanta, GA, and Visiting Pastor to Birmingham, AL and other locations in the Southeastern US. Does internet work for the clergy. Address: 502 Knollwood Place, Woodstock, GA 30188-4588

     Rose, Thomas Hartley. Ordained June 12, 1988; 2nd degree, May 21, 1989. Serves as Pastor of the Ivyland New Church in Ivyland, Pennsylvania. Address: 851 W. Bristol Road, Ivyland, PA 18974

     Roth, David Christopher. Ordained June 9, 1991; 2nd degree, October 17, 1993. Serves as Pastor of the New Church of Boulder Valley, Boulder, Colorado. Address: 3421 Blue Stem Avenue, Longmont, CO 80503

     Sandstrom, Erik Emanuel. Ordained May 23, 1971; 2nd degree, May 21, 1972. Teaches part time in the Academy of the New Church Theological School, and does traveling pastoral work for the General Church in Connecticut and elsewhere. Address: P.O. Box 717, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Schnarr, Grant Ronald. Ordained June 12, 1983; 2nd degree, October 7, 1984 Serves as Assistant Pastor of the Bryn Athyn Society in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania. Address: P.O. Box 277, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Schnarr, Philip Bradley. Ordained June 5, 1996; 2nd degree, May 31, 1998. Serves as Director of the Office of Education. Address: P.O. Box 743, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Silverman, Raymond Joel. Ordained June 6, 1984; 2nd degree, June 19, 1985. Serves as Chaplain and instructor of religion at Bryn Athyn College of the New Church. Address: P.O. Box 717, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009


     Simons, Jeremy Frederick. Ordained June 13, 1982; 2nd degree, July 31, 1983. Serves as Pastor of the Bryn Athyn Society in Bryn Athyn, PA. Address: P.O. Box 277, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Simons, Stephen Restyn. Ordained May 25, 2003; 2nd degree, March 14, 2004. Unassigned. Address: 37 Haddington Road, Lutherville, MD 21093

     Smith, Lawson Merrell. Ordained June 10, 1979; 2nd degree, February 1, 1981. Serves as Pastor of the Kempton Society in Kempton, Pennsylvania, and Principal of the Kempton New Church School. Address: 171 Kunldes Dahl Road, Kempton, PA 19529

     Synnestvedt, Louis Daniel. Ordained June 6, 1980; 2nd degree, November 8, 1981. Teaches in the Kempton New Church School; serves as Visiting Pastor to northern California. Address: 151 Vole Hollow Lane, Kempton, PA 19529

     Tshabalala, Njanyana Reuben. Ordained November 29, 1992; 2nd degree, September 18, 1994. Serves as Pastor of the Balfour Society, South Africa. Address: P. O. Box 851, Kwa Xuma, 1867, South Africa

     Walsh, Garry Brian. Ordained May 27, 2001; 2nd degree, September 8, 2002. Serves as Pastor of the Washington New Church Society in Mitchellville, Maryland, Principal of the Washington New Church School. Address: 11910 Chantilly Lane, Mitchellville, MD 20721

     Waters, Gerald Gilbert. Ordained March 17, 2002; 2nd degree October 17, 2004. Serves as Visiting Pastor to the Howick, Natal Group, the Midlands and Zululand Groups in Kwa-Zulu, and is Executive Vice President of the Corporation of the General Church in South Africa. Address: 9 Chiltern Gardens, 39 Pitlochry Road, Westville, 3630, South Africa


     Agnes, Sylvain Apoh. Ordained May 23, 2004. Serves as Minister to Cote d'Ivoire and other French speaking countries in West Africa. Address: 01 BP 12161 Abidjan 01, Republique Cote d'Ivoire, West Africa

     Borketey-Kwaku, Jacob Borteye. Ordained, May 18, 2003. Serves as a Minister assisting Rev. Kwasi Darkwah. Address: P.O. Box TNE 1278, Teshie-Nungua Estates, Accra, Ghana, West Africa.

     Dube, Jerome Bhekuyise. Ordained June 5, 2005. Serves as Minister to the Clermont Society in South Africa. Address: Private Box 1164, New Germany 3620, South Africa

     Ferrell, Michael Eugene. Ordained June 5, 2005. Serves as Assistant to the Pastor of the Washington New Church Society in Mitchellville, MD. Address: 320 New Oak Lane, Bowie, MD 20716

     Fitzpatrick, Daniel. Ordained June 6, 1984. Unassigned. Address: 1001 Oriole Avenue, Rogers, AR 72756

     Hauptmann, Olaf. Ordained May 23, 2004. Serves as Assistant to the Pastor of the Pittsburgh New Church, Visiting Minister to Charlotte, NC and in Northern Ohio. Address: 7123 Card Lane, Pittsburgh, PA 15208


     Mkhize, Sibusiso Protus. Ordained May 25, 2003. Serves as Minister in Empangeni, South Africa. Address: Box 16932, Eshowe, KwaZulu-Natal, 3815, South Africa

     Paek, Sung-Won. Ordained May 27, 2001. Continues to further his studies in educational administration. Address: P. O. Box 686, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Schorran, Paul Edward. Ordained June 12, 1983. Unassigned. Address: 631 Old Philly Pike, Kempton, PA 19529


     Blair, Charles Edmund. Address: PO Box 707, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Frazier, Glenn McKinley. Address: 2034 Susquehanna Rd., Abington, PA 19001 Frazier, Scott Innes. Address: PO Box 717, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Nobre, Vicente Henrique Rabelo. Address: PO Box 717, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Xaba, Langalibalele Abraham. Acts as leader of the Alexandra Society. Address: P/Bag 511, Eshowe, 3815, South Africa.



     Abuga, Samson Mogusu. Serves as Minister/Evangelist in Nairobi, Kenya. Address: PO Box 6567, Ronard Ngala Road, Nairobi 00300, Kenya

     Dole, George. Serves as Pastor to the Church of the New Jerusalem in Bath, Maine. Address: 876 High St., Bath, Maine 04530-2423

     Keyworth, Richard. Serves as Pastor to the Auckland, New Zealand Circle. Address: 15 Dunkirk Road, Panmure, Auckland 1007, New Zealand

     Nicolier, Alain. Ordained May 31, 1979; 2nd degree, September 16, 1984. Serves as Pastor to group in Bourguignon, and Evangelist for French speaking West Africa. Address: Bourguignon, Meursanges, 21200 Beaune, France

     Rangi, Khalid Obiri. Serves as Minister/Evangelist in Kisii, Kenya. Address: do General Church of the New Jerusalem, PO Box 3959, Kisii 40200, Kenya


     Acton, Alfred, II. Ordained June 19, 1964; 2nd degree, October 30, 1966; 3rd degree, May 16, 1999. Address: P.O. Box 306, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Buss, Peter Martin. Ordained June 19, 1964; 2nd degree, May 16, 1965; 3rd degree, June 1, 1986. Bishop Emeritus of the General Church. Travels to Australia, Brazil, and other countries on the request of the Executive Bishop. Address: 950 Pendleton Ave., Longmont, CO 80501


     King, Louis Blair. Ordained June 19, 1951; 2nd degree, April 19, 1953; 3rd degree, November 5, 1972. Bishop Emeritus of the General Church. Address: P.O. Box 512, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Asplundh, Kurt Horigan. Ordained June 19, 1960; 2nd degree, June 19, 1962. Editor, New Church Life. Address: P.O. Box 26, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Burke, William Hanson. Ordained June 7, 1981; 2nd degree, August 13, 1983. Address: 2465 Spring Harbor Dr., Cumming, GA 30041

     Childs, Geoffrey Stafford. Ordained June 19, 1952; 2nd degree, June 19, 1954. Address: P.O. Box 550, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Cole, Robert Hudson Pendleton. Ordained June 16, 1963; 2nd degree, October 30, 1966. Address: P.O. Box 356, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Goodenough, Daniel Webster. Ordained June 19, 1965; 2nd degree, December 10, 1967. Serves as Visiting Pastor in the eastern portion of the Northwest U.S. Address: P.O. Box 748, Big Horn, WY 82833

     Heinrichs, Daniel Winthrop. Ordained June 19, 1957; 2nd degree, April 6, 1958. Address: 9115 Chrysanthemum Drive, Boynton Beach, FL 33437-1236

     Heinrichs, Willard Lewis Davenport. Ordained June 19, 1965; 2nd degree, January 26, 1969. Serves as Visiting Pastor in the central United States. Address: 7358 Mt. Sherman Rd., Longmont, CO 80503

     Howard, Geoffrey Horace. Ordained June 19, 1961; 2nd degree, June 2, 1963. Address: 17 Cakebread Drive, Sudbury, MA 01776

     Junge, Robert Schill. Ordained June 19, 1955; 2nd degree, August 11, 1957. Serves as Visiting Pastor to Baltimore, Maryland, Society. Address: 8551 Junge Drive, RD 1, Kempton, PA 19529

     McCurdy, George Daniel. Ordained June 25, 1967; Recognized as a priest of the New Church in the second degree July 5, 1979; received into the priesthood of the General Church June 9, 1980. Serves as Visiting Pastor to Harleysville, PA. Address: P.O. Box 707, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Nemitz, Kurt Paul. Ordained June 16, 1963; 2nd degree, March 27, 1966. Serves as a translator for the General Church. Address: P. O. Box 164, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Nicholson, Allison La Marr. Ordained September 9, 1979; 2nd degree, February 15, 1981. Address: 1 Somerset Place, Topsham, ME 04086

     Nobre, Cristovao Rabelo, Ordained June 6, 1984; 2nd degree August 25, 1985. Serves as a translator for the General Church. Address: Rua 13, 800, Bairro do Farol, 45990-000 Alcobaca, Brazil

     Pendleton, Dandridge. Ordained June 19, 1952; 2nd degree, June 19, 1954. Address: P. O. Box 278, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009


     Riley, Norman Edward. Ordained June 14, 1950; 2nd degree, June 20, 1951. Recognized as a priest of the General Church January, 1978. Address: 69 Harewood Road, Norden, Rochdale, Lancs., England, OL11 5TH

     Rogers, Norbert Bruce. Ordained January 12, 1969. Serves as a translator for the General Church. Address: c/o P. O. Box 277, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Rose, Frank Shirley. Ordained June 19, 1952; 2nd degree, August 2, 1953. Serves as Visiting Pastor to Twin Cities Group, Minnesota. Address: 9233 E. Helen Street, Tucson, AZ 85715

     Sandstrom, Erik. Ordained June 10, 1934; 2nd degree, August 4, 1935. Address: Apt. B 108, P.O. Box 550, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

     Sheppard, Leslie Lawrence. Ordained into 1st and 2nd degree, June 7, 1992. Address: 35/56 Dunmore Tee., Auchenflower, 4066, Queensland, Australia

     Smith, Christopher Ronald Jack. Ordained June 19, 1969; 2nd degree, May 9, 1971. Address: 741 Old Philly Pike, Kempton, PA 19529

     Stroh, Kenneth Oliver. Ordained June 19, 1948; 2nd degree, June 19, 1950. Address: P. O. Box 629, Bryn Athyn, PA 190-09

     Taylor, Douglas McLeod. Ordained June 19, 1960; 2nd degree, June 19, 1962. Address: 2704 Huntingdon Pike, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006

     Thabede, Ndaizane Albert. Ordained August 29, 1993; 2nd degree, March 2, 1997. Address: 303 Corlett Drive, Kew, 2090, South Africa

     Weiss, Jan Hugo. Ordained June 19, 1955; 2nd degree, May 12, 1957. President of New Church Outreach. Address: 1020 Marina Drive, Placentia, CA 92870

     In addition to the specific assignments listed for some of the retired clergy above, several retired priests travel regularly to serve as visiting pastors/preachers where needed.


     Society                    Pastor or Minister

Alexandra, South Africa          Rev. Christopher D. Bown, supervising Pastor
Atlanta, Georgia               Rev. Patrick A. Rose
Balfour, South Africa          Rev. N. Reuben Tshabalala
Baltimore, Maryland          Rev. Robert S. Junge
Bath, Maine                    Rev. George F. Dole
Boulder, Colorado               Rev. David C. Roth (New Church of Boulder Valley)
Boston, Massachusetts          Rev. Grant Odhner, Visiting Pastor
Boynton Beach, Florida          Rev. Kenneth J. Alden
Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania     Rev. Jeremy F. Simons
                         Rev. Grant R. Schnarr., Assistant Pastor
                         Rev. Donald L. Rose, Assistant to the Pastor
                         Rev. John L. Odhner, Assistant to the Pastor


Buccleuch, South Africa      Rev. Christopher D. Bown
Campo Grande, Brazil           Rev. Andrew J. Heilman, Visiting Pastor
Chicago, Illinois               
Cincinnati, Ohio               Rev. J. Clark Echols
Clermont, South Africa           Rev. Jerome Dube, Minister
Colchester, England           Rev. Matthew L. Genzlinger
Detroit, Michigan
     (Oak Arbor Church)      Rev. Derek P. Elphick
                         Rev. Nathan D. Gladish, Assistant Pastor
Diepkloof, South Africa      Rev. Jacob M. Maseko
Durban, South Africa           Rev. Erik J. Buss
Freeport, Pennsylvania           Rev. Ethan D. McCardell
Glenview, Illinois          Rev. Peter M. Buss, Jr.
                         Rev. Mark D. Pendleton, Assistant Pastor
Hurstville, Australia
Impaphala, South Africa      Rev. B. Alfred Mbatha
Ivyland, Pennsylvania           Rev. Thomas H. Rose
Kempton, Pennsylvania          Rev. Lawson M. Smith
                         Rev. Andrew J. Heilman, Assistant Pastor
                         Rev. Arne Bau-Madsen, Associate Pastor
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada     
     (Carmel Church)          Rev. Bradley D. Heinrichs
                         Rev. Frederick M. Chapin, Assistant to the Pastor
Kwa Mashu, South Africa      Rev. Bongani Edward Nzimande, Pastor
La Crescenta, California
     (Los Angeles)
London, England
     (Michael Church)          Rev. Frederick C. Elphick
Phoenix, Arizona               Rev. Michael K. Cowley
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania      Rev. R. Amos Glenn
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil          Rev. Andrew J. Heilman, Visiting Pastor
                         Rev. Mauro S. de Padua, Assistant Pastor
San Diego, California           Rev. C. Mark Perry
Stockholm, Sweden               Rev. Goran R. Appelgren
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
     (Olivet Church)          Rev. James P. Cooper
                         Rev. Jong-Ui Lee, Assistant Pastor
Tucson, Arizona               Rev. Glenn G. Alden
Washington, D. C.               Rev. Garry B. Walsh
                         Rev. Michael E. Ferrell, Assistant to the Pastor

     Circle                    Visiting and/or Resident Pastor or Minister

Albuquerque, New Mexico          Rev. Michael K. Cowley
Americus, Georgia               W. Harold Eubanks
Auckland, New Zealand           Rev. Richard Keyworth
Cape Town, South Africa      Rev. Christopher D. Bown
Charlotte, North Carolina      Rev. Olaf Hauptmann
Connecticut                    Rev. Andrew M. T. Dibb
Copenhagen, Denmark           Rev. Ragnar Boyesen
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas      Rev. Erik E. Sandstrom
Dawson Creek, B. C., Canada      Rev. Michael D. Gladish
Erie, Pennsylvania
The Hague, Netherlands          Rev. Frederick C. Elphick


Hambrook, South Africa           Rev. B. Edward Nzimande
Harleysville, Pennsylvania      Rev. George D. McCurdy
Jonkoping, Sweden           Rev. Ragnar Boyesen
Lake Helen, Florida           Rev. George D. McCurdy
Madina, Ghana               Rev. S. Kwasi Darkwah
Northern New Jersey           
North Ohio                    Rev. Olaf Hauptmann
Perth, Australia
Philadelphia New Church
     (Korean)                Rev. Yong J. Jin
Sacramento, California           Rev. Louis D. Synnestvedt
St. Paul/Minneapolis, Minnesota
     (Twin Cities)                Rev. Frank S. Rose
San Francisco, California      Rev. Louis D. Synnestvedt
Seattle, Washington
Surrey, England               Rev. Frederick C. Elphick
Tema, Ghana                    Rev. S. Kwasi Darkwah
Wallenpaupack, Pennsylvania     Rev. Arne Bau-Madsen

     Note: In addition to societies and circ