Dear Friends:

As our world gets crazier and crazier, I'm grateful to be part of a community of good people like you seeking solutions. Last week, we had an inspirational message from Shelley Jeffcoat, who walked us through steps to be on purpose. Check out a recording of her sermon here.

This week, I'll be on a similar theme as I continue our walk through the Old Testament. We've covered Creation, the Fall, Cain and Abel, Noah, and the Tower of Babel so far. This week, we break from mythological stories and begin our journey into ancient history, as we look to Abraham, the father of all three monotheistic religions. Abraham is most known for his obedience to God's call, and that's what I'll be talking about on Sunday.

Last Sunday I mentioned Sydney Frymire's amazing company that took American visitors to Nepal for both a hike and a chance to help orphans and local villagers. To learn more about Sydney Frymire's work and book, visit:


Rich Tafel

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Readings for the Coming Sunday:

Genesis 12:1-9 NIV

The Call of Abram

1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people, and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;

and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”


4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all their possessions, and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.


6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time, the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.


8 From there, he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There, he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. 9 Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.


Swedenborg Insight

Divine Love and Wisdom #308

Can anyone fail to see quite clearly that the goals of creation are useful functions? Simply bear in mind that nothing can arise from God the Creator—nothing can be created, therefore—that is not useful. If it is to be useful, it must be for the sake of others. Even if it is for its own sake, it is still for others, because we are useful to ourselves in order to be fit to be useful to others. Anyone who keeps this in mind can also keep in mind the thought that functions that are truly useful cannot arise from us but from one who brings forth nothing but what is useful—the Lord.

Piano Recital at Church of the Holy City on

December 10th at 6:30 p.m. EST

Music has long been an important part of the life of the Church of the Holy City, with many concerts presented over the years as Music with the Angels. On December 10th, at 6:30 p.m. EST, we are delighted to renew a cherished tradition with this evening’s concert and are privileged to do so with the artistry of Junghoon Park, a distinguished young concert pianist.

Mr. Junghoon Park, an acclaimed young musical artist, presents an exciting mix of contemporary and classical piano selections, with a special tribute to Sergei Rachmaninov, in the 150th anniversary year of the composer’s birth.

Please RSVP to join on the Facebook event page below. The recital will be followed by a light reception.

RSVP on Facebook

Bethesda Friends Meeting Christmas Celebration:

An Invitation and (for Cellists!) a Request

For over 20 years through 2019, Ross Capon organized and conducted an orchestra for the Bethesda Friends Meeting Christmas Celebration. The tradition returns this year for the first time post-COVID.

The program will take place at around noon on Sunday, December 17, lasting about 45 minutes, at Sidwell Friends Lower School (5100 Edgemoor Lane) in Bethesda, four blocks west of the Bethesda Metro.

Ross has reassembled a full orchestra except for cellists. If you or anyone you know plays the cello, you or they should please contact Ross at 301-385-6438 (text or voice) or email:

There will be three or four carols including David Willcocks' impressive orchestrations of O come all ye faithful and Hark the herald-angels sing. The orchestra will play:

  • The minuet movement from Haydn's Symphony #96 "Miracle" ;
  • The last part of Copland's Appalachian Spring -- "Variations on a Shaker Melody" (Simple Gifts); and
  • The jazzy last movement of Gottschalk's "Night in the Tropics" symphony, 

The children of the Meeting will also present a play. The free program will be followed by refreshments. Guests are welcome to come directly to the Groome Building for the noon program or to first join the 11:00 am unprogrammed (mostly silent) Meeting for Worship in the adjacent Meetinghouse (the building closest to Beverly Road).

 The CHC Read and Discuss Group Explores

The Good Life: Truths That Last in Times of Need  by Peter Gomes

Our CHC Read and Discuss Group meets VIRTUALLY on a weekly basis, each Monday at 7 p.m. EDT. The current topic of discussion is the fascinating book, The Good Life: Truths That Last in Times of Need by Peter Gomes.

We hope you can join us! The log-in for recurring meetings is linked below.

Zoom Link to Join Monday Book Discussions

Thought for the Week:

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