Dear Friends,


Thanks to all of you for kicking off our fall season at Church of the Holy City. Last week we began a series of unlocking the deeper meaning to the most famous Bible stories in the Old Testament. We had a good start with Adam and Eve. It was neat having a small group in the sanctuary and our larger group online. One of the joys of being a pastor is becoming tech savvy for online hybrid events.


Murder in the Church

This Sunday I’ll be preaching about the first and most famous murder in the Bible, as we explore the deeper meaning of the Cain and Abel story. Am I my brother’s keeper? Find out what all the symbols mean this Sunday.

Board Meeting

We will host our next CHC Board Meeting at 7:00 pm EDT on September 19th. A Zoom link and agenda will be emailed out to the Board Members in advance. We look forward to sharing announcements with the greater church community the following week.


Special Prayers

We invite you to hold space for Elfa Halloway, who had lost her sister on August 11th. Elfa, - we share in sorrow, and send healing thoughts and prayers your way.

I’ll be on site Sunday, so if you want to come in person just give me a heads up. 


I look forward to seeing you again soon!

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Readings for the Coming Sunday:

Genesis 4:1-15 (New International Version)

1 Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man.” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

9 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”

13 Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is more than I can bear. 14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 But the LORD said to him, “Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the LORD’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.


Swedenborg Insight

The Most Ancient Epoch possessed faith in the Lord by way of love, but there arose out of the people who separated religion from love. The doctrine concerning faith separated from love was called Cain, while charity, which is love towards the neighbor, was referred to as Abel.

Last Sunday Recap:

The Deeper Meaning of the Story of Adam and Eve

Last week Rev. Tafel began new sermon series around the famous characters of the Old Testament.

The story of Adam and Eve, which is depicted in such a majestic way in the stained glass windows of our church sanctuary, goes beyond the myth of human origin to reveal a deeper spiritual evolution of our humanity.

The recording for this sermon is linked below. Please be sure to share your questions and reactions by emailing!

View the Recording

Church News in Photos:

Good things are happening at Church of the Holy City!

Photo 1: Getting together at the church last Sunday after worship service. It's always exciting to welcome new and returning visitors to the sanctuary!

Let us know if you are in the area, and want to join the service in person this week.


Photo 2: The front steps have been fully repaired. Thanks to Jimmy Cox for managing this project!

Upcoming Event Hosted at CHC:

Interfaith Dialogue: How Should We Live in a World Divided and Uncertain?

Join us for a lively discussion featuring Venerable Pomnyun Sunim and Rev Rich Tafel from 7:00-8:30 pm EDT on Tuesday, September 26th. Dialogue will be preceeded by a reception at 6:30 p.m. EDT. The event will take place at Church of the Holy City (1611 16th Street Northwest Washington, DC 20009), and will stream live on the YouTube channel @venpomnyunsunim.

About the Speakers:

  • Venerable Pomnyun Sunim is renowned in his native South Korea and worldwide for his insightful yet accessible Dharma talks and far-reaching humanitarian and peace efforts.
  • Rich Tafel is a transformative leader in faith, politics, and social impact and the pastor of the Church of the Holy City. 

Facilitator: Annabel Park

Interpreter: Jason Lim 

You can read the New York Times feature of Pomnyun here:

The event is free and open to the public.

RSVP below and share the Eventbrite link with others in your circle!

RSVP for the Event Here

Upcoming Event Hosted by CHC:

Trauma Transformation Training

Join us for a 2-hour (free) community training and discussion around trauma with Dr. Laverne Adams who spoke at our Church this summer. Learn to recognize and manage trauma in yourself and others!

The event will take place from 6:00-8:00 pm EDT on October 25th in a hybrid format (both online and in person at 1611 16th Street Northwest Washington, DC 20009). The event is free and open to the public.

RSVP below and share the Eventbrite link with others who would benefit from attending!

RSVP for the Event Here

Thought for the Week

1611 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20009