As many of you know, I can be quite opinionated on various subjects, not the least is the perils of organized religion. I often blame the vehicle for, in my opinion, the failure of the drivers and passengers. When Trish and I were married, we had a wonderful non-denominational minister, and at one of our pre-wedding meetings, she did offer this to Trish; “you will be quite lonely on your spiritual journey.” She was referring to my very reluctant participation in any organized spiritual path. It was a fair statement, and was given without any malice, for this minister was quite wonderful.
It’s 22+ years later, and I’d say she was quite correct in her prediction pertaining to 2/3 of that time. About 7 or so years ago, Trish saw a “sign.” It was an actual sign for the New Church of Boulder Valley. She casually informed me that she wanted to go check it out, and wondered if I wanted to come along. To her surprise, I said I did. We were weathering some rough times in our marriage, and were working very diligently on communication skills, and I just figured that a little spiritual guidance could be a positive addition.
Well it’s 7 years later, and they still welcome me through the doors whenever I want to participate, which I can tell you means that this community is very versed in “Tolerance” It is a Christian based theology, and there are a few issues I have with the doctrine, such as not yet allowing women ministers, and the whole marriage = 1 man & 1 woman thing. The depth of these and other issue are constantly being mined, and it is my very optimistic expectation that this congregation, one of many worldwide, will eventually sort these issues out, pretty much the way the country is doing it, very slowly, but progressively.
I've never met a more loving community anywhere I've traveled; these people are completely authentic in every way. I've enjoyed taking part in this community, enjoyed the message of love that is central to the every sermon. Live music is also an integral part of the whole experience. When the music of The Beatles, and Eddie Vedder, to name just a couple, are mixed in with the older standards, it elevates the message for me.
The New Church was founded in the 1700s by Emmanuel Swedenborg, and I have to tell you this cat is quite amazing.
He pretty much spent the second half of his life writing volumes about the inner meaning of the stories that make up the Bible. There is some incredible content here folks!
So each year the church has a “Spiritual Growth Campaign.” And it is broken up into small groups hosted by individuals at their homes, and at other unique locations. This year, one such location will be a local pub. I’ve participated in a couple of these over the years, and have always come away with a great experience.
A few years ago, I helped setup a system to stream the Sunday services on the Web. And I thought it would be interesting to put together a small group of people to participate in the actual 7 week campaign via Skype, but also broadcast it out on the Web for anyone to pop in and have a look at what was going on. At this time, I haven’t had anyone sign up, but I still plan to go ahead with the Web broadcast, and invite anyone to stop in and have a look. I haven’t worked out all the details, but I’ll be online next Monday from 7:30-9:00 PM (so if you don’t get ESPN, or looking for a MNFB diversion, drop by.
You can get to the “Watch Live” link on the Church’s Website:
Or by clicking on this link:
’ll be doing a couple of updates this week with a little bit more on what’s happening, so if you’re interested, check back later.
Ps You can also view all the small group options if you are interested in one of those: