March 23rd Newsletter

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Hi friends!

Happy (doesn't feel like but technically is) Spring!

Here's a few updates and announcements from our budding New York New Church community that I thought you'd want to know about....

We had a delightful March Spiritual Salon last Sunday on Mindfulness & The Muse. Jeannine and Alison led us through guided meditations + we explored exercises unlocking our inner muse + learned a bit about the history of how we view and experience creativity in our daily lives.

As promised, here are several resources to get those creative juices flowing! Please feel free to add your favorites in the comments section.

COMING UP!

Sunday, 4/9 5pm --> APRIL SPIRITUAL SALON: Awake & Sing <--

A monthly in-person conversation series exploring how mindfulness and spirituality can be useful in our everyday lives. Join us for our April Salon where we'll tap into our inner activist for ourselves, our communities, and the world around us. We'll shake off those winter blues with guided meditation, a dialogue on the role of mindful social justice, and finish the night with live music.

Wine and light refreshments will be served.

Donations welcomed. 

RSVP HERE

--> Wednesday, 4/26 7pm Fireside Chat With Gretchen Rubin <--

This event is produced by Escape The City and hosted by The New York New Church

Join us for a Campfire Chat with New York Times bestselling author and popular public speaker and co-host of The Happiness Project podcast, Gretchen Rubin, as we explore how our habits contribute to our happiness in our work, life, and relationships.

And the really great news: all tickets come with a free copy of Gretchen's latest book, Better Than Before!

RSVP HERE (enter code NYNCGRETCHEN for $5 off the ticket price)

NYNC COMMUNITY MEMBER EVENTS BULLETIN:

Earth Hour Event 3/25

Co-hosted by Eric Douds (Jan salon): 

registration link

tickets $65 - code for 30% off that ends today: LIGHTSOFF

Civic & Impact Tech Event 3/30

Elizabeth Werbe (field trip for dinner/beers)

Elizabeth is speaking on this panel! More info and register here

Concert with Drown Your Boots 4/1

Derek Swink (March salon) is performing with his band at Freddy's in Brooklyn!

Event details here. Video for a vibe of the band here

David's Birthday Bash 4/8

David Powell's Bday party! 9pm at 93 Montrose Ave, Apt. 2 in BK

The Designing Women Market 4/29

Our very own Cheryl (NYNC Treasurer) is one of 10 women chosen to showcase her wares at the New York Historical Society!

More info here

What's a community bulletin?  Since so many of you are up to creative and engaging projects, I'm going to start including those in our upcoming events/opportunities roundups! (Examples: singing with your band, your art show opening, your favorite hiking meet-up, a recent article you wrote or enjoyed... the options are endless!)

All you have to do is fill out this quick Google Form and presto! you're event/offering/announcement will be included!

Love & light,

Monica

p.s. In case you missed it...

Useful Links:

A few links curated from our Facebook Page (you "like" us, oui?):

Community is wherever we gather.

Love & Light,
Monica

Some Core Teachings of Swedenborgianism

Curious about this whole Swedenborgian thing? Our NYNC member and ordained Swedenborgian Minister, Reverend Alison Moore has a few thoughts to share:

1.     The Union of good and truth

One foundational doctrine to all Swedenborgian thought is the concept that God is made of Love and Wisdom unified.  To get anywhere in Swedenborgian philosophy, you need to believe that concept on some level.  God is Love, yes, but God is Love completely identified with and inseparable from Deep, Infinite Wisdom.   God is both, and we see this pairing reflected in every aspect of creation.  We could call these essential characteristics of God “Masculine” and “Feminine.”  This duality appears all over the place and in every religion and philosophy, but with different names.  Truth and good, male and female, yang and yin, strong and gentle, integrity and justice, protecting and nurturing, Law and Gospel, right and left, wine and bread—the list goes on and on.  Learn to watch for them.  They are everywhere.  It’s cool.

However, these two forces often seem at complete odds with each other, kind of like conservatives and liberals, yet they are originally intended to balance and work with each other. When they are perfectly balanced and cooperative, that’s when perfection happens.  The New Jerusalem is said to be foursquare to represent the perfect balance and proportion of Love and Wisdom in spiritual life.  It is a metaphor, not a physical description.  It represents how heavenly life is perfectly balanced in every way.

Strength and sweetness, firmness and openness.  It brings to mind the difference between having a conversation with someone who holds rigid, inflexible opinions, vs having one with someone who is open to other opinions while standing strong in their own personal philosophy.  Who would you rather have a conversation with?

2.     Correspondences

The Swedenborgian doctrine of correspondences says essentially that everything that exists in this world reflects a spiritual reality.  Trees, deer, water, rocks, lions, different flowers, and on and on, all manifest a particular spiritual truth, energy or quality.

Rocks, we are told, correspond to fairly basic, foundational truths, for example.  We use them to shore up our buildings (which are the paradigms we live in).  Or, some of us use them to throw at other people.  When we quote Scripture at someone to show that we are right and they are wrong, we are spiritually stoning them with stones—which, though described in Scripture, is not what Scripture, or rocks, are made for.  Horses correspond to our ideas or our understanding of things.  Fire corresponds to love, and so on.

The doctrine of correspondences can be seen more broadly in the very nature of how we humans communicate.  We think in stories, pictures, and metaphors. We use symbolism in so much of what we say that metaphor and imagery permeate the entire way we understand our world.  We use what we know to try to describe and understand new things.  “It tastes like chicken,”  “He looks like Jim Carrey,” “Heaven is like a mustard seed…” are some examples of metaphoric speech.  This is like this.  Pay attention some time to how you use imagery and metaphor in your conversation.  All wisdom teaching takes this form at times.  We can expand our understanding of reality and our place in it by expanding our consciousness to see the patterns and connections of things using correspondences.

3.     Regeneration (or “salvation”) as a process

Regeneration involves steady practice to produce gradual improvement and long-term great reward. It involves growing in self-awareness, responsibility to our fellow humans, and increasing compassion and wisdom, which is reflected in lives of wisdom and loving action in the world.

Regeneration or “Spiritual growth” takes patience and perseverance. It is often helped through therapy, open-hearted communication, and well-run support groups. Some days it feels like we take three steps forward, and then two steps back, but in the long haul, the spiritual work we do (and God guides us always) is getting us somewhere, and it is somewhere good. 

What Makes A Spiritual Community?

Our first Spiritual Salon series kicked off in January with a question: What makes a spiritual community? From there we shared what we felt was missing in the NYC spiritual scene, what we missed from our various religious upbringings as well as what we'd want to do differently if we were creating a spiritual community from scratch.

In a nutshell, here's what we came up with:

A SPIRITUAL COMMUNITY : Notes from our January Salon

1. SUPPORT

  • Approach:
    • Members feel “seen” (sense of belonging)
    • Action orientated
    • Regularity/consistency/familiarity
    • Guidance without pressure

2. EDUCATION

  • Approach:

    • Show not tell
    • Lessons from stories (i.e. parables)
    • Open-Minded/curiosity/encourages questioning
    • Cultivating wisdom
    • Provide a moral compass via self-awareness (not dogma)

3. CONNECTION TO EACH OTHER

  • Approach:

    • Cross generational
    • True diversity (not just lip service)
    • Organic/Living organism
    • Utilizing the congregation
    • Common language
    • Deeper Conversations

4. CONNECTION TO SACREDNESS

  • Approach:
    • RITUALS [sense of sacredness]
      • Organic but also representative
      • Rooted in meaning
      • Celebration of life cycles
      • At least monthly

5. SPIRITUAL SAFETY

  • Approach:
    • Commitment
    • Respect

OVERALL ROLE OF A SPIRITUAL COMMUNITY:

  • A community that is useful

  • A community that cultivates hope

  • A community that inspires transformation