Friday, July 1, 2011

Beginnings of a New Church Content Directory

I've noticed that there isn't one place online where you can find information about all things New Church/Swedenborgian. Individual denominations have information about their programs, individual bloggers had links to things that they like, etc. but there's no place that collects them all together and organizes them. So I've ambitiously decided that New Church Thought should do this and I'm calling the project New Church Content Directory (NCCD). Exciting, huh?

Here's an attempt at a mission statement for the NCCD: “The New Church Content Directory will contain well-organized, up-to-date, useful information about all things New Church.”

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Couple of New Church Perspectives on May 21st

First, here's a little snippet from the Nunc Licet Bible Study, where Rev. Jonathan Rose explained briefly (before May 21st) why the end of the world wouldn't happen on May 21st. (Over 5000 views so far - not bad!)

And then here's another great video from Curtis Childs. This one is about the desire to to say, "Ha ha! I told you so!" to the people whose predictions about May 21st didn't come true. Honestly, you should just subscribe to his channel (offTheLeftEye) already.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A New Church Bible Study Website Project That's Gaining Some Steam

Back in March of last year I first heard from Brian David about a concept for a New Church Bible study website that he was working on with a couple of other people. One of the early experiments with the concept from around that time was

The project has now had a lot more thought put into it and they've done some presentations to try to get funding for it. And so now, rather than have me try to explain the concept behind the site, I can just tell you to watch the fun, short, RSA Animate-Style video that they put together.

You can also find a bunch of documents about the project on, including some images of what the user interface might look like. A note about those images: they look like a bad site from the 90s but, never fear, Brian assures me that they were just to try to explain the concept and, when they make the site for real, they'll get professional design and UI help.

Anyway, I think it's a cool idea and I hope that they get the funding that they're looking for so that they can give it a try. It's definitely one of those projects that will only work if a lot of people get involved so, if it sounds interesting to you, be sure to like the New Christian Bible Study page on Facebook.

P.S. They also entered into the debate that Rob Bell's book has stirred up with a little video about the New Church idea of heaven and hell.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Live Video Streaming of Bryn Athyn Cathedral Services

The Bryn Athyn Cathedral has been streaming audio from their services for years. Now they're also offering live video streaming, using USTREAM.

You can find more information about their audio and video streaming options on the Live Services page of the Bryn Athyn Church website.

I haven't actually tried it out during a service but I have taken a look at the archives on Bryn Athyn Cathedral's USTREAM channel and I was impressed by the quality of the video. I was expecting it to be one badly positioned webcam, streaming grainy footage but, it looks like they've got at least 2 cameras that are well positioned to give pleasant shots of the service and the footage isn't too grainy, even in fullscreen mode.

Let me know if you've tried streaming a service live.

Here's a screenshot of Bryn Athyn Cathedral's USTREAM channel:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nunc Licet Bible Study Now Available Online!

"Nunc Licet" is a Latin phrase which means "now it is allowable." This phrase was used by Swedenborg to describe how it is now allowable to enter into the truths of the Word with our understanding.

For this reason Rev. Jonathan Rose chose "Nunc Licet" as the name of a bible study he offers in Bryn Athyn PA, and recently also online.

Though I have never attended in person, I was very pleased to find that the class is now available online, both archived and live streamed. (The next live meeting is 7:30 pm on Wed April 6)

This class regularly receives great reviews. Why?

In addition to all that Rev. Rose brings personally, this class takes a fairly unique approach.

The approach is to look at "the bible, the whole bible and nothing but the bible, through a Swedenborgian lens, with the special purpose of experiencing the Lord in the text." Often in New Church circles, the writings of Swedenborg are studied directly, but in this case the attention remains firmly in the powerful, direct and often confusing teachings of the Old and New Testament.