Monday, March 8, 2010

A New Online New Church Magazine

I've been really meaning to tell you all about New Church Perspective ( and now I'm finally getting around to it. It's a really exciting, New Church online magazine project.

Here's a bit from the About page:
New Church Perspective is an online magazine celebrating the understanding and application of New Church ideas with weekly essay publication.

More than a discussion forum, New Church Perspective is based on essays from a wide variety of writers on a wide variety of topics. However, this is a two-way conversation. Discussion and response to the weekly essays are warmly encouraged. We ask only that people are respectful of each other, the Bible, and the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg referred to as the Heavenly Doctrines.
(For more about the idea behind New Church Perspective I recommend reading the launch day post from Brian Smith, the Editor-in-Chief.)

Every Friday morning a new essay is published with some perspective on the New Church or New Church perspective on some topic. It was launched on January 1st and so far 10 essays have been published. I'm now going to list them and give a summary of what they're about to give you the flavor of New Church Perspective so far.
  • "4 Reasons Most New Year's Resolutions and Other Habit Changes Fail and What You Can Do to Succeed" by Derrick Lumsden - The title pretty much says it. I particularly recommend the "Further Reading" at the end.
  • "Growing Up in The Park: Reflections on My Sub-Culture" by Freya Henry - Using the theories of various developmental psychologists, Freya analyzes her development growing up in a New Church congregation.
  • "Even as We are One" by Isaac Synnestvedt - This is my favorite article so far. If you only have the time to read one article, make this one it. It is an impassioned and humbling exploration of who is part of the New Church and an exhortation to try to see the Lord in all people.
  • "Meaning-making and the Power of Writing" by Chelsea Rose Odhner - This is a chapter from Chelsea's undergraduate thesis and so it incorporates a number of scholarly sources. But don't let the word scholarly make you think it's boring; it's a fascinating, well written, careful exploration of the act of writing.
  • "Are You Happy?" by Ronald Schnarr - Ronnie looks at what can keep us from being happy and encourages us to ask the Lord for real happiness.
  • "Spiritual Body Image" by Pearse and Taryn Frazier - This article looks at the spiritual meaning of being human.
  • "Buddhism and the New Church" by Ian Chapman - Ian's article is a short and interesting comparison of a couple of Buddhist teachings with New Church teachings.
  • "Marketing the Writings" by Coleman Glenn - In this article Coleman imagines what could happen if someone launched a huge, year-long marketing campaign for the Writings.
  • "Protecting Ideals and the Reality of the World in which We Live" by Stephanie King - In this heartfelt article Stephanie expresses both her strong ideals and her desire to understand and love people who don't. She raises a lot of good questions with no easy answers.
  • "We, Distinct from Our Teachings" by Derek Rose - In this article Derek encourages us to think carefully about what we mean when talk about the New Church—the teachings, the organization, or the culture?
Hopefully this makes you want to read some of these articles and subscribe to receive updates every Friday and, most importantly, inspires you to submit an article yourself.

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