Monday, October 25, 2010

Audio from Swedenborg Colloquium on the Future of the New Church

On October 9th there was an awesome event. It's lengthy title was “‘Behold I Make All Things New’ — How? The Future of the New Church, Swedenborg Colloquium.” The advertisements for the event simply said,
The public is cordially invited to hear 12 Swedenborgian speakers present a variety of visions for the future of the New Church.
If you couldn't be there, the best way to get a sense for what the event was like is to listen to the recordings of the speeches. To listen to or download the audio recordings, go to Independent Voice for the General Church Community (, specifically to the Swedenborg Colloquium Audio page. The files are all in MP3 format.

I'm also going to put links to the individual talks below with a few scattered notes from me. If you were at the event (or just listened to one of the recordings) and want to add some comments, please do. My notes do not adequately represent what each speaker said.

Morning Session

Afternoon Session

  • Rev. Grant Schnarr (Length: 20:42)

    Grant Schnarr is currently the pastor of an independent New Church congregation called Creekside New Church ( and and he talked about reaching out to people who haven't yet experienced the truths of the New Church.

  • Rev. Stephen Simons (Length: 20:24)

    Stephen Simons is the founder of the Second Advent Christian Movement ( and is planning to crusade to spread the good news and he talked about his vision of what churches should look like. You can find some of what he talked about in short posts on his blog ( He also gave people a handout on “Healthy Christian Churches” which you can find in this blog post.

  • Peter Rhodes (Length: 18:13)

    Peter Rhodes is the author of Observing Spirit: Evaluating Your Daily Progress on the Path to Heaven with Gurdjieff and Swedenborg and other books and he talked about the Lord's vision for the future of His church as opposed to our vision of it. This was another favorite of mine and again I could say a lot more about it but I want you to just listen to it.

  • Rev. Susannah Currie (Length: 15:08)

    Susannah Currie is pastor of the Bridgewater New Church ( and she described some of the events that she's organized in the past as a way of encouraging people to be creative in the ways they present the teachings of the New Church to the general public.

  • Rev. Chuck Blair (Length: 16:16)

    Chuck Blair is the head pastor of New Church Live ( and he talked about “Eye-Level Christianity.”

  • Rev. Frank Rose (Length: 14:47)

    Frank Rose is a retired General Church minister who has served all over the world and he reflected on how he thinks worship services and the relationship between clergy and laity will change in the future of the New Church.

  • Afternoon Panel Discussion (Length: 55:13)

    Like the morning panel discussion, this was an opportunity for people in the audience to make comments on what the speakers in the afternoon had said or ask questions. (If you jump to 47:47 you can hear my question.)

This event was also recorded on video. I don't know if the video is going to be made available online but I've heard that they're going to produce a DVD of it. I'll let you know when I know more.


Anonymous said...

Malcolm, the links to the mp3 files are dead. Anything you can do about that?

Stephen M.

Malcolm said...

The links should be fixed now. David Lexie had shifted things around on his site a bit but now they should all work again.

Thanks for catching that.

Unknown said...

The DVD of the Swedenborg Colloquium is available at both the Lord's New Church office and the Cathedral Book Room. Also available is a set of CDs. Thanks for your summary of the colloquium and your link to the audio.
Doris O. Delaney

Receiver HD said...

Nice info and thanks for share.