Are you interested in Presidential History? Check out this article by Francesca McCrossan, Ph.D. And Rev. Dr. James F. Lawrence, about the great grand-uncle of George HW Bush, the first George Bush, and his connections to the New Church.
Regarding the Glendale New Church’s construction in 1861 and subsequent dedication:
On October 6, 1861, the Rev. Chauncey Giles preached the dedicatory sermon on the text, “Behold I make all things new.” *8
“A fundamental characteristic of the New Church, and one which distinguishes her from all other churches, and shows conclusively that a new order of things took their rise with her, is that her doctrines and philosophy are not a faith…but a settlement of the laws of man’s life, and of Divine life, and their relations to each other, as they actually exist. They are a spiritual science, in the same sense that Chemistry and Geometry are natural or mathematical sciences.” Chauncey Giles * 9
*8 Gladdish, pg 18.
* 9 Ohio History, The Scholarly Journal of the Ohio Historical Society, by Ophia D. Smith, volume 62, page 46.
Courtesy of church historical records of The Glendale New Church,from Mary Ann Fischer
The Cincinnati Society of the New Jerusalem was once home to many woodcarvings, done in Cincinnati, by people who were members of the church, “Benn Pitman and the two Frys introduced Cincinnatians to hand-carved, decorated furniture and architectural elements…In the early 1870s the Frys formed a private woodcarving class, initiating the art-furniture movement in the city.” (Howe, Jennifer L., ed. Cincinnati Art Carved Furniture and Interiors. Cincinnati: Ohio University Press. Print.)
Did you know the New Church of Montgomery used to be known as the Society of the New Jerusalem, and once had a handsome church downtown? Eminent domain caused the church to be demolished in order to literally “pave the way” for Interstate 71.
You can read more about this building and the early Cincinnati church in Carol Skinner Lawson’s essay, “It’s Not in Buildings,” contained within the book, “A Harvest of Women’s Wisdom,” edited by Alice B. Skinner, from Swedenborg Foundation Press.
Although Emanuel Swedenborg was acknowledged by his contemporaries to be one of the outstanding scientific figures of his generation, the last 27 years of Swedenborg’s life were devoted to writing books on religion. He also served as one of the most creative and influential members of the Swedish House of Nobles.
Swedenborg’s theological works form the basis of the Swedenborgian Church or, as it is sometimes called today, The Church of the New Jerusalem. Although he never intended a church denomination to be founded or named after him, a society was formed in London 15 years after his death. This 1787 organization eventually spawned the present General Convention of Swedenborgian Churches.
As a result of Swedenborg’s own spiritual questionings and insights, we as a church today exist to encourage that same spirit of inquiry and personal growth, to respect differences in views, and to accept others who may have different traditions. Swedenborg shared in his theological writings a view of God as infinitely loving and at the very center of our beings, a view of life as a spiritual birth as we participate in our own creation, and a view of Scripture as a story of inner-life stages as we learn and grow. Swedenborg said, “All religion relates to life, and the life of religion is to do good.” He also felt that the sincerest form of worship is a useful life.
[ from www.swedenborg.org ]