New Church Life March/April 2017 - Page 82

new church life: march/april 2017 Pennsylvania on how to develop resiliency and find hope. Pitirim Sorokin was sent to a political prison in Russia during the 1917 revolution, through no fault of his own, where he was terrorized and never knew if he would be shot. But he managed to escape, flee and get an education, and ended up as a professor at Harvard, establishing the first Department of Altruism there. Barbara Fredrickson also has broadened the study of altruism and how an attitude of helping others helps to develop our own compassion, empathy and living a positive life. Soni uses Arcana Coelestia 3688 to teach the four basic levels of charity, from lowest to highest: • giving to others but with a hope of reward • helping anyone who needs it without thought of reward • helping only people deemed to be upright • looking for the Lord’s goodness in people and supporting that She also teaches the six ways to serve the neighbor in the well-known parable from Matthew of serving the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick and in prison. We can be altruistic at the literal level or on a deeper spiritual level, which we get from the Writings. We do this by offering love and kindness, truth and protection. And by serving these needs we serve the Lord as well as the neighbor. (You can read more about Soni Werner and her teaching in an article in the latest Bryn Athyn College Alumni Magazine: Find One Good Thing. (To contact Soni: soniasw@ptd.net) Lessons Learned The Rev. Mac Frazier The Rev. Glenn (Mac) Frazier is a second-career minister who followed a dream by planting a new church in Austin, Texas – only to see it fail after six years of devoted effort. At the Retreat he shared the lessons he learned from the effort: what works and doesn’t work – both in launching a new church and trying to grow the established church. Mac had worked for several years as a founding partner of a successful technology firm but says he always knew that he would end up in the ministry. He loved connecting with people new to the Church and the Writings 148