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Pacific Coast Association Newsletter

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Pacific Coast Association Newsletter - March 1, 2011

March 01, 2011

Greetings Everyone!

This is Reverend David Brown, Pacific Coast Association President sharing the great news of what is happening all around PCA! This is the first in what will be a biannual newsletter to help keep everyone informed on a regional level what we are doing as a denomination.

In this newsletter we are sharing important announcements, a retreat invitation, news from west coast Swedenborgian ministries and PCA Annual Meeting information . If you would like to contribute to our next newsletter, please contact our PCA secretary Unni DePresno at

Peace and Blessings,

Rev. David Brown

Pacific Coast Association President


I. What is Happening in the West?   

San Francisco Annual Memorial Day Retreat. This retreat is open to everyone and we encourage your participation as limited scholarships are available to assist those who wish to attend.

When: Memorial Day weekend with Friday, May 27 evening arrival with departure on Monday, May 30th after lunch.
Where: St. Dorothy's Rest, Camp Meeker, CA (it's north of SF near Sebastapol and Santa Rosa)
Contact: Andrea LoPinto:       Click Here For More Info

II. What Ministry is Happening in the West?

Rev. Rachel Rivers, Ministry of Pastoral Counseling, Teaching, and Spiritual Direction, Inverness, CA
Christmas Eve, Inverness CA (Rev. Rivers)
(Pictured: Community Christmas Eve Service 2010)
The highlight of my ministry in 2010 was organizing a second annual Community Christmas Eve Service. The December rains abated for the evening, and 99 people arrived at the local community center to celebrate Christmas Eve together. Almost none of these people would have attended a Christmas Eve service otherwise, and some said it had been thirty years or more since their last church service. It felt special to celebrate the holiness of the season with members of the local community-- most of whom I don't know by name, but who I see at the post office, the hardware store, the library... The majority of the people in this town in which I live do not have positive associations with Christianity, so to be able to provide a Swedenborgian Christmas message-- one that they could deeply relate to-- felt wonderful. I am tremendously grateful to our denomination for helping to spread this life-giving teaching.

Rev. Sky Paradise, The New Church of the Southwest Desert, Silver City, NM
Southwest Desert Workshop
Pictured: A loving couple (Jay and Toni Garland ).
The New Church of the Southwest Desert is conducting workshops based on Vaishaili's book “You are what you love!”, so we can learn to love each other and be of use in the world. The work has meant that we as a community are growing together in the Lord's love and our work here.

Rev. Judith Vandergrift, Ministry of Prayer, Holy Sacraments, and Spiritual Direction, Sacramento, CA

I am the Prayer Minister of the Swedenborgian Community On line church. I am also available for weddings and other services. I teach meditation, and Mastermind, and also mentor (coach) Mastermind groups.

Rev. Carla Friedrich and San Diego Church: HomeTribe Orphanage Project                                                    "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their  distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27)

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the one thing that only I can do." ~ (Helen Keller, A devout, self-proclaimed Swedenborgian)

In the fall of 2009, Rev.'s Carla Friedrich and David Brown co-led a mission trip to two orphanages in Nepal. This was a powerful and transformational journey that continues to inspire ongoing ministry. Rev. Friedrich and the San Diego are looking intensely at how our denomination can create a safe place for orphans to live and thrive! READ MORE!

III. PCA 2010 Highlights (In Case You Missed It)

Looking back at The Annual PAC Meeting October 8-10, 2010
What a tree!Rev. Brown on guitarBirdwatching with Helen Barler Lem, Pattie, Mareta and Helen enjoying after worship potluck lunchMosswoos Hollow PondMosswood HollowTaking PCA to new hieghts!Eric Playing HarmonicaFellowship

The Annual PCA Meeting was hosted by the Swedenborgian Church of Puget Sound and the theme for the weekend was “SpiritQuest in the Pacific Northwest: Use your Senses to Open to Spirit”. What better setting for our quest than the naturesque Mosswood Hollow in Duvall, WA! From Friday’s welcome hugs to Sunday’s goodbyes, we were enriched and inspired.

16 delegates and members came from Puget Sound Church, Hillside Community Church, San Diego Church, and At-large. After dinner Friday night Rev. Suzi Schadle presented a workshop on Core Values. On Saturday morning we sharpened our senses in workshops: “Yoga for Busy People” with Unni de Presno; “SwedenBirding” with Helen Barler; “Open to Your Angels” with Mareta Tafel; and “Children in Heaven” with Rev. Erni Martin.

The Annual PCA Meeting was held Saturday afternoon. One of the items we discussed in this meeting was to begin this newsletter that you are presently reading. Budgetary decisions were made and we also made some PCA Board decisions. Thank you John Calhoun for your service and we welcome Helen Barler who joins the rest of the PCA Board: President Rev. David Brown; Vice President Mareta Tafel, Secretary Unni de Presno, Treasurer Lon Elmer. Directors: Nancy Apple, Rev. Carla Friedrich, and Helen Barler.

Saturday night we shared laughs and fun in “Swedenborgians Have Talent” hosted by Puget Sound Music aka Lisa Grace Allison and Steve Mason.

IV. 2011 PCA Annual Meeting, October 27 - 30 at Mary and Joseph Retreat Center in Rancho Palos Verdes 


Save the date! At our PCA Midwinter meeting we made some firm decisions on offering financial assistance for delegate travel to our Annual PCA Meetings. Here are the specific details of what we approved during our meeting:

"6.1 Delegate Travel Proposal. Presented by Rev. Dave Brown. Lon Elmer motion: “PCA will reimburse the transportation cost of one designated delegate from each approved PCA ministry to attend the annual PCA meeting. This is in addition to PCA ministers and PCA board members who are already reimbursed.” Helen Barler second. Motion passed."

 "Thought from the eye closes the understanding, but thought from the understanding opens the eye."

- Divine Love and Wisdom 46

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