All posts by Tykah Echols

About Tykah Echols

Tykah is the daughter of a New Church minister and has been learning about the church since infancy. She attended both the Bryn Athyn Elementary schools and the Academy of the New Church. She is now a student at Bryn Athyn college where she hopes to continue learning about the religion she was born into. She knows that there is much more for her to learn about the Lord, his teachings and herself.

My First Year

About a year ago, it was my senior year of high school. I had been accepted to Bryn Athyn College and had created an image of what it would be like. I decided that college was a bunch of young adults sitting around talking about politics. Pretty silly, I know. The funny thing is that based on the data of my first year at college, that image is more or less right. College is obviously much more than that but I had to laugh quietly anytime I found myself in that exact situation this past year because it happened surprisingly often. I thought to myself: so this is what college is like.

Looking at myself and who I was a year ago is a very strange experience. I know it sounds super corny but my first year of college has changed me and how I think. I have learned quite a lot in just one year which makes it feel like it has been a much longer chunk of time. But it also makes sense. I have done a lot of growing and have hit a lot of firsts: My first job that wasn’t cleaning or babysitting, my first time doing my taxes, my first time driving a road trip, my first car accident, the first time I’ve made a friend from scratch since elementary school, my first date, my first boyfriend, my first college show, the list just goes on and on. I feel much more capable and responsible after all that and yet college has also opened my eyes to everything else that there is to be capable of and responsible for. Continue reading My First Year

Spotlight: Carmel New Church, Canada

The Carmel New Church is located in Kitchener Ontario, Canada. For this spotlight, we interviewed both the Head Pastor, Brad Heinrichs and the assistant Pastor, Nathan Cole.

How long have you been in Kitchener?

Rev. Heinrichs: I have been at the Carmel New Church since 1999. From 1999-2002 I was the Assistant to the Pastor (Michael Cowley). For the last 15 years from 2002-2017 I have been the Pastor. I have had Matt Genzlinger, Ethan McCardell, Fred Chapin, and Nathan Cole as Assistants.

Rev. Cole: I started July 2008, and was ordained into the 2nd degree here in 2010. I will be starting my 9th year this July.

What’s the history of the congregation?

Our New Church School was established in 1888. The school institution predates the church congregation which started in 1891 with the official split from Convention and began operating as part of the General Church in 1892. The current location in Caryndale was set up in 1962 when the congregation moved from a downtown location out to the suburbs, starting a new church community in the neighborhood. The church has gone through major renovations in 2002 which expanded the school, and then in 2007 when another addition was added for the new high school program. Continue reading Spotlight: Carmel New Church, Canada

Spotlight: New Church Westville, South Africa

Photo taken earlier this year at joint service for school and church communities, celebrating the founding of Kainon School 94 years ago

From the Admin – As a pastor’s wife with international ties, I am keenly aware of the wondrous ways that the Lord is blessing and caring for His Church. I find it both inspiring and humbling to see our church communities around the world prosper and I wanted to share this heartening feeling with all our readers who may not be aware of what’s happening in Congregations outside their own. So for a few weeks (and periodically in the future) we will be featuring New Churches that we find particularly inspiring. Enjoy, Eden

From our Intern, Tykah – I have visited New Church Westville a number of times and recently interviewed the Head Pastor (and my brother-in-law) Malcolm Smith about it via videochat.
Continue reading Spotlight: New Church Westville, South Africa

Out of the Witch’s Castle

Intern’s Note: This story was so full of correspondence and imagery that I couldn’t fit everything I thought into a short article! If you are up for a longer read,  here is the uncut version.

A child sees the world in terms of bad and good, wrong and right. When she grows up she can see the nuances of morality and ethics and sometimes must argue over the distinction between bad and good. This transition can be a difficult and long road but it can lead to a strength and courage that would be impossible to find without the experience of growing up.

In the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg it is revealed that the stories of the word are representative and hold an inner meaning. Using Swedenborg’s science of correspondences I have found one possible inner meaning for another ancient text; the story of Jorinde and Joringel, a German folk story which was first recorded in writing by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Continue reading Out of the Witch’s Castle