Emanuel Swedenborg was born January 29, 1688 in Stockholm, Sweden. Although he never intended a church denomination to be founded or named after him, a society was formed in London fifteen years after his death. American groups eventually founded the General Convention of Swedenborgian Churches. As a result of Swedenborg’s spiritual questionings and insights, we as a church 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. Since Swedenborg was one of the leading scientists of his day as well as a mystic who learned the secrets of heaven and hell through conversations and journeys with angels, it is not too surprising that Swedenborgians, and those who associate with Swedenborgians, are comfortable being both spiritual and intellectual.
Swedenborg wrote that the human race was created to form Heaven. That’s why you are here on earth — it is your purpose in life. Find your ruling love, and put it to use in this world. Act as if you are the person you want to be. What you give comes back a thousand fold and becomes who you are. Create your heaven. How? Follow the three “R’s” of Swedenborgianism — repentance, reformation and regeneration. This is your roadmap to success (spiritual or otherwise)! Declare your desire to be different (repent), behave as if you are different (reform), and become different (regenerate). Not as easy as it sounds, but that’s what great about the spiritual community you’ll find at Hillside — help and support on your path!
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 birthing 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.