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The mission of the Swedenborgian Church of Portland is to sustain a community of individuals on a journey of spiritual growth.

PNC History

Portland New Church was officially constituted on August 21, 1831 as The Church of the New Jerusalem, by a group who had begun meeting to read and discuss the writings of Emmanuel Swedenborg.  Under the auspices of the Swedenborgian Church of North America, the church grew slowly until 1850 when the Rev. William B. Hayden began a 25-year pastorate.  During that time the church grew to 183 members and a new church was constructed on High Street.  The current church building, completed in April of 1910, was intended as a parish hall. The council of the Portland New Church meets monthly and is responsible for the running of the church.  


The Swedenborg denomination was founded in 18th century England on the teachings of Emmanuel Swedenborg, though he never meant for his writings to become formal church doctrine.

Swedenborg’s vision

How to bring heaven to earth, or what constitutes heaven on earth, as pure Love and wisdom. Swedenborg stated that the Christian church is finished as we know it (not denying Christ’s message and reality), and there’s a needed shift of spiritual connection in that there’s a oneness in the spirit of Love and understanding experienced individually, embracing/honoring diversity, while recognizing and engaging, in resonance, with one’s community.

Articles of faith

We believe in the oneness (wholeness as in all people, flora, fauna being individual aspects of God/life/love/truth) of God, the spirit of love and understanding, the source of all that is good and true.

We believe each person to be a marriage of feeling, thought and action, a spirit clothed in a body; and healing freedom (rather than the use of the word “salvation”) to be a process of spiritual growth and development.

We believe the purpose of life is love, wisely guided by understanding, leading to fulfillment in shared experience.

We believe that heaven and hell are states of being, not places. The experience of afterlife is not so much a matter of punishment as it is the result of choices made.

We believe diversity is an intentional part of the beauty of God’s creation. We honor the good and truth in all religions, and are directly influenced by the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. 

We believe in freedom and inquiry.


Our vision of a path going forward for the PNC would point to us (all spiritually oriented people) moving into a new time, transforming what would be church (as people tend to think of that) into people experiencing spiritual connection and development each individually, as well as through the church as community, being like “the still point in a turning world” quote by TS Elliot. Helping people find their own individual spirituality while helping others do this in community. Our vision includes all the building users as well. This being all part of the vision to thrive in the realm of each person tuning into that life and spiritual core of creative awareness, wellbeing, truth, love and heart wisdom. Our renters all offer various ways people can connect with their unique spiritual core, expressing, exploring, and growing through this expression and group oriented engagement.


The essence of this resonates with an Aquarian age shift.


     to provide a safe place to explore Swedenborgian theology, Christianity, and

              other spiritual paths;

     to honor the presence of the Divine in the earth and all of creation;

     to honor the good and truth in all people and all beliefs;

     to celebrate the dance of the spirit;

     to learn how to love;

     to serve that love with wisdom;

     to nurture our children;

     to share trust, leadership, and responsibility;

     to sing and worship;

     and to live our faith in the community at large.

PNC Community Center

We are fortunate to have a number of individuals and groups using the PNC building as a place of gathering.  Though they are independently run and attended, their energy and the love they put into their offerings adds to making this a special, diversified place of usefulness and coming together.

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