100% of all donations go to the mission of TCN - We are an all volunteer organization!

Personalized Theological Questions and Answers Forum

(Answers will be scholarly in nature rather than promoting a particular denomination.)

Typical questions some people ask:

What are arguments and evidence for the existence of God?

Is the Bible really true?

Have you ever wondered what the Holy Trinity really means?

What is free will in religious thinking?

Does God control everything that happens in my life?

Why does God allow evil to happen?

What is the purpose of the universe?

Is there one true religion?

What are your questions?


Receive a completely confidential response to your theological questions from the staff and faculty of TCN.

Just email your question to Rev. Sam at: info@aaopp.org


Thursday, February 26, 2015

2015 Lenten Soup For The Soul is successfully launched

News Release
For immediate release
Lenten Soup For The Soul
L to R – Rev Bunny Sewell – Rev Sam Sewell – Rev. Diane Clevenger -  Rev. Michael Harper

(Naples, FL) – The 17th Annual Lenten Soup for the Soul Series was enthusiastically launched at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Wednesday February 25th with over 100 people in attendance from many area congregations. The guest speaker for the first of the six Lenten gatherings, The Rev. Diane Clevenger from Unity of Naples, blessed us with an exceptional presentation on the activity of the Holy Spirit in her life, and was applauded with a standing ovation.

Next Wednesday, March 4, the guest speaker will be Dr. Kirt Anderson from Naples Community Church.  Dr. Anderson will be speaking at Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church. 

We invite you to join us from Noon-1PM each Wednesday during Lent for a simple meal and reflection offered by spiritual leaders in our community.


“The Activity of the Holy Spirit”

From Creation to Pentecost, in our everyday lives and activities-even unto the present time, the Spirit makes itself known, inspiring our thoughts and actions, from the miraculous, to physical healings, to life changing, soul-shaking, Metanoia personality transformations. Explore with us how the Spirit blesses our lives on a daily basis. This season our speakers will share their thoughts and experiences on the activity of the Holy Spirit.
We invite you to join us from Noon-1PM each Wednesday during Lent for a simple meal and reflection offered by spiritual leaders in our community.
Your donations to cover expenses and to support the mission of The Theological Center In Naples are appreciated.

              February 25
    Presenter:            Rev Diane Scribner Clevenger (Unity of Naples)
       Location:               St Paul’s Episcopal (3901 Davis Blvd, East of Airport)

   March 4
     Presenter:           Dr Kirt Anderson (Naples Community Church)
Location:           Vanderbilt Pres (1225 Piper Bv-off Immokalee-opposite Sam’s Club)

              March 11
    Presenter:            Dr Jack Haberer (Vanderbilt Presbyterian)
       Location:                 Mayflower Congregational UCC (2900 County Barn - off Davis)
                       
    March 18       
    Presenter:            Deacon Mark Leonard (San Marco Catholic)
       Location:               St John the Evangelist Catholic (625 111th Ave N-West of 41)

   March 25          
    Presenter             Chaplain Michael Harper(Naples Community Hospital)
       Location:               Trinity-By-The-Cove(553 Galleon Dr-off Gordon Dr)

         April 1
    Presenter:            Nicole Partin, Certified Celebrant (Hodges-Josberger Funeral Home)
       Location:               Hodges University-  (2655 Northbrooke Dr- North at light off Immokalee Road)
                                         John White Community Room  (2647 Professional Ln, 34119) 

THE THEOLOGICAL CENTER IN NAPLES IS COMMITTED TO
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND OUTREACH AMONG COMMUNITIES OF FAITH,
WHILE FOSTERING DIALOG, TOLERANCE, AND HARMONY

 The Rev. Sam Sewell

 President, TCN

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sam and Bunny Talk about Theological Center in Naples - Bob Harden Talk Radio

Bob Harden Show -


The bulk of the conversation about SEVENTEENTH Annual Lenten Soup For the Soul luncheon gathering. 
In six different locations and six different clergy guest speakers, below.

“The Activity of the Holy Spirit”

From Creation to Pentecost, in our everyday lives and activities-even unto the present time, the Spirit makes itself known, inspiring our thoughts and actions, from the miraculous, to physical healings, to life changing, soul-shaking, Metanoia personality transformations. Explore with us how the Spirit blesses our lives on a daily basis. This season our speakers will share their thoughts and experiences on the activity of the Holy Spirit.
We invite you to join us from Noon-1PM each Wednesday during Lent for a simple meal and reflection offered by spiritual leaders in our community.
Your donations to cover expenses and to support the mission of The Theological Center In Naples are appreciated.

     February 25
    Presenter:            Rev Diane Scribner Clevenger (Unity of Naples)
       Location:               St Paul’s Episcopal(3901 Davis Blvd, East of Airport)

     March 4
     Presenter:           Dr Kirt Anderson (Naples Community Church)
Location:           Vanderbilt Pres (1225 Piper Bv-off Immokalee-opposite Sam’s Club)

      March 11
    Presenter:            Dr Jack Haberer (Vanderbilt Presbyterian)
       Location:                 Mayflower Congregational UCC (2900 County Barn - off Davis)
                       
    March 18       
    Presenter:            Deacon Mark Leonard (San Marco Catholic)
       Location:               St John the Evangelist Catholic (625 111th Ave N-West of 41)

    March 25          
    Presenter             Chaplain Michael Harper(Naples Community Hospital)
       Location:               Trinity-By-The-Cove(553 Galleon Dr-off Gordon Dr)

           April 1
    Presenter:            Nicole Partin, Certified Celebrant (Hodges-Josberger Funeral Home)
       Location:               Hodges University-  (2655 Northbrooke Dr- North at light off Immokalee Road)
   John White Community Room  (2647 Professional Ln, 34119) 

THE THEOLOGICAL CENTER IN NAPLES IS COMMITTED TO
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND OUTREACH AMONG COMMUNITIES OF FAITH,

WHILE FOSTERING DIALOG, TOLERANCE, AND HARMONY

Monday, February 16, 2015

SEVENTEENTH Annual Lenten Soup for the Soul ~ 2015

The Theological Center in Naples ~ SEVENTEENTH Annual
Lenten Soup for the Soul  ~  2015
A Luncheon Series for the Greater Naples Community  
Sponsored by the Theological Center in Naples

“The Activity of the Holy Spirit”

From Creation to Pentecost, in our everyday lives and activities-even unto the present time, the Spirit makes itself known, inspiring our thoughts and actions, from the miraculous, to physical healings, to life changing, soul-shaking, Metanoia  personality transformations. Explore with us how the Spirit blesses our lives on a daily basis. This season our speakers will share their thoughts and experiences on the activity of the Holy Spirit.
We invite you to join us from Noon-1PM each Wednesday during Lent for a simple  meal and reflection offered by spiritual leaders in our community.
Your donations to cover expenses and to support the mission of The Theological   Center In Naples are appreciated.

     February 25
    Presenter:            Rev Diane Scribner Clevenger (Unity of Naples)
       Location:               St Paul’s Episcopal (3901 Davis Blvd, East of Airport)

     March 4
     Presenter:           Dr Kirt Anderson (Naples Community Church)
Location:           Vanderbilt Pres (1225 Piper Bv-off Immokalee-opposite Sam’s Club)

      March 11
    Presenter:            Dr Jack Haberer (Vanderbilt Presbyterian)
       Location:                 Mayflower Congregational UCC (2900 County Barn - off Davis)
                       
    March 18       
    Presenter:            Deacon Mark Leonard (San Marco Catholic)
       Location:               St John the Evangelist Catholic (625 111th Ave N-West of 41)

    March 25          
    Presenter             Chaplain Michael Harper (Naples Community Hospital)
       Location:               Trinity-By-The-Cove (553 Galleon Dr-off Gordon Dr)

           April 1
    Presenter:            Nicole Partin, Certified Celebrant (Hodges-Josberger Funeral Home)
       Location:               Hodges University-  (2655 Northbrooke Dr-off at light off Immokalee Road) John White Community Room - 2647 Professional Lane

THE THEOLOGICAL CENTER IN NAPLES IS COMMITTED TO
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND OUTREACH AMONG COMMUNITIES OF FAITH,
WHILE FOSTERING DIALOG, TOLERANCE, AND HARMONY

Friday, December 26, 2014

FREE ADULT EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY Biblical Scholarship Course ~ Open to the Public

FREE ADULT EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY Biblical Scholarship Course ~ Open to the Public

OFFICIAL NEW RELEASE - ADULT EDUCATION


News Release
CONTACT: Rev. Sam or Bunny Sewell
239-591-4565

FREE ADULT EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY
Biblical Scholarship Course ~ Open to the Public

Biblical Scholarship is not the same thing as Bible Study. This Biblical Scholarship Program aims to provide a curriculum similar to that which is taught at accredited seminaries.

The Theological Center in Naples and Moorings Presbyterian Church are sponsoring this unique adult education opportunity.  Revs. Sam and Bunny Sewell are teaching an ongoing Biblical Scholarship Program immediately after worship service in theStrozier Library on the campus at Moorings Presbyterian Church from 11:15 to Noon every Sunday, beginning on Sunday, January 4. There will be an optional Q&A period after the class, for those who are interested.

The Sewell’s have been teaching Biblical Scholarship in Naples for more than two decades.

Are you interested in learning more about how the Bible was written, how scholars reconcile apparent inconsistencies, and in strengthening your faith by learning how the Bible applies to us today?

There is no tuition for this class, however free will offerings are appreciated. 

Please register in the foyer at Mooring Presbyterian, or contact Sam & Bunny.bunnysam@bestselfusa.com 239-591-4565

~~~~~~~~~~~~

The primary resource for this extensive curriculum is the 12 volume Interpreter’s Bible. Obviously, participants will not be required to provide their own text books. Just show up with your own Bible, a note pad, pen or pencil and highlighter. Sam and Bunny own the digital software of the Interpreter’s Bible, as well as the twelve volume set. The Interpreter’s Bible is also available in the Moorings Presbyterian Church Library.

The contributors to the study materials are leading biblical scholars who bring a wealth of fresh perspectives to biblical interpretation. The contributors are also theologically diverse, reflecting a wide range of Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish backgrounds. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

SIXTEENTH Annual Lenten Soup for the Soul ~ 2014


The Theological Center in Naples  SIXTEENTH Annual

Lenten Soup for the Soul  ~  2014
A Luncheon Series for the Greater Naples Community  

 “The Beatitudes” Matthew 5: 4-12

This year we will focus on Issues Facing Our World, locally, regionally, nationally, globally. Matthew 5 finds Jesus teaching his disciples an important message to live and pass along. Our purpose is to continue encouraging, equipping and strengthening the church to become personally involved in our mission and ministries.
We invite you to join us from Noon-1PM each Wednesday during Lent for a simple meal and reflection offered by spiritual leaders in our community.
This year you are invited to stay for a brief Q&A with our speaker on the topic of the day.
Your donations to cover expenses and to support the mission of The Theological Center In Naples are appreciated!

“BLESSED ARE the…

 March 12: vss 3-4 ~ Poor in Spirit; Those who Mourn
Presenter:     Fr George Ratzmann (St William Catholic)               
Location:       St William Catholic (601 Seagate, W of 41)

March 19:  vs 5 ~  Meek
 Presenter: Rev Kathy Schillreff (St Monica’s Episcopal)
Location:   Vanderbilt Presbyterian (1225 Piper Bv, Immokalee Rd, across from Sam’s)
 March 26: vs 6 ~   Hungry and Thirsty for Righteousness
Presenter:   Rev Andrew DeLong (Tree of Life Ministries)
Location:          North Naples United Methodist (6000 Goodlette - N of Pine Ridge)

April 2: vs 7     Merciful
Presenter: Rev Dr William Faufel (St Paul’s Episcopal)
Location:   AVOW Hospice (1095 Whippoorwill Ln, S of Pine Ridge, E of Livingston)

April 9: vss 8-9 ~  Pure in Heart, Peacemakers
Presenter: Rev Harold Brown (North Naples United Methodist)
Location:       Moorings Presbyterian (791 Harbour Dr, 1 block W off 41, S of Park Shore)
 April 16: vss 10-12 ~  Persecuted, Falsely Accused
Presenter:   Rev Dr Dan Lamey (Lighthouse Congregational United Church of Christ)
Location:          Tree of Life (2132 Shadowlawn DrS off Davis, W of Airport)


THE THEOLOGICAL CENTER IN NAPLES IS COMMITTED TO RELIGIOUS EDUCATION 
AND OUTREACH AMONG COMMUNITIES OF FAITH, WHILE FOSTERING DIALOG, TOLERANCE, AND HARMONY


Rev. Sam Sewell, President

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Try a Little Tenderness


Try a Little Tenderness

Otis Redding’s music still gives me goose pimples.  His advice to “Try a Little Tenderness” was aimed at a man who didn’t understand the complexity or depth of his woman’s emotions. The wisdom in the lyrics reveals a profound truth that no matter what life situation is presented, the application of kindness is the best response.

To support the broad conclusion above I would ask you to spend a few minutes exploring the evidence for this incontrovertible principle.

My wife and I teach a class on major world religions. What usually impresses our students is that many features of these diverse religions seem to be universal. The virtue of kindness is obviously extolled around the world. 

Hinduism is the oldest of the world religions. One of Hinduism’s oldest proverbs is “Help your neighbor’s boat across, and lo! your own has reached the shore.” And,What use is a melody in an unmusical song? What use are eyes which express no kindness? Other than a facial appearance, what do eyes with no quality of kindness really do? A kindly look is the ornament of the eyes. Without kindness the eyes are two unsightly sores.” Tirukkural 58: 573-575

The ancient Jews taught that a person should not harvest the corners of their field. The corners are left for the gleaners who have no field. 'Kindness even extends to the animal kingdom in the symbolic prohibition to ‘not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.'

Buddhism was started by a man who carried the title “The Compassionate Buddha.” In modern times the Dali Lama was asked if he could explain his religion to the American public in a simple way that everyone could understand. His reply was a classic summary of all religious thinking; “My religion is kindness” he said, and then chuckled. I can’t help but like world religious leaders who laugh!

Christ taught that we all have a sacred obligation to practice a personal disciple of kindness. Christians are commanded to be kind to people who don’t deserve it, as a practice of their own faith.  We are kind to others because that is in our Christ nature, and it has nothing to do with other’s behavior. Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. I John 4:7-8.  And from Albert Schweitzer, one of the most articulate Christian advocates of modern times:Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.

Islam, the newest of the world religions, echoes the teaching found around the world, “God is gentle, and loves gentleness in all matters.” – Prophet Muhammad (as reported in Bukhari.) "Kindness is a mark of faith, and whoever is not kind has no faith."

And so as not to be unkind to the philosophers by leaving them out of this discussion, Plato offered this advice, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

In the 20th century “ethicists” took on the issue of defining the fundamental principles of ethical behavior. The first stage of this investigation concluded that making up rules for ethical behavior doesn’t work. For instance, if a person named Bob Smith seeks protection by coming to your home, and a dangerous person knocks on your door and asks, “Is Bob Smith here? ” Do you tell the truth, or lie?

Given this obvious shortcoming of rule making, the first thing the ethicists came up with was situational ethics, or moral relativism. This doesn’t work either. Ethics become weak, and morality suffers in such a wishy-washy matrix. Unfortunately, many people are stuck in this ill-defined morass.

What was needed was a well defined principle, and I’ll bet you can guess that the ethicists eventually came up with; “What is the kindest thing to do?”

Gandhi encountered a situation that required kindness during Hindu/Muslim rioting in India.
Nahari: I'm going to Hell! I killed a child! I smashed his head against a wall.
Gandhi: Why?
Nahari: Because they killed my son! The Muslims killed my son!
Gandhi: I know a way out of Hell. Find a child, a child whose mother and father were killed and raise him as your own. Only be sure that he is a Muslim and that you raise him as one.

If you would like to see this scene from the movie “Gandhi” go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0RZLseVx8E

Rev. Samuel Sewell, President
The Theological Center in Naples

(Exactly 750 words sans title and attribution)
Rev. Sam Sewell, is Director of Best Self USA, a Pastoral Psychotherapist, a member of Mensa, a U.S. Navy Veteran, and a Member of the Association For Intelligence Officers.  He is a frequent commentator on mental health and religious issues. His award winning research on Family issues is published in several languages.  Member of Sigma Delta Chi Honor Society