Deborah’s Tree is a non-profit organization that provides spiritual resources and educational materials in a variety of media within the Swedenborgian theological and spiritual movement, focusing primarily on the work of female authors, scholars, clergy and artists. It serves the Swedenborgian movement worldwide by bringing balance through lifting up the voices of Swedenborgian women. It serves those Swedenborgian women by giving them a place to be seen and heard. It also serves people on a spiritual journey who are looking for the spiritual perspectives that they might find within the Swedenborgian movement.
This website offers you the opportunity to hear the voices of Swedenborgian women through what they have written, spoken and created. We also offer you the opportunity to connect with Swedenborgian women, and others involved in the Swedenborgian movement, through the online and in-person events that we promote.
By way of back story, as an advocate for women in the Swedenborgian movement, founder Roslyn Taylor had participated in efforts to increase female leadership, pioneered a path for women’s ministry, planted a church based on an equal participation model, edited a volume about wholeness theology by mostly female authors, established a long-running monthly brunch for mostly female speakers on spiritual topics, and helped plan and teach at the Gathering Leaves international retreats for Swedenborgian/New Church women.
Roslyn originally envisioned “Deborah’s Tree” as a traditional faith community within the Swedenborgian movement, taking its name from the Biblical prophet Deborah who sat under a palm tree as she provided spiritual guidance. Setting aside her vision as she continued her ordination studies, Roslyn started birthing it into reality after her ordination as a minister in the Swedenborgian Church of North America.
The decision to change course for Deborah’s Tree came as an “aha!” moment when Roslyn realized that, with “spiritual but not religious” being the largest faith identity in the American population, a spiritual community was needed more than a faith community. Along with wanting to provide her own resources for people who identify as spiritual but not religious, she also wanted to promote the work of many Swedenborgian women, whether intended for a general spiritual audience or specifically for the Swedenborgian community. Roslyn noticed that, although there were prominent women in leadership and influence positions within the Swedenborgian movement, the public face of the international Swedenborgian movement was still predominantly male, as it had been since its inception in 1787. Her long-standing advocacy for women’s voices helped change the focus of Deborah’s Tree to the work of women within the Swedenborgian movement around the world.
As you can see through our story and what we offer, we value equity, respect, cooperation, supportiveness, justice, sensitivity and intuition as values important to women. As participants in the Swedenborgian movement, we value freedom, inclusiveness, individual responsibility for our human growth processes, and bringing loving intentions and wise actions together in useful service.
Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
Robbin is a newly Licensed Pastor at the Urbana, Ohio Swedenborgian Church. She also has studied art, with a focus on printmaking, although she also dabbles in painting, photography, and just all around creating in any kind of media. Robbin has worked for several years with adults with developmental disabilities, up until the pandemic hit. Robbin also works as a part-time assistant archivist at a local museum, where she gets to do historical research and transcribing. She considers herself to be a time traveler, of sorts!
Roslyn is a Swedenborgian minister whose ministry has included hospital chaplaincy, facilitating a Home Church, writing, and presenting workshops and lectures on a variety of spiritual topics. As an Australian American, Roslyn has served within the Swedenborgian Church of North America, and the New Church in Australia, and considers herself a "Universal Swedenborgian."
Julie is an interfaith and Swedenborgian minister, now retired. She is a former hospice chaplain and pastor, and before that a microbiologist. Julie was born and raised in the UK. She is the proud grandmother of 7 grandchildren.