Neighborhood Partnerships: Swedenborgian Church

ur Early Childhood Program has been renting space in the historic Swedenborgian Church on Lyon and Washington, just a couple blocks from our grade school campus. Every morning our nursery program begins in the enclosed courtyard of this landmark Arts and Crafts building and many Parenting Program classes take place in the building’s reception area.

The San Francisco Swedenborgian Church opened its Lyon Street doors in 1895. It was designed by a celebrated group of architects and artists including Bernard Maybeck under the guidance of the Reverend Joseph Worcester. Combining beautiful craftsmanship with artistic vision, Rev. Worcester strove to create a building that “combined nature, art, and spirit in an environment of rustic simplicity.”

The Swedenborgian Church Community bases its teaching on the Biblical interpretations of Emmanuel Swedenborg, a Swedish theologian from the early 18th century. The major guiding theology is that God is alive in the natural world.

The garden where the nursery school plays is as carefully designed as the interior. Trees from around the world surround a grassy lawn. They include an Irish yew, a Cedar of Lebanon, a California Redwood, olive, elm, pine, myrtle, hawthorn, maple, plum, and crabapple. The careful attention to the landscaping creates a sense of quiet, retreat, and safety that the young children intuitively respond to in their morning play