Growing up as a Catholic in Northern California, Tom Murphy didn’t know, or learn, much about Emanuel Swedenborg until later in life. Tom attended Jesuit High School (Bellarmine College Prep) and University (Santa Clara University) on the West Coast, where he was introduced to a broad spectrum of traditions (Buddhism, Yoga, Druidry). It wasn’t until 2012 that he discovered the San Francisco Swedenborgian Church while planning his wedding.
That was such a positive experience, Tom and his wife learned more about the church and became members. After a few years attending, and then helping to plan the Annual West Coast Swedenborgian Retreat, Tom was elected to the San Francisco Church Council in 2015, where he has served terms as president, vice president, and secretary.
Time on the Council has taught Tom the fiscal challenges of keeping a local church solvent, the constant energy required to keep the members engaged, and the delicate art involved in keeping things relevant to potential members.
In addition to his service with the Church, Tom spent six years on the Board of the San Francisco Chapter of The Recording Academy, where he served as secretary and Advocacy Committee chair. During that time, he led a number of both local and national initiatives to create new income opportunities for musicians. Locally, he helped create a new Limited Live Performance Permit for the City of San Francisco—for new methods of income. Nationally, Tom travelled to Washington D.C. twice to lobby on behalf of artists for the passage of the Music Modernization Act, which granted new rights and revenue streams to musicians. These efforts taught Tom the balance of bringing people together for larger social change, the political incentives to move things forward, and the patience needed for true long-term change.
I am honored to be considered to serve on Convention’s General Council.