Tabernacle United Church

Progressive Christianity for a change

United Church of Christ and Presbyterian Church (USA)

3700 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104 - 215-386-4100 - Worship Sundays at 10 AM

We are called into compassionate community, Following Christ, Advocating for peace,
justice and reconciliation And celebrating God's loving embrace of all creation.

August 2016 Newsletter

Note on Using the Online Newsletter

In the version of the newsletter that is posted online and sent in email, every month you will find links in the articles, and these links are not all created equal.

  • In the Bible Study article there are links to Bible Passages so that you can immediately see what the topic(s) of discussion will be.
  • In many articles, you will be directed to contact the the church office or a member of the congregation. If you click on one of these links your default email program will automatically open up, with the email address for the office (or another peron) in the "To:" field and an appropriate subject line already filled in, allowing you to begin composing an email to exactly the right person with exactly the right subject line. So if you thought that just that person's name appearing in the article (or just the words "the church office") meant you had to go hunting for the email address for that person, hunt no more! Everything is right there for you, with a click of your mouse!
  • Other articles have links to other websites, to the Tab Blog, or to things on the Tab website, like the Mailing List FAQ, which has clear, easy instructions for subscribing to Tab's various email lists. (The FAQ file also has clickable email links--everything is so easy!) Other links allow you to open up the current version of the Rotation schedule, current Pledge and Time & Talent Forms, etc.
So if you were wondering what all of those links in the newsletter were for, now you know!

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Welcome Music Minister, Patrick Ressler!

We are pleased to welcome our new Minister of Music, Patrick Ressler. Patrick brings gifts and experience in music education and music ministry and is currently involved in the Philadelphia theatre scene, doing development work and creative projects for nonprofit theatre groups. They also freelance as a composer, writing choral and instrumental works for ensembles in Philadelphia and beyond. Patrick is committed to transgender justice and operating in solidarity with other oppressed and marginalized communities. They see music as a powerful spiritual tool to promote social justice and build strong community connections. We are excited to welcome Patrick Ressler to Tabernacle!

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Excerpt from a Sermon Pastor Katie preached on May 22 based on Psalm 139

A phrase I used to hear a lot when we lived in Georgia, was the phrase "being called out of my name." I heard this phrase often in Bible study discussions at the church where I worked at the time, where people shared stories of being locked in the hell of poverty and addiction, stories of broken families and hurtful words hurled at them from a young age. I would hear people say, "I was called outta' my name, called everything BUT a child of God."

Being called out of your name, presupposes that your true identity is a child of God, but being called out of that name means that your experience is one in which that true identity is not affirmed or nurtured. I learned through those Bible studies that if you were living in poverty, if you didn't have stable housing, if you had dark skin color, if you were anything other than "straight" in terms of sexual orientation, the more likely it was that you had experienced being called out of your name.

Being called out of our name brings with it internalization--we can learn easily to call ourselves out of our name. Which is maybe the strongest demon we will ever fight. One of the demons I discovered when I was coming out to myself in my early twenties was my own internalized homophobia--the hatred I had for myself that I had internalized. I had learned to call myself out of my own name.

Little did I know the meaning these words that I memorized as a kid from Psalm 139 would have on my life when I was coming out to myself: You have searched me and you know me, you know when I sit down or when I stand... I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, wonderful are your works, that I know very well. These words have helped me to live more deeply into the truth that I am a child of God, beloved by God just as I am. This is one of the most difficult things that we will ever grasp in our lifetime. Very few of us know that we are loved without conditions or limits.

We are children of God. AND, we must continue to become children of God. We must nurture this truth in ourselves and we must nurture this truth in one another especially those who are frequently called out of their name, whether it be on an individual level or through the structures and the culture of our society. We continue to need the voices of the poets like in Psalm 139 who proclaim to us and to others over and over again: God knows you. She has formed you in your mother's womb. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

May we allow this truth to permeate our lives today. We give thanks for the witness of Jesus from Nazareth, who lifted up the lowly, the children, the despised, the disinherited and called them children of God. Thanks be to God. Amen.

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A message from our sister community of Las Anonas

Dear brothers and sisters,

On behalf of Las Anonas de Santa Cruz community in San Vicente, we send a salute of solidarity to the big family of Sister Cities in United States, especially to our sister community, Philadelphia, hoping that God will bless your efforts towards social development and social justice.

We are infinitely grateful for all these years of unconditional accompaniment from you to our community, as well as to many other sister communities in El Salvador. We feel satisfied for all that has been achieved by our communities and with the international accompaniment during these 30 years.

The 30th anniversary celebration is a good time to reflect and remember all of the struggles that we have overcome, in spite of the difficulties. Nonetheless, we still face other problems that affect the communities that live in the coastal area of our country, for instance San Vincente and Southern Libertad.

Among these issues it is important to mention the harmful practices used in sugar cane production. Those practices are causing major negative impacts in the environment, the health of people and animals.

For example, burning the sugar cane fields generates harmful amounts of pollution in the air, chemicals used on the crop eliminate the nutrients of the soil and pollute the few water resources that our communities depend on, and the unchecked use of water that is used to water the sugar cane fields is drying our underground aquifers.

This is a concerning issue for the people who live close to sugar cane fields, since there are many people suffering from illnesses and even death provoked by those practices. It is with this in mind that we energetically invite the international community to renew your commitment in solidarity to accompany the struggles of the people in pursuit of a better quality of life and social justice.

Thank you for helping us to keep the light of hope alive in a world of solidarity and justice.


The Board of Directors of Las Anonas, San Vicente

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Service & Bulletin Roles

Date Preacher Prayers Liturgist Children's TimeSunday School A/V Tech Quote
Aug 7 Katie Aikins Lucinda Megill Legendre Angela Kent Jessica Culley NA Barbara Purdom Todd Koser
Aug 14 Katie Aikins Chris Purdom Jean Erb Susan Pierce NA Jessica Culley Katrina Culley
Aug 21 Nicole Diroff Deb Burnham Todd Koser Katie Aikins NA Peter Mowen Pauline Abernathy
Aug 28 Katie Aikins Fletcher Chmara-Huff Russell Baldwin Jessica Culley NA Chris Purdom Deborah Ahrens

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Supporting Roles

Date Greeters Coffee Hour Counters Recycling Food Transport
Aug 7 Ginny & John Rice Barbara Purdom & Genienna Navarro Jim Gerhard & Sarah Hill Verona Stern Barbara Purdom
Aug 14 Russ Baldwin & Heather Bargeron Deb Ahrens & Genienne Navarro Jean Erb & Ken Gritter Sarah Hill Ginny Rice
Aug 21 Deborah Ahrens & Katrina Culley Ken & Martha Gritter Russell Baldwin & Ginny Rice Jim Thacker Jim Gerhard
Aug 28 Nicole Diroff & Genienne Navarro Katrina Culley & Geneva Butz Jim Gerhard & Sarah Hill Deborah Ahrens Sarah Hill

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Communion Rotations

Date Officiating Set-up & Serving Clean-up & Serving Picking up Bread +
August 7 Katie Aikins & Nicole Diroff Todd Koser Ginny Rice Barbara Tilley

+ Bread donated by Four Worlds Bakery, 47th & Woodland.; it should be picked up the day before.

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Council Corner

At its June meeting, Council:

  • Voted to receive Lauren Giacconi into membership.
  • Received an update from Treasurer Todd Koser on the progress in converting to electronic accounting methods.
  • Received word that Maria Rose, daughter of Anne Whiting and Michael Rose, was baptized on Sunday, May 22.
  • Received word that the search for a new Minister of Music is nearing completion, with an offer being made to a candidate to begin work on July 17.
  • Received word that Bill Simpson has received a call and will be ordained at Tab on Sunday, August 21.
  • Received word that Meagan McLeod is in the process of taking her ordination exam with the Philadelphia Association of the United Church of Christ.
  • Received word that Katie Day begins a Sabbatical on July 1.
  • Received word that Jim Gerhard wrote a letter of endorsement to accompany an application by Heeding God's Call for a Covenant Fund grant from the Presbytery of Philadelphia.

July Update:

Summer is in full swing here at TAB. There have been a number of gods happenings and updates. Ed Doogan joined our congregation! The Fall Block party is in the planning process. Council is exploring ways to ease the rotation schedule in the summer. ~Megan Gibson

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Bible Study

The Bible study group meets Wednesdays at 5:30 pm in the community room. On August 10 we will discuss Isaiah 5:1-7, Hebrews 11:29-12:2; and Luke 12:49-56. On August 31 we will discuss Jeremiah 18:1-11; Philemon 1:1-21 and Luke 14:25-33. If you have any questions, contact Jean Erb.

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Food Donations

Don't forget: food donations (NON-PERISHABLE, and with GOOD EXPIRATION DATES) are more needed than ever. Let's bring in something for the food donation basket next to the kitchen door each Sunday and help to keep those pantry shelves stocked! It's so easy to do. Whenever you shop, just buy and put aside a couple of small items for the pantry at the same time; if you drive, just leave them in your car to bring to Tab on Sunday.

Some suggestions: Remember that people who are desperately in need of food may not have great kitchen equipment, so consider items that can be prepared in the microwave OR on the stove. People may not have milk, butter, or vegetable oil, so try to include some items that can be prepared with just tap water. Single-serving portions are nice, so people don't have to refrigerate leftovers. Single-serving foil packs of potatoes or flavored instant rice can often be bought in store brands for about a dollar apiece. You can often find sales on instant oatmeal with eight single-serving packets.

Another thing to remember: Glass can break during transport to the food pantry, so it might be better to avoid glass jars. (We had a very small accident once.) Plastic jars of peanut butter are great, though.

We want to increase our donations to the food pantry, so let's all try to help. With even one or two small items a week from everyone who comes to worship, our weekly contribution to the food pantry will increase considerably. ~Mike Ehling

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Tab Online

Tab's website has info about affinity groups, events, news, a calendar, sermons, and more! Go to the Tab Blog on Livejournal to stay up-to-date on the current worship themes, to download forms and schedules (the rotations schedule, Time & Talent forms, Pledge forms, the choir schedule), or just take advantage of the links to Tabernacle's Cafe Press shop, Artwell, the Christian Association and other groups. If you have any questions about the mailing lists, read the Mailing List FAQ! You can also go to the Tab Facebook page and "Like" us! (And then you can receive updates from Tab in your Facebook Newsfeed.)

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Newsletter Deadline

The SEPTEMBER newsletter will be in Tab mailboxes on AUGUST 30; send all material for the SEPTEMBER newsletter to the church office by MONDAY, AUGUST 22.

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Clothing Closet Thanks

Thanks to all of you who have contributed needed clothing items for our clothing closet to benefit the homeless who come to our door. We have an embarrassment of riches! That is, enough good stuff to meet the need, at the moment. So, if you are doing a spring clean-out, please hold your items for a future time, or donate them to your local thrift store. Thank you. ~Ginny Rice Contact

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What's happening? When is the building occupied? Check the calendar!