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.

September 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!

[Back to Top]

Workshop Opportunity

The Presbyterian Older Adult Ministry Network is hosting workshops on Empowering Older Adults, October 22, 8:30 am to - 1:00 pm at Wayne Presbyterian Church, 125 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, PA 19087. Registration Fee: $10 (includes continental breakfast). Registration Deadline: October 15. Click HERE to see the brochure.

If you have difficulty with transportation, let me know and we may be able to arrange car-pooling. ~Mike Ehling

[Back to Top]

Prison Ministry

Our next Prison Ministry Meeting is September 20, from 6:30-8 pm at St. James UCC in Havertown (135 Myrtle Street). Our primary focus is developing friendship and relationships with people in jails and prisons through letter writing and visitation, and collaborating with others to work for an end to mass incarceration. Our group is beginning a study of the book A Church of the Second Chance, by Jens Soering. Consider joining us in this meaningful work! The Prison Ministry is a joint ministry with members of St. James UCC in Havertown. Speak to Pastor Katie for more information or if you are interested in getting involved in letter-writing or visitation.

[Back to Top]

Pastor's Corner

September is here and we are making plans to plunge into our Fall theme at Tabernacle--Cultivating Wholy Habits. How do we cultivate habits that help us in our journey toward wholeness, toward deeper compassion for God, ourselves, and our neighbor? For seven Sundays we will be exploring this question by ways of the ancients! We will be exploring the seven deadly sins and their corresponding virtues. We will wonder, why were these particular sins of the heart called "deadly"? And how are these heart struggles similar or different for us during this particular time in our history and country?

The worship team would like to ask you to participate in this Fall theme. And there are several ways to do so. We will have opportunities for discussion on these sins/virtues during weekly Bible study on Wednesday nights. In addition, during Sunday worship we would like a brave soul from the congregation to share about their particular struggle as a way of inviting the rest of us into a time of confession. This sounds daunting perhaps, but we want to do this in order to invite honesty and vulnerability as we struggle together toward whole-heartedness. Naming our particular struggles with these sins can help set us free toward the virtue we strive for. So below is the list of the seven. If you feel led to prepare to share a vignette about any of these, please be in touch with Pastor Katie. Looking forward to the Fall!

1. September 11: Envy - Kindness
2. September 25: Vainglory - Humility
3. October 2: Gluttony - Temperance (Lauren Giaccone preaching)
4. October 9: Lust, Purity and Sex!
5. October 16: Wrath Forgiveness (Meagan McLeod preaching)
6. October 23: Sloth/Apathy - Diligence
7. Nov 6: Greed Generosity

[Back to Top]

Service & Bulletin Roles

Date Preacher Prayers Liturgist Children's TimeSunday School A/V Tech Quote
Sept 4 Katie Aikins Lucinda Megill Legendre Ken Gritter Katie Aikins NA Fletcher Chmara-Huff Heather Bargeron
Sept 11 Katie Aikins Mark Rader Meagan McLeod Todd Koser Todd Koser Fletcher Chmara-Huff Mike Ehling
Sept 18 Dee Dee Risher Susan Wargo Susan Wargo Katrina Culley Katrina Culley Katrina Culley Dick Fernandez
Sept 25 Katie Aikins Lucinda Megill Legendre Lynn Lees Nicole Diroff Nicole Diroff Fletcher Chmara-Huff Susan Wargo

[Back to Top]

Supporting Roles

Date Greeters Coffee Hour Counters Recycling Food Transport
Sept 4 Mark Rader & Heather Bargeron Jim Thacker & Verona Stern Sarah Hill & Deb Ahrens Barbara Purdom Deb Burnham
Sept 11 Ginny & John Rice Deborah Ahrens & Russell Baldwin Deb Burnham & Sarah Hill Deborah Ahrens Lee Pugh
Sept 18 Jessica Culley & Lucinda Megill Legendre Chris Purdom & Ginny Rice Russell Baldwin & Angela Kent Sarah Hill Mark Rader
Sept 25 Charlene & Vic Compher Katrina Culley & Geneva Butz Ken Gritter & Sarah Hill Geneva Butz Jim Gerhard

[Back to Top]

Communion Rotations

Date Officiating Set-up & Serving Clean-up & Serving Picking up Bread +
Sept 4 Susan Teegan & Katie Aikins Sarah Hill Jessica Culley Mark Rader

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

[Back to Top] Schedule

  • Sept. 4 Labor Day Weekend (no
  • Sept. 11 Sermon Discussion on Cultivating Wholy Habits: The sin of Envy and the virtue of Kindness.
  • Sept. 18 - Conversation with guest preacher Dee Dee Risher, author of The Soulmaking Room.
  • Sept. 25 Sermon Discussion on Cultivating Wholy Habits: The sin of Vainglory and the virtue of Humility.

If you have ideas or suggestions for future sessions or series, please contact Andy Lees.

[Back to Top]

When did God stop creating?
by Patrick Ressler

This past year, with this question ringing in my ears, I slowly and surely began to name what has always been true for me. In my spirit, mind and body, I have never felt male.

While I was assigned male at birth, my earliest memories include the recognition that I wasn't a boy, even (and especially) when placed in a group of boys. Through study and learning, I have come to name my experience and claim the identity of "third gender" (a gender other than male or female) or "genderqueer," an identity under the larger Transgender umbrella. With lingering fear, I made this part of my reality as public as possible, a decision to be known that has blessed me in more ways than I could have imagined.

At the same time, inviting people into my reality has not been a cure-all remedy for the many ways that I still seek to be more fully known and named in my communities, including church spaces. This requires continued work in asking my friends and family to refer to me with the gender pronouns they, them and theirs and not refer to me as a guy, man, brother or son. In doing so, it didn't take long for me to realize that male and female gender labels unknowingly permeate our everyday speech. In order for me to feel more fully known and named by my communities, I have to speak up to correct loved ones when they misgender me, a task that takes constant energy, courage and shared respect.

While important, the desire to be more fully known and named goes deeper than pronouns and labels; it is a desire to share in the fullness of community life as a genderqueer person. The limitations of our language reflect a societal lack of awareness in allowing and creating space for people who identify outside of the strict "gender binary". Even among my queer communities (populated mostly by cisgender gay and lesbian folks), I have to continually create space for myself as a genderqueer person.

What becomes clear is that gender (as we have understood it) is a construct, and an oppressive construct at that. We have given meaning and social capital to concepts of "male" and "female" without allowing for a full array of gender identity and expression. I grew up with a construct of gender that wasn't built for me, nor could it allow space for me as a genderqueer person. Those who identify outside of the binary have to continually create that space for themselves in a society unprepared to understand their experience. This is an exhausting and time-consuming task.

If you're reading this, I encourage you to continue questioning your constructed view of gender. Who are you excluding with gender binary language? Can you commit to asking and using the preferred gender pronouns of the transgender people in your congregation, your family and your communities? How does stretching your view of gender stretch your conception of who God is? Can you open yourself to the possibility that God is still creating on earth, in creation and in you?

[Back to Top]

Music Department News

I will be starting choir rehearsals next Tuesday, September 6 at 7 pm for an hour. Because our numbers are slim, I'm hoping to experiment with creative ways to use singers to enhance the music in Sunday worship services. I see this as a great opportunity to "lead by example", perhaps using call and response, counter-melodies or other techniques to bolster congregational singing. We may even change the wording around the "choir" to reflect this--perhaps "songleaders" or something else.

In this first month, I anticipate singing on two Sundays and having two Tuesday rehearsals on September 6 and 20 at 7 pm. ~Patrick Ressler, Minister of Music

[Back to Top]

Bible Study

The Bible study group at Tab will be exploring the seven deadly sins in their weekly study this fall! Join us on Wednesday nights at 5:30 pm. The September themes and texts are below. Contact Jean Erb with any questions.

[Back to Top]

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

[Back to Top]

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.)

[Back to Top]

Newsletter Deadline

The OCTOBER newsletter will be in Tab mailboxes on SEPTEMBER 30; send all material for the SEPTEMBER newsletter to the church office by MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19.

[Back to Top]

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

[Back to Top]

[Previous]  [Newsletters]  [Next]

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