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.

December 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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Prison Ministry

Our next Prison Ministry Meeting is December 6 from 6:30-8pm at Tabernacle United Church. 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 studying the book A Church of the Second Chance, by Jens Soering. We will look at chapter 2 at our next meeting. 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.

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Council Corner

Megan McLeod, currently serving as our Youth Minister, has expressed interest in joining the church. Her work with the youth has centered on connecting their own experience with Biblical stories and wisdom.

The Council heard from Todd Koser, the treasurer. He reported significant progress in moving to different systems of recording and reporting our finances. Earlier this fall, Council approved the purchase of software specifically designed for churches. He plans to get a package which will streamline and coordinate records for attendance and giving as well as bills and other expenses. He then went over the proposed 2017 budget in detail. He had already incorporated some changes suggested by members at the informal budget discussion in late October. The budget is set to be discussed at the Annual Meeting on December 4. Council gave him unanimous thanks and praise for his work.

The meeting concluded with the announcement that Ken Gritter will join Council in the New Year. ~Deb Burnham

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Service & Bulletin Roles

Date Preacher Prayers Liturgist Children's TimeSunday School A/V Tech Quote
Dec 4 Lucinda Megill Legendre Deb Burnham Meagan McLeod Eloise Chevrier Lucinda Megill Legendre Fletcher Chmara-Huff Sarah Hill
Dec 11 Heather Bargeron Lucinda Megill Legendre Eloise Chevrier Deb Burnham Trudy Kawal Fletcher Chmara-Huff Susan Wargo
Dec 18 Katie Aikins Katie Aikins Russell Baldwin Katie Day Geneva Butz Fletcher Chmara-Huff Pauline Abernathy
Dec 24 Katie Aikins Susan Wargo Pauline Abernathy Ken Gritter n/a Chris Purdom Katie Aikins
Dec 25 Katie Aikins Katie Aikins Heather Bargeron Katie Day Verona Stern Peter Mowen Deb Burnham

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Supporting Roles

Date Greeters Coffee Hour Counters Recycling Food Transport
Dec 4 Lauren Giaconne & Deb Ahrens Susan Teegen & Genienne Navarro Todd Koser & Jim Gerhard Jim Gerhard Ginny Rice
Dec 11 Susan Teegen & Jaron Teegen-Case Lynn & Andy Lees Susan Teegen & Sarah Hill Lynn Lees Sarah Hill
Dec 18 Heather Bargeron & Katrina Culley Katie Day & Verona Stern Jim Gerhard & Ginny Rice Sarah Hill Jim Gerhard
Dec 24 Ken & Martha Gritter n/a Russell Baldwin & Ken Gritter n/a n/a
Dec 25 Deb Ahrens & Genienne Navarro Mike Ehling & Martha Gritter Jean Erb & Sarah Hill Deb Ahrens n/a

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Communion Rotations

Date Officiating Set-up & Serving Clean-up & Serving Picking up Bread +
Dec 4 Katie Aikins & Susan Wargo Deb Burnham Todd Koser Barbara Tilley

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

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  • December 4 Church Potluck / Annual Meeting
  • December 11 First of two-part Series on Islam led by Megan Gibson & Raquel Saraswati - Session 1: Islam 101 - There are over a billion Muslims in the world, and roughly a billion more misconceptions about the faith. This session will cover the basics of Islam, and will allow for Tab members to ask questions in an uncensored, open space. We’ll talk about Islam’s origins, sects, and the daily reality of being Muslim in America – with a special focus on the lives of women, gender-non conforming people, queer Muslims, and other marginalized groups within the community. Even if you think you know a bunch, come find out that there’s more to know!
  • December 18Session 2: How to be an Effective Ally to the Muslim Community - Interfaith engagement is an essential building block to peace and an important part of building any meaningful progressive movement. However, interfaith work can only be successful if all partners are committed to combatting oppression at its root sources: xenophobia, misogyny and white supremacy. Too often, well intentioned non-Muslims seek to ally with Muslim groups in order to grow movements centered on pluralism and human rights – but end up instead allying with the “conservative right” within the community, making the lives and work of progressive Muslims more difficult – and at times, even more dangerous. This session will cover the struggles progressive activists face within the Muslim community, and will provide the information and tools necessary for you to define, empower and connect with Muslims who are entrenched in the fight against oppression. This session will also expand on the first session’s discussion of anti-Muslim bigotry in America, and create space for discussion around how to support Muslims who feel vulnerable during this time.
  • December 25 - Christmas Day - No!

If you have ideas or suggestions for future sessions or series, please contact Deb Ahrens.

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Stewardship Follow-Up

If you have not yet turned in your Time & Talent form or your 2017 pledge information, please go HERE to do the online sign-up, or contact anyone on the Stewardship Team (Don Wargo, Geneva Butz, Lucinda Megill Legendre, Barbara Purdom, Katie Aikins, Todd Koser) directly with the information about your pledge (amount/frequency). Thank you!

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Advent Gatherings

Each week of Advent there will be opportunities for folks to gather in a TAB host home, share a simple meal, and reflect together in prayer and on passages from the book of Matthew. Pick up a copy of the Advent Readings and Reflection Guide at the Greeter table and sign up to join one or all of the dinner gatherings.

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Bible Study

Instead of the Bible study group meeting at Tab on Wednesdays, during Advent everyone will have an opportunity to gather at the homes of Tab folks to examine passages from the book of Matthew. See the above article.

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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 January newsletter will be in Tab mailboxes on January 6; send all material for the JANUARY newsletter to the church office by FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30.

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