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.

February 2017 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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Pastor's Notes

My friend Naomi Leapheart reminded me that some of us are immigrants by choice...others by force. And so this post is both a confession and a sharing of gratitude.

Those of us classified as white seem to be most comfortable using phrases that include the word "all". For example: "All of us are immigrants". And without realizing it, just like the phrase "all lives matter", these phrases have the power to erase the particularity of black, brown and Native American identity, culture, suffering and struggle. I should have been more specific in my post to say that I think it's especially important for people classified as white in America to remember that we also came as immigrants to this country and that white Americans for the most part are living on and benefitting from stolen land. We have to confront this reality in our lives for there ever to be a possibility of real change in our hearts and country. That said, I must be careful in using the term "all" because I really was referring to white Americans like myself, and therefore speaking out of the norm of whiteness with that statement. Of course it was not my intention with that statement to erase other identities, but that doesn't matter. The effect of my words are more important than my intention.

I imagine in these days that God is looking at the world that God created and is both crying and laughing at the borders we have created. Who gets to create a border anyway? Whose land is this land? To whom does our land belong? How can we turn a refugee family away when it is the brown body of Jesus that is seeking refuge? Are white Christians in America remembering at all these days that our savior and liberator was a refugee? And that he is still stuck at airports all across our country crying out--is there still no room in the inn?

I am a white, lesbian, pastor, struggling-to-be a Christ follower in this country. And Jesus says to me, "you who have eyes to see, SEE!" The thing is, my whiteness is the very thing that blinds me. And so being a Christ-follower is about allowing myself to be confronted by the black Jesus who saves people like me from the devastation of my whiteness. And that begins with the ability to see it in the first place.

So I wanted to post this to say thank you to Naomi for speaking truth to me on facebook. And I also want to confess publicly my blindness in that post from yesterday. And maybe finally, I want to remind all of us (myself included) to be careful with our words in these times, especially in a time where it is so easy to make blanket statements in a tweet, the size of 6 words. Our words have power. And what our world needs now are words and actions that will shape a future full of hope, joy and peace for the "least of these", God's beloved children.

Peace and love to you this day.

#100daysofresistance #resistwhitesupremacy #blackJesusismypresident #Jesusisarefugee

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Join Tabernacle in 100 Days of Resistance

  • Worship - Sunday mornings at 10am we gather to worship the God of Life and Liberation, remembering who we are and whose we are.
  • Community - Creating safe spaces for prayer, reflection, and support of one another in community.
  • Action - Join with the Tab community to live out our faith in word and deed.
  • Share - About what you are doing during these 100 Days of Resistance.

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Council Corner

The Council will meet February 12 for its annual retreat. The next Council meeting will be February 21.

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Service & Bulletin Roles

Date Preacher Prayers Liturgist Children's TimeSunday School A/V Tech Quote
Feb 5 Katie Aikins Lucinda Megill Legendre Barbara Purdom Martha Gritter Geneva Butz n/a n/a
Feb 12 Dick Fernandez Lauren Giaconne Susan Wargo Todd Koser Trudy Kawal Katrina Culley Barbara Purdom
Feb 19 Susan Teegen Eloise Chevrier Deb Burnham Deb Ahrens Lucinda Megill Legendre n/a Lucinda Megill Legendre
Feb 26 Lauren Giaconne Deb Burnham Pauline Abernathy Lucinda Megill Legendre Verona Stern n/a Susan Wargo

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Supporting Roles

Date Greeters Coffee Hour Counters Recycling Food Transport
Feb 5 Ken & Martha Gritter Russ Baldwin & Lucy Miller Angela Kent & Deb Ahrens Deb Ahrens Anna Demaree
Feb 12 Angela Kent & Sarah Hill Deb Burnham & Eloise Chevrier Don Wargo Sarah Hill Lee Pugh
Feb 19 Lucy Miller & Russ Baldwin Deb Ahrens & Geneva Butz Russ Baldwin & Jim Gerhard Jim Gerhard Verona Stern
Feb 26 Geneva Butz & Lauren Giaconne Lucinda Megill Legendre & Mike Ehling Jean Erb & Deb Burnham Verona Stern Ginny Rice

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Communion Rotations

Date Officiating Set-up & Serving Clean-up & Serving Picking up Bread +
Feb 5 Katie Aikins & Jean Erb Todd Koser Susan Wargo Anna Demaree

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

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  • February 5 No TAB.EDU - GEM Potluck
  • February 12 - Love as a Verb: Interfaith Relationships - On any given Sunday at Tab, a number of Christians are joined by their non-Christian partners including atheists and Muslims. Still other members attend Tab services while their non-Christian partners do not. Interfaith relationships are present it's time to talk about them. How do partners who come from different faith traditions handle these differences? Why do so many of us assume that there will be challenges? Can some of us actually share more in a spiritual bond with someone outside of our faith tradition than we have with partners of the same faith? When challenges do arise, do you turn to your faiths together, or separately? How do you grow individually with God, and as a couple, when your faith traditions are vastly different? How does queerness complicate or simplify this love experience? In Christianity, couples seek to be "equally yoked." In Islam, a couple is created from "a single soul," with partners serving as one another's "cloak and comfort." One of Tab's own queer interfaith couples will lead this session, and hold an open, loving discussion on the issues interfaith couples can face. Come ready to laugh, too! [Led by Megan Gibson and Raquel Evita Saraswati]
  • February 19 - Black Joy as Resistance "Talk" - The concert Tabernacle hosted to kick off #100daysofresistance was a great success! The images, music and title bought about great conversation among the congregation. Please join us for this honest conversation about the social conditions of the Black community and how we can "Be the Church" God is calling us to be. [Led by Asha Lindsey]

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

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TAB Songleaders in 2017

If you enjoy singing with a group and leading the congregation in song, join the TAB Song-Leaders! We meet to rehearse at 9:15 am before select Sunday services to add beauty and leadership to music and worship at TAB. Join us at 9:15 am on February 5, February 19, March 5, March 19, April 2 and April 16 (Easter). Contact Pax Ressler. Thank you for lending your voice! ~Pax Ressler

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Homeless Outreach

Sunday, March 5 the Tab community is invited to gather during Coffee Hour to assemble sandwiches and other items to distribute to homeless people in the area of our church, as we look to extend Christian hospitality outward to our neighbors in need. If you have any questions, please see Lauren Giaccone.

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Bible Study

Join us Wednesdays at 5:30 pm in the Community Room. Contact Jean Erb with questions. On February 8 we will study: Deuteronomy 30:15-20; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9; and Matthew 5:21-37. On February 22 we will study: Exodus 24:12-18; 2 Peter 1:16-21; and Matthew 17:1-9.

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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 February newsletter will be in Tab mailboxes on MARCH 2; send all material for the March newsletter to the church office by MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20.

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Supporting Our City's Immigrants and Refugees

As many of you know, and have contributed to, Al-Bustan and the Friends' Center have hosted 3 lunches for recent Syrian and Iraqi refugees, providing transportation, a meal, and donated food and other goods. As this is not Al-Bustan's direct mission, they are opening it up for others to get involved and carry on this work. I would like to hear Tab members' ideas about how we, as individuals or as a congregation, could continue to support this important work of helping the refugees connect with the community. There are resettlement agencies and legal advocacy agencies involved, and their volunteers are working hard to keep up with the need, but I think there is a need also for connecting the refugees with community members on a more personal one-to-one basis. I wanted to hear from you about how we can step in and work along-side these other orgs to specifically show the refugees that there are Americans here who care about them and want to welcome them into their communities. If you have ideas please email me, and also let me know if after the service on Feb 5 might be a good time for us to "huddle" and discuss this possibility. Thanks for any ideas or assistance you can offer! ~Genienne Navarro

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Christian Peacemaker Teams

Dear Tab,

As I prepare to depart on my trip to the US/Mexico border, I wanted to extend my heartfelt gratitude for each of you and your support for this trip and ministry. I would not be able to undertake this journey without your assistance. To all of you who have donated (of which there are so many!), please know that Christian Peacemaker Teams will benefit directly from those funds. As we are all so acutely aware, in this age of Trump and his border wall, the racist and xenophobic policies he has already begun to put into place will have very real consequences for the people fleeing economic despair, violence and the drug cartels in the Global South. I will bear witness to those consequences as I and the other members of my delegation meet with various people, groups and community organizations in the Borderlands. I look forward to learning about the situation, hearing the concerns of those affected, documenting the journey and most importantly, bearing witness to Christ's love for all.

I depart on February 7th and return on February 17th. I ask you for your prayers as I undertake this journey.

Lauren Giaconne

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Community News

  • Feb. 6 - 6:00 - 8:30 pm - POWER is hosting a Safe Haven Community Gathering at Living Water United Church of Christ (6250 Loretto Avenue, Phila 19111) exploring how we can protect our neighbors from threats and violence.
  • Feb. 12, 1-5 pm - Sanctuary in the Streets - Non-violent action training to disrupt immigration raids, with New Sanctuary Movement. Contact Heather Bargeron to learn how to sign up.
  • Feb. 26 - OSCAR PARTY! - @ Pastor Katie's house. Let's hang out, share snacks, and cheer our fav movies. Click HERE to RSVP.

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