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.

April 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

Below is a brief excerpt from Pastor Katie's sermon on March 12, from the Lenten Sermon series on the Black Jesus. We hope you join us as we journey through Lent this season, toward the promise of the Resurrection!

The color of bondage –in our context of White Supremacy, in our country, with our history –has been and still is Black. And that means that the color of Liberation is Black. It means that Jesus is Black. It means that God is Black.

Let the words of St Paul enter our minds again: Let the same mind be in you as was in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited. But he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeneness and being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death even death on a cross (Phil 2:5-8).

White Christians have taken all sorts of things literally in the Bible, but why the hell haven't we ever take this passage literally? Throughout our history we have been taught the lie of White Supremacy that Jesus did NOT take the form of a slave. How dare we imagine that Jesus was a slave? What a scandal to imagine God taking the form of a slave! That would mean imagining Jesus was Black and that God came to us wrapped in Black skin. And that would turn our world upside down… I believe strongly that in our time, in our country, in the context of White Supremacy, that God chooses the particularity of Blackness in order to reveal the universal meaning of God's love. That's why Jesus' Blackness is redemption for all of us, no matter the color of our skin. Because when those in bondage are set free, all of us can be set free...

I recognize that the power of patriarchy and racism are still in me, and yet I also know there is another power at work within me. It is the power of God's liberating Spirit, calling me to resistance, calling me to receive my true definition as a child of God, and calling me to begin to seem y neighbors as children of God. The fundamental truth of the biblical and gospel message in our time, in our land, in our context, is that Jesus is Black and continues to call me out of my captivity into freedom. Let us allow God's Black liberating Spirit to move us and free us. Amen!

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Join Tabernacle in 100 Days of Resistance

  • Worship - Sunday mornings at 10 am 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

At our March Council meeting, we interviewed and recommended Lauren Giaccone to the Philadelphia Association of the UCC as a Member in Discernment. In addition, we will celebrate the ordination of Meagan McLeod into Christian ministry of the United Church of Christ in our sanctuary on Saturday, May 13 at 4 pm. We can feel proud that Tab is helping to form and celebrate new pastors in our midst!

We had an extended discussion of worship, and focused especially on Palm Sunday and Easter. Expect worship outdoors as part of the Palm Sunday service and special music for Easter, prepared by Pax Ressler.

Worship Team meetings are scheduled for the following dates:

  • May 18 with the Outreach Committee
  • August 3 with the Stewardship Committee
  • November 9 for Advent/Christmas planning

These meetings are open to interested folk who would like to help plan worship. You need to commit for only one meeting. So, do not hesitate to come forward. Upcoming events that will be held together with Ark of Refugee Tabernacle, the congregation that uses Tab's building on Sunday afternoons and during the week, include:

  • Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 8 at Noon
  • Seven Last Words Worship on Good Friday, April 14 at 7 pm
  • Gospel Drag Show scheduled for Friday, May 12

We are exploring, through the Building Team, updates to make our elevator more user-friendly, and air conditioning for the first floor Community Room. Stay tuned for details.

~ Geneva Butz

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Service & Bulletin Roles

Date Preacher Prayers Liturgist Children's TimeSunday School A/V Tech Quote
Apr 2 Katie Aikins Lauren Giaconne Eloise Chevrier Deb Burnham Lucinda Megill Legendre Genienne Navarro Katie Aikins
Apr 9 Katie Akins Katie Aikins Meagan McLeod Pauline Abernathy Nicole Diroff Chris Purdom Barbara Purdom
Apr 16 Katie Aikins Deb Burnham Martha Gritter Nicole Diroff Geneva Butz Genienne Navarro Susan Wargo
Apr 23 Meagan Mcleod Lucinda Megill Legendre Deb Ahrens Eloise Chevrier Verona Stern Fletcher Chmara-Huff Pauline Abernathy
Apr 30 Sam Steffen Heather Bargeron Susan Wargo Todd Koser Trudy Kawal Genienne Navarro Deb Burnham

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Supporting Roles

Date Greeters Coffee Hour Counters Recycling Food Transport
Apr 2 Geneva Butz & Deb Ahrens TBA Lucinda Megill Legendre & Ginny Rice Verona Stern Lee Pugh
Apr 9 Susan Wargo & Nicole Diroff TBA Ginny Rice & Deb Ahrens Deb Ahrens Barbara Purdom
Apr 16 Lauren Giaconne & Angela Kent POTLUCK BRUNCH Chris Purdom & Deb Burnham Susan Teegen Ginny Rice
Apr 23 Russ Baldwin & Lucy Miller Barbara & Chris Purdom Lynn Lees & Russ Baldwin Sarah Hill Verona Stern
Apr 30 Jim Gerhard & Susan Teegen Verona Stern & Eloise Chevrier Pauline Abernathy & Deb Burnham Lynn Lees Jim Gerhard

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Communion Rotations

Date Officiating Set-up & Serving Clean-up & Serving Picking up Bread +
Apr 2 Katie Aikins Ginny Rice Susan Wargo Lee Pugh

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

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Join Us for Holy Week at Tabernacle United Church

  • Saturday, April 8, Noon: Easter Egg Hunt with our friends from Ark of Refuge! Families, Parents, Children, Young and Old, Welcome! Please RSVP on bulletin board in Community Room or to Pastor Katie (
  • Sunday, April 9, 10 am: Palm/Passion Sunday. Bring your favorite protest sign to church! We will begin our service outdoors with palms and protest signs for justice.
  • Thursday, April 13, 7 pm: Maundy Thursday Evening service of Footwashing and Holy Communion. *Joint service with Ark of Refuge.
  • Friday, April 14, 6 pm: Good Friday Service of "The Seven Last Words of Jesus." *Joint service with Ark of Refuge.
  • Sunday, April 16, 10 am: LOVE WINS! Resurrection Sunday worship, followed by potluck brunch and music!

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Tab Songleaders

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

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Homeless Outreach

Sunday, April 2 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

On April 5 we will discuss Matthew 21:1-11; Isaiah 50:4-9a; Matthew 26:14-27:66. On April 19 we will discuss Acts 2:14a, 22-32; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31. We meet at 5:30 pm in the Community Room. Contact Jean Erb with questions.

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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 April newsletter will be in Tab mailboxes on MAY 1; send all material for the April newsletter to the church office by MONDAY, APRIL 24.

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