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On Pastor Katie's Mind...

Cultivating Friendship with God: Prayer on 2nd and 4th Wednesdays this Fall

A few weeks ago I was having coffee with a person I had just recently met. We were talking about our worship services at Tab. She asked me about the parts in the service where we were asked to pray, specifically the opening prayer and prayer of confession. She asked, “What are we doing when we pray?”

What a profound question, I thought.

My new friend had not grown up in a home where faith or prayer was practiced or discussed, so prayer was a new concept to her. But it occurred to me that her thoughtful and curious question is not a question that we stop asking even if we pray on a regular basis. I mean yeah, what are we doing when we pray?

Earlier in the summer, when I asked you to share some of the questions and longings that are on your heart, about one-quarter of the responses that I received had to do with prayer: How can I move from mind to heart in prayer? What does it mean to pray without ceasing? How do I pray for my enemies? How do I cultivate more contemplation in my life? How do I cultivate a relationship with God?

It may surprise you that I share these very same questions! I, too, long to practice prayer at a deeper and more intentional level. I, too, struggle with the intense pressure in our culture to be a person of continual action and production, a person who “does good work” and has results to show for it. And while action is absolutely critical to engaging in God’s justice work in the world, I have a sense that prayer may be just as critical, perhaps even more so, for our engagement in God’s justice work.

Of course, there is no one definition of prayer and I’m not sure the answer would always be the same as to what we are doing when we pray. Saint John Damascene from the seventh century said that prayer is a “raising of one’s mind and heart to God.” Prayer perhaps in its simplest definition is communication with God. I personally like the metaphor of prayer as cultivating friendship with God. Cultivating a healthy friendship with someone requires time, learning, curiosity, honesty, listening, talking, silence, and openness to change. It seems to me that each of these elements of cultivating friendship with God are similar ingredients to what we need in order to engage in meaningful justice work.

Theologian Karl Rahner said "knowing God is more important than knowing about God.” And I agree with him. I think that many of us share a deep longing to be in friendship with our God of love and liberation. We long to drink from the well that does not run dry and to be refreshed by the healing streams of God’s mercy and grace. Because in knowing that we are not alone, that God is our friend and advocate, we are truly able to do remarkable and bold things together.

If you would like to cultivate a more intentional practice of prayer in your life, I want to invite you to join me on the second and fourth Wednesdays this fall at Tab, at 6pm. One those evenings, will gather for 45 minutes to pray. You may have already heard that the Bible study group is moving to a more regular schedule of meeting on the first and third Wednesdays every month. This means there is an opportunity to join every week at Tab for prayer or Bible study (or both). If you are new to prayer, if you have many questions about it and are not sure how to pray or what we are doing when we pray, then please come join us. My hunch is that most of us are asking some pretty basic questions about prayer. And sometimes we just need to practice prayer together for a while and then look back and observe what it does to us before we really learn the true value of it.

I look forward to seeing you in September. And I hope to see you on a Wednesday evening this fall for prayer or Bible study or both.

In peace,
Pastor Katie  

A Note from Pax Ressler, Tab's Minister of Music

I'm excited to tell you that there are lots of ways that you can be involved with music at Tab! Consider singing with the TAB Songleaders, a group that rehearses before select Sunday services to add beauty and leadership to music and worship. This group helps the congregation learn new songs and enhance our music. If interested, there is absolutely no obligation to sing every Songleader Sunday—only when it works for you! Reach out to me with your interest and I'll make sure you are included in the email invitations. 

If you're an instrumentalist or vocal soloist, your gifts are very welcome in Sunday morning worship. Do you have an interest in playing prelude and offertory? Playing or singing with me on songs or special music? I'm grateful for your gifts and would love to find ways for you to share them with the Tab community. 

To contact me about these opportunities or to ask questions, don't hesitate to reach out to Pax (they/them) at paxressler@gmail.com. Thank you!

What's Happening at Tab...

Blackout Dates for October-December.  We would like to go back to scheduling a full quarter at a time so Chelle will begin that process in the coming weeks. If you have blackout dates for October through December 2019, please send them to Chelle as soon as possible. If you were a fan of choosing your own roles/dates for the rotation, please feel free to send those to Chelle as well and your preferences will be accommodated wherever possible.

Bible Study:  The Bible Study group will meet next on September 4 and 18 when we start our new schedule. For September 4 we will study the following texts:

  • September 4: Jeremiah 18:1-11; Philemon 1:1-21; Luke 14:25-33.

The Bible Study group now has consistent dates for when we will meet in the months to come. We will meet on the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 5:30 to 7:00 pm in the community room. If you have any questions, please contact Jean Erb or Pastor Katie Aikins.

Cultivating Friendship With God: Prayer on 2nd and 4th Wednesdays this fall. Would you like to cultivate a more intentional practice of prayer in your life? Join us on the second and fourth Wednesdays this fall at Tab. We will meet from 6 - 6:45pm to pray. You may have already heard that the Bible study group is moving to a more regular schedule of meeting on the first and third Wednesdays every month. This means there is an opportunity to join every week at Tab for prayer or Bible study (or both). If you are new to prayer, if you have many questions about it and are not sure how to pray or what we are doing when we pray, then come join us. September meetings are September 11 and 25th, 6-6:45pm. Contact Pastor Katie for any questions.  

Environmental Action Team Discernment.  Council, at its July meeting, approved a proposal from the Environmental Action Team (EAT) to begin a discernment process in September to discover in what ways we, as a congregation, can become engaged in the ongoing environmental crises. EAT members will share with the entire congregation, following worship on September 15, plans for this period of discernment. This critical initiative will be similar to two earlier periods of discernment, one that preceded Tab's decision to become a Sanctuary Congregation and, again, later its decision to become a More Light/Open and Affirming congregation. Eloise Chevrier chairs EAT and Ginny Rice, Geneva Butz, Lee Pugh, Dick Fernandez, Bukie Adekoje, Deb Aherns, Lyn Denton and Susan Wargo fill out the Team.     


Important Dates
  • Sep 1 - G(reet)E(at)M(eet) Monthly Potluck– No Tab.Edu scheduled.
  • Sep 4 - Bible Study, 5:30-7pm in Tab Community Room
  • Sep 8 - Tab.edu, Book Event with Mx. Chris Paige, 11:45 am
  • Sep 11 - Cultivating Friendship With God: Prayer Gathering, 6pm in Tab Community Room
  • Sep 15 - Congregational Meeting following service
  • Sep 18 - Bible Study, 5:30-7pm in Tab Community Room
  • Sep 20 - Global Climate Strike
  • Sep 21 - Joy & Justice Block Party
  • Sep 22 - Tab.edu, Environmental Discussion with Rev. Richard Fernandez, 11:45 am
  • Sep 25 - Cultivating Friendship With God: Prayer Gathering, 6pm in Tab Community Room
  • Sep 29 - Tab.edu, Finding a Retirement Community, 11:45 am
  • Oct 12th - Philadelphia Family Pride Conference, 9am-3pm
  • Oct 13th - Outfest Sunday, 11am-5pm
Tab.edu - September 2019
 
September 1: G(reet)E(at)M(eet) Monthly Potluck– No Tab.Edu scheduled.
 
September 8: Book Event with Mx. Chris Paige to celebrate their recent publication of OtherWise Christian: a Guidebook for Transgender Liberation. Mx. Chris will be selling and signing books after worship.  The book conversation will begin around 11:30 a.m.
 
September 15: Congregational Meeting After Worship – No Tab.Edu scheduled.
 
September 22: Rev. Richard Fernandez of Tab’s Environmental Action Team will follow his sermon this morning with an EDU session on the environment. (Tentative)
 
September 29:  Finding a Retirement Community is Difficult. Many options exist, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each one.  Scott Poethig will discuss what he learned about the options that exist in the Philadelphia area while searching for a community for his father. 
 
Tab.Edu questions/concerns:  Deb Ahrens @ townlibrarian53@yahoo.com.
September Service & Bulletin Roles


September Supporting Roles
 


September Communion Rotations
 

Tabernacle Church  Staff

Ministers ……………......................................................................................................TAB congregation
Pastor ………...…..............................................…..……….......................................Katie Aikins (she/her)
Minister of Music ….......................................................……..….........…........Pax Ressler (they/them)
Sunday School Teacher...............................................................................Nathalie Cerin (she/her) 

Nursery Caregiver …….............................................................…………………….Lisa Jacobs (she/her)
Office Manager .....................................................................…..........….............. Chelle Bruhn (she/her)
Sexton …………………….........................................................................……….. Patrick O’Brien (he/him)

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