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                                 On Pastor Katie's Mind... 

The New Year is upon us. The season of Advent seemed to run by so fast. And I’m thankful that we are still technically in the Christmas season and so we continue to remember the power of the sacred stories we shared through Advent and Christmas as we enter the New Year.

During one of our Advent Bible studies in December, I found myself playing with the image of God being “Most High," which is a title attributed to God in both the Hebrew and New Testament Scriptures. The angel Gabriel tells Mary that the power of the Holy Spirit will come upon her and the power of the Most High will overshadow her. Then I started thinking:

God is “Most High” and God came “Down Low”. 

God coming “down” and “low” is what makes the gospel such scandalous news. 

The Most High God is the Down Low God.

The power of the Most High is the power to be among the Down Low.

This juxtaposition struck me.

Christmas is about the Most High God becoming embodied among those who are down and out, downtrodden and lowly. The song that Mary (and probably Elizabeth) sang according to Luke’s gospel shows us that these two prophet-type women knew they served a God of Liberation who deliberately chose “lowly” people like them – people who had experienced humiliation and disgrace by society –to be empowered and among the participants of God’s liberating work. How could this be? 

According to the Christmas story, God did not reveal God’s self to rulers, kings and the elite in palaces. No, God showed up in a back alley and came to refugee parents. This is how God chooses to come to us. And it seems every year, every day almost, if I'm completely honest, I’m surprised to hear this news again. Because mostly what I hear all around me is that God speaks through and advocates for the powerful and the mighty, the “most high” people in our society. Turns out that according to our faith, it’s the opposite: God is in the wilderness. God is on the margins. God is speaking through and advocating for the oppressed.

Every year, every day, we can ask ourselves, what will I do with this news? How will I live in light of the truth that’s been revealed in the gospel?

It’s worth pondering as we move into 2018. And perhaps whatever resolutions we might make for ourselves for the coming year, those resolutions can be somehow connected to this earth-shattering news about the Down Low God. 

Peace and love to you all as we start another year together. 

Immanuel, God is with us.

                         
-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 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...


Bible Study: Throughout the winter months, through Lent and to Easter, the Bible study group will be discussed the Gospel of Mark.  Our resource text will be "Binding the Strong Man" by Ched Myers. You need not purchase this text.
  • January 17:  Mark  1 - 3
  • January 24:  Mark 4 - 6
       The group will meet at 5:30 pm in the community room.

For February we will study chapters 7 - 12; and in March we will discuss chapters 13-16.  Please check the bulletin and/or newsletter for the dates for those two months.  If you have any questions, please contact Jean Erb

The Prison Ministry team is re-convening in the New Year! Join us on
Thursday January 25th at 7pm at Tab. We will be meeting with members of CADBI (Coalition to Abolish Death by Incarceration) to learn about opportunities to participate in outreach to folks in prison, and we will also discuss and respond to new requests for penpals/visitation that have come to us over the past few weeks. We will also pray together and talk about our goals for the year. If you are interested in this ministry, please join us at this meeting.
Opportunities to Engage with Mission Partners
 

Important Dates
  • Jan 7 - G(reet)E(at)M(eet) Potluck - No Tab.Edu scheduled, 11:45 am
  • Jan 14 - Tab. Edu,  POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower & Rebuild) with Ed Doogan, 11:45 am
  • Jan 17 - Bible Study, 5:30-7pm in Tab Community Room 
  • Jan 21 - Tab.Edu, Heartsong with Pax Ressler, 11:45 am
  • Jan 22 - Submission Deadline for February Newsletter
  • Jan 24 - Bible Study, 5:30-7pm in Tab Community Room
  • Jan 25 - Prison Ministry Team Meeting with CADBI, 7 pm
  • Jan 28 - Tab.Edu, Tabernacle Environmental Action Team, 11:45 am

Tab.edu: January 2018

JANUARY 7: G(reet)E(at)M(eet) Monthly Potluck– No Tab.edu scheduled.

JANUARY 14: POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower & Rebuild) with Ed Doogan.  Join Ed, Tab’s liaison to our mission partner POWER, to talk about the work POWER does and their vision for tomorrow.  We’ve all heard Ed speak of individual actions and accomplishments, but in this session, he wants to give Tab folks the “big picture.”  Come, listen and think about how our congregation fits into this ecumenical gathering of people of faith and what we can do to further this POWERful work.  www.powerinterfaith.org

JANUARY 21: “HEARTSONG” with Pax Ressler. What songs are on your heart this season?  Join Pax, Minister of Music at Tab, to sing your requests of favorite sacred, spiritual, or justice songs.  Feel free to bring an instrument, a song, or a friend for this informal time of singing what’s on our hearts.  

JANUARY 28: Tabernacle Environmental Action Team.  Tired of hearing nothing but troubling news for the environment?  Come and learn Good News about five ongoing Philadelphia success stories.  Facilitated by Ginny Rice and the Tabernacle Environmental Action Team.


Tab. edu meets from around 11:45am-1pm. If you have ideas or suggestions for future Tab.edu sessions or series, please contact Deb Ahrens


January Service & Bulletin Roles
 

January Supporting Roles
 


January Communion Rotations
 

Tabernacle Church  Staff

Ministers ……………..........................................................................................................................TAB congregation
Pastor ………...….....................................................................................………......…..……………...........Katie Aikins
Minister of Music …...............................................................................………….........…........Pax Ressler (they/them)
Nursery Caregiver ……...................................................................................……………………………….Lisa Jacobs
Office Manager….................................................................................…..........……………....….............. Chelle Bruhn
Sexton ……………………..................................................................................................…………….. Patrick O’Brien

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