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Monthly Archives

June 2017

Pastor’s Pen: Congratulations Graduates

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To our 2017 Graduates and our Church Family.

These past few weeks have been full of many versions of “pomp and circumstance” and backyard celebrations. We are so proud of our graduates. Eighth Graders becoming “Highschoolers” – Seniors transitioning to University, College, and the work force – College Grads now on to Jobs and Internships. You are growing up and that means owning new levels of responsibility. Adulthood is knocking on your door. How you answer will shape the trajectory of your life. Here are three comments I have for you.

Own your Faith – If you’ve grown up in a Christian home or at The Tab, you’ve had tremendous privilege. Having a supportive family, a church community, standards that shape you, and protection to guard you is special. The world will not be so kind. Testing awaits and it won’t be enough to ride on your parent’s faith. Many young people forsake their faith in these times of their lives. I pray you don’t.

Own your Relationships – The relationships you form at these times of life will have a deep influence on your developing character and value system. Psalms 1 encourages you with this, “Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord…” Choose your friends wisely, and stay in the Word.

Own your Decisions – Romans 12 says, “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.” Responsibility can have a way of making us indecisive. Don’t be afraid to make decisions. Make them with conviction. Make them to please God. Learn, grow, and repeat!

As you step into the next stage of life, God Himself goes before you into your next season of life! Deuteronomy 31:8 – The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.


Pastor Mark & Gabi Passarella

Mark Passarella
Internship & Summer Camp Director – Eagles’ Wings Ministries
Youth Pastor – The Tabernacle of Orchard Park

Pastor’s Pen: Daddy, You Taught Me to Live My Life in 3D Color

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Greetings to My Tabernacle Family:

This is “Father’s Day” and I am ministering at Northgate Church with Pastor and Mrs. John Hasselbeck. However, today Pastor Ruddy has asked me to share with you as a spiritual father of this house.

When Jesus taught us to pray he was insistent that we use the name “Father” when we addressed God. Our Father was the creator of everything that exists. Being made in the image of God, a Father has the ability to CREATE HIS CHILD IN “HIS IMAGE”. The amazing truth that this conveys to me is since we are the “image of God,” we have been given the ability to create a new life for our children. Not only does an earthly father create life by providing his physical seed, but all through our journey as a father we “CREATE LIFE IN OUR CHILDREN”.

When I think of my father, I think of a creative, entrepreneurial person. And as a creative person, he created amazing things inside of me. I am a product of the life that he created by his very actions. Yes, because of his physical seed I am the recreation of the image of Albert Reid. Yet there is something else he created inside of me that you can see in me today. I am the living model of the man my father created in me.

In the natural, I am a shy, backward, bland, boring person. My father was colorful and exciting and I was not. He was full of life and excitement, I was not. He did life in full color, I did life in greys and blacks. But my father spent a lifetime teaching me to live life to its fullest.

He lived his life on and in the water, I was afraid of water, so he bought me my first boat when I was 15 years of age. When I shopped for my first car, he took me to look at convertibles, bright yellow and red ones. When we looked for a family car around my 16th birthday, my Dad took us to a showroom where I saw a two passenger sports car that was my dream car. My mother looked at the car and then turned and said to my Dad, “Let’s buy it, I can sit on that hump in the middle. “ Then she added, “all three of us can ride together in “style.” We never bought that car, it was too impractical, but they both said to me, “take the restrictions off, love and enjoy life.”

When I was small and afraid of lightning, my Dad would bring the ‘37 Ford around to the front of our house and say, “get in, let’s go and watch the lightning.” As we drove through the beauty of the storm, all three of us would celebrate the lightning and the thunder. I was learning to see the beauty of the storm. Dad (who was an artist) said it was like a beautiful painting that God was painting for us to enjoy. He would remind me how Jesus loved to ride in a boat in the middle of the storm.

No wonder I love fun. No wonder I love convertibles, sports cars and fast boats. No wonder I love to enjoy life. My Daddy made me that way.

I think my Daddy was like God. He showed me how not to be afraid, he was afraid of nothing. He taught me his way was better than mine. I thought in grey and black, my Daddy taught me to think in color. He taught me to live life to its fullest, to live it in color. “Daddy, you got your life from God……and you gave me the model for living life like God.”

“Daddy, it has been over 40 years since I have seen you, but you were so full of life that I can never forget the man who taught me to live. Happy Father’s Day, Daddy up there in heaven, you made me who I am, THANK YOU…..My life would be in black and white, but you taught me to live it in color. I can’t wait to see you, you must really be exciting now after over 40 years in heaven.”

Tommy Reid, Bishop Emeritus

Pastor’s Pen: The Journey is Complete, But the Journey Continues!

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Dear Tab Family,

The JOURNEY is complete!
It’s hard to believe our JOURNEY Capital Stewardship Campaign has come to an end. It seems like yesterday we were walking together to the Altar of Commitment and pledging our hearts to become better stewards of our time, talents, treasures and testimonies for the glory of God. Hopefully, during these two years, we have all grown in these graces, as well as deepened our relationship with God and others within our Tab Family.

It is important that you realize the integral part you played in the success of this Campaign. The campus updates, some very costly and many unseen, are vital to our stepping into the fullness of God’s plan for The Tabernacle. Your generous gifts have provided a greater platform for ministry to our Congregation and Community. Please receive our sincere thanks and appreciation for every prayer you have prayed and every dollar you have given, enabling us to walk together, from Legacy to Destiny!

The JOURNEY continues!
While the Capital Campaign has ended, our JOURNEY continues as we walk together from faith to faith and from glory to glory. Bishop Stearns often quotes Psalm 84:5, which declares, “Blessed are those whose strength is in You, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.” This verse is clearly a defining word for us as a people. In a very real sense, JOURNEY is a mind-set, or better yet, a heart-set, by which we determine to center on and deepen the covenant relationships we enjoy with God and with one another. None of us are in this alone, and none of us should try to go it alone! Both the declarations from Old Testament Scripture, and the depictions given of us in the New Testament, describe how God is forming a people who together represent Him in the earth – advancing His Kingdom for the good of all men and for the glory of God.

Yes, the JOURNEY is complete, but the JOURNEY continues!
Please join us in making a fresh dedication to all that God has in store for us as His people. We know His heart for us, and for that matter, for the whole world. Let’s commit ourselves for the long haul and determine to walk together into the best that is yet to come. As for me, I’m grateful I have the privilege of making this JOURNEY with you!

Traveling on together,

Pastor Jim Ruddy

Pastor’s Pen: Pentecost Together

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

On Friday, March 29, 2013, more than 13,000 believers from The Church of Western New York gathered at the First Niagara Center in downtown Buffalo to express their love for and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose Cross Death and Easter Resurrection brings eternal life to all who place their faith in Him. “Good Friday Together” is forever etched into the hearts and minds of everyone who had the joy of being part of that historic gathering, and certainly, many have longed for another such expression of faith from the broader Church in our region.

In the years that have followed, God has continued to bring unity and partnership to His church in this region, breaking down barriers and strengthening relationships. Together much has been done for the sake of the Kingdom through this glorious collaboration. And now, four years after the first historic gathering, The Church of Western New York will gather together as one in the heart of our City to celebrate “Pentecost Together.”

Make plans to join us on Friday June 9th at 7:00pm at the KeyBank Center, 1 Seymour H Knox III Plaza, Buffalo, NY 14203, as we come together as one church in this region to celebrate “Pentecost Together!”

The Church of WNY is a quite diverse body – young and old, black, white, Asian and Hispanic, city and suburban – each of us connected to what God is doing in our City and region. We recognize the need to come together in mission to ensure that every man, woman and child have the opportunity to hear, see and respond to the gospel in Western New York. As Pastor Bob Tice recently wrote in the Church of WNY 50 Day Devotional, “this loving unity-in-diversity can be a powerful witness to our fractured world. It prophetically points the way forward to that glorious future when some from every nation, people and tribe join in common praise to our one Lord, but in various languages and ways (Rev. 7:9).”

Our ongoing prayer is that we will truly be “The Church of WNY” – one body in different locations, each of us committed to building meaningful relationships with one another, unifying in order to see our City and entire region saturated with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Don’t miss this epic evening of unity and ministry as we gather on June 9th to celebrate “Pentecost Together!”*

With expectation,

Pastor Jim Ruddy

* “Pentecost Together” is a non-ticketed, free event. All are welcome!