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Pastor’s Pen: Pastoral Care

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Hello Tabernacle Family!

I’m grateful to be able to share with you about the ministry that I am honored to be a part of…Pastoral Care! I am happy to be a part of your lives in a very special way and to share in your stories. To be able to support and care for people in times of sadness, loss, and fear, as well as in times of happiness, achievements, and successes is such a privilege. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of what God is doing in you at all stages and seasons, to cry with you, laugh with you, and pray things through together.

Romans 12:4-5 (NIV). “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”

We have a wonderful Pastoral Care team who go above and beyond to make people feel that they are special and that they are a part of our community. The Pastoral Care team ministers to our church family in many ways; by making visits in hospitals, nursing/rehab centers, and homes, by sending cards to members who can no longer attend services, and by making calls throughout the week to connect with people. Pastoral Care also attends to the needs of people interested in being water baptized, having their children dedicated, and we are there for them when they have to walk through a loved one’s funeral, or the excitement of a wedding. This church could not have the impact that it does without the help of the Pastoral Care Team.

If you think you would like to be a part of this ministry, if you have a heart for people and would like to serve them, please call or come by and see me or Pastor Jo Ann. We would love to hear your story, too!

Blessings,

Jamie Procknal

Pastor’s Pen: Fresh Opportunities to Seek the Lord

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Dear Tabernacle family,

As we enter the New Year, we have several fresh opportunities to seek the Lord together in corporate worship, fellowship and the study of God’s Word. As you know, Pastor JoAnn Angelo has begun a new study on the Miracles of Jesus each Sunday morning at 9:00am in the Reid Leadership Center. I know that you will be enriched by sitting under her ministry and learning more about the amazing life and ministry of our Savior.

Next, this past Wednesday evening, I had the joy of opening a brand new study of The Life of David. Although this past week focused on an entire timeline of the Old Testament, showing where David fits into the marvelous story of redemption, this Wednesday night, we will begin our study of David’s life in earnest. We’ll start with an in-depth look at Saul, Israel’s 1st king; his selection by the people and how his disappointing fall from grace opened the door for David to arise, a man after God’s own heart.

Each week, we provide study notes so you can do further study and go deeper in the Word. Also, the services are live streamed on Facebook and you can download the study notes as you are watching.

Our Wednesday evenings are not only about studying the scripture, but also about entering The Tabernacle of David as we pray together and experience the nearness of God‘s presence. I hope you’ll consider joining me as we go further into the Word and the Spirit, learning and growing together as disciples of the Lord.

Finally, let me encourage you to purchase Bishop Robert’s book, “Prepare the Way,” and sign up to join a home group to study together. These choice occasions will give us more opportunity to draw closer to God and to one another.

Thank you for being part of a family that desires to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus. I’m looking forward to an amazing year with you.

Pastor Jim Ruddy

Pastor’s Pen: The Miracles of Jesus

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

Removing the miracles of Jesus from the Gospels would leave gaping holes in the truth of God’s Word. This study is about Jesus Christ the same yesterday today and forever! Hebrews 13:8. Jesus came with a plan. It was to proclaim the Glory of the Father and to reestablish the Kingdom of God through the manifestation of His divine power in action. It was Heaven touching earth to demonstrate His power and authority. Jesus came to raise up a people who would rule in this Kingdom. Those who were hungry and thirsty for God’s presence and power in their own lives and in the world around them. It was through miracles, signs and wonders that He confirmed the true revelation of the power and glory of God.

Acts 2:22 Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested by God
to you by miracles signs and wonders which God did through Him in your midst.

A Miracle is a supernatural intervention by God into a situation that would not otherwise change (healing, raising the dead). A Sign is a miraculous act that appeals to the understanding (related to fact ‘I saw you under the fig tree’). A Wonder is something strange causing the beholder to marvel (turning water into wine). All three are divine manifestations that indicate a supernatural power at work. Jesus did these things in their midst but not all understood. But, Jesus became the model for all who would accept the invitation to invade the impossible in His name. He performed signs, wonders and miracles as a man in right relationship with God, depending on the Holy Spirit.

It is important for us to remember, Jesus never allowed His supernatural acts to interfere with His prayer life and His devotion to the Father. His miracles were always accompanied by prayers of thanksgiving, giving God all the honor and glory. When He tells us “Greater Works will you do” He is counting on the fact that we understand all miracles that demonstrate power and authority come from the Father and we only access them through prayer, fasting and faith.

In His Name,

Pastor Jo Ann Angelo

Pastor’s Pen: God’s Faithfulness

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

Today, on this 52nd Sunday of 2017, we bring another year to a close. As we anticipate the fresh year that awaits, let me encourage you to pause and reflect upon God’s faithfulness to you over these past 12 months. Yes, we could delve further into the past than just these last 365 days, but take a moment to remember where you were at this point last year. What was happening in your life when 2016 was coming to an end? Were you experiencing heartache or sorrow over a recent loss? Perhaps you were fearing what the next days or weeks might have in store as you stepped into the New Year? Where there relational, medical, financial, or some other areas of concern, that gripped your heart in that hour? Can you remember wondering, “How will I ever make it?”

Well, beloved, here you are, a full year later; so, let me celebrate with you today: You made it! By God’s grace, and His faithful grip on your life, He held onto you, guiding, and guarding your heart through what may have been the most turbulent time of your life. He was there, each of the days that comprised the past dozen months – hour by hour, moment by moment, breath by breath. He was there, although at times you may have sensed His absence more that His presence. He was there, though He seemed silent when it seemed you needed to hear His voice the most. He was there – His eyes upon you and His heart toward you, fully confident in His ability to bring you through the days you never thought you would survive.

He was there, and He is here! It may be that everything that you were facing as 2017 opened has yet to be fully resolved, but take hope in this: The same God who walked with you throughout this past year has promised to walk with you in the New Year. No matter what circumstance or situation you are facing today, you can declare with confidence, “I am going to make it!” Such a pronouncement does not arise from a sense of self-reliance, where you think you have what it takes to make it on your own, but instead, it bursts forth from a heart of Christ-dependence. Having personally experienced God’s faithfulness in your past and present hours, you are now fully persuaded that He will be just as faithful in the days that lie ahead.

In God’s grip,

Pastor Jim Ruddy

Pastor’s Pen: Make Room for Jesus

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

Most of us are familiar with circumstances of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. Joseph and Mary were turned aside by a “No Vacancy” sign at the Inn. As a result, the incarnation occurred in the lowliest of places, as Mary, “brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Lu. 2:7).

THE WORDS, “NO ROOM” MARKED EVERY ASPECT OF JESUS’ COMING.

THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR JESUS AT HIS BIRTH
It was a difficult night in Bethlehem. The City was overcrowded with people coming to register for the Caesar’s census. Every available accommodation was taken. A more important guest would never come knocking, Jesus was turned away.

THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR JESUS IN HIS LIFE
Jesus explained the kind of difficulties He continually faced: “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay His head.” (Mt. 8:20)

THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR JESUS IN HIS DEATH
After His mock trial, Jesus died an agonizing death on another man’s cross. He took the place of Barabbas, who was released from the penalty of his crime because Jesus died in his place (Lu. 23:18-24).

THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR JESUS IN HIS BURIAL
After Jesus had died, Joseph of Arimathaea, requested His body from Pilate. After preparing the Lord for burial, he laid Him in the tomb Joseph had intended for himself. Jesus could not even claim His own grave (Mt. 27:57-60).

THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR JESUS IN HIS RESURRECTION
Jesus’ resurrection was refuted by the Jewish religious leaders and then covered up by lies and falsehoods. (Mt. 28:12-15). Even to our day, this supreme victory is doubted and criticized.

There was “No Room” for Jesus in His Birth, Life, Death, Burial or Resurrection, but you and I can write a different story. This Christmas, with open and joyful hearts, let’s determine to do everything we can to make room for Jesus! Merry Christmas!
With joy,

Pastor Jim Ruddy

Pastor’s Pen: The Importance of Children

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

I have heard it said that Christmas is for children. Certainly, no one can argue that children approach the holiday with a wide-eyed wonder that is often lost as we grow older. When our lives are consumed with the busyness, the shopping, the parties, the “To Do” lists, it is hard to find the time to turn our hearts and minds to the awesome reality of the Christmas story.

The great and holy God of the universe came to earth as a tiny baby in a manger so that we might be reconciled to Him. God chose the form of a baby to accomplish one of the most significant events in human history. That baby in the manger would become our Savior and Lord. Children are an important part of the kingdom. Jesus repeatedly used children as an example of how we are to live.

Today our preschool department is presenting a short musical program for your enjoyment. We pray that you will be blessed and uplifted. We also pray that, as you watch the program today, you will open your heart to what God may be saying to you about becoming involved in our children’s ministries here at The Tabernacle. Every week, a dedicated group of volunteers donate their time and energy to teach our children. There are never enough workers. We need help in all areas from nursery to pre-teen, on Sunday morning, Sunday night and Tuesday night. Whatever your ability or availability, we will find a place for you. If you would like to volunteer, call Pam Kellner at 712-1711 or Adam Batt at 712-1718.

In Matthew 18:5, Jesus said, “Whoever receives one little child like this in my name receives me.” Put yourself in position to receive abundant blessing by offering your time as a gift to God and to the children of this church. You might just reclaim some of that wonder and joy that has been missing from your celebration of Christmas.

Blessings,

Pamela Kellner

Pastor’s Pen: The Gift of His Presence

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

As a child, I remember standing in this sanctuary with my family, listening to the sounds of worship filling the room. I remember feeling something that I couldn’t quite explain, something both beautiful and powerful. I would look at the faces of people standing near us and see expressions of peace and joy. Hands were raised, voices were singing, and they were all lifting up one name – Jesus! What I could not articulate as a child, yet felt in my heart, was the wonder of God’s presence being enthroned in an atmosphere of corporate worship. I am grateful beyond words for those experiences as a child and throughout the years of my life.

This morning, our Kairos Kids Worship and Arts Choir will be ministering in worship by sharing God’s Word, leading in song and in dance. I am so grateful for the opportunity they have, not only to join our corporate worship experience, but to step out in their gifts and lead. Since September, I have had the pleasure of working with these children every week in various forms of worship and arts. They have been singing, drawing, dancing, and even trying some fun drama techniques. Also, we take time each week to reflect on God’s Word and pray for one another. If there is one thing I hope, it is that all of our children at The Tabernacle grow to love God’s presence both personally and corporately. I am so grateful to have been raised in a church family that has always prioritized the presence of God. What greater gift could we give our young people than an open door to experience all the Lord has for us in His very presence? Thank you Bishop Stearns, Bishop Reid and Pastor Ruddy for keeping that door open for us all. Pastor Aimee, thank you for your friendship and for your vision of worship that extends to and covers our precious Tab Kids!

I would like to personally thank all the parents for your help and support this year as the vision for Kairos Kids Worship and Arts Choir has been unfolding. Your kids are amazing and a joy to work with! A big thank you goes out to Amy Gould for covering administrative details, to Danielle Cofta for working with our children in dance, and to Kayla Sych for media arts oversight. One Call Worship ministry, thank you for supporting our kids today as they lead!

Come, let us adore Him together,

Erin Paolercio
Worship Minister, Kairos Kids W&A Director

Pastor’s Pen: God’s Love

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

As we open the Advent Season, a time of preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas, it’s fitting that we give ear to the truths presented in our Holiday Musical, “Wrapped in Love!”

When I consider the theme of love in the Bible, I am always drawn to the inspired words found in the 1st Epistle of the Apostle John. John, who is affectionately known as “the apostle of love” pens these 105 verses as a love-letter to the Church, and in doing so, he uses the word “love” 46 times, comprising 25% of his letter! If anyone would be qualified to speak about the subject it would have to be John, seeing he was shown a unique, personal affection by Jesus himself. Six times in his Gospel, John refers to himself as “The disciple whom Jesus loved,” and we see him sitting closest to Jesus at the Last Supper.

Who better to give us a definition of what constitutes true love besides John. “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 Jn. 4:7-8). These last three words form one of the most profound statements of the whole Bible and perhaps, for many people today, one of the hardest to believe: God is love! When we look at the world with all its evil and suffering, we may be tempted to question, “How can there be a God who really loves?” Yet, in the face of all this, John insists, love is the very nature of God.

Never was more meaning crowded into a few words than into this short phrase, God is love! John is not identifying a quality or characteristic which God possesses, but instead, he is making a statement about the essence of God’s being. It is not simply that God loves, but that He is love. That is, in His very nature, God is love. Love is not to be understood as one of God’s many activities; but rather that all of God’s activity is loving activity. Hatred, envy, malice, evil all have their source in something else other than God. He neither originates them, commends them, nor approves them. God is love, and love is never absent from His being or from any of His actions.

The fullest expression of God’s love came to us in the Person of His Son, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. God gave the gift of His Son, wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, placed Him in a manger, and offered this gift of love to, “Whosoever will!” My prayer is that you will receive this gift and allow your entire life to be wrapped in God’s amazing love.

In God’s love,

Pastor Jim Ruddy

Pastor’s Pen: Wrapped in Love

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Hello Tabernacle Family,

The holiday season is in full swing for all of us! Allow me to be the first to say, “Welcome Home to Christmas at The Tabernacle!”

This past week we organized, packed, and distributed approximately 600 food baskets for Thanksgiving through the ministry of our Food Panty, under Jim and Lisa Delmont. Stories continue to pour in of the miraculous events that took place as each basket was taken to Individual homes: stories of salvation, reconciliation, provision and miracles.

Now we kick-off the Christmas Season this week with our Christmas Musical, “Wrapped in Love.” Our incredible Worship & Arts team has spear-headed a production that truly depicts the only love that will consume the longing of every heart!

“Who would have guessed that in that time and place One would be born into our world who would one day fill His life so much with the experience of God, so much with the love of God, that in Him thousands upon thousands would be moved to make the incredible claim that they had actually met their God in person.

This is the night when God sent out a love letter of cosmic proportions. This is the night in the little town of Bethlehem when God and humanity were joined as a bride and groom on their wedding day.

And as Jesus grew and went out into the world, so our understanding of just how much God loves us also grew.
We find in Jesus that God’s love doesn’t demand perfection, that forgiveness isn’t given away sparingly but recklessly and indiscriminately, that unconditional really means unconditional, and that God’s love is completely and thoroughly inclusive.”

Narration, “Wrapped in Love”
Excerpt from a sermon by Rev. Bill Adams
“The Original Love Story” 2001

With every moment of this production, you will be deeply moved by narrations such as this alongside beautiful music of our professional orchestra and Tabernacle vocal team. What an amazing opportunity we have to share the unconditional love of Christ with so many hearts that are open this time of year!

May I encourage you to make every effort to attend one or more of the performances this coming weekend? We also need your help to spread the word throughout our community. There are still some posters, postcards, and tickets available at the information counters in both Atriums for you to distribute — any businesses you may frequent or community hubs near you will be glad to hang our posters or carry a stack of tickets.

May you find yourself intimately wrapped in the love of God, as we enter the Christmas season together as The Tabernacle Family!

See you this weekend at “Wrapped in Love” …
Saturday, December 2nd at 3:00 and 7:00pm
Sunday, December 3rd at 7:00pm
Pre-service live jazz combo begins a half-hour before each performance.

Pastor Aimee

Pastor’s Pen: Give Thanks

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“… Be thankful to Him, and bless His Name. For the Lord is good and His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” Psalm 100:4b-5

Dear Tabernacle Family,

This past Thursday, our annual All-Church Dinner was held in the Activity Center with approximately 175 from our church family in attendance. It was such a privilege for the Jubilee Ministry to be able to sponsor this event for The Tabernacle family. Thank you for giving us the opportunity. I want to thank all who worked so hard to make it possible. It is our desire that those who attended were able to enlarge their circle of acquaintances and that they will develop further into friendships.

Personal memories of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday in that we don’t get caught up in the whirlwind of shopping for presents and becoming totally exhausted before the day arrives. Some of my fondest and deepest holiday memories are centered around the family Thanksgiving table at my grandparent’s house. Friends or family members, not seen regularly, would appear for dinner. There was always a place at the table and plenty of food. This generation, which seemed so old to me, was forever influenced by their life experiences of the Great Depression and World War II. While not remembering the content of their stories about a world I didn’t know, I was fascinated by the stories they would share.

My grandmother and the other ladies would work their culinary skills to transform the turkey, etc. into a wonderful feast for the family. Then came that very special time as we sat at the table when my grandfather or father would lead the family in thanksgiving to the Lord for His goodness and all that He had bestowed upon us.

Maria and I have now moved into that older generation role, and hope and pray that we are demonstrating to our family similar values and memories as we have received.

Thanksgiving Day.

This week our nation will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day. For many, it will be merely a time of uncontrolled consumption of food and beverage and watching football. For others, holidays can be a lonely season; for those serving in the military away from home or those who have recently lost a member of their family. Look for an opportunity to bless someone who will not have someone to share the day with.

Let us demonstrate to the world around us that this is a time for families to share life experiences; and bless the Lord and give thanksgiving to Him.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Pastor Al Baun