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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