Friday, March 31, 2006

In My Father's House

"In My Father's House," Craig Claudin's 18 minute video of orphanage work in Liberia that Tenth and Rafiki are together supporting is now available. This ministry is one of the ESO projects. Click here to see the entire video or go to the front page of Tenth's website and click for the ESO offering. Dot has the video posted on the website.

Emmanuel Service

You are invited to attend the Organizational Service of Emmanuel Church this Sunday, April 2nd, @ 4:30PM. The service will be held at Emmanuel Church which is at the corner of 48th and Spruce Streets in West Philadelphia. There is street parking and in a lot at the rear of the building.

The circumstance is that the Korean speaking Emmanuel Church, which belongs to an all Korean presbytery in the PCA, is allowing its English speaking members to form a daughter church and enter into the Presbytery Philadelphia. Phil and a couple of our elders have assisted the new congregation in elder training.

Christians in Education

An interesting education forum is being held next Thursday. Click here for info.

Change of Plans

Aaron Messner's grandfather passed away suddenly on Wednesday. He was a 90 year old Christian saint. Aaron is traveling home to conduct the funeral on Monday, and will be away this Sunday. Be in prayer for his family and for him as he ministers to them.

I will be filling in Sunday evening. The sermon will be "The Cross and the Father." The text Isaiah 52:13-53:10. It addresses the subject of God the Father being responsible for his Son's death and what the implications are.

Best aerobics workout

For a number of weeks (before life came crashing in on my schedule) I had the joy of being in the choir. What a wonderful time! If you have any joy in singing, this is the place you should be whether it is in the full choir, men's choir, Schola or ensembles. Paul Jones is a wonderful teacher (as are the other assistant conductors) but he does require you to be ready to work (I left my first rehearsal worn out!), able to count (without taking off your shoes) and willing to offer yourself to the Lord in music. The conviviality makes for a team atmosphere, everyone helps to keeps you on track (and pitch) with what is going on (Andrew once complimented me on the harmony I was singing when we were supposed to be singing the same part!), and the interns sit in the front row (but don't think that Paul won't hear your single voice -- he does!).

I learned so much about the music we were singing, the way we could express it and the enjoyment of blending my voice and soul with others in music.

Stealthy Gideon

Do you know Brother Phil (of course you do, everyone knows Brother Phil who punctuates our worship with "amen" like "selahs" in the Psalms -- to make us think and meditate)? Well he is about to become a Gideon. "The Gideons International serves as an extended missionary arm of the church: Our sole purpose is to win men, women, boys and girls to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ through association for service, personal testimony, and distributing the Bible in the human traffic lanes and streams of everyday life." ( If you know Brother Phil, then you know he has been a Gideon all of his life, but now it will be "official". Congratulations!!

Stepping it up

Have you ever closed your eyes and just found yourself transported to another place? For a number of weeks while I joined choir rehearsals (I should write about this...hum), I had the joy of sitting beside Andrew Crow. What a voice! In between practices, he was flying all over the country applying to various doctoral programs. How wonderful (though not too surprising) to hear he has been accepted at Indiana University, Boston University and University of North Carolina. Now comes the choices....

Congratulations to the Crows!

Sabbatical Report

David Apple reports that he is having a productive sabbatical, getting 2-3 pages written daily on his book about doing mercy ministry in churches. However, he is also struggling with severe back pain. Be in prayer that the pain will get relief and he will be able to continue with productive work.

ESO Recipients


Here is a link to an article in World Magazine about rebuilding efforts in Mississippi. It mentions First Presbyterian Church, Biloxi which will be one of the recipients of Tenth’s Easter Sacrificial Offering this year.

The other projects for this year are:

YouthCare Malawi, providing support for a new building to house their children’s home and after school program for at-risk teens.

New Hope Liberia and Rafiki Foundation, providing food and other necessities for orphans in Liberia and building a medical clinic in the new Rafiki Village there (

Casa Providencia, continuing to build and provide for the children’s home in Santa Marta that Tenth has supported for several years.

African Enterprise, Prostitute Rehabilitation in Ghana, providing support to rehabilitate former prostitutes that they may receive Christ through spiritual training along with learning life sustaining skills. This enables them to begin a marketable trade and provide for their children (


Funeral Service

Clara Stallworth's father's funeral is this Tuesday, April 4th. The viewing is from 9-11am at Deliverance Evangelical Church on 21st and Lehigh. The service will be held at 11am.

CCA Banquet

Spring is fundraising banquet season, and City Center Academy's is next Friday, April 7. Invitations are going out by table hosts, but it occurs to me that some of my blog readers may want to attend and would like to be asked. If you fit that category, email me. The purpose of the banquet, of course, is to present the school to potential donors. Others who would come would be families looking for a school, others who may want to get personally involved with CCA, and still others who are church leaders who can publicize the school in their churches and communities.

It will be a fun evening. Instead of bringing in an outside speaker, the program will present teachers, students, and alumni "Celebrating the School Family." So you will get a good feel for the school.

So again, email me at, if you would like to attend, and I will see that you get an invite.

Music History

At the last music concert, Paul Jones gave a 30 minute Power Point presentation on the history of music at Tenth. It was well received and we encouraged him to give it again. The result is that he will be giving the presentation this Sunday in Fellowship Hall as part of an open luncheon for the church. I encourage you to attend.

Liberian Orphans Video

I heard that Craig Claudin's video on Liberian orphans, shown last Sunday at the Missions luncheon, is powerful. If you missed it, you can see it April 9, where it will be shown after each worship service, morning and evening. It is ten minutes long. Don't know yet where it will be shown.

A Silver Lining

Tomorrow is a big day for Elliot Silver. He will be "renewing" his marriage vows. He and his bride, Deborah, were married last week in Israel where she had been living, and tomorrow they are having a service here. Pray for the Lord's blessings on the ceremony and their marriage.

It Doesn't Get Any Better...

What a beautiful day! I got a great night's rest. Enjoyed the fresh air of the morning and walked in to find Quill chocolate chip cookies at the receptionist's desk before Pat Canavan could steal them.

What a fitting follow up to last night. At 4:10 I said to Jonathan, "Let's go to Madison Square Garden."

"You serious?"

"You say you'll go and I will get the tickets."

He calls his wife; I call my wife, and by 5:00 we are on the train. (Are they great or what! And thanks, Carroll, for the drop off.)

By 7:00, with burgers and fries in our laps we are watching South Carolina dismantle Michigan in the NIT Championship game, 76-64, becoming only the second team to win back-to-back NIT championships. And as if that were not enough, the team we beat last year was Pat Canavan's St. Joseph's; this year's Jonathan's and Rick Phillips' Michigan. Life is good.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

We're Off

We are GOING! Jonathan Olsen and I are dashing off now to catch the 5:00 train to New York to see my Carolina Gamecocks play his Michigan Spartans for the NIT Championship. Bye!

New SS Class

Jim Weidenaar is teaching a new SS class at the 11:00 hour in Delancey 2West (Pat Canavan's office). The class is on Lamentations. This is in direct response to an alert blog reader who noticed that there was not a class for general audiences meeting at that time. Yes, I do read your comments!

Sunrise Preacher

Hot off the press: Geoff Bradford, co-pastor of liberti, will be preaching at the Easter Sunrise Service.

Churches on Site

Here is a list of presbytery churches and mission churches with websites for your perusal.

Christ Liberation Fellowship
Crossroads Community Church (Upper Darby)
Emmanuel (mother church of English speaking Korean congregation)
New City Church
New Life Glenside
New Life Philadelphia
Pilgrim Church
Rock of Israel
Third Reformed


Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday morning. Remember to spring ahead one hour before going to bed; otherwise you will be walking into church one hour late. Please note that I used the correct spelling of DST - "Saving" not "Savings." Next year in 2007, the dates for clock changes will be the second Sunday in March and first Sunday in November. Did you know that Arizona and Hawaii do not observe DST (although the Navajo Nation in Arizona does)?

How, you wonder, have I gained such expert knowledge? Click here to go to a simple, interesting site that will make you as smart as I.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Aaron the Evangelist

I noticed in a Session report that Aaron Messner has been doing evangelistic preaching in S. Philly for PEF (Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship). He gave three Saturday night talks on "The Person and Work of Christ." About 50 people attended, most of whom were unchurched.

Under Care

Trey Holloway came before the Session last night requesting to be recommended by us to come under care of presbytery. This is the first step for a person seeking to be ordained. We unanimously approved him.

The names of Tenth members under care (and/or licensed to preach) is incomplete in the Annual Report. The full list is:

Bernard Aubert, Daryl Bird, Maranatha Chung, Luke Herche, Jay Hood, Jason Hsu, Donald Kim, Steve Kline, Jonathan Olsen, Christopher Seah, Brian So, Jedidiah Slaboda, Moses Wong, and Jim Weidenaar.


Session met last night. We continue to have fruitful discussions around the Strategic Planning initiative. We will be meeting this Saturday morning to hear presentations from different ministries based on the original ministry surveys conducted early on. Pray about this. I can't go into details, but the unique "problem" before us is that there is much potential in many directions. The elders will have to make some difficult decisions in the weeks ahead.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

From the Field in Biloxi

Missions sends this report:

Sue Hoyt called with a report from the team in Mississippi. The team arrived safely and are in good health. They are working on a drywall job on a house in Biloxi, Mississippi. The flooding was up to the rafters in the house, and the damage is extensive. A number of houses nearby were destroyed completely. Dave Brand, the pastor at First Presbyterian, Biloxi, has developed a relationship with the couple who own the house, Marty and Theresa. They left during the storm and then returned—a contractor took money from them to repair their home, but never returned to do any work. Pastor Dave mentioned that while people call for rebuilding help, they really want to tell their stories, so much of his time is spent listening.

Pray for Sue who is coordinating cooking at the church. Tonight is a big dinner for the whole church, so there is a lot to manage. The team has enjoyed getting to know and work with some of the teams from other churches. They are overwhelmed by the great need in the area, and note that work will likely continue for years. The team returns to Philadelphia on Saturday, so has a full week ahead!

Veritas Forum

A committee of Christian students from Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges is hosting a Veritas Forum this week on their respective campuses. The Veritas Forum gives believing and non-believing students the opportunity to engage in dialogue on life's most difficult questions and to hear answers from a Christian worldview. The theme of this week's forum is suffering (i.e. If God is good, then why is there suffering in the world?). All are welcomed to attend either discussion. Haverford College will host the first Veritas conversation with guest speaker Dr. Ellen Charry this Wednesday, March 29 at 8pm in the Stokes Auditorium at Haverford College. Bryn Mawr College will host a second Veritas conversation with guest speaker Dr. Catherine Kroeger this Thursday, March 30 at 7pm in Carpenter Library room 21. Please pray that those who have ears will hear the message of the gospel.

Davis Move

Mark Davis, Headmaster of Phil-Mont, will be assuming the Head of School position at Lexington Christian Academy in Massachusetts. Pray for Mark and his family in their move this summer, as well as for Phil-Mont in its search for a new headmaster.

KUC Visit

The pastoral staff of KUC (Korean United Church) is visiting our staff today from 11-2. This is a reciprocal trip; we visited them a few months ago. KUC is located on Cheltenham Avenue and 12th Street. Dr. Jae Song Kim is the pastor.


Thanks to Joel Garver and Paul Duggan who yet again filled in for me in writing the "A Proverb a Day" devotionals. I can go away without worry knowing that not only will they keep their commitment, but write thoughtful and thought-provoking devotionals.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Books! Books! Books!

The next two Sundays, April 2 and 9, get books, tapes and videos at bargain prices at the Tenth Library Book Take-Away event. Come to our table in Reception Hall after each service to see our wide selection, make a donation and take home your favorites.

Opera Through Christian Eyes

Diana Frazier sent this to me:

"Great Opera Arias Through Christian Eyes" written and performed by Dr. Diane Poythress accompanied Emily Fantuzzo, and soprano Suzannah Waddington accompanied by Dr. Sam Hsu, with Dr. Vern Poythress as narrator. Mrs. Poythress has put together a fascinating treatment of opera via a Christian perspective: it'll be music to your soul! Saturday April 1, 7:00pm. Westminster Theological Seminary, in Glenside, PA. Rust Auditorium in Van Til Hall. Admission is free, reception to follow.

From the Field

From the CCA field report sent in by Linda Boice:

Dear Marion,

So much of our teaching is like farming, though in an urban setting! Tilling the ground, breaking it up so that seeds can be sown, planting the seeds and then providing water and weeding. And in the end the Lord has to see that those seeds germinate and grow and produce a good crop. One of our senior girls, whose four years at CCA have sometimes been rocky, and not always visibly productive, went to Mrs. Calvanico, one of our two excellent Bible teachers. The young woman was upset about the way a friend had been treating her, and felt let down and discouraged. Her question to her former teacher was about how to react to someone who seems no longer to be your friend. Could Mrs. Calvanico give her a verse to help her react in the right way? Mrs. C. said she knew of several, but wanted a few days to think about it. Several days later she had a list of verses and passages and shared them to our student. The student was deeply encouraged. She went home and told her mother that she would take that list to college with her, because she knew that the Scripture passages would be a help in the days and years ahead. The mother, in telling me this, was rejoicing at the help and godly encouragement her daughter had received.

So we continue to till, and plant, water and weed, and pray for good growth in the lives of our students.

CCDA and John Perkins

Click here to read the lastest newsletter for the CCDA meeting in the fall. John Perkins is in town. I believe we are having him preach here one Sunday in the summer.

LAMP Open House

Dear Brother/Sister in Christ,

My name is Mark Sarracino and for those of you who do not know me, I am the Philadelphia Site Coordinator for Leadership and Ministry Preparation (LAMP) which is part of CityNet Ministries. LAMP is a training program for urban pastors/church planters and workers.The reason I am writing to you is because we will be having a LAMP Open House on Thursday, March 30th from 7:30-9:00PM at Pilgrim Church. The address is 3815 Terrace St. Philadelphia, PA 19128. Pilgrim Church is located between Ridge and Main St. in the Manayunk section of the city.We would like to invite you and/or others who are a part of your local body who have a Call from the Lord to the ministry and who desire further training in the ministry. LAMP offers either a Bachelor of Divinity or a Master of Divinity depending on previous diplomas/degrees earned. Classes meet once per week from 7-10PM and the program is six years in length. The way in which we are seeking to raise up godly leadership in the urban context is by offering quality training that is biblically grounded and practical in orientation addressing issues of the heart not just the head. For this reason, mentors are vital in the process of training our candidates. Also, since LAMP is practical in its orientation, all trainees are required to be involved in ministry and they must be recommended by their pastor.

Presently, we have 23 trainees in two groups. There are five different ethnic groups represented coming from seventeen different churches. The cost of LAMP is $1500 per year. We are seeking to keep the cost affordable and make the training available to those in the urban context. If you or anyone in your church/ministry is interested in attending the Open House, please respond at your earliest convenience so we can plan accordingly. May the Lord richly bless you as you walk with Him. You can either email me or call the number below.God bless you.Mark E. Sarracino LAMP Philadelphia Site Coordinator

DATE: March 30, 2006
TIME: 7:30-9:00pm
LOCATION: Pilgrim Church
MORE: 3815 Terrace St. Philadelphia, PA 19128
phone: 610.457.9594


We received this thank you by email:

Dear fellow believers:

I just finished reading the fourth volume of James Montgomery Boice's Romans. In the preface, Boice thanked the elders and congregation of Tenth Presbyterian Church who encouraged him to spend so much time in sermon preparation. I have used his writings many times in preparing to teach Sunday School, and I too thank you. What a great investment your church made! Christians the world over will continue to be blessed by Boice's works until our Lord returns. I pray God's blessings on you and your current pastor. May God continue to use Tenth Presbyterian Church in a great way.

In Christ,

Jim Crockett
Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Kevin Smith in the News

Click here to read about Kevin Smith's new church in Miami.

Evans on Assignment

We are now ready to begin a five year term as Pastoral Associates under the leadership of the Spiritual Life Department of MTW working with the BEAMM team in the El Paso, TX / Juarez, Mexico area. We will continue to live where we are and visit once or twice a year seeking to build relationships with team members and encouraging them in their love of the Lord. Our first visit will be March 28 to April7; so we would appreciate your prayer support. We can't do without it!

John and Nell Evans

280 Emails on the Wall...

I have 280 emails to sort through since being away.

Study Leave Results

Thank you to all who were praying for me during my two-week study leave. It was very productive. I have written twelve 10-minute talks on the subject of communicating and ministering in the church. I hope to have them recorded and posted on the church website within a couple of weeks, along with written manuscript as well.

I am now thinking of further use to make of them. One thought is to conduct on online class using the materials - perhaps a half-hour or one hour long segment each. I'll be asking Tobias and John about it. If you have ideas, let me know. Sunday's Tenth Press article will give a fuller explanation of the contents. But I'll go ahead and list the table of contents now.

Introduction – Speaking the Truth in Love
1. Encourage
2. Speak the Whole Truth
3. Listen
4. Inquire
5. Address Behavior Not Speculated Motive
6. Consider Fears and Joys
7. Thoughtful Speech
8. Honesty
9. Theologically Correct
10. Know Yourself
Conclusion – The Process Matters

Cambodia Teaching Positions

Teaching Positions - Cambodia
Hope International School in Phnom Penh has vacancies for teachers in the following areas. Starting August 2006

Elementary/ Primary teacher; English as a second language; Special needs
Secondary teachers grades 7 – 11 in the following subjects areas: English, History, Geography, Science, Biology, Mathematics, Computing, Music, Art, Bible, PE, French

It is preferable if secondary teachers are able to teach a range of subjects. Teachers need to be a practicing Christian and have a heart to serve MK’s overseas. Teaching qualifications are essential . You need to able to demonstrate good teaching practise and provide referees.
Commence August 2006. An allowance is provided to cover the necessary living expenses. It is an exciting opportunity to be a part of God’s plan in Cambodia.

Please contact the director for further information and registration of interest.

Back in the Saddle

Well, it's good to be back in my study. I want to thank Carroll for ably keeping the blog going. I appreciate the way I can depend on him to... Wait a second... Why are there pictures of his family on my shelves? Why is there a Canadian flag on my wall?... Where are my books?