Saturday, June 03, 2006

Picnic Cancelled

Due to rain, the church picnic is cancelled for today.

Friday, June 02, 2006

No Problem

How Phil is preparing to take off for three months after Sunday:

"Marion, can you take care of this and this? Oh, and this and this? And if you have time, maybe this and this?"

Trinity Symposium

The Trinity Symposium presents:
A Case for the Relevance of the Ancient
in the 21st Century Church
Daniel L. Schwartz
Ph.D. Candidate, Princeton University

Please join us Tuesday, June 6 at 7:30pm at Trinity OP Church in the social hall. There will be an opportunity for questions and discussion. All are welcome. Light refreshments are provided. A nursery is available for young children. For more information click here. For directions click here.

Trinity Orthodox Presbyterian Church
151 West County Line Rd., Hatboro PA 19040-1807

On the Field

Sue Hoyt is on the phone with me right now reporting from Mississippi. Mary and Marlene (the house owners) are with them and plan to join them for church on Sunday. Teams from NC and Virginia are also with them. Jeff Fisher is doing electrical work; Sue, Mary Thompson and Tom Witmer are putting up siding. They are filling up on fried oysters and staying at First Presbyterian in Biloxi (has air conditioning!). They return the end of next week and value our prayers.

Funeral Service

The funeral for Vince Spragins' mother Patricia is scheduled for next Friday, June 9, at Tenth. A viewing will be at 9:30 am, the service at 10:30, to be followed by a reception in Reception Hall.

They're Off!

Just talked to Carroll. Pat Russell's moving truck is loaded up and Nancy is driving off.

Church Picnic

Don't forget the church picnic tomorrow, 12-7. For complete information, see previous posting below.

Prayer Request

I've just received news that Vince Spragin's mother Patricia passed away last night, evidently in her sleep. Please be in prayer for the family.

Of Music and Art

Have finished two stimulating books - Singing and Making Music, by Paul Jones and Art for God's Sake, by Phil Ryken.

Paul's book is a collection of essays grouped in four sections: Corporate Worship, Hymnody and Psalmody, Issues, and Composers and Composition. I stronly recommend your reading if only to understand your music director's approach to worship music (and for that matter, Tenth's philosophy). You will be struck first of all by the depth of biblical research he brings to the subject. No one doubts the high level at which music is carried out at Tenth, but that very level causes some to question if music has too high a position here or that "professionalism" is valued over heart-felt worship. However one may agree or disagree with all his conclusions, you will be struck by his zeal to be biblical and to glorify God.

Phil's book is a brief dissertation of biblical principles for understanding the place of art. He writes, "To summarize, this is the Christian view of art: the artist is called and gifted by God - who loves all kinds of art; who maintains high aesthetic standards for goodness, truth, and beauty; and whose glory is art's highest goal." A good read for all Christians, it is especially a good book to give to nonChristian friends who are skeptical of how Christians perceive the place of art and of artists.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Angel Tree Tutoring

Chun Shin is stepping down as coordinator of Angel Tree Tutoring. Jennifer Barnett and Jonathan Brandenburg have agreed to co-coordinate. Pray for this new leadership team. Pray, also, for their need of a van driver come September. We thank the Lord for Chun's hard work, faithful service, and love for the children.

Of Pain and Recovery

I visited Nicole Tripp yesterday. Other than pain (as if that were a small matter), she is projected to recover (over a long period) without any surgery. To keep up with the latest news, Paul keeps a daily log at

What Was He Saying?

TCU (Tenth College Union) is changing pace a bit this summer. Each Sunday's topic of discussion will be the morning sermon. That warms the heart of a preacher, knowing that his message will actually be discussed and applied. I understand that a couple of mid-week Bible studies may be doing the same. TCU, by the way, includes graduate students (and evidently anyone who claims to have been a student or knows a student, which means you are welcome to join in).

Cool Sunday

I understand that last Sunday it was a bit warm in the sanctuary. Phil claims that it had nothing to do with his Window on the World subject of global warming. Rather the problem was a condenser that failed. Repairs have been made, and, Lord willing, we should have cooler temperatures.

Prayer Request

Pray for Diane Kearney, her father, and family. Diane's mother passed away last night after suffering a heart attack eight days ago.

Summer Bible School

What a nice morning! It is especially good to see the center city streets paved. Look this Sunday for Bible school brochures giving the listing of the summer quarter classes. But since you are faithful blog readers, you will know ahead of time what they are!

Doctrinal Attacks on the Church - Tom Martin, Merle Brubaker, others
The Peaceable Marriage - Jerry/Beverly McFarland, Tim/Sena McInnes
Acts - Paul Duggan
God's Will for Your Life - Chris Seah (TIF)
New Members Orientation - Bob/Kathy Kempf hosts

Psalms - various teachers
Christ-Centered Marriage - Jamin/Angela Ferner hosts (young & newly married couples)
Ephesians - Hugh Taylor (single adults, 35+)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Counting Crows

Andrew and Kate Crow have a new daughter - Abigail Suzanne, born about 11 am Saturday morning (May 27), weighing in at 8 pounds, 8 oz., healthy. Both mother and baby are doing well.

Apple Aboard

We welcome Anne-Cara Apple on staff who is temporarily filling in as Phil's personal assistant. She is using Pat Russell's email address and voice message box. Anne-Cara is the daughter of David and Kate Apple and a rising sophomore at the University of Penn.

Hala Moving and Co.

I talked earlier this morning to Pat Russell while she speeded on a train to Lancaster. Pat completed her job at Tenth last Friday after several years of faithful service as Phil's personal assistant. She moves on Friday. Her packers and unpackers are Carroll Wynne, Jack Lash, Aaron Messner, and John Ferguson. Her truck driver is Nancy Hala. Yes, Pat has bought moving insurance.

Church Picnic

Church Picnic June 3, Noon–7
Garrett-Williamson Estate, Newtown Square, PA

Bring your own picnic supper. Bring your own grills, food, and cooking utensils. Beverages and dessert will be provided. Plan to eat around 5:00 pm. No pets please.

The picnic will feature games and activities for all ages: swimming (1:00–4:00 pm), games for kids, volleyball, basketball, softball, and soccer. Please bring sporting equipment.

Follow Route 3 (West Chester Pike) to the first light past Route 252.
Turn left at the light onto Bishop Hollow Road, and follow the road for 1 mile.
The entrance to the estate is on the right. Follow the road to the parking lot.

Please R.S.V.P. with number of attendees, including number of children under 12 to Nancy Hala by Wednesday, May 31. (215.735.7688 or

The featured highlight is an appearance by my daughter Jean and her husband Lucas. They will be visiting for a view days before beginning their new life together in Houston.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

New Quarters

Pat Canavan gave me a walk-through of the new 2-year old nursery quarters in the Alliance building. They look great. I'd be interested in responses from parents or teachers.

Busy Sunday

A busy Sunday coming up: Bible School promotion at 9:00, Day of Prayer meetings at 9 and 11; Communion, and Congregational Meeting. The prayer meetings will be in the Catacombs at 9 and in 315 Building, 1 Rear at 11. The Bible School program will be in Fellowship Hall.

CCA Proposal

I cannot express how mind-boggling the progress of the City Center Academy request is to me. I was absent from the discussions of the Session meeting May 20, the CCA Board on May 25, the Congregational Forum May 28, all of which I would normally have played an active role in. When I first read the CCA proposal, I thought to myself that it could be little more than a pipe-wish. That it has reached the stage of going before the congregation for a vote is amazing. But then I do know some of what has been going on. The Session chose two of its members known for their business acumen to analyze how realistic the plan really was. I do know that they went at the task rigorously. I don't have a sharp business mind, but if these men gave the okay and the whole session agreed, I know that it must have a sound footing and trust the Lord's blessing.

I am not given to major declarations, but I can say that if this proposal is approved by the congregation, it will be an historic and unifying occasion for the church. In the Keller report, conducted twenty years ago by Tim Keller for the church, the number one divisive issue in the congregation noted was CCA. And now, when the future of the school is in doubt, for the church to regard her as a strategic partner to reach Philadelphia and to make such generous donations and forgiving of debt is beyond what my dreams could have been. I speak as a former CCA principal and teacher, a Board member, and a former CCA parent. I know a decision is yet to be made, but even if the congregation should choose otherwise, I appreciate the spirit which has led the leaders and the congregation to prayerfully consider the matter. From what I have been told, there has been no rancour but only a desire to determine what is God's leading for both the church and the school. I will be in daily prayer for the meeting.

By the way, to review the proposal, click here.

MNA Meeting

The MNA gathering here is for "key leaders" in church planting, which I think means any church planter, as well as leaders in church planting efforts. The 70 or so will meet this afternoon and tomorrow morning.

Back in the Saddle Again

It is good to be back home with my church and staff family. Have a stack of mail and lengthy list of email to wade through. There is some kind of MNA (Mission to North America) gathering happening here that I should go check on.

By the way, the newly married couple - Lucas and Jean Hilliard - will be in town Friday through next Wednesday. Hopefully they will make the picnic and should be in church this Sunday.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Sarah and Jean

Do I have two beautiful daughters or what?

Bride and Groom

Here is the bride and groom at the reception, which, I must say, goes down as one of the most fun ever.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Wedding Homily

We are on our way back. Spending the night in Emporia, VA. Wedding day was wonderful. I escorted an amazingly beautiful bride down the aisle. To read the homily I gave, go to the DMC Messages site on the right column or click here.