Friday, June 30, 2006

Summer Sublet

2-3 rooms to sublet during the summer (July or August or both); can be rented individually. This is an 8 bedroom house with college students and recent grads living in the other bedrooms. It is fully furnished with a shared living room, dining room, kitchen and basement, washer and dryer available, cleaner once a month included in rent. Price negotiable around 485/month/room plus utilities
Contact: Abigail Brice at or 610-331-3816

Birthday Alert

When you see Cora on Sunday, wish her Happy Birthday. She celebrates it that day. Don't say anything about hearing it from me before Sunday.

Housing Wanted

I will be attending the University of Pennsylvania in the fall for grad school and working in Jenkintown so I would like to find housing or roommates around that area. My number is 215-869-6443 and my email is

Catechism Achievements

You will see this Sunday a bulletin announcement congratulating two Tenth students for reciting the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Here is most of the text from the letter sent by The American Academy instructor who wrote us.

"As an instructor in several subjects at The American Academy, one of my main duties is to supervise the children's progress in learning the Westminster Shorter Catechism. We typically devote one hour per week to this exercise, the ideal goal being complete memorization of the whole opus. In our time together over the years, several students have learned large portions of this great theological compendium. I had the pleasure last month to write to inform you of the commendable achievement of Joel Fink, son of Dr. Albert and Mrs. Shirley Fink, in being the first TAA student to complete the entire catechism. I am thrilled to let you know of the circumstances now of the second student to do so.

Tenth-grader Barbara Matej, daughter of Dr. Samuel and Mrs. Viera Matej, successfully responded to all 107 questions in one class period. Her recitation was confident, brisk, and done with an accuracy level of close to 97%... I encourage you and your congregation to take great joy and gratification from this achievement of Barbara's as evidence of the excellent foundation you are providing her and other students at Tenth, and of the partnership you have with schools like TAA.

Jonathan Rockey

Volunteers Needed

The Philadelphia Church planting partnership (of five presbyteries) is co-hosting the North American Church Planting Seminar – July 24- 28 at the National Christian Conference Center in Valley Forge. We’re praying that this will serve to advance the transformational church planting movement that God has begun in the greater Philly area. In order to provide the Seminar at the prices they do, GCA depends upon volunteers to join with them in putting on the event. Here is a brief summary of the roles/responsibilities needed to be filled:

Training Room Host/Hostess – help the trainer set up, record session, obtain evaluation forms, get GCA staff involved to solve any problems that arise- need minimum ½ day commitments (morning, afternoon or evening slots)- need coverage all 5 days – MO-FR, but you can commit to as little as ½ day- you get to participate free in the training taking place in the room you host

Registration Host/Hostess – warmly greet students and trainers, register them, answer questions- need Monday only, 8:30am – 1:00pm- attend any two training sessions free

Set-up / Break-down – help GCA staff set up chairs, tables, A/V equipment, cables, etc. on Sunday night, and reverse this on Friday afternoon- you can commit to either one or both dates (Sunday evening, Friday afternoon)- no special skills required- attend any two training sessions free for each time-slot you serve

Audio Engineer – assist GCA engineer, relieve GCA engineer on sound board, etc.- need minimum ½ day commitments (morning, afternoon or evening slots)- experience with A/V systems required- you get to participate free in the plenary training sessions in which you serve

Van driver – pick up attendees at hotel in King of Prussia, deliver to National Christian Conference Center in Valley Forge- need Sunday night July 23 and Monday morning July 24- you can commit to one or both days- attend any two training sessions free for each time slot you serve

To volunteer, click here, and on the registration page indicate “GCA Volunteer” as your “registration type.” Then complete the registration process that it will present to you. It will enable you to sign up for individual roles and for specific days/times. If you have any questions, call or e-mail Bruce Finn at or e-mail GCA directly at Thank you for your participation with us in the starting of new gospel-centered churches in this region. And thank you for considering how you and/or your friends can help with this event!

For the Nations and for Philly!
Bruce Finn
Church Planting Coordinator for the Metro Philadelphia Church Planting Partnership

Trinidad Report

Bill Langford sent in this report of his and Phil's missions trip to Trinidad.

We attended a weekend men's retreat sponsored by the Association of Evangelical Bible Churches and the Evangelical Church of the West Indies. About 100 men from various churches attended, many of them pastors and elders in their congregations. Phil's messages on Luke 15 (Prodigal Son) were well received and of much encouragement to the men. Phil quoted Spurgeon several times in his messages, and one of the pastor's later commented that there is a lot of Spurgeon in Phil Ryken. Sunday morning included a time of testimony and many of the men had words of exhortation and spiritual insight to share. After the retreat wrapped up on Sunday afternoon, a couple of the brothers took us in their "maxi-taxi" (a 25 passenger mini-bus) on a delightful tour of the island that included a swim at a beautiful beach. We returned Monday much refreshed by the time they spent among the brothers in Trinidad.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

From the Field

Scott Moreau sent in this report regarding the start of this summer's SMI (Summer Medical Institute):

Our first wave of leaders made it down to Harlingen with no events yesterday - smooth flights and connections and even some good Texas BBQ in the Houston airport. In fact, we made it from Philly to Harlingen more quickly than my family made it from Philly to Richmond by car!We spent the first afternoon unpacking supplies from the storage closet here and settling in a bit and then today the leaders are taking some time to prepare themselves spiritually and logistically with some time alone with God, unpacking and getting familiar with our theme "Let's Dance." We will be studying Galatians this summer, and today will be looking at a classic article by Rev. Tim Keller called "The Centrality of the Gospel?" and discussing it some tonight when we go to the home of our Project Director, Heath (and Jenn) Hale for dessert. Thanks for your prayers and for standing with us in ministry as we seek to be God's ambassadors here in the Rio Grande Valley.

I received this email today. You may want to check out Ben's site:

I'm Ben and attend Tenth. I heard about the summer book groups and the books shortage. I have a Website; you can find it at Here you can offer free books to others at Tenth. I hope that giving or receiving items through this Website may bless you. Post your classifieds and pictures for free. When searching/posting, include Tenth Church as your affiliated institution to contact people at Tenth only. Want to borrow a book? Post a request using the "Wanted" category. You may post other unwanted items (furniture, CD, movies, etc.). They may be valuable to someone at Tenth. I invite you to check it out. Any question? or see me at church.

Sneaking Out

I'll be in only in the morning. Don't tell anyone, but I will be sneaking out this afternoon to spend the rest of the day with Ginger celebrating her birthday. I'm taking her and Sarah to... well, I can't tell, because she reads this blog.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Chester happenings

After a few rainy days, the Maranatha team in Chester rejoiced to see the sun shining brightly today. We've been staying at Frederick Douglas School, and thankfully on the rainy days, there have been plenty of projects to work on. On Monday, some of the group braved the rain to help with some yardwork at a house nearby, while the rest stayed at the school and cleared out classrooms for painting. Tuesday morning started with prayer walk, which gave everyone a good sense of the community and opened an opportunity for an afternoon clean-up activity at a local park. The sun came out enough yesterday afternoon to allow for the first program for the local kids. Other team members kept busy with a painting project at the school building. Today, before I left them, they were busy practicing their skits and programs and preparing for the afternoon events, which included more cleanup and painting, more yardwork, and the kids' program. With the weather this year, it seems flexibility is a theme.

Continue to pray for the team and for the leaders throughout the week. The second team arrives on Saturday.

Apartment Search

Phyllis Keener, a Tenth member who has been living in Milwaukee, is moving back to Philadelphia. She is looking for a two bedroom apartment or part of a house, close to center city and transportation. She needs space for a baby grand piano. A roommate situation might be acceptable. Green space, a garden, and bike paths are on the wish list. Phyllis can be reached at

Session News

Last night we had three guests appear before the Session. Scott and Vickylee Moreau presented their future plans and received the endorsement of the elders.

John Leonard presented a vision for a new church plant in the Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy area. We approved him taking the steps towards it, and you are the first to know about it. You will be hearing more news about this, I'm sure.

We appointed Bill Langford and Ron Ferner to be the Session committee to monitor CCA's progress over the coming year.

Other topics included a report on the Strategic Planning Initiative, samples of proposed carpeting for Reception Hall, financial status report (we're okay), pastoral concerns, reports of ministers and commissions, and a report from Aaron Messner about General Assembly. Aaron also taught chapter 27 of the Westminster Confession on sacraments. We take a chapter each month.

Living Church

Living Church will be interesting. I already know that our guest will not show up and yet you will find it one of the more encouraging LCs we have had.

Reverend Carter

The Reverend Steve Carter will be preaching this coming Sunday night on "Hannah's Prayer." Did you know that Steve (elder in New Jersey) is an ordained Baptist minister who has pastored churches? It will be good to see him exercising his preaching gift. He has taught in various means over the years - Bible study, Adult Bible School, and most recently the Theology Group that meets Wednesday mornings.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Welcome, Ramsey!

Let the baby boom continue! Ramsey Tadros was born to Amel and Nader Tadros on June 20, 2006. They seem to be enjoying their son and experiencing all of the "shock and awe" of first-time parents.

July 4 Celebrations

To see what July 4 events are happening in Philadelphia beginning today, click here.

Strategic Planning Committee Report

One of the major items considered by the General Assembly was the report of the Strategic Planning Committee, which had been erected in 2000. It had been studying various aspects of the PCA and its report contained recommendations for the future health and growth of the denomination. “If the PCA continues its current rate of growth, we’ll have more than one million members by 2028,” said Frank Brock, chairman of the Ad Interim on Strategic Planning Committee. “This is the right time to think strategically about the PCA’s future.”

All of the committee’s proposed changes were approved by the General Assembly. These changes, which take effect at the end of the 34th General Assembly, include:

Several modifications to the General Assembly’s Rules of Assembly Operations (RAO)—intended to reduce the amount of debate on the floor of the GA on parliamentary procedures allowing for a focus on debate on substantive issues.

An expanded Overtures Committee, which will include representatives from all 75 presbyteries. The hope is that this expanded committee will provide fuller participation by commissioners and promote deliberation within the body.

The creation of a new Cooperative Ministries Committee. This committee will be composed of representatives from the PCA’s various agencies and committees, and will encourage networking and cooperation among the various groups.

Two New Presbyteries Approved

The General Assembly approved establishing two new presbyteries out of one of the larger ones. North Georgia Presbytery asked the General Assembly to divide it into North Georgia, Northwest Georgia and Georgia Foothills. When these new presbyteries are formally organized there will be 75 PCA Presbyteries.

General Assembly Actions on Overtures

(The original wording of each overture can be read here.)

Overture 2, from Rocky Mountain Presbytery requesting a study committee on Federal Vision, was answered in the affirmative. The Bills and Overture Committee had recommended that the overture for a study committee be answered in the negative. A minority of the committee presented a substitute urging that the overture be answered in the affirmative. After extensive debate the minority report was adopted. The final motion calls for the moderator to appoint a committee of seven who are to report to the 35th General Assembly. (Note: Overtures 11 and 23 also dealt with Federal Vision and were answered in the negative. Overture 26, from Missouri Presbytery, requested General Assembly to consider and recommend its Report on Federal Vision Theology. The overture was answered in the negative without prejudice in that the Report will be printed in the GA Minutes, by which it will be made generally available to the Church.)

Overture 6, from Blue Ridge Presbytery presenting a memorial statement regarding Dr. Edmund Clowney, was approved.

Overture 9, from Rocky Mountain Presbytery asking for an appendix to the Book of Church Order on procedures for calling a pastor, was answered in the negative. This overture urged that the usual procedures for calling a pastor should include informing the Session of any pastor being considered by another church. While this overture would have been only a suggested action, commissioners indicated it was not a direction they desired to go.

Overture 15, from James River Presbytery asking for an amendment to the Book of Church Order requiring term limits for members of the Standing Judicial Commission (SJC), was as answered in the affirmative. At present, unlike other GA committees, SJC members can be re-elected to unlimited successive terms. Amendments to the BCO require approval of the General Assembly, two-thirds of the Presbyteries, and then a majority of the following GA.

Overture 25, from Missouri Presbytery asking the General Assembly to address justice and peace concerning U.S. – Iran relations, was found "out of order" in that "the circumstances and matters asserted by the overture fail to demonstrate that this is a case extraordinary as required by Westminster Confession of Faith 31-4."

Phil Sighting

Found a cd in my box of "photos from Trinidad" to post. Was told that Phil was seen slipping out of the building. The cd was blank. Hmmm...mysterious.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Faculty Positions Available

City Center Academy, a Christian college preparatory high school at Tenth Presbyterian Church, is accepting staff applications for the 2006-2007 school year. Teaching openings include mathematics, science, computer science, history, and visual and performing arts. Teaching experience with teenagers is desirable. Administrative openings include office management and recruitment. Forward resume and cover letter to Ray Withers, Principal, 315 South 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 or e-mail

Chaplain's Request

Chaplain Steve Feriante requests Bible and religious study materials on CD-Rom, CD or DVD (older stock) for his station in Iraq. If you can help, bring in or mail in your materials to the church by July 16. A labeled box will be in the mailroom.

Rain or Sun?

It is Monday morning and raining. How will your new work week be? Will it be spent in the rain or in the sun? Once I flew on a rainy day; the plane entered into the clouds, and after a time burst into the sun. It is always shining, just as God's grace in Christ is. Will you live this week in the rain or in the sun?