Friday, September 15, 2006

Second Chance

Missed the Ministry Leadership meeting on Tuesday? Come to a make-up session this Sunday, Sept. 17 at 1 pm. If you’re a ministry leader at Tenth and you missed the meeting this past Tuesday, you’ll want to attend the make-up session being held this Sunday, Sept. 17 at 1 pm in the Catacombs. The program will include information about the upcoming vision studies in October (and testimonies from those who’ve tested them), plus a preview from Phil on how the new vision may impact the church in the years ahead. Lunch will be provided.

Phil and Rick Blogging

For any who may have lost interest in reformation21 blogsite while Phil was away and Rick holding back, both men are active on the blog again. Click here.

Free Day Bed

Free day bed. Mattress in excellent condition. Just pick it up near City Avenue. Email

Magnified Help Needed

I want to buy a pair binoculars to look over the Schuykill River view from my window. But I don't know where to buy a pair and what kind of magnifying power to get. Any help?

CCA Enrollment

CCA principal Ray Withers reports that CCA is starting with 70 full-time students, plust 11 part-time Curtis students. The number of full-time students needed to meet the budget proposed to church leaders is 65. So we are thankful for the Lord's blessing.


Dear Mr. Ryken,

Thank you for coming to do communion with my family. Also, thank you for having a webcast!! Tell everyone at Tenth I said hi!! Thanks for praying for me too!

Sincerely Hannah C.

(This is Hannah Cohen's thank you letter to Phil and his and Brian Esterly's visit last Sunday in the hospital where they provided Communion. Continue to pray for her health as she struggles with a heart condition.)

October Sermons and Studies

On Sunday, September 24, study books are going to be distributed to the congregation following each service. These are the books to be used during October by the small groups in the church, including special Vision Groups formed just for this purpose. If you don't belong to a small group now, you will be given opportunity that Sunday and October 1 to sign up in Reception Hall for a group. There will also be a congregation wide telephone campaign to inform and encourage attendace at the October 6 Vision Night, as well as give further opportunity to get connected to a small group.

These studies will be based on the sermons that Phil preaches during October. Because you are a blog reader, you will already know what they are before anyone else:

October 1 “A Vision for the City” (Jeremiah 32:1-44)
Related texts: 1 Chronicles 12:32; Proverbs 19:21; Proverbs 21:5
October 8 “A Calling to the City” (Jeremiah 29:1-14)
Related texts: Nehemiah 1
October 15 “A Church for the City” (Acts 11:19-30; 13:1-3)
Related texts: Acts 2:42-47
October 22 “A Prayer for the City” (Jeremiah 29:7)
Related texts: Genesis 18; Psalm 122; Jonah 4; Matt 23:37-39; Luke 19:41-46
October 29 “A Hope for the City” (Revelation 21:1-8; 22:1-7)
Other possible texts: Hebrews 11:10

Story of Elijah

The Sunday school teacher was carefully explaining the story of Elijah, the Prophet and the false prophets of Baal. She explained how Elijah built the altar, put wood upon it, cut the steer in pieces, and laid it upon the altar. And then Elijah commanded the people of God to fill four barrels of water and pour it over the altar. He had them do this four times - "Now," said the teacher, "can anyone in the class tell me why the Lord would have Elijah pour water over the steer on the altar?" A little girl in the back of the room started waving her hand, " I know, I
know!" she said, "To make the gravy!"

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Houston Memory

Here we are on vacation enjoying the Kema Waterfront of Mark Brown's hometown Houston.


Congratulations to Ray Watrous whose company he founded, Zargis Medical, was announced as a runner-up in the Medical Device category by the Wall Street Journal for their Technology Innovation Awards.

Doing Anything at 1:00?

This Sunday at 1:00 is a busy time. TCU will be in Fellowship Hall West; Bridge-Builders in FH East; Maranatha in 315 Building; and the presentation of the Vision Bible studies in the Catacombs.

What would you take to Colombia?

Bruce is taking . . .

A rototiller for a farming project
Notes on Infant Baptism
Copies of Phil Ryken's Written in Stone (Spanish title Escrito en Piedra)
Gifts for Colombian pastors
A used computer

I talked to him half an hour ago and he was on the runway, waiting for his plane to take off for Miami, his stop on the way to a 10 day trip to Colombia.

While in Colombia, he will be visiting a number of cities, teaching and preaching throughout the time (12 times in 10 days). He's meeting up with another six team members in Colombia, and they'll be attending a graduation for MINTS (Miami International Seminary), worship services, and conferences. He returns next Saturday, September 23.

You've Got Mail

Two mailings were sent out this week. On Monday, with much assistance from Rose Keshishian, Dr. Ryken's letter re: Strategic Planning Initiative was sent out first-class. Thank you to Clive Stockdale for delivering the trays of mail to the post office.

Yesterday Ryia Miller, Carl Russo, and Jesse Ruhl labored all morning to post the new concert brochure. It was sent out the slower non-profit route, but you should receive it within a week.

Peacemaking Weekly

Hi Marion, I get these emails weekly & always find them helpful and challenging. Maybe your blogreaders would be interested to sign up? Click here to view the forwarded email.
Jessie Bible

I did look it up. These are put out by PeaceMaker Ministries that our denomination endorses (as well as I).

Tenth Interns

Our four interns this year are John Ferguson, Robert Polen, Jonny McGreevy, and Chuck Paul. John and Robert are continuing into their second year. Jonny is from Ireland and is a Westminster student. His concentration will be serving with TIF. Chuck is in the LAMP program. He is already pastoring a mission church (Philadelphia Community Church in Northern Liberties and directs a mercy ministry called The Dream Center.) You will see him mostly in the evening service.

We thank the Lord for the fruitful labors of Hunter Powell in TCU and Chris Seah in TIF.

Neighborly Parking

A month ago we received a modest request from our neighbor synagogue Beth Zion Beth Israel that our members use overlapping parking spaces (see Dot's previous posting: Parking Considerations) only during the times of our actual services. But looking at their service times, that would not help them much as our services are at the same time as theirs. Thus, we are requesting that you avoid morning parking altogether in those overlapping spaces on those Sundays. This is an opportunity to be good neighbors.

Sunday, September 24 is Rosh Hashanah and services will start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 1:30 p.m. Unlike church services which have a distinct beginning and ending time, Jewish services occur in a series of segments where some people stay for the whole time and some filter in and out throughout the day. Most of our members will arrive between 10 and 10:30 a.m. and stay through the sermon (about noon).

Sunday, October 8 is Sukkot (the festival of booths) and services are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Again, most people come around 10 a.m. and for this service will stay the whole time (there’s food afterward!)

Sunday, October 15 is Simchat Torah – the joy of the Torah – where we celebrate the completion of the year’s Torah cycle (end of Deuteronomy) and start right over again with Genesis. Services are from 9 to about 2 p.m. Most people will come around 10 a.m. and stay for the duration (food again!).

Service Sunday

This Sunday is "Service Sunday," the annual day that church ministries put up display tables and opportunity is given to members to visit and hopefully sign up for a ministry. The tables will be in Reception Hall. Be sure to check them out. If you are not already involved in a ministry, pray if the Lord would have you involved in one of those displayed on Sunday.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Parking Considerations for Rosh Hashanah

Sunday, September 24, is Rosh Hashanah. Beth Zion Beth Israel’s services coincide with our Sunday services. Their parking permission also overlaps ours. Please be considerate and park in other locations or the garage whenever possible, not on the 1800 block of Spruce or on 18th Street from Rittenhouse to Pine.

Entering the CD Age

Starting October 1, sermon recordings will be done on cds. With the demand for tapes dwindling and the use of cds surpassing cassette tapes, it is more productive and cost effective to move to the cds. Price will remain the same - $3.25.

The bookstore will keep in stock a quantity of cds to last about six weeks for each Sunday sermon. Thus, instead of ordering copies, you would simply go down to the bookstore a week-six weeks following the Sunday sermon and buy one.

If switching to cds will prevent you from listening to the sermon because you only have a tape player (and cannot afford a cd player), call in to the church and let us know. We will work out a solution.

Don't forget, every Sunday sermon is posted on the church webcast and can be downloaded for free, as well as listened to online. Phil's sermons are available online for four-weeks; the rest of us remain online.

Wednesday Morning Bible Study

The Women's Wednesday morning Bible study had its first meeting today (9:30-11:30). Ginger leads it and they are going through Philippians (and studying the vision material in October). If you live in Center City, come check it out. Nursery is provided.

Call Me Zuniga

Jessie Bible sent this news in:
Tenth member Branch Fields will be singing the role of Zuniga--the senior officer in Carmen with the New York City Opera on Oct. 26, Nov. 1, 11, and 18. To get more information click here.

The Space Age

While in Houston we visited the NASA space center. I recommend it when you are visiting the area. Anyhow, did you know that of the space shuttle crew (you do know there is a crew in space right now?) no one is under the age of 43 and several are in their fifties. I guess you young'uns in your 20s and 30s will have to be patient to attain the level we mature adults have to handle the rigors of space.

Which reminds me. Do you know who on the pastoral staff are turning 50 and 40 in October?


Just saw an email that Phil will miss Sunday evening on the 24th. The reason: he is attending Drew DeNardo's ordination at Rick Phillips' church in Margate, Florida. Congratulations to Drew!

Wednesday Night Presbytery

The Philadelphia Presbytery meets tonight at New Life on the Roosevelt Blvd. This is the third of four stated meetings we have in the year. One presentation scheduled will be by Carroll Wynne who chairs the team responsible for overseeing the progress of candidates for the ministry.

Dating Seminar

This Sunday there will be a flier in the bulletin announcing the Seminar on Dating and Relationships with Rick and Sharon Phillips coming up September 29 and 30.

Here is the schedule:
9/29 Friday evening
7-7:30 Registration
7:30-9 Session I
Light refreshments and fellowship to follow

9/30 Saturday morning
8-9:00 Light breakfast and fellowship
9-12:30 Sessions II & III and Q&A

You can register by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Thanks and Humor from Iraq

Some of you may recall a while back a request from an army chaplain for Bible study cds. We did receive a number of contributions and sent them. He wrote recently thanking us for the donations which are used for his chapel lending library.

He also sent this joke:
Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispered to her mother, "Why is the bride dressed in white?"
"Because whie is the color of happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life."
The child thought about this for a moment, then said, "Why is the groom wearing black?"

Managing Your Money Class

Managing Your Money
A Christian Perspective of Personal Finances
September 10 – November 26, 2006, 11:00 a.m.

OT Teachings On Personal Finance (9/10)...Dan Kunkle
NT Teachings On Money (9/17)...Steve Carter
A Foundation for Making Financial and Lifestyle Choices (9/24)...Bryce Bartruff
The Beauty of Giving (10/1)...B Bartruff
Practical Steps for Managing Finances (10/8)...B Bartruff
Insights for Making Wise Financial Decisions Part I (10/15)...B Bartruff
Insights for Making Wise Financial Decisions Part II (10/22)...B Bartruff
Biblical Principles of Borrowing and Lending, and Steps for Recovering from Excessive Debt (10/29)... B Bartruff/Gary Morris
A Christian Perspective of Investment Strategies (11/5)...Bill Smith
Ethics and Money: Their Impact Upon the Believer and the World (11/12)...S Carter
Biblical View of Economics – Responsibilities of the employer, employee, unions, government and insurance (11/19)...G Morris
Poverty, Welfare and Charity – The Christian’s Responsibility (11/26)...G Morris


You perhaps have concluded that Ginger and I arrived safely yesterday from Houston. We left 90 degree weather and arrived to frigid temperatives (below 70?). I hear the sounds of CCA students outside my window. I believe they have 65 fulltime with another 11 part-time Curtis students.

Had 164 new emails awaiting me.

Let people know to come back to the blogsite. Activities are back in full swing and I will have much to report.

We Referee

Chris Kaminstein, who grew up at Tenth, is starring in a play that I believe he also co-produced: We Referee. It is showing at the Rubin Theater, 407 Bainbridge St. Reservations- 215.413.1318; Tickets are $10. View a trailer at My daughter Sarah attended last night and gives it kudos.

Vision Groups

Taken from a letter sent to Bible study leaders by Phil and Cora:

We plan to make October a month of emphasis on our new vision for Tenth Church. Sermons that month will focus on the spiritual principles that drive our mission as a church. We are asking all of our small group Bible studies to put aside their current studies in order to do a series of specially prepared studies that are based on the sermons and designed to help us apply them to our ministry as a church.

Since we want the whole congregation to be unified in our vision, it is very important that all our small groups participate in this study. These studies have already been beta tested this summer in two of our small groups, and we have taken very seriously the input that these groups have given us about the studies we have prepared.

On Tuesday (tonight!) at 6:30 p.m. we will have a meeting for all ministry leaders, including all of our small group Bible study get an overview of the material we will be presenting and your part in studying it...a makeup session will be held 9/17 at 1:00 in the Catacombs. Lunch provided.

On September 24, we will distribute these studies in the form of a booklet at the end of the morning worship servies. We will have sign-up sessions for small groups that day as well as on October 1 & 6...We want as many people as possible to be involved in one of these vision groups.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Coming Back

We leave in a few minutes for the airport to begin our 5 & 1/2 hour trek home. Yesterday we celebrated Jean's 21st birthday at the The Cheesecake Factory. I went for the banana cream slice and was well rewarded. The Lord willing, I will be back in the church tomorrow. I assume those big guys did all right in the pulpit yesterday and weren't too rusty.