Friday, December 15, 2006

Partying Staffers

Here are some shots from the staff Christmas party. I have a short video clip, as well, but can't figure out how to display it.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Live Nativity

New Life Northeast is having a live nativity Friday, December 22nd. They could use help with sound and lighting, equipment and expertise. This is a strong outreach for them. Last year they had around 200 people from the neighborhood show up. Also, they could use musicians and singers. Contact April Willetts or call the church office at (215) 331-6344 .

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


The following children are being baptized this coming Sunday:

9:00 am service:
Sarah Elizabeth Brown, born December 9, 2005, daughter of Richard and Jennifer Brown
John MacLaren Richardson, born September 28, 2006, son of James and Dana Richardson
Micah Walter Voorhis, born April 20, 2006, son of John and Amy Voorhis

11:00 am service:
Jada Simone Adams, born October 15, 2005, daughter of Paul Adams and Betty Norwood
Lewis Nelson Esterly, born October 19, 2006, son of Brian and Rose Esterly
Justin Watson Herzog, born March 7, 2005, son of Keith and Sunday Herzog
Lydia Levering Moreau, born May 21, 2006, daughter of Scott and Vickylee Moreau

Helping a Sister Church

New Life Northeast Church is developing a core group of believers among Albanian folks with whom they have connected in their community (Mayfair, 19149). They had 90 Albanians come to their Thanksgiving dinner, which is the size of their congregation! Most are unbelievers, but want to know about God, and some have become Christians. Their dilemma is that they don't have enough people to disciple these new believers and build a core group. They can use ESL teachers/helpers (all you need to know is English) and/or people willing to come along side their Albanian friends and disciple them. (More ESL teachers would help their current ESL teachers move into the discipleship role.) If you can help, contact Pastor Bob Willetts, 215.331.6344 or

Giving and Receiving

Phil made mention Sunday that the church is will to receive as well as give. He was referring to the commissioning in November of Tenth members moving to New City, the new church plant near Penn and then the receiving of new members that day. We are planning a similar commissioning in February for the group committing to the new work in Mt. Airy/Chestnut Hill. The present New Members class has 30+ members; so we can expect another large reception to follow in March.

Moving On

Tom and Bonnie Martin are moving on to help with the church plant of a Reformed Baptist congregation closer to their home. For many years Tom gave leadership to what became the most popular Bible school class over the last decade. We will miss him, but he did the church a great service by gathering other good co-leaders over the years so that the class continues on strong.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Esperanza RN Needed

Esperanza Health Center is seeking to hire a FT Registered Nurse to provide Christ-centered health care to the Latino Community in our North Philadelphia site. Individual must be functional in Spanish (or willingness to learn) and have 1 year of nursing experience. Duties include patient triage, education and spiritual care; multi-specialty care coordination; staff education; and support to Head Nurse. Please e-mail resume to Richard Rohrer at

Out of the Storm

Lois Denier sent me this story:

There was once a man who didn't believe in Jesus, and he didn't hesitate to let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays. His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their children to also have faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging comments. One snowy eve, his wife was taking their children to church in the farm community in which they lived. They were to talk about Jesus' birth. She asked him to come, but he refused. "That story is nonsense!" he said. "Why would God lower Himself to come to Earth as a man? That's ridiculous!"

So she and the children left, and he stayed home. A while later, the winds grew stronger and the
snow turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding
snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. Then he heard a loud thump.
Something had hit the window. He looked out but couldn't see more than a few feet. When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window.
In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese. Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn't go on. They were lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed.

The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would be a great place for
them to stay, he thought. It's warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out
the storm. So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside. But the geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn't seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them, and they moved further away. He went into the house and came with some bread, broke it up, and made a bread crumb trail leading to the barn. They still didn't catch on. Now he was getting frustrated. He got behind
them and tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe. "Why don't they follow me?!" he exclaimed. "Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?"

He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn't follow a human. "If only I were a goose, then I could save them," he said out loud. Then he had an idea. He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese. He then released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn -- and one-by-one, the other geese followed it to safety.

He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind: "If only I were a goose, then I could save them!" Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. "Why would God want to be like us? That's ridiculous!" Suddenly it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese--blind, lost, perishing. God had his Son become like us so he could show us the way and save us. As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this wonderful thought. Suddenly he understood why Christ had come. Years of doubt and disbelief vanished with the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer: "Thank You, God, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!"

The Angel's Story

I'm delighted to have been asked to speak at the Family Christmas Eve Service. I already have the message prepared. If you have children, the best way to get them prepared is to read the stories of the angel's visits to Zechariah, Mary, and the shepherds, as well as Isaiah's vision in the temple.

Party Animals

The church staff is partying today. I know, I know: we party everyday, but this is an official party. Cora with some outside helpers is preparing the food. We all bring gifts to exchange and usually make Paul lead us in song. Sometimes he will pull out a new song or poem. I'll let you know what happens.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Techs Needed

mereBreath Drama is still in need of 3 technical volunteers for the upcoming 2007 season. Previous experience unnecessary as training is provided. Please contact Director Bryan Glass at:

CCA Christmas Program

This Friday, December 15, CCA will hold its annual Christmas program celebration. It will feature mime, drama, dance and choir. This will be a fine time for us to welcome all new erforming arts teachers - Sarah Thompson (mime), Kristen Schier (drama), and Stacy Williams
(dance). John Sims returns as choir director. The program is held in fellowship hall from 7:00-8:30 and includes a time of refreshments.

Making Comment

Would you like to leave comments, but are intimidated by the "Choose an identity" prompt? I asked Karl Russo to help me print instructions.

If you do not have a pre-existing Google account, click "Sign up here." Follow the instructions, and the system will create a Google account for you. In effect, you will have set up your own blog, but you can ignore the site. In testing this out I made up a name for the site.

If you have a pre-existing Google account, you may use that address when you register with Blogger. Click "sign in with your Google account." Use your gmail account and password. If asked to create a blog, you may just skip this as it is not necessary to post. Just leave these spaces blank if you do not wish to create a blog at this time.

Trip Photos


I would like to share my pictures with Tenth folks from my trip to Ghana and Liberia through Rafiki Foundation. I thought making it available on your blogsite would be an easy way to do that. The pictures can be viewed by clicking this link:

Chun Shin

Of Roles

The next question for the DMC Forum blog (click link on the right) is about the roles of the congregation, Session, and staff in making decisions. Check out the question and add your comment.

Bible Exhibition

Jessie Bible sent this in:

I recently heard that there is an illumined, hand calligraphied Bible being done by Donald Jackson under the auspices of a Benedictine Abbey. It's called the Saint John's Bible. I've seen some of the illuminations online, and they are absolutely breathtaking. You can learn more at

The Saint John's Bible manuscripts for Psalms, the Gospels, Acts, and the Pentateuch is on display at the Library of Congress in Washington DC through December 30. A number of rare Bibles will be on display as well. You can get information on the exhibition called "Illuminating the Word: the Saint John's Bible" at

One person who had seen facsimiles of the Saint John's Bible commented that seeing them made her want to run out and see the originals. I can totally understand - after seeing what I have seen, I feel compelled to go to DC before the exhibition closes. (The exhibition schedule runs through 2009 & does not show any more exhibitions on the East Coast).

Merger Agreed

The two boards of City Center Academy and Spruce Hill Christian School have voted to merge as a single institution. A newly constituted board will meet Tuesday night and begin the steps for a full merger. Officers for that board will be elected then.

For at least the remainder of the school year, both schools will maintain their names and daily operations will change little. If you give financial support to either school, you do not need to change how you give.

This momentous occasion is the result of seven months of deliberations and prayers. May the Lord continue to guide the new board as the process continues for a transition that will secure the legacy of strong Christian education that both schools have provided for more than two decades.