Friday, January 05, 2007

Home Business

Tenth member Diane Whitley has started a home business of off-site administrative support. Click here for Dianne's Outsource Resource. This business is geared to help many types of business (home-based, small or large offices). There is more information on the site as well as contact numbers/email.

Toy Library

Hello Center City Families!

I am excited to announce the opening of the Center City Toy Library! The library will open for business on Wednesday, January 17th. There will also be a Mom’s Night preview reception Tuesday night, January 16th at 8pm with wine served and hors d'oeuvres provided courtesy of Snack Bar. I hope you will come! (RSVP details below.)

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a toy library operates much like a book library, only the items available for loan are toys, making it possible for parents to offer their children age-appropriate toys at each developmental stage and/or new varieties of toys every couple of weeks, without having to spend a lot of money or dedicate precious storage space to items that are out of rotation. We have hundreds of toys available for check-out…so come check us out! (Membership costs $50 per family, per year. Please bring check or cash, photo ID and proof of Philadelphia address to register.)

Mom’s Night Preview Reception:
Tuesday, January 16, 8pm
Wine served; hors d'oeuvres provided courtesy of Snack Bar
RSVP appreciated:

Opening Day:
Wednesday, January 17; 9am - noon

Weekly library hours:
Wednesdays from 9am – noon; 1st and 3rd Saturdays from 11am – 1pm.

The Church of the Holy Trinity (19th and Walnut) – stroller accessible via the 19th Street ramp entrance.

I hope you will come visit the Toy Library and find it a valuable resource.

Marcia Murray

PS: I have had many enquiries about making donations to the Toy Library and yes, donations are gratefully accepted. Toys must be desirable and be in good working order with no missing pieces. We do not accept non-wipeable toys such as dolls or stuffed animals. Please contact Marcia Murray for more information or to make arrangements for your donation.; 215-609-0296

Confused Tree

I saw a tree yesterday on Lombard blossoming!

Education Committee

I met with the Education Committee of the new school board yesterday. My assignment is to present a new philosophy education out of CCA's and Spruce Hill's present documents. It is a fairly easy assignment as both schools have the same philosophy, and I mostly will be merging the two into a single entity.

Other tasks are more involved but exciting. One is to review and put together a scope and sequence of the entire curriculum, K-12, and to do so with an eye on accreditation of the complete school. Presently Spruce Hill is accredited, while CCA was in the beginning stages.

The third task is the most immediate. Get the teachers of CCA and Spruce Hill middle school together to prepare middle schoolers for entry into the high school grades.

It was a good first meeting, particularly when the two principals and the teachers present began to share the issues they were facing and discovered they were the same! There is a new energy in tackling old challenges, and I look forward to seeing how the new synergy plays out.

By the way, Keith Fallon and I are serving as co-chairs of the Spruce Hill - City Center Academy board. For now, we have a single board that oversees two schools with one headmaster, Seth Cohen. It will take time - a year or two - to transition through the legal system into a single institution, as well as put together all the practical pieces.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

South Street Bridge

Our inside man at Septa sent me this notice:

You probably know that the South Street bridge is scheduled for major reconstruction. I just got word that SEPTA will begin detouring bus routes beginning January 28th. Don't know the exact date of the shutdown but probably not a bad idea to let the congregation know to expect this closure and plan their travel to Tenth accordingly.
Joe Brydges


Sinfonia Sacra, the youth orchestra of junior and senior students, is now accepting auditions for new players. Contact the director Sarah Childress at

TW Conference

Watch Your Mail! Brochures were recently mailed for the TenthWomen Annual Conference on Sat Feb 24. So keep your eyes out for them!

This year's conference features speaker Tara Barthel, the former Director of Christian Conciliation with Peacemaker Ministries. Her topic is, "Living the Gospel in Relationships" We will be learning about having grace-filled, redemptive relationships through applying biblical principles of peacemaking.

Here's one quote from someone who heard her speak previously: "Tara has great enthusiasm and gives heartfelt encouragement. I enjoyed the energy Tara displayed and her ability to cover so much and keep our attention. Also, I appreciated how she continually brought us back to a Christlike motivation."

Turbo Training

The next Turbo Group training for small group leaders will begin January 17. Contact Cora at

Logos Training

For my sermon and Bible study preparation, I use Logos software. A trainer for Logos will be offering free training at Tenth next Thursday at 7:00 in Reception Hall. Boice's commentary series that we offered to the church a few months ago is part of the Logos system. If you would like to receive training or learn more about the software, call in to the church and register: 215.735.7688.

New Year Baby

Here is Clement Wong, born January 1 to Eunice and Moses Wong.

Family Worship

From ByFaithOnline:

Children's Ministry International has resources to help families worship and pray together. "Family Devotions or Family Worship Together," are comprehensive booklets that take you through the Shorter Catechism many Bible helps, prayers, songs and suggestions. Read "The Lost Art and Practice of Family Devotions" here. To order and for more information, go to

Primetime Performer

By Faith Online reports that Mary Kathryn Govero, a member of Providence PCA in Clinton, Miss., and a 12th grader at Mt. Salus Christian School, was featured on Sports Illustrated's web site as a Primetime Performer after she set the state girls basketball scoring record in Mississippi.

The article ends with the following:
Govero, who is the third-oldest in a family of eight, is very active off the court, too. She has a 4.0 GPA, is president of the student government and president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She belongs to Providence Presbyterian Church in Clinton. The past two years Govero and her teammates have taken a mission trip to Guatemala. "She always is special to watch," Maner [her coach] noted. "When she reacts to kids, it's just phenomenal the way they flock to her. She is willing to share her faith and understands the importance of teaching the [basketball] skills to kids." The experience has been life changing for the Mt. Salus star. "I'm a Christian and the most important thing to me is to use the gift of basketball and share Christ with other people," Govero explained. "I want to be a coach one day. I want to be a missionary and coach in Guatemala."

To read the entire article, click here.

D. James Kennedy

TE D. James Kennedy, pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is recovering from a heart attack in his home on Dec. 28, 2006. On Monday, Jan. 1, Dr. Kennedy was was off life support, sitting up, and was able to speak with his family.

Blog Unblocked

The person with the blog blocking problem reports the problem is fixed. Here is his communication:

The problem that I, and other people using Symantec (Norton) Internet Security with Parental Controls active, had reading blogspot blogs was fixed, at least on my computers, today when the Symantec 'LiveUpdate' function brought down an unusually small update for the url database of the web site blocking product. The update may have been available yesterday or even the day before, but I wasn't online.

I haven't 'commented' about the issue in your blog entry on the topic because I also have 'Interactive' blocked and in Symantec's view blog 'Comments' fall into that category. So I can only post from this computer in someone else's blog by enabling that category and then disabling it again and it's just not worth the aggravation under normal circumstances. However, I did, on another computer, with different Internet Security software see the 'Comment' from 'Phil' - apparently not the Ryken Phil - that he also had the same problem.

In one sense Symantec did act quickly to the numerous complaints that they received. The url update they provided was clearly not a regularly scheduled update which are often a megabyte or more in size.

The comments that some folks made in your blog post referring to cookies as the possible source of the problem all deal with an entirely different issue than web site blocking because of content guidelines.


Pew envelopes will be available this Sunday primarily for anyone placing cash in the plate and want to have the donation recorded. If you are using checks, this is not necessary. Personal envelopes can be provided to anyone who wants them. Just call in or email Christy Corbett,

Piano Lessons

Paul Jones and Sam Hsu have been in everyday practicing piano. They have a concert coming up first in Florida and then at Tenth February 23. Fortunately, because they have been practicing in Reception Hall, I have been available to offer them advice. I did, after all, have three years of piano lessons. If I can have a couple of more days with them, they should be okay.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Budget News

I don't have a full report yet on the three budgets - Church Ministry, Missions and Building Improvement, but it looks like at least the Church Ministry has met budget. I think we were $70,000 behind going into the last Sunday and day of the year.


"Get the word out," he said to me, his eyes narrowing as the sunlight coming through the window fell across his face. "Tell them I have come not simply to do a midweek service, but to have a full-orbed ministry to center city!"

I thought we were getting a good speaker one night of the week that would be a draw, but Paul Tripp wants more! He wants to gather a team of people with the vision and gifts to reach out to the center city community and prepare them for a deeper and more lasting impact in the city. The midweek service will be a part of that work.

We are already getting calls for when that service will begin and what it will look like. The answer is we don't know, yet. Our goal is to give clear answers by the first weekend in March when the Urban Missions Conference is scheduled. That Sunday Paul will be officially installed as a minister on staff. Meanwhile, he begins the first phase of his work here by first learning, planning, and gathering his team.

The Gamesman and the Whistler

Our two new staffers have already revealed impressive talents. Yesterday I brought my ping pog set that my daughter and son-in-law give to me for Christmas and set it up on a folding table. Lo and behold, Paul Tripp picks up a paddle, wields it like a warrior in battle, and whips the ball across the table with precision.

I come in this morning a little past 8:30 and hear the strong, on-key whistling of "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing." I was a bit surprised for Aaron to beat me in to the church. But to my surprise it was Liz Mosebrook. Perhaps Paul Jones should feature Liz and Aaron for a Soli Deo Gloria.

By the way, I haven't seen Christiana smile so much now that she has Liz helping out.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Christmas Eve in Iraq

I asked Aaron Messner to write the following story he told us at staff meeting today:

Here’s a special Christmas story. My sister-in-law was visiting for the Christmas holiday and attended the 7:30 Christmas Eve service with us. She thoroughly enjoyed the service and after we got back to the house, she asked if the service would become available online. I told her that the service was webcast live and would be available to download from the Tenth website in another day or so. Upon hearing this she said, “I’ve got to let my brother know about this.” Her brother is currently serving with the U.S. Air Force in Iraq. She immediately sent a text message to her brother, telling him that she had just attended a wonderful Christmas Eve service at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia and she encouraged him to try to download the service if he had a chance over the coming days. Within minutes she received a surprising text message from her brother. He said that he was awake and on duty (it was the middle of the night in Iraq). He told her that while he was working, a fellow soldier had invited him over to his laptop computer. The soldier said to him “Hey, I’m downloading the Christmas Eve service from my home church back in Philadelphia, do you want to listen in?” It turns out that the soldier’s home church was none other than Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. So, my sister-in-law’s brother had already listened to the Tenth service, he had enjoyed the live webcast in the wee hours of Christmas morning somewhere in Iraq.

Paul Jones told me of a group of people from Sarah Childress's town in Ohio who gathered in one location to see and listen to the service on a large screen monitor. Where else were people listening in?

Persian Worship

The Persian worship service is moving as of January 14 to Proclamation Church on Sunday afternoons at 3:30 in room 19. An afternoon Bible discussion and prayer time will continue at the held there at the Aromatic House of Kebob restaurant every Wednesday at 4:00 pm.

First Day

Liz Mosebrook walked in with Christiana this morning for her first day on the job as a part-time missions assistant. We are very pleased to have her on board!

Be Strong!

Happy new year! As you enter into this new year, take heed to God's word given to Joshua (with slight adaptation):

Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that [Christ] my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law [and Gospel] shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way propserous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:7-9).