August Newsletter

On Pastor Katie’s Mind…

I think of August as a “sleepy month” in the best sense; a month when people can hopefully take a break, get some rest, go on vacation. Of course, vacation is a luxury that many people don’t have. So it’s important to remember this and support one another to take breaks from work and also to work toward a world where everyone has a chance to rest. August is usually a hot month too and heat slows us down and may even depress us a little (like it does me) and remind us of global warming and the importance of caring for our earth. It also reminds us that our work sometimes needs to slow down. Sabbath is not just an invitation, it’s a commandment. And if we never cease our laboring then we are not honoring God’s gift, and we forget that our work is in God’s care. Growth and fruitfulness are not ours to control but ultimately belongs to God.

Slowing down, resting, retreating is also important in the life of the church. We need time during the year when we can pull back and gain new vision and perspective for the months ahead. In August, I am planning an overnight retreat at a Franciscan Center, to spend time alone in prayer and seek God’s wisdom as I reflect on the direction of our congregation for the fall. August seems like the right time to do this.

It’s good for all of us to find some time to stop, and in a restful space, ask ourselves some meaningful questions like:

  • What do I want to do with my life in the next few months?
  • Where and with whom do I want to spend time?
  • What’s important to me?
  • And, how can I be intentional in creating time to do the things that are important to me?

So what I’d like to do is to invite you to take some time in August to ask yourself some of these questions, whether you are on vacation or not. Take some time to step back and pray, to listen to the Spirit’s calling in your life.

It may not be the case, but it may be—that what the Spirit is calling you to do connects to our work and worship at Tab. On our Visitor Cards that we hand out to new visitors every week, we ask “What do you love to do? and “Have you done any of those things in church?” I always appreciate it when people answer these questions. We hear responses like, “I love to bake,” “play the harp,” “sing and dance,” “help people,” or “protest injustice.” And many people say that they have done these things in church, but many have not even considered that what they love to do and what they are gifted to do, can be a part of the church’s ministry! What if what brings us joy is also part of the work of the church? Imagine what that could look like!

Who knows, maybe after taking some time to rest and reflect you will hear that the Spirit wants you to share your gifts at Tab in a way you had not considered before. Or maybe there is a ministry that we are already working on at Tab that you feel a greater call to connect with—like our prison ministry group, or teaching Sunday school to our kids, or volunteering for hospitality by being a coffee hour host or a greeter, by joining a small group or helping lead a support group. I don’t know what that thing is for you, but I do know it is important to listen to what God has gifted you to do and to carve out time to do things that bring you joy, with a community of people who are longing for the same things: to love and follow Jesus, and to work toward the Reign of God, a reign of justice and kindness.

So I encourage you to take time to rest and reflect in August. Take time to pray. Listen for God’s voice. It is important not just for your sake but for God’s sake, and for the sake of our community in which you play a sacred part.

In Peace,

A Note from Pax Ressler, TAB’s Minister of Music
I’m excited to tell you that there are lots of ways that you can be involved with music at TAB! Consider singing with the TAB Songleaders, a group that rehearses before select Sunday services to add beauty and leadership to music and worship. This group helps the congregation learn new songs and enhance our music. If interested, there is absolutely no obligation to sing every Songleader Sunday—only when it works for you! Reach out to me with your interest and I’ll make sure you are included in the email invitations.

If you’re an instrumentalist or vocal soloist, your gifts are very welcome in Sunday morning worship. Do you have interest in playing prelude and offertory? Playing or singing with me on songs or special music? I’m grateful for your gifts and would love to find ways for you to share them with the TAB community.

To contact me about these opportunities or to ask questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Pax (they/them) at Thank you!

Council Corner                                                        
We began our July Council Meeting with a update on Tab’s Capital Campaign.  The pledge total currently stands at $100,000, an even number due to an unexpected anonymous gift at the end of the pledging period.  This additional gift rounded off the $95,550 already promised, to an even total of $100,000.   Approximately $47,000 of this pledged amount has already been received in cash.  Again, thanks to all who participated in the success of this campaign.  The current cash on hand will enable us to begin work on the first two projects:  A/C of the Community Room and upgrades to the elevator.   We are currently putting together a small team to oversee the implementation of these projects.

Our Clerk, Jim Gerhard reported that the audit of the 2017 Income and Expense Statements has been completed.   With the exception of one person, background clearances for staff and all who work with children are on file in the church office.

Pastor Katie reported that, upon the recommendation of Penn’s Muslim Chaplain, a group of Muslim students from Penn are using our Community Room for their Friday afternoon prayer each week.

We spent most of our meeting prioritizing our goals for the Council for the remainder of the year.  These goals include:

  • Developing small group ministries,
  • Holding our second Block Party – Saturday, September 22nd,
  • Reinvigorating our Welcome Team,
  • Expanding our Sunday School with a new class for older children,
  • Enhancing our internal communication and especially growing our use of social media,
  • Increasing our connection with POWER,
  • Continuing to reflect on ways to grow our church.
We concluded our meeting with a hearty thanks to our Vice Chair, Sarah Hill who is not able to continue in this role because of evening classes she will begin this fall at Temple Law School.  We wish her well.  Megan Gibson will take over as Vice Chair starting in September.

What’s Happening at Tab…

Tab is hiring a Sunday School teacher! The Christian Education Committee is looking for someone to teach our 4- to 8-year-olds using the Young Children and Worship curriculum that Geneva, Lucinda, Verona and I have been following with our children for the past several years.  The Committee feels that having Lisa in the nursery has been such an important investment for our church, we would like to engage someone equally as awesome in our Sunday School room.  Then our volunteer energy can focus more on our older children.

We’ve posted the job description on and could use your assistance in spreading the word.  Please share this with anyone you think might be interested – or any list serves you think might surface a good candidate.

If you have questions, suggestions or concerns about any of this, please email or talk toNicole Diroff, who’d love to hear your thinking!

Bible Study:  August 8 and August 15 at 5:30 pm in the Community Room.  The scripture readings will be posted in the bulletin later or folks can contact Jean Erb to learn what the scriptures reading will be.

We still need a few volunteers! The rotation for July-September is now available and can be accessed by visiting There are a few spots (in yellow on the google sheet) where we need a volunteer or two to fill in. If you’re available to fill in on any of those open dates, please let Chelle know!

Outreach Thanks and More Opportunities to Spread the Love of God

We had an amazing turnout for the Pride parade. Thank you to all who came, danced, smiled, waved, and shared God’s love along the route. A huge thanks to those who braved the rain at the Pridefest to share God’s love and welcome.

If you didn’t get to come to Pride, but would like the honor of looking into the face of our neighbors and sharing a smile, sticker or conversation– please save these dates, mark your calendars.

Fall Outreach Opportunities 
  • Saturday, September 22nd noon-4pm – Tab’s Block Party!! Come party with our neighbors, friends, mission partners and each other!
  • Saturday, October 6th 9am-3pm – Philadelphia Family Pride Conference. Featured speaker, Naomi Washington-Leapheart! Great opportunity to meet LGBTQIA+ families in our neighborhood.
  • Sunday, October 7th noon-6pm – Outfest in the Gayborhood. A free festival, great opportunities to meet many folks.

Opportunities to Engage with Mission Partners
    • Learning How to Be a Sex-Positive Christian. The Incarnation Institute for Sex and Faith, one of Tab’s Mission Partners, has announced the release of a four-part webinar series titled “Reading the Bible with Sex-Positive Eyes. For a summary of each of the webinars go to the website where they are now available. $30/webinar or $100 for the set of four.
  • The Environmental Action Team and Interfaith Power & Light invite you to a parade and rally “Power Toward the Future” on Thursday, August 2, 10:45 a.m. For a more sustainable PECO – SEPTA – City of Philadelphia. Visit the Eventbrite page for more details.
Important Dates
  • Aug 2- “Power Toward the Future” Rally, 10:45am
  • Aug 5 – Sermon Series: Chris Paige, Director of Operations for Transfaith
  • Aug 5 – G(reet) E(at) M(eet) Potluck, following worship
  • Aug 8 – Bible Study, 5:30-7pm in Tab Community Room
  • Aug 12 – Sermon Series: Rev. Naomi Washington-Leapheart, UCC Minister and Faith Work Director at National LGBTQ Task Force
  • Aug 15 – Bible Study, 5:30-7pm in Tab Community Room
  • Aug 21- Submission Deadline for September Newsletter
Tab Summer Sermon Series:

“The Bible is Queer & Genderful”In July and August, we will be exploring how the Bible bears witness to love in a rich variety of expressions. We will work to re-discover and celebrate lesser-known texts that witness to diverse gender expressions and sexual orientations, and we will also wrestle with some of the more difficult passages that have been weaponized as instruments of hate toward LGBTQIA+ people. We will be hearing from queer and transgender theologians and thinkers about their struggle with sacred texts and how they’ve found avenues of liberation and hope through their faith. We will think more deeply together about what it means to be the church today, a church that has from its birth at Pentecost, been a church of many cultures, of many languages and many kinds of people.

We are excited to welcome the following guest preachers for our sermon series:

  • August 5th: Chris Paige, Director of Operations for Transfaith. Chris is an OtherWise-identified writer, educator, organizer, and coach ( and co-founder of Transfaith (, a multi-tradition, multi-racial, multi-gender advocacy organization now based in Mt Airy. Chris generally uses they/them pronouns, but you can also call them “Zey” if you, like their 12-year-old child, are still haunted by the rules taught in fifth-grade language arts.

Lewis Mitchell, Co-Founder and Ex Dir of Transfaith will also be joining us and will co-lead discussion following the service.

  • August 12th: Rev. Naomi Washington-Leapheart, UCC Minister and Faith Work Director at National LGBTQ Task Force
August Service & Bulletin Roles

August Supporting Roles

August Communion Rotations

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