Our Current Mission Focus
We are called into compassionate community, advocating for peace, justice and reconciliation and celebrating God’s loving embrace of all creation.
Peace and Non-Violence
We support New Jerusalem Now, an addictions recovery center in North Philadelphia.
In addition to welcoming those in need with food and fellowship at our after-service coffee hour each Sunday, we provide clothes, SEPTA tokens, toiletries, snacks and Wawa gift cards for those who seek help either on Sunday or during the week.
In partnership with the Episcopal Cathedral, we collect food pantry items for the City’s shelters.
We provide support for a small town in El Salvador called Las Anonas both by annual giving through the Romero Interfaith Center but also by sponsoring delegations from the congregation to visit for mutual education, understanding, and spiritual support. Our most recent visit was Summer 2007, during which the delegation. participated in a press conference on behalf of El Salvadorans arrested on the way to a protest of water privatization.
We respond with emergency funding in the event of natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis with emergency relief funds through One Great Hour of Sharing.
Our Mission Values
We participate in ecological education and advocacy, especially around issues of water and sustainable food production. We buy renewable electricity through the Energy Cooperative as part of our efforts to lower our environmental impact (see our Philadelphia Sustainability Resources web page), We buy carbon offsets from the Gaviotas Carbon Offset Initiative to more than cover the energy usage of the building and remain carbon negative. We have financially supported the used cooking oil bio-diesel program at New Jerusalem Now addiction recovery community. We have provided the venue for fund-raising events for Green Village Philadelphia and meetings of the Sustainable Business Network and provide recycling opportunities for members of materials that are currently not being recycled elsewhere.
Equal Treatment for LGBTQIA People
As a More Light/Open and Affirming congregation (these are denominational labels given in the Presbyterian church USA and the United Church of Christ for such congregations) we welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families in to the full life and leadership of the congregation. We sponsor gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender candidates for ministry, perform union ceremonies, advocate in favor of civil marriage equality, testify for equal treatment at Presbytery meetings, and financially support the More Light and Open and Affirming ministries within our denominations. Tabernacle is a sponsoring member of the Philadelphia area YES! Coalition, and has provided space and volunteer support for Soulforce, WOW, and NGLTF’s National Religious Leadership Roundtable. In addition, we are a founding charter congregation that is a mission partner to the Incarnation Institute for Sex & Faith teaching an inclusive, science-friendly, and sex-positive Christianity. This ministry, founded by a former member of Tab, helps people love their bodies (and the bodies of others) as God does and offers resources, classes, and webinars highlighting an incarnational gospel of God-on-the-flesh. Two members of the congregation are profiled on the LGBTQIA Religious Archives Network website for their pioneering work. We also maintain an LGBTQIA Spiritual Resources web page.
Tabernacle’s Mission History
Tabernacle has a long history of founding mission projects that then become stand-alone non-profit organizations, including the Gray Panthers, the Northwest Interfaith Movement, Women’s Alliance for Job Equity, Borderlinks, the Metropolitan Career Center, The Career Wardrobe, the Interfaith Working Group, ArtWell, the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia, and the Interfaith Peace Walk.
Our “firsts” include: The first Sanctuary church in Philadelphia for fleeing immigrants in war-torn countries in Central America and the first More Light and Open and Affirming congregation in Pennsylvania
Stewardship of our Space
Our individual and corporate missions are integrated into both worship and education, and we offer the free use of our space to organizations whose mission is consistent with our own.