Meet the Staff
Rev. Kathryn Aikins, Pastor
Born in Bristol, Pennsylvania, Katie moved to Reykjavík, Iceland at the age of four where her parents were missionaries. She spent the better part of her childhood in Iceland, and continues to maintain ties there. She has returned often in her adult life, including for theological studies and as a leader of art and music programs for Icelandic youth.
Katie completed a B.A. in Theology at Colorado Christian University and a Master of Divinity at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta. Upon graduating from seminary, Katie stayed in Atlanta for several years and served as co-pastor at Mercy Community Church, a congregation of mostly poor and homeless members. At Mercy, she led worship, Bible studies, and addiction recovery meetings. Katie also served as Associate Pastor at Druid Hills United Methodist Church where she focused on creating opportunities for spiritual nurture, social justice, and community building among young adults. She was ordained at Mercy Community Church in 2009 and received standing as a minister in the United Church of Christ in 2011.
Katie strives to be faithful to the call of Jesus Christ and advocates for the church to live out its call to be a sanctuary for all people, especially those most excluded in our society. While living in Atlanta, Katie visited regularly on death row in Jackson, Georgia and continues to work for the abolition of the death penalty as one form of the powers of death and dehumanization in our midst.
Katie also has a love for music, especially gospel and hip hop, and enjoys playing drums, baking, and spending time in God’s creation.
Katie’s office hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, by appointment.
Meagan McLeod, Youth Pastor
Meagan McLeod has been a resident of Philadelphia, Pa. her entire life. She was raised in an urban environment that while the community she and her family was connected to offered support and guidance, the neighborhood gave Meagan a bird’s eye view of how systems such as poverty and education can affect a generation of people.
Meagan completed her Bachelor’s Degree from Temple University in Speech Communication and then received her Master’s Degree from Lutheran Theological Seminary. “I realize that education is a privilege and I want that privilege to be offered to everyone.”
Meagan has just begun to search her ministerial path to find out where God is leading her. Meagan has a heart for those living on the margins of society who are easily ignored and those whose voices are silenced.
Meagan is the Youth Pastor at Tabernacle United and she enjoys walking this spiritual journey with the youth and guiding them toward a place of understanding themselves better, one another, and the world.
Meagan is also currently the Chaplain/ Spiritual Director at Friends Psychiatric Hospital which allows her to continue to live within her purpose of helping those on the margins of society.
Meagan’s contact email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pax Ressler, Minister of Music
Pax is a Philadelphia-based performer, composer and theatre artist who grew up in the Mennonite Church. A love of hymns and singing in church inspired Pax to pursue a career in music. They studied music education and theatre at Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana. In addition to directing music at TAB, Pax works as a performer, composer, designer, and music director for Philadelphia theatre companies. They started writing music at the age of 10 and have written commissioned instrumental and choral works for ensembles in Philadelphia and beyond. Pax is queer and genderqueer; they are committed to queer and transgender justice, as well as operating in solidarity with other marginalized communities. They see music as a powerful spiritual practice to sing our desire for and commitment to social justice and to build strong community connections.
Chelle Bruhn, Office Manager
Chelle (Michelle for long) has lived on both coasts and a few points in between, but quite happily decided on Philadelphia several years ago. Putting her master’s degree in International Relations to good use, she’s worked in church administration for over five years and is very pleased to use her experience in service of the Tab community. She likes to read (everything), write (fiction), and will gladly give you her opinion on folk music, sour beers, and the correct pronunciation of GIF if you’re interested.
Lisa Jacobs, Nursery Caregiver
Lisa Jacobs was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, but has called West Philly home for the past seven years. She has a background in Public Health and Social Work and has been involved in the Interfaith Center’s Walking the Walk and Zones of Peace Initiatives since 2011. Prior to moving to Philadelphia, Lisa lived in Washington, DC where she was a member of the DC Childcare Collective, a volunteer collective that provides free childcare as a form of political solidarity. She is delighted to be spending her Sunday mornings as Tabernacle’s childcare provider.