Tabernacle United Church

Progressive Christianity for a change

United Church of Christ and Presbyterian Church (USA)

3700 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104 - 215-386-4100 - Worship Sundays at 10 AM

We are called into compassionate community, Following Christ, Advocating for peace,
justice and reconciliation And celebrating God's loving embrace of all creation.

Visitors FAQ

What should I wear?

Whatever you want. Come as you are. People show up in everything from jeans to suits. All are welcome.

Do I have to give money when I to come to church?

Nope. We pass a collection plate during the service to help support our mission, but you don't have to put anything in, and if you do, whatever you're comfortable with is fine. Not everyone gives each week, and you won't be pressured to give.

Do I need to know anything in advance? Will I be asked to do anything?

No experience is necessary and all are welcome! Instructions are printed in the bulletin or announced, and there aren't many instructions. At the end of the service we all gather in a circle for prayer. This can be daunting for first-time visitors, so if you'd feel more comfortable remaining in your seat, that's fine: just know that you’re deeply welcome to join us. You will also be asked to greet those around you during the "passing of the peace." During this time, we mingle, smile, shake hands and say "Peace" or "Peace be with you" to one another. For a more detailed description of the service, click here.

What about communion?

Communion is served on the first Sunday of every month and is open to anyone who would like to participate. In order to make sure people who can't drink alcohol are able to take part, we use grape juice instead of wine.

Do I have to join after visiting a few times?

No. Some who have been active at Tab for years are friends of the congregation, but have never formally joined. On any given Sunday, you will meet other visitors, friends and members. We hold introductory sessions four times a year after church for people who want to learn more, and if you're interested in joining right away, we're happy to talk to you about it any time.

What's a friend of the congregation?

Somebody who comes regularly, is an intentional part of the community and is listed in the directory, but hasn't joined.

So what's the point in joining?

Members get to vote at the annual meeting where the budget is decided and the church Council is elected, and only members can be elected to the Council. For many, joining is a way of signaling their commitment to Tab to themselves and others. For more information on how the church is run, click here.

What does it cost to join?

Nothing. Members usually pledge to give a weekly, monthly, or annual donation, but how much they pledge is up to them. Many friends of the congregation pledge too.

What do I have to believe?

We welcome people who are curious, thinking about, or are on a faith journey. Therefore your intention is more important than your belief system. People attending Tab have a fairly wide range of beliefs. Some of us are still figuring out what exactly we believe, and some of our beliefs have changed over time. Tab members and most friends have a belief system consistent with the church's mission statement, and are comfortable identifying themselves as Christians or Progressive Christians.

What is Progressive Christianity?

That really depends on whom you ask. There are a number of Theologies (understandings of God) and Christologies (understandings of Christ) that are typically associated with Progressive Christianity, but we don't require that you know them or adhere to one of them. We will offer you opportunities in worship, education, and mission, to learn about them, to develop your own faith, and to apply your beliefs.

What about my kids?

Your kids are welcome too. We have nursery facilities for kids up to five years of age, and Sunday school half way through the service for older kids. People of all ages are welcome to stay for the whole service if they want.

Will I really feel comfortable, even if I'm different and have never been to a church before?

Yes. We're all kind of different. Folks at Tabernacle come from all sorts of religious backgrounds or none at all. All are truly welcome.

How long is the Sunday worship?

It starts at 10 and ends between 11 and 11:30.

OK. I'm coming. How do I get there?

Click here for directions.