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Vote on The 2024-25 Fiscal Year (July 1 – June 30) Budget.

Budget Vote for TBC Fiscal Year 2024-25

There were no suggestions for changes to the FY 2024-25 Budget so you may now vote on the budget. Voting opens on June 14, and will end on June 26, 2024. Major financial expenditures like these budgets require at least 50 votes. Click here for a copy of the TBC Budget.

Click Here to vote electronically. Paper Ballots will also be available in the back of the Sanctuary.

Please remember, you need to be a member of TBC to vote and you may only vote once.

Looking Ahead with Hope and Anticipation (Revised)

Over the course of these last two months, we’ve seen God at work specifically through:
– the deepening of relationships 
– growing unity among leadership
– the offering and receiving of caregiving in our fellowship
– and the blessing of renewed hope

The list below offers a roadmap of opportunities for us to continue to gather, serve, and grow together. As it relates to your participation, we encourage you to pray for God’s guidance in your faithful “yeses” and “nos” alike. Which of these events might offer you the most joy and/or sustenance in the season ahead? Are there a handful of events God might be calling you to prioritize? Which events do you need to skip in order to be faithful to a calling God has already placed on your heart? Let’s commit to remain open to the holy nudges and assume the best in one another’s decision-making.
 
 Every time two or more are gathered, God brings opportunity for thriving and growth in community. You are a blessing to those of us that have found a home at Tabernacle and a key part of the unfolding blessing we are called to be in the larger community. Steady on, Church……steady on! 

OCTOBER

Saturday, October 21 – Community Ministry
Saturday, October 28 – Leadership Retreat with Mark Tidsworth (consultant)
Sunday, October 29 – Congregational Meeting with Mark Tidsworth (consultant), Sunday, October 29 – 8:00-8:30 PM – Way S’nah Htoo’s Baptism Service

NOVEMBER

Saturday, November 4 – Community Ministry
Saturday, November 4 – B&G meeting with Carson Dean (consultant)
Saturday, November 4 – Remember to move clock back an hour prior to going to bed (Daylight Saving Time ends)
Sunday, November 5 – All Saints Sunday
Sunday, November 5 – Quarterly Business Meeting (after worship), including initial report from B&G’s work with consultant. 
November 10-12       Youth Group to CBF Virginia Retreat at Eagle Eyrie
Sunday, November 12 – Informal Fellowship on the church portico (after worship)
Sunday November 12 – TBC hosting Rachel Pierce’s Ordination Service (3 p.m) Monday November 13 – Book Club Discussion on “Caste” by Isabell Wilkerson
Monday, Nov. 13 – 15 – Annual BGAV General Assembly Meeting at Bon Air Baptist Church Saturday, November 18 – Community Ministry
Sunday, November 19 – Church-wide breakfast in the Fellowship Hall
November 20 – 24 – Mission Team to Metro Baptist Church, NY
Tuesday, November 21 – Tabernacle and Pine Street Baptist Churches join FBC Richmond for a Thanksgiving Dinner and Worship Service

DECEMBER

Saturday, December 2- Community Ministry
Sunday, December 3 – First Sunday of Advent
Sunday, December 10 – Children & Youth Christmas Parties Thursday, December 14- TCCC Christmas Pageant Friday, December 15 –  packing of Christmas baskets
Saturday, December 16 – Christmas Basket Ministry (morning)  + Bruton Parish Concert in Williamsburg (evening)
Sunday, December 17 – Sanctuary Choir will share their Bruton Parish Concert Music during worship. Following worship, we will celebrate with Terry Witt, as she is retiring from the staff after 25 years of service, in the Fellowship Hall
Sunday, Decembber 17 – Voting for the TCCC Assistant Director closes at 2 PM.
Sunday, December 17 – Annual Christmas in the Fan Concert
Sunday, December 24 – Christmas Eve Service

SUMMER 2024

June 12-15   –  Older Children to Passport Kids Camp
June 30 to July 5 – Youth Group to Passport Choices  at Converse College

Stay Posted:
Details each of these events will be shared in the upcoming weeks, via TabWeekly, the webpage, and church calendar. 

What might God do with the dust of our fallen structures?

In light of last week’s headline, World Health Organization declaring an end to COVID-19 as a global health emergency

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

A word of encouragement to those (re)building, (re)viving, (re)missioning, and (re)forming institutions

All humans long for stability. Throughout time, Societies have built structures to protect stability. Call it covid, call it chaos, there’s been a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on. Rigid structures don’t tend to fare well when the ground starts shaking. No structure is meant to last forever and yet when history circles back around we’re surprised by its arrival. Anything we carve or build out of rock, bricks, steel, or glass, eventually falls. Travel to Greece, Rome, the site of the former World Trade Center in NYC, or, (dare I say it) down a long stretch of Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va, historical structures eventually and always buckle under the pressure of the passage of time.

Most any group of people that find themselves finally tasting the “good life” naturally want to build a structure that can maintain, expand, and protect that way of life (aka stability). Think about the destructive cycles that spin chaos into the world from there. If building, maintaining, expanding, and protecting our “good life” requires the diminishing, disqualifying or destruction of the lives of others, expect chaos and prepare to choke on the dust of fallen idols, fortresses, and structures.

I believe God is refashioning us, not only out of the dust of our fallen idols, fortresses, and structures, but also out of the dust being stirred up by the beautiful feet of those walking beside “God with Us”

There’s a moment in the Bible when the disciples of Jesus find themselves awestruck by the Temple structure,“Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what a wonderful structure!” Jesus responds, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” The temple is supposed to be the most stable place on earth, the one place where God’s finger touches the world, therefore the one place chaos can’t possibly exist.

Later in the story, those that arrested Jesus justify their actions based on the audacity of Jesus bringing chaos, the equivalent of kryptonite, into the temple. He doesn’t help his case when he predicts the temple’s destruction or in claiming he will rebuild the temple in three days. To add insult to injury, he claims the new Temple won’t be confined by geography or any other lines we might draw in the sand. No-one-corner of the world will be able to claim this One as their own. This One, is meant to travel. This One is a throwback to the original design. Anyone with institutional memory might call him “Tabernacle”, but most of his followers call him Savior.

Church, I know we’re all longing for stability, it’s natural to do so, especially in our grieving. I want you to know that I join you in deep grieving. So much more, I want you to know that we worship a God that brings order out of Chaos.

Any version of life, built upon a structure that diminishes the potential for thriving in the lives of others, cannot be attributed to the goodness of God.

YHWH didn’t fashion us out of metaphorical dust, breathe air into our lungs, and put us on our feet, only for us to create our own versions of the “good life”. Any version of life, built upon a structure that diminishes the potential for thriving in the lives of others, cannot be attributed to the goodness of God. Any version of the “good life” that leads someone into isolation, separation, or even relational annihilation is a cheap counterfeit. God is good…all of the time. The good life Christ offers is the real deal….the Way, the Truth, and The Life. Walk in the knowledge that we follow a Savior that can take all of the fallenness, brokenness, and complexities of the stories of the past and present, all of the unintentional chaos we’ve unleashed into the world, and somehow bring profound goodness through it. Know that God can, and will, make ALL things for good.

As we move out of this global pandemic, it will be critical for us to understand that it’s not our job to rebuild our temples. God already did that, three days after his son was crucified. The news gets even better. The resurrected Savior is inviting us to tabernacle with him right smack into the middle of the chaos. He’s inviting us to join the search party for those who have stumbled into, or were pushed into, lostness and loneliness. He’s inviting us to join him in the reclamation of the abandoned, to participate in the healing of the brokenhearted, and even in the resuscitation of the hearts of the presumed “righteous”.

In this very moment, I believe God is refashioning us, not only out of the dust of our fallen idols, fortresses, and structures, but also out of the dust being stirred up by the beautiful feet of those walking beside “God with Us”. It’s an invitation to breathe again. It’s an invitation to life again. It’s the invitation of a lifetime!

Rev. Sterling W. Severns, Pastor

  • This is an adaptation of something first written in January 2022.

The Wide Spectrum of Mothering

To those who gave birth this year to their first child — we celebrate with you

To those who lost a child this year–we mourn with you

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stain–we appreciate you

To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment—we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms–we need you

To those who have warm and close relationships with your children–we celebrate with you

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children–we sit with you

To those who lost their mothers this year–we grieve with you

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother–we acknowledge your experience

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood–we are better for having you in our midst

To those who have had abortions–we remember you on this day

To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children–we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be

To those who stepparent–we walk with you on these complex paths

To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren, yet that dream is not to be–we grieve with you

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year–we grieve and rejoice with you

To those who placed children up for adoption–we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart

And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising–we anticipate with you

This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.

Written by Amy Young

*** CONNECTION CARD: Click here to let us know you were present with us in worship, to ask a question, or share a prayer concern.

It’s Transfiguration Sunday!

IT’S TRANSFIGURATION SUNDAY! FEB 19 @ 11 AM (EST)We hope you’ll make plans to join us for this morning’s worship service. We will conclude the season of light celebrating the Transfiguration of Jesus. We will conclude the worship service in a circle of candlelight, turning our attention to the Lenten journey ahead.

FOR THOSE PARTICIPATING IN THE VIRTUAL ACRE:

During the invitation hymn, those participating virtually will be encouraged to log out of the livestream AND immediately log into the zoom link below. This will allow our virtual participants, each holding candles, to be visually seen alongside those in the physical sanctuary. It only would make sense to do this if you’re comfortable turning on your zoom camera to be seen in the circle of candlelight. If you’d rather not be seen, it’s best to just stay in the livestream.

IF YOU’D LIKE TO BE SEEN IN THE CIRCLE OF CANDLELIGHT….

1) Login into this zoom link when prompted:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3425677717?pwd=eTBUWW9vSkx5OHpEZjVhOHdyUHc0UT09

Meeting ID: 342 567 7717
Passcode: 909439

2) Turn on your camera so that you and your UNLIT candle can be seen on the monitor in the Sanctuary.

3) Be sure your microphone is muted.

4) You’ll be prompted to light your candle, when those in the physical room are lighting theirs.

Registration Deadline for this weekend’s: Re-Visioning Retreat, January 13-15, 2023

In decades past, previous generations at Tabernacle set aside time, often full weeks or weekends, to come together purposefully and expectantly. Long ago, these gatherings were called revivals and more recently spiritual renewal weekends.

 Though the format of those gatherings have changed, the longings and expectations of each generation, including our generation, have not wavered. For almost 150 years our local congregation has come together, often in our most vulnerable chapters of communal life, to express our yearning for revival, to pray for inspirited vision, to petition God to give us unity in the (re)discovery of purpose and call. 

The weekend of January 13-15, 2023, our generation will come together, in both the physical church building and in our virtual acre. Mark Tidsworth, our facilitator, will  help us explore the challenges and opportunities standing before the Universal Church and guide our local church in prayerful discernment/dialogue.

We will  introduce three questions as an invitation into  discernment.  

What might God do, in and through us,  if we were to shift away from __________________  and move toward _________________? 

  • member identity to disciple identity
  • attractional to missional church
  • consumer culture to sacred partnering

On Friday night, Mark will provide a format we’ll use for capturing our insights and we’ll continue to gather and glean throughout the entire weekend. This, plus the insights generated during multiple small group discussions, will be funneled to church leadership after this weekend. In turn, the leaders will determine how we can effectively continue to discern together as a congregation. 

The Holy Spirit is prompting our old church to embrace a new day in this new world we’re all living in and we offer our praise to God for what we’re about to see and hear.  Tabernacle, yet again, Christ is on the move, and, yet again, the revived, renewed, and re-missioned Church is called to follow.  


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Retreat Schedule:
Friday, January 13 6-9 pm (dinner provided)
Saturday, January 14, 9-12 pm 12-12:45 (lunch provided), 12:45 – 3 pm
Sunday, January 15, 9 – 10:30 am + worship

Cost: 
There is no registration fee. However, we do ask that each participant bring a pack of bottled waters or canned beverages + a sweet/salty snack to share.

Childcare: 
Whereas, we won’t be able to provide a nursery on-site,  we can help offset some of the expense of baby sitting in your homes and possibly identify babysitters.

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It will be helpful to us if each participating member of your household registers separately. Please REGISTER BY CLICKING HERE.

A greeting from our Retreat Facilitator

Nov. 21 Zoom mtg postponed

Tonight’s  Zoom Meeting, regarding Fire Protection, has been postponed.

The decision to postpone tonight’s zoom mtg. is based on updated information our lay leadership received this morning. Thanks for your flexibility and  also for helping us put the word out to your classes, committees, teams, and small groups.

We’ll reschedule the meeting after we’ve explored the info we’ve just received. 

Discipleship Pathways

“What would the church look like if everyone in the church used their God-given gifts and talents to equip the rest of the church in such a way that the entire church became more like Jesus?”  For if the whole church looked and lived more like Jesus, how much more would our neighborhoods and cities look more like heaven?

– JR Woodard

The Pastoral Staff has been hard at work in preparing to equip the church in this next season of life together. Early this week, we’ll share the details of what the church can expect. This document will serve as a primer in better understanding why we’re beginning “here” and what to expect from each space we’re creating. Our goal is to prompt each one of us to take a deeper step in our walk with Christ; we make the road by walking. 

DISCIPLESHIP IS THE GOAL

It’s all about equipping the people of the Church to be more like Jesus in a world that needs the love of Jesus.  Christian discipleship is about calling others to join us in practicing a way of life in which we embody (flesh out) the life of Jesus in the context of the world as we journey to fulfill God’s mission together.

  • Discipleship is a way of life, not an intellectual assimilation of ideas or a program.*
    • We must deliberately practice discipleship in our daily lives, if we want to disciple others; It’s essential for us to practice what we teach. 
    • Discipleship is about inviting people to become whole again, to become more like Jesus, overcoming destructive habits and building life-giving habits
    • Discipleship takes place in the street and the sanctuary, the classroom and the living room, its about being “with people” in everyday life
    • Discipleship happens when we are on mission together, joining God in the renewal of all things.

Explore the primary tool we’re using to develop three unique spaces of belonging in Fall 2022.

Explore our fall programming guide

Short on time? Here’s a snapshot of what to expect this fall

* Adapted from Jr Woodard's Creating a Missional Culture: Equipping the Church for the Sake of the World 

A Month of Maintenance Work for Our Home at Grove & Meadow

This report was submitted back in June from Donna and the Building and Grounds Committee. Since it was a large and costly project, we thought for those of you who may have missed it the first time around, we would bring it back to the top of the posts so you can have a chance to read it again.

It’s been an exciting month of activity around our buildings for the month of May and into early June.  You may not notice unless you look hard or unless you are spending time in the choir area or Blue Room!  The members of the Building & Grounds Committee thought you would like to see just how hard folks have been working for needed repairs and renovations, thanks to our partnerships with local experts.  Old World Masonry Restoration, Vassars Services and Jeter Flooring all did an excellent job for us!

To read the full report which includes pictures of the project, click here.

Many thanks to Vincent, Donna and the Building & Grounds Committee.

Fiscal Year 2022-23 Final Budget

This is the budget from the Finance Committee for everyone’s review. Click here to access the budget. There was a zoom call this past Sunday evening at 7 PM for anyone that wanted to ask questions or add input before the Finance Committee submitted the final budget today. If you missed that meeting but would like to view it, click here for the recording of the 7 PM meeting from Sunday, June 5.

The timeline for the budget will be as follows:
Beginning June 8 – please review the budget. If you have any questions please reach out to Margaret Ailes, Jim Soyars, or Dan Herman our Finance Committee members.June 22– Online voting begins for the Budget – Click here to vote electronically. June 26- Paper Ballot in Worship and Vote Closes at 3 PM.

The TCCC Budget can be reviewed by clicking here.

We’re Expecting Company and could really use some help in some practical “once and done” projects…….

We’re anticipating a wonderful season of re-connection and welcome. Now is the time to get ready for company. 

TECHIES

Reset a wifi enable deadbolt and connect to TBC wifi.Deadline – February 15

PEOPLE THAT LOVE SORTING AND MATCHING OFFICE SUPPLIES AND/OR ORGANIZING CABINETS

  It’s well past time for us to pull everything out of the cabinets in our copy machine room and the supply closet just around the corner. We need 2-3 folks to tackle this. Probably would take a day of working together or two half days?  Deadline – February 15

SPREADSHEET PEOPLE…..

* Enter data related to worship attendance over multiple years into a spreadsheet AND create some charts that help us track trends. * Gather some specific content from annual Book of Reports, enter said content into a spreadsheet. Deadline – FEBRUARY 28

PEOPLE THAT LOVE SANDING, PAINTING, and REFINISHING*

We’ve got a small handful of wooden tables and desks that need to get freshened up. No presumptions as to how many you’d knock out. Just let us know what you’re up for and we’ll assume others will do the same. Deadline – FEBRUARY 28

KEY MASTERS…..*

We’re looking for a curious sleuth to go through random keys, attempt to identify matching locks AND/OR label and re-organize our current keys.  Deadline – MARCH 1

Interested parties…..please contact pastor@tbcrichmond.org.   Sterling will connect you to the appropriate coordinator and we’ll take it from there. 

Stay posted as lots of other opportunities will be posted in the week(s) ahead.

RSVP For Wednesday Night Meal – February 1, 2023

Please RSVP For Wednesday Night Meal 

(Revamped) Dinner Church on Wednesday Night

We  hope you’ll make plans to join us for Dinner Church on Wednesday, January 25.  Please note the second iteration of this new ministry model is slightly different from the original:

5:30 – 6 p.m.
Early arrivers will help prepare the physical space

6 – 7 p.m.   
Break break and explore faith (older children – Senior Adult)
* Preschool – 1st Grade will eat and participate in a different space.

7 p.m.
Parents and children head home. Others may do the same or opt to help clean-up and enjoy unstructured fellowship.

7:15 – 8:15 p.m.
Those with a desire to delve deeper into the conversation are invited to gather in the Sanctuary with our pastor.   

Hope you’ll make plans to join us on Wednesday, February 1.  Please CLICK HERE to RSVP so we can plan for dinner. Please RSVP by 7:00 PM Monday, January 30.

***If you would like to attend and bring your own meal, please feel free to do so.***

The cost for the meal will be $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children and youth with a maximum of $20 per family. We will accept cash, check (made payable to Tabernacle Baptist Church), scan the QR Code or Credit/Debit card.

Come and See

Standing in the stairway, welcoming a neighbor into the building, our conversation follows a familiar path. “How is your family? You know I’m always going to ask you that because I know your family is important,” they say. This neighbor, despite their own complex family history and solitude living situation, consistently takes the time to ask about my loved ones. There is nothing unusually deep or unique about the conversation, yet it yields empathy and compassion. It’s the moment I see the best of my neighbor.

This is when I recognize Christ in my neighbors face. It’s this moment where we are genuinely caring for each other, that I see a more complete picture of my neighbor. This pushes me towards deeper empathy and understanding.

Holy moments happen all the time. They unfold in normal conversation, with the participants leaving knowing they were on holy ground. They don’t depend on your ability to fix or assist, but rather on simply being present and authentically engaging with others.

Amidst the holy moments on Saturday mornings, we offer a hot meal, food and clothes. Food might be the “why” that brings people into the building but it should not trump getting to know our neighbors. When we look at our neighbors with love, we see the best parts of them—we see Jesus. Come and see.

-April

Saturday, May 18, 7:30 – 11:15 a.m. We would love for you to join us on Saturday morning. There is an opportunity for everyone: signing in neighbors, cooking breakfast, assisting neighbors with shopping, restocking, organizing clothes, loading cars and of course the best opportunity of all— enjoying time with neighbors around the table. 

Please sign up and let the team know you are coming! 

https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSf4HUJAN7dD2l…/viewform

Holy Week Schedule

March 24, 11:00 AM – Palm Sunday Worship in the Sanctuary
 
March 28, 6:00-7:30 PM – Maundy Thursday Communion Service in the
                                           Sanctuary
              
        Foot Washing 6:00-6:25 PM      Communion Service 6:30-7:30 PM

*** Because we are preparing food for Maundy Thursday, an RSVP to Judy@tbcrichmond.org would be really helpful.  If you discover you can come and have not sent an RSVP please come on anyway! ***

March 29, 7:00 PM – Good Friday Service: Stations of the Cross in the   
                                   Sanctuary
 
March 30, 5:00 PM – Easter Egg Hunt at the home of Judy and Eric Fiske
                                   Contact Judy@tbcrichmond.org for the address
                                                                     
March 31, 9:00 AM   Easter Breakfast in the Fellowship Hall
                11:00 AM    Easter Worship in the Sanctuary,
                                    Christ is Risen Indeed!!

Anxiety: A Lenten Reflection by Frederick Buechner

Written by Frederick Buechner, Whistling in the Dark

“Have no anxiety about anything,” Paul writes to the Philippians. In one sense it is like telling a woman with a bad head cold not to sniffle and sneeze so much or a lame man to stop dragging his feet. Or maybe it is more like telling a wino to lay off the booze or a compulsive gambler to stay away from the track.

Is anxiety a disease or an addiction? Perhaps it is something of both. Partly, perhaps, because you can’t help it, and partly because for some dark reason you choose not to help it, you torment yourself with detailed visions of the worst that can possibly happen. The nagging headache turns out to be a malignant brain tumor. When your teenage son fails to get off the plane you’ve gone to meet, you see his picture being tacked up in the post office among the missing and his disappearance never accounted for. As the latest mid-East crisis boils, you wait for the TV game show to be interrupted by a special bulletin to the effect that major cities all over the country are being evacuated in anticipation of nuclear attack. If Woody Allen were to play your part on the screen, you would roll in the aisles with the rest of them, but you’re not so much as cracking a smile at the screen inside your own head.

Does the terrible fear of disaster conceal an even more terrible hankering for it? Do the accelerated pulse and the knot in the stomach mean that, beneath whatever their immediate cause, you are acting out some ancient and unresolved drama of childhood? Since the worst things that happen are apt to be the things you don’t see coming, do you think there is a kind of magic whereby, if you only can see them coming, you will be able somehow to prevent them from happening? Who knows the answer? In addition to Novocain and indoor plumbing, one of the few advantages of living in the twentieth century is the existence of psychotherapists, and if you can locate a good one, maybe one day you will manage to dig up an answer that helps.

But answer or no answer, the worst things will happen at last even so. “All life is suffering” says the first and truest of the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths, by which he means that sorrow, loss, death await us all and everybody we love. Yet “the Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything,” Paul writes, who was evidently in prison at the time and with good reason to be anxious about everything, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

He does not deny that the worst things will happen finally to all of us, as indeed he must have had a strong suspicion they were soon to happen to him. He does not try to minimize them. He does not try to explain them away as God’s will or God’s judgment or God’s method of testing our spiritual fiber. He simply tells the Philippians that in spite of them even in the thick of them they are to keep in constant touch with the One who unimaginably transcends the worst things as he also unimaginably transcends the best.  

“In everything,” Paul says, they are to keep on praying. Come Hell or high water, they are to keep on asking, keep on thanking, above all keep on making themselves known. He does not promise them that as a result they will be delivered from the worst things any more than Jesus himself was delivered from them. What he promises them instead is that “the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The worst things will surely happen no matter what that is to be understood but beyond all our power to understand, he writes, we will have peace both in heart and in mind. We are as sure to be in trouble as the sparks fly upward, but we will also be “in Christ,” as he puts it. Ultimately not even sorrow, loss, death can get at us there.

That is the sense in which he dares say without risk of occasioning ironic laughter, “Have no anxiety about anything.” Or, as he puts it a few lines earlier, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, Rejoice!”

Philippians 4:4-7

Ash Wednesday: Feb 14, 2024

Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent, a season of deep reflection on human frailty and brokenness. It’s a season of honest and hopeful repentance. On this day, a cross of ash is gently placed on one’s forehead, accompanied by the solemn reminder, “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.” 

We invite you to join us for a portion of the day on February 14th to take part in the observance of Ash Wednesday.

11 AM – 5:30 PM The sanctuary will be open You may choose to simply receive ashes only, or stay a little longer for meditation and prayer. 


5:30-6:20 PM  Join us for pancake dinner. (Suggested Donation of $5 per Person)


6:30-7:15 PM  Join us for a communal Ash Wednesday Service in the Sanctuary.  The service will include music, readings, a reflection and the imposition of ashes. 

Annual Business Meeting – Sunday, February 4, 2024


Annual Business this Sunday, February 4, 2024.

Special Edition: The annual meeting will be held on Sunday, February 4, after Worship.  We hope you will join us. Lunch will be served for those attending in person.

2023 Book of Reports

We are also making available the 2024 Church Clerk’s Report so that we can officially vote in one new member of the church making them eligible to vote on several important matters during the meeting. Please click here for the Report.

Virtual participants can join the meeting via zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89176786037?pwd=SG12ZFMzOEE1d25ZRkdaNjFqR1VLUT09

Meeting ID: 891 7678 6037
Passcode: 045385

Preparation for our January 21 Meeting:

TBC Building & Grounds Committee Request for Approval
Building Repairs for 1st Half of 2024

Unable to make it in person for the meeting on Sunday, January 21st? Here is the zoom link for the meeting:
Topic: Churchwide Business Meeting – Building & Grounds Report
Time: Jan 21, 2024 12:30 PM Eastern Time
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88409430873?pwd=bTFIZUV0azB3Szh4MjdoeFNrRnJ2UT09
Meeting ID: 884 0943 0873
Passcode: 456974
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdq1NkCzE

Worship in our current location started in 1911. Tabernacle Baptist Church’s members have experienced challenges from the very beginning in how to manage the pull between resources, wants, and reality when it comes to our buildings. The intent was to immediately add a new Main Auditorium. World War I and the Spanish Flu slowed the progress in raising needed funds, so plans were adjusted. “Despite all of the obstacles placed in her way the church continued to prosper, membership grew to 1,600 active members, construction was completed on the new Auditorium, and on Sunday morning, March 18, 1923, dedication of the new Tabernacle Baptist Church began with services which would continue for a period of two weeks. (page 97)”. That new Auditorium is not our sanctuary of today. 

Our buildings have changed and so has our membership over the years, and yet our desire to make the best use of our facilities has not. We have served God, our neighbors and each other faithfully over the years. God’s faithfulness is revealed every single time we take time to pause and remember.

As the population shifted to the suburban areas in the early 1980s and the membership of TBC continued to decline, our efforts to serve the community remained steadfast. It was in May 1983 that a Day Care Advisory Committee reported on their 14-month study, indicating that a new Day Care Center was needed as an expansion of TBC’s outreach program.

“Accordingly, on July 27 Mrs. Cindy Hutchinson was selected…to become Tabernacle’s first Child Care Center Director. The Center opened on September 19, 1983.” (page 196) The educational building that was dedicated November 25, 1956 for church school and office space was in use again for educating pre-school children. We are grateful today to partner once again with Cindy, now the Director of ExCELL.

More recently, a church-wide fund-raising campaign was begun in early 2014 with the theme “Embracing a God-Sized Vision.” Our goal this large was much greater than a church Tabernacle’s size would normally achieve. With much prayer and the generosity of our dedicated congregation, by July 2014 $1,400,000 was committed. As we look back at the excitement related to the God-Sized Vision campaign, we had NO idea what was coming. We thought we knew. We made plans. The plans didn’t work out and now God is working them out. That’s what God does…every single time. We find ourselves now being blessed by what God has provided, which is a way to continue to complete key repairs and renovations. Once again, God has helped us reassess and find a way for us to use our spaces to foster his work among us and into our community.

As we look back at the excitement related to the God-Sized Vision campaign, we had NO idea what was coming. We thought we knew. We made plans. The plans didn’t work out and now God is working them out.

That’s what God does…every single time.

In November 2023, we received the gift of Carson Dean’s final Building Assessment Report. There is a lot to consider in that report! What we are suggesting is that we start with an implementation of the more immediate repairs needed, with implementation of more of Carson’s recommendations to come in the months ahead. His evaluation gives us even more confidence that we are on the right path for the building and how the building supports our mission as we move forward together in our “Season of Renewal.” We have drafted an implementation plan for upgrades/repairs to the building over a three-year period. We are introducing the first phase of that plan now and will present the next phases once we have a little more time to finalize some thoughts and information, targeting this spring to discuss future upgrades.

With this in mind, we ask for your support in using our designated Restricted Fund 410-Building Funds and GSV funds in the first half of 2024 to:

  1. Replace the boiler $72,000 (quote)
  2. Replace the atrium roof $90,000 (estimate) (already approved by the congregation in 2020; including it here to give you the full picture of use of the money and because the scope of that project may have changed)
  3. Seal edges of the slate roof $35,000 (quote)
  4. Recoat the asphalt roof $15,000 (quote)
  5. Add hot water to the 2nd & 3 rd floors of the Williams Building $15,000 (estimate)

TOTAL APPROVAL REQUEST:

The repairs listed above will be completed as early as possible in 2024, with costs not to exceed $225,000. (The Building Fund has about $97,000 and GSV funds today total about $270,000)

Please note that upon your approval of these funds, we will make commitments to our selected vendors in order to keep the quoted pricing for each item. Prices increase quickly currently.

It is always good to remind ourselves that it’s all God’s. It’s all God’s building…it’s God’s mission and we’re invited to be a part of that mission, just like those that came before us and those who will come behind us. Our role is to do our best to listen to God and make choices based on being good stewards of what God has provided.

Mark your Calendars:

The Building and Grounds Committee looks forward to sharing a presentation with the entire congregation after worship on January 21, 2024.

Note: The Annual Business Meeting has been bumped back a week to Sunday, Feb. 4.

Quotations are from “The First Hundred Years: A History of The Tabernacle Baptist Church of Richmond, Virginia”

Advent Devotion: The Journey from Christmas

Scripture ReadingIf you put an end to oppression, to every gesture of contempt, and to every evil work; if you give food to the hungry and satisfy those who are in need, then the darkness around you will turn to the brightness of noon.

Isaiah 58:10

God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus He has created us for a life of good deeds, which He has already prepared for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

MeditationAmong my fondest Christmas memories are the Christmas Eve services at Fredericksburg Baptist Church –the traditional hymns, the candles, the sense of family, big and small.  It is a time of great joy when we allow ourselves to think about new beginnings and hope for a better world.

In many ways that is the essence of Christmas.  It is a journey toward hope.  But God’s call to each of us is to put hope into action.  It would be a mistake to only see the joy and hope that the baby Jesus represents and not listen to the rest of the story, the story of God’s call to reconciliation for each of us and for those whose lives we touch every day.  Our response to the journey after Christmas must be, “Here I am Lord, send me.”

Thus, as we celebrate this holy day, we must recognize that the journey to Christmas was to prepare us for the hard work of the journey from Christmas.  The road is long and filled with trials but the Jesus we meet on Christmas Day travels with us, if we choose to let Him.  And He transforms us on the journey. 

 These words from John Westerhoff, III say it well:

We have been called into a visionary community to risky, laughable lives of tomorrow’s people, to live in and for God’s dream, to witness to a world of peace and unity, freedom and equality, of justice and well being for all people.  We are called to accept the cost and the joy of discipleship, to proclaim the word and deed of the good news of God’s dream come true.  God promises us courage and strength in the struggle for peace and justice; God forgives us our failures and lifts us up to new possibilities; God is present in our trials and rejoicing and hopes from this day forward.

Prayer:  Oh Lord, thank You for the joy of Christmas and Your gift of hope wrapped in swaddling clothes.  Please travel with us on the journey ahead and continually remind us that if we are faithful to the trek, not only will we find friends along the way, not only will we find the beautiful and the true and the good and the lovely and the delicious tastes and sounds and smells and sights given to us by the Creator of the journey …but we will also catch a vision of what is at the end of the road.  Amen.

      (paraphrase from Ken Medema)

Advent Devotion: Servant Leadership

Written by Fred & Ginny Karnas Narrated by Laura Severns

Scripture:  Then [Jesus] poured some water into a washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist . . .  “I, your Lord and Teacher, have just washed your feet.  You, then, should wash one another’s feet… Now that you know this truth, how happy you will be if you put it into practice!”  

John 13: 5, 14, & 17

Meditation:  A life-sized bronze statue of Christ stands outside the Christ House building on Columbia Road in the Adams-Morgan neighborhood of northwest Washington, DC.  It is a statue of the “Servant Christ” kneeling with a bowl of water to symbolically wash the feet of whoever passes by.  

Marie worked as a cook at Christ House, and she learned the truth Jesus was teaching when He washed His disciples’ feet.  She acquired the servanthood of love.  Her smile lit up any room, and her cheerful willingness to alter or add to her already-busy schedule bore witness to her inner light of love.  For instance, there were occasions when a Christ House patient would develop a need for a special dish or diet such as chicken soup or clear liquids.  Marie wouldn’t just open up a can of soup; she would make some from scratch!  She lived out Christ’s command to be a willing, loving servant to others.

Marie was born in Kenya, and over the years she saved up enough from her modest pay to obtain a better home for her father who still lives in that African country.  When others needing homes moved in with him, she saved again to enlarge the dwelling.

The salt and light of Marie’s life made me want to give my best to the work at Christ House.  Thus, she became a leader for me through her servanthood.  Often on my way into work at 7:00 a.m. I would see Marie walking to early Mass, knowing she had a full day of hard work in the Christ House kitchen ahead of her after worship.  I had to admit to myself that I probably would have slept later most of the time instead of going to early church on a workday.

As God’s glory was shown 2,000 years ago in the lives of the humble Mary and Joseph who were willing servants of God, so the glorious love of the Savior was shown in the life of the humble cook, Marie.

Prayer:  As this holy season approaches, may we learn better to tread the journey of humility and servanthood which You, dear Lord, have journeyed before us.  May we learn in the doing of it, that loving servanthood is, paradoxically, the road to joy.  Amen.

Introduction to Fred & Ginny’s Devotional Series