TPPC News and Notes

The following are news and notes of interest to the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church community. Times and locations of events listed here are subject to change without notice. Please contact the church office at 301-270-5550 or for more information and confirmation.

An archive of past articles is also available on this site.

Note: Links with the text "(PDF)" require the Adobe Reader to access the URL, which is available free from Adobe.


AIM Update

2016 was a Busy and Successful Year for TPPC and Action in Montgomery (AIM)

Several TPPC members and friends have become been actively involved in improving the lives of our neighbors in Montgomery County through our participation in AIM, which is celebrating 10 years in Montgomery County. Below are highlights of AIM's very successful year and our contributions to many of its successes.

Rebuilding Power Campaign

AIM current member institutions now represent over 60,000 county residents, including churches, synagogues, housing non-profits, parent-teacher associations and schools. AIM member institutions raised over $40,000 this year. TPPC members and friends have been quite generous, donating over $400. In addition, the TPPC Session designated AIM as its charity recipient at the Takoma Park Alternative Gift, which generated $1,040 for AIM! TPPC members and friends continue to work with AIM on the following campaigns.

Organizing for Affordable Housing and After School Programs ( now called the Dream Academy)

AIM has been extremely successful in its efforts to increase the amount of affordable housing in Montgomery County. In the last 15 years alone, AIM members have organized to create over $490 million of affordable housing stock in the Housing Initiative Fund. Though, tens of thousands of Montgomery County workers and residents still cannot afford to live in the county. AIM members therefore continue to keep affordable housing as a top priority until all people have affordable, safe and clean housing available to them.

AIM, in partnership with the Montgomery County Public School system (MCPS), is in the process of creating Dream Academy (formerly known as Child First), an innovative after-school and parent-organizing program that over time will help organize and serve thousands of families in our rapidly changing-county, where 55,000 MCPS students receive subsidized meals and the school system population is now nearly 70% students of color. Providing affordable high quality after-school enrichment programs and engaging parents in the life of the school is one of the best ways to support children and families at struggling schools. AIM's goal is to fully implement Dream Academy in at least five high-poverty elementary schools in the 2017-2018 school year. AIM and MCPS partnered together to run a successful demonstration program of Dream Academy in two elementary schools.

AIM Special Offering

AIM is one of the TPPC Mission projects that has a fund-raising month under the guidance of the church's new "ENCOURAGING A GENEROUS PEOPLE" Financial Stewardship Policy. We will be conducting a special offering in 2017 to support the Friends of AIM, which would allow AIM to expand its programs as follows:

There will be announcements in the church bulletin and after church, flyers, house parties, special book drive for children in a school participating in the AIM's Child First program near TPPC. We are so pleased by the growing interest and participation in AIM by TPPC members and friends.

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TPPC Has a New Boiler

Earlier this month a new higher efficiency hot water boiler was installed to heat the Education Building. Repairs were also made to the steam boiler which heats the Sanctuary. These repairs were long overdue, and needed to be completed before the cold season begins. Session is taking out a loan to help cover the $50,000 cost. Your support is needed to help defray the cost of the new heating system. If you have questions about the new boilers (or any Property matter), email

From Rev. Mark

September 30, 2016 concludes our ministry together at Takoma Park Church. Along with gratitude for our shared ministry, I am filled with sorrow. Saying goodbye, really walking through grief, is essential to living our Resurrection faith.

Copies of Pastor Mark's sermons will be available (August 14, September 11, September 18, September 25).

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TPPC and Boy Scout Troop 33 Celebrate 95 Years Of Scouting

TPPC and Takoma Boy Scout Troop 33 just celebrated 95 years of scouting together! Troop 33 was established in 1920 in partnership with TPPC, making it one of the longest continuously chartered Troops in the nation. The Troop has a proud history of service to the church family, community and the nation.

In December 2015 the City of Takoma Park issued an official Mayoral Proclamation “RECOGNIZING THE 95TH ANNIVERSARY OF BOY SCOUT TROOP 33 IN TAKOMA PARK”. Thank you TPPC for your faithful support of the many scouts and families of Troop 33!

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TPPC Adopts Resolution of Committed Racial Mindfulness

A Resolution of Committed Racial Mindfulness was adopted by our Session at its May meeting. The resolution grew out of discussions by a small group of TPPC members and friends who have been meeting to discuss how our church can respond to pervasive racism in our country. Our concerns were sparked by recent killings of African American men by law enforcement officers in Ferguson, New York, Cleveland, Baltimore, and elsewhere. These matters reflect how deeply white privilege and racial prejudice is embedded in our society and communities.

To read the resolution, access 2015-05_TPPC_Resolution_of_Committed_Racial_Mindfulness.pdf (PDF)

The resolution commits our church to undertake a program of "committed racial mindfulness" to raise our knowledge and understanding about racism and its effects, heighten our commitment and capability to oppose racism, and make us more effective messengers of conscientious racial mindfulness in our communities. The centerpiece of the Resolution is a commitment to develop and implement a program for training in committed racial mindfulness. The program would start by training leaders in our congregation and other churches, and then widen to include other members of our congregation, other congregations, and community groups.

For more information, access the Racial Justice and Peace Page or the CRM Information page.

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The Charter for Compassion

At their February Session meeting, the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church adpoted the Charter for Compassion, and voted to submit an overture to the General Assembly for PC USA to adopt the Charter for Compassion. At a special presbytery meeting the National Capital Presbytery voted to send TPPC's overture to the General Assembly.

What is the Charter for Compassion?

On February 28, 2008 Karen Armstrong won the TED Prize and made a wish: for help creating, launching and propagating a Charter for Compassion. Since that day, thousands of people have contributed to the process so that on November 12, 2009 the Charter was unveiled to the world.

The idea behind the charter is simple: Every religious, spiritual and ethical tradition human beings have ever developed has had at its center the idea of compassion. Equally simple - and equally powerful - is the notion of compassion that the Charter seeks to foster, which is the belief that we should treat others as we ourselves desire be treated.

In a joint article in the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper, Desmond Tutu and Karen Armstrong said of the launching of the Charter:

If we wish to create a viable world order, we must try to implement the golden rule globally, treating all peoples - even those who seem far removed from us - as we would wish to be treated ourselves. Â… Our world has become dangerously polarized and many of our policies - political, economic, financial and environmental - seem no longer sustainable. We have a choice. We can either choose the aggressive and exclusive tendencies that have developed in practically all religious and secular traditions or we can cultivate those that speak of compassion, empathy, respect and an impartial "concern for everybody."

Learn more and take action:

Visit the Charter Website for history, videos and to sign on:

A YouTube video on the charter is also available.

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