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 email@example.com for more information and confirmation.
An archive of past articles is also available on this site.
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On December 4, Action in Montgomery and Industrial Areas Foundation clergy shared small chairs to fit as many as possible into the small courtroom. Still more clergy and AIM leaders stood, shoulder to shoulder, in a windowless waiting room next door. They heard testimony and cross examination of a detained AIM leader whose faith and deep drive to share God's love left him with no option but to immigrate to the U.S. in search of a place where he could practice his religion without fear of retribution.
For months, AIM and IAF leaders rallied around this humble hero, visiting him in the detention center, visiting his young daughter, writing letters of support to the judge for his case, and collected evidence and testimony that was used in court.
On November 30 at AIM’s vigil, TPPC members along with 100 people prayed that this AIM leader be returned to us, and that we might be a loving, faithful and united community for him and for God. AIM is one of the missions of TPPC.
The judge decided to give him permission to live in the U.S. indefinitely and apply for a work permit, and welcomed him to this country. Two hours later, he was reunited with his daughter.
"My father taught me that we should love everyone, of every faith, race, and background," he said. "When I looked up in court and saw black, white, Jewish, Catholic and Christian people all there with me, I knew how right he was."
On Sunday, September 23rd, 2018 we celebrated the 125th anniversary of the official "incorporation" date of Takoma Park Presbyterian Church in 1893, and this event is just the beginning. The Session and members of the planning committee intend to offer several ways over the coming year to mark this special anniversary year.
On Saturday, October 27th we will hold a Gala celebration of our history including a buffet meal, a program of events including remarks from Mayor Stewart and, most importantly, the event will offer a time for fun, music, fellowship and personal history sharing. This will take place in the TPPC Gymnasium and the meal will be provided by vendors using the Community Kitchen. The doors will open at 5:30 pm and historical photos will be on display as well as interactive ways to incorporate each of our own personal histories to the lifeline of the special place called Takoma Park Presbyterian Church.
Volunteers are enjoying the perusal of old church bulletins, session meeting notes and other documents that denote the specific highlights of our time in community over the last 125 years. We will select some special milestones to share with all.
The Committee requests a voluntary donation of $15/person, kids under 14 years are free, and a $30 cap per family. We offer the opportunity to make a special $125 anniversary donation to be earmarked for upkeep of the building.
On Sunday, October 28th, Reformation Sunday, we will continue our celebration of this church with a special anthem written by Dr. Bingham and a re-dedication of our work in the world together.
Other planned events are in the formative stage - ideas solicited from the congregation include a Hymn sing, photo wall, and block party. We will work together to weave some of these ideas into the next stage of our celebrations.
The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize was recently awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Former TPPC Youth Director Emily Welty and her husband Matthew Bolton were both heavily involved with getting the nuclear weapons ban treaty passed by the United Nations as ICAN members.
Read Emily Welty's reflections on the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons being awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize at the WCC Pilgramage Blog.
Emily was a former TPPC youth director, and Emily and Matthew were also married at TPPC.
Beginning mid-September, we will be renting out space to the Fabrangen Cheder community on Sunday mornings. The group is a small, progressive parent-taught cooperative Jewish cultural school for families in the Takoma Park/Silver Spring area (Mary Beth Hastings and Howard Wilkins are among the members). The rooms they will use include the assembly room, high and middle school classrooms and two small rooms near the parlor. These rooms are not used Sunday mornings.
This will be the first time that another group will be using our space on Sunday mornings and, although we don't anticipate problems, we will be monitoring the situation closely to make sure it is a beneficial arrangement for everyone. In order to free up parking spaces near the church for TPPC members, Cheder members have agreed to park at the Takoma Metro.
Stay tuned for some joint programming activities in the coming months. In the meantime, please extend a warm welcome to everyone you meet on Sundays!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 ï¿½RECOGNIZING THE 95TH ANNIVERSARY OF BOY SCOUT TROOP 33 IN TAKOMA PARKï¿½.ï¿½Thank you TPPC for your faithful support of the many scouts and families of Troop 33!
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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