See, I have placed before you an open door that no man can shut—Revelation 3:8.
As many of you already know, the Pope will pay a visit to Philadelphia the weekend of September 25–27 as part of the celebration of the 2015 World Meeting of Families held here that entire previous week. Responses regarding this event range from frustration to indifference to seeing this as an opportunity to be hospitable and helpful to our city’s guests. Whatever your individual response, as a church we must deal with real facts while planning the best way to provide worship services for as many people as can attend that Sunday.
As with other businesses and organizations in Center City, we are planning contingencies based on the limitations placed on travel in and out of the city that weekend. We have been informed by police authorities to treat the entire weekend in the same manner we would respond to a blizzard event. With that in mind, the Session has decided on the following plan:
- We will hold one morning service at 11 AM and an evening service at 6:15 PM on September 27 for any who can attend, at the very least for those in Parish 1 and other walk-ins
- The Tenth International Fellowship (TIF) worship service at 11 AM will be cancelled. Those who are part of TIF are welcome to attend the 11 AM service in the sanctuary
- All Sunday education programs, outreach events, and support services such as the Bible School, Maranatha, nursery, FBS, and choir rehearsals will be cancelled
- None of our usual parking options are available that Sunday: no Liberty Garage, Penn Garage, or street parking
- Arrangements will be made in advance for transport and/or housing accommodations for the people critical to the worship services
- All ushers available that Sunday will adapt the seating arrangements according to the number of people present in the worship service
- All Tenth members are encouraged to plan ahead regarding their giving. They can either plan to give more the week prior to or the weeks following the event or give online. Online giving is an excellent option for an occasion like this. Check out the giving page on our website. We want the work of the gospel and support for our global and metro partners to go forward unhindered.
- Regarding the other Tenth parishes, and to some extent even some areas of Parish 1, the parish elders and their councils are encouraged to plan, wherever possible, local gathering places for parishioners to meet for fellowship, view the webcast of the service, and possibly enjoy lunch together afterwards
- Some members may want to take the opportunity to visit and fellowship at a local church near their homes. Doug Logan, for example, called to invite those from New Jersey to visit our daughter church, Epiphany Camden, which he pastors (epiphanycamden.org)
- The Tenth Church office will be closed on Friday, September 25, to alleviate concerns for staff traveling in and out of the city that day
- There will be no Friday or Saturday programs or events that weekend in our buildings
As with any event planning of this nature, there may be things we did not foresee or items that need to be worked out in greater detail. I have every confidence that Tenth’s congregation will respond to this weekend in a godly and helpful way that pleases our heavenly Father, and despite the fact that many of us will be absent at 17th and Spruce that one Sunday, we will still advance the cause of the gospel.
© 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Pat Canavan. © 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org