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CONTENTS


2 Calendar of Events 3 Pastoral Reflections 4 Living God’s Love


5 Ministry Guide: Ushers/Greeters


6 Program Year Kicks Off 7 Homeless Shelter Update 8 Men Gather for Retreat


9 Stephen Ministry


10 Introducing Dallas Bradel


PNC Reports on Progress


11 Ordained: Becky Ensley Dobitsch


Honored: Jeff Aiken Got an Idea for Tidings?


Tidings bears witness to the ministries of First Presbyterian Church of Allentown, offering stories and perspective on our efforts to live God’s love for the common good of our community and the world.


Got a story idea that illuminates how the Spirit moves in our congregation? Contact Rich Laliberte at tidings@fpcallentown.org.


For other inquiries about Tidings, please contact Caley Oels in the church office at 610-395-3781, ext. 11, or caley.oels@fpcallentown.org.


Cover: YMCA CEO Dave Fagerstrom speaks to benefactor participants at an FPCA golf tournament in late August. Te event raised $17,120 toward the Y’s newly established warming shelter for the homeless in Allentown. See page 7.


Back cover: As winter sets in, golfers who attended the late summer event can fondly recall warmer weather and know that funds they raised are helping brothers and sisters survive the cold.


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Calendar of Events


November 2018 16-18 High School Fall Retreat 17 18 21


PA Sinfonia Orchestra Concert Series Event Thomas Dressler Concert Series Event Thanksgiving Eve Interfaith Worship Service


22-23 Thanksgiving Holiday—FPCA campus closed 25 Christ the King Sunday College Age/Young Adult Thanksgiving Drop-In Daybreak Shoe Party


28


29-December 9 Christmas Craft Sale 30-December 2 Middle School Fall Retreat


December 2018 2 First Sunday of Advent 3 Women’s Christmas Dinner 7 Tween First Friday 8 Confirmand and Sponsor Joy of Sharing Christmas 8 Bach Choir of Bethlehem Concert Series Event 9 Second Sunday of Advent 12 Children’s Christmas Story Time 15 Camerata Singers Concert Series Event 16 Third Sunday of Advent Cookies in the Kitchen Blue Christmas Worship Service


24 Christmas Eve Worship Services College Age/Young Adult Christmas Eve Drop-In


25 Christmas Day—FPCA campus closed 27 Middle School/High School Mission Morning 31 New Year’s Eve Worship Services


CHRISTMAS EVE SCHEDULE DECEMBER 24, 2018 NOON COMMUNION SERVICE 4 P.M. FAMILY SERVICE WITH TABLEAUX 6 P.M. ALTERNATIVE SERVICE 6 P.M. ARABIC LANGUAGE SERVICE 8 P.M. TRADITIONAL SERVICE 9 P.M. COLLEGE AGE & YOUNG ADULT DROP-IN 10 P.M. TRADITIONAL SERVICE


Pastoral Reflections Rev. Dr. Jack Haberer


Beloved FPCA Friend,


With handshakes and hugs we have welcomed the Rev. Dallas Bradel to serve as our transitional associate pastor. Along with her books and personal items, she came bearing gifts: an amazing resume (lawyer, pastor, counselor), a legacy of ministry (church educator, associate pastor, interim pastor), and ministry contexts (New England, the South, and the Lehigh Valley as a Lehigh University grad).


But what’s it mean to be a transitional associate pastor?


You know what a pastor is: one who shepherds a flock of Christ’s sheep. You know what an associate pastor is: any pastor sharing the shepherding duties with the lead pastor, such as we have had on board here for decades. But transitional? We’ve never had one of those here before.


Well, that’s the new, updated title for interim pastors, the difference being one of emphasis. An interim is somebody filling in until the “real” replacement arrives. A transitional is one bridging from one way of doing things to another. But what does that really mean? We have little experience here with interims anyway.


In the case of an interim or transitional lead pastor, the first- priority task is to help the congregation close the preceding chapter of ministry—helping them grieve the absence of a beloved leader and/or recover from a difficult one. Second, she or he helps diagnose and treat “dis-eases” in the congregational body, especially aberrant patterns of exercising power and control. Tird, they pave the way and elevate anticipation for the arrival and onboarding of the succeeding installed pastor.


A transitional associate pastor (TAP) also helps transition from one ministerial chapter—the one here vacated by the beloved Lindsay Harren-Lewis—to the chapter to follow when we install our next associate pastor, whom we will want to love as well. Te TAP helps address other structural issues. Specifically, I asked Dallas, prior to her arrival, to record all her first impressions, such as areas being neglected or overemphasized, tasks being managed ineffectively and/ or inefficiently, groups and individuals needing more care, missional possibilities being missed, etc. Her combination of skill sets and newness ideally puts her in the “not-so-secret shopper” perch of observation.


She also will help us explore a reworking of our pastoral duties so that our pastoral care and faith formation ministries may thrive even above their present levels of effectiveness. She is happy to apply her broad mix of gifts and passions in a wide range of capacities and groupings in the church, so we can do some experimenting, allowing the three of us installed pastors to ebb-and-flow the segmenting of our pastoral tasks until we find a good rhythm of expression for all our work. Most importantly, this will help us help you in the congregation to pulsate with energy and launch out in missional service to the community near and far.


Tis is an exciting time in our life together at First Presbyterian Church of Allentown. And the best is yet to come. Tanks be to God.


Grace and peace to you and yours,


Jack Haberer Lead Pastor


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