Celebra'on Sunday, May 18
This week, Tabernacle celebrates 127 years of worship and ministry together! We hope you will make plans to join us on Sunday as we celebrate the arrival of this important milestone as we both celebrate our heritage and cast our eyes forward into the future. Over the past three months we have talked, listened, asked quesDons, wriEen and read tesDmonies, and prayed about what Tabernacle means in our lives and for our families. Over a dozen of us have declared how the Lord has led them on paths they did not know he would lay out for them. We have witnessed growth both within ourselves and in the congregaDon. This is a truly inspired Dme.
God-‐Sized Vision Campaign Q&A
We welcome your quesDons as we move forward with our God-‐Sized Vision campaign. You will ﬁnd a Vision Campaign QuesDons mailbox and blank white cards near the sanctuary to write down your quesDons. Please use these cards as a way to communicate your quesDons, and we will be certain to respond either by phone call and/or arDcle in the TAB. Be sure to write down your name and phone number on your card if you prefer to receive a personal phone call. The quesDons below were received a[er our Vision Event on May 4th.
May 18th, 2014 is “CelebraDon Sunday” where each of us will have the opportunity to bring our building fund-‐ raising commitment card to Church and place it on the Lord’s altar. At the same Dme we place our faith in God as we look to changes that we will see in the years ahead.
Thank you for taking Dme to seriously consider your ﬁnancial contribuDon to our “Our God-‐Sized Vision”. ConDnue to pray for Tabernacle, your role in our future, and how we all work together to realize whatever it is that God has in store for us. The Lord knows the way and will lead us towards it. On “CelebraDon Sunday”, most of all, we celebrate being together in a loving, caring family of people.
Ques'on A: Has the church discussed borrowing money in regards to this (these) projects? (Especially in regards to pledge commitments)
Ques'on B: Are we going to take out any loans or look into that possibility with the VA BapDsts if we don’t get all of the funds by the end of the 3-‐year period or do that to begin construcDon early? Answer: The Church will not borrow funds (from banks or the Virginia BapDst FoundaDon) to ﬁnance the construcDon; however, we may consider borrowing against the commitment amounts. This type of funding would have to be approved by the Church and analyzed carefully.
Ques'on: Will you be beginning projects as money comes in or waiDng unDl the full 2 million comes in?
Answer: We will wait unDl the total commitment amount is known before deciding how to proceed, including possible phasing. We sincerely appreciate your interest in the success of this campaign. Do not hesitate to ask any quesDon that you may have!
! Tes'mony: Cung Thawng I am thankful to have a chance to share my tesDmony today. First of all, I would like oﬀer thanks to this country and the Americans for helping us and legng us stay here. On behalf of my family and the Chin Community in Richmond, I would like to let you know how grateful we are to be here at Tabernacle. My name is Cung Thawng and I have two sons. I was in Malaysia for about 13 years and I was jailed three Dmes during those years; one Dme with my wife, Hlei Iang. We were sent back to Thailand but since we were not able to go back to Myanmar, we returned to Malaysia again. Because of the love of God and with the help of UNHCR, my family and I arrived here in Richmond on February 11, 2009. I would like to share our ﬁrst night experience at the Tree House Apartments when we arrived here. It was a liEle depressing because of the coldness during that Dme. The snow came heavily one week prior to our arrival in Richmond. We did not know our air condiDoning was on. Therefore, we had to cuddle up in a blankets. Some of us sat on the couch while others were in the bedroom. Thinking back those Dmes, it was a fun experience. A few weeks later, I met Eric and Tee Moo at an ESL Class at Colonial Apartments. We learned about
there about Tabernacle and came to worship our God with you. We were warmly welcomed by the church and its members. We found happiness and love here. As Dme has passed, we have come to to see that even though all of us have diﬀerent backgrounds, we have a strong cord that binds us all together here at Tabernacle. This is a church we now call our home. As a child relies on his parents; we look up to you. As you welcomed us as new members on July 26th, 2009, I felt as if was I was coming to my parents’ home! Our burden and worry were forgoEen! I can sDll see in my imaginaDon the ﬁrst Dme we met. You worked very hard to welcome and communicate with us even though we did not speak each other’s language, and yet, I could understand you through your facial expressions. It seemed as you were talking to us in our mother tongue. Your love and help guided us to to a path to who we are today. I am very grateful to each and every one of you, especially the Judson Sunday School Class teachers. I would also like to invite you to our Chin worship service on every Saturday. Laura Severns has joined us for many years and now, she can even read and sing in Chin. I would like to thank her as well. Tabernacle and it’s members are our backbone, strength and wellness…… like the well of Bethsaida. I ﬁnd peace, joy and strength among all of you. I am proud and grateful to call Tabernacle, “home”. Perhaps, yours as well. I truly believe that Tabernacle BapDst Church is a blessing from God for all of us. I know that you all honor and love Christ as you are loved; I believe that we all go forward one step at a Dme supporDng each other. Take care of one another, as we are all one in Christ! I believe and see that as we go forward in the future, many of us will have to sit in the balcony during worship, as there will be more members! This is a blessed home! I am grateful and thankful to have you in our lives, for everything you have done for us. Thank you.
! -‐ Cung Thawng See back of newsle.er for Cung Thawng’s prayers for Tabernacle
How do you see us as we move forward?
music events may provide a cordial way to get to know more of those who live nearby. InviDng our neighbors to various events at the church throughout the year was also suggested.
In this ﬁnal TAB arDcle about the February dinners, we take a look at the responses to the third quesDons asked by all of our facilitators—“How does the community see the church?” Your parDcipaDon in these dinners was important to the Campaign Leadership Team to make sure that what we have in mind for Tabernacle’s spiritual mission is a close match to the thoughts of our current congregaDon. We have grown over the past several years, and we want to be sure that both our newer and longer term members have a voice in our approach to change. Thinking about how we ﬁt in our community is certainly a key consideraDon in our plans.
Finding ways to keep the neighbors informed as we launch our physical changes and conDnue to grow our acDviDes that enable us to realize our vision is crucial. ConDnued parDcipaDon in the neighborhood associaDon is one of those avenues of communicaDon within the local area. We will look for a variety of ways to keep our progress updates available to our neighbors in the months and years ahead. Again, we thank all of the sponsors for the Discovery Dinners, as well as all of the parDcipants for braving the cold to share your thoughts and ideas! This was a key iniDal step for our God-‐Sized Vision campaign. As we progress in this campaign, we will make every eﬀort to maintain a high level of communicaDon with both our congregaDon and our community.
There are two consistent responses to the quesDon about how the community views our church across all of the dinner notes: •
We really aren’t sure how people around us view the church today.
Cung Thawng’s Prayer for Tabernacle
We believe that we need to take a more acDve approach to engaging our community in the acDviDes of our church.
Probably the most obvious spiritual mission that our neighbors can see is our commitment to the development of children via the Childcare Center. They see the red and white strollers rolling up and down the streets, and they see children playing the in the playground. There are Childcare Center graduates that live not far from the church—those children and their families know us as a posiDve contributor in our community.
I pray for our pastors, deacons, and all of our educators, as they guide us to welcome believers and non-‐believers alike. I pray that Tabernacle will continue to welcome everyone without segregation so that anyone can look upon us and be drawn to the heart of who Christ is calling us to be. I pray for the ?inancial resources that will be necessary for the renovation of our buildings so that we can complete the project without burden.
We serve our community each week through our Clothes Closet and Food Pantry assistance. We distribute Thanksgiving Baskets every November to about 100 of our neighbors in need. You suggested that we look for new ways of serving our neighbor in all age groups. You also said that we should ﬁnd new and creaDve ways of inviDng those near us to learn more about Tabernacle. Including neighbors in occasional “coﬀeehouse” type
1925 Grove Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23220