Tag Archives: 2016

A Message from the Pastor – Fall 2016

November 2016

Dear Oak Lane Family,

From the 65th chapter of Isaiah…

“For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress…. Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear.”

When the prophet Isaiah penned these beautiful words, he was speaking at a time of great upheaval. Isaiah was speaking to the faithful remnant of followers who had returned to Jerusalem, after 40 years in exile, only to find their temple in ruins. These were the words spoken in the midst of fear and despair. They grieved a future that was not supposed to be.

Our nation is in the grips of a presidential transition that some welcome with excitement and others react in fear and trepidation. The future of our nation is uncertain. But as Isaiah so beautifully described, God’s future is not uncertain. God is already at work, redeeming what is and creating what will be. We already know how the story will turn out.

We in the church remember that God holds our future. God’s future is not hateful or dismissive or confused. God’s vision is creative, participatory, and filled with joy.

That is the future we claim and that is the future we build, with God’s help, here at Oak Lane Presbyterian Church.

Let us move into our future, with hope and with joy, keeping our eyes and hearts fixed on God’s vision. Let us be faithful to the work before us, as we participate in God’s story for all humanity.

In Christ,

Rev. Judith

Rev. Judith Brackett can be reached by calling or emailing the church office, or by calling (610 747-0366) or emailing (revjudithbrackett@gmail.com).

125th Anniversary Celebration Weekend

Happy 125th Anniversary OLPC!!!!

OLPC Family
The OLPC Family, on our 125th Anniversary Celebration Sunday

Our 125th Anniversary Celebration began on Friday, October 14th with sounds of big band jazz from the Jasz Lab Band, and a reception with tasty refreshments. What a great kick-off to our celebration weekend!

The celebration continued on Saturday, October 15th,  with our open house, which featured lots of pictures and memorabilia from our 125 year history, Rev. Brackett speaking about the OLPC vision, and a hymn sing-along.

Our Anniversary Celebration culminated on Sunday, October 16, with a special worship service followed by a luncheon.

We welcomed our guest preacher, Rev. Kevin Porter, who is the Director of Adult Education & Community Life at The First Presbyterian Church in Germantown and the Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Philadelphia, and who served OLPC as a seminarian in the early 1990s. It was wonderful to have him back, and part of our anniversary celebration.

We dedicated the 151 new Bibles we were able to purchase as a result of the very successful Bible Drive. The goal was 125 new Bibles, but we exceeded that goal and donations are still coming in! 

Our 125th Anniversary Celebration weekend was topped off with a delicious luncheon in our Social Hall. Certificates were awarded to our member of longest standing, Grace Bradley, and our oldest member, Jean Schlegel and to our newest members, Elisha Bunch (who is also our youngest member), Daraja DeShields, Malik Jackson and Maya Johnson. 

Thank you to all who worked very hard to make this weekend a special occasion, particularly the committee members, Jaymin DeShields, Theresa Purnell, Gerry Shambaugh and Jackie Williams. Also contributing significantly were Rev. Brackett, Grace Bradley, Terrine Datts, Daraja DeShields, Helen Hampton, Anna Harris, Bernice Mims and Sonia Woods. Thank you all!

125th Anniversary Celebration

The Oak Lane Presbyterian Church
125th Anniversary

Friday October 14, 2016 – Sunday October 16, 2016

Oak Lane Presbyterian Church and Manse
6635 and 6637 North Eleventh Street
Philadelphia, PA 19126

In joyous celebration, please join us the weekend of October 14-16, 2016.

  • Friday, October 14, 6:00 pm – Reception and Concert featuring The Jasz Lab
  • Saturday, October 15, 1:00 pm – Open House, featuring a display of historical church memorabilia, lively conversation and reminiscences of this church community, sharing of visionary hopes and dreams of continued ministry, and plenty of time for joyous fellowship
  • Sunday, October 16 – Worship at 11:00 am. Luncheon to follow in the Social Hall.

In addition to this celebratory weekend, our 125th year includes:

  • Bible Drive of 125 pew Bibles. For $10 per Bible, each Bible purchased for dedication or memorial will have bookplate noting the honoree and the giver.
  • Manse Improvement – We have done a significant amount of work upgrading and maintaining the manse in preparation for new mission programs. It is bright and clean and beautiful. Still there is more to be done.



A Message from the Pastor – September 2016

Dear Oak Lane Family,

One Sunday morning in early July, I arrived at the church, unlocked the office, and saw the window open to the early morning breeze. Looking down, I saw computer parts scattered on the floor. As the temperature was already in the high 80’s with high humidity, I assumed a smash-and-grab thief broke in only for the window air conditioner.  After taking stock, though, we discovered that the office computer was missing.

Many, many questions surfaced in the following weeks. We asked ourselves questions about our existing alarm system, where sensors are placed, how to improve computer file security, and building safety and access.  These questions led to more questions….cost efficient contracts for phone, wifi, alarm system, ….. and while we are at it, perhaps the manse too…

With particular gratitude to members of the Property Committee, we end the summer with more thorough, cost efficient, and updated office and building systems.

This summer of questions was met as an opportunity to question, share, seek, and act. Nearly two months later, I remarked to Session that although we would never have wished for this break-in to occur, all it uncovered and opened to us has been most fruitful.

This September marks one year of my pastoral ministry with you. For me, the past year has been a time of fruitful questions and enlightening conversations.  – Why do we do that? What purpose does that serve? How might we modify this to refresh its impact?

I am grateful for your patience in considering the questions, and inspired by the thoughtful conversations we have had and will continue to have.

As we prepare to celebrate our 125th year of ministry at OLPC, let us welcome the Spirit in our midst, who sometimes comes among us like a thief in the night, prompting us to a thoughtful re-ordering, re-orienting, and refreshing our ministry here at OLPC.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Judith

Rev. Judith Brackett can be reached by calling or emailing the church office, or by calling (610 747-0366) or emailing (revjudithbrackett@gmail.com).

Parlour Jazz Concerts – cancelled

We regret to inform you that the Parlour Jazz concerts have been cancelled.


Oak Lane Presbyterian Church and Hilton Enterprises

Parlour Jazz

What are you doing on Wednesdays?

Join us for Parlour Jazz

July 13, August 10 and September 14, 2016
7-10 pm, Open Mike 9-10 pm

Craig McIver, Drums
Dave Posmontier, Piano
with Arlene Hilton, Vocals
and other jazz luminaries

Cost $15.00
or get a Red Hot Ticket, good for all three shows,
only $40.00

For tickets and information,
call 215-888-9018 or 215-479-9849

Oak Lane Presbyterian Church
Rev. Judith Brackett, Pastor
6637 N. 11th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19126

Piano Keyboard