Tabernacle’s Year in Review Part III

Part III reflects on community and township news.

Pastor David W. Jones of Lord of Life Lutheran Church retires after 33 years

“It’s bittersweet, but it’s time … it’s time.”

Those are the words of Pastor David W. Jones of Lord of Life Lutheran Church on his retirement, which was effective on Oct. 28.

What has been a driving force to success?

Jones feels the attitude of not being afraid to reach out and serve the community has been the main reason for the church’s growth over the years.

“If there’s one area that I’ve grown in, it’s encouraging others to serve and help,” Jones said. “It’s always about looking out and helping people within the congregation reach to others.”

The church has taken part in 48 mission trips since its start. Jones said serving is in his DNA and he has a gift of giving people roots in something of value, allowing them to take wing to pursue wonderful things.

He has not only helped people with the joys of their lives, but the sorrows and challenges as well.

Throughout his time at Lord of Life, he performed 501 baptisms, 450 confirmations, 163 weddings and 280 funerals.

As he looked back on his 33 years at Lord of Life, he hoped to leave a legacy of inspiring others to learn, serve and celebrate.

“I’m looking forward for what’s to come, but I’m really thankful for where we’ve been,” Jones said. “Lord of Life is a place where we can look to the past thankfully, look to the future hopefully, but live into the present boldly.”

Tabernacle Township adopts budget after a halt in discussion

After months of discussion, a budget was adopted resulting in no tax increase for Tabernacle residents, allowing the municipal tax rate to stay at 42.2 cents per $100 of assessed property valuation.

Mayor Joseph Barton, Deputy Mayor Stephen Lee and Committeeman Joseph Yates voted in favor of the budget, while Committeewoman Kimberly Brown voted “no” and Committeeman Richard Franzen was absent from the meeting — bringing the budget at a halt.

Originally, it was discussed for there to be a $5,000 decrease in the aid to the ambulance companies, taking the aid from $35,000 to $30,000. It was then presented that there would be a $23,000 decrease, leaving $12,000 in squad funds.

Brown voiced her concerns about reducing funds substantially from aid to volunteer ambulance companies amid worries of residents being balance billed.

“I’m pleased that we have a zero tax increase. The night of the budget hearing I said I was not going to vote for a tax increase so I kind of initiated that discussion and I’m glad I did,” Lee said. “However, I will say this, under no circumstances should we be in the business of having budget discussions a week before the Fourth of July. We need to do a better job, collectively, to get the budget processed and done in an efficient manner next year.”

The final budget showed reductions of $40,000 from the capital improvement fund, $10,000 from workers compensation insurance due to Tabernacle Rescue Squad’s offer to pay for its insurance coverage, $5,000 from garbage and trash removal, $10,000 from public buildings and grounds, $6,000 from fire department expenses and $23,000 from aid to volunteer ambulance companies.

There will be an additional $10,000 kept in unanticipated expenses in the event the

squad needed extra funds at the year’s close.

Voters cast their ballots in the 2018 General Election

In the race for two seats on the Tabernacle Township Committee, two candidates, incumbent Joseph W. Barton (R) and newcomer Samuel R. Moore (R), ran unopposed.

The official results from the Burlington County Board of Elections reports Moore received 2,403 votes and Barton received 2,042 votes.

In the race for three seats on the Tabernacle Board of Education, two candidates, incumbent Brian Lepsis and newcomer Stephen J. Henske, Jr., ran unopposed.

The official results from the Burlington County Board of Elections reports Henske received 1,634 votes and Lepsis received 1,514 votes. Daniel Dilks won the personal choice section with 135 write-ins, filling the third seat.