Pebble Hill Church

Celebrating 50 years

A Brief History Of “Pebble’s 50 Years Of Peace”

WELCOME

Welcome to our website! Pebble Hill Interfaith Church is a diverse, peace-oriented community exploring spirituality in its many amazing forms. We impose no doctrine or single path, but provide a forum for all in the universal quest for self-realization and closer union with God. Come and share the journey!

HISTORY

Although sprung from a conventional Christian denomination, Pebble Hill was never a conventional church. It was born in 1968, one of the most tumultuous years of the Twentieth Century, as an experimental outreach of the Reform Church of America. We had hardly taken our first steps before youthful founding minister Gordon Dragt took a stand against the Vietnam War, declaring that Pebble was part of the revolution of our times, like it or not.

A HAPPENING PLACE

Young people flocked to the newly built “Red Barn” and Pebble became a “happening” place with a coffee house, rap sessions, theatrical productions and the Now Time Singers. The times also called for involvement in the Civil Rights movement, and our anti-war protests broadened to include anti-discrimination strategies, like paring with a black church and inviting Arthur Hall’s African American Dance Ensemble into the white suburbs for the first time. This burst of creative energy led also to ordination of a Pebble member as the first woman in the Reform clergy.

A SPIRITUAL PLACE

The spiritual realm presented another opportunity for originality, and Gordon said, “Jesus was concerned with persons…who were not free to be themselves. Christ’s church has a responsibility to emphasize an openness and freedom among persons, encouraging them…to be who they are, to explore their personal identity… He said the emphasis was on knowing God through knowing people. This he called “horizontal religion.” Such a person-centered spirituality made for great community building, and that egalitarian spirit, by which all who come in peace are welcomed, included and celebrated as fully worthy children of God, continues to be a centerpiece of our community.

A NEW BEGINNING

So Pebble has remained throughout its years, with one enormous change: When after a decade Gordon moved on, Pebble’s energy had outgrown the restraints of any denomination, so we cut our ties to the Reform Church. In 1983, Rev. Gary Culp, another one-of-a-kind minister, came to Pebble and immediately adapted to the congregation’s loving, free-to-be personality. Although the Vietnam War had ended, the Cold War with its nuclear standoff still loomed, so we remained very peace conscious. Gary immediately got Pebble registered as one of the few official peace sites in the country. We annually give our Peace Award to a deserving activist promoting non-violence or selfless service to humanity in the Delaware Valley.

NEW TRADITIONS

An ordained Methodist minister who was artistic in almost every way, Gary continued our theatrical tradition with shows and exciting Sunday morning celebrations. He also introduced us to a new epoch in which we began to learn about great “channeled” literature and New Age thought. These ideas caught on and carried us forward, always welcoming new insights and new prophecy, such as A Course in Miracles, the Teachings of Abraham, the Seth Material, Many Lives and Many Mansions and a multitude of others.

A NEW ADDITION

Gary retired in 2000, but he led the effort to create one last, outstanding achievement for the community: The School of Sacred Ministries. It offers a curriculum leading to Interfaith ordination while combining the Pebble values of respect for all religions with independent thinking, free inquiry, loving community and ecumenical cooperation.

OUR INTERFAITH JOURNEY BEGINS

It was the creation of the School of Sacred Ministries that resulted in the third step in Pebble’s sacred journey from denominational Christian to non-denominational Christian to Interfaith, which is how we describe ourselves today. It has led to a mission based on Peace, Love, Tolerance and Inclusion–not just one, but all the world’s religions, religious writers and poets have become our connection to the sacred All That Is.

16 Pebble Principles

#1

Pebble Hill is inclusive. We welcome all, regardless of race, mode of dress, religious background, social standing, financial status, sexual preference or sense of humor. There is no litmus test. The only requirement for membership is asking for it.

#2

Pebble Hill is non-judgmental. We do not have standards against which we measure the choices others make.

#3

Pebble Hill is person-oriented. We celebrate each individual and raise each other up to be a beacon of Spirit, regardless of past mistakes or personal differences. We see God working in and through us, communally and individually.

#4

Pebble Hill is trusting. We trust that others will accept who we are. It is trust that makes it possible for us to be ourselves. Without such trust, we could not reveal our stories–and it is our experiences that instruct and bind us together.

#5

We share our beliefs. This creates a rich atmosphere in which spirituality blossoms. Everyone is seeking the Way and is eager to hear about the spiritual journey of another. All religions and spiritual practices are respected equally.

#6

We minister to each other. Everyone is unique and has a unique ministry to impart. This can not happen unless we are open to each other, so an element of ministering is remembering to be accepting of others.

#7

Pebble Hill has no dogma or hierarchy. No one tells us what to believe. We are led by Spirit on fresh paths of discovery. As we are unique spirits, we are seekers of a spiritual way that may be unique to each of us.

#8

Pebble Hill is creative. We celebrate life through art, music, dance, plays, ritual, relationships. We are free to show our gusto. Talent is not mandatory.

#9

Pebble Hill is democratic. Stemming from our belief that God made no favorites, we give everyone his or her say. Our council is elected. Any member may run for a seat.

#10

Pebble Hill has no gender or sexual bias. We are a bastion of sexual equality, where men and women work together as equals and routinely share responsibilities.

#11

Pebble Hill is joyful. Most of us believe in a loving universe, therefore, we come together in joy. We dance, move to rhythm, clap, shout and laugh. We applaud nearly everything–sometimes even prayers!

#12

We share feelings. We try to understand and relate to the emotional states and needs of others; we offer and receive support gratefully. We are considerate and gentle.

#13

Pebble Hill celebration space reflects the PH spirit. It is distinctively open, full of possibilities, constantly being modified. We have ever-changing artwork, plants and floral displays, seating arrangements and musical combos. Candles and natural objects that vary from Sunday to Sunday enhance our altar. The sunlight finds many avenues into our meeting room. Our views are of grass, trees, plantings and the sky.

#14

Pebble Hill puts everyone in the show. Celebration is arranged so that banks of seats face each other, making the attendees themselves a focus as well as the speakers and entertainers. This enhances the celebration experience as the audience becomes part of the show. In addition, many celebrations feature multiple members of the community “up front,” where they share their lives and taste the love and applause of the community–an extremely empowering experience.

#15

Pebble Hill encourages ministry through touch. Recognizing that touch is both therapeutic and spiritual, hugs are not uncommon. Personal boundaries, though, are paramount and to be respected.

#16

Pebble Hill is affirming. We affirm the humanity of all, and the spiritual inheritance of each individual. Everyone’s gifts are important. Everyone’s journey is important. Everyone’s dream is important.

Questions You May Have About Pebble Hill Church

How do I get there?
Where do I park?
We have a gravel parking lot accessible at the Woodcrest Lane entrance with overflow parking on the grass below. Street parking is available on Woodcrest Lane as well.
Where do I go?
Our Sunday celebration is in the Red Barn. Our Sunday morning peace meditation and other meetings are in the Yellow Barn.
Where do my kids go?
Our children’s program meets in the lower level of the Red Barn.
What is the Sunday celebration?
Our Sunday celebration is the foundation of our community where we gather and celebrate life with music, song, story, reflections and meditation. Our celebration is a flexible and dynamic experience; it can be exciting, touching, and thought-provoking.
How long is the celebration?
The celebration begins at 10:30 a.m. with announcements and concludes around noon.
What does the church believe?
We are an interfaith community and peace site dedicated to celebrating diversity in religion and in all aspects of life. We follow no particular doctrine, and honor each person’s spiritual path.
What do I wear?
Pebble Hill is a casual and relaxed place to be. Feel free to sit, stand, or move about, and to wear whatever clothes make you most comfortable.
What about pets?
Well-behaved pets are always welcome.
What else happens on Sunday?
We offer a peace meditation in the Yellow Barn on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. Immediately after the Celebration on the second Sunday of each month, we have Peace Soup Sunday, where we share a simple lunch of hot soup or have a picnic outdoors.
What happens on other days?
We have a variety of spiritual programs, committee meetings, and frequent social events, and we host a number of 12-step recovery meetings. For further information, see our calendars.
Are you accessible to the handicapped?
Our Red Barn is ramp accessible, but our ground level rest rooms are located just 80 feet away in the Yellow Barn.
Are the facilities available to rent?
Certainly; we are happy to host a wide variety of functions here. For information, go to rentals.
How do I become a member?
See our membership page.
What else is there to do at Pebble Hill?
We cherish personal expression and creativity. Volunteer for any group that suits your interests or start one that does. Currently, our community offers gatherings that focus on personal growth and liberation, music and the arts, health, education, environmental stewardship and world peace.
How is the church supported?
Our operational funding comes from many sources: member pledges, donations at celebration and other events, our art gallery and facility rentals.

Our Celebration Team

Rev. Larry Hall

Rev. Larry Hall

Celebration Coordinator

Larry is officially the longest member of Pebble Hill and a valuable part of our community. Thanks to his dedication and hard work we have wonderful celebrations every Sunday.
Rev. Kalie Marino

Rev. Kalie Marino

Celebration Team

Kalie is a regular speaker at Pebble. She brings her experience as a spiritual teacher, counselor, and open heart to help provide the best speakers and message to the Pebble community.
Rev. Rosalind Cauffman

Rev. Rosalind Cauffman

Celebration Team

Rev. Rosalind began attending Pebble and participating on the Celebration Team in 2013 after being ordained in 2012 at the School of Sacred Ministries.  She was a longtime student at traditional seminaries in two other states before moving to PA.  She is especially interested in ministry for the end of life and the “second half of life.”

Rev. Dave Perkins

Rev. Dave Perkins

Celebration Team

Dave Perkins is an original, not just as a member of Pebble, but as a wise and wonderful friend to all who know him.
Norm Danis

Norm Danis

Celebration Team

Norm Danis completes the celebration team with his energy and creativity. Norm is often seen greeting all comers with a friendly smile and a warm hug.

Our Church Council

David Cook

David Cook

President

Pam Johnson

Pam Johnson

Vice President

Alan Dench

Alan Dench

Treasurer

Donna Fry

Donna Fry

Secretary

Carolyn Penta

Carolyn Penta

Board Member

Kalie Marino

Kalie Marino

Board Member

David DiPasquale

David DiPasquale

Board Member

Kelly Davidson

Kelly Davidson

Board Member

Brian Paluch

Brian Paluch

Board Member

Membership Information

Becoming a member of Pebble Hill Church is a simple and fun adventure. There’s no prescribed method for making Pebble your home. We have all come to cherish this wonderful place in our own serendipitous way, and we encourage you to take your time in getting to know us. Pebble Hill is a place to deepen your spiritual awareness, make lifelong friends, discover an outlet for your creativity, and make a difference in the larger community.

There are many ways to get acquainted with Pebble. All are welcome to create and attend our Celebration and social functions. If you are musically inclined, our music directors would like to hear from you. Pebble Hill Church sponsors many groups (see our weekly and monthly event calendars), and we have a reat annual summer retreat.

For more information, get in touch here. We invite you to join us and share your light; traveling together on this journey of life, love, peace, and joy.

Financial Support

Pledge Your Support

Pledge your annual support as a regular member. Pledge forms to be available shortly.

Donations

For those wishing to make their contribution on-line, we will have the payment process up and running soon. Watch this space.

Get In Touch

We would love to hear from you.

Church Office

215.348.3428

Church Address

320 Edison-Furlong Road
Doylestown, Pa. 18901

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320 Edison-Furlong Road
Doylestown, Pa. 18901
215-348-3428
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PEBBLE HILL CHURCH

An inclusive community seeking Truth and Love

Contact our office at: office@pebblehillchurch.org

Contact website or email support at: support@pebblehillchurc.org

PEBBLE HILL CHURCH

An inclusive community seeking Truth and Love.

320 Edison-Furlong Road
Doylestown, Pa. 18901
215-348-3428