January 8, 2012 |
For a while, it seemed as if the new year would be anything but happy for the members of St. James Episcopal Church in Prospect Park. The 106-year-old Delaware County congregation was so mired in debt that it couldn't pay its rector. Closing seemed imminent. Just 10 minutes away, in Ridley Township, Leiper Presbyterian Church faced a different challenge: a small, aging membership, with only 30 coming to Sunday services. Leiper, founded in 1818, voted to dissolve, an acknowledgment of hurdles too steep to overcome.
December 23, 2011 |
A day after a six-foot menorah was reported missing from a Haddonfield park, the third night of Hanukkah was celebrated as scheduled - with the public lighting of an even bigger menorah. "It's painful," Rabbi Mendel Mangel of Chabad Lubavitch of Cherry Hill said of the apparent theft. But "we are going to respond by adding more good to world," he said. The 18-year-old congregation has placed a menorah at Haddon Avenue and Tanner Street every year for nearly a decade. On Thursday, the congregation lit its new, roughly 10-foot aluminum menorah in the park before more than 50 people.
December 22, 2011 |
A day after a six-foot menorah was reported missing from a Haddonfield park, the third night of Hanukkah was celebrated as scheduled - with the public lighting of an even bigger menorah. "It's painful," Rabbi Mendel Mangel, of Chabad Lubavitch of Cherry Hill, said of the apparent theft. But "we are going to respond by adding more good to world," he said. The 18-year-old congregation has placed a menorah at Library Point at Haddon Avenue and Tanner Street every year for nearly a decade.
November 17, 2011 |
Rabbi Richard F. Address is recharging his career at an age when many people retire. Address, 66, became senior rabbi of M'kor Shalom in Cherry Hill in July. After 30 years in regional and national leadership positions in the Reform Judaism movement, he's leading a local congregation again, and loving it. "There's nothing I'd rather do," says Address, who succeeds Rabbi Barry Schwartz. "Being a rabbi is the greatest thing in the world. " A proud Philly native and longtime Mantua Township resident, the charismatic, energetic Address says M'kor and its membership of 750 families "took a chance on me. " A chance?
November 13, 2011 |
When members of West Philadelphia's Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship dream of retirement living, they envision a place not necessarily known as an Islamic getaway. But 108 acres in southern Chester County could soon become that, depending on which way the legal winds blow across the meadows of East Fallowfield Township. While the 350-member congregation has owned the property for more than two decades, only a small shrine has been built there. Inside rest the remains of the group's eponymous founder, a Sufi Muslim mystic from Sri Lanka who came to Philadelphia in 1971 and stayed until his death in 1986.
October 28, 2011 |
When Vera Tolbert, a Liberian who fled to Germany and then the United States because of political unrest in her country, landed in Philadelphia about 7 1/2 years ago, one of the first things she did was look for a church. The first one she tried, Sharon Baptist Church, was too big. "I cannot go to a church where there are 1,000 people," she said. Then a friend took Tolbert to the First Baptist Church of Ardmore, a small but remarkably diverse and tightly knit congregation where members from across the Philadelphia region attended services in an old stone edifice tucked into a residential section of South Ardmore.
May 27, 2011
THE MAYOR DROPPED the bomb about five minutes into his save-our-schools sermon. He took the pulpit yesterday at St. Matthew AME Church, at 57th and Race streets, and began preaching about the importance of education and the need for a renewed public commitment "to our children. " Then, in an abrupt change in the order of service, he interrupted his sermon to prepare the congregation for the offering. "Yes," he said in a thinly veiled reference to possible tax hikes. "You may have to dig in your pocket a little bit deeper.
May 25, 2011 |
In the end, it's just as it was for 25 years - Karen Williams on her couch in Cherry Hill, Oprah on the screen, the hour spent with the woman she unabashedly calls her best friend. "They laugh at me: 'your best friend'," Williams said of her five daughters. "I had a dream Oprah was on the other side of the street, she was walking the dogs, she was going to come over to the house. One day I'm going to meet her in person. It's not too late. " Yes, for women like Williams, 59, or Elaine Brigandi, 51, who won tickets to fly to Chicago last week to see the big arena farewell shows, for those who watched the final show as usual at 4 p.m., or for those who DVRed for after work, or for those who threw an Oprah viewing party and, Oprah-style, turned the event into a benefit for a good cause, the last Oprah broadcast, what Oprah called her "love letter" to her fans, was no aha!
May 22, 2011
Randall Tremba is minister of word and sacrament at Shepherdstown (W.Va.) Presbyterian Church This month, a majority of the 173 presbyteries making up the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. voted to amend the church's constitution and allow openly gay and lesbian members to become ordained ministers, elders, and deacons. The vote followed decades of debate and more than six months of voting. In taking this action, I believe, our church moved a step forward and brought itself closer in line with Christ's all-embracing love.