April 23, 2011 |
First came the fire. Now, the water. For the Rev. Robert V. Shipman and the 200 members of his North Philadelphia church, this Easter will be rich in religious symbolism as well as the power of faith and determination. "Both fire and water speak of renewal," said Shipman, pastor of Prince of Peace Baptist Church in the Strawberry Mansion section. He and his flock are all too familiar with the ravages of fire. Renewal will come Sunday, when the church opens its $6 million new high-tech home, with a glass-covered stream of water running down the center aisle of its sanctuary.
March 1, 2011
I AGREE WITH columnist Ronnie Polaneczky. St. Miriam's Catholic Parish isn't trying to "capitalize" on the sex-abuse scandals of the Roman Catholic Church. What the congregation is trying to do is heal the alienation that many Catholics feel, specifically those who have turned their backs in profound disappointment on a church that's repeatedly demonstrated that it values earthly authority, corrupt power and neurotic control over human dignity and compassion. Now, some Catholics have empowered themselves by defining Catholicism on their own terms, and they should be congratulated for wresting control from a patriarchy that has all too often strayed from the Christian ideal.
February 7, 2011
We were very pleased with David O'Reilly's coverage of our pilot "Economic Halo" research project highlighting the significant positive impact congregations have on Philadelphia's economy ("What's a church worth?" Tuesday). To clarify one point, however, regarding an apparent negative value for the Church of St. Luke and the Epiphany: This is due to our use of "rough" census tract data in comparing housing values around a congregation with housing values in neighboring census tracts.
February 4, 2011 |
The Rev. Samuel Jones Clark Jr., 75, of Glenside, pastor of Germantown Evangelical Church, died of cancer Sunday, Jan. 30, at Hillcrest Nursing Home in Wyncote. In 1957, Pastor Clark opened a storefront church on East Ashmead Street in Germantown. At first, he preached only to his wife and mother, and he worked odd jobs to make ends meet, said a son, Stephen. He worked as a hotel doorman, in the shipping department at Strawbridge & Clothier, and later as a postal clerk at the 30th Street Post Office.
October 30, 2010 |
The Rev. Alfred C. Krass, 74, of Levittown, retired pastor of United Christian Church in Levittown and a social activist, died of complications of pneumonia Tuesday, Oct. 26, at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne. Mr. Krass was passionate about serving the needy and people with different backgrounds, his wife, Susan Byrne Krass, said. His favorite biblical passage, she said, was from the Gospel of St. Luke: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.
October 21, 2010 |
In the 1960s, when the Rev. Joseph L. Jensen Jr. marched on Washington to advocate for civil rights and journeyed to Selma, Ala., to assist with voter registration, some members of his congregation at Valley Forge Presbyterian Church disapproved. When he spoke from the pulpit about housing discrimination in Upper Merion, some left. Years later, a few of those congregants returned to the church and admitted to him that there had been social injustices, including in their own backyard, Rev. Jensen's daughter Mary said.
July 13, 2010 |
ON SUNDAY MORNINGS, the lobby of the United Artists Main Street 6 in Manayunk is crowded with young professionals, giggling teens, and parents with kids in tow. They don't come for a double feature or a sneak preview. They come to worship God. After grabbing a cup of orange juice, a bagel and a Bible, visitors make their way into the dim theater. As the service begins, hands are raised to the ceiling, the racially diverse crowd sways back and forth, and voices fill the room, singing to the accompaniment of a live band, following lyrics flashed on the giant screen.
June 10, 2010
DEAR ABBY: My parents told me that a member of their congregation carries a licensed gun when he's in church. He is not a law enforcement officer or a private security guard, but keeps the gun on him "for protection. " When I asked what the pastor has to say about this, I was told, "He doesn't know or can't do anything about it. " I suggested that Mom and Dad speak to the congregation board of directors because they are legally and financially responsible for the church. They refused even though they are not happy about this gun issue.
June 7, 2010
I WAS FORTUNATE enough to be able to purchase a nice home at 57th and Race. But ever since, I've pleaded with the congregants at Mount Carmel Baptist Church to not park on the side of my home. They double-park all up and down Race and use every available space in the neighborhood, and when there are no more spaces, they park on the Cecil Street side of my house. On a recent Sunday, there were two identical SUVs parked along the side of my house. I asked one driver if he'd kindly move, and if he knew who the owner of the other SUV was. He told me they were part of the mayor's detail, so he was apparently attending services, and his cars parked on my pavement!
March 12, 2010 |
From rabbis to imams, priests to ministers, Philadelphia's faith leaders are putting pulpit power behind the 2010 census with a barrage of single-message preaching that begins today and runs through Sunday. Previewing "Census Sermon Weekend," about 50 clergy met at City Hall yesterday to call on their flocks to participate in the count when forms start landing in mailboxes Monday. "From all the places of worship, let the word go out: This is the time to stand up and be counted," said Mayor Nutter, rallying the troops, who wore clerical collars, yarmulkes, Muslim caps, long black coats, and sharp suits.