May 29, 2014 |
Have it your way. No, not your fast-food burger. Your prayer. In an age when convenience is king and religion is often ridiculed, some churches looking to widen their outreach efforts are embracing what community banks and pharmacies have utilized for decades: the drive-through. The latest to offer a bit of spiritual uplift in the comfort of your car is Hope United Methodist Church in Voorhees. "People go to Dunkin' Donuts for coffee, not because it's the best coffee, but because it's the most convenient," reasoned Hope's lead pastor, Jeff Bills.
May 16, 2014 |
"GOD'S POCKET" is adapted from the book of the same name by former Daily News columnist Pete Dexter, and arrives 30 years after events that inspired the story. Which involved Dexter getting beaten half to death by a group of folks who didn't care for one of his columns - an incident inscribed in newspaper lore, in the legend of Dexter, in the city's own reputation for fight-town toughness. Randall "Tex" Cobb, who accompanied Dexter on that night, and himself sustained a broken arm, later remarked that in Philadelphia "even the drunks punch in combination.
May 12, 2014 |
THE REV. Larry G. Patrick II of Redeem Baptist Church in Strawberry Mansion is equally at home at Wednesday night Bible class and at a protest by Philadelphia fast-food workers demanding a $15-an-hour livable wage. Indeed, Patrick feels his calling as a minister also compels him to fight poverty and gun violence in one of the city's roughest neighborhoods. "There's no way, as a minister, that I cannot stand up and say anything about that," said Patrick, referring to low-wage workers who need food stamps just to put food on their own table.
April 14, 2014 |
CHAIRESE HOLMAN and Patrina Anderson took seats at the end of opposite rows inside Bartram High School's auditorium. The two mothers didn't know one another but almost as soon as Holman and I started talking about her 17-year-old son's struggles to get a good education at the violence-plagued school, Anderson chimed in. Anderson, who lives nearby but whose daughter goes to elementary school, was there to talk about Bartram students wreaking havoc...
March 26, 2014
MASS HAD just ended at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Center City when Friar John Daya, in his Franciscan brown robe, invited a young man to the altar. Short of stature, but big of heart, the young man told the congregation about his work at St. Joan of Arc in hard-times Harrowgate, a section of Kensington. That's where he spends his mornings, helping to feed the poor by working in a "humble" food pantry, he said. He had me at "humble," a walnut within a shell of piety.
March 12, 2014 |
No matter that Tempesta di Mare has been giving enterprising concerts at venues as prestigious as New York's Frick Collection and making good recordings for the Chandos label. For its debut at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater on Saturday, the Philadelphia baroque orchestra hatched a red-letter-day program that at times took the group too far from its comfort zone. Titled Apollo at Play , the program had its best moments in repertoire in which yester-era gods were a more immediate presence in the culture's mythology, namely works from the 18th century, when plays and operas were full of mythical figures treated with the casualness of distant relatives rather than lofty deities.
February 28, 2014
ARIZONA GOV. Jan Brewer ended up killing by veto the shameful bill that would enable bigots to legally discriminate against non-heterosexuals in the name of their God. The Legislature passed Senate Bill 1062 last week, allowing people to refuse to serve or do business with gays and lesbians if they have strongly held religious beliefs opposing homosexuality. Imagine, if the law had been approved, the sign that could appear outside restaurants, hotels, or stores: No Gays, by God. Never mind how any proprietor would know who is or isn't gay. It's not as easy to discriminate against gays as it is against African-Americans or women, unless the state plans to provide residents with documents showing they're card-carrying heterosexuals.
February 28, 2014 |
A RETIRED U.S. Army general named Jerry Boykin said the other day that when Jesus returns, he'll be armed with an AR-15. Boykins' statement raises an obvious question: Why would Jesus come back with an AR-15, when the Kalashnikov is a much more reliable weapon? Of the AK-47, it is said you can bury it in the sand, come back a week later, and it will fire like new. That's the gun you want for the sort of conflict described in Revelations. The AR-15 is, by comparison, prone to jamming.
February 28, 2014 |
ACTRESS/producer Roma Downey decided to call her movie company Lightworkers for a reason. "We were tired of cursing the darkness," said Downey, the former "Touched by an Angel" star who produced last year's hit miniseries "The Bible" and this week opens a companion film, "Son of God. " "We're committed to stories that add light," she said. "We are people of faith. This is important to us. It's not just a job. " "We have jobs," chimed in husband Mark Burnett, with atypical understatement.
January 24, 2014 |
Capturing the voice of a saint might be impossible with anybody but Hildegard of Bingen. Though among the most chronologically remote composers in history, this 12th-century Rhineland nun (1098-1179) left a long trail of writings, hallucinatory paintings, and some 77 liturgical songs that the medieval music group Sequentia needed years to record. A cross section of them will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in yet another stage of her rediscovery.