June 22, 2015 |
When he heard the names of those killed in the Charleston, S.C., church shooting, the Rev. Robin Hynicka wrote all nine on a white index card, tucked it in his shirt pocket, and started to search for the right words to deliver on Sunday. "It's not hard to make the decision to go there. But it's an emotional and spiritual challenge," said Hynicka, pastor of Philadelphia's Arch Street United Methodist Church. "You have to take a leap of faith to begin to engage. " Hynicka was one of many faith leaders who in the wake of Wednesday's shooting put their planned sermons - some still in process, some already complete, several focused on Father's Day - to the side and tried to find a new message in the tragedy.
April 13, 2014 |
AS HOUSEHOLDS in and around Philadelphia spring-clean and hunt down asparagus recipes in preparation for Easter and Passover, religious leaders are crafting their Easter Sunday sermons and their remarks for congregational seders. We asked faith leaders who've appeared in our weekend "Where We Worship" stories to share some of what's on their minds and in their word processors going into Holy Week and Passover. The Rev. Clifford Cutler, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Chestnut Hill. Easter Sunday services at 8, 9 and 11 a.m. April 20. Moral and theological issues I'm asking the congregation to consider: Cutler plans to explore the curious repetition of tears and "weeping" in the Easter Gospel from John.
April 9, 2012 |
They woke up early - very, very early - to put on their Easter Sunday best. They traveled from Yeadon and Haverford and Camden and West Philadelphia, retired teachers and young professionals, grandfathers and children rubbing sleep from their eyes. At 6 a.m., while the sun, still moon-cool and pearly, backlit the stained-glass windows, they filled the pews of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church in Philadelphia and turned to the altar. The Rev. Mark Kelly Tyler, wearing gold-embroidered white robes, greeted the nearly 100 worshippers in the hallowed church, one of the first African American churches in the nation.
September 12, 2011 |
On his first Sunday as spiritual leader of the region's 1.5 million Catholics, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput exhorted worshipers to follow God's example of "radically generous and exaggerated love" by offering unconditional forgiveness - even to the terrorists responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks. Chaput (pronounced "shap-you") spoke at an annual Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul commemorating jubilee anniversaries of the archdiocese's priests, nuns, and brothers.
July 13, 2011
DEAR ABBY: We have a problem - our pastor. He uses the pulpit to criticize and put people down, and he offers no compassion. A person can only take so much. The problem is, if you say anything to him, you can bet the next sermon will be about what you discussed. How can I talk to him without making him angry? - All Fire and Brimstone DEAR A.F. AND B.: Your pastor's behavior gives new meaning to the term "bully pulpit. " Rather than approach him yourself, you and others who feel as you do should take your complaint to the governing board of your church.
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.
March 5, 2011
76ers Notes In addition to being a walking double-double, Minnesota Timberwolves forward-center Kevin Love provided some indirect inspiration to the 76ers. Love has 49 consecutive games of double figures in points and rebounds after doing it again Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center. But he also served as an example in a speech that coach Doug Collins gave the team when the Sixers were at their low point this season. The Sixers were 3-13, and Collins told the players how disappointed he was in the start.
November 15, 2010 |
From the pulpit of St. Paul's Baptist Church in Spring Garden, the Rev. Leslie Callahan preached a message of urgency that many churches have shied away from. "The reason why the issue of AIDS is a matter of emphasis, the reason why the issue of HIV is a matter of emphasis in the city of Philadelphia today, is because there is a crisis," Callahan, dressed in a white robe, told the congregation in a slow, stirring cadence. "It is a crisis of knowledge. " "Unbelievable," she continued, "that after 30 years of AIDS being in the public eye there are still folks who lack knowledge about how AIDS is transmitted.
March 15, 2010 |
Michael Nutter got a copy of Good News for Modern Man for a freshman religion class at St. Joe's Prep, never knowing he'd need it as mayor of Philadelphia lo these many years later. "This is probably the only book I still have from high school," he said yesterday, clutching the tattered paperback, a version of the Bible. "I had no idea it would come in this handy. " Yesterday was part of Census Sermon Weekend and the mayor was on a road trip "as a census evangelist," he said, asking churchgoers to complete the U.S. census forms scheduled to arrive in mailboxes starting today.
January 17, 2010 |
Every Martin Luther King's Birthday sees hundreds of TV specials, many replays of the "I Have a Dream" speech, thousands of school assemblies and community-service projects. Schoolchildren make drawings and write poems. We celebrate "I Have a Dream," a noble prophecy that has changed us for good. What we don't celebrate, what we suppress, is King's other great teaching: that if we wish to throw off the racism and militarism that have stained our history, we must reform our very economic and social system itself.