From the Chronicle • Germantown News Stories

August 26, 2010 • GC.082610.pdf

In This Issue

The Stories

  1. Wayne Junction Languishes While Other Stations Get Attention

  2. MALT Opens Classes, Resumes Fundraising

  3. Review: Centurion Gives Non-stop Action, No Disruptive Subplots

  4. Caribbean Fashion Fundraiser

  5. ‘Salute to Youth’ at Poet-Ify

  6. Historic Thomas Mansion Gets A ‘Historic’ Tenant

  7. Northwest Business Center Workshops

  8. MacMaster, Fareira Are Reigel Awardees

  9. Tulpehocken Architectural Tours

  10. PSA Meetings

  11. PHS Fall Gardening Festival

  12. FUMCOG Celebrates Stroud’s Ministry

  13. Back-to-School Day at Trinity

  14. At Chabad-Lubavitch

  15. 50th Pastoral Anniversary Celebrated at Holsey

  16. Kehilla for Secular Jews

  17. LTSP Begins 114th Year

  18. ‘Start Smart’ at Janes

  19. Share Poetry at UU

Wayne Junction Languishes While Other Stations Get Attention



Considerable progress is being made on the improvements to the stations on the Chestnut Hill East and West (formerly known as the R7 and R8) rail lines that serve the Northwest with one glaring exception at the biggest one of all: Wayne Junction.

The difference is in the funding, according to Robert Lund, SEPTA’s senior director of capital construction. The other projects are mostly paid for through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (2009 federal stimulus package) funds, while the rebuilding and rehabilitation of Wayne Junction was dependent on Act 44, a state proposal that called for turning I-80 into a toll road and increasing tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The total estimated cost to rebuild Wayne Junction is $28 million; of that amount has only a fraction in hand, said Lund in an e-mail communication.

He said, “Currently, the design of the Wayne Junction Station Project is complete.  This is just one of many projects in SEPTA’s capital program that had to be deferred due to Act 44 not being fully funded. The total project budget is $28 million. SEPTA was awarded $3.98 million under the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Section 5309 Bus Livability Competitive Program for the Renovation of the Wayne Junction Station. SEPTA is waiting for the FTA to issue guidance on the process for securing these funds and we are in the process of determining the best way to utilize this level of funding at the station.”

Meanwhile, the aging historic station has continued to deteriorate. Within the last few weeks, said Lund, a wall began folding at the building known as the Head House at the station, forcing SEPTA to take the roof off that wall. It is currently lying next to the building at the end of the platform.

Furthermore, conditions at Wayne Junction aren’t likely to change anytime soon since, Lund said, “We aren’t going to do anything until we start the overall project.”

In contrast,  according to Lund, improvements currently in progress at the Germantown and Wister stations include:

At Germantown Station - replacement of damaged curbs and sidewalks, demolition of the stairwell roof, stairwell window sealing and painting, inbound and outbound roof replacement, the removal of the Head House superstructure, and the reopening of the parking lot in the spring of 2011 by SEPTA in-house forces.

At Wister Station - work underway and planned include: guard rail and hand rail replacement, the painting of the tunnel area, stripping and repainting the masonry building and upgraded lighting.

At long-closed Tulpehocken Station on the Chestnut Hill West line, major structural work is either under way or planned , including structural repairs to the existing station building interior and exterior, and a new roof.

MALT Opens Classes, Resumes Fundraising



Mt. Airy Learning Tree (MALT) opens its 30th year of “neighbors teaching neighbors” with nearly 300 classes to choose from, the largest selection ever available in its fall session. And as usual, reflecting the wide variety of experience among Northwest instructors and students alike, there’s something to appeal to almost any interest within the pages of MALT’s fall catalog.

Ever wanted to learn how to ride a Segway, that funky-looking two-wheeled urban transportation contrivance? Or how to bellydance? Ever thought about what you should know before trying to homeschool your kids? Or how to start a “zine” - your very own underground magazine? You’ll find those topics and many more covered in the 297 reasonably-priced classes available this fall.

Classes are divided into more than a dozen categories. They include Walks and Talks, Dance, Words and Music, Health and Exercise, Mind and Body, Sports and Recreation, Arts and Crafts, Cooking and Food, Family and Home, Money, Kids and Teens, Working for a Living, and Computers.

There’s also a special subdivision, Fantastic Philadelphians!, related to a particular need of the organization itself.

After 30 years – the first organizational meeting for MALT took place in 1980, with the first classes following in 1981 – MALT is well on its way to owning its permanent home at the corner of Greene and Hortter streets. The organization’s “Make This Our Home Fund” began its efforts last fall and, says Jonna Naylor, MALT executive director, “We’re about a third of the way there,” with $80,000 raised out of a projected $230,000 necessary for the purchase.

Fantastic Philadelphians! Is a series of two talks, both held in Hagen Hall at the Lutheran Theological Seminary. The first, on October 13 at 7 p.m., features Scott Gordon, founder and CEO of Mastery Charter schools in Philadelphia, which operates seven schools including the former Pickett Middle School in Germantown. The schools have increased test scores by more than 50 points per subject and decreased violent incidences by 80 percent. Gordon will discuss those improvements and also give a first look at mastery’s three new turnaround schools, which will open this fall.

In the second, to be held November 10 at 7 p.m., Jane Golden, director of the city’s Mural Arts Program will talk about some of the stories behind the 3,000 murals that grace the city’s walls, how murals can breathe life into a community, and why the Mural Arts Program has become an internationally recognized model in urban development.

The sessions are $19 each, $40 if attendees choose to attend the wine and cheese reception beforehand at Valley Green Bank, $75 for both  speakers and receptions. Both Gordon and Goldena re donating their fees to the Make This Our Home Fund.

Further along on the fundraising front, there’s the tour of the historic German Township (now Germantown, Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill)  on September 26, in which participants will tour nine unique private homes built over the centuries in Northwest Philadelphia. It’s a self-guided tour; participants can pick up the maps they’ll need at the MALT office, and car-pooling will be available.

The cost is $25 in advance, $30 the day of the event, with all proceeds benefiting the Make This Our Home Fund and the Germantown Historical Society. Sponsors include Bowman Properties, Electrical Wizardry, Kurtz, Chestnut Hill Windows, Asher’s, and Valley Green Bank.

And then on October 29 there will be a fundraiser that literally will be just fun: the second MALT Ball dance, to be held at the Commodore Barry Club on Emlen Street.  There will be lessons from 7-9 pm. from some of MALT’s favorite instructors in salsa, bop, cha-cha and line dancing, followed by an eveining of dance until 1 a.m. The event is sponsored by Cuba restaurant, the Mt. Airy Animal Hospital, Joa Mart, and Pelham Plaza Cleaners, and proceeds will benefit the  Make this Our Home Fund.

For a catalog or for more information on MALT’s fall classes and fundraisers, visit the office at Greene and Hortter streets, call 215-843-6333, or visit

Review: Centurion Gives Non-stop Action, No Disruptive Subplots

Michael Fassbender stars in the non-stop hack-em-up Centurion.


Guest Writer

With the constant threats on your life, being a soldier in an ancient army must have been the cause of an epidemic of acid reflux. If the movies are to be believed, you couldn’t have a mid-afternoon snack or take a power nap without the very real possibility of a foreign sword giving your throat a close shave. Zach Snyder’s 300 was a film that perpetuated that myth, it suggested that the best way to survive life in the army was to either shout at the top of your lungs or fight in slow motion.

Neil Marshall’s Centurion simplifies that formula by eliminating the need for shouting and just gives us the gory deaths, mostly at normal speed. Marshall one-ups Snyder by forgoing the philosophy and simply concentrating on mass carnage, meaning Centurion moves at a tightly packed, cold blue-tinted, and subplot free 95 minutes of chases versus the start-stop-start pacing and photographic style of 300. And by clamping down on the yelling, the dialogue only needs to be above the level of “not embarrassing” to avoid distraction. Centurion mostly manages that, though it’s pretty anachronistically modern in its specific choices of lowbrow humor. The only important statement is made early on and it sums up the movie quite succinctly, “We’ve come here looking for a fight.”

And fights are what Marshall provides. And flaming arrows to the head, arrows through the mouth, urine-soaked waterboarding, and plentiful CGI blood. How many circular helicopter shots of one soldier on top of a mountain is too many? Marshall’s would-be answer is, “I’d have included more of them if time permitted.”

Of course that tells you originality isn’t all that important to him, thus his last film Doomsday, which was an awkward and overlong genre blend of Escape From New York and The Road Warrior rip-offs and anything else post-apocalyptic that came to mind. Marshall was on firmer, more consistent ground with Dog Soldiers and The Descent, and he’s learned from his missteps by not going the epic route with Centurion.

In this case, his heroes are the Romans and the British, fighting off the Picts, a nomadic Celtic tribe (who would be considered Scottish now) who have been outfitted to appear like the aliens from Battlefield Earth (minus the big boots), all dirty dreads and pale make-up. Luckily, there’s no self-awareness about the inherent silliness and limited nature of the film. This is a wise move because the more seriously the actors (including two 300 alumns) and filmmakers take the film, the more ridiculous and amusing the movie becomes. If there was a joke about the black cook who joins up with the heroes played by Michael Fassbender and David Morrissey (and a terrific small part for Dominic West, all beard and muscles), it would ruin everything, instead of being what it is; the best action hero cook since Under Siege. There’s only time for one quick bonding scene in front of a warm fire and then back to the carnage, mist, and mountains.

There’s no deeper meaning behind the fighting (it doesn’t really matter what time period we’re in anyway), they fight because ... it’s entertaining for us to watch. And also because of what Marshall knows to be true in his heart, to have a whole face sliced off is infinitely less visually interesting than to slice off half a face. That’s just common sense.

Adam Lippe is a resident of the Northwest. For more of his reviews visit his website,

Caribbean Fashion Fundraiser

The First Annual Caribbean Fashion Weekend, with fashion shows, a concert, and benefit dinner-auction for Haiti, will be held Aug. 28-29 in Germantown and other locations.

On Aug. 28 there will be a free fashion show in Historic Vernon Park, 5800 block of Germantown Avenue, from 8-10 p.m., 800 Germantown Avenue, followed by a dinner and silent auction at LaRose Jazz Club, 5531 Germantown Avenue, from 10 p.m.- 2 a.m. Dinner will be provided by top Haitian Chef Ron Duprat with assistance from the Culinary Arts Institute of Philadelphia. Dinners are $35 per person.

The Miss Caribbean US Scholarship Pageant Committee (in its 10th year), has partnered with the Yele Haiti Foundation, Vivant Art Collection, Wister Neighborhood Council, Inc., Culinary Arts Institute of Philadelphia and ACES MUSEUM honoring black and minority veterans of World War II and their families to present the Caribbean Fashion Weekend, to assist Haitian youth and contestants of the Miss Caribbean US Scholarship Pageant to obtain a higher learning.

The goal is to supply 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies (composition books, coloring books, literature, pencils, pens, rulers, compasses, crayons, calculators, etc.)

The event in Germantown will be followed on Sunday, August 29, by a free Fashion Show and Taste of the Caribbean at Pearl Theatre at Avenue North, 1600 North Broad Street, from 2–4 p.m., succeeded by a free concert at the Jamaican Jerk Hut, 1436 South Street, from 6-10 p.m.

Sunday will feature costumes and garments to be worn by various participants in the Labor Day Parade in Brooklyn. Various Caribbean restaurants will provide food for our “Taste of the Caribbean.” 

This event is supported by the Philadelphia City Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller and State Representative John Myers.

For information about the Miss Caribbean US Scholarship Pageant visit

‘Salute to Youth’ at Poet-Ify

Poet-Ify will hold its second annual Salute to Youth of the year on Sunday, August 29, 3:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Germantown Church of The Brethren Fellowship Hall, 6601 Germantown Ave.

Community members can join the second Salute to Youth in 2010 as the church encourages young people to come share their God-given talents in poetry, spoken word, songs, music and more with others on open mic in a family-friendly atmosphere.

Special guests include the mime group Hands For God and the Savior’s Ordered Steppers. Music will be by the MTM Band and refreshments will be served. For information and tickets call 215-438-POET.

Historic Thomas Mansion Gets A ‘Historic’ Tenant

Left: the Thomas Mansion as it stand today.

Right, a view of the activity on the grounds that’s more familiar to many Northwest residents.



Normally, the news that a long-vacant historic building in the Northwest was being occupied by tenants committed to restoring it to its past grandeur would be unalloyed good news for local residents. But those who learned that the Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust was moving into the Thomas Mansion at 6245 Wissahickon Avenue might have had concerns that a decades-long Northwest winter practice might be in jeopardy: would sledding still be allowed on what’s known as “Tommy’s Hill” on the mansion’s grounds?

Fear not, winter sledding enthusiasts, said Lucy Strackhouse, the Trust’s executive director, in an interview this week: “Of course we’re going to allow it, in fact, we’re going to be participating” in sledding down what is regarded as the best hill in the Northwest.

That’s not to say that there won’t be changes coming to the massive 8,000 square-foot mansion, but, she said, “We’re going to focus on restoring parts of the building.  We hope that everyone will use the hill for sledding as they have for decades.”

That focus should be enough to keep the privately-funded trust busy. “The building has suffered from deferred maintenance due to the restricted, underfunded park budget,” said Strackhouse. “We’re slowing re-doing rooms to use as park offices and hope that more space will be useable for new tenants.”

The first thing that required immediate attention, she said, was shoring up the floor joists in the dining room, which has since been completed. “As funds and volunteers and time allows, we will slowly restore the building. We’re starting with just some of the basics for use, two rooms for offices, and a good portion of the basement for our conservation studio.

“We‘re always looking for volunteers that have an interest in old buildings. There’s a lot of work to be done right here on the site.”

And at a number of other places as well. The Trust manages and restores more than 30 buildings in Fairmount Park - “we cover the city,” said Strackhouse – including the historic Logan mansion on Germantown Avenue near Wayne Junction and Allens Lane Art Center in Mt. Airy.

“The trust receives no funding from the city,” said Strackhouse. “We’re a non-profit and we welcome donations and you can even tailor a donation to a specific property.”

Its income comes from three sources: fundraising (its annual fundraiser is October 14 at the Rockland Mansion in East Fairmaount Park); fees for its conservations service business (it hired out to the Friends of the Wissahickon to fix a window at Valley Green Inn, for example), and the revenue from leases on park buildings.

And while the renovation of the Thomas Mansion will present a challenge, said Strackhouse, “It’s such a wonderful building in such a great neighborhood. Hope that we can fine a use that is compatible with the neighborhood.

“Everything will be open to the public. Eventually, when we get a little further along with the project we’ll invite the public to se what we’ve been doing.

For more information about the Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust, call  215-877-8001 or visit

Northwest Business Center Workshops

The Business Center for Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise (TBC), in Philadelphia’s Northwest section, invites prospective and existing small business owners who are on a mission to start, sustain or grow a business to a workshop: Planning for Profitability.

Learn how to increase revenues, reduce expenses, and increase profits.

Franne McNeal, CEO of Significant Business Results is the keynote speaker. She is author of several books such as 90 Days to Transform Your Business Profits and 90 Relationships to Speed Your Business Revenues. Copies of her book will be available at the workshop. 

This event will be held on Friday September 3, 8 a.m., at the Federal Reserve Bank at Ten Independence Mall in Philadelphia.

Registration is required, no walk-ins are allowed.

Want to learn more about TBC, its services register for upcoming business plan workshops?

Attend an upcoming Open House on Saturday September 11th at PNC Bank, 4060 City Avenue at 10 am.  Participation in TBC programs not only builds skills, knowledge and contacts; but also leads to start-up and expansion funding. 

To confirm your attendance to one or both of these workshops, call 215-247-2473 x7.

For more upcoming events and ongoing programs at The Business Center for Entrepreneurship & Social Enterprise, visit or call 215-247-2473.

MacMaster, Fareira Are Reigel Awardees

In 1986, Center in the Park (CIP) created an Award named for Marguerite L. Riegel, one of CIP’s founders.  At the same time, the endowed Emergency Cash Fund was named in memory of CIP’s other Founder, Laura Drake Nichols.   Beginning in 1990, an organization was also selected for the Riegel Award.  In 2006, the CIP Board of Directors also established a Distinguished Service Award.

The 2010 Riegel Award Recipients are:

Sheila MacMaster, RN, BSN, for her years of dedicated and compassionate service assisting the frail elderly and currently as supervisor of Catholic Care Options Program for the Elderly of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Chestnut Hill College, for commitment to providing opportunities for learning for older adults through continuing education and especially for the Science Department’s support for CIP’s Senior Environment Corps.

The Distinguished Service Award Recipient is:

Carlotta Fareira, for her years of committed, generous and energetic volunteer service to CIP and the NW Philadelphia community.

The 2010 CIP Award Recipients will be honored at the Center’s Third Annual Music from the Heart Jazz Concert, on Saturday, September 25 at 7 p.m. at the Germantown Friends School, Loeb Auditorium, Greene Street and Schoolhouse Lane.  Concert information is available at or by calling Nicole at 215-848-7722.  Featured artists will include the Georgie Bonds Blues Machine, Abstract Truth, and the Clef Club Youth Jazz Band. 

Support for the event has been provided by Bravo Health, Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, WPVI Channel 6, and Butler Prestige Photography.

Past recipients of the award include:

Individuals: Doris Schall, an art teacher and community service activist; Harry Levitan, who started a free law office for seniors at CIP; Virginia Dreby, a CIP Board member, and volunteer with Germantown Settlement and the Women’s Y; Clarice Herbert, former Board President of CIP and former Director of the YWCA of Germantown; Frank X. Delany, a community activist and advocate for non-profits; Rennie Cohen, former Executive Director of CIP; Mary Fallon, Outreach Director, Unitarian Universalist House;  Nora Dowd Eisenhower, Secretary of the PA Department of Aging; C. Richard Cox, Former Vice President, the William Penn Foundation, past CIP Board President; and Celeste Zappala, former Director of the Mayor’s Commission on Aging.

Organizations: Germantown Hospital and Medical Center; Northwest Victim Services; Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA); Germantown Relief Society; Thomas Jefferson University’s Center for Applied Research on Aging & Health (CARAH); the Hannah & George Bricker Memorial Trust, BNY Mellon Corporation; and, the Green Tree Community Health Foundation.

Distinguished Service Award:  The first recipient was Artis Ray, the longest serving former President of the Center’s Board of Directors; followed by CIP members Fred and Carrie Lewis, and Earline Myrick, CIP volunteer and exercise activity leader; Robert Macbeth, former member of the CIP Board of Directors; and Frances Moss, CIP volunteer and former staff member.

The annual awards recognize persons and organizations that affirm the dignity and potential of older people; encourage older people to make their voices heard and to contribute to their communities; have a record of continuous service to older people; and use creativity in uncovering new solutions to problems involving an aging population.

Center in the Park, located at 5818 Germantown Avenue in Vernon Park, is a community center that promotes positive aging and fosters community connections for older adults (55+) whose voices are critical instruments in shaping its activities and direction.  CIP is accredited by the National Institute of Senior Centers, a unit of the National Council on Aging, as a provider of excellent programs, activities and services for its active membership of more than 5,000 and its 1,000 homebound clients.  For information call 215-848-7722 or visit

Tulpehocken Architectural Tours

The Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, 200 West Tulpehocken Street,  is hosting the third in a series of architectural tours of the Tulpehocken Station Historic District. This tour will feature Georgian Revival (1870’s and beyond) architectural style.  Named after the four King Georges, Georgian architecture was superseded in the mid-nineteenth century by other styles.  A revival of this classical style, also called colonial revival, occurred at the end of the nineteenth century in reaction to more ornate Victorian-era styles.  Georgian Revival architecture is a simple box, two rooms deep, with strictly symmetrical windows. 

The two-hour walking tour, led by architect Sandra Radich, will begin at the Mansion and will include stops to look at six exterior facades and an inside tour of 269 West Walnut Lane (pictured).  The tours begin and end at the Mansion where cookies and lemonade will be served.  After the tour, participants can remain for a docent-led tour of the Mansion. 

The Tulpehocken Station Historic District is on the National Register of Historic Places as one of America’s first railroad suburbs.  Because the train lines had reached Germantown in the late 1830s, men could work downtown while their family lived in the country.  The entire district is rich in distinctive Victorian architecture.  Tour goers will not be disappointed in this well-researched and executed tour. 

The tour takes place Saturday, September 11, 9:30 a.m. to noon and costs $25 (member cost - $20). Reservations are required. Call Diane Richardson at 215-438-1861 for details and reservations.

PSA Meetings

Remaining August Police Service Area (PSA) meetings in the 14th District are:

PSA1, with Lt. Raymond Jackson, on August 31, 7-9 p.m., at the West Oak Lane Senior Center, 7201 Ogontz Avenue. PSA 1 covers West Oak Lane, East Germantown between Stenton and Chew avenues, and East Mt. Airy south of Gorgas Lane and Vernon Road.

PSA4, with Lt. Michael Kopecki, on August 26,  7-9 p.m., at Water Tower Rec Center, Hartwell Lane and Ardleigh Street.  PSA 4 covers Chestnut Hill and East Mt. Airy between Germantown and Cheltenham avenues, bordered on the south by Gorgas Lane and Vernon Road.

For more information call the 14th Police District at 215-686-3140

Decorative Arts Workshop at Stenton Mansion

Stenton continues its annual Decorative Arts Workshop Series with a discussion and hands-on workshop on Chinese Export Porcelain in the Stenton Collection on Thursday, September 23, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Letitia Roberts and Deborah Miller will be leading the workshop as we take exclusive look at Stenton’s newly mended archeological Chinese-export porcelain in the context of other ceramics also found at the site.

Letitia Roberts is an independent scholar, author, lecturer, advisor, and appraiser and was formerly the Senior Vice President and Senior International Specialist and Director of European Ceramics and Chinese Export Porcelain at Sotheby’s in New York.

Deborah Miller, archeologist at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, spearheaded Stenton’s cataloging and mending projects, which also served as the subject for her Master’s thesis.

This rich assemblage of many nearly whole mid eighteenth-century ceramics illustrates the types of dinner and tea wares used in colonial elite households.  This workshop will be an opportunity to understand the physical properties of various ceramic bodies and decorative techniques through hands-on learning. Reservations are required; the $45 fee includes lunch and optional house tour to follow.

Stenton, which has been described as “the most authentic of all Philadelphia’s historic houses,” was built by James Logan, William Penn’s Secretary, between 1723 and 1730.  Stenton is located in the historic Logan section of Philadelphia at 4601 North 18th Street (the corner of 18th and Windrim Avenue), just four blocks east of Wayne Junction.  The house is open for tours Tuesday through Saturday, 1-4 p.m., April 1 through December 23, and by appointment throughout the year.  For more information or directions, phone 215-329-7312 or visit

PHS Fall Gardening Festival

Gardeners of all levels, interests and ages are invited to soak up the seasonal bounty of plants, gardening tips and all things green at the  Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Fall Gardening Festival on Saturday, September 11, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., on the grounds of the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

The free festival will showcase some of PHS’s special programs for homeowners and gardeners. PHS Gold Medal award-winning plants will be displayed and for sale. These exceptional woody plants are great choices for any garden. Experts from PHS’s Meadowbrook Farm will be on hand with some newer varieties of plants for fall planting. A sneak preview of the upcoming 2011 Philadelphia International Flower Show, “Springtime in Paris,” will be presented at the Gardeners Studio, along with demonstrations and lectures on autumn tree care, using herbs, and bringing houseplants indoors.

PHS members enjoy year-round programs for new and experienced gardeners. The festival will help everyone become more acquainted with these programs and PHS’s acclaimed greening efforts through Philadelphia Green. Anyone who becomes a member at the festival will be supporting this great cause and will receive a free gift and membership discounts, in addition to tickets to the 2011 Flower Show and other gardening benefits of PHS.

Representatives of the region’s great plant societies will offer sound advice and plant displays. At the PHS Green Stop, visitors can learn about green living from PHS, PECO, Neighborhood Gardens Association and other organizations, and recycle their used nursery containers and horticultural plastics.

Children will delight in the high-speed Veggie Races with raw materials provided by Acme Markets. Educational exhibitors will include the Pennsylvania Resources Council, Delaware Valley Earth Force, Mullock Compost and the Philadelphia Water Department.

One highlight of the PHS Fall Garden Festival will be the live auction at 1:30 p.m. PHS President Drew Becher will kick off the bidding of an exceptional variety of items – indoor/outdoor décor from the Flower Show, an Eco Blower and mulcher donated by Subaru of America, Mantis tillers, composting services, a Texas Tomato Cage, pet supplies and planters, to name a few. Proceeds from the auction will help support PHS greening programs.

A Marketplace of gardening items and a Farmers Market operated by Greensgrow will offer fresh, local produce and plants. Cosmic Catering of Chestnut Hill, which uses compostable paper goods and purchases meats and produce from local farmers who use sustainable practices, will have prepared foods for sale. Acoustic eclectic music will be performed by Prose from Dover, the husband-and-wife duo whose repertoire ranges from Cole Porter to Sheryl Crow.

PHS will use the occasion to announce winners of its City Gardens Contest during a special ceremony in the adjacent Urban Outfitters building. This popular annual competition honors more than 100 of the most creative and skilled gardeners in the Philadelphia region.

The Philadelphia Navy Yard is an area rich in history. Visitors can take a free double-decker bus tour of the area’s renovated buildings and ships.

 Festival partners include Acme Markets, EP Henry, Mantis, PNC, Subaru of America, and Tourism Ireland.

 PHS motivates people to improve the quality of life and create a sense of community through horticulture. PHS produces the Philadelphia International Flower Show, operates the region’s exceptional Meadowbrook Farm garden center and design showcase, and reaches out nationwide to create sustainable green communities.

FUMCOG Celebrates Stroud’s Ministry

First United Methodist Church of Germantown will celebrate Beth Stroud’s ministry on Sept.5. All are invited to attend the service at 10 a.m. in the Sanctuary of the church, Germantown Avenue and Haines Street.

Beth Stroud was a pastor in The United Methodist Church, serving on the staff of First United Methodist Church of Germantown from 1999 through 2008.  She is also a lesbian.

On Sunday, April 27, 2003, then Rev. Stroud stood in the Germantown pulpit and openly spoke about her sexual orientation and her relationship with her partner. The unsurprised but jubilant congregation and many visitors cheered loudly. Although the congregation supported Stroud and her ministry, the United Methodist denomination bars “self-avowed, practicing homosexuals” from ordination. After a long journey through church courts, Stroud finally lost her official ministerial credentials in 2005.

During and since that time she has worked at preaching, teaching, and doing social service in Philadelphia. She has written “A Faith That Fits,” the official youth curriculum of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, and recently completed a Master of Sacred Theology at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. After she left the FUMCOG staff, she and her mother taught Sunday School and helped organize a new class for two- and three-year-olds.

Now she is leaving Philadelphia to work toward a PhD in American religious history at Princeton University. Stroud, her partner Chris Paige, and their daughter Nevaeh have moved to Lawrenceville, near Princeton.  Ms. Paige is continuing her business as an independent website developer, and has blossomed in her own ministry as a transgender organizer. Nevaeh will attend Princeton Nursery School.

On Sept. 5, the congregation will celebrate with special music, a sermon from Ms. Stroud, and special reminders of how they have through the years celebrated the rights of LGBTQ people to be full citizens of both the community and the church.

Stroud said, “FUMCOG is a very special place. It combines a strong, historic commitment to social justice with robust programs for children, families, and adults of all ages. It is a congregation of people who cannot stand to see anyone mistreated. It’s been a tremendous place not only to work, but also to begin raising a family. I will miss it!”

Back-to-School Day at Trinity

“See You At the Altar” is a day set aside (the fourth Wednesday each September) for parents and grandparents to gather and pray for their children at the beginning of the school year.  As concerned parents and adults, we support the next generation. 

Join the Women of Trinity Lutheran Church, 5300 Germantown Avenue, as they host a “See You At The Altar” Back to School Prayer Breakfast on Saturday, September 11, at 9 a.m. Parents, grandparents, and/or all concerned with today’s youths are encouraged to bring their child(ren) for prayer or bring a picture of your child(ren) and place on the altar to be remembered in prayer.  On the back of the picture you may share the name of the student and the school they attend.  This will enable those praying to direct their prayers.

The guest speaker will be Karla Johnson, First Lady of New Hope Baptist Church located in Conlwyn, Pa, Mrs Johnson is also an educator in the Philadelphia school system.  In  attendance  there will be guest pastors, educators and fellow church members  who roles are to be prayer intercessors for the prayer petitions.

Donations for the prayer breakfast are $10 for adults, $5 for kids. Call 215-848-8150 or 215-603-2059 for reservations or information.

This event is hosted by the Women of Trinity as a fundraiser for their 2010 Women’s Day celebration on Sunday, Nov. 14. All proceeds will benefit the Building Renovation Ministry.

At Chabad-Lubavitch

In anticipation of the upcoming Jewish New Year (Sept. 8-10), Chabad-Lubavitch of Northwest Philadelphia has announced its High Holiday Services schedule. They will be “warm, friendly, traditional, and open to all” says Chabad’s Executive Director, Rabbi Yitzchok Gurevitz.

All are welcome, free of charge, regardless of background or affiliation. Membership is not required to join and there are no prerequisites. All prayers will combine the original Hebrew and translated English. 

“Whether your background in Jewish prayer and practice is extensive or limited,” says Rabbi Gurevitz, “attending services at Chabad will leave you feeling enriched, connected, uplifted and inspired.”

Services will be held on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year (Sept. 8-10), as well as Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (Sept. 17-18). 

For information or reservations, call 215-438-5327, email, or log on to


50th Pastoral Anniversary Celebrated at Holsey

Rev. Dr. Raymond F. Williams, pastor of Holsey Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, 5305-15 Germantown Avenue,  will be celebrating 50 years of spiritual leadership in September. The celebration will taken place over September 3-5. Alluding to a description of the Mass Choir “Gospelrama” that was held at Holsey several years ago, Ms. Hattie Key, chairperson of the event, terms it the “Second Miracle of Germantown Avenue.”

She said, “We are extremely proud of our pastor having ‘come this far by faith,’ reaching this milestone in his life and church work. Everyone at Holsey is working together to insure that this will be a wonderful celebration and one that will be remembered long after it is over.”

Church members from all over the United States and a host of family and friends are expected to attend. Pastors from area churches, high church officials, ecumenical associates, representatives from the Moinisterial alliance, and the Black Clergy of Philadelphia have been invited. Representatives from the political arena are also expected to attend.

Rev. Williams is married to his partner of 48 years, the former Lula Mae Bell of Quitman, GA. They are the proud parents of three children, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

There will be a program on September 4 at 6 p.m. highlighting Rev. Williams dynamic ministry and life. The celebration will conclude on Sunday morning with 11 a.m. worship services at the church. The public is cordially invited to attend the Saturday evening program at 6 p.m. and Sunday morning services.

Dr. Judith Grant, co-chair-person of the anniversary celebration called this “a truly historic event honoring a very special man and his 50 years of church service.”

We thank our church members and those in the community for their loyalty and support.

For more information, call the church at 215-848-2210.

Kehilla for Secular Jews

The Kehilla for Secular Jews invites all to celebrate the Jewish High Holidays with its members, guests and friends. The Rosh Hashanah program and coffee hour will be held on Thursday September 9, at 3:45 pm. The Erev Yom Kippur observance will be on Friday September 17, at 7:30 pm and sponsored by Shir Shalom. On Saturday September 18, at 3 p.m. the Yom Kippur program will be held. All events will take place at the Germantown Friends Meetinghouse, 47 West Coulter Street. 

No tickets are necessary. Free parking is available. The programs are secular humanistic and inclusive. Supervised children’s programs will be held for the daytime programs. Contributions are requested to benefit the Jewish Children’s Folkshul.

The programs feature readings, poetry, candle lighting, reflections and meditations, music and singing. The traditional format of the holiday programs is observed. Music will be performed by Fran Kleiner, Yiddish recording artist, Art Miron, popular coffee house musician/singer, and Two of a Kind, noted performing group.

The Kehilla for Secular Jews is a federation of six Jewish secular humanist organizations. These organizations welcome those who identify as cultural Jews and seek the community of people who identify with the Jewish experience, history and values.

For further information contact or or 215-248-1550.

LTSP Begins 114th Year

Theological Education in the Changed Context of the Church and Society is the theme for the 147th academic year at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), which begins with opening day worship and convocation on Tuesday, Sept. 7, on the seminary campus, 7301 Germantown Avenue. Opening worship is at 9:30 am in the seminary chapel, followed by the convocation at 11:30 am in Benbow Hall, The Brossman Center. Both are open to the public.

Opening convocation highlights Theological Education in the Changed Context of the Church and Society from the perspective of LTSP graduates the Rev. Maritza Dolich (Allentown, PA), the Rev. Matt Cimorelli (Ringoes, NJ), and the Rev. Carlton Rodgers (Philadelphia, PA). All are pastors in congregations in the Philadelphia region. They will address the theme through their experiences in their contexts as pastors in a world that continues to change.

All convocation events are free and open to the public; see for details on UTI 30th Anniversary event times and locations.

‘Start Smart’ at Janes

For the fifth straight year, Janes Memorial United Methodist Church will provide new backpacks and school supplies to children in grades K thru 12 during Start Smart Program on Saturday, September 11, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 47 East Haines Street. Children and parents from the Germantown area are invited to attend the event which boasts performances by recognized poets, activities for children and youth, workshops for parents, a career roundtable for middle/high school students, free lunch, and schoolbags filled with supplies.  Children must be present to receive a backpack.

 “As the economy continues to grow weaker, we realize many parents in our community are faced with tough choices,“ said  Rev. Dr. Andrew Foster III, senior pastor of Janes Church.  “Some are not sure how they will be able to afford new book bags and school supplies.  We feel it is our responsibility as a church to give back to the community and make sure the children in this neighborhood are as prepared for the first few days of school as possible.“

Over the past five years, Janes Church has given away over 1,000 book bags filled with supplies and provides a subsequent event each January to replenish the supplies the children may have used throughout the first half of the school year.

“We hope that by providing the essential tools needed for school, each child will be better prepared for the challenges they face during the school year,“ said Nadene Partlow, Janes Start Smart coordinator.  Funding to support this effort was made possible by the Office of Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller, Vine Foundation, Samuel and Deidre Foundation, The Prison Ministry of Dallas PA, and the generous donations of Janes Church congregants.

For more information on this program, contact the Church’s office at 215-844-9564

Share Poetry at UU

Join in on Sunday, August 29 at 11 a.m., at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration, 6900 Stenton Avenue, in our Fellowship Hall to “Find a Poem: Share a Poem”.

Susan Windle will bring an abundance of poetry books for all ages or you can bring your own. Read a favorite poem and share what it means to you. Kids are welcome. Visit our website for more information at

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MALT Makes a Move to Move

The end of summer brings turning leaves – and new fall classes from Mt. Airy Learning Tree (MALT). MALT is in the midst of its “Make This Our Home” campaign to raise funds for the purchase of its quarters at Greene and Hortter streets. Seen here putting the campaign banner on the side of the building are David McDowell (left) and Bob Rossman. For more on the classes and the campaign, see story below.