From the Independent • Mt. Airy News Stories

September 30, 2010 • MAI.093010.pdf

In This Issue

The Stories

  1. NW Welcomes Reopening of Germantown Y

  2. Battle Re-enactments and Much More at Revolutionary Germantown Festival

  3. Water Main Break Floods Carpenter and McCallum

  4. My Way Helps Seniors Live Independently in Their Own Homes

  5. Fashion in the Streets on Saturday

  6. Review: ‘Night of the Iguana at Stagecrafters Theater

  7. Quirky ‘All in the Timing’ at Allens Lane

  8. 5300 Lena Block Gets Energy Retrofit

  9. Clean and Green Vernon Park

  10. Finance Seminar

  11. Watercolor Workshop

  12. LTSP Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Urban Theological Institute

  13. Rev. White to Speak at Grace Baptist Church

  14. Worldwide Communion at FUMCOG

  15. Health Care Meeting at Summit

  16. Mt. Tabor Anniversary

  17. Learn About Student Options at HS Expo

  18. Mastery Charter CEO Featured MALT Speaker

  19. GFS Marks Peace Day

  20. Dance Session

  21. Holy Cross Celebration

  22. Blessing of Animals

  23. Upcoming Events at USG

  24. At UU Restoration

  25. At Canaan

  26. Imperfect Victim

NW Welcomes Reopening of Germantown Y


Guest Writer

The Y, an idea that went from being an effort to encourage and support men in the mid-1800s to a resource for the community in 1927 and to a catastrophe in 2008 has reopened in Germantown.

Despite losing its charter with the YMCA the organization, renamed the Germantown Y, reopened its doors for the community on September 11 with a huge celebration. The Germantown Y, located at 5722 Green Street, had been closed due to flood damage since 2008.

Local residents came out to see the recent improvements to the facility and to apply for membership. Residents like Mindy Flexer, who once included spending time at the Y in her daily routine, are glad to see the recent developments to the Y.

“I’m so thrilled that the Y is opening again. I used to swim here everyday on my way to school,” says the schoolteacher. “it was really a big loss when the Y closed.”

Constance Bille is a current board member on the Germantown Y who worked on the recovery committee and whose children used to attend the Y. She believes the spirit of the community, the people involved in the organization and the help of divine intervention has resulted in the opening of the Y.

“Belief is a very powerful thing. If you believe you can do it, if you believe you can save something, all your energy flows in one direction and things happen,” said Bille.

Senior Director Dennis Johnson plans to see fit that things do happen at the Y. As he spoke of the future, Johnson mentioned the desire to have programs geared toward toddlers, fitness classes for youth that will focus on issues of obesity, aquatic centers that can provide therapy for senior citizens and resources for people with handicapped disabilities.

“The difference of this Y, Germantown Y, is that we are a community Y and people feel comfortable coming here,” he said. “We’re about family, we’re about structure.”

Within the structure of the Y, the organization offers affordable housing to low-income men in the community. Located in the back of the 400,000-square-foot building, this program remained unaffected by the flood and has been functional for the last few years. Historically, the residences were opened to serve migrant workers, but over time it became housing for low-income people and transitional housing for homeless men. Social services are also provided by the Y to aid people in these services. Bille views these residential services as a unique quality of the Germantown Y.

Bille noted that the Germantown Y has one of the last residential housing facilities of the sort in the Philadelphia area, and that there are not many of those facilities available in the country.

Another local organization that has worked to restore the Germantown Y is the Germantown Community Connection (GCC). The GCC is a non-profit organization that aims to connect community organizations and promote the revitalization of the Germantown area. Members from this organization have been supporting efforts to open the Y for the past few years and have stepped forward to volunteer and aid the Y during its opening process.

Better Turner, president of the GCC, describes the Germantown Y as an “anchor institution” whose “reopening has the ability to revive our community, and to let the community know that, yes we have had some challenging times over last few years,” she said, “but we are on our way back.”

Keisha Frazier is affiliated with Temple University’s

Battle Re-enactments and Much More at Revolutionary Germantown Festival

Historic Germantown, a coalition of 15 historic sites in the city’s Germantown section, will once again re-enact one of the Revolutionary War’s most memorable battles with hundreds of costumed soldiers, actors as notable colonial figures and a day-long celebration with family friendly activities.

The “Revolutionary Germantown Festival” will take place on Saturday, October 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Cliveden, the country home of the Chew family and the site of General George Washington’s failed attempt to liberate Philadelphia from British control in 1777. Also open for the celebration are Historic RittenhouseTown on Lincoln Drive, Concord School House, Johnson House Historic Site, Germantown Mennonite Meetinghouse, Deshler Morris House and Grumblethorpe, all on Germantown Avenue.

Two re-enactments of the famous battle will take place on Cliveden’s grounds, at noon and 3 p.m. at 6401 Germantown Avenue. There will be an Historic Map and Print Show at Cliveden’s Carriage House, a puppet show, juggling and walking tours. Children’s activities include decorating pumpkins, making colonial toys, making ink and learning 18th century penmanship.

Visitors will meet Revolutionary War hero Ned Hector, who stood down Redcoats attempting to cross the Brandywine River, and other historic characters. There will also be a dog exchange re-enactment at Historic RittenhouseTown, a bell-ringing ceremony at the Concord School House, and Octoberfest at Grumblethorpe, a Colonial German homestead where British General James Agnew succumbed to gunshot wounds.

The Battle of Germantown was fought on Cliveden’s grounds on October 4, 1777, one of many battles in American colonies’ war for independence from Great Britain. In the battle, Washington launched a surprise attack on British soldiers who had occupied the Chew mansion.  A pitched battle lasted for several hours, but Washington’s troops were eventually forced to retreat and the British tightened their hold on Philadelphia.

There are plenty of great activities and programs taking place on Cliveden’s grounds and off-site from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The schedule includes:

On Cliveden’s grounds:  two reenactments of the Battle of Germantown,  noon to 3 p.m.; Historic Map and Print Show in Cliveden’s Carriage House, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Germantown historic sites will host family friendly activity tables from  10 a.m. to 5 p.m., including  pumpkin decorating, make your own ink,  18th century penmanship activity, make colonial toys, try on a soldier’s uniform,  a broom-jumping ceremony, meet American teamster Ned Hector, meet British Major John Andre, and  meet the author of “Surprise of Germantown,” Tom McGuire at  11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. Listen to MacGregor’s Pipe Band at   11:40 a.m. and 2:40 p.m., a juggling performance by “Give and Take Jugglers” at  11 a.m., a  puppet show by “Tucker’s Tales” at  1:15 p.m., and student-led neighborhood walking tours of Germantown at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. 

Battle activities taking place off-site in Germantown include:

Historic RittenhouseTown (206 Lincoln Drive), with a “Paws in the Park” Dog Walk at 10 a.m. and   Dog Exchange, at  10:45 a.m.

Concord School House (6309 Germantown Avenue), Battle Remembrance and Bell Ringing Ceremony at 2 p.m.        

Deshler Morris House (5542 Germantown Avenue), Open House tours and “Meet and Greet” with General Howe at 4:15 p.m., Open House Tours at 10  p.m. – 4 p.m.

Grumblethorpe (5267 Germantown Avenue) – Octoberfest Celebration with beer, food, and tours from  4:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Johnson House Historic Site (6306 Germantown Avenue) open for tours, 1 - 4 p.m.

Germantown Mennonite Meetinghouse (6119 Germantown Avenue) open for tours  11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information, visit

Water Main Break Floods Carpenter and McCallum



While Saturday, September 18 was a day of reflection and atonement at the Germantown Jewish Center on West Ellet Street, Carlos Rosales on nearby Carpenter Lane had other plans for his morning.  But at 9 a.m., he looked out the third floor window of his home and was alarmed to see water gushing by his curb, fast pooling by the nearby corner at McCallum Street and beginning to break up the asphalt.

A few minutes earlier, he had noticed that the faucets in the house weren’t delivering and wondered if he had forgotten to pay the water bill.

Rosales called the Fire Department but then quickly discovered that a dozen or so emergency workers from the Philadelphia Water Department were already on site. 

As Mark Scofield, an assistant supervisor of the emergency team later explained, a 16-inch water main had broken underground. Water supply within a block of the break would be shut off for local homes and businesses for the several hours while the break was located and the deluge stanched. He was confident that by Wednesday or Thursday of the nest week, the main and the street itself would be fully restored, a deadline that was met.

The dozen or so Water Department workers who tackled this emergency performed like a well-trained triage team, working attentively and energetically against the forces of nature. They even managed to be courteous in replying to inquiring neighbors, while not easing up on the demanding task at hand.  The fish in nearby streams would be taken care of too:  the Department adds vitamin C to local streams to help fish cope with the chlorine load that water breaks like this produce.

Aaron Holland, 16, of West Oak Lane, was bicycling past the intersection and pulled over for a look. “Wow I never thought that could happen to a street,” she said.  “It’s so cracked up. I’ve never seen anything like it, The street‘s higher than the sidewalk!”

My Way Helps Seniors Live Independently in Their Own Homes



As we grow older, the everyday tasks of maintaining a home become more difficult. Simple tasks such as grocery shopping, mowing the lawn or installing a new light fixture make it difficult for many senior citizens to live independently at home. And senior citizens are often taken advantage of by scam artists and thieves posing as repair people or contractors, said Rhoda Chasten, a Mt. Airy resident.

“My Way is a service that is long overdue,” said Chasten, who recently retired and became a member of My Way.

My Way, 7104 Germantown Avenue, is a not-for-profit joint venture of Neighborhood Interfaith Movement (NIM) and Ralston Center that provides non-medical related services to residents of Germantown and Mt. Airy who are 55 and older. It provides high-quality safe services that enable senior citizens to live independently in secure environments - their own homes.

“I love their motto ‘The neighbor that takes care of everything,’ “ said Chasten.  Chasten recently used them to install a light fixture.  “I love the idea that I don’t have to choose someone randomly out of the phone book.  They do the legwork for you,” she said.  “My Way helps me to do the ‘little things’ I can’t do myself.”

“My Way performs virtually everything on your to do list,” said Susan Gueye, executive director of My Way.

My Way membership is free. There are no annual fees. My Way charges  $18.75 per hour for its services, which range from getting a ride home from the airport to cleaning the house.  “All of our part-time staff are extensively prescreened,” said Gueye.

Employees must complete a criminal background check, a drug test, a competency test, and a three-hour orientation, she said.

“Currently, we have about 275 members. Our staff doesn’t accept cash or tips.  We send you a bill,“ Gueye said. This way customers don’t have to worry about having cash around the house, she said.

Barbra Phillips, development director for Ralston Center and secretary of My Way’s Board, said, “One of the unique features of My Way is that it is very individualized. It is not a cookie cutter service. Clients get the services they need when they need them.”

Audrey Aner is a part-time employee and also a member of My Way. Besides performing part-time administrative duties, she provided members with transportation from the airport, and assistance in shopping for food and filling prescriptions.

As a member of My Way, she has used their services to install two new ceiling fans, an air-conditioner and a utility tub. Customers can usually get their services the same day they call or the next day. 

For more information about My Way call 215-525-5470 or visit

Fashion in the Streets on Saturday

Philadelphia fashion designer Ron Wilch is taking siege of Germantown only to release it to an exciting event bringing together the forces of fashion and community businesses for a one day fashion and music celebration in historic Germantown celebrating the grand opening of The Fashion Lab, a product design marketing agency that is the first full service fashion development industry training program for low income students.  “Taking the Streets Fashion Show” is one of the closing events for the City of Philadelphia’s The Philadelphia Collection 2010, a 10-day series of fashion and style events bringing together the entire Philadelphia fashion community.

The founder of The Fashion Lab, fashion designer Ron Wilch, is the first “Fashion Czar” in Pennsylvania, proclaimed by former Mayor, now Governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, for his creative vision and direction in producing the largest fashion events in Pennsylvania, such as the Philadelphia Fashion Montage at the Dell East, and Philly Fashion Expo at the PA Convention Center.

This one-day event will be taking place outside of one of the oldest textile mills in Philadelphia, the James R. Kendrick Building, 6143 Germantown Avenue. “Taking the Streets” will represent the grand opening of the Fashion Lab and feature the first fashion event on cobblestones, including plenty of entertainment for the whole family.

Attendees will have the opportunity to donate to charities such as Peace and Love Foundation, Alex’s Lemonade, the Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation and Love Yourself Foundation founded by 107.9 WRNB‟s Moshay LaRen. There will be entertainment for all ages and plenty of food and drinks to satisfy appetites; live entertainment will include musical sounds of Hip-Hop, R&B, and Rock and Soul. Free vending and banner space will be available to give vendors an opportunity to showcase their merchandise. Notable figure heads such as Miss Black Pennsylvania, Trudy Haynes, Moshay LaRen, and city council representatives will also be in attendance to view the Grand Opening and take a tour of the new Fashion Lab. Wilch will join with Russell Simmons’ organization “Peacekeepers” on October 2. In honor of Simmons’ efforts to take back our streets, event participants will wear an orange article of clothing or orange ribbon to represent peace in Germantown.

The schedule is as follows: noon, Fashion Lab official ribbon cutting ceremony and Vendors Mall opening; 1 p.m., Children’s Fashion Show; 2:30-6 p.m. - multiple adult fashion shows and live music entertainment.

Event partners include the City of Philadelphia, Germantown Settlement Music School, My Life 1180 AM, and the City of Style Talk Show 1180 AM.

Review: ‘Night of the Iguana at Stagecrafters Theater


Guest Writer

Northwest theater-goers have three more chances to see Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana at the Stagecrafters Theater, 8130 Germantown Avenue.

Episcopal Priest T. Lawrence Shannon loses his job one day when his parishioners lock him out of his Virginia church. There is scandal, then time in a mental institution, then years scrapping out a living as an escort and guide on foreign tours. His is a life spattered with shame and alcohol, and in September 1940 it looks like it may be coming to an end in a ragged hotel on the west coast of Mexico.  This is how famed playwright Williams’ story begins. It’s a good tale and it opens up the fall season for the Stagecrafters.

Shannon is played by Christian Lepore. Bonnie Lay Grant plays Maxine Faulk, the lusty owner of the Costa Verde Hotel. Cathy Gibbons Mostek plays Hannah Jelkes, a penniless sketch artist who arrives at the hotel at about the same time as Shannon. Each of these women have large problems of their own, but struggle with each other to be the one to save the emotionally fractured ex-priest.

The time and place of the play allowed playwright Williams to include a couple of unusual characters. Two guests at the Costa Verde Hotel are Herr and Frau Fahrenkopf, Germans vacationing in neutral Mexico during wartime. They are played by Mike Gannon and Sherry Brown. Throughout the production they gleefully follow the Nazi blitz of London on radio news broadcasts, swill beer, sing strident German songs, and openly delight in German military success. As others in the story wrestle with the collapse of their own worlds, the Nazis revel in the rise of their own. It makes for an unsettling background.

Shannon is having a nervous breakdown. He arrives with a bus-load of Baptist school ladies from Texas who are angry with him about the quality of their tour, and one woman, Miss Fellowes, who is outraged that Shannon has had sex with her teenage niece along the way. (The flaky and more-than-willing teenager Charlotte Goodall is played by Corrine Hower.) Angry Miss Fellowes, is played by Ginny Kaufmann. Their parts serve to raise the level of hysteria on the hotel terrace.

The other characters are Nonno, grandfather of Hannah, played by Bob Forman; tour company bus driver Hank Latta, played by James Hearn, who tries to seize control of the group and get it back to Texas; and Pedro and Pancho, the hotel keeper’s employees and playthings, portrayed, respectively, by Greg Pronko and Matthew C. Thompson.

The Night of the Iguana premiered on Broadway in 1961 and has been revived many times. In 1964 it was adapted as a film, starring Richard Burton as Shannon, Ava Gardner as Maxine Faulk, and Deborah Kerr as Hannah Jelkes. On stage and in the film, Pedro and Pancho capture a wild iguana and tether it to the hotel’s porch, where they plan to fatten it and later eat it – as was the custom there. The strange critter struggling at the end of a rope (off stage) is an easily understood representation of Shannon and his situation. The former clergyman is always portrayed as a jittery, sweaty, frequently shouting mess. On film, played by Burton, he is also an attractive mess who could conceivably seduce a silly teenage girl and set two adult women to struggling for his love.

This high emotional level and degree of plausibility was difficult for the Stagecrafters actors to maintain. Lepore portrayed Shannon with a Southern accent and unless a man is a deep baritone, this accent softens his delivery and makes the pitch of hysteria or nervousness difficult to put across seriously on stage, where he is expected to project his voice to the back of the theater. Cathy Gibbons Mostek, seen at Stagecrafters last season in a terrific performance in The Matchmaker, portrays Hannah Jelkes, an artsy old maid from Nantucket. This is a marvelous character in American theater, and Ms. Mostek did it justice.

Remaining performances of The Night of the Iguana at Stagecrafters are October 1 and 2 at 8 p.m, and October 3 at 2 p.m. Stagecrafters takes reservations at 215-247-9913.

Quirky ‘All in the Timing’ at Allens Lane

Allens Lane Theater opens its 2010-11 season with Selections from All in the Timing.  Selections from All in the Timing contains six one-act plays, written by David Ives, and begins with a humorous view on relationships, good timing, bad timing, and the search for the ultimate human connection. Join us for “Sure Thing,” “The Universal Language,” “The Philadelphia,” “Foreplay or the Art of the Fugue,” “Seven Menus,” and “English Made Simple.”

Allens Lane’s production of Selections of All in the Timing is directed by Jessica Bender and features a cast of eight actors who all play numerous roles. Director Jessica Bender is thrilled to be returning to direct at Allens Lane, where she last directed Office Hours ten years ago.  She has worked professionally in Philadelphia as a teacher, director, and choreographer for more than a dozen years.  Currently, she is the theater manager of the Kurtz Center for the Performing Arts at Penn Charter.  Locally, she has directed at assistant directed at Walnut Street Theatre, Arden Theatre Company, Springside and Chestnut Hill Academy, and Temple University, and has choreographed shows for Allens Lane, MacGuffin Theatre and Film, LaSalle College High School, Holy Ghost Prep, and the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus. 

David Ives is a contemporary American playwright. A native of South Chicago, Ives attended a minor Catholic seminary and Northwestern University and, after some years’ interval, Yale School of Drama, where he received an MFA in playwriting. In the interval between Northwestern and Yale he worked for three years as an editor at Foreign Affairs magazine.

Selections from All in the Timing will run at Allens Lane Theater on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m. from October 1 - 16.  Tickets are $18 with reservations (phone or online) or $20 at the door.  Reservations can be made at or by calling 215-248-0546.  Audience members are invited to bring picnic dinners and beverages to enjoy before the show in the theater’s unique cabaret seating.  There is free parking near the building and directions can be found on the website along with information about public transportation.  Allens Lane Theater is located in the 600 block of West Allens Lane between Greene and McCallum Streets.

5300 Lena Block Gets Energy Retrofit

Residents of the 5300 block of Lena Street in Germantown embraced energy conservation and learned how to “go green” from a coalition of community partners Saturday, September 25 during OARC’s final Urban Energy Conservation block initiative for 2010.

OARC capped this year’s work in raising awareness about energy conservation with a visit to Lena Street by Mayor Michael Nutter, who helped to kick off the first block initiative in 2009, which was held on Orland Street in West Oak Lane.

OARC has held similar block initiatives, in which community partners outfit homes with electricity-saving devices, window weatherization kits, and low-flow faucet aerators, in three other locations: Gilbert Street, Clearview Street and Sedgwick Street.

The energy retrofits have resulted in the installation of more than 4,000 energy-saving devices in homes in the Northwest. In addition, OARC has helped support stormwater management and access to fresh produce by installing rain barrels and planting community vegetable gardens on blocks that have been selected to receive the energy-efficiency retrofits.

In addition, volunteers from several organizations, including Wister NAC, the Germantown Earn Center, Ready Willing and Able; and the Neighborhood Interfaith Movement, helped to clean up a vacant lot on the block.

Representatives from Home Depot, PECO, PGW, Philadelphia Water Department, Foundations Inc., RecycleBank, PHDC, Weavers Way Co-Op and the TOOKANY/Tacony-Frankford Watershed provided residents with information about energy conservation and protecting the environment.

Clean and Green Vernon Park

There will be a Clean and Green Work Party on Sunday, October 10, noon to 5 p.m. at Vernon Park, in the 5800 block of Germantown Avenue.  We will weed, plant, mulch, trim, re-establish a compost area, paint park benches, pick up trash, and have fun while we work.  Entertainment will be provided.  Everyone is invited including children. Sponsored locally by the Neighborhood Interfaith Movement and Friends of Vernon Park, this event is part of the global initiative to do something in your neighborhood to help deal with global warming. All you need to do is to show up, bring some work gloves and garden tools, and help to maintain Vernon Park, a green oasis in an urban landscape. For sign-up and information visit; or

Finance Seminar

Do you know the Rule Of 72? Are you paying off your debt in the best possible manner? Do you know how your life insurance policy works? Are you on track to retire financially independent and debt free?

If you answered no to any of the above questions, or if you would like to know how money works please join us. Primerica will be hosting a “ How Money Works Seminar on October 13 from 7-8:30 p.m. at Lovett Library, 6945  Germantown Avenue. For questions contact Born Rashine at  215-317-5495 or David Lewis at 215-833-5671 

Watercolor Workshop

The Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, 200 West Tulpehocken Street, is hosting a Victorian watercolor workshop on Sunday, October 10 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.  Step back in time to visit Anna Maxwell on a Sunday afternoon to create this Victorian autumn still life.  Join experienced instructor Kathleen Smith and new friends to practice watercolor techniques.  All skill levels are welcome and materials are included.  In true Victorian style, cookies and tea will be served. The cost is $35, member cost  $30.

Reservations are required. Call Diane Richardson at 215-438-1861 for reservations.

LTSP Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Urban Theological Institute

The Urban Theological Institute of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia will celebrate its 30th anniversary with three special events October 13-15. The Institute developed from a dream of its founders to create a seminary program that would have academic integrity, offered in the evenings and on Saturdays to meet the needs of working pastors in the African American community. Its founders, the Rev. Dr. Andrew Willis and the late Rev. Dr. Randolph Jones, approached a number of institutions and, as Dr. Jones often said,  “Others said no, and Lutheran said YES.”

The celebration includes the following events:

30th Anniversary Concert: A Celebration of African American Sacred Music, Wednesday, October 13, 7 p.m. (free-will offering), at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 5900 North 5th Street (5th Street and Nedro Avenue.)

30th Anniversary Worship Celebration, Thursday, October 14,  7 p.m. (free-will offering), with The Rev. Dr. Carolyn A. Knight as guest preacher, at Grace Baptist Church of Germantown, 25 West Johnson Street.

30th Anniversary Gala Reception and Banquet, Friday, October 16, 6:30 p.m., with The Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr. as guest speaker, at the Brossman Center, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, 7301 Germantown Avenue. RSVP is required, and sponsorships are available. To RSVP online visit

The Rev. Dr. Quintin Robinson, director of the UTI, notes that, “Even after 30 years, we want to cultivate a deeper understanding, appreciation of and respect for African American theological inquiry and religious history, enriching the church and the seminary community,” much as UTI and LTSP have been enriched by the last 30 years of carrying out the vision of Drs. Jones and Willis.

More information about the Urban Theological Institute’s 30th Anniversary, including details of the events, is available online at

Rev. White to Speak at Grace Baptist Church

Grace Baptist Church of Germantown, 25 West Johnson Street, will celebrate its annual revival bringing home Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., pastor emeritus of Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago IL.

This year the service will begin with Dr. Wright delivering the sermon Sunday morning on October 3 at 10: 55 a.m. Dr. Alyn E. Waller, senior pastor of Enon Tabernacle will start the evening’s worship at 7 p.m. This service is dedicated to the youth of the community. 

Dr. Wright will be the speaker for revival from Monday through Thursday, October 4-7,   beginning at 7 p.m.  Dr. G. Daniel Jones, Senior Pastor of Grace Baptist wants the community to know that revival is to help charge our “spiritual batteries.”  Our current society, with all of its challenges has drained us all, so come on in and get re-charged during this 118th year of service of Grace Baptist Church of Germantown. 

For information call the church office at 215-438-3215 or visit

Worldwide Communion at FUMCOG

First United Methodist Church of Germantown (FUMCOG), 6001 Germantown Avenue, will celebrate Worldwide Communion Sunday on October 3 with a festive International Linger Lunch at 12:30 p.m. in FUMCOG’s dining room. 

The church invites members of the Northwest Community to lunch.  The price of admission is that one brings a food dish that can serve 8-10 people.  If you cannot bring a dish, the cost of the lunch is $3 for adults and $1.50 for children under 12. The food is international because participants are asked to make something representing their heritage or a dish they love to prepare and eat.  For example, Irish soda bread, sweet potato pie or hush puppies, Greek salad or French onion soup, ground nut stew or fried chicken, or other foods or desserts from around the world or around the corner. 

After the luncheon, there will be a showing of a film, and at 4 p.m., a 30-minute concert by Vox Fidelis Chamber Choir. Vox specializes in early choral music.  The concert is free, but a free-will offering will be taken.  For more information on FUMCOG music, please visit  The building can be entered from the parking lot off Germantown Avenue.

Health Care Meeting at Summit

On Sunday, October 17, 3-5 p.m., Health Care for All Philadelphia will present a free public meeting on the new health care bill. This meeting will be at  Summit Presbyterian Church, 6757 Greene Street. Walter Tsou, MD, MPH, former Philadelphia Health Commissioner will be the keynote speaker.  He will speak on economic, moral and faith-based reasons for continuing to work for health care reform.

This event is co-sponsored by Healthcare-NOW, Healthcare for All Pennsylvanians, Presbyterian Church USA, PNHP, and Summit Presbyterian Church.

Mt. Tabor Anniversary

Mt. Tabor Baptist Church, 110 West Rittenhouse Street, will be celebrating its 38th Anniversary on Sunday, October 3.  The preacher for the morning worship service at 10:30 a.m. will be the Reverend Dr. W. Wilson Goode.  Starting at 3:00 PM, after the fellowship dinner, there will be an afternoon Healing and Communion Service. For information call the church at 215-844-2756.

Learn About Student Options at HS Expo

Parents and students will have the opportunity to learn about the broad range of high school options that the School District of Philadelphia offers at the District’s annual High School Expo. The expo will take place at the Liacouras Center, 1776 North Broad Street, October 1  – 3. This event supports Superintendent Arlene Ackerman’s goal to build a system of great public schools in Philadelphia.

The expo is timed to provide information prior to the deadline for the high school application process for current eighth graders. The deadline for the District’s high school applications is Friday, October 29.

At the expo, District and Charter high school staff and current students will provide information intended to help the students make a considered high school choice. The range of District schools to be represented will include Career and Technical Schools, Citywide Admission Schools, Neighbor-hood High Schools, and Special Admission High Schools. In addition, about a dozen Charter high schools are expected to participate.

The District’s Department of Career and Technical Education will provide eight booths that will showcase 10 different career programs available in District high schools.

The Expo will take place Friday, October 1, 3-8 p.m.; Saturday, October 2, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, October 3, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the Temple University Liacouras Center, 1776 North Broad Street. 

Parents and students will be able to gather information about the application and selection process for their desired high schools before the application deadline.

Mastery Charter CEO Featured MALT Speaker

What do President Obama, Oprah, and Mt. Airy Learning Tree all have in common?  Scott Gordon, CEO of the Mastery Charter Schools.

President Obama gave Mastery public accolades about its ability to increase academic performance significantly while decreasing violence radically.  Oprah topped Obama last week by giving Mastery Charter Schools a million dollars to expand its presence in Philadelphia.  And MALT will top both of them by bringing Scott Gordon to Mt. Airy for our Annual Featured Speaker Series, entitled Fantastic Philadelphians on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. for $19.

Sponsored by Valley Green Bank, this is an opportunity for $40 to meet “Fantastic Philadelphian” at 6 p.m. for a wine and cheese reception at the bank and hear his talk at the Seminary at 7 p.m.  As neighbors of Gordon and one of Mastery’s schools, the former Pickett Middle School, attendees get an inside look at why Gordon attracted the attention of Obama and Oprah and how he has helped change an entire school culture with his program.  All proceeds benefit MALT’s Make This Our Home campaign. 

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Valley Green Bank to support MALT and their extraordinary work and at the same time bring to the community an outstanding Philadelphian” said Jay Goldstein, president and CEO of Valley Green Bank.

Jonna Naylor, executive director of MALT, is also excited about hosting Scott Gordon, who “fits squarely into our mission of educational endeavors and community building. We are especially proud to bring this Fantastic Philadelphian to a local venue!  Wow… we knew Scott was amazing and special, but had no idea that Oprah would agree to the tune of one million!”

To register for Gordon’s talk for $19, or to add the Valley Green Bank reception for $40, go to or call 215-843-6333. Check out our website for information on November 10’s Fantastic Philadelphian, Jane Golden, from the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. 

GFS Marks Peace Day

More than 190 countries around the world celebrated Peace Day on September 21, and the students at Germantown Friends School took up the cause. Children in grades K-12 joined people in 192 other countries in playing soccer in honor of the United Nations’ One Day One Goal cease-fire observance. While students in the Lower School participated in soccer instruction during PE classes and the Human Rights Club leaders and Varsity soccer captains led an Upper School assembly raising awareness about the event, the Middle School students really ran with the (soccer) ball. Assembling at the GFS sports fields from 3 to 5 p.m., they were joined by Middle School students from Greene Street Friends and members of the Police Athletic League representing three Philadelphia School District schools. Players were divided into eight co-ed, mixed-school teams, and played matches on four different fields.

The afternoon began with opening remarks by GFS Head of School Dick Wade, GFS Athletics Director Katie Bergstrom and GFS Director of Community Involvement Kathy Paulmier, who welcomed all the students and encouraged them to play hard, have fun and get acquainted with one another on the field. “Think about people playing soccer all over the world with you in observance of International Peace Day,” Paulmier told the students. “You’re part of a much bigger picture; our country is one of 192 countries in the United Nations participating in this event today.”  

“One Day One Peace” banners waved and spirits soared as the Middle Schoolers formed new friendships on and off the field through their shared celebration of peace. “It was important to include members of other communities in the event because Peace Day is not just a day for our school to appreciate but a day for everyone in the world to experience,” said GFS Senior Ava Samuel, a leader of the Human Rights Club. “It’s the one day of the year that allows people of every race and nationality to come together as one.”

Dance Session

Do you love to dance? Running October 10 through December 5, Women’s Sunday Dance Workout is a freestyle dance session — no lessons, no judgment, just dance the way you want. Bring your music suggestions and we’ll make the music mix. It is held Sundays, 4:30-5:45 p.m. at Summit Church, 6757 Greene Street. Sign up through Mt. Airy Learning Tree at

Holy Cross Celebration

Holy Cross Catholic School is celebrating 100 years of grace-full education. To kick off this milestone, come and celebrate with us! All are welcome from the past, present and the future on October 10, after the 11 a.m. mass in the school hall. Light refreshments will be offered, but if you are bringing a dish, please contact us at 215-242-0414.

Blessing of Animals

St. Michael's Church (Anglican) will host the Blessing of Animals in two locations this year.  On Saturday, Oct. 2, at 11 a.m., the Blessing will be offered in the front yard of the rectory, 210 West Allens Lane (adjacent to the inbound platform of the Allen Lane train station).   All are welcome to bring their pets for this blessing. 

The event is timed to coincide with the feast of St Francis of Assisi, which is observed by Christians around the world on Oct. 4 each year. 

The second opportunity will be on the feast day itself, Monday, Oct. 4, at 5:30 p.m. at West Laurel Hill Cemetery on Belmont Avenue in Bala Cynwyd, and is jointly sponsored by the Cemetery.  The Blessing will take place outside the Chapel of Peace: turn left immediately inside the gate from Belmont Avenue.

Fr. David Ousley, the rector of St. Michael's, explains, “St. Francis was famous for his devotion to all of God's creatures, as well as his devotion to the cross of Christ.  His example reminds us of the care we should have for animals, and provides us the opportunity to ask God's blessing on our beloved pets.”

In addition to the St Francis Day blessings for the animals, there will be a special blessing for any animals that are sick. Pet owners should be sure their animals are under control.  Refreshments will be provided, for both humans and animals.

The congregation of St. Michael's meets for Sunday worship (at 8 and 10) at the Chapel of Peace at West Laurel Hill Cemetery, 215 Belmont Avenue in Bala Cynwyd. Weekday services, a Wednesday Bible Study, and other programs are at the rectory in Mount Airy. For more information, see the parish web site at, or call 215-247-1092.

Upcoming Events at USG

Upcoming Worship Services at the Unitarian Society of Germantown, 6511 Lincoln Drive, include:

October 3, 11 a.m. “Belonging to our Vision and Passion,” with the Rev. Kent Matthies.  

How do you find and claim a clear vision for the living of your life?  How do you establish a long-term, healthy sense of belonging with passions for living the best life possible?

October 10, 11 a.m., “Hearing Voices in the Silence” with Rev. Dr. Joshua Snyder.

Elijah heard a voice in the cave. How are we called? What calls us?

Rev. Snyder is Senior Minister at First Unitarian Church of Wilmington, Delaware, where he has been responsible for Finance, Personnel and Leadership Development since 2008. He graduated from the University of Michigan with honors in Cultural Anthropology and Studies in Religion. He studied Buddhism in Japan. In 2000, he received a Doctor of Ministry from Meadville Lombard Theological School. He has served UU churches in North Carolina, Illinois and Nebraska.

For more information or questions, contact the church office at 215-844-1157. Childcare is available 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. There is parking in the rear of the church off Johnson Street. All are welcome.

At UU Restoration

At the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration, 6900 Stenton Avenue, on Sunday, October 3, 11 a.m., the program will be “When There is Commitment, There is Change.”  For many Catholics, though he never spoke explicitly to the subject, Saint Francis provides a groundwork for thinking about social action. By looking at an admonition dictated by Francis in the 13th century and at two texts from the early 20th century - a prayer attributed to Saint Francis and a book describing Universalism’s effect on social behavior - this sermon will think through the relationship between the founder of the Franciscan Order, early 20th century changes in religion, and commitment to social justice. The guest speaker will be Sarah Lenzi. For information visit

At Canaan

Canaan Baptist Church will hold its annual “Pink Prayer Brunch” on Saturday October 2, 11 a.m., at 5430 Pulaski Avenue. Rev. Derrick Brennan is the senior pastor, and our own Rev. Michelle Jenkins will be our speaker for the brunch. The donation is $20 and proceeds will benefit The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day, 60 Mile walk for the Cure. We come together to support the fighters, admire the survivors, honor the taken, and never give up hope for a cure. For information or tickets call the church office 215-848-6311.

Imperfect Victim


Live your best life

Do unto others

If you’re hiding any dirt

Don’t let it be discovered

Underneath the sympathetic voices

Are the booming judgmental voices

Questioning, pondering your life choices

He should have picked better friends

Then it wouldn’t have to end

In bullets, murder, detectives

What are these kids thinking?

Woe unto the almighty, perfect grown-ups

Never had a friend they thought they could trust

Always walked the straight and narrow

Their lives a perfect open book

If any of us were to die at our lowest moral moment

Is that as far as people would ever look?

Blinking away the dignity, the body of good

Does it make one feel more comfortable

Less vulnerable, thinking he died because he should

Have stayed off that street, away from that element?

That may not be what you said

But that’s what you meant

In your heart you erased all his life’s good

And judged him by his neighborhood

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