Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper

Discovery invites you to a Mardi Gras party on Tuesday, February 9, at 6:30 pm.
Join us for lots of fatty foods to clean out our larders before we begin our Lenten journeys.
We’ll be having breakfast for dinner: pancakes and sausage, doughnuts, fruit, and some special Mardi Gras Kings Cakes. Come and see if you get the baby hidden in the cake, enjoy some Brazilian music, and fatten up before Lent!

Discovery’s Souper Bowl Challenge

Join us this Sunday for a Souper Bowl of Caring hosted by the young people of Discovery. After morning worship we will enjoy a lunch together of homemade soups (chicken tortilla, minestrone, butternut squash, vegetable, and lentil), bread, and dessert as a celebration of our offerings for those who are hungry this Super Bowl Sunday. Last year Discovery raised $160 at our Souper Bowl party. This year they have a new challenge for you!

In studying social justice issues related to food waste, they discovered that the greatest source of food waste is not from schools, or hospitals, or even restaurants. It is from our own homes. On average 25% of the food bought in groceries stories and taken home is wasted, whether dinners are not finished, leftovers are not eaten, or food expires before we eat it. Discovery challenges you not only to reduce the amount of food waste in your home, but in honor of this national average, to consider donating 25% of your groceries this week to our Souper Bowl Challenge. If you buy four bags of groceries a week, consider bringing in one bag of groceries to church this Sunday.
Discovery will offer our donations to the Narberth Food Pantry.
Here are items that they particularly need this week:

Canned chicken
Healthy cereals  (no sweet cereals such as Fruit Loops or Frosted Flakes)
Canned fruit
Jelly
Granola bars
Spaghetti sauce
Toothpaste (regular sized tubes, not travel size)
Shampoo

They do not need toilet paper or canned vegetables at this time.

Miguel has set our goal at 50 bags of food. We like to think big, because we are ready to make a big difference in this world.
Thank you for your constant support of our work together!

Toxic Christmas

A couple of years ago, at the Advent Retreat, we focused on Christian Charity, explored a deeper understanding of charity than perhaps society understands. While during Christmas charity giving is at its height, yet we still have tremendous issues of poverty in our country. But maybe Christmas itself is a toxic message in our society. Maybe the kind of charity that is common during Christmas is not really a boon to service providers?

This year at the Advent Retreat, this Saturday, November 21st from 9 am to noon, we will explore some of the toxic aspects of Christmas and how we as Christians can respond to these dangerous messages.

Come and join us as we review Christian Charity, explore the Incarnation and then explore ways we can challenge the status quo to see that message of the Incarnation is seen in our charity.

This retreat will be lead by Pastor’s Todd Stavrakos and Adan Maidens of West Kensington Ministry.

Thanksgiving and more!

This afternoon I gathered with my peers from Beth David Reform Temple, St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church and St. John Vianny Catholic Church to discuss the upcoming Gladwyne Community Thanksgiving Service. After about ten minutes of socializing we all sort of decided we would go the normal route and have Hillary Raining, the rector at St. Chris’s, work on the service, basically updating the service that St. Chris’s hosted four years ago. But then something very strange, but very nice occurred.

We asked what was it that our communities of faith needed? We were gathering in the aftermath of the ISIS attack in Paris, during a very tense discussion about race that our society is having and when thousands of refugees are streaming into Europe and eventually into the United States. What are we feeling? It seems like this year is a bit heavier than the usually thanksgiving mood. Yes, we are thankful, but there is more there, a greater yearning, perhaps something not quite on the surface and touchable, yet there.

So I pondered, perhaps this service is more than Thanksgiving, maybe it is an introduction into the Season of Lights as Jews look forward to the Miracle of Lights known as Hanukah and Christians look forward to the Light that enters the world. Maybe this service is one in which we gather to beckon the Light and to give thanks as we sense the darkness around us. Perhaps this is a time in which we all join together, witnessing to our faiths that call us to live in the Light. Most importantly, maybe, just maybe, we gather to give Thanks, not just for our blessings from God, but for each other.

But not to be deterred, we stumbled upon another reality, what if we announced a major undertaking at the Thanksgiving service? Say how about we join our hands together on Martin Luther King Day for a day of joint service? Yes, let us join our hands together to work for the Light on January 18th. And then we were feeling absolutely giddy, and we said, what if this is just the first step, and so shall it be.

So, do not just try to come to the Gladwyne Community Service at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church on Monday, November 23rd at 7 pm, but come. Bring a friend, your neighbor and let our light shine! And mark your calendar for January 18th!

No POWER outage here!

Over the last year or so, POWER ( Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild) has been working to expand into the suburban region and GPC has been a part of those efforts. Last spring, we had established the date of October 18, 2015 as a Founding Assembly and I offered that date to you as a Save the Date. As a small planning team was gathering to plan out this assembly, the massacre in Charleston occurred, and that meeting was postponed. Between that event and the visit of the Pope, things have slowed down a bit but we are now picking up steam.

While planning for this Assembly had come to a standstill, the work of POWER has not. It has continued in its efforts to bring a living wage of $15/hr to workers at the Philadelphia International Airport and fast food employees. The network, including our Metro members, has continued to advocate for a Fair Funding Formula for state education funds. While the budget process is at loggerheads as the Governor and Legislature have shut down the state, our efforts have produced the first fruits of knowing that when the budget is agreed to, we know it will contain a Fair Funding Formula, both sides have already agreed to this. Now we know that the funding in this formula is inadequate to the needs of our school districts around the state, but this will be the second step in the effort. So we can see success in joining together with others to improve our communities.

Recently I attended a meeting with the Philadelphia board of POWER and they have begun a process of reviewing their journey to date and discern next steps. They are truly excited that there are those of us in the Metro region who are stepping forward to join the cause to working on behalf of not just Philadelphia or the Metro area but on behalf of all Pennsylvanians.

On Sunday, October 18, 2015 at Hope Community Church, 150 E. Beidler Road, King of Prussia, POWER Metro will be gathering from 3 to 5 pm to begin to plan for the Founding Assembly in February of 2016. It is very important that GPC have a presence at this gathering so that we can lend our support of this truly moving experience. If you have questions about POWER, let me know or talk to Mark Fifer, Linda Stevenson, Laura Cozzens, Sandy Drayer or Patrina Ross, who have all attended previous POWER gatherings.

I hope to see everyone there.

Upcoming Calendar and Birthdays

Calendar

Tuesday, September 29th:

10 am Bible Study: Gospel of Matthew

Sunday, October 4th:

9:45 am Christian Education

11 am Worship: World Communion Sunday, Pastor Todd Stavrakos preaching

Tuesday, October 6th:

10 am Bible Study: Gospel of Matthew

7 pm Deacons

Birthdays:

September 28th: Camilo Romero-Stevenson

October 3rd: Jessie Sheetz-Willard and Lina Lukens

October 8th: Veronica Hall

Week of September 14th Upcoming Events and Birthdays

Calendar:
Tuesday, September 15th:
  • 10 am Bible Study: The Gospel of Matthew
  • 7 pm Knit or Knot
Thursday, September 17th:
  • 7:30 pm Men’s Group
Sunday, September 20th:
  • 9:45 am Christian Education
  • 11 am Worship: Pastor Todd Stavrakos preaching
Tuesday, September 22nd:
  • 10 am Bible Study: The Gospel of Matthew
  • 7:30 pm Joint Meeting of Deacons and Session
Wednesday, September 23rd:
  • 2:30 pm Annual Blood Drive
Birthdays:

Monday, September 14th: Lydia Stavrakos & Ruth Williams

Thursday, September 17th: Jason Loux

Saturday, September 19th: Chad Kanzinger

Sunday, September 20th: Jana Mossey

Music Concert

On Sunday, June 14th at 7:30 pm, Brian Gibson and Friends will join us for a lovely evening of sacred and secular music. All are invited to come and join us. The concert is free!

A Conversation about Israel

On Thursday, June 11th at 7:30 pm, we will host a conversation with Beth Am Israel to hear reflections from Pastor Todd’s trip to Israel with the Interfaith Partners for Peace. There are no easy answers to the question of peace in Israel/Palestine, but only through dialogue we might discern a way forward. Come out and join us!

Community Garden Update

Our Summer Mission Project the GPC Community Garden is moving along in its development. The beds have been completed and now we are building the fencing to protect from critters big and small.

This Saturday, June 6th we will gather to work on the fencing and hands are needed for this work, so if you have time between 9 am and noon on Saturday, come out and join us!