Interfaith Series: Contemplative Practices

prayer graphic

This fall we will be exploring the role of prayer in our lives. We will experience this theme in our worship, Christian Education programs, and the life of the church. We are very pleased to be working with the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia in offering a wonderful program this fall that will be offered on
Wednesday evenings 6:30-8 pm
Sept 27-Nov 1, 2017
During these gatherings we will study and explore the contemplative practices of other faith traditions. Our first weeks have been attended by over 25 people representing 7 different faith communities. We are looking forward to welcoming more friends and neighbors in the coming weeks.

Register for these free evenings here.
6:30        Breaking bread together with a simple meal
7-8:00    Program

September 27: Baha’i prayer and meditation
with Gity Etemad

October 4: Qigong from Daoist/Buddhist traditions
with Hasan Rucker 

October 11: Muslim salah
with Asheq Fazlullah

October 18: Shambhala Buddhist meditation
with Jude Robison

October 25: Jewish sung prayers
with Hazzan Harold

November 1: Hindu prayers and mantras
with Savita Singh

This series will culminate with a one-day workshop at the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia, where participants will have the opportunity to explore the contemplative practices of several different traditions on the same afternoon. Stay tuned for details about this program on November 12 which will be held at The Common Place.Interfaith Center logo

 

Public Education in Pennsylvania at a crossroads?

If you would like to have some sense of the impact of the State Supreme Court’s recent long-anticipated decision in the case of William Penn School District v. Pa. Department of Education that clears the way for judicially created education standards listen to Focus on Education. This case hinged on whether or not the General Assembly and governor have met the constitutional mandate of providing “for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth”; this can can be something that can be decided by the judiciary. Speaking of inadequate and inequitable school funding systems, Jennifer Clarke, the Executive Director of the Public Interest Law Center and Susan Spicka, Executive Director, Education Voters of PA, recently appeared on Focus on Education, where they articulately lay out everything you would ever want to know about the school funding lawsuit. They discuss the importance of advocacy in pressuring the state legislature to fix this broken system.

 

Also included below are two recent articles that received recent media attention in school districts that are severely affected by the state’s inequitable funding.  There are many districts of the 500 in Pennsylvania that are affected; this is NOT just a Philadelphia issue.

 

 

Want more information?  Come to Saturday’s  Community Forum on Education Equity at Pennwood High School , Lansdowne, Saturday, Oct. 21st,

  • 1-2:30pmPanel Discussion and Q&A
  • 2:30-4 Meet organizations and Take Action

 

Another opportunity:  

What is Climate Justice— Interested in learning about the intersection of climate, economics and race? Come to St Vincent’s in Germantown (109 East Price Street) 1-6pm on Sunday October 22. Participate as your time permits: participatory workshops on building a climate justice movement that is multi-racial, across class and includes urban-suburban coalitions.

 

Talk to Mark Fifer for additional information

Prayers for the Week

Every week in our Interfaith Series, Contemplative Practices, we break bread before our program and share an interfaith prayer from the Iona Community with those sitting around us. We take a prayer card with us as we leave in the hope that we can share this prayer with someone else throughout the week.
This week’s prayer:

May the love of life
Fill our hearts.
May the love of earth
Bring joy to heaven.
May the love of self
Deepen our souls.
May the love of neighbor
Heal our world.
As nations, as peoples, as families this day
May the love of life heal our world.
                                                         -J.P. Newell

This week, as a community, we hold in prayer
Barb as she travels to Africa to teach English
Larry celebrating his 70th birthday
Our indigenous brothers and sisters, especially of the Apache tribe
We ask for strength for Hook B. and for Terry and Sara as they face the challenges before them.

Discovery Recap

In Discovery this week, we were all able to spend some time brushing up on our facts about the Reformation in preparation for leading the Church service on October 29th! Our activity afterwards focused on the different types of prayer: prayers of adoration, confession, thanksgiving, intercession, and supplication. After explaining what each of these types of prayer were, we played a game in which prayers were read aloud and everyone had to guess which type of prayer was which by walking to the corresponding words placed around the room. One of the interesting things we found was that there can be overlap between prayers of intercession and supplication, and that sometimes defining a prayer as one or the other was difficult to do. Afterwards, they got the chance to write out their own prayers and play the game again with the ones they wrote out themselves. Overall, we are focusing on the idea of a person’s individual ability to establish a relationship with God. We’ve been learning about indulgences in the Church, and how it was one of the main practices that Luther took issue with when he wrote out and nailed his 95 theses to the wall. The best part was, when asked if they agreed with the idea of having to pay a priest to send prayers to God for them, it didn’t sit too well! That really opened their eyes to seeing Luther’s point of view and why he took the actions he did. If you’d like to see how this all ties together in the end, please come to our Youth Reformation Service on Sunday, 10/29, at 11:00 am!

– Veronica

 

Calendar and Birthdays

Events:

Tuesday, October 17th:

10 am Bible Study: Gospel of Matthew

Wednesday, October 18th:

6:30 pm Dinner

7 pm Interfaith Prayer Practices Seminar: Shambhala Buddhist

Thursday, October 19th:

7 pm Knit or Knot

7:30 pm Men’s Group

Saturday, October 21st:

9 am SW Region of Presbytery of Philadelphia Meeting

Discussion on the Reformation and its legacy

6 pm Discovery Fellowship

Sunday, October 22nd:

9:45 am Christian Education

11 am Worship: Pastor Todd Stavrakos preaching

Sermon   Belonging to God

Texts:

Isaiah 45:1–7 The Lord anoints Cyrus: I alone am God; I call you by name.

Matthew 22:15–22 The Pharisees test Jesus with a question about paying taxes.

Birthdays:

October 16th:

Greg Loux

October 19th:

Larry Cozzens

October 20th:

Kevin Loux

October 21st:

Terry Hudson

 

 

 

WKM’s 100th Anniversary

WKM LOGO black (002)

The West Kensington Ministry (WKM) is celebrating 150 years of Presbyterian Ministry in the Norris Square neighborhood. We invite partners who have faithfully walked alongside WKM to worship with us on Sunday, November 5th at 3 pm. We will honor our history and bless the partnerships we have…tasty Puerto Rican desserts with yummy natural fruit juices will follow!

Calendar and Birthdays

FAITH Events:

Tuesday, October 10th:
10 am Bible Study: Gospel of Matthew

Wednesday, October 11th:
Interfaith Series: Contemplative Practices
6:30 Dinner
7-8 pm Program: Muslim salat

Thursday, October 12th:
7:30 pm Women’s Book Club

Sunday, October 15th:
9:45 am Christian Education
11 am Worship
Margaret Somerville preaching
Texts: Exodus 32:1-14, Philippians 4:1-9
Sermon: Changing God’s Mind

Birthdays

October 8th:  Veronica Hall
October 15th: Jack Holmes

Why is God so angry?

Sermon from October 8, 2017 by Pastor Todd Stavrakos

Why is God so angry?

Texts:

Isaiah 5:1–7 Isaiah sings of a vineyard that has failed to produce good fruit.

Matthew 21:33–46 A parable about a vineyard, wicked tenants, and the owner’s son.