TKJ 25th Anniversary Quiz

At the celebration, we are going to have a quiz during the appetizers and ice-breaker time. I’m publishing it now to give those who pay attention a running head start. It doesn’t seem fair, does it? That is one of life’s hard lessons: life just isn’t fair. Get used to it. I am pretty sure that all of the answers to these questions can be found on this blog. Some may take some calculating. Here goes.

  1. Who was the first person to donate to The King’s Jubilee?
  2. What does the official TKJ tour to Philadelphia sound like?
  3. What does TKJ MEBI stand for?
  4. What is a Victory Party?
  5. Who is Rosie the redhead?
  6. How many TKJ volunteers’ weddings did Cranford perform?
  7. What is the highest number of cities and towns TKJ had ministries operating in at any given time?
  8. What is a Power Pack?
  9. Who is Lois Erickson?
  10. What is the chief duty of the person riding shotgun in the TKJ-mobile?
  11. Who is Alex the Albanian?
  12. What is the most important piece of equipment to the person riding shotgun in the TKJ-mobile (especially if Cranford is driving)?
  13. What is the “minor peanut butter miracle”?
  14. Where is the Kingdom of God?

So, if you get to work on this ahead of the banquet, great! It’s really not intended so much as a competition as a learning experience. Have fun!


Hummus Open 2014 Report

The Garbanzo!
The Garbanzo!

It did not look promising on October 3, one day before the fifth annual Hummus Open was scheduled.  The skies were gray and rain was in the forecast for this Saturday 11 AM Tee time at Mainland Golf Course. Event director Jerome Burke tried to contact Kathy Orr  at CBS Eyewitness News for weather advice, but had no luck.  Fortunately, he was able to reach Glen “Hurricane” Schwartz at NBC who advised to push the start time back to 1:30 PM.  Moreover, the Hummus Open trophy, perhaps the most unusual trophy in all of sports, was missing in action.  Traditionally, the most valuable player from the winning foursome, takes the trophy for 1 year. This was not the case last year however and last year’s MVP Raja Kyriakos never took the trophy.  Once this was realized the day before the tournament, an  intensive search began to locate it.  The basement, barn, and attic of Cranford’s home was studied as were various rooms in the Burke house hoping against hope to find the prized possession. The office at St. Philip’s was contacted and Vera Acker looked in the most logical places and could not find the trophy.  Going ahead with the Hummus Open without the Garbanzo would be like playing  the Stanley Cup final without the Stanley Cup! Father Noah Bushelli was contacted on the morning of the event and retreived the trophy which was sitting on a book shelf above Father Boniface Black’s desk since last fall (approx. 10 feet from Vera’s desk, ahem) .  The trophy was polished up, the skies cleared and 16 golfers – 4 foursomes began the most successful Hummus Open ever.

The Pennridge “Green Jackets”, consisting of Dr. Peter Psomiadis, Mike Heveran , Lou Sudholz, and Craig Martin, hit first,  followed by the Harleysville Hurricances: Giacamo Zamperri, John Disacquino, Caleb Benner, and Pat Miller,  the Millennials: Nick Burke, Chris Richter, Tim Yacoo and Brian Godshall, with  the Royal Hibernians: Pat Burke, Jerome Burke, David  Kelly, and Raja Kyriokas (how did he get in there?) bringing up the rear.  Conditions were nearly perfect and all the participants enjoyed the fellowship and learned about the history of  The King’s Jubilee, at each Tee box,  by reading the inserts on the Hole Sponsors posters which were beautifully done.

hummusMVP2Individual prizes were given to Lou Sudholz (straightest drive- a sleeve of premium golf balls – as he was one of the few players who knew what to do with them ), Peter Psomiadis (closest to the pin – 9th hole) – a bottle of Ouzo bought at the State Store (He prefers the real stuff  that he smuggles through Kennedy Airport every 2 years from Greece), Lou Sudholz again for longest drive (He won a container of Karen Burke’s famous homemade Hummus – (not the knock-off stuff sold in Costco or Giant)  and Chris Richter – winner of the closest to the hole on the 17th hole – again a bottle of Ouzo. Nick Burke won the prize for the best putt of the day. The Hurricanes won competition go away carding  a 5 under par  65.  A fierce battle for second place  between the Pennridge squad  and the Millennials ensued with the experienced Pennridge team coming out on top.  The Hibernians were not far behind  and may have been in the thick of the competition  had they not missed so many short putts. The older Burke brother (Jerome) was overheard saying that his new putter from Golf Galaxy was working great until he took it home. Caleb Benner was voted the MVP of the winning team and was given the coveted  “beige jacket ” for his efforts. The awards ceremony was held  in the golf course parking lot .

On  a serious note, we are very grateful to all the participants and sponsors  of this year’s Hummus Open to help The King’s Jubilee  in caring for the homeless of Philadelphia. It was troubling to learn of financial hardship that The King’s Jubilee and Cranford and his family have been experiencing.  As a small business owner ( partner in a medical practice)- we’ve experienced months where our cash flow slows from factors beyond our control- weather forcing us to close the office, patients waiting on paying their  deductibles early in the year, every so often. It is inconvenient but no big deal even if the partners hold their own paycheck for a period or two. There is always a line of credit for us at our community bank . The King’s Jubilee, however, does not enjoy this same luxury and the process of making ends meet to serve the needy is a week to week , if not a day to day challenge. While it is wonderful that special events and one time donations help this ministry, it would healthier if there were a steady, more predictable stream of support. To this end, I invite you to  join my wife and I, and  consider making a monthly pledge to TKJ. It does not have to break the bank.  If enough people participate, and do what they can do, what a blessing it would be! If you have read this much,  thank you.

hummusopen18May God Bless you and your loved ones.


Tee Marker 1, Hummus Open 5

This year, Jerry took it up a notch with hole sponsors for the 5th Annual Hummus Open held last Saturday. I made simple 8″x10″ framed markers for each tee with a little info. about the ministry, since February was our 25th anniversary, then the name of the sponsor or honorary sponsor. I will be posting these, hopefully one per day here and on Facebook, some with comment, some without.



I am full of life.

“Life is full of disappointments. Yes, and I am full of life,” the words to a John Gorka song, is what comes most readily to mind this week. I had to let go a house full of furniture for people because Uncle John’s truck broke down and I don’t have enough of a network of friends and supporters to call upon to get a replacement . We don’t have enough money to pay the bills, much less to rent a truck. I had hoped for The King’s Jubilee to be and to do so much more. And I had hoped to find the church of the New Testament. Somehow I thought these two goals would coalesce. Instead I find I cannot attend the Orthodox church that I moved closer to. The priest there will not talk to me. He lies, saying the bishop has ordered him not to, yet on the occasions when I do dare to go, he approaches me with saccharin sweetness as if nothing were wrong. This is a big show to discredit me in front of parishioners, after lying to me and about me and never confessing or repenting for one single offense. He is given his pulpit and I am told to shut up. He keeps oppressing the poor in the congregation and bullying any who disagree with him and the bishop stands with him, bullying us, too, by ignoring any cries for redress.

So, I guess Fr. Noah & Bishop Thomas may get what they apparently desire. I may have to shut down The King’s Jubilee. Who am I kidding? We have no church base. We have about $300/ month in pledges. It costs about $200 each week, plus we have to live. We have no income now. No one seems to care about this. There is no mutual care at the church. Someone asked me, when did Fr. Noah change his tune toward TKJ? And I looked back through correspondence. It was when I became sick and the business started to fail and we could not give as much to the church; when we became needy. This is his pattern. The money people generally don’t have serious problems with him. Of course, I’ve been told by numerous priests that he knows how to play it, because our bishops won’t make any changes until they are hit in the pocketbook. It’s all about money. I guess it is all about money. For lack of money, we will have to close or severely curtail the ministry.

Perhaps we haven’t found the true church, after all. Jesus said, “You will know a tree by its fruit.” I certainly haven’t seen a whole lot of good fruit in the Orthodox Church here in America: in-fighting, the priests who do serve the poor get grief from their parishes, three sociopathic priests in our area, spending more on entertainment than on mission, letting their own members become homeless faster than rescuing anonymous homeless. An older priest told me this week that “just such churches have produced many Saints.” I asked him how many atheists did they produce along the way as well. Persecution produces many Saints. Does that mean it is OK for the church to persecute, and the bishops should just sit back and do nothing? I was rebuked and unfriended by several priests for just posting James 5 without comment on-line. I was called a communist by Antiochian & OCA priests for James 5:1-9. God help us! No bishop corrects them. The lay people continue to be bullied. Ministries continue to be undermined.

I haven’t seen a whole lot of good fruit in the former USSR. Ukraine and Russia are at war with each other! Orthodox brethren! Georgia is killing and beating homosexuals & lesbians in Jesus’ Name?! Numerous border wars in the Balkans and Orthodox killing Muslims. Serbs and Romanians killing atheists. The beat goes on. Where is grace? Where is love? Where is faith? Where is God?

Jesus never said that we would recognize his disciples, and thus his church, by their genealogies and creed. He did say that we would recognize them by their love for one another (John13). Wealthy people standing next to people who are becoming homeless, without even considering altering their lifestyle to help, or not even caring enough to know their situation, is not love. This is the situation in most Orthodox churches I have seen, where the emphasis is on the service , the service, the service. Are we using the service to do what the service is for, to “prepare his people for works of service?” Orthodox theology says we go to heaven together and go to hell alone, but we all leave church alone. Churches hold so many services that there is no time left for people to visit in each other’s homes. The church is divided by class.

I have more than once been told, with a straight face, by priests, that their parishes could not afford to prevent their own people from becoming homeless. That would “overburden” them. I have been in some of their parishioner’s homes, or I should say palaces! Not an icon in sight, but repapered for the holiday season! James 5, communist indeed! People not obeying James 5 is what led to Bolshevism. “If the salt loses its flavor, wherewith shall it be salted?” Our parish let several families fall through the cracks, without an appeal, without anyone noticing, yet if someone passes out in a service, there are three to five doctors huddled around to determine whose specialty applies. They are not hard hearted people. They have lacked pastoral leadership and knowledge on this. We were on the verge of losing our homes, yet it was Uncle John & I who rescued a parishioner who was about to become homeless, after Fr. Noah and the parish council told him he had to quit selling his things in the parish hall. It was during Lent. It was the only way he had to raise gas money to get to and from church. I wasn’t there much. I happened to be there that Sunday & he pulled me aside.

He received no visits from the priest and no invitations for the holidays from anyone from church until I called the church (that I was not going to) and suggested it might be a good idea. Why did I expect them to care? My friend still did not have any money. What good was he to the church?

I don’t know if this church will produce any Saints, but I do know several atheists it has already produced out of cradle Orthodox under this priest.

So, once again, I am at a crossroads. Once again, I find myself at risk of losing many friends. I don’t feel at risk of losing much support, because there is not much to lose. I don’t know at this moment if I will have enough gas to get to and from the city tomorrow night. I get a lot of Attaboys & Aren’t you specials, but they don’t keep the car running or buy meat for the soups or veggies for the vegetarian dishes or help any of the guys with their rent when they’re a few bucks shy.

Sorry. I looked for the church for 30 years and thought I had found it. Now I find no accountability. The Orthodox parish is just like an independent Baptist church with a tin horn dictator pastor, because the bishop doesn’t feel like doing his job. I am expendable. The homeless are expendable. The Antiochian Church has basically told us to go to hell. Somehow, I think our ragtag bunch may be on our way in the Kingdom together, because I am very much in hell alone when at church. To people who have not suffered psychopathic abuse from clergy this sounds like blasphemy, but to the millions of us who have, it has the solid ring of freedom.

Once again, I am in dire need of doing some real making nice and solid fund raising, because we may not last another week. Do you people not understand? I haven’t been doing this kind of front lines ministry for nearly 30 years because I am a hireling who is just going to dance to your flute while you lie to my face and play church for a paycheck. We are not talking about fancy paintings and golden chalices. Lives are on the line, living icons of Christ! And you don’t care. You keep playing church under your gold plated dome.

Fr. Noah was told by Bishop Thomas to keep supporting The King’s Jubilee. He has done his best to remove all support from St. Philip’s for The King’s Jubilee. The church only supports local agencies (I will not call them ministries, because some of them treat the poor horribly.) where they can get credit locally, i.e., “Sound the trumpet as the Pharisees do.” He told me (through my daughter) that the bishop told him he was not allowed to speak to me. The bishop never informed me or Fr. Boniface of this bizarre instruction. (Fr. Boniface is supposed to be overseeing our reconciliation.) Yet when I go to St. Philip’s when he is there, say for a Baptism or Christmas, Noah makes a big , public show of greeting me. That is when I fail to see him on time so I don’t run. I ended up with a migraine with stroke like symptoms for three days over Christmas that started immediately when he touched my arm. Now he is either lying about what the bishop said, or he is disobeying the bishop when he is talking to me at church. He can’t have it both ways. In August, my wife wrote him an angry letter. For over a month he did not answer her or speak a word to her,  her priest! He sent Fr. Boniface to repeat his lying excuses after more than a month! And, of course, it was all my wife’s misunderstanding. Sure thing. That’s why Noah hasn’t looked her in the eye for a month.

So yes I am angry. And No I don’t like the idea of any of my family going to St. Philip’s, a place I used to love. It is ruled by a lying psychopath with no oversight from the bishop. He abuses the altar boys including his own sons. He abuses the subdeacons and deacon. He makes capricious changes in the middle of the services. He once stepped out of the altar at the height of the Liturgy to tell me that I was distracting him in the back of the choir, because I had my hands in my pockets! I told him he should get hold of himself and work on his concentration. He had to work to see me all the way back there around the iconostas and all; freaked me out.

I’ll catch hell for posting this. But, the bishop doesn’t check in. If I am to believe Fr. Noah, Bishop Thomas gave him an awful stupid order, to tell a priest to not talk to a parishioner, but just send nasty messages through his relatives and other priests? I don’t think Bishop Thomas is the sharpest tool in the shed, but I don’t think he’s that stupid. I think Noah is lying like he usually does. No one listens to me. Hardly anyone is giving to The King’s Jubilee. We used to get a good bit of support from St. Philip’s. Those people are mad at me for my attitude. They are still giving to support this psychopath, but they withdraw support to help the poor and homeless, because Noah abuses and lies about me! That makes perfect sense in a Republican sort of way. I have CPTSD because of his abuse and others like him, for which I am undergoing treatment. There is no known cure for psychopathy. A less harmful career path, which I have suggested to him would be real estate sales.

Somehow you think your withdrawal of support will bring me around to your way of thinking? If you punish the poor long enough on my account, I will see that you were right all along? Go ahead. Have your food fest. Use the public to pay for your temple! Soon you will have to raise more to pay taxes on it, too, as the public finally wakes up and remembers why the exemption was given and realizes churches don’t meet that qualification anymore. It had nothing to do with separation of church and state. It was the idea that churches provided services to the poor and needy that otherwise the state would have to provide, so a tax exemption was cheaper than providing those services. That is no longer true, by a long shot!

If I haven’t scared you off, you are definitely our kind of people. We have gone through changes before and the one constant has been our service among the poor and homeless. Please give. We don’t hold on to money and no one is getting rich. If there is ever any “extra”, it goes to fill someone else’s lack.


Where did all the money go?

Somebody asked me for money last week. I told him I had none. He asked me, “Where did all that money you raised go to?” I said, “We gave it away. That’s what we do.”

That is the short answer, of course. This ministry has expenses. We have to keep the TKJ-mobile in good repair, gassed up and insured. We have to keep paying the phone bill and for webhosting and internet access, for our mortgage and utilities, so we still have a kitchen to cook in. We are not housed by or sponsored by any one church. Under Fr. Noah’s leadership, St. Philip’s has disowned us, even while sending people our way for us to help. I still have not received SSDI. Bethann’s Unemployment has run out. She still has one more quarter of school. So the money that was raised helped to one degree or another to keep 20 people from becoming homeless, plus helped an additional 15 transition off of the street, and helped provide two meals/week and other help to about 250 other poor and homeless people for the last eight months. That is not a bad return on about $45,000. But that’s not the whole picture. About half of that money will be coming back to the ministry once I get my SSDI, as it will pay off the portion that is a loan to us to cover until that comes through. So consider that as a return on $22,500. I’d challenge you to say you did better with your money anywhere else. To survive until that happens, we need more support.

There is nothing in the bank. We are late on the phone and internet bill. Soon we will be late on the mortgage. The TKJ-mobile is more than 10 years old. We need to think about a replacement before it gets costly to maintain or less than optimally safe.

It puzzles me. People are always praising me and patting me on the back for what I do. Don’t they realize I can’t do anything without their support? Some of the same people get upset when I speak of quitting, saying that I should cheer up and “God will provide.” Yet they do not make regular donations. A lot of churches like what I do and like to have their children get involved once or twice a year. Don’t get me wrong, we are grateful, but think this through. How do they think we can stay in business to receive their power packs, or socks, or cookies, with no support? It is sort of how the faith of the Christmas and Easter Christians must be very strong, for them to trust the church to still be there for them after staying away so long. One day their parish may not be. If everyone were to do that, it certainly wouldn’t be.

We have been at this for over 25 years. We have been harassed by the last three mayors. We had to sue this one in federal court (with no Orthodox clergy standing with us. That hurt.) to continue this ministry. When one reads the words of Christ, one never comes away with a sense that his priority was on building a big stultifying organization for everyone to support and the poor were to be an afterthought. No. It is quite the contrary. Everything is about being poor and serving the poor. The only picture He gives us of the Last Judgment mentions nothing of dogma, personal sin, morality, tradition, or church. It only mentions how we treat the poor, the sick, the imprisoned, the widows & orphans, “the least of these my brethren.”

Yet, somehow, I have spent nearly 30 years serving the imprisoned and the homeless, and I have found myself repeatedly chased out of churches by pastors and priests. This has not just happened to me. This is a common experience among most of the people I know who serve in these ministries. Complex PTSD from clergy abuse is a common malady among us. In all of the churches we have gone to, I have known only three, rare pastors who were not so threatened by my calling that they could deal with me honestly and openly.

Here, I’ve done it again. I set out to write a wonderful, fundraising article, because we are down to our last dime. This is what comes out. I suffer chronic spine pain as a result of an infection most likely picked up on the street. This pain set off my chronic, complex migraines that caused strokes due to a strange developmental defect in the right side of my brain. I have CPTSD from non-sexual, clergy abuse (bullying).

Cooking interesting, nutritious meals for the folks on the street and watching them enjoy them makes me happy. Working with people who also enjoy serving the poor and homeless, also  makes me happy. Advocating for and with the poor energizes me. It is what I was made for. We do what we do with no government or corporate money. We serve in Jesus’ Name. Come join us. Support us. We don’t hold onto money to build a large organization. We give it away and we use it to serve the poor and homeless in our midst, in Jesus’ Name on your behalf. Yes. I may be a cranky, achy, old curmudgeon around suburban, white folks. It seems most of them/you are uncomfortable around me. So support me so I can stay away and be happy, where I can do some good with your money in Jesus’ Name. God bless you.


There are no gaps to bridge.

Race and ethnic conflict is the hot topic from Ferguson, MO, to Gaza, Palestine. A common question is: How can we bridge the gaps to find common ground? That question has always puzzled me. I was never quite sure why. I grew up in lily white suburbs, in an upper middle class household, yet I find myself and my family joyfully accepted in the Black and Hispanic and Haitian communities. We have broken bread in basement churches and attended festive weddings. Race or ethnicity has never been a barrier.

So I got to thinking. Am I weird? Are my friends weird? I know our family has been blessed to have experienced such diversity; but what makes Sunday morning the most segregated time of the week for most people, but not so much for us?

I know I was raised being taught that “there is only one race, the human race!” Our parents entertained a lot. When they did, they invited people from all classes and all races to the same parties. We had Gov. Levander, all the sitting judges in the state, along with some waitresses, hairdressers, and folks on disability, and everyone in between, to one party. I got to experience the other lesson that my dad drilled into us: “Everybody is just the same. When they get up in the morning they put on their pants one leg at a time.” With this lesson, I was taught to fear no one, to worship no one, to put no one down. With all the different kinds of people getting drunk and letting their guard down in our house, I got to see this up front and personal. I witnessed powerful politicians and judges crying in vulnerability as I drove them home. I saw acts of class and grace from the poorest there. I was just a fly on the wall clearing dishes, emptying ashtrays, jockeying cars, taking keys, etc., learning life lessons.

My parents told us quite different stories from their childhoods growing up in the Depression. My dad told of his mom helping support at least three other families at any given time while the family skimped by. His dad had a good car repair business. My mom told us of having live-in maids and the lessons she learned from them. My mom would take in runaways, always on the condition that they had to call their moms and let them know they were OK. Invariably, it led to her returning them home the next day. Regardless, this was unusual for an upper middle class household in the lily white suburbs; the home of state GOP committee persons.

So I have this background. Then I studied the Scripture. Our story starts out with Adam and Eve. It doesn’t start out with Adam & Eve, Max & Olga, Sammy & Elmira, Omar & Ayisha, Chin & Xiang. We are one family! We are all brothers and sisters! So, whether Muslim, Christian or Jew (those are the religions who use this story), all mankind are one family! There are no gaps to bridge. When I see a man or woman, I see a long lost cousin. We have an icon of Adam in my house to remind us of our common, great, great, great, great … great, grandfather!

My atheist dad didn’t need the story of Adam and Eve to tell him we were one family. He knew we were one common humanity and that there is a law of justice or balance built into the universe, that whatever one does, good or ill, it has repercussions. He hoped to leave more good than bad echoes behind.

The first time I walked into a prison, I did not notice the iron gate clanging shut behind me. Many people have asked me that and have told me about how that gave them the willies the first time they visited a prison. No. I remember clearly. I was just struck with how terribly we were treating these, our brothers, supposedly presumed innocent. This was supposed to be a jail, actually. I had to walk through a two tiered block of cells with open walls, just bars. I could see every sink and toilet and bunk. The single TV was blaring Gilligan’s Island at the end of the block overhead. I walked the length of it on the steel floor to the activity room to have the Bible study. My eyes were wet with tears. That was me in those cells and it was humiliating. There are no gaps to bridge.

A couple weeks later, I started a Bible study in the Philadelphia House of Corrections. I was a Mennonite at the time. I had a beard and no mustache, dark curly hair, and round wire rim glasses; so did Freeman Miller, one of the other Mennonite volunteers in the House of Corrections. Occasionally some of the men would get us confused. I would just say, “That’s OK. All us white boys look alike.” It was almost always an all Black room. Uproarious laughter would follow. Over the years, it has gotten to the point that I have become the world’s worst eyewitness. I spend so much time among the homeless and the poor, I will be talking about someone and someone will ask me to describe what they look like and I will. They want to know what race they are and I draw a complete blank. It never even registers. I tell them, “I’ll have to take note the next time I see him.” They just look at me like I have three heads. We are all of the human race like my parents taught me and the Bible teaches me. There are no gaps to bridge.

OK. I’ve talked about race, but what about gender and gender preference? In Genesis 1:27, it says: “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” St. Paul says that Jesus made them equal “neither male nor female” in Galatians 3. When I was in grade school, I was severely pigeon toed. I also had zero depth perception. I had to wear corrective wing-tips with custom heels or go barefoot. I couldn’t field or hit in baseball to save my soul. I was extremely bright academically. The bullies called me “Pidge”, then “fem” and “queer” and “faggot” by 4th grade. There was a group of about six of us who were routinely bullied. I was the biggest one, so I kind of protected the others. I got beat up regularly. I’m straight. I was rather precocious about it even. I started dating at 11. (Everyone thought I was 13 or 14.) But I know what it’s like to be treated like a queer. The Mennonite Church even defrocked me for being gay, over false accusations. They never met with me. They never even notified me of their action. It was because under my leadership, ours were the only Bible studies or services in the Phila. prisons that allowed the openly gay and transvestite inmates to attend. Plus I had spoken out in favor of the distribution of condoms in the prison. Is the gospel for all or not? Does God love all or just some? Am I to regard myself as chief of sinners except those homosexuals; they are far worse than me! I can’t find that verse. It was against the rules to have sex in prison. Yes. We all know that. We also know it happens. AIDS had just hit the prison populations in a big way. Are we going to preserve life? I told the rest of the chaplains and the wardens, if there were a safe way to do a needle exchange, I would like to see the institution do that, too! I can’t minister to dead people. “God takes no delight in the death of a sinner.” A Christian’s first job is to preserve life. I lost my chaplaincy for it. So, I was defrocked for being thought to be homosexual, while being married with four daughters. I do wear bright colors! I cook, sew and do art. “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.” (Romans 12:16a) So I hang out with gays. I grew up hanging out with lawyers. People are people. We each have our own battles to fight, our own struggles to deal with. The two most profound statements in the Gospels are: “Judge not.” and “Jesus wept.” I believe they are connected.

There are no gaps to bridge.

So why is there so much hate? It is learned. There are evil forces that would like to see mankind divided, and the poor and middle classes battling among themselves, instead of cooperating for the common good. So jealousy and lies and false stereotypes and racism all get injected into the mix and ginned up.

We need to all take a deep breath. Take a step back. Take a fresh look to see our own human aspirations, hopes and fears, in our cousins’ eyes. They may be a different shape eye or be in a different colored face, but if you look close, you will see Grandpa Adam or Oma Eve staring back.

There are no gaps to bridge.


Earth Bread + Brewery

The Philadelphia Inquirer has done a series of articles on us. The ripples keep on going out. Earlier this month I received a letter from Earth Bread + Brewery, 7136 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19119. Here it is:

Dear Mr. Coulter,

My husband, Tom Baker and I, own a restaurant called “Earth” in Mt. Airy. We read in the Inquirer about the tireless work you have been doing – feeding the homeless. Hopefully, you and your wife are in good health and living in your home with less financial worry since the article was published.

We have enclosed a donation of $225, which we raised throughout the month of July. We feature a different cocktail each month and donate $2 from the sale of each one to a different non-profit each month.

We appreciate what you do and hope that it inspires others to do the same.


Peggy Zwerver

Thank you so much! May God bless you!

earthIf any of our readers go there to eat, remember to bring a couple of canned goods or a donation that they will pass on to a local food bank.

Power Packs

Power Packs

For over twenty years volunteers have been making Power Packs for The King’s Jubilee. They were invented by Teresa Gilmore at St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Church, East Greenville, PA, in their CCD school. A power pack is a paper lunch bag filled with non-perishable goodies. I need to stress this point. We need to be able to store these in case we have too many on a given night. Sometimes these are colored or decorated with stickers on the outside. We give them out at the end of our food line in the park in center city Phila. This way the people have something for the next day. Teresa set it up so that each grade brought in one of the items that went into the bags and a couple of the grades colored the bags, and a couple of the grades assembled the bags. For over twenty years, I have never been quite sure what all goes into Power Packs. I’m just in charge of the ministry. You can’t expect me to know everything that goes on. I generally have to look up Teresa’s phone number and have the new group that is going to do it call her to get the info. each time.  That changes today.

The list of items may vary. I have seen some Power Packs stuffed to  the point of bursting and I have seen much lighter ones. All were appreciated. We serve between 150 to 250 people on any given Thursday night in the summer. Numbers are a little lower the rest of the year. Your group does not have to make that many. We will save them up until we have enough, then give them away.

  • juice box or can or pack (Capri-Sun)
  • crackers & cheese or crackers & peanut butter package
  • small boxes raisins, etc.
  • small box cereal
  • cereal or granola type bars
  • snack pack of nuts, chips, trail mix, cookies, candy, yogurt nuts or raisins, sesame things, sunflower seeds
  • pudding pack, canned fruit
  • travel size hand sanitizer

You don’t have to include all of those items. You may think of some others that are appropriate. As long as they fit in the bag and are non-perishable, it’s OK.

Through the years, Vacation Church Schools, CCDs, Girl Scout and Cub Scout troops have made these. A workplace once made these as a service project. The last time we gave them out, Fr. Victor from St. Stephen Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Phila., came out to help distribute them from their VCS two weeks ago. They were the fattest, heaviest 150 Power Packs I have ever seen! God bless you!

P.S.  In case you were wondering what those things are in the image at the top of this post are, they are power packs for photo-voltaic collectors. It was the best image I could find for “power packs” on a Google image search, since I had never photographed any of ours. My wife says I have a very confusing sense of humor, or something to that effect, I bet it caught your attention, though. Eh?

serving the homeless, promoting justice, in Jesus' Name

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