Help The King’s Jubilee Raise a Royal Ruckus!

It’s a funny thing finding ways to fund a ministry. Sure, some ministries are well funded by people with big hearts and deep pockets. Others are shoestring funded by people who give sacrificially out of very little. I want to tell you how you can help The King’s Jubilee today, and offer you a little incentive to do so.

But first, let me tell you a story. I first heard about The King’s Jubilee early this year through the Temple University Orthodox Christian Fellowship, and when I read Cranford’s vision for a cemetery for the forgotten…well, I was excited. I immediately added The King’s Jubilee to the Orthodox Philly website, and told my wife, Alison, and pastor about the ministry.

I intended to start volunteering to serve right away. But then one week turned into two, and two turned into four.

Then a friend from several states away texted me to tell me about Mayor Nutter’s outdoor food ban, and I was outraged. Nothing like a little humanitarian civil disobedience to get a person off their lazy seat!

Alison and I started serving at The King’s Jubilee in late March or early April, and we were hooked. We love the people on the parkway, and developing friendships with the men and women there has been both challenging and encouraging. And thanks to the mayor’s ban, we sensed an added stress among the people, and fear that their source of sustenance would be ripped from their hands —perhaps literally—which helped solidify our solidarity with those whom we served.

Alison and I have now caught the vision. I’m not sure I would know what to do with my Thursday nights without The King’s Jubilee.  It’s no longer simply about civil disobedience for me, it’s about doing what is within my means to help my neighbors.

So back to funding a ministry. Food isn’t free, at least not until we set up on those two park benches on the parkway and start handing it out for free. It takes time and money to serve these men and women properly and with dignity. And raising the funds for this sort of thing is not easy.

We just had a great opportunity land in our laps this week, and it’s for five days only. I want to give you some hip-hop music, if you can spare just $9.99 for The King’s Jubilee.

Let me explain. I grew up with a music genius named Mike Walker in the suburbs of Bakersfield, California. As a white, skateboarding suburbanite, I loved rap music. I grew up on the Beastie Boys, Run DMC, and A Tribe Called Quest (all east coasters!), and from a young age wanted to be a famous rapper.

Well, I never quite hit the highest levels of stardom (hehe), but I’ve had a good run at rapping nonetheless. In high school, Mike and I started a rap group called Royal Ruckus in California. It was meant to be a joke originally, but the more people took us seriously, the more we took our music seriously.

Pretty soon, we graduated from the living room to the garage to weekend concerts to airplanes and tours. We eventually inked a record deal with Flicker Records and moved to Nashville. Now, we’re proudly independent, but still making music.

Our music can be serious, often quirky, and always fun. We’re not your typical rap music. This is not gangster, and really, we aren’t from the streets. But our lyrics are honest to who we are, and our music is eclectically cross-genre. We hope there is a little something for everyone to enjoy.

We currently have three records available, Self-Titled (2002), Pocket Lint & Spare Change (2008), and in March 2011, we released Rumors of Our Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated. Rumors was recorded all across the country, from Nashville to Atlanta to Los Angeles to Hilo, Hawaii, and right up in North Philly, just a block off Broad Street.

This is where you come in. For five days only, from Monday, July 30 to Friday, August 3, 100% of the purchase price of our MP3 album through Bandcamp will go to The King’s Jubilee.

The record is only $9.99 for an immediate 14-song download. Every single penny of your purchase will go to The King’s Jubilee to further the ministry to the homeless men and women of Philadelphia.

Would you help this week? Please consider buying the MP3 record for yourself, or a teenager you know, or a friend who might like it? Take a minute to preview the record if you aren’t convinced. And share, share, share this all over your Facebook page and on Twitter. Please help us with this important fundraiser!

Royal Ruckus Mp3 Sale Fundraiser!

Rumors of our Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
Rumors of our Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated by Royal Ruckus

Jamey Bennett is one half of Royal Ruckus, a hip-hop group that actually produced CDs. Their label offered them a deal. From July 30 through August 3, all proceeds from the Mp3 downloads are theirs. They decided to donate 100% of this to The King’s Jubilee. Jamey is just full of surprises!

So basically for a $9.99 donation to this ministry, you get an album for free!

The album is: Rumors of Our Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
It is done in good taste. It’s “hip-hop / spiritual rap.” It’ll make you think, but it shouldn’t make you angry.

Here is the link for the download:

Thanks guys!

URGENT: Lost Senior Citizen Tourist


Yesterday, an Ethiopian family was entertaining family guests and showing them around center city. Before they realized it, one of the old men got separated from the group and wandered off. They have been trying to find him, but to no avail. He knows little English.

He is in his late 60s. His name is Kefle.

He was wearing long light brown pants and a short sleeved shirt. He is very dark in complexion with gray hair. He is probably 5’10”, with a medium build.

If you find him, please call: Teddy at 267-663-8084 or Gebre at 215-361-0503.

Keep your eyes open.

Everyone, please pray for his safety and safe return to his family.

Random Blessing

This morning, as I was walking to the TKJ-mobile in the Giant parking lot, after buying some soup ingredients and supplies for tonight, I saw a young man. I said, “Hi!”

He looked me straight in the eye and said, “God bless you and God bless those you serve!”

That kind of took me off guard, since I did not know this man. I said thank you and we went about our day.

Perhaps he had seen me on TV or had seen my tiny picture in the paper, or just surmised that I must belong to the TKJ-mobile that I was walking toward and had read about the case. Maybe he has seen me around town. I don’t know. I do know that a random blessing sure feels a whole lot better than the random curses I have been getting on the internet and talk radio lately.

God bless you, kind stranger.

Glory to God!

The court heard closing arguments today. But, in addition, the city filed another brief last night. So the lawyers and the judge discussed and asked questions about some of that first.

The judge ruled in our favor on all aspects. He was very thorough and understood the very complex, human face of this problem. We have an injunction against the ban on serving food in Fairmount Park until after the trial which will occur sometime early next year.

We wish to especially thank Paul Messing, who got this whole thing rolling, because he “was as mad as hell at the mayor.” Sometimes great things start with less than perfect motivation. We also thank our co-counsels, Mary Catherine Roper from PA ACLU and Seth Kreimer from the Homeless Advocacy Project.

We want to thank our co-plaintiffs, whom I am getting to know and appreciate more and more as this process continues: Brian Jenkins of Chosen 300, Violet Little of The Welcome Church and Adam Bruckner of Philly Restart.

We want to thank all from all over the world who have been interceding on behalf of this case and the poor and homeless on whose behalf it is being waged.

It isn’t over. Please keep praying.

Now I’ve got to get ready to go down to the parkway to serve tonight.

2nd Day of Hearing

Well, Mayor Nutter testified, along with several other city officials. I will just quote another city official’s (whom I greatly respect) description of their testimony: “They just lie! Oath or no! They just lie! It’s disgusting!”

Adam Bruckner of Philly Restart testified. He was composed and brilliant. The city called the director of Feeding 5000 Ministry as their witness because he complied with moving to the City hall apron. His testimony seemed to make our case however. He is serving fewer people. He cannot establish relationships with the people in that setting, because they scatter. It will change again in less than a year.

Judge William Yohn is finding this case more complex than he first thought it was. He had not yet read one of the depositions. At least that was his excuse. I think he just didn’t want to be too hasty. We are going back to court on Thursday at 9:30 am for closing arguments. He asked the city to please hold off any enforcement “until Thursday or a week from Thursday” to give him time to consider and write a good decision.

Please pray for all the lawyers.

Please pray for Hon. Judge William Yohn.

Please pray for all the plaintiff ministries:
Rev. Brian Jenkins – Chosen 300 Ministries
Rev. Violet Little – The Welcome Church
Adam Bruckner – Philly Restart
Cranford Coulter – The King’s Jubilee

Please pray for the City of Philadelphia and Mayor Nutter.

Please pray for the homeless and the poor in the City of Philadelphia and around the world who find themselves increasingly under assault from the spirit of this age.

1st Day of Hearing

I’m not sure how it is going. The judge doesn’t seem to get some fundamental aspects of the situation. The city keeps on fixating on trash. I failed to draw the connection that they are really seeing the trash as a metaphor for the homeless people themselves. I mean, people generate a certain amount of trash, these days, just to get by. The city is annoyed by the few extra bags of trash, even though it is far less than what a comparable number of housed people would generate. If the people are served indoors, there will still be trash! Problem is, there is no suitable indoors at this time. It’s all on Adam Bruckner now. No pressure, Adam.

Anyway. I testified. I went to pieces; very emotional. My co-plaintiffs said I helped the case, because I firmly communicated that we are dealing with human beings, not interchangeable parts here.

I don’t know.

Mayor Nutter testifies first thing tomorrow morning.