St. Nicholas’ Cross

December 6 is St. Nicholas Day. Every year, on whatever day we serve that is closest to St. Nicholas Day, we commemorate it by giving the folks three $1 coins in Jesus’ Name, and sharing a little bit about the life and work of this wonderful Saint.

A week from Thursday is December 6. So, this year, we are serving on St. Nicholas Day! Lately, we have been serving between 150 and 200 men and women. So we will be giving away about $600 that night. It will be great fun! The old heads know to expect this. They don’t spread it around though, hoping for leftovers. Every year, there are several who are just amazed!

But, you know, this is really not that big a deal. Adam Bruckner of Philly Restart stands there every Monday afternoon and writes several hundreds of dollars worth of checks for people to get their IDs or driver’s licenses. So once a year, we get to help people buy a couple bus tokens, or a couple loads of laundry or even a beer.

If you want to help us spread some cheer and sing the praise of St.Nicholas to the glory of Jesus Christ, you can use the Paypal button on the right or mail a check to:

The King’s Jubilee
27 North Front Street
Souderton, PA 18964

Thank you. May God bless you.

Troparion (Tone 4)
Your works of justice showed you to your congregation a canon of faith, the likeness of humility, a teacher of abstinence, O Father, Bishop Nicholas. Wherefore, by humility you achieved exaltation, and by meekness, richness. Intercede, therefore, with Christ to save our souls.


Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.
A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Turkey Ginger Soup

As promised, here is the recipe for the soup that I made to serve in the park last night. Several of the guys were asking if I had brought Turkey Cabbage Soup like I had the week before. I told  them, “I never make the same soup twice.” Frankly, a few were disappointed, but most were relieved. While most people enjoyed it; cabbage does have its side effects. I boldly announced that tonight’s soup was Turkey Ginger! Very few opted for the vegetarian alternative, so the name didn’t scare them off. We didn’t have to pick up full cups left lying around. Vincent told me that it received rave reviews.

One customer did tell me he was disappointed that it didn’t have more ginger. He could taste it, but it was subtle. That was a perfect review to my way of thinking. I like to be able to taste everything. I think each spoonful should taste a little different from the last, and dance a little dance on your tongue. That’s not so easy to accomplish when your main ingredient is turkey.

Roast 20# turkey to internal temp of 170 in pan half full of water with Greek oregano, garlic, and sage.
Drain liquid into 22 quart stock pot and bring to a boil.
Scrub and puree* half a huge celery root. (or 1 reasonably sized one) Add to stock.
Peel and puree* a yucca root. Add to stock.
Peel and puree* a 4″ ginger root. Add to stock.

Reduce pot to simmer.

Dice a large fennel including feathers. Add to stock.
Add 2 pounds fresh broccoli florets to stock.
Dice 2 eggplants. (Don’t peel. The bioflavinoids are in the purple.) Add to stock.
Slice 4 pounds radishes in food processor. Add to stock.
Chop by hand 2 heads red and white kale. Add to stock.

Move the stock pot into the larger pot to create giant double boiler. Bring outer water to boil.

Tear turkey off of bones. Tear it into pieces and throw it into the soup.

Add a Tablespoon of salt
2 teaspoons rubbed sage
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon curry
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
20 twists medium ground mixed peppercorns

Add enough water to almost fill the 22 quart stock pot.

Let it steep in the double boiler for a few hours for all of the flavors to blossom and mix.

(*puree = Throw it into the food processor and let it chop until it is really fine, then add some hot water to the processor bowl and let it chop some more.)

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves”

Please pray for me and for all of us as we sit down with the City of Philadelphia to negotiate a way to end homelessness in the City of Philadelphia. The first time we tried to meet, Sen. Arlen Specter’s funeral happened. The second time we were to meet, Superstorm Sandy happened.
We are scheduled to meet on Dec. 3.

Please pray for lack of hindrance, clear minds and clear communication. Thank you.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
“Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

– Proverbs 31:8-9

The Most Unusual Trophy in Golf

The Garbanzo is made of native PA poplar. The base is made of native PA cherry. The 9 iron head was donated by tournament organizer Jerry Burke, who pleaded the 5th as to how it came to be in that state.

The coveted Garbanzo, the most unique trophy in golf, perhaps the most unique trophy in all of sport, was awarded for the first time, last Saturday, to Dr. Peter I. Psomiadis of Perkasie, PA, as champion of the 3rd Annual Hummus Open Golf Tournament benefiting The King’s Jubilee. Peter signed and dated the bean twice, since he won in 2010, as well. Last year’s winner was unable to attend this year, because of difficulty of travel because of the unreliable gas supply due to superstorm Sandy. We will catch up with him later. We carved them into the surface of the Garbanzo, in what will become an annual tradition.

Some may think it incongruous to see a Celtic font used for hummus. The choice was very intentional. The brains behind this event is Dr. Jerome Burke. The founder and director of The King’s Jubilee is Cranford Coulter. The man who designed and donated the trophy and designed the font is John Haggerty. So with Burke, Coulter and Haggerty working on it, just be glad there isn’t a leprechaun somewhere.

This trophy will only get more beautiful with age. The richness of the colors and the grains of these native, Pennsylvania woods will deepen. This piece is finished with Watco Danish Oil. We rubbed black, paste shoe polish into the engravings to make them stand out.

This year’s event was held a Mainland Golf Course with a home cooked dinner afterwards at the home of Jerry and Karen Burke. The small field had a great time. They told me that they got their money’s worth on the golf. Peter said that they paid only pennies a stroke.

We are already laying the plans for next year’s tournament. With such a classy trophy, guys will be lining up to play! It is always an opportunity for good fun, good friends and helping a good cause!

Thanks guys!

Christ Community Church of Philadelphia

On Sunday I attended service at Christ Community Church of Philadelphia in order to be there for Kia’s Cakes’ fundraiser for The King’s Jubilee. I didn’t know what to expect. Sean and Zakkiyah McKelven had not invited me to the church. I just thought it would be a nice thing to do. I needed to be somewhere since I am not welcome at my home parish. I also was hoping to run into some old friends that may have heard about the sale. The sale was supposed to start at 11:00am according to Facebook. I did not know what time church started. As usual, there was an event on the Parkway, so I had to detour around it. I arrived at the church, which is near U Penn’s campus, at 9:30. Service starts at 10. There were already about 20 people there. Somebody was at the curb to tell me where I could park. The sound people were setting up. Several people greeted me and introduced themselves. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The building was immaculate. It looks like it was built in the early 20th century. It has high, vaulted ceilings. The plaster and the paint and the woodwork are all beautifully maintained or restored. There is stained glass and the original, oak pews, arranged wider, amphitheater style, with five aisles. There’s a balcony all along the back. There is a large, plain wooden cross on the platform with a colorful, purple cloth draped on it. This is behind a small communion table. In front of this, is a four pedestal pulpit. The people here obviously take pride in this place and give it their best to the glory of God.

The place slowly filled up. The service started with a short praise song. Then the pastor led us in an exercise of self examination and confession. I have to say, it was quite interesting and moving. It reminded me of the group confession that Bethann and I had participated in at St. John Chrysostom Albanian Orthodox Church a few years ago, except this had louder music. There were more praise songs and prayer. The pastor prophesied over one man; that is, he basically counseled him very publicly, then some more, privately. He then invited people to come forward for healing. The healing line took almost an hour. I believe there were two or three assistants who helped him with the anointing and prayer, and others who helped move people along. The worship team and congregation kept singing. The band kept playing. It has been many years since I have been in a Pentecostal service. I kept praying the prayer to the Holy Spirit and the Trisagion. The pastor said he had come prepared to preach, but the Holy Spirit had given different direction starting in the pastoral staff meeting before the service. He just took a couple of minutes to assure all of us that God loves us. He exhorted everyone who had turned away from sins or made commitments to a better direction to follow through and don’t give in to the devil or laziness. He again encouraged us all in God’s amazing love!

It was a healthy experience. It was nice to be in a place where I did not have to worry about the pastor being distracted and disturbed by whether I had my hands in my pockets or not. It was the most genuinely friendly church I have ever been to. I was greeted by over 50 people by the time I left, even though no one had pointed me out as anyone special. It was nice to see such a large, predominantly African-American church with so many men in it and what appeared to be a good number of intact families. If we want to stop the advance of Islam into our cities, we need more churches with this kind of spirit and community.

The church sponsors a ministry that provides personal care kits to the men on the street. When they have enough for everyone, they join us on a Thursday night and distribute them. Sean and Zakkiyah McKelven started this ministry over 11 years ago, by faith. They decided to hold bake sales to raise funds for The King’s Jubilee, because they knew that I have been going through a rough patch. They raised $510 and some loose change. When they gave me the bag of cash, they told me they determined to do this, because I had done this for them when they were in a tight spot when they were starting out. I don’t remember that. Of course, none of it is my money. I can only pass on what you all give. So God bless whoever gave The King’s Jubilee some money 10 or 11 years ago to help this wonderful couple grow this fruitful ministry!

Thank you Zakkiyah & Sean. May God continue to abundantly bless you as you serve Him in the least of these his brethren.