Turkey, Kale Delight Soup

Someone just remembered to drop off his Turkeys ‘R’ Us turkey from November, this week. It was actually right on time. We had no meat in the freezer, so this week’s soup is turkey! I looked around for other ingredients. I had bought too much for the salad last Friday. Thankfully, the kale, carrots and radishes kept just fine. This is what I came up with. It may look weird on paper, but it smells and tastes great! I am a great believer in expanding people’s palates. Also, if food is good for us nutritionally, chances are, it will appeal to us, as well. In the couple of decades that I have been cooking, I have only had a few clunkers. All but one or two could be remedied with more hot sauce. However, this is not one of those.

Ingredients:

  • ~ Medium sized turkey (12 to 15#) Roasted, covered, with 2″ of water in pan with celery seeds and basil in the water.
  • 1 pound bag Kale Greens
  • 2 pounds Radishes
  • 2 pounds Carrots
  • 2 Sweet Red Peppers
  • 1 teaspoon fresh frozen Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fresh frozen Sage
  • 3 inches fresh Ginger
  • 1 Avocado, peeled and cubed (may be underripe)
  • 4 yellow onions
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika

Directions:

Put the turkey (as indicated above) in the 350º oven, and roast until it reaches minimum 170º internal temp. While that is roasting, fill a 22 quart stock pot to about 6 inches with water and start simmering. Chop Thyme, Sage & Ginger in a bullet or Ninja & add to pot. Top & half carrots, then pulse them in Ninja until “soup size”. Add to pot. Do the same for the Radishes, Peppers & Onions, being careful to wash them beforehand, of course. Add the Avocado. Add the Paprika and Cinnamon. Bring to a boil and cook these until tender. Be careful to stir regularly, so nothing scorches. Once everything is tender, turn off heat.
Wash and chop the Kale in a Ninja to “soup size” and add to pot. When the Turkey is done cooking, drain liquid into soup pot, peel back skin and let sit to cool for a bit.
DSC02882This is a good time to set up the soup pot into the canner on top of a couple of rags with water, to form a double boiler. Set it on a burner and start it heating. Don’t let it boil dry, and your soup will never scorch.
Once the turkey is OK to handle, tear it into bite sized pieces to add to the  soup. Let it stew until it is ready to pour into the Igloo cooler to head for the city.
(Igloo is the only brand of plastic cooler that doesn’t leak that doesn’t melt.)

There is no salt in this recipe. I usually do not use salt. We offer a salt grinder, so people can add their own if they wish to.

Kale is naturally bitter. So I chose Ginger and Cinnamon, which are full frontal sweet to counteract that. Paprika is sweeter that Black Pepper. Basil and Sage are on the sweet end of the savories. All in all, it works!

Try it! You’ll like it!

We will be offering it along with a vegetarian alternative, sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, water, fruit and granola bars to about 100 homeless friends tonight on the streets of Philadelphia. We are facing foreclosure ourselves, but as long as I have a stove to cook on and someone shows up with a turkey …

Martin’s Ground Beef Hash

Thursday, it was unclear whether or not we were going to be able to serve anything in the city on Friday night. I had spent $400 of personal funds to make the TKJ-mobile operational again. Our personal budget was blown for the month. There was not enough money to buy any food and drink for Philadelphia, for the guys on the street. I shared the last post on Facebook with the tagline: “We are out of money and out of food for the street. The car is fixed, out of personal funds, so we are out of money for the month. But I deserve to end up homeless, so don’t send money to help the poor.”

One friend responded with a $100 donation. So I called up Tony and told him to get himself up here to help me cook and gear up for the street. Friday morning, we shopped, then Tony peeled and diced potatoes while I cooked.

Ingredients:

  • 9-1/4 lbs. 80% lean Ground Beef
  • 7 lbs. red potatoes, peeled, diced to ~1/2″ cubes and rinsed
  • 3 lbs. yellow onions, diced
  • 5 large, sweet red peppers, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 head Garlic
  • 1-1/2″ fresh Ginger
  • Black Pepper Grinder
  • Ground Red Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Ground Coriander

In the largest cast iron skillet you own, start to fry up a large handful of Ground Beef. Add a diced Onion or two and some of the Sweet Pepper. Add a bunch of the diced potatoes. Grate some ginger onto it. Crush a clove or two of Garlic onto it. Shake some Paprika, Red Pepper and Coriander on. Grind some Black Pepper on. Keep stirring and turning this until all the beef is cooked and the potatoes are looking delicious, but not crispy. Dump into large, agate roaster pan and repeat. Try not to have the skillet so full that you end up with your range full of potatoes and onions at the end of the process (voice of experience). Stir everything together in the turkey roaster pan. Cover. Place in the oven and slow roast for three to five hours at 190º.

Notes: Do not short circuit this recipe by failing to slow roast it. That is the secret to its success! The initial sauteeing released all the flavors, but the slow roasting allowed the subtleties of them to blend throughout the dish.
Coriander adds a very subtle, earthy flavor note. It is more important as a nutrient. It is helpful to the kidneys. Ginger is a bit of a surprise, but subtle in this amount. It plays a bit with the garlic. Only the more sensitive palates will notice, but they will smile.

It’s a low sodium recipe. We let people add their own salt. Very few people did. This is the first time in 30 years we served hash. The guys were enthusiastic! They told us to make it part of our regular rotation. We said we would try. Now we just need to try not to become homeless ourselves, and find some regular support.

The Lady on the Basilica Steps

Ss. Peter and Paul Basilica

This article should just about write itself. It has all the elements to tug at the heartstrings like classic poverty porn. However, this is what has made it so hard for me to write. After more than 30 years writing newsletters and blog posts about the shocking way the poor, the disabled and the aged are treated in our country, it has gotten old. It has only gotten worse, with the government cuts to every kind of assistance and the general hardness of hearts in our society. It is just downright depressing.

Last Friday evening, Tony found a woman, about my age, lying on the Cathedral steps and invited her over to see what we had to offer. She was very timid. We had to invite her to accept each thing, some soup, pumpkin rice, hard boiled eggs, pie, etc. It was apparent that she could hardly speak due to stroke damage. She needed a better hat and a blanket. Susan found these for her. She had tears of gratitude as the hat was placed on her head and the thick blanket was wrapped round her shoulders. She shuffled as she walked and didn’t have full function of her hands. What a picture! She sleeps outside the Basilica. St. Basil founded a city for the poor with free hospitals and shelters funded by taxation on the rich! She sleeps in the cold on the steps of the Basilica! In one of the richest countries in the world, where we pay three times more per capita for healthcare than all but one other country, yet, somehow, we can’t afford to take care of the lady sleeping on the Basilica steps.

Perhaps she can qualify for Medicaid or public housing, or SSI. I don’t know. I do know that the process to get these benefits is anything but easy. I am a fully vocal person, with a place to store my records and a phone. It took months of back and forth and filling out forms to get Medicaid. It took years to get SSI after having six strokes, kidney failure, cPTSD, a summer of disabling migraines, my business failing, and almost losing my house to foreclosure. We are almost certainly going to lose it to foreclosure because they still have not paid the back benefit that they owe. So how does one who lacks speech, lacks confidence and sleeps on the steps of the Basilica with no phone and no safe place to keep her records follow through with that process? IMPOSSIBLE! The govt. made it this hard for two reasons: to keep out the riff-raff; and to necessitate lawyers to navigate the system. The problem is, the lawyers are the riff-raff, and it keeps out the most deserving of help.

Then there are so many who say, this is not the government’s job. It is the church’s job to help the poor. Did I mention that she is sleeping on the steps of the Basilica? These are the same steps that Tony McNeal, Director of The King’s Jubilee, used to sleep on at times, when he was homeless. Back then, there was a sexton (that’s the church word for janitor) who used to secretly let some homeless sleep on the pews inside. Tony would then assist in keeping the peace, and cleaning up afterward. This all had to be done on the down low. If the priest were to find out, the sexton would have lost his job and possibly been charged with criminal trespass. Then there’s the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in North Phila. who put razor wire around their vegetable and flower garden rather than trust God for how its fruits were distributed. That’s so welcoming to their church, now that it looks like a prison. So much for relying on the church.

In fact, as government assistance has gone down in recent years, so has church’ and non-profit orgs’ assistance to the needy gone down. It seems people’s politics spills over into their religion in America, not so much the other way around.

We are not some big agency. We are basically a couple of families and a rag tag band of poor people with hearts breaking for the poor and oppressed. We love to give other people’s stuff away for them, and cook wonderful, nutritious meals for people who need them, with dignity and respect. Everything you give will help us continue to do this. Please give until it stops hurting. You’ll feel better for it!

First, I want to say thank you to all of those who have supported us through the years and have participated in this ministry. May God bless you! I am sorry if any of you feel I have not said that enough. It is at the end of most, but not all blog entries on this blog.

Second, we will be serving meals in the park this Thursday and next Thursday, May 7, will be our last, due to lack of support from the church.

Third, I was just told to “stop playing the victim!” I am sorry, but I am not playing. I really do suffer from Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from being bullied by clergy, Orthodox, Protestant & Anabaptist. Most recently this has caused churches to be ashamed of me and this ministry, even though I have been told by two Orthodox Bishops and several Orthodox Priests to not shut up and to not give in to bullies, even if they are priests or bishops! Clergy are not infallible. We are in foreclosure again because of sickness and stresses of this ministry and the slowness of the Social Security Administration. I honestly identify with and empathize with the people on the street. I have been regularly attacked for this in the press, by city administrations, by pastors, by fellow church goers.

Jesus identified with the poor and outcast. So I still think I’m in good company. I will continue to serve as I can. I don’t know what that will look like. But I need to find more likeminded people who aren’t ashamed to be seen with me. In other words, I need someone to minister to me like I have ministered among the homeless for over 26 years.

Peace, Cranford

Watch This Space!

Make sure to follow us on Facebook or keep checking back on this blog. Some little and some really big changes are going to be happening over the next year at The King’s Jubilee. My Russian teacher in high school once told me that I had a mind like an iron vice, after the light went on after he explained prepositions to me for the 6th time and I finally had them mastered. Three years later I figured out he was giving me what was known as a “left-handed compliment.” In other words, I can be slow on the uptake sometimes, but once I’ve got it, I’ve got it.

As I implied in a previous post, it is time for me to stop getting in my own way and let some fresh leadership step up to take TKJ forward. I’ll be happy to keep cooking soup and serving hot sauce and riding shot gun to the city and talking to the people on the street for as long as I am able. I just am not going to be responsible for coordinating, fundraising, supervising (like I supervise!), etc.

There will be a new face or faces of The King’s Jubilee. This has been too long in coming. I am sorry. It has been due to my own lack of faith and my trust issues due to CPTSD from clergy abuse that has made this so hard for me to do. In the next couple of days, the new president of TKJ will introduce herself on this blog. We hope to accomplish more to eliminate homelessness in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties.  We will continue to advocate for the visible and invisible poor and oppressed in our society. We will continue to do direct acts of charity to see the face of ourselves, or perhaps even of Jesus Himself, in those among whom we serve.

Our mission has just begun. Please pray for us as we make our way forward. To better times and expanded services! Thank you for your support. We can only do this as you give. We receive no government or corporate support. May God bless you as you give and as you pray and remember the poor.



Tonight’s Meal

Love Pack
Love Pack

Just because I said on Tuesday that we did not have the resources for Thursday night’s meal, does not mean we are not serving Thursday night’s meal. It just means somethings got to happen to make this possible. Not only are we serving a meal; we are serving a feast! I am making a turkey soup with beef broth. Miss April is making a vegan side and buttery cabbage and pasta side. Holy Annunciation are bringing peanuts, eggs, oranges, bananas, and pastries. Pennridge South Middle School are bringing blankets and “Love Packs” with toiletry items and snacks & water for later. Bob is bringing bags of socks. Esther is bringing spaghetti. I’m bringing iced tea, hot sauce, salt and pepper!

I forgot to mention sandwiches! I don’t remember who all are bringing sandwiches, but we will have plenty, so people will have enough for a late night snack or breakfast or lunch tomorrow.

Thank you, people, for coming through again!

Thank God!



My Wildest Dreams

I started to put together a wish list before Christmas, but everything takes so much longer for me these days. Plus, it just didn’t feel right, you know, my mother’s voice in my head is a powerful thing. We were taught never to ask for what we wanted for Christmas or birthdays, but to be surprised and grateful for whatever we received. Of course, in my eyes, my mom was the best gift giver ever! She was so in tune with what I liked. Only one time did she buy me something I did not like. It turns out, she did not like it either, but she did it because of my joining an ultra-conservative Baptist church. It was a perfectly hideous, dark blue, sharkskin suit. She was so happy when I wanted to exchange it.

At any rate, this is for the ministry. At this point, we need everything if we are going to continue. Next month will mark the completion of our 26th year in ministry. There was a time about 18 years ago, we had a couple of men who had been involved in military logistics and procurement. They had peculiar gifts for locating and bargaining for whatever one needed and wanted to donate their skills to TKJ. I put the word out to some of the ministries in the city and told them to give us their wish lists including their wildest and craziest desires. Rev. Ora Love giggled and asked, “Really? Can I get an electric golf cart?” Within a week, we delivered an electric golf cart to her office in Richard Allen Homes for her to cart around her books for the GED and literacy classes. So now, I am going to share with you all of my wild and crazy wish list. I will further preface this by saying that, if you know how we have lived for the last 30 years, you will know that our house is a staging area for the ministry. Bags and boxes of clothes or cups or stacks of blankets may be found in our living room or kitchen at any given time. Our barn is filled with furniture waiting to go to people moving off the street. The office for the ministry is in what would be the dining room.

So here goes:

  • $1,450/month more in monthly pledges. We currently have $550/month. The smallest is $5. The largest is $120. Whatever is comfortable for you: Paypal, recurring debit from credit union or bank, check by mail. This would allow us to be secure in ministry, and expand services.
  • IMMEDIATE NEED: Four months mortgage payments & late fees to avoid foreclosure, so The King’s Jubilee doesn’t lose it’s base of operations. $6,000
  • Work crews to finish the barn; as well as some of the building materials. Our barn was to be our office and storage area for the pantry, as well as the prep kitchen for Thursday nights. We have a lot done. Then I got hospitalized with infections, then strokes and migraines and the infection ate into my spine, etc., leaving me disabled. This would help multiply the ministry both in Philadelphia and in the Bucks-Mont area.
  • Nissan Taxi. The TKJ mobile is 10-1/2 years old. It still works well. We find that we are cramped most of the time. The Nissan Taxi or that sized Nissan van with five passengers and luggage behind would be ideal for our hauling needs for the nights we serve and for helping set up new households, when people move off the street. We don’t know the price or even if Nissan is able to sell us one. 😉 I have stopped in to talk to them, because the proper time to shop for a new car is always when one can’t even afford to fill the gas tank.
  • IMMEDIATE NEED: Money to inspect the TKJ-mobile, which probably means new tires. It is out of inspection now. So we are counting on the police not noticing. The last two weeks meals were paid for partly by what little bit of credit we have left on a Visa card.
  • Drivers. I can’t drive at night, due to damage done from strokes. We have a few. At times, they are all busy with work, or ill, and I have to scramble. It helps if you are a somewhat aggressive driver and are comfortable with city driving, have an eclectic taste in music and a good sense of humor.
  • Friends. One would think this would not need explaining. Alas, it does. Jesus said, “There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” You don’t find one by just sitting next to one at church. Paul clarified in Ephesians 4 that we grow together when we go out into the world and do actual works of service together.

PedroThank you for whatever you can do to help fulfill my wildest dreams. They are all to serve the poor and homeless in Jesus’ Name, which means according to his will, with dignity and respect.

By the way, if we get the taxi, it will be painted orange with The King’s Jubilee stickers on it and no taxi sign.



Stained Glass

eyesonfireI just finished another art design. This one evolved as I worked on it. It is my most complex design to date. The meaning became more clear as I continued to work on it. It consists of only one daylily blossom, shaped and spun, then repeated over and over again.

They are arranged in rows and in circles, almost resembling crosses. I added stripes of translucent colors forming a plaid to accentuate a sense of regimentation, and further enforcing the image of uniformity, which is so contrary to the nature of daylilies and to disciples of Jesus. The circles frame the daylilies dancing (or doing drills in formation), giving an appearance of life. Life is not this uniform and regimented. Life is variegated and tends to be messy. I placed these in a Gothic church window frame.

The end result is a bright, beautiful window to communicate some dark truth. It is said that the most segregated hours of the week are Sunday morning. Churches tend to organize by race, ethnicity, social class, political leanings, even music preference. It only gets worse once the denominational and the so-called non-denominational teaching starts. Which “movement” are you in? Evangelical, Mainline, Reformed, Emergent, Post-Christian, Charismatic, etc., ad nauseum. So each group enforces their niche as being either the place where the Spirit is moving now, or the One True Church, and the flowers start to spin and get to looking more and more alike. Some open up and enjoy this. Some close up and just conform the best they can.

There’s activity. There’s God-talk. There are plenty of happy like-minded people to reinforce the truth one’s itching ears want to hear. There is beauty. What could be wrong? Religion has been reduced to a consumer product. Only adherents are quite a bit more zealous than drinkers of Coke or Pepsi, and have a lot more at stake. Both Jesus and Paul demonstrated and taught diversity of gifts and ministries. It is seen all through nature. Our churches have squelched this in favor of neat, corporate, top down structures to keep people in line, not cause trouble, and don’t interfere with the revenue stream.This is not how the church turned the world upside down in the first century.

Help us turn the world upside down. We are not interested in playing church, but if you want to DO church with the unique talents which you have, we can have such fun! We are talking liberation, revolution, equality, the universal brotherhood of humanity; the high places made low, and the valleys exalted! The stained glass window for that is truly wild and beautiful! I will make that one of my summer projects.

This will be available as a 30″ tall window. Pricing and additional specs upon request.



Writer’s Block / Depression

It’s been over a month since our 25th anniversary banquet. I have been trying to write a post about that and have made several attempts. I get to the fifth line and get stuck. It was a great evening. Rev. Bec Cranford-Smith did a great job delivering the keynote message. I know I forgot several things, which is probably a good thing, since I droned on long enough. We forgot to put out the leftover boxes for people to take extras home with them. There were plenty! I was disappointed by those who could not make it, but that did not detract at all from the joy of the company of those who did. For me personally, it was great to finally meet, in person, Bec Cranford- Smith. We had different stories of how we found each other on the web. It was obviously meant to be. We have been encouragement to each other in ministry. We have more than a name in common. We share the same zeal to serve the poor and disenfranchised; to go outside the camp to meet Jesus.

banquet1 banquet2 banquet3 banquet4 banquet5 banquet6 banquet8 banquet9 banquet10 banquet11 banquet12 banquet13 banquet15 banquet16 banquet17 banquet18 banquet19 banquet20 banquet21 banquet22 banquet23 banquet24 banquet25 banquet26 banquet27 banquet28 banquet29 banquet30 banquet31 banquet32 banquet33 banquet34 banquet35 banquet 7The last post on this blog was a nearly impossible quiz taken from the last 25 years of The King’s Jubilee. Some of the questions are light-hearted; others, not so much. I was the only one there who knew the answers to all of them. That fact is unsettling to me. Through the years, I have been on a quest, looking for the Church that Jesus established, that had authority and understood accountability. Through the years, churches kept ordaining me. I never asked for it. Let’s be real. The Episcopalian bishop ordained me to the priesthood at my infant baptism! I was ordained in absentia by proxy in a Pentecostal Holiness church I had never attended! So as I was making this journey, volunteers, friends and supporters would fall away and new ones would take their places in each different denomination. To further hinder things on the friendship and support side, I have spent most of my time and energy with inmates, ex-offenders, poor, and homeless people. So many times when I see a familiar face, I’m not sure if I met them in one of the many churches I have been to, or in one of the many prisons I have served in. If I’m looking puzzled at you, please help me out. I’ve had six or more strokes, so there are gaps in the memory. So, back on track. It is unsettling to me, because so many Christians are willing to drop you like a dead fish, if you are no longer in their denomination or parish or jurisdiction. It doesn’t matter that I have kept doing the same thing in the same way for over 25 years. It doesn’t seem to matter that we could do so much more for the poor and homeless if we had more people involved and supporting. What matters is, I left their church. They will sooner do nothing or give to secular agencies or people they don’t know at all. They will sooner give to agencies that spend a lot of money on literature and marketing and administration and overhead, because it looks like something substantial. Jesus didn’t look like anything substantial. He had “nowhere to lay his head.”

I thought I had found the church founded by Jesus Christ in the Orthodox Church. It was great under the former metropolitan and the former priest in our parish. It seemed like there was accountability and obedience and give and take in the assemblies. Then Fr. Noah came and the first thing he said to me is to put me down, even before he knew me. He felt it was his duty to humiliate parishioners. But Paul told Timothy to build up not to tear down. Then came the intentional, hurtful lies, where he lied about what Fr. Boniface supposedly said something hurtful about me to him. Fr. Boniface is my best friend in the world and he would never do that. I knew that, so this was very hurtful, in that I knew that this was cold and calculating from Fr. Noah. Then came the irrational outbursts in church over stupid little stuff. I went to the bishop. Fr. Boniface was supposed to oversee a reconciliation. It amounted to I was the one who had to suck it up. Meanwhile Fr. Noah continued to lie, continued to torment, never confessed or admitted that lying was even wrong. He said, “I can’t believe you would be upset over such a little lie.” I replied, “What upset me was just that, that you went to so much trouble to go out of your way to lie about such a little thing!” In Myron’s funeral message, he boasted that he lied to Myron to get him to the hospital when he was having a stroke. Now, instead of one of all the experiences that he could have shared that would have highlighted Myron’s good works, he chose to share this in front of our grandchildren! They came away confused. The priest just said it is OK to lie. We are Orthodox! We do not have a Jesuit ethic! If you are a true pastor, you have enough spiritual authority with your people you have no need to lie!

So Bethann wrote to Fr. Noah & Bishop Thomas. No response, except Fr. Noah quit speaking to or meeting eyes with Bethann. I emailed and called Bishop Thomas.  He did not call or email back. Instead I received a call from an archdeacon and we played phone tag for a week. Then he stopped calling back. The only thing he has said to me is, “This is not a good time to talk. Can you call me back tomorrow?” I let it sit for weeks, then I called him back again, since he never called me back. This is how the bishop handles us! I get ahold of him. He thinks he talked to me already. Nope.  He asked me what was it about, so I told him. He said he would have to check his notes when he got home, but he thought he had talked with me. I said the only thing he had said was, “This isn’t a good time. Can you call back tomorrow?” He never called back. I called Bishop Thomas and told him how his archdeacon apparently cared about as much about me and him as he cared about me. He said he wasn’t his archdeacon. I asked him one simple question: “Did you tell Fr. Noah he was not to speak to me?”

Bishop Thomas was speaking while I was asking the question, then hung up on me. This is what passes for oversight and pastoral care in the Orthodox Church.

Once again, I and my family are expendable. We don’t deserve respect or answers or to be treated civilly. We get abused and thrown under the bus. But I am not supposed to publish this. I am supposed to sit quietly by. Even though I have been told by a couple of archpriests to speak up and expose the bullies. Everything about the anti-bully  and anti-sociopath movement says to speak up and expose them. Prophet Nathan said publicly to King David, “Thou art the man!” When I came to Orthodoxy, I felt confident that I was not joining an independent Baptist church with a egomaniac, tin horn dictator for a pastor who is accountable to no one. Effectively, that is what I have found. Like anywhere in America these days, you get what you pay for in US Dollars.

What a sham! What a shame!

We were the largest family at St. Philip’s, involved in everything, at every service. Happy to be there! Arrived early, left late, because we wanted to be there. Then Fr. Put-Down came with his legalism and guilt trips and his lies and his duties and burdens and demands for honor and his manipulation. No grace. Not an inkling of understanding of the Gospel of Grace. Always speaking, never listening. Fits of rage. None of us is happy to be there any more. I can’t be near Noah without risking another stroke, literally.

We love the people. The people are gifted, kind and generous. This is what I said in the last post where I wrote about this, as well. They are being mislead.

People will give me grief about this posting. Again, I will ask you: have I stopped serving the homeless? Have I lessened the quality of the food we give away? Ask the men and women we serve! Our food is nutritionally superior to anything else they are served during the week. I wish that were not the case. Ask Brownie about how we stood by him and his friends when they were on the street, when they were in prison, when they moved off the street, when they suffered loss. We serve for you in Jesus’ Name. That is, if you support us.

If you don’t want us to continue. If you want me to shrink away and die, because of some lying priest and cowardly bishop, well so be it! I have Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from this mistreatment from clergy here and prior. I have kidney disease and damaged spine (with continual pain) from complications from an infection picked up from the street. This, with the stress of the attacks from Noah and Mayor Nutter (with no moral support from the church) set off complex migraines, which caused several strokes, which have left me with photophobia, occasional word salad, and a continual risk of more strokes and further damage. This all caused my business to fail. So we have no regular income. Of what we do get, almost all goes to the homeless. I’m still waiting for my hearing for SSDI. Bethann graduated top of her class from business school for medical administration and is looking for work.

Sorry this isn’t your sunshiny, hopeful, give $10 a month and you can save the world kind of post. I had to get this out of me before I could go on. People are hurting. Racism is real. There are many people who have no bootstraps by which to pull themselves up. Genocide in Gaza is real. It is brutal. It is paid for by US tax dollars. My eyes cry involuntarily 24/7. My therapist and I have talked about this. I told her I would like it to stop. We talked on a few occasions about this. She finally said to me that my crying was not irrational like most of her clients. I cry for the homeless, for genocide in Gaza, for the millions killed by US corporations polluting overseas, for the black men who police kill every 28 hours in this country, for the homeless, for the LGBT youth whose parents evict them, for the addicts who can’t get treatment, for the children forced into sex-slavery or soldiery, for the poor soldiers on all sides who are fighting for the interests of rich men, for battered women, for veterans’ wives and families trying to cope, for the lost boys of the Sudan, for Myanmar, for Iraq & Syria. Oh, to live in a world without news!

I care. I cry. I guess my tears are my unworthy form of intercession. I am not giving up! Our house is three months behind on mortgage again. I had to find a credit card we had paid off to pay to get the phones and internet back on yesterday. This Thursday will be the first time in 16 years that we will not give away dollar coins in honor of St. Nicholas on the first week of December, but we will be there with a hearty meal, God willing, to serve between 150 to 200 people, with panache!

If you want to be part of this, use the donate button or mail a check or give a call or email and see how you can get involved. If you don’t, I will move on and find a new set of friends.



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.