Category Archives: Faith Communities

Am I Called?

When the chair of the Commission on Ministry for the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania saw my illustrated video about the experience of hip replacement surgery, she dashed off an email: “Can you do this for us?!” Turns out she wanted to describe the Diocese’s process for ordaining priests and deacons in a playful, approachable way. My answer was, of course, “Gosh ‘n gollies, you betcha!”

This short illustrated video uses the image of a sheep to introduce would-be postulants to the process of discernment used when people are wondering if they are called to ordained ministry.

Praying at Starbucks

Paul Adler is Rector at the (Episcopal Church) of St. Alban, in the Northwest part of Philadelphia. Once a week he shows up at the local Starbucks with his “Free Prayer” sign and waits for people to come. Given emerging trends across the country, this may represent a new direction for church growth and sustainability. Hear Paul and The Rev. Canon Betsy Ivey explore this idea.

Pope Francis is coming!

If you live in Philadelphia these days, the timing of things is described as either “before the Pope” or “after the Pope.” Because during Pope Francis’ two-day visit to the City for the World Meeting of Families, no one is going anywhere!

The local media has carried hourly stories about the logistics involved in playing host to the 1.5 million expected visitors to the citiy. Homeland Security and the Secret Service are frequently mentioned in updates.

I was curious to know what people who live in Philadelphia think of the upcoming visit. Here is a sampling of what I heard.

40 Years Ordained: 2000 Years in Ministry

In 1974 Philadelphia was the site of a historic event in the history of the Episcopal Church: the “irregular” ordination of women as priests. Against the backdrop of the women’s moment, this upstart action caught the attention of the worldwide church. I used the 40th anniversary celebration of the ordinations as the opportunity to interview women and men about the impact of that landmark event.
Photography: Michaela Prell


“Ashes to Go”

A crew from St. Martin’s Church spent Ash Wednesday morning at the Chestnut Hill West train station as part of a “Ashes to Go” — a way to give busy commuters a way to observe this holy day for Christians.

While Rector Jarrett Kerbel and parishioner Taylor Anderson met passengers on the train platform, priest Callie Swanlund walked up to Germantown Avenue to greet people waiting for the #23 bus.

Listen to their conversations.