Category: Faith in action

October 9, 2018

Camp Noah Offers Hope, Builds Resiliency

More than 40 children who were displaced by Hurricanes Irma and Maria and relocated to Eastern Pennsylvania were treated to a week-long Camp Noah program at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Reading in August. Lutheran Congregational Services, an affiliate of Liberty Lutheran Services, helped coordinate the program, which included volunteers from many non-profit and faith-based...

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August 25, 2018

Substance Abuse Forums

“Addiction is a chronic, relapsing, and progressive brain disease.” When talking disability ministry, we here at Able, Together like to cast a wide net. We delve into all kinds of illnesses, mobility and developmental issues, and mental health concerns including substance abuse. It has been heartening for me (Kathleen) to notice several area churches addressing...

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August 25, 2018

Peaceful Living All-Ability Art Program Residence

Peaceful Living’s Art Program moved into Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Souderton this spring, bringing new life to the hallways. With artworks on display, and a classroom filled with bustling artists, things are looking joyful and exciting in this historic church. Elena Drozdova, Peaceful Living’s Art Director, recently spoke with me about this blossoming partnership between...

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August 21, 2018

A ton of help for the hungry

Two congregations in Upper Bucks established a Community Vegetable Garden that provides fresh organic produce to two local food pantries. Jerusalem Lutheran in Almont and St. Michael’s Lutheran in Sellersville teamed up 3 years ago to tend the “Garden of Eat’n.” Donations are now approaching the 1 ton of produce milestone! The Garden is a...

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July 19, 2018

St. Paul, Telford: Younger Youth Like to Serve, Too

While older youth had the opportunity to serve at the triennial ELCA Youth Gathering, younger youth like to serve also! Taking an idea from another local Lutheran Church, St. Paul’s in Telford held a 3-day mini youth work camp. Youth in grades 3 through 10 were invited to attend. Held from 9 am – 4pm,...

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July 4, 2018

African Descent Ministries: Color-brave, not Color-blind

As president of the ELCA’s African Descent Lutheran Association (ADLA), Lamont Anthony Wells is on a mission to help build not “a color-blind” church but “a color-brave one,” he said. “It’s important for us to be brave enough to have discussions and solve some of the biases that are real in our church.” Read the...

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June 26, 2018

Reclaiming Dignity Through Job Training

Welcome to Work When Danny Peters was released from the State Correctional Institution at Graterford in the spring of 2016, he was one of the fortunate ones—he had a strong support system and determination. But after 35 years in prison, he knew he would need job training and someone to give him a second chance to prove he...

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February 25, 2018

Coffeehouse for All at Temple

The first and second Monday evenings of every month have been lit up at Temple Lutheran in Havertown. That’s because they host the Our Community Cup Coffeehouse, and inclusive open mic and karaoke night for anyone affected by special needs, including caregivers! Temple is very glad to be the venue for New Avenue Foundation, who...

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February 5, 2018

Philly Beats New England in Hunger Challenge

E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES! Yo! Philly fans. Thanks to you not only are the Birds Super Bowl Champions, but #ELCATeamPhilly took home the 2018 ELCA World Hunger Synod Challenge. In total, nearly $36,000 was raised for ELCA World Hunger. Despite a late push by Team New England, Team Philadelphia came out ahead with a total of $18,700...

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December 6, 2017

Meaningful Conversations About Race

For Such a Time as This logo ART, SEPA synod’s Anti-Racism Team, has been busy in recent weeks. ​On November 11, ART members Janet Bischoff and Chase Ferguson presented an overview of what happens during anti-racism training to 12 members of Advent, Harleysville. And on November 12, ART members the Rev. Gwendolyn King and Deacon Kathie Afflerbach were the presenters and facilitators...

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November 8, 2017

Council Supports Synods Affected by Disasters

The Synod Council authorized distribution of $11,000 in aid to synods that felt the impact of recent hurricanes and wildfires. The confluence of natural disasters had significant impacts in eight of the ELCA’s 65 synods at the same time. “Saint Paul encourages the church in his letter to the Romans to ”rejoice with those who...

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October 11, 2017

New Creation Reaches Out to Puerto Rico

One congregation that is active in response and support of Puerto Rico is Iglesia Lutheran Nueva Creación (New Creation Lutheran Church) in North Philadelphia. While keeping in touch with her own family in Puerto Rico, Pastor Lyzette Rios of New Creation has been finding ways to care for other members of her congregation and community...

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August 1, 2017

Row House Offers Women Serenity

Key: Fearless. Image by Daryn Bartlett on By the time it was to close for the spring, The Well — a microshelter for women experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia — was down to just a handful of residents. Since opening in November, about 20 women had been sheltered evenings at The Well, and “most had found permanent housing,” said the Rev. Violet Little,...

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July 10, 2017

State Budget Has Wins for Children

The 2017-2018 spending plan adopted by Pennsylvania lawmakers by the June 30 deadline includes some good news for Pennsylvania children, including increases in basic education, special education and early childhood funding, plus $2 million to incentivize improvements in school breakfast delivery, for which Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania (LAMPa) advocated. Read more at

June 12, 2017

The Well Helps Women Find Housing

The Well Philadelphia’s large-scale homeless shelters are not always a good fit for single women. This past winter, The Welcome Church and a number of partners opened “The Well,” a new-concept micro-shelter, to provide a warm and safe place for a dozen women. The concept worked better than expected, with The Well able to serve a total...

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June 7, 2017

Give the Gift of Family

Lutheran Immigration Refugee Services There are Central American children and youth in the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, specifically in Roslyn, PA that are in great need of either short or long term family foster care. You can help through “Give the Gift of Family,” a joint initiative of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services and the ELCA AMMPARO program. LIRS is one of just...

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May 30, 2017

SEPA Pastor Preaches at LWF Assembly

Posselt LWF Assembly “Guided by the Spirit, we are marching exactly where we are needed, straight into a world that is suffering and in pain,” the Rev. Lydia Posselt, pastor of Family of God Lutheran Church, Buckingham, said in the sermon at the closing worship of the Twelfth Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation in Windhoek, Namibia May...

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May 5, 2017

Openness, Humility Needed to Address Racial Justice

For Such a Time As This In her address to the 2017 Assembly, Bishop Claire Burkat broke open possibilities to embody racial reconciliation in the work of congregations and the synod at large. Drawing from themes introduced in her sermon, the bishop encouraged those gathered to be “more open to engage, to explore, to repent, to be humbled, to align ourselves...

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May 5, 2017

Bishop: We are Called to Racial Reconciliation

For Such a Time As This In her sermon opening the 2017 Assembly, Bishop Claire Burkat expressed her confidence that members and congregations of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod are ready for conversation around racism and to do the work of racial reconciliation. Recalling the recent powerful reconciliation work with the Mennonites, inspired by the anticipated 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, the...

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April 4, 2017

Inspiration for a Brave New Church

Brave New Church logo Our synod has launched a new website,, with inspiration and resources to help your congregation be church in our brave new world. The site includes a blog written by innovative thinkers from our synod and beyond, and a podcast with episodes exploring scripture, theology, and the practices of being church today. There is also...

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