February Forums
Aspiring to Love Part III
When William Penn founded a city on the banks of the Delaware River in the 17th century, he took a unique approach to naming it. Instead of honoring a benefactor or the place he had come from, Penn named the city for a virtue. Drawing from the Greek words for “love” and “brother,” Penn called the city Philadelphia. Having escaped from religious persecution, this was not a superficial decision. Indeed, Penn hoped the colony he established would be a place of toleration, mutuality, and fraternal love. From its very inception, in other words, Philadelphia was more than a place; it was an aspiration. For the last several years, our winter forum series has showcased some of the organizations in this area that are helping the communities around Philadelphia live up to its name. In January, we began this series specifically highlighting organizations that The Redeemer supports through the Outreach Grants Committee. We’ve already heard presenters from Episcopal Community Services, Eldernet, and other agencies describe how their organizations are working to make a difference for the most vulnerable among us. On Sunday, February 11, we will continue to learn how the organizations this parish supports are aspiring to love.
February 11
The Advocate Cafe
Since 1983, the Advocate Cafe has been a mainstay of the North Philadelphia community. Located at the historic George W. South Memorial Church of the Advocate, the Advocate Cafe serves a nutritious meal to more than 100 people every weekday. It also provides dinner for children who participate in the Advocate’s after school enrichment programs. In addition to enjoying meals at the Cafe, patrons support the work of the Advocate Care by volunteering to serve meals, clean the dining room, and manage the community clothes closet. For this and many other reasons, the Advocate is an anchor institution in its neighborhood. Join the Reverend Dr. Renee McKenzie-Hayward, vicar of the Church of the Advocate, as she concludes our series by sharing stories from this remarkable and important ministry. 
“God’s Truth Abideth Still”: The Reformation 500 Years Later
During the fall, we commemorated the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation with a series of forums exploring its continuing relevance. Unfortunately, our final forum was postponed due to the threat of a gas leak in the Parish House. Happily, this forum has been rescheduled for the first Sunday in Lent, partially because it was a convenient day, but also because the theme of “reformation” is enormously significant in the season of Lent. Just as the church is constantly called to reform itself, the season of Lent invites us to do the work of self-examination and discern the ways that we can more fully reflect God’s grace.
February 18
The “Other” Schism
The Protestant Reformation precipitated a profound transformation within Christianity, but it was not the first time the Church was divided as the result of theological controversies. Almost five centuries before Luther’s protest, the churches of Rome and Constantinople broke communion over questions of theology and ecclesiastical authority. In our bias towards simplicity, we often pinpoint the split between the Eastern and Western churches to this particular moment in history. In fact, however, the schism evolved over centuries, beginning a conversation that was relevant during the Reformation era and, in many ways, continues to this day. Join Joseph Loya, professor of theology at Villanova University and priest in the Eastern Catholic tradition, as he examines the ongoing dialogue between East and West and warns that we oversimplify history at our peril.
Last Published: February 5, 2018 12:52 PM