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Monday, October 13, 2008

Partners To Welcome Delegation

A “bang-up party” on October 18 will allow St. John Baptist’s Pennsylvania Churches Supporting Churches partners to meet and mingle with 15 youth and adults visiting from New Orleans. The party will be a combination potluck dinner and fundraiser for the St. John Baptist after-school music program for at-risk youth, with entertainment provided by several area musical groups as well as by youth musicians from St. John Baptist led by their music director, Hezekiah Brinson.

College Visits and Service Projects

The delegation arrives in Philadelphia late on Wednesday, October 15. On Thursday, the youth will visit Eastern University and Temple University. The adults will meet with the CBC Senior Support and Service Corps in the morning and explore community gardens in West Philadelphia in the afternoon with Rev. David Braneky, pastor of CSC partner, Lansdowne Baptist. Members of CBC’s Churches Supporting Churches Task Force will join them that evening for a potluck dinner at the Prima’s.

On Friday morning the youth will be taken to Lincoln University by members of CSC partner, Saints Memorial Baptist Church, while the adults visit Urban Promise in Camden where they will discuss this organization’s after-school music program and youth leadership program. Youth and adults will come together for lunch at the Reading Terminal Market to get a flavor of Pennsylvania cuisine followed by a classic tour of the Liberty Bell. A National Park Ranger will lead them on the "Quest for Freedom: Slavery and the Underground Railroad in Philadelphia" tour to be followed by a visit to Mother Bethel and the Richard Allen Museum. The adults will eat out for dinner while the youth will go to a Phantoms hockey game with Chuck Hill and youth from CSC partner, St. Andrews United Church of Christ. That evening Marcus and Nancy Pomeroy have invited the pastors of the CSC partner churches to join Laurie Sweigard and themselves in an evening with Don and Joyce Boutté.

Policy Link Workshop

Saturday morning provides an opportunity for adults from all the CSC partner churches to join adults from St. John Baptist in an advocacy training workshop led by Annie Clark, the associate director of Policy Link. Rev. Boutté is a staff member of Policy Link and the workshop has been scheduled to meet one of the priorities he lifted up for our work with Churches Supporting Churches. Policy Link has been particularly helpful in bringing to the attention of state and national legislators the need for equitable development in reconstruction from Katrina’s devastation, particularly as this relates to affordable housing.. Call Kathy Cleveland at the CBC church office (610-688-0664) to indicate you are planning to attend. The workshop runs from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

The Welcome Party

The Welcome Party on Saturday evening is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. No reservations are necessary. Just bring something to share at the potluck. Beverages will be provided.

In addition to the potluck, some “awesome cooks” (Rev. Boutté’s description) from the St. John delegation will be whipping up New Orleans dishes for a New Orleans Tasting Table, with small portions offered for $1.00.

Entertainment will be provided by the Soulé Haitian-American Gospel Ensemble, Zion Baptist Church Mass Choir, Arcadia University Exalted Movement and the Annointed 4, the CBC Jazz Band, and youth musicians from St. John Baptist.

Fundraising activities, in addition to the New Orleans Tasting Table, include a Silent Auction and a Line-Dancing Competition.

Child care will be available for the entire evening.

The delegation’s visit promises to be a unique opportunity to offer hospitality and friendship to a people whose faith has been tested beyond what most of us have imagined possible. We need to give them a respite from their daily struggle with healing and survival and we need to open ourselves to learning how to develop what our recent sermon series has described as a “faith for hard times.”

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