Peace be with you
Our city and our Lawncrest neighborhood are experiencing pain, fear, and hurt after a recent series of homicides in our community. In Lawncrest, on Jan. 19, two people were found shot to death inside a house on the 300 block of Stevens St. and on Feb. 13, three people were likewise found dead inside a house on the 6300 block of Martins Mill Road. There have been at least 40 homicides in Philadelphia already this year and at least six homicides just in Lawncrest.
As area clergy, we are praying that God’s comfort will ease the pain, fear, and hurt many in this community are feeling. God’s peace passes all understanding. While the world may not always be peaceful around us, we pray that God can give us true peace within.
Try these three simple steps:
1. Talk to God. Pray.
2. Talk to the police. At every Lawncrest Community Association meeting, the police remind us: do not hesitate to call 911; you can also offer anonymous tips of suspicious activity online at www.phillypolice.com/forms/submit-a-tip.
3. Talk to your neighbors.
Reach out and talk to each other. Don’t draw back into fearful isolation. Now is the time to support each other.
The Lawncrest Ministerium held a 15 minute prayer service just before the Lawncrest Community Association meeting began on Feb. 18 in response to the violent crimes in our neighborhood and will be planning future public prayer vigils. The last two years in the spring the Lawncrest Ministerium held walking prayer vigils for the community. Our city and our neighborhood need peace now more than ever. Greet your neighbors on your block when you see them: “Peace be with you.” Mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance.
Rev. Randy Brubaker, Rev. David Brown, Rev. Leonard M. Dow, Monica Kolb, Rev. Ben Krey, Rev. Salim Khan, Rev. Sung-Dae Lee, Rev. bk Mullen-Holtz, Rev. Jack Price, Rev. Julia Singleton, Rev. Dirk Spalding, Rev. John Sweet, Rev. Thomas A. Troutt, Fr. Joseph Watson
More than public speaking
I have been a member of Professionally Speaking Toastmasters for almost seven years. In those years, I have learned the skill of public communication and leadership in a safe club environment, where everyone supports each other. I also grew as a person, something that surprised me very much.
Toastmasters International President, George Yen, wrote: “The First Key to unlocking the inner universe is gaining self-confidence through public speaking (one of the greatest fears). When we speak in front of a group we are afraid that our weaknesses will be exposed. In confronting who we really are, we are compelled to let go of our masks. The Second Key to this inner universe is awareness through self-reflection. Making speeches requires a high degree of self-awareness.”
George Yen’s insight hits close to home. I am a much more confident individual, and have learned not to fear my vulnerabilities. Toastmasters will change your life in ways you cannot imagine. I highly recommend Toastmasters for every reader. For information, visit www.toastmasters.org or call 215-379-3109.
Philly fines senior citizens
How can the city of Philadelphia issue a $50 fine to an elderly couple, who live alone, for not shoveling the snow from their pavement? This happened to my parents, who are 91 and 94 years old.
It was sad to see them so upset, especially in light of the fact that my father does shovel every time it snows. But this time he just couldn’t keep up with it. His back was hurting from all the shoveling he already did this season.
They live on Holme Avenue He has to shovel his porch steps, then a walkway, and another set of steps just to get down to the sidewalk.
He has to worry about this in addition to taking care of my mother who is legally blind.
I advised them not to pay the fine, and I would look into it for them. But they didn’t want any “fuss,” and sent the money in right away. That’s just the kind of people they are.
Shame on you, Philadelphia!