Letters to the Editor: March 5, 2014

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.

Dan Dougherty


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!

Jean McLaugh­lin


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