“I have watched in distress at the threats to the vulnerable among us, the callous disregard for the poor, the immigrant, and the refugee, the disregard for the Christ in our midst. I have watched in distress at the threats to our vulnerable planet which is itself an expression of God’s own life. I have watched in distress as lies become the norm and facts become ‘alternative.’ It is hard to know what to protest from minute to minute—how to react and respond. And while I know many of us are engaging in acts of resistance, it is all exhausting. And it is easy to become despondent.” — Read the full message from St. Peter’s rector, the Rev. Claire Nevin-Field
Refugee Task Force
Toward the end of 2015, as the civil war in Syria escalated, a number of St. Peter’s parishioners began asking whether our church might play some role in helping families who were fleeing this violent conflict. In early 2016, a group of more than 20 parishioners gathered to consider various ways that our parish could get involved in supporting refugee families. Our Refugee Task Force decided that we wanted to do more than just collect supplies or volunteer our time individually; we decided that we want to build a deeper relationship between our congregation and a particular refugee family by supporting them through the entire resettlement process and their acclimation to life in the United States. This kind of relationship is known as co-sponsorship. We are now in the process of being matched with a refugee family in Philadelphia and expect to begin a relationship with a family sometime in 2017.
The St. Peter’s Social Justice Team is currently focusing its energy on two areas: advocacy and anti-racism. The team meets once or twice a month at 12:30 p.m. Sundays. Please visit our online calendar for specific meeting dates.
St. Peter’s partners with an after-school program associated with Nebinger Elementary School. Currently, several St. Peter’s parishioners are tutoring on Wednesday afternoons from 3:15-4:30 p.m. The children with whom we are working are eager learners, are very receptive to adult help, and are a whole lot of fun! The program is based at Courtyard (a predominantly African-American subsidized housing community), located near the intersection of 4th and Washington. We often carpool and would love for more parishioners to come tutor with us! Email Rev. Sean at [email protected] if you’d like to join us.
POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower & Rebuild)
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is a member of POWER (www.powerinterfaith.org), which works to bring people together across the lines of race, faith, income level and neighborhood — lines which have historically kept Philadelphians divided. We are people of faith committed to the work of bringing about justice here and now, in our city and our region.