Visit to Philadelphia

On November 18 we spent the afternoon and evening in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. The purpose of the visit was to give  short report on missions in the evening at the Circle of Hope Church that meets at Broad and Dauphin. It is one of the four Circle of Hope communities of faith that meet in the greater Philadelphia area.

But with free time in the afternoon we went to South Street, located south of the historical area and Independence Hall.

Just north of South Street we found this pavilion farmer’s market.

The fresh produce looked great. We bought a cluster of large red radishes to take home. I got a cup of homemade butternut squash soup to eat on the spot. It was perfection!

Next we saw an Irish pub, Paddy Whacks – what a name! It reminded us of pubs we have been to in London, so we stopped and shared a fish and chips platter. The chips were sweet potatoes – a surprise that was super-delicious.

We walked above a busy interstate highway on the South Street Bridge.


This took us to Penn’s Landing, the waterfront area of the City Center along the Delaware River. I was impressed with seeing a large sailing ship, with sails furled.


Learned later it is the world’s largest four-masted sailing ship still afloat – the Moshulu, originally owned by a company in Germany. The name means fearless in the Seneca language. As a cargo vessel, Moshulu traveled around Cape Horn 54 times, plus many other voyages. It is now moored and is a floating restaurant.

After this we drove to a French eatery, Cafe L’Aube (named after L’Aube Torrefaction coffees) on 17th and Wallace Streets, to meet a friend in his twenties whom we knew from our years at Manor Church in  Lancaster County, PA.


Outdoor murals are common in the city. Across the street from the cafe was an impressive one.


At last we came to the Circle of Hope that meets on Broad Street, just north of Temple University, near the corner of Broad and Dauphin Streets. Here you see the band practicing.


The group has two meetings, one at 5:00 and one at 7:00. In both meetings I gave a short report on Brethren in Christ World Missions and fielded questions. Jonny Rashid is pastor here, but he had exchanged places with Joshua Grace for the evening, so Joshua gave the message, a thoughtful talk about  Jesus calming the storm, and Jesus’ outreach to people outside the Jewish community, and epistemology (how we know what we know), and the importance of balance between the objective and the subjective in our beliefs, and the challenge to be learners from people from other cultures in our understanding of the Scriptures. As you can see, a far-ranging and mind-expanding message!

At our literature table JoLene and I had good conversations about mission with several people, and with Joshua’s message in mind we had much to talk about on our drive home and much to ponder for several days.

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