Social Witness @ PCCH

From the Social Witness  Committee
Thank you to church members for your continuing financial support — it has enabled us to increase and accelerate our annual gifts to local organizations who are providing direct relief to our neighbors, and whose fundraising capacity has been hampered during the pandemic. This includes groups such as West Kensington Ministry, Broad Street Ministry, Face to Face,  PIHN, Achievability, Our Brother’s Place and Whosoever Gospel Mission. In addition, we have sent funds already raised from the capital campaign tithe to West Kensington Ministry and Whosoever Gospel Mission. We previously had designated these funds for capital improvements, but given the critical nature of need, have requested that these two organizations utilize the funds where best needed.

What can you do? The Social Witness Committee is NOT organizing any on-site activities at this time, acknowledging the health parameters established by government officials. As time goes by, we will seek to host appropriate on-site efforts to receive food or other donated goods, or organize volunteer efforts with our partners.

However, our partners need financial resources. Each week, we will highlight one of our partners and their work, with contact information on financial support. (To see this week’s highlighted partner please scroll down.) For all of these, you may donate directly to the organization, or to the church. If you are asking the church to forward the funds, you may give in two ways: send a check to the church office with the appropriate agency in the memo line or give via our website through the “Give Now” button at the top of our homepage or install and give through our new online app – “GivePlusChurch“. (For the last two options you will need to add in the Notes section where you would like funds to be allocated

In the coming weeks, you will learn about: PIHN Broad Street Ministry Germantown Avenue  Crisis Ministry Whosoever Gospel Mission Bethesda/Our Brother’s Place Dawn’s Place DePaul Philadelphia’s Medical Respite West Kensington Ministry.

Thank you in advance for your prayerful generosity, as we seek to support those who are on the front lines of relief and sharing God’s compassion and love.

This week we highlight:

West Kensington Ministry at Norris Square (WKM)
Executive Director: The Rev. Adan A. Mairena
In a community littered with the ravages of addiction, the Rev. Adan Mairena has created a safe haven for the community and youth of Kensington. Located in the Norris Square Presbyterian Church, West Kensington Ministry (WKM), as a ministry of the Presbytery of Philadelphia and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has deep roots in a faith tradition. They worship in the same church built by a German Immigrant in 1860, and work creatively and faithfully to be relevant to its surrounding community. WKM provides space for concerts and youth programming to keep the youth safe. In 2019 WKM partnered with organizations to address the opioid crisis by facilitating Townwatch training to keep the park safe. They engage in issues from poverty to immigration reform and the reform of the criminal justice system.
Before COVID-19 exploded into our lives, every second Sunday during worship service, the congregation of WKM would gather and prepare food packages, pray, then go into the community to distribute the food.
Brian Russo has involved the youth of PCCH with WKM. “We have partnered on several local service projects. Preparing and delivering food to the homeless on street corners in inner city Philadelphia. We also participate in their worship service every couple of months and share in fellowship time at their church”.
Now the church has become a food distribution center. Jeff Podraza stated that ”West Kensington Ministry functions more as a community organization than a church, offering mentoring programs, opportunities for area youth to congregate. In response to Covid-19, they have ramped up as a food distribution hub during the past month or so, mostly via Project Share.  They are currently distributing food to impoverished local residents”
Before COVID-19, West Kensington Ministry supported the arts by providing space for theater classes, plays and performances. There is a recording studio, The Gage Recording Studio, that operated to record community talent. Adan had requested funding from PCCH for a green screen to be used by the youth for filmmaking projects.  In the midst of COVID-19, that project has been shelved, but Adan opened the church sanctuary for solitary musicians, has filmed the solo performances and posts them on Facebook to help soothe his community.

WKM continues to need our help during this time of crisis.  For direct donations:

Click here to view a recently published article about the Rev. Adan A. Mairena and the opening of his sanctuary for solo concerts.