Presbytery of Philadelphia Churches: Extend Hospitality and Participate in Welcoming the Pope

The Welcome Church prayed over the Parkway

The Welcome Church prayed over the Parkway

Presbyterians join  in choir that sang for the Pope

Presbyterians join in choir that sang for the Pope

Read below for the many ways our churches served:


Glading_Glading Memorial Houses Catholic Pilgrims. 

We’re opening our doors to house Catholic pilgrims coming from Oregon. They will sleep on the floor of Reid Hall Saturday and Sunday evenings. This is chance to offer hospitality to our Catholic sisters and brothers because we are one church united in Christ.  YOU can help!We are gathering snacks for our guests: apples, grapes, bananas, juices (grape, orange, mango), chips, cookies, crackers, breakfast bars. Our guests will mostly be out in the city during the day, so these snacks are for Saturday night and Sunday/Monday breakfast. Please drop off your snacks at the church, and remember fresh fruit should be donated closer to the date.


Elder Carrie Lessene (Berean) and Dr. Donald Dumpson (Arch Street) Participate in a special concert for the Pope

J DumpsWe are thrilled to announce that South Philly native Dr. J. Donald Dumpson (Musical Director of Arch Street) has compiled an incredible choir for the Papal visit to Philadelphia this weekend! He tells us all about it below including plans for Aretha Franklin’s performance. Read more.

Carrie Lessene (Choir Director of Berean) has been asked to be one of 50 singers who will accocarrie lessenempany ANDRE BOCELLI and ARETHA FRANKLIN in the special concert presented for the visit of POPE FRANCIS to our city.  Together, they will sing for Pope Francis along with an estimated 10’s of thousands of people standing throughout the Parkway and millions for the television broadcast.

Carrie Lessene is part of the Heritage Choir, a diverse choir formed to represent all Christians of diverse nationalities. She works under the teaching of Donald Dumpson, their director.

The concert will be Saturday, the 26th at the beautifully constructed stage at the Art Museum on the Parkway. The rehearsals have been glorious. The performance will be breathtaking.
The Presbytery of Philadelphia will be represented in this momentous milestone for the city. May God Bless this gathering and use it to His glory!


 Bethel Presbyterian Church Provides Extra Meals

bethelTheir project is to prepare for this weekend by being ready to serve additional home cooked meals on Saturday (4:00 pm until 6:00 pm) for the homeless and community members because there will be over 400 meal programs closed. Bethel is prepared for a larger crowd.  We will be ready with hospitality, love and a smile as we greet those who come to visit us.


Arch Street Presbyterian Church is parchstreetpicroviding a full compliment of hosting and housing for pilgrims for 150+ folks.


 1stPresKen CFirst Presbyterian Church, Kensington:

As the city closes roads and shuts down, we are opening our doors to ensure families in the neighborhood have activities to attend.

  • Friday, September 25th – Family Movie Night – “Sister Act” – 7:00 p.m. Free popcorn and snacks will be provided.
  • Saturday, September 26th – “Block” Party with Fishtown Playschool – 4:00-6:00 p.m. Earlier in 2015 the Fishtown Playschool won these amazing imagination blocks and in partnership with the church the Playschool is making the blocks available to use for community families on Saturday, 9/26 from 4-6pm. Click here for more info.
  • Sunday, September 27th – Papal Mass on the big screen. With Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia this is a historic occasion for all of Philadelphia and we want to share it with our entire Fishtown community. Starting at 3:30 p.m. we’ll be projecting the Papal Mass festivities on our large screen and we’re inviting the entire neighborhood to come out and watch it together.

For all the events people can check out the church’s website or their Facebook page.


adan1Rev. Adan Mairena Invited to Attend Pope’s Speech on Immigration

Our own Rev. Adan Mairena, pastor of Yeadon Presbyterian and West Kensington Ministries, along with Angela Navarro and her family have been invited to attend Pope Francis’ Speech on Immigration at Independence Hall this Saturday, 9/26. Angela Navarro and her family were held in sanctuary for 60 days in 2014 through West Kensington Ministries. Read that story here: Adan_Mairena_NewSanctuary_Article


bsmlogoBSM prepares extra meals, offers tours/directions to visitors, and will provide housing for temporarily displaced Philadelphians. 

BSM is open for business as usual (meal and accompanying social services) on Saturday. The team is expecting quite a few pilgrims so the chefs are preparing one meal more than our record service.

They are moving their Sunday afternoon worship service to 1:00 p.m. to accommodate Pope Francis’ mass at 4:00 p.m., which is their usual time. They’ll have people stationed at the doors ready to give tours or direct people up to worship, which will be more like an opportunity to engage in spiritual practices and take communion.

They’re also opening up an overnight Cafe for Thursday through Sunday nights to accommodate those people displaced by the security measures in Suburban Station and along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. These guests will make their temporary home in the sanctuary until they can return to their usual places on Monday.


welcome churchThe Welcome Church and Arch Street United Methodist Church – A Blessing of the Parkway.

Together with other partners, they are co-planning a service for Sunday, September 20, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. on the Ben Franklin Parkway.

This is the week before the World Meeting of Families and the papal visit. Highlighted in this worship will be prayers for those visiting the upcoming week, a blessing of the Parkway as sacred ground and all who live/sleep on the Parkway, and an affirmation and blessing of all families. Please contact Rev. Schaunel Steinnagel at [email protected] for more info.