House Church Unplugged

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Taking back the streets of Philly

Ordinary caring people and older ones (elders) doing what is usually done by professionals. Hmmm… Do you see any parallels with church life? Are you a volunteer or do you expect professionals to take care of everything? Looks as if most folks in Philadelphia don’t want to get very involved despite it being the City of Brotherly Love.

Still, it’s is a great idea – perhaps the start of something permanent.

“10,000 Men, A Call To Action” kicked off on some of Philadelphia’s meanest streets Tuesday night, near 19th and Federal in the 17th District on the city’s South Side.

It wasn’t thousands that showed up, but dozens … all African-American males, most in their 40s and 50s, some pushing 70, fathers and grandfathers hoping to make a difference.

“We’re doing this for the children,” one told me. Showing they care, patrolling block after block in reflective “Town Watch” vests, talking to residents and drivers, handing out fliers, chanting, “It’s a new day, a peaceful way” and “10,000 strong can’t be wrong.”

We walked with them from a local community center to a gritty area a mile away, where they canvassed six square blocks, two-way radios and fliers in hand, talking to anyone who would stop and listen.

I saw curious stares from behind curtains, skeptical looks from some young people on corners, and honks and hugs of gratitude from others.

The all-volunteer effort is designed to reassure folks in the crime-plagued neighborhoods that people still care about their problems, spreading the word help is available for jobs, financial services, youth programs and more. The fliers have phone numbers on the back and words of explanation and encouragement on the front.,2933,313564,00.html


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