• Circle of Hope celebrates Christmas Eve.

    Our Christmas Eve Vigil

    One of the beautiful things about Circle of Hope is our shared journey through the seasons of the year. This rhythm includes Advent, the weeks in which we prepare for the coming of Jesus on Christmas Day. Advent culminates on Christmas Eve, when we gather together late at night to

  • Someone Asked: “Can Christmas Save 2016?”

    The latest from our YouTube channel The Circle of Hope pastors spend a lot of time in conversation. We’ve collected some topics that people actually ask us. We choose one in which we’ll spend about five minutes monthly and put it up on our YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe and

  • Advent Candles and KFC

    Anita and I decided that KFC seemed like a good idea. We had both been waiting for Septa for what seemed like forever. She needed the 23 to come so she could get down Germantown Avenue to her kids. I was waiting for the H. Or the XH. Or the

  • Picture of family at Art Shop at Circle of Hope church in Philadelphia

    Art Shop 2016: alternative shopping for the holidays

    Circle of Hope’s 12th annual Art Shop, put together by our friends Lauren Stichter and Jenna Avellino, brought out a variety of craftspeople, artists, and photographers for an evening and morning to sell their work. It was a great bustle of activity and warmth as people perused through the over

  • Circle of Hope, advent, compassion, Jesus, church

    Solidarity and Sanctuary

    This past Sunday marked the beginning of Advent, a season in the Christian liturgical calendar when we are waiting for Jesus to be born. The season culminates on Christmas Day, when many gather with family, exchange gifts, spend time with loved ones to celebrate Jesus’ birth. The idea of deliberately

  • Circle of Hope celebrates Jesus the Rose at Christmas.

    How a Wordy and Kind of Obscure Christmas Song Helped Put this November into Perspective

    November has felt a bit bleaker than usual this year. My friends at Standing Rock have been water-cannoned in the middle of a freezing night. White supremacists are moving into the country’s capital city. I’m struggling with living in Philadelphia, so far from my family. It’s been hard to connect

  • Circle of Hope

    On Being Grateful

    I’ve been thinking about gratitude as we approach the national holiday of Thanksgiving. The science of gratitude is a growing concern in my field of psychology these days and has been studied more intensely for the last two decades. Lots of studies now show that gratitude is good for the

  • circle of hope, anti-war, peace

    We are endeavoring to make PEACE

    Yesterday morning Sarah White called an open meeting for peacemakers to gather and dialogue (and eat delicious food!). I am not officially on our Circle of Peacemakers compassion team but I follow their movements, subscribe to the listserv (contact communications@circleofhope.net), and show up for as many actions and open dialogues

  • A gift of play

    On Wednesday last week I read on philly.com about a car that was spray-painted in South Philly with racist language in the wake of the election results. On Wednesday last week my first grader went to affluent (predominately white) Chestnut Hill on a school field trip to learn about neighborhoods,

  • circle of hope, churches in philadelphia

    Expanding love and community to our children.

    I love the culture of inclusion at Circle of Hope. I love how we expand our love and community and incarnational faith to our children in a variety of ways, from a tribal parenting mentality to modeling our children’s plan after our cell model! (If you’re not familiar with the