Sacred Body-Sacred Life Workshop – Nov. 18 @ 10 a.m.

Ute Arnold will present a “Sacred Body-Sacred Life Workshop at Saint Paul’s Parish Hall, 22 E. Chestnut Hill Ave, Phila. on Saturday, November 18, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Participants learn how to harness the power of their sacred body and discover the joy of living a truly sacred life in this exciting event!
In this workshop you will . . .
* Explore the truth of your body through art, poetry, sound
 * Find spontaneity and strength to heal from difficult events
  * Explore how art as therapy engages the younger self
   * Create individual body maps via creative ‘listening’
    * Discover the magic power of joyful changing
     * Find out how emotional struggles hold ‘secrets’
      * Learn how to release your story of wellness
       * Use core-micro-movements to change habitual thinking/feeling
        * Discover your sensory and emotional intelligence
Cost for the workshop is $50, materials and beverages included. Participants bring lunch.
The next day, Sunday, November 19, a free presentation of Sacred Body-Sacred Life will be given at 2 p.m., also in the Parish Hall. Ute Arnold, MFA says, “Deeply imbedded in each of us-below all the stories of struggle, fear, stress and disease-is a powerful message. This message is safely recorded in the cellular memory of our bones, muscles and organs. It speaks the language of wellness and divinity which nothing can hinder or destroy. As we learn to access this powerful message, we begin to harness the power of our sacred body and to discover the joy of living a truly sacred life.” Born in the middle of World War II in Nazi Germany, Ute Arnold turned to the healing forces of nature and the arts to survive the chaos of those distressing times. Through creative experiments with nature and the arts she came to value a divine connection with the natural world of sensory intelligence. She went on to study art, color and design in London and San Francisco, which eventually led to her many years of training and practice in Gestalt and Body-Psychotherapy in New York, Toronto, and Philadelphia. Both events are programs of the Center for Contemporary Mysticism.

Harry Potter Day Success!

This past Saturday, October 21, 240 lucky people attended a feast in the Great Hall at Saint Paul’s for Harry Potter Day in Chestnut Hill!  The event was crafted by Michael Latini, a parishioner and founder of Monkey Boys’ Studio, after he saw the possibility of recreating a Hogwarts-inspired feast.  Joe Irwin, of Lightjourney Communications and Coordinator of the Center for Contemporary Mysticism, designed an attractive website and graphics for Facebook and other social media advertising.  Karen Richter and Evan and Kat Hansen developed the menu, which included hot shepherd’s pie, pumpkin pasties, fresh salad and, of course, butter beer (non-alcoholic) for diners attired as characters from J. K. Rowling’s famous series. The aesthetics team of Tabitha Oman and Christine Fitzpatrick put the finishing touches on the whole event including the burlap-wrapped cutlery, the chocolate snitches, loads of candles, and decorated restrooms.  An improvisational troupe, entertained guests with a skit, then mingled with the delighted audience.  Saint Paul’s youth and adults, organized by Shana Stites and Cheyenne DeMulder, served as volunteer servers, cooks, kitchen elves and hosts to make two seatings, at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. possible.  As you can see from the pictures, plates were cleaned and smiles were everywhere.  Most of the net proceeds will go to Saint Paul’s Outreach budget to support the homeless and needy in the greater Philadelphia area.

A Confession

I was recently shamed into a sheepish confession: I’ve never read the Harry Potter books. Not a single word.

Nor have I seen the movies. It’s not that I was opposed, I just never got around to it—too many dense theological tomes to read at the time. But, with the annual international Harry Potter Festival in Chestnut Hill, now I feel like I really can’t serve in this parish or community without finally diving in (perhaps trading off between the printed text in my downtime at home and the lauded audiobooks on my commute to Princeton). I’ll put it on the calendar as “pastoral research.”

(Continue Reading…) It is a sign of this parish’s vitality that our fellowship hall was transformed into a Hogwarts-esque Great Hall, not least because the event raises thousands of dollars each year for the hungry and homeless in Philadelphia.

Many undoubtedly recall the cultural kerfuffle over the books, with certain Christians worried about the fantastical wizardry and witchcraft therein. Talking heads littered the media with wild warnings and embarrassing religious fanaticism, complete with Fahrenheit 451-like book burnings at some churches. Apparently the author of the series, JK Rowling, was even denied a Medal of Honor by the Bush administration because the books “encouraged witchcraft.” Even the future Pope Benedict XVI, when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger and serving as Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, decried the books’ “subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and, by this, deeply distort Christianity in the soul.” Ouch.

Never mind that Rowling was raised an Anglican, is now a member of the Church of Scotland, and credits her faith as a singular inspiration for the books, suggesting “the religious parallels have always been obvious.” And forget the wizardry and witchcraft in other fantasy literature that Christians generally embrace and celebrate like, C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia and J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings. I digress.

While, again, I must shamefacedly admit that I am among 27 other people in the entire United States that has hitherto missed out on the sweeping cultural phenomenon altogether, I am happy to be a part of a community of faith that isn’t, well, so uptight. I’m happy to be a part of this family, which welcomes and engages our community without reserve and has some fun while doing some good along the way. That, in my humble estimation, is what Christian community ought to look like. Not fearmongering, but joyful welcome.

As Sirius Black, a character in the series (and member of the Gryffindor House), put it: “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”

For more, see:

  • Patricia M. Lyons, Teaching Faith with Harry Potter: A Guidebook for Parents and Educators for Multigenerational Faith Formation (Church Publishing, 2017)
  • Connie Neal, The Gospel According to Harry Potter: The Spiritual Journey of the World’s Greatest Seeker (WJK, 2008)


~ Joseph

Children, Youth, and Families Ministry Coordinator

Position Description, Saint Paul’s Church, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA – October, 2017


  • To provide leadership to children, youth, and families that guides them further in their spiritual growth and understanding in their daily lives.
  • To support lay persons of Saint Paul’s in their ministry with Godly Play©, Youth, and Parents Exchange (our Parents’ group).
  • To recruit volunteers, and oversee, support, and manage the operations of the above ministries.


Saint Paul’s is a vibrant church committed to proclaiming the gospel through worship and ministry, as individuals and as a congregation. Our mission is to create Christ’s peace through spiritual nourishment and service to the world. We are a church of approximately 500 members with an average Sunday attendance of 242. There are 90 children spread between nursery, Godly Play, and Youth ministries. The parish annual budget is $925,000.


The CYF (Children, Youth, and Families) Ministry Coordinator is a full-time, established position with benefits (insurance, and pension in year 2), and an efficiency apartment on campus if desired. Full-time staff include the Rector, Administrator, Music Director, and Capital Campaign Facilitator. At Saint Paul’s we believe that children have an innate sense of the presence of God. Godly Play is a Montessori approach to faith stories, gaining for participants religious language, and enhancing their spiritual experiences through wonder and play (which is children’s work). Youth engage in a lifelong journey of questioning, exploring, and discovering together. Confirmation, Rite 13, service to others, and fellowship all offer an arena to find support and grace in their encounter with each other and God. The CYF Ministry Coordinator is accountable to the Rector, manages budget responsibilities, and works collegially with other staff, volunteers, teachers, youth group advisors, and parents.


  • Godly Play Church School
    • Godly Play Core Training already attained or to be completed after hiring
    • Advanced Training in Godly Play is a positive
    • Oversee goals and structure of church school
    • Recruit, support, and guide teachers (storytellers and door persons)
    • Support and empower parents as teachers of the Christian faith with their own children
    • Secure supplies and materials
    • Management of Godly Play environments
  • Youth Ministry
    • Nurture and support the Saint Paul’s youth group
    • Oversee Rite 13 (Junior High)
    • Organize and engage with students around Confirmation
    • Plan, and fund-raise for, the High School mission trip to the Standing Rock Reservation of the Sioux Tribe
    • Coordinate efforts with St. Peter’s Church, Glenside as they partner with us on our mission trip
  • Family Ministry
    • Relate to and support Parents’ Exchange
    • Assist with the Christmas Pageant and other children’s liturgies
    • Coordinate with the Director of Music in offering support to the Choristers
    • Coordinate with various Outreach ministries to involve children as desired
    • Oversee nursery care; supervise paid nursery attendants
  • Additional
    • Provide leadership by teaching and supporting – not doing; provide hospitality and pastoral leadership
    • Communicate Children, Youth, and Family ministries with Parish leadership, congregation, and community. Provide information in a timely manner for parish announcements and public advertising.
    • Participate in staff meetings, appropriate committee meetings, leadership gatherings so that initiatives and programs are fully coordinated with the rest of parish life
    • Be a good steward of finances and resources for Children, Youth, and Family Ministries
    • Welcome people not yet involved in the life of Saint Paul’s to join in ministry and spiritual nourishment. Explore opportunities to bring Godly Play into the community.


  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Complete contact information

To be considered for this position please email all documents to:

To learn more about Saint Paul’s visit our website:

Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer/Smoke-Free Workplace

Saint Paul’s is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified persons are encouraged to apply regardless of their religious affiliation, race, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.

Five Fridays II: The Rolston Quartet – Nov. 17

Friday, November 17 , 2017 at 7:30pm

Luri Lee, violin; Jeffrey Dyrda, violin
Hezekiah Leung, viola; Jonathan Lo, cello
The Rolston Quartet is represented by Astral Artists. Read more about them at

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – String Quartet No. 14 in G major, K. 387
Claude Debussy – String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10
Pyotr Tchaikovsky – String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 11

Five Fridays concerts are held by candlelight in the beautiful sanctuary of Saint Paul’s, typically in the intimate setting of the labyrinth at the west end of the church. Each concert is followed by a reception to greet the artists. Contributions from our generous sponsors help to defray costs, and together with ticket revenue, allow us to pass on all net proceeds to Saint Paul’s outreach partners, Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network and Face to Face Germantown. This is a unique opportunity to hear world-class music while supporting good work in our local community.

General Admission: $25, Students: $5

Purchase tickets for this concert.

SAVE WITH A SEASON PASS (5 concerts, $100) available until November 17th.

Go to for a list of sponsors, and more about the Five Fridays season.
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