Frankford: A Community of Faith

Given recent world events, like the bombing in Paris and the retaliation by the French against ISIS, we often shake our heads and wonder what the world is coming to.

My husband, Bob and I, have lived in Frankford for all of our 42 married years. My great aunt, Pearl, would bring me over to Frankford when I was a kid to get my hair cut at LaCorte’s and for ice cream at Dairy Maid. I even remember the Horn and Hardart’s. Time passes and many things change.

What hasn’t changed and may even be stronger is that faith is flourishing in Frankford. We have the major religions (AME, Baptist, Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, Episcopal, Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Lutheran, Methodist, Orthodox Syrians (Indian and Oriental Christians), Presbyterians, Quakers and we have those who are in storefronts on the avenue and other places. Bob counted the Churches and there are over 50.

Two Roman Catholic Churches closed, a Jewish temple closed and we’ve never had a Buddhist Temple. The Catholics formed a nonprofit, Keep the Faith in Frankford, to keep doing the work of the Church without a Church. We were very kindly and warmly welcomed at St. Mark’s Church on Frankford Ave. (Dean Jon does not feel it necessary to always use “Episcopal” in the Church’s name as God’s Church is welcoming to all.)

This is one of the things about Frankford that makes me the proudest. We go about our daily business and our lives while we worship in many different ways but we practice what we preach and we are living together. Sure, we have many problems, but look at the power we have to solve them – the power of Allah, Christ, God, Jehovah, Jesus, Krishna, Yahweh – whatever name you give to the One, the Mighty. Let’s use that power to better our community and the world beyond Frankford.

Warsan Shire, a Kenyan-born author now living in London writes:

“later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole worldfaith graphic
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered
everywhere
everywhere
everywhere.”

We need to heal ourselves and our world. In Frankford, we have the faith we need.