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FALL, 1997: Volume 2 Issue 3

Update on Fairhill Friends Ministry by Marcelle Martin

The ministry, sponsored by the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Peace Committee, is celebrating the second anniversary of the day Jorge Arauz of Chestnut Hill Meeting opened Casa Amistad/Friendship House in Fairhill Square to share the life of the neighborhood. Marcelle Martin of Newtown Square Meeting recently moved to Casa Amistad and joined the ministry. Both residents are Quakers.

Community has been fostered in the neighborhood, and a group has been created called The Neighbors of Fairhill, in which neighbors are taking leadership roles and organizing to meet the needs of the community. Successful efforts to reclaim and restore the park have led to the receipt of a $30,000 grant from a city organization, Philadelphia Green, to make improvements in the park. In addition, the neighbors are organizing to obtain funds for playground equipment for their children. With the help of another local organization, neighbors are also taking steps to develop community gardens.

A "Welcome to Fairhill" fiesta in July was a great success. The outdoor theater performance on conflict resolution, music, clowning, food and games provided an opportunity for neighbors to get to know each other better and for Friends from outside the neighborhood to join with the community. Quakers contributed food and a couple from Chestnut Hill Meeting organized games for the children which were a big hit. Friends from neighboring Meetings have also been participating in the monthly park clean-ups.

In addition to encouraging community efforts, the Fairhill Friends Ministry attempts to serve the needs and address the concerns of individuals in the neighborhood and to foster a spirit of peace through a friendly loving presence. Recently four Friends have begun holding a weekly Meeting for Worship at Casa Amistad, open to neighbors whom we hope might become interested.


For news about Jorge Arauz see PTNv6i2, Summer 2001

 

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