Beyond DC: The Simple Way (Philadelphia)

There are so many approaches to community building and restoration. I got to see a few different methods in action when I visited Philadelphia earlier this month.

I can’t easily talk about what I actually did; it’s hard to put into words (you can also just skip down to the slideshow). The weekend trip was the idea of someone in my church small group, Steve. He had connected with the staff at an urban ministry called The Simple Way, started by Shane Claiborne. I first learned about Claiborne after reading his book The Irresistible Revolution which I highly recommend.

The staff at The Simple Way was wonderfully hospitable to us. It was phenomenal to see the ways they have engaged their neighbors, and created some beautiful things, such as a aquaponics systems [video: The Greening of Philadelphia’s Concrete Jungle], a shared garden, a community park and after-school programs. Gardens, by the way, are one method of fighting crime, as The American City pointed out in their recent article which highlight s a study on how urban gardens are connected to crime reduction.

While we did some work with The Simple Way staff, we also spent time with a few different churches and ministries in the neighborhood:

  • Bethel Temple Community Baptist Church, a community church in the Kensington neighborhood
  • Broad Street Ministry, a church in the downtown Philadelphia arts district
  • New Jerusalem Now, an addiction recovery ministry in North Philly West

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photo Credits: Helene Scalliet, Ashley Bakelmun, Meg Biallas


About Meg Biallas

Thoughts From A DC Intern Turned DCist. A twenty-something goes beyond traditional tourism to achieve Washingtonian authenticity.
This entry was posted in Beyond DC, neighborhood. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Beyond DC: The Simple Way (Philadelphia)

  1. brettfish says:

    hey Meg, was great having you guys with us and really cool that you got to see firsthand a couple of the different ministries and groups doing great work in Philly… thankx for the encouragement… love brett fish [the simple way]


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