RISE uses the craft of bread-making to create meaningful community by gathering those aged 21-35. RISE provides spiritual food through engaging presentations and empowering discussions for those who are seeking meaning, connection, and the opportunity to rise up in service and stand up for justice. The bread we make together feeds those who are suffering from hunger and food insecurity.

RISE is a ministry of Saint Mark's Church. Our trust in God's desire for all people to have full lives of worth and dignity inspires what we do. And yet, we at RISE know that many in today’s world are suspicious of the Church because of harm that has been done in the past and continues to be done. In humility, we, as followers of Christ, yearn to find common ground with our neighbors who might have nothing to do with a faith community but want to come together to serve those around us who are in need.

Serving others is one of our values, and if it’s one of yours, we want to collaborate with you, no strings attached. We know, too, that in our unstable world, people are eager to have earnest conversations and organize for work around pressing issues that affect the well-being of all. RISE wants to share in that dialogue with anyone who will meet us at the table—no matter who you are or where you come from.

RISE is supported by a grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc. and is part of the Zoe Project, an innovative hub of young adult ministry in twelve different congregations, coordinated by Princeton Theological Seminary. RISE currently gathers regularly at the Church of the Crucifixion, an abandoned Episcopal church at 620 S. 8th St., Philadelphia, PA 19147. RISE is also supported by the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania.

For more information about this budding ministry, please contact Gabi Machado, RISE coordinator.

What happens when you RISE?

Pray (11 a.m.)

Mass is offered for the community. All are welcome.

Gather (11:30 a.m.)

We gather for fellowship, with light snacks, as we prep the ingredients to make delicious bread.

Rise (12:30 p.m.)

While the dough rises, we engage in stimulating and empowering conversations about issues that matter.

Bake (1:30 p.m.)

The bread goes into the oven, and we continue our fellowship.

Give (2:30 p.m.)

The beautiful bread we bake is given to local organizations that respond to food insecurity.

RISE with us in 2019-2020!

After we knead the beginnings of beautiful bread and while we let the dough rise, we pause to engage in topics and conversation that prompt us to rise up in justice and action in a world hungry for new, full life. Listed below are our rise-time offerings in 2019-2020. All our gatherings are at the Church of the Crucifixion.

October—The History of LGBTQ Activism in Philadelphia: Maintaining a Collective Memory

We will learn more about the history of the struggles for LGBTQ rights and justice in the local community in order never to forget the struggles that brought justice and freedom for many. And we will hear two perspectives from that history: that of the broader community and that of the church, especially at the height of the AIDS epidemic.

12: The Community’s Response
Christopher Bartlett, executive director of the William Way Community Center

26: The Church’s Response
The Rev. Rodger Broadley, rector of the Church of St. Luke and the Epiphany

November—Giving Thanks and Owning Our Complicated Past

As the nation prepares to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, the month of November is fraught with memories of a tragic history of abuse and injustice in the history of Native Americans. Join us as we hear an indigenous perspective during this complicated month and as we delight in delicious Native American cuisine, all while giving thanks.

9: Past and Present: Indigenous Relations in the United States
Facilitator j is a former social justice activist. A respectful resident of Lenapehoking (which includes Philadelphia) awaiting a global desire for absolute freedom.

23: Friendsgiving Feast: Celebrating Native Cuisine
Celebrity Chef Sue Wasserkrug from Zea May's Kitchen

December—Contemplation in the Midst of Chaos

As people embark on shopping frenzies and stress about the holiday season, we seek to pull back and make time for quiet and contemplation. Come and soothe your body with yoga, and soothe your heart with healing music, as we engage in countercultural tending of body and soul.

7: Letting Go and Letting Be: Chair Yoga
Wendy Weber, certified yoga instructor

21: A Musical Sound Journey
Ruth Cunningham, formerly of Anonymous 4

January—A New Year Celebrating Second Chances: Restorative Justice in Society

The rate of incarceration in the United States is alarming; second chances are few. Perfectionism is rampant; permission to mess up is scarce. This month, we look at two local examples of organizations seeking to give people a new lease on life and help everyone make better choices for the greater common good.

11: Avant-Garde Coffee Meets the Hood
Bob Logue, founder of Quaker City Coffee

25: A Restorative Justice Model in a Faith-Based School
The Rev. Andrew Kellner, chaplain at St. James School, Philadelphia

February—Rising Up from Oppression: Black Social Justice Movements in Philadelphia

During Black History Month, we hear about the important role of two local historically black Episcopal churches in Philadelphia and their role in wider social justice movements. Come hear about the Black Panthers, W.E.B. Du Bois, and other notable figures and their association with these churches.

8: The Church of the Advocate and Its Role in Black Social Justice Movements
The Rev. Dr. Renee McKenzie-Hayward, vicar of the Church of the Advocate

22: The Church of the Crucifixion’s Role in Black Social Justice Movements
Michael Krasulski, Department Chair and Assistant Professor in the Library and Learning Resources Department, the Community College of Philadelphia &
The Rev. Canon Betsy Ivey, Canon for Innovation and Community Engagement, the
Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania

March—March Rising Up through Empowerment: Women in Action

Women, rise up! Come rise up with us as we celebrate women’s rights through music and empowering skills for self-defense.

7: Drumming to Build Community
LaTriece Branson, Founder, Drum Like a Lady

21: Women’s Self-Defense Workshop
Gracie Academy Philalphia

April—As I Grow Up: Living Wisely and Well

Are you a young professional or student concerned about planning for your future? Are you mystified by some of the practicalities of being an independent young adult? This month is for you!

4: A Financial Primer for Young Adults
Mario Crociata, CFA

18: The Perks and Perils of Social Media
Jennifer B. Tucker, Canon for Communication, the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania

May— Self Care: Cultivating Mental Health

During Mental Health Awareness Month, we explore pressing mental health issues and seek ways to empower all people to live full lives with honesty, integrity, and awareness.

9: Relationships and Mental Health
Janaki Spickard-Keeler, Licensed Psychotherapist

23: Suicide Awareness
Janaki Spickard-Keeler, Licensed Psychotherapist

June—Being Good Stewards: Community and Creation Care

How does care for the environment build community? What can we do to be good stewards of creation so that those who come after us can have full lives? Join us as we engage in conversation with two local examples of community-building around environmental issues.

6: Sabbath and Sustainability
A representative of the Farminary at Princeton Theological Seminary

20: Gardening for the Greater Good
Matthew Rader, President of the Philadelphia Horticultural Society

Previous events:
September—Feeding a Hungry World: Introducing Rise

14: RISE Kickoff Festival!

Please join us from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for RISE’s official introduction to the local community! The event begins with Mass for the Feast of the Holy Cross at 11 a..m. Afterwards, there will be fantastic food, live jazz from The Jazz Sanctuary, games for children, and an opportunity for those in the local community to purchase items from local craft vendors to support the ministry of RISE. All in the parish are encouraged to attend and support this exciting new ministry and to see what it’s all about. Invite a friend!

28: Dying in a Sea of Food: Food Insecurity in Our City
Amira Abdul-Wakeel is the founder of Amira’s Delites, an educator, scientist, baker, entrepreneur, social worker and the grandmother everyone wants in their life. Join us as we learn the skills of baking as a means to promote well-being and combat food insecurity.

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