Upper Dublin has been designated a Zone of Peace by the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia for our numerous outreach ministries, which help to make our community and our world a more peaceable place. UDLC been deemed to be exemplary in addressing one or more of the root causes of violence, such as prejudice and hatred; poverty, homelessness and hunger; drug use; gun violence; and unequal opportunities for educational and cultural development.
Bishop Claire Burkat and The Rev. John Hougen made the presentation. Rev. Hougen remarked on behalf of the Religious Leaders Council,
"You feed the hungry through several programs and keep meals on hand at the church that can be given to members as a token of care and concern when you experience a health crisis or death in the family. You welcome refugees into your community, and demonstrate that all people are God’s people by welcoming refugees from faith traditions other than your own. You provide beds and bedding for children in poverty with a goal of 500 per beds per year. You sponsor homeless families as they are helped to find homes. You send care packages and letters to deployed military staff. You provide scholarships for Tanzanian students, and you’ve helped build and sustain SEKOMU, a university in Tanzania with a mission to train special education teachers. You sponsor community events to bring people together to support good causes. Your green team works on environmental issues. You respond to disasters at home and abroad, providing funds and volunteers to meet emergencies and address chronic social issues, most recently funding a new center in West Philadelphia for Chosen 300, a ministry that feeds the homeless. You do all this and more.
Our interview team was not only impressed with the quantity and quality of your ministries, we were impressed with the enthusiasm and the unbridled joy of your leaders. Being God’s hands in the world has given them and many of you a deeper sense of purpose and meaning in your lives. And, service has led to deeper relationships as well – with those whose needs are being met and those with whom you work and serve, including children, youth and adults from this congregation, and your partners from congregations and agencies who are your partners. God is present in those who serve, and those who are served, and God’s presence yields commitment, camaraderie, and joy."
Bishop Claire Burkat, bishop of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA, said, "Upper Dublin has been following the path of peace for many decades, never with the goal of being recognized, but with the goal of simply being on that road with as many partners as possible. And today we recognize this church not in a spirit of boasting about what you have accomplished, but what God has accomplished through you."
About The Religious Leaders Council of Philadelphia
The Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia was formed in 2006. Over 30 traditions are represented at the RLC, including branches of Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Baha’i, Buddhism and Hinduism. Senior leaders from these traditions have combined constituencies of over 2 million people in the Greater Philadelphia area.
About Zones of Peace
In 2009 the Religious Leaders Council created the Zones of Peace initiative in 2009 to recognize those in the Greater Philadelphia area who helped to create more peaceful community and world. Today nearly 50 Zones of Peace have been recognized by the Religious Leaders Council. Organizations receiving the Zone of Peace designation have been deemed to be exemplary in addressing one or more of the root causes of violence, such as prejudice and hatred; poverty, homelessness and hunger; drug use; gun violence; and unequal opportunities for educational and cultural development.