July 27, 2023

Jennifer Jones
RI President 2022-23
David Houtz
District 7450 Governor

Swarthmore Rotary Leaders

Lori Markusfeld
Jane C Billings
Youth Services Chair
Brian Casey
Club Executive Secretary
Joseph Patrick Lesniak
George C. Whitfield Jr.
Elizabeth Churche
Rotary Foundation Chair
Perri Ann Evanson
Public Relations Chair
Carr Everbach
Membership Chair
David Firn
Service Projects Chair
William Clinton Hale
Jeannine Osayande
Youth Services Chair
Hillard Pouncy
Club Programs Chair
Heather Saunders
iPast President
Joshua Twersky
Club Director
Kenneth J. Wright
Club Director
Maria Michael Zissimos
Club Director
Cathleen Darrell
Attendance Secretary
Richard Shimko
Bulletin Editor
Hillard Pouncy
Assistant Governor

Rotary Celebrations!


Sarah Pita
July 28th
Barbara Whitaker-Shimko
July 31st

Wedding Anniversaries

William Clinton Hale
July 30th
Craig Fava
July 31st
Sean McCormick
August 2nd

Years of Service

Heather Saunders
6 Years

Meetings and Events

July 27th, 12:15-1:30 PM
Swarthmore Weekly Club Meeting (Inn)
Speaker: Ellen & Christopher Chapman
Subject: Swarthmoreans in Oz: Impressions from a do-it-yourself gap year
August 3rd, 12:15-1:30 PM
Swarthmore Weekly Club Meeting (First Watch)
Speaker: Breakfast meeting - club members only
Subject: hold for location (this meeting will not be at Swarthmore Inn). There will be no guest speaker
August 10th, 12:15-1:30 PM
Swarthmore Weekly Club Meeting (Inn)
Speaker: Kira Montagno, General Manager, Swarthmore Coop
Subject: Welcome Back to the Swarthmore Coop

Service Quotation

“Don't mistake activity with achievement.”
John Wooden (Basketball coach)

4 Way Test

Of the things we think, say or do
  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Club News

Carr Everbach inducted Earl Varney into Swarthmore Rotary. Photo by Marv Gelb.

Last Meeting Summary

By William Clinton Hale

At the July 20 meeting, Rev. Catherine Brownlee, Pastor talked about “Over 100 Years of Resiliency” at the Wesley African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in Swarthmore. In addition to Pastor Cathy, 7 other members of the congregation attended the Rotary meeting, including former pastor Gray and his wife. Joyce Shin of Swarthmore Presbyterian Church also attended because the churches support one another and some of the Swarthmore members attend church at AME on the second Sunday of every month.

The AME Church grew out of the Free African Society (FAS) which Richard Allen, Absalom Jones, and others established in Philadelphia in 1787. When officials at St. George’s MEC pulled blacks off their knees while praying, black members made plans to transform their mutual aid society into an African congregation. Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the first AME Church in the nation, was founded in Philadelphia in 1794 by Richard Allen, a former slave. With financial assistance from individuals such as Dr. Benjamin Rush and President George Washington, Allen purchased a piece of land at 6th and Lombard streets in Philadelphia. He also bought an old blacksmith shop and moved it to the 6th and Lombard location. The Blacksmith Shop Meeting House, as the structure came to be called, was remodeled into a house of worship and dedicated on July 29, 1794. The pastor of St. George, the Reverend John Dickins, suggested that the new church should be called “Bethel” for the gathering of thousands of souls. The church still carries this name today. The AME church has since grown to include over 7000 churches in 39 countries and around 2.5 million members.

The AME Church in Swarthmore serving the historically black 3-block community around Kenyon, Union and Bowdoin Avenues started meeting in 1921 in a building called Jones Hall. The church is thus 102 years old. Most of the original congregants worked at the College or as domestics. The present building at 232 Bowdoin Avenue was built in 1927 and life in the close-knit community revolved around church activities. The church has continued serving the black community through 29 pastors over the years and presently has about 45 active members. Members run a crafts-for-children event at the Farmer’s Market. The building was closed during the pandemic and no one noticed that water was infiltrating through the walls into the basement meeting area. The cost to address this problem is estimated at over $160,000. Pastor Cathy noted a famous hymn says “we have come this far by faith” and has faith the resiliency of the church will continue long into the future.

Installation Ceremony

Here are additional photographs of the Installation Dinner by Marv Gelb.

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