2007 Frankford Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19125
Pastor Jonny Rashid
With four locations throughout the Greater Philadelphia region, Circle of Hope practices a unique church model. Most congregants gather for worship on Sunday evenings, and throughout the week worship together in ten-person groups called “cells”. Activism in the community is carried out by approximately twenty “Compassion Teams”. These groups form
organically within the Circle of Hope community, and each group focuses on a primary issue or concern that addresses a root cause of one or more of the many kinds of violence. Some build neighborhood cohesion, some address the inequities that fuel violence, others reduce the availability of guns or advocate for legislation, and still others support those living in poverty, victims of violence, people with addictions, people in debt, and people facing prosecution in the courts. A large team runs Circle Thrift; a popular thrift store in Fishtown. The Circle Thrift team describes its work as an opportunity to share God’s love, provide inexpensive clothing, create jobs, build relationships, and provide funds to help support partners. Within its various programs and subgroups, Circle of Hope consistently grounds its actions in Biblical teachings, a commitment to leadership development, accountability, being well-informed about the issues, careful goal setting, a desire to be connected with affected neighbors, and the intention to make a real difference in people’s lives. Circle of Hope is a unique faith community, working on the ground throughout Philadelphia to address the direct and indirect causes of hopelessness and the violence it spurs.