Two Old Firsters Being Honored!

Two Old Firsters Being Honored!

It’s become a tradition at POWER’s “Voices of POWER” benefit concert that leaders from the organization and the community are honored for their contributions to making Philadelphia a city of opportunity that works for all.

This year, POWER is honoring two Old Firsters: Stirling Schwiebert in memoriam and Hannah Cartwright.

The pages Old First has bought in the journal for the concert speak of our pride and thanksgiving for these two leaders in our church community:

“Could we ask you to design them with text that says something like:

Old First thanks God for sending us Stirling Schwiebert. He found the church and his faith late in life (because he died too young). Curiously, he found his way to us, a progressive congregation, through a very conservative Bible study in which Stirling’s sexuality could never be honored. But, nonetheless, Stirling felt and found there a deep desire for connection with God and a community of faith that could help him with that connection AND honor who he was.

That POWER showed up during his short time with us and became a deep religious passion for him — it shows all the more how God was involved in this.

Our church, along with POWER, honors the memory of Stirling Schwiebert. The man he was. The questions he struggled with. The passions he felt. The battles he fought. We give thanks for his life and his witness.”


“Old First has received a whole crowd of gifted and generous young adults over the last few years. Hannah Cartwright is one of them. An attorney; the daughter of two Methodist clergy; and a woman serious about her own faith and justice.

She got involved in our work with POWER as soon as she got involved at Old First. And when the time came, she accepted the task of getting us organized for voter engagement. Voter engagement: remember when none of us quite understood what that meant, much less how we were to do it? With her patient and pressing commitment, she not only figured it out, she helped us understand what we were doing and succeed.

For her calm and clear head, and her commitments and willingness to work hard. For he smile and her sense of humor. We give thanks for this saint who has found her place with us and taken on leadership among us. And we’re not surprised that POWER sees all this too!”

This year, the “Voices of Power” benefit concert will take place on Sunday, March 22, from 4 – 6 p.m at St. Malachy’s Roman Catholic Church. The song will feature songs from different faiths. Tickets are only $10. and can be purchased from the church office or Hannah C. (the poor honoree has to see tickets too!)

It would be nice if a good group from Old First went to cheer loudly to remember Stirling and to support Hannah.