On Sunday, June 24th, the TPUUF Welcoming Congregation Team recognized Phil Manos as this year’s recipient of the Matthew Shepard Award.
The Matthew Shepard Award was envisioned and developed by the Welcoming Congregation Task Force, the forerunner of today’s Welcoming Congregation Team. It was created to periodically recognize a member or friend’s efforts to encourage compassion, understanding, and acceptance by manifesting the Welcoming Congregation concept in their life. The award consists of a certificate and a pendant in the form of a titanium circle with the words ERASE HATE on one side and COMPASSION, UNDERSTANDING, and ACCEPTANCE on the reverse. A plaque in the Fellowship lobby has Matt’s picture on it, a description of the award, and a nameplate honoring each recipient.
Phil was an integral part of Thomas Paine’s process to become a Welcoming Congregation. He characterizes the concept of this award by promoting all GLBTQ activities at the Fellowship, including facilitating our participation in the Philly Pride Parade, the annual AIDS Walk, the Suburban Gay Bowling League, community Pride Events, and T P’s Welcoming Congregation services. Phil consistently lives up to the concepts ingrained in this award, here at the Fellowship, in the greater society, and in his life in general. Congratulations to a very deserving individual!