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Pro Deo: 'new friendships springing up right before our eyes'

I had to share this brief reflection from Pete Hileman on our second annual Pro Deo Conference. It was such a rich time. Thank you for holding us in prayer throughout the busy month of March. Indeed, God did wonderful things!

"The Work of God is Happening Everywhere, and Cannot be Contained!" 

Reflections from the Pro Deo Conference (March 22-23rd at Arch Street United Methodist Church downtown)

 By Pete Hileman, Executive Director
(Quotations from conference attendees)

The Pro Deo Conference was wonderful. We had over 40 lawyers, paralegals, law students, and friends in attendance over Friday night and Saturday. We worked hard to pull it off and as Ted, Katharine and I arrived at our offices and unpacked afterward, we were exhausted. But it was that good kind of exhaustion where you are spent, knowing you've served the Lord.


“I have a refreshed sense of God’s will in my career.” 

We caught a glimpse of how God is using us. We Christian legal professionals are being salt and light throughout the city, in the District Attorney’s office, working for the City Solicitor, in powerful Center City law firms, small firms, solo practices, and public interest legal organizations. We are all races, ages, and church backgrounds.


“I was hoping to be encouraged after a long week, and my expectations were exceeded!"

The highlights were many. Elizabeth Hernandez from Place of Refuge spoke of the heart of an advocate and described her love and compassion for the individuals she counsels in North Philadelphia, our neighborhood.  Kesha James, a staff attorney at Legal Aid Services of Southeastern PA, taught us how to help clients going through foreclosures and gave us practical resources we will use at our clinic sites for years to come. Timothy Welbeck, known by his stage name the Red Baron, performed his own Christian rap music with lyrics about pursuing Christ, lamenting the violence in our streets, and even surviving law school. New friendships and communities were springing up right before our eyes.


“I have a new mind toward the sensitivities of hurt individuals and my own brokenness.”


Throughout, the emphasis was on spiritual formation, how our devotional life leads us and prepares us to advocate. Each speaker shared how they express their faith in their work, and how hard it is. Ted and I shared a segment on the Spirituality of an Advocate and led out in repentance over our self-righteousness (Ted) and arrogance (me), professing the need to be sanctified every morning for our work to be of any benefit. One lawyer friend came up to me after the conference was over and said: “Pete, I expected to receive helpful information for my practice; I didn’t come expecting to be moved to tears.”

Indeed, the work of God is happening everywhere--including in the hearts of Philadelphia's lawyers--and it cannot be contained!

See our Pro Deo photo album here:

Prayer update