Celebrating MLK Day with Children and Youth
January 19, 2021
This note is coming a day later than usual, as the office was closed to observe the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday yesterday. The day is an important reminder that we should weave his message of non-violent social change, courageous action, and just vision into our family life year-round. Here are a few ideas to keep the theme of the Rev. Dr. King’s legacy going in your family’s conversations throughout the week and beyond:
- Make sure conversations about racial justice find a place at home, and not just at school or church. Rebekah Gienapp, a justice educator who specializes in helping families foster anti-racism offers six tips for celebrating the Rev. Dr. King’s legacy as a family.
- St. Martin’s ongoing effort to live into our call to racial justice is called Becoming Beloved Community. You can learn more about this parish-wide process on our webpage. This downloadable conversation starter can be used to discuss the parish’s anti-racism efforts with older children (Grade 8 and up) and adult family members.
- Experience the inspirational words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. amid prayer and uplifting song with this recording of Sunday’s The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration in Word and Music on St. Martin’s YouTube channel. The program, offered in conjunction with Christ Church and St. Michael’s in Germantown, was recorded at St. Martin’s.
- Pray the Collect that commemorates Martin Luther King as part of your family’s prayer this week at dinner or bedtime:
Almighty God, by the hand of Moses your servant you led your people out of slavery, and made them free at last: Grant that your church, following the example of your prophet Martin Luther King, may resist oppression in the name of your love, and may strive to secure for all your children the blessed liberty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
~ Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, pp. 214-216.
Please contact me at [email protected] if you have any questions about St. Martin’s Becoming Beloved Community efforts.
The Rev. Barbara Ballenger
(215) 247-7466 ext. 102
Barbara (she/her) joined St.
Martin’s in 2014. In June
Barbara’s family moved from State College to Philadelphia, where her husband
works at Drexel University. They’re excited to be a part of St. Martin’s
vibrant faith community. Barbara’s family includes her husband, Jess, adult
son, Jesse, and high school-aged daughter, Hannah. Non-human family members
include Tara the rat and Oakley the dog.
Barbara hales originally from northeast Ohio, where she grew up and went to school. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Kent State University and a master’s degree in pastoral ministry from Ursuline College.
Barbara’s ministry background is based largely in the Roman Catholic Church where she worked for more than 17 years in a variety of faith-based positions, including parish faith formation director, campus minister, newspaper reporter and program coordinator for Catholic Relief Services. She also worked for eight years in a performing arts ministry as a retreat leader, songwriter and storyteller.
Most recently Barbara worked for Episcopal Relief & Development as a training coordinator in US Disaster Preparedness and Response. She joined the Episcopal Church in 2010, with the long-term goal of priestly ordination.
Woven through her work in ministry is a passion for social, economic and environmental justice. Over the years, Barbara has worked on issues of peace and non-violence, cultural understanding, global and domestic poverty, sustainability and environmental stewardship.
For fun Barbara loves to read, make music, and turn broken things into mosaics. You’ll probably also see her riding her bike around West Mount Airy and Chestnut Hill. She might even stop and ask you for directions.
Barb began seminary in the fall of 2017. Read more here.
In June 2019, Barb was ordained a Deacon in the Episcopal Church, on her path to full priestly ordination later in the year. Read more about becoming a deacon here.
On Friday, December 13, 2019, Barbara was ordained to the Priesthood at St. Martin's.
Becoming Beloved Community: A Process for Racial Justice.
At St. Martin’s we use the phrase Becoming Beloved Community to describe the parish’s ongoing work of inclusion, transformation, and public witness aimed at racial justice. The effort flows from the parish’s aspirational value to become a racism-free and diverse community that reflects the city where we worship.