Godly Play: Advent Part One
Sunday, December 12, 2021, 9:00 AM
Join St. Martin's parishioner and storyteller, Jean MacKenzie, to hear The Story of Advent, part I, in-person on 12/12 during LIFT formation. Hear the first part of the Advent and Christmas story told with beautiful wooden figures and an element of wondering. Contact Anne Alexis or Rev. Barb for more information.
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.
Anne Alexis Harra
Children & Youth Minister
Anne Alexis Harra (she/her) was born and raised in Wilmington, DE, where she is currently a member at St. David’s Episcopal Church. Anne Alexis graduated from Washington College in May 2019 with a B.A. in English and a minor in Philosophy. She is currently working on her M.S. in Secondary Education from Saint Joseph's University.
Anne Alexis serves on the Diocesan Council in the Episcopal Church in Delaware, as well as the Racial Justice & Reconciliation Commission. She moved to West Philadelphia in January 2021 after spending time in the city with her partner (Cole Appelman [he/him]) and while working on her Masters in Secondary Education at Saint Joseph’s University. A big piece of her heart may be in DE, but she could not be more thrilled to be a part of the St. Martin’s community!
Beginning with the waters of baptism, Anne Alexis has devoted her life to serving God in the Episcopal Church. Raised on Godly Play in Sunday school and moving into a tight-knit youth group, she is aware of the positive impact that the Church’s presence can have in the life of a young person. She is passionate about encouraging children and youth to explore their faith on a personal level while also committing to a community-centered effort to enact change for the greater good.
Anne Alexis is passionate about racial justice and healing, as well as advocating for the rights of children in the context of the Christian faith. She hopes for a church where all of God's beloved are welcomed, heard, and included. She seeks and envisions a church where every member feels the true love of God in Christ. Anne Alexis is deeply aware of the profound impact of Jesus' unyielding love for all, including the most tender and vulnerable in our society: children. Hopeful for a day when all marginalized peoples are treated with equity, she continues "to seek and serve Christ in all persons." The Baptismal Covenant and Sacrament of Eucharist guide her ministry.
Anne Alexis’ father owns and is president of a local funeral home in Wilmington. Some of her earliest childhood memories include observing him engage with bereaved families in a way that can only be described as ministerial. Her mother is a hospice nurse who guides her patients and families through a dignified palliative care stage. Anne Alexis’ parents have left a huge impression on her heart. A ministerial goal she has at St. Martin’s is exploring the often taboo topics of dying and death in the hopeful context of the gospels.
In her free time, she enjoys weightlifting, reading, spending time with her family (notably her godson, Will), and watching new shows with her beloved cats by her side. She and Cole enjoy trying eclectic restaurants in their neighborhood -- observing COVID restrictions, of course!
Welcome to LIFT: Living In Faith Together!
For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them. (Matthew 18:20)
LIFT (Living In Faith Together) is an invitation to interg…
Advent, the beginning of the liturgical year in the Christian calendar, is a season of waiting for the arrival of Christ, Emmanuel - God with us. Join us as we wait in faith, practicing hope, …
Children and youth are integral to parish life at St. Martin’s. Our children nourish our communal faith through their sense of wonder and awe, and challenge us to grow through their inquisit…