Introducing Anne Alexis Harra
Posted February 22, 2021
I’m very pleased to introduce you and your family to Anne Alexis Harra, our new full-time minister for children and youth. Today is her first day at St. Martin’s. You can send her a welcome email at her St. Martin's email address.
As Associate Rector, I will continue to oversee our ministry to Children, Youth, and Families, with Anne Alexis bringing particular focus on the faith formation of children and youth.
Anne Alexis comes to us from the Diocese of Delaware, where she has worked in children’s faith formation on the parish level, and served on the Diocesan Council, as well as the Racial Justice & Reconciliation Commission. You can get to know her better in her letter to you (below), as well as her full bio here. Tune into Family Worship at 9:15 a.m. next Sunday for a live virtual introduction.
Anne Alexis brings her gifts with children and youth to St. Martin’s just as we are asking big questions about the best way to minister to families during this pandemic and beyond. She will be instrumental in helping us to design and offer new ministry that teaches, inspires, and engages our young people in their faith.
Such a process also requires your experiences and ideas. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Anne Alexis and myself with your thoughts on how we can help your family grow in faith.
The Rev. Barbara Ballenger
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.
Resources for Growing Family Faith from St. Martin's.
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