Parish Forum

Parish Forum is our 10:00 a.m. Sunday morning program in which a variety of speakers from within the congregation and outside the parish are invited to engage us in a variety of topics among which are spirituality, ethics, theology, liturgy, and social justice.  The Parish Forum also offers opportunities for parish members to share their stories as a way of getting to know one another better and build community.

Forum Hour at St. Martin’s is an opportunity to equip our community for ministry and mission and to have the conversations we need to have as a parish to develop our work together. Please make time to come to forum to help build our community toward our goals!

April 2

Discipleship Discussion
The Rev. Jarrett Kerbel will wrap up the One Book/One Parish reading of Rowan Williams’ book Being Disciples with a discussion of discipleship. Whether you read all or part of the book, you will get a full exploration of this key topic in our life of faith.

April 9

Palm Sunday: No Forum

April 16

Easter Sunday: No Forum

April 23

Worship at 8 & 10 a.m.: No Forum
Join the Climate Action Team in the Houston Room after the 10:00 a.m. worship service for some Earth Day advocacy actions.

April 30

Fostering a Culture of Prevention
To mark Recovery Sunday, Kiersten Hewitt, executive director at FCD Prevention Works, will discuss ways people can create a climate of alcohol and other drug prevention for youth in their homes and extended families. FCD Prevention Works is an international nonprofit provider of school-based substance abuse prevention services, and is part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. Kiersten is also the daughter of parishioner Pam Gabell.

Mission and….

At St. Martin’s we believe in participatory decision-making. While the Vestry and the Rector have well defined decision making powers, our deep respect for lay-leadership leads us from time to time to create parish consultations around important areas of mission in our common life. All of our members are encouraged to add their gifts of insight, discernment, and perspective to the following two Parish Forums…

May 7

Mission and Liturgy
Worship is at the center of our mission and it is in the first line of our Mission statement! In worship we are formed into a community centered on Jesus Christ and animated by the Holy Spirit. To worship we bring our gratitude, our hurts, and our hopes. From worship we return to the world renewed and revived to follow the liberating, loving, and life-giving path of Jesus wherever he leads.

At this parish consultation we will be evaluating our two largest liturgies in the light of our mission. Is our current manner of worship advancing our mission and fulfilling our purpose as a community of faith? We will be looking past issues of “taste” that define “church choice” in terms of a consumer economy. Instead we will focus on our mission and purpose. How are we reuniting people to God and one another in the constraints of our worship tradition, space, and style?
Our evaluation will be appreciative. Where do you particularly experience God in our liturgies? What values do you see expressed in our liturgy? Our evaluation will also be critical. What is missing, or what obstacles get in the way of focus on God and welcome of newcomers?
We will split the conversation between 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. participants, so we can have specific conversations related to these very different services.

For example, the 9 a.m. service requires a different level of lay-leadership and participation to convey the sacred presence of God in the community. How do we encourage that level of participation? How do we encourage that worshipping community to embrace the “work of the gathered”, i.e. the translation of “liturgia”.

It is challenging to engage conversations about liturgy because sometimes we make liturgy an idol, a substitute for God. How do we use liturgy to worship God and not allow it to become an end unto itself? My hope is that our conversation will help our worship find its proper orientation.

(If your preferred service is 8 or 10:15 a.m. please contact the clergy to send us feedback.)

May 14

Mission and Facilities
Our flourishing program and mission are pushing on the limits of the Parish House.

When over 300 people attend church on Sunday morning, 3 bathrooms are not enough. When we serve 150 people at SUPPER, we struggle because the kitchen is too small and in the wrong location, the parish hall is unattractive, and 3 bathrooms are not enough.
Our choirs are thriving and much beloved. The music program needs adequate vesting space, music library space, as well as an office with adequate heat and de-humidification for our marvelous music director.

What if a child in a wheelchair wanted to attend Kairos in the undercroft? We do not want to turn that child and family away, but that space is not accessible.

And there is more…we have no dedicated space for youth ministry. Our staff works 12 months of the year, yet we have no central air conditioning, and our heating system is wasteful and inefficient. In general, we have lots of deferred maintenance in the Parish House, and we need to catch up. Light bulbs are exploding, drains are bursting, and leaks are leaking!

How can we invest in our property so our ministries can continue to thrive and serve? That is the question for this forum on Mission and Facilities. We are setting aside time to dream together about how our facilities can better reflect our values and ministry, and we want to hear your perspective and get your feedback.
One vision already on the table is converting our heating and cooling to geo-thermal, which would save money and decrease our use of fossil fuels all in one strategic investment.

The Vestry is in the very first stages of exploring a capital project, and we want your input up front! We will be soliciting your perspectives throughout the process as well, so please stay tuned.

May 21

PA-IPL Partnership with St. Martin’s
Alison Cornish, executive director of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light, will explain the organization’s work engaging people of faith in responding to climate change and introduce a new initiative with St. Martin’s Climate Action Team.

May 28

Memorial Day Weekend: No Forum

June 4

Final Affairs Fair
Be a good ancestor; get your affairs in order now! Led by the Planned Giving Ministry. A great gift of love we give to our relatives is to have our affairs in order at the time of our dying and death. Using the 5 Big Questions tool we will help you start the key planning discussions in your family as you plan your final affairs. We will look at everything from planning your own funeral, to living wills and advance directives, to estate planning and planned gifts. Once you have children you need to be engaged in these questions, so all ages are encouraged to attend.

June 11

Annual Meeting
Worship will return to the summer schedule of 8 and 10 a.m. and Annual Meeting will follow, including lunch.
Join us for a community conversation on vision for St. Martin’s future! Vestry elections (see below) will also take place during the Annual Meeting. Please check the Voting Members list posted in the Parish House lobby to see if you are eligible to vote or serve on Vestry. Contact Natalee in the church office with questions. Please the Date to join us!

Vestry Service!

We are now taking nominations for 4 Vestry positions (4-year terms) which will come open at Annual Meeting on June 11. The Vestry discerns and directs the mission of the church, advances and develops our programming, oversees our financial well-being, and maintains and enhances our physical plant. To be considered for the vestry you must be regular at worship, engaged in ministry and service through the church, and a pledging member of the congregation for at least two years. Nominations may be directed to the Rector’s Warden, Pam Hill .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or the Rector, Jarrett Kerbel .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by April 30, 2017. Click here to see who’s currently on Vestry.

Parish Forum will return in the Fall

Regular Sunday Service Schedule

8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist with music
10:00 a.m. Parish Forum & Kairos
10:15 a.m. worship.together
Holy Eucharist for families with young children
11:15 a.m. Choral Eucharist

Other Days

Morning Prayer is offered at 7:30 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Silent morning meditation is offered at 8:15 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Mid-week Eucharist is offered at 12:15 p.m. Wednesdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Choral Evensong with sermon is held at 5:00 p.m. on the first Sundays of the month from October to June in the Church.

We would love to have you join us.


This Episcopal church is located in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, five blocks west of Germantown Avenue at the corner of St. Martin’s Lane and West Willow Grove Avenue.

View Larger Map