Parish Forum

Parish Forum, at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday mornings, 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. Over the year, a variety of speakers from the parish and the wider community engage us in topics such as spirituality, ethics, theology, liturgy, and social justice. Parish Forum also offers opportunities for parish members to share their stories as a way of getting to know one another better. Please make time to come to forum to help build our community toward our goals

Forum Schedule

October 6, 2019

Understanding Addictions
Led by Steele Stevens
Please join Steele Stevens as he explores with us the characteristics of addictions including comparing it to a disease, common risk factors, physiological, and psychological consequences. Family impact and stigmas surrounding addictions will be discussed along with methods of treatments and recovery supports which may be effective in the healing process. Steele is a ​Utilization Review Coordinator at a Behavioral Health Inpatient Hospital (Friends Hospital). ​He has over 20 years of experience in behavioral healthcare, providing social work and therapy in emergency room, inpatient acute mental health, and residential chemical dependency settings. He is a certified alcohol and a drug counselor as well as international certified addictions counselor.

October 13, 2019

St. Martin’s Houston Stewardship Legacy
Led by David Schaaf
St. Martin-in-the-Fields parishioners enjoy the use of one of the most handsome church structures in Northwest Philadelphia. Learn - or revisit - how Henry Howard Houston imagined not only a residential and pastoral retreat in Chestnut Hill, but how he created the church in which we worship as a key component of the community. In addition, learn how a generation of the extended Houston, Woodward, and Henry families continued to enhance our beloved sanctuary.

October 20, 2019

Visio Divina (Prayerful Looking): Art Nurturing Spirituality
Led by John Hougen
John Hougen will lead a meditation and discussion of two or three works of art. As we look prayerfully at art, we will discover how artists guide our eyes and stimulate our thoughts. We will compare our responses, exploring how art can affirm, nurture, or challenge our ways of being spiritual. Written materials will provide guidance for your next trip to a gallery or museum, enabling you to look prayerfully, opening your hearts and minds to spiritual growth as you engage with art.

October 27, 2019

Christian Minimalism
Led by The Rev. Becca Ehrlich
Minimalism is a focus on the aspects of life that matter most, and intentionally removing everything else. There is a direct connection between minimalism and the Christian life. Jesus came so that we could live our lives abundantly (John 10:10) and it’s clear from reading the Gospels that the abundant life Jesus calls us to live is not about accumulating possessions, making a lot of money, or receiving worldly accolades or power. Christian minimalism aims to connect the minimalist lifestyle with our calling from Jesus to live a simpler life. Pastor Becca Ehrlich will lead a discussion on Christian Minimalism and how focusing on what matters most in life can help simplify your life and strengthen your Christian faith.

November 3, 2019

The Wissahickon Valley: An Ecological View
Led by David Contosta
David Contosta, Professor of History at Chestnut Hill College and a member of the St. Martin’s parish, will present an ecological history of the Wissahickon Valley, a place well-known and much beloved by residents of the Philadelphia region. David’s colorfully illustrated presentation is based on the four volumes about the Wissahickon that he co-authored several years ago with Carol Franklin, under the title Metropolitan Paradise. By extension, both the book and the forum offer a microcosm of the ecological degradation of urban stream valleys around the country—and beyond—as well as tools for possible restorations in the belief that human survival depends on such efforts. David will be on hand after the talk to sell and autograph copies of his book.

November 10, 2019

St. Martin’s Day Breakfast
Join us for a delicious breakfast hosted by St. Martin’s Youth!

November 17, 2019

Practicing Radical Empathy: The process of crafting a novel from lived experience
Led by Laura Sibson
Laura Sibson, a member of our St. Martin’s church family for several years now, had a full career in higher education before she pursued her dream of writing fiction. Once she started writing, she’s never looked back. In July 2012, she graduated from Vermont College of Fine Arts with the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults. Her debut novel, The Art of Breaking Things, was published by Viking in June of this year. The book earned a star from BookPage and Kirkus called it “Triumphant.” But the biggest compliment came when Booklist said her work is “perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson.” Laura will talk about her writing journey and the process of crafting a novel sparked by an event from her own life and the unexpected healing that occurred along the way. To learn more about Laura, visit

November 24, 2019

Philly ID - St. Martin’s in Action
Led by Barbara Thomson
The PHL City ID provides a secure and affordable photo identification card for anyone living in Philadelphia, age 13 and older. The card helps create a more welcoming Philadelphia that embraces everyone who lives here. It is especially beneficial for those who have a hard time obtaining other forms of identification because of cost or other barriers. While most of us at St. Martin’s have more ID than we can count, it’s another way to support the community. To learn more, please come to Philly ID Forum on Nov. 24th. Barbara Thomson, who has been working with the City of Philadelphia to get this project up and running will be presenting.

December 1, 2019

Kairos Cool Yule: Advent wreath making and edible creches

December 8, 2019

Kairos Cool Yule 2: TBA

December 15, 2019

Kairos Cool Yule 3: TBA

December 22, 2019

Kairos Cool Yule: Carol Sing

December 29, 2019

Community Coffee Hour

January 5, 2020

Epiphany Party

More to come!

June 14, 2020

Annual Meeting
St. Martin’s will hold its Annual Meeting following worship at 11:45 a.m. New vestry members will be elected and graduates will be honored at this meeting. Information will be released in May about our 2020 vestry nominees and nominees for delegate to diocesan convention.

Parish Forum will break for the summer and return in September, 2020.

Handouts from Prior Forums

September 29, 2019

Finding Ourselves in the 400 Years: What the Spirit is Saying to the Church about its Legacy of Racism
Led by David Contosta
Join us for a short film by Katrina Brown and a discussion of local racial history by historian, David Contosta.

September 22, 2019

Technology & The Way of Love
Led by Will Platnick
Links to YouVersion’s Bible app and Way of Love app.

March 3, 2019

Talking Beloved Community
Check out St. Martin’s racial justice page for handouts and more information.

February 24, 2019

The Theology of Icons with Amy Anderson
Want to learn even more? Check out this 3-day icon painting workshop with Iconographer, the Rev. Peter Pearson, at a fellow Episcopal parish, Gloria Dei Old Swedes Church. Peter Pearson has written some of the icons at St. Martin’s, including the processional cross.

February 3, 2019

Gospel of Luke
Our resident New Testament scholar, Hal Taussig returns to discuss the Gospel of Luke. Like other gospels, the Gospel of Luke, which forms the main core of gospel readings for this coming liturgical year C, has its own powerful and pointed voice. The past 25 years of very active Lukan scholarship expresses perhaps the earliest-storied voice interested in an international frame of reference for the Jesus story. This voice also speaks into the already multiple takes in the early Christ movements about gender roles and the relationship between rich and poor people, surprising the 21st century reader with unusual and controversial opinions.
Download the Luke study outline

October 28, 2018

Can We Talk? Conversations Across Differences
Handouts from the day can be downloaded below:
St. Martin’s Dialogue Sheet
The common denominator in all of our communities is they are divided by differences of all kinds. How do you get people to discuss their differences and put their solutions into action? Our guest speaker at Parish Forum this week is Chris Satullo and he’s an expert on the subject. Chris is the co-founder of the Penn Project of Civic Engagement and is a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He will demonstrate how faith plays as important a part of breaking down barriers as anything else does. Join us for the first of this two-part series.

October 14, 2018

Providing Sanctuary
Handouts from the day can be downloaded below:
Volunteers Needed

Regular Sunday Schedule

8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
9:15 a.m. worship.together (Eucharist for preschool families)
9:15 a.m. Parish Forum & Christian Education (Kairos)
10:30 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.

Compline is offered at 7:00 p.m. on 2nd & 4th Wednesdays, in the Church.

Choral Evensong is offered at 5:00 p.m. on 1st Sundays, Oct.-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.

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