I was restless and needed to get into action, else I would get into mischief.

Susan MacBride

Susan MacBride, a longtime teacher of 8th grade boys at Chestnut Hill Academy, traces her passion for social justice and political action back to her early teens.

Probably the best way to start talking about my social and political interests is to go back to my 9th grade year at Springside and at St. Martin’s when Stan Johnson was the curate under Mr. Sturges, Phil Sturges. During that year my headmistress at Springside realized I was restless and needed to get into action, else I would get into mischief.

Therefore, she introduced me to the Friends work camps in downtown Philadelphia, which were run by David Ritchie, a strong Quaker. The weekend work camps introduced me to the poverty in Philadelphia. High school students from all over the city would go in on a Friday afternoon and meet each other at St. Mary’s Bainbridge and have dinner together, learn about the program that we were going to experience on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday morning we were all farmed out to various families in the community who had talked to the leaders of the work camp about a project they wanted to try to accomplish in a day. Might be painting a living room. Might be patching walls. Might be painting the front door. Could be cleaning out the basement. Their job in the family was to work with the volunteer to accomplish this and therefore to connect us as teenagers to the families who live in South Philadelphia.

That first time I went down I was totally overwhelmed by the love I felt from the family for me and the amount of laughter and fun we had working together. And so it broke down all sorts of barriers for me about working with people who are not from Chestnut Hill and are from a different race. As a 14-year old, this was a high impact for me.

Politically, this election has been probably the most, the one with which I have become the most involved—which is kind of a convoluted sentence. But when I heard Barack Obama, what really turned me was his victory speech in Iowa. I had been actually working for Bill Richardson because I thought he was the most qualified but when I heard Obama, I thought, “This is it. This is the fulfillment.” This is Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy wrapped up, and he even is encouraging us, as John Kennedy, did too– it’s what we do together, not what he can do alone. And I think that’s one of the things that’s encouraged me to support Barack and to work, again, in community.

I don’t always think, oh, I’m doing this for the sake of God or Christ. It’s that I’m doing it because this is what I’ve been taught is the way to live your life. And that came as much, mostly, through St. Martin’s but my family, I guess, too, and probably the school.

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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