Rector’s Forum

Sundays at 10:30am
Chapel & Livestream

The Rector’s Forum offers engaging dialogue and interactive teaching on Growing in Grace, the St. David’s 2022-23 theme. This year renowned local professors, theologians, and speakers will join The Rev. W. Frank Allen in biblically rich and theologically engaging dialogues on the life cycle of faith, centered in Colossians 1:10, “so that we may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God.”

All adults, both experienced Christians and newcomers, are welcome. Offered in-person and by our livestream, below. Those watching from home can submit questions live to formationquestions@stdavidschurch.org or use the form below the livestream window.

Upcoming Forums

February 5, 12, & 19 - Dr. Crystal Hall

Unexpected Harvest: The Fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5

This 3-part series will use the famous fruits of the Spirit passage in Galatians 5:22-23 as a prism to reread Paul’s letter to the churches in Galatia. Known as the “angry letter,” interpretation of Galatians played a pivotal role in the Protestant Reformation through emphasizing themes like law and gospel, works and grace. While typically read with a theological focus abstracted from experience, this series will focus on the ethics of Galatians, the “so what” questions of how the fruits of the Spirit can enliven the Church today.

Dr. Crystal L. Hall holds a PhD in Biblical Studies from Union Theological Seminary in New York and is a certified coach serving women in ministry. She is the author of Insights from Reading the Bible with the Poor with Fortress Press and the forthcoming From Cosmos to New Creation: An Ecological Rereading of Galatians with Rowman and Littlefield Press. Dr. Hall is a frequent speaker in churches and denominational conferences on topics including women’s leadership, LGBTQIA+ inclusion, and immigration. She resides in Philadelphia with her fiancé and their cat, Lady Blue.

Past Forums

January 15, 22, & 29 - The Rev. W. Frank Allen

Gifts of the Spirit

God has given all of us physical and spiritual gifts to empower us to live the Christian life. These gifts are given to us at birth and by the coming of the Holy Spirit into our lives. Please join our Rector, Frank Allen, for a three-week course utilizing his work on the Gifts of the Spirit to learn how the Holy Spirit operates in our lives, what gifts God has given you and how you can use your gifts in your life in God and for St. David’s.

The Rev. W. Frank Allen has served as Rector since 1997. He grew up in Dallas, TX and attended Duke University on academic and music scholarships. After graduating with a degree in History, Frank worked for a large construction company in Philadelphia before answering the call to the priesthood. He attended Virginia Theological Seminary and served two years at St. John’s in Roanoke, VA before coming to St. David’s. Frank has served on the Standing Committee for the Diocese of Pennsylvania and other committees and commissions. He has twice served as a Deputy to The General Convention of The Episcopal Church. Frank is a Canon for Mission in the Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala and serves on the Board of the Gathering of Leaders. He has developed curriculum for adult baptism and confirmation, as well as a study on the Gifts of the Spirit. Frank and his wife Amy have three grown sons.

Click here to view or download the Spiritual Gifts Booklet.

January 8 - ALL PARISH EVENT - All Parish Epiphany Celebration

Sunday, January 8, 2023
9:15am Worship
10:30am All-Parish Breakfast

On Epiphany Sunday, January 8, 2023 we will have three special visitors joining our 9:15 a.m. Chapel service, the Magi! They will help us bless our church home for the new year.Christius Mansionem Benedicat which means, “May Christ Bless this House”. At this service we will also bless and distribute Bibles to our second graders, a time-honored tradition. Each second grader receives a Children’s Bible signed by the Rector, The Rev. W. Frank Allen (please register by Jan. 3) and receives a blessing.

Following worship, and in lieu of Christian Formation programs, all are invited into St. David’s Hall for fellowship at an All-Parish Breakfast.

December 25-January 1 - NO FORUM - Holiday Break

December 18: ALL PARISH EVENT - Christmas Pageant

Sunday, December 18 at 11:30am
Monday, December 19 at 7:00pm
Chapel & Livestreamed

Click here for details

December 4: The Rev. Thomas Szczerba and guests

John 15: Bearing Fruit in the Season of Giving
How do we bear fruit during the season of giving? Join us for a discussion led by the Rev. Thomas Szczerba and parishioners of St. David’s who are deeply involved with our Thanksgiving & Christmas outreach including Leslie Lewis and Lois Redmond.

December 11: The Rev. Betty Wright-Riggins

Abiding in Advent Grace: “In Me or In me?”

The Rev. Betty Wright-Riggins is an ordained American Baptist Minister and certified Spiritual Director. She has served as a pastor, consultant, executive denominational leader and co- founder of the American Baptist Churches Spiritual Director’s Network and the Rhythms of the Spirit retreat experience. She has taught at Eastern University and in Eastern University’s School of Christian Ministry. She currently serves as the interim Chaplain and coordinator of religious life at Ursinus College and staff spiritual director at the Middleton Center for Counseling and Spiritual Direction, and also provides spiritual direction at Princeton Seminary. Rev. Betty founded TrustOne, a consultancy, spiritual direction and formation ministry which includes “Breathing the Breath of God,” an in-home spiritual formation gathering and “Breathing in Scripture,” a weekly audio email.

November 27: ALL PARISH EVENT - Advent Wreath-making

November 13 and 20: In Partnership with Serviam Institute

November 13 – Rooted in Grace: The Gift of Spiritual Direction part 1
     St. David’s Spiritual Directors Amy Dolan and Endré Witthoeft will lead this discussion
November 20 – Rooted in Grace: The Gift of Spiritual Direction part 2
     This week, Amy and Endré will be joined by The Rev. Mary McCullough for more discussion. Some of St. David’s spiritual directees will also come to share their experiences.

These sessions are held in partnership with Serviam Institute. Serviam Institute is a Diocese of Pennsylvania hub for resources to equip and empower Christians for mission and ministry. 

Amy Dolan
For 20 years Amy has loved helping people find ways to draw spirituality into their daily lives. Amy completed a 2-year training program in spiritual direction through Oasis Ministries in 2008. She is in the 2023 cohort at the Center for Action and Contemplation’s Living School. In addition to being a spiritual director for individuals and groups, Amy offers the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. She teaches Yoga and Philosophy at a local university, is a regular blogger about living a contemplative life, and is a published author. She lives with her husband, two dogs, two cats, and an ever-changing mix of three mostly-grown kids. You can find her online at https://yogawithspirit.com/.

The Rev. Mary McCullough
Mary is a semi-retired priest in the diocese, living in Horsham Pennsylvania with her husband, David. After being ordained in 2008, she was called to serve at Trinity Church in Ambler for eleven years, followed by two years as interim rector at All Hallows in Wyncote. Along with a Master’s Degree in Spiritual Direction from Neumann University, Mary has received Certificates in continuing education with the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Clergy Leadership Spiritual Life and Leadership, Transforming Community: Leading Contemplative prayer Groups and Retreats and Group Spiritual Direction. Offering spiritual direction, as well as facilitating retreats, continue to be lifegiving forms of ministry for Mary. She serves on the Diocesan Commission on Ministry as well. In her free time, Mary likes to be with her five grandchildren, to read, and watch to the Eagles.  

Endré Witthoeft
Endré trained as a Spiritual Director through Oasis Ministries. Endré serves in several ministries through the Center for Spiritual Growth, including Exercise in Faith – a ministry that strengthens body, spirit, and fosters community; Centering Prayer – a silent meditation consenting to God’s present and movement of the Spirit; and Men’s Group Spiritual Direction – companioning with men looking to strengthen, with clarity, peace, and action, their walk with Christ.

November 6: ALL PARISH EVENT - All Saints' Day Parish Breakfast

All Parish Breakfast for All Saints’ Day in St. David’s Hall

October 23: ALL PARISH EVENT - Farewell Reception for The Rev. Emily Zimbrick-Rogers

All Parish Farewell Reception for The Rev. Emily Zimbrick-Rogers

October 16 & 30: The Rev. Dr. Flora Keshgegian

October 16 – What is Grace and How Do We Imagine It?
October 30 – Witnesses to Grace

The Rev. Dr. Flora A. Keshgegian is passionate about life, religion, and faith. She was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania in 1979 and has ministered and taught in a variety of settings, including as Associate Chaplain at Brown University and a professor at Seminary of the Southwest, Stonehill College, Church Divinity School of the Pacific and the Graduate Theological Union. She is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA), Philadelphia Divinity School (M.Div.), and Boston College and Andover Newton Theological School (PhD in Theology). As a theologian and writer, she seeks to provide nourishment for the yearnings of the heart in her three books, God Reflected: Metaphors for LifeTime for Hope: Practices for Living in Today’s World and Redeeming Memories: A Theology of Healing and Transformation. Her writing and teaching focus on re-imagining Christian ideas about who God is and how God acts, as well as attending to suffering and memory, justice and hope. She is particularly interested in what it means to live an abundant life, especially with a legacy of trauma and suffering.

September 18 - The Rev. W. Frank Allen

Growing in Grace: An Introduction

The Rev. W. Frank Allen has served as Rector since 1997. He grew up in Dallas, TX and attended Duke University on academic and music scholarships. After graduating with a degree in History, Frank worked for a large construction company in Philadelphia before answering the call to the priesthood. He attended Virginia Theological Seminary and served two years at St. John’s in Roanoke, VA before coming to St. David’s. Frank has served on the Standing Committee for the Diocese of Pennsylvania and other committees and commissions. He has twice served as a Deputy to The General Convention of The Episcopal Church. Frank is a Canon for Mission in the Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala and serves on the Board of the Gathering of Leaders. He has developed curriculum for adult baptism and confirmation, as well as a study on the Gifts of the Spirit. Frank and his wife Amy have three grown sons.

September 25 - October 9: Dr. Carey Walsh

September 25 – The Gentling Grace of God
October 2 – Climbing Up to Discipleship
October 9 – Growing into Life More Abundant

Dr. Carey Walsh is a Professor of Biblical Theology at Villanova University, where she teaches both undergraduates and graduate students in theology. This term she is teaching a course on Creation Care which explores Christian faith and the environmental crisis. Her doctorate is in Old Testament, because she fell in love with its messy realism, i.e., that no one is perfect, and God approaches us all.

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