New Leadership & 125th Anniversary
Under New Leadership, St. Mary’s Church in Ardmore Embarks on 125th Anniversary
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Ardmore began their 125th anniversary year as a parish in November. As a year-long celebration, the 125th anniversary celebrates the church’s deep roots in the Ardmore community as well as its future endeavors under the leadership of its new rector – Fr. Michael Giansiracusa.
“Our 125th anniversary celebrates the rich legacy of Gospel-inspired ministry that, from the very founding of this church, has been the unique contribution of St. Mary’s to the wider community,” said Fr. Mike.
St. Mary’s kicked-off the festivities with a 125th Anniversary celebration dinner on November 17 at the church, located at 36 Ardmore Avenue in Ardmore. During the celebration, guests were invited to explore the architectural history of the sanctuary through guided tours. Musical entertainment during the four-course meal included St. Mary’s choir, who sang contemporary songs during the procession into Parish Hall, followed by a blessing delivered by Fr. Mike. In addition, a barber shop quartet hosted a series of sing-alongs from St. Mary’s History Vignette ranging from 1887 to 1987.
St. Mary’s was originally founded in 1883 as a Sunday School mission church of the Church of the Redeemer in the nearby town of Bryn Mawr. Once land was purchased along Ardmore Avenue, a church was designed by the renowned Philadelphia architectural firm of Furness and Evans and built. November 16th is the date of the church’s consecration by the Bishop of the Diocese back in 1887, marking its official opening as a church to the greater community. St. Mary’s remains among the few remaining landmarks that date back to Ardmore’s earliest history as a town.
Today, the St. Mary’s congregation continues to grow and serve the community under the guidance and leadership of Fr. Mike.
Born and raised in Northeast Philadelphia, Fr. Mike served two years as a youth minister and 16 years as a teacher of theology and philosophy at the undergraduate and secondary levels before becoming rector of St. Mary’s in June 2012. Since becoming leader of the congregation, he has been deeply committed to creating “cross-boundary” experiences within the church – combining prayer, direct service, deep faith reflection and worship.
In this anniversary year, Fr. Mike is not only focusing on the congregation’s rich history but also its current outreach and future place within the Ardmore, Lower Merion and Greater Philadelphia communities. He continues to support the growth of the parish’s Food Pantry outreach, which now serves up to 4,000 families. Additionally, Fr. Mike oversees the church’s involvement in the Interfaith Hospitality Network, which provides support for homeless families throughout the community.
“I’m excited about all that we are doing here at St. Mary’s,” said Fr. Mike. “Our parish continues to serve all those in need within our community but is also gaining so much from those we are helping. It’s working two ways – and that is what makes us a strong faith community.”
For more information about the church and any upcoming events celebrating the 125th anniversary year, call (610) 649-1486. « Go Back
Church School Concludes This Sunday!
This Sunday, May 19th, concludes our Church School for the season. All children are invited to a celebratory breakfast at 9:30 a.m. with fun and games! No classes, just a time for being together and congratulating the kids. Please make a special effort to join in.
Exciting Changes for Church School
Wait till you see this!
Church School at St. Mary’s has undergone a radical transformation, and we are very excited! Incorporating all of last year’s feedback from children, parents and teachers, we are rolling out a variety of new and innovative ideas for children, tweens and teens.
For children K-6 it’s all about “Kings and Queens of the Bible” this year using a new hands-on, multi-age, multisensory, kid-centered curriculum that is fun and easy to teach!
Rite 13 and J2A kids will explore how the Bible is relevant to them, using events in their daily lives, technology and diverse media. Get ready for outreach projects and connecting with youth from around the diocese!
We are also introducing Children’s Chapel during the 10:30 service every Sunday beginning September 16. Children will have an appropriate sermon/story based on the lectionary followed by prayers before processing back to church at the Peace. So please come and see!
September 9 is Welcome Back Sunday with Breakfast at 9:30 for families to reconnect, meet Fr. Giansiracusa and register for Church School. The following Sunday, September 16, classes begin at 9:30 for all kids. Parents and parishioners are asked to attend the forum that day to learn all about these innovations and how you can be a part of it. Mark your calendars, and we look forward to seeing everyone!
Kathryn Miani and Donna Lindner,
Coordinators, St. Mary’s Church School
Fr. Mike's 19 Aug 2012 sermon
You can download a copy of Fr. Mike's sermon Whoever Eats this Bread by cliking here.
St. Mary's on YouTube
Luke Miani has captured the spirit of St. Mary's on YouTube! Don't miss this teen view of our church school, coffee hour and worship at www.youtube.com/user/saintmarysardmore?feature=results_main