The Rev. Barbara Ballenger has served for the last seven years as an associate at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill, the first five as a lay associate and the last two as Associate Rector. She was ordained in December 2019, alongside the Rev. Laura Palmer. Rev. Barb has worked in ministry settings in both the Catholic and Episcopal Church for nearly 30 years, including youth and adult faith formation, campus ministry, global relief and development, domestic disaster response, performing arts ministry and parish pastoral ministry. She also has a long history in social justice and political advocacy, especially in areas of climate justice and racial repair and healing. Rev. Barb is currently the co-chair of the Diocesan Anti-Racism Commission and is part of the diocese’s Loving Presence Initiative.
Rev. Barb plays the guitar and the banjo and is a singer and songwriter. You can find several of her songs, written in her performing arts ministry days, on SoundCloud. Her husband, Jess, is a professor of medical ethics at Drexel University. She has two adult children, Hannah, 21, and Jesse, 27. A dog, Oakley, and cat, Yolandi, also live with the family in their home in Mt. Airy. Rev. Barb loves to read, play cooperative board games, and ride through Pennsylvania with her husband on the couple’s tandem bicycle.
Laura Palmer joined St. Peter's as Pastoral Intern in December 2018 and was ordained in June, 2019. Her roots in Pennsylvania are deep; both sets of grandparents were here for generations so living here now for the past six years is coming full circle. She was born in Evanston, Illinois, but left after graduating from high school in 1968 and attended Oberlin College. She thought she was going to go to law school, but went to Vietnam instead where she worked as a freelance radio reporter for two years. When she returned to this country, Laura had a first career as an author and journalist in television news. She married, and after a divorce, raised her daughter in New York City which was home for nearly 30 years.
Her spiritual life continued to deepen and so Laura went to Union Theological Seminary, graduating in 2009 with a Master of Divinity degree in Psychiatry and Religion. It was there that she fell in love with chaplaincy and where she pursues it today at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia working as the chaplain in oncology and high risk obstetrics. Laura never expected to seek ordination, but something sought her and here she is. She is delighted to be serving the vibrant community here at St. Peter's, learning and growing together with us.
Ministers of Music
Tim Flaherty, Interim Minister of Music, served as Choirmaster at St Philip-in-the-Fields Oreland for thirty-one years before moving to St Peter’s Glenside in a merger of the two parishes in 2016. Since arriving at St Peter’s, Tim has been choir member and past interim conductor of the senior choir, and is also a member of the handbell choir. A graduate of Temple University Boyer College of Music and Dance, where he earned his B. Mus Ed and his M. Mus Ed in vocal music education, Tim was employed for 38 ½ years as an elementary, middle, and high vocal music teacher in the School District of Philadelphia, and was the Director of Vocal Music at Northeast High School until his retirement in 2013. He remains actively employed as Adjunct Faculty/Education Support Professional at Temple University Boyer College of Music where he supervises and mentor’s student teachers pursuing degrees in music education. While at Temple he sang in the Temple University Concert Choir under the baton of Robert Page and presently performs with the Dr Rollo Dilworth and the Singing Owls of Temple. Tim is a past Assistant Director of the Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale, and has been a familiar voice with the Ocean City Pops, providing the narrations for past performances of Francois Poulenc’s “”Histoire de Babar” (The Story of Babar), Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait”, and the musical adaptation of “Casey at the Bat”, and “Tubby the Tuba”.
Kathleen Murphy Flaherty, Interim Minister of Music and Bell Choir Director, is in her 50th year of serving as a church musician. She is an experienced organist, pianist, choir director, choral singer, and handbell director for churches of varied denominations in the Philadelphia area. Mrs. Flaherty was Organist and Handbell Director at St. Philip-in-the-Fields for 31 years, prior to the merger with St. Peter’s Glenside. As an organist, Kathleen has performed on the great Philadelphia organs; Girard College, Irvine Auditorium and the Kimmel Center. She has also enjoyed accompanying for choir tours to Israel, Germany and Italy, encountering an assortment of very quirky instruments. Mrs. Flaherty holds a Bachelor of Music Education in keyboard from Boyer College of Music and Dance, Temple University and a Master’s Equivalency with graduate studies at Westminster Choir College, University of the Arts and Villanova University. She received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teachers in 2014, prior to her retirement from Girard Academic Music Program and currently supervises Music Education student teachers for Temple University.
Jeanné Fisher Hannum, interim Parish Secretary, was a Lieutenant in the Navy Nurse Corps. She returned to school on the GI Bill and received her BSN from Thomas Jefferson University in 1985. She worked as a nurse supervisor in long-term care facilities, did high-tech homecare for venitlator-dependant children, and was Regional Director of Nurses for NurseFinders. After her retirement from nursing, she owned and operated a used book store in Philadelphia. Later, she accepted a position as Parish Administrator at St. Philip-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church in Oreland, PA. She remained there through the merger with St. Peter's. Since that time she has been a member of St. Peter's Church, sings alto in the choir, and is currently serving on the Vestry.
Jeanné is married to Charles Hannum, chair of the Worship Committee and bass in the choir. They live in Northeast Philadelphia with their two ginger cats.
Tim Valera was born and raised in Glenside. He has worked exclusively for ATD American Co. in the IT department for 30 years. He joined the St. Peter’s community as our caretaker in the summer of 2012. As caretaker, Tim opens and closes all buildings, offers security on the property, and supports all parish, tenant and rental events. He also works on special property projects as needed.
Vestry Members and Liaison Assignments
The Vestry is comprised of the Senior Warden, Accounting Warden, People's Warden, Secretary, and ten other members.
Linda Toia, Senior Warden, Class of 2024
Bob Hartung, Accounting Warden, Class of 2023
Rob DeKalb, People's Warden, Class of 2025
Jeanne Robson, Vestry Secretary
Class of 2023
Jim Callahan, Liaison to Operations Ministries
Dan Kelly, Liaison to Operations Ministries
Debbie Panebianco, Liaison to Inreach/Parish Life Ministries
Alex Stevers-Radtke, Liaison to Worship Ministries
Class of 2024
Nancy Ironside, Liaison to Faith Formation Ministries
David Kipphut, Liaison to Faith Formation Ministries
Ken Rose, Liaison to Outreach Ministries
Class of 2025
Jeanné Hannum, Liaison to Worship Ministries
Amy Michener-Wall, Liaison to Outreach Ministries
Karen Sayer, Liaison to Inreach/Parish Life Ministries
Other Key Leadership Positions
Carole DeKalb, Finance Chair
Dave Kipphut, Property Chair