Marlene Forrest

The Reverend Deacon Marlene E. Forrest is a cradle Episcopalian. She graduated with her Master of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary on May 17, 2018. She was ordained to the Transitional Diaconate on June 9th, 2018. Deacons are members of one of three distinct orders of ordained ministry (with bishops and priest). Deacons empower others to name, claim and engage the work God gives us all to do. They interpret to the Church the needs, concerns and hopes of the world. Through baptism, all Christians are called to make Christ’s redemptive love known through servant ministry. Deacons are ordained to exercise this ministry, particularly to the poor, the weak, the sick and the lonely. Deacons model servant ministry in their daily life and work and are icons of servant ministry through their roles in worship. At all times, by their life and teaching, deacons are to show Christ’s people that in serving others they are serving Christ himself. There are those ordained deacons as a permanent vocation and will not be ordained as a priest. Because Marlene is a “transitional deacon” she was ordained deacon as a preliminary step toward ordination as a priest. This practice is required by the canons of the Episcopal Church. God willing and the people consenting she will be ordained as a priest in December of 2018.
Before entering seminary, Marlene was active in the life and ministry of her home church, Meade Memorial Episcopal in Alexandria, Virginia as a Eucharistic Minister, Lay Preacher, Worship Leader, Youth Minister, Vestry member and Choir member. She retired as a Special Education Teacher in 2016 after 30 years of teaching a variety of children with special needs.
While at Virginia Theological Seminary, Marlene established and served as President of the Seminarians of Color Union (SOCU). She was a Bishop Payne Scholar and was a member of the Multicultural Ministries Committee. She also served on the Design Team for the 2017 Seminarians of Color Conference sponsored by The Episcopal Church and the Office on Ethnic Ministries and was nominated and attended the Preaching Excellence Program, sponsored by the Episcopal Preaching Foundation.
She obtained her undergraduate Degree in Special Education from Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia and her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University. She has one daughter, Sara and a Grand-puggle (Pug and Beagle), Napoleon. She is a proud mother, daughter, sister and aunt. Her family is very important to her and she loves to spend time with them. In her spare time, she likes to watch medical, cooking and home renovation shows. She is also a music lover and attends many live music events when time permits.
Marlene is very excited to be a part of the Saint Peter’s in the Woods family and is looking forward to all that God has in store for His people.
One of her favorite scriptures is 2 Chronicles 7:14 “However, if my people who belong to me will humbly pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.”