What is Christian unity? What would it look like if we had it? On Wednesday, May 13, The Rev. Maria Tjeltveit will explore these questions in her presentation, One in Christ? at the annual meeting of our diocesan Episcopal Church Women at Kirby House. Maria is rector of Mediator Allentown and serves the Diocese of Bethlehem as Ecumenical and Interfaith Officer. She will lead an exploration of the ecumenical movement, including dialogues on the national and international level as well as in our own parishes. This is an opportunity to learn and to share our experiences of working together and connecting with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus prayed that “they all may be one.” Come find out how we, as women and as members of the body of Christ, seek to live out Christ’s prayer.
Send reservation, $12, to Catherine Jeffery, 1839 Ulster Road, Allentown, by May 1. No reservations accepted after this deadline. Call Catherine at 610-868-6682
The Rev. Maria Tjeltveit grew up as a missionary child in Japan. Before seminary she worked with senior citizens as a Volunteer for Mission at the Highland Educational Project in the coal fields of West Virginia. Her interest in ecumenical relations was enhanced by going to Yale Divinity School, where Episcopal formation takes place within an ecumenical context. Ordained in 1986, she served churches in the dioceses of West Virginia, Virginia, and Newark before coming to the Diocese of Bethlehem, where she has been the rector of the Episcopal Church of the Mediator since 1999. She has been very involved in social ministry which has often taken place in ecumenical or interfaith contexts. Currently, she is the Ecumenical and Interfaith Officer for the diocese, and serves on the Moravian-Episcopal Dialogue for the national church. On a local level, her congregation was in a covenant relationship with a Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, and Lutheran church, and is now in a new relationship with two Lutheran churches, a United Methodist church, and a United Church of Christ church in the neighborhood. She is a member of the Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding’s Colloquy group of Christian and Jewish clergy who meet together for study monthly, and an Interfaith (Jewish/Christian/Muslim) in Action Group. She chairs the Homeless Supportive Services Support Committee for the Lehigh County Conference of Churches. She is taking an internet course on Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, offered by the Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations Office of the Episcopal Church, and is studying Hebrew.
Maria is married to Alan Tjeltveit, a professor of Psychology at Muhlenberg College. Alan had been a Norwegian Lutheran before becoming an Episcopalian. They have two children, William, 10, and Anna, 8.