[From Bishop Paul] I am happy to announce that after a period of gathering for initial conversations, we once again have a Commission on Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations. It is comprised of a good number of clergy and lay people from the north and the south of the DIocese. Because this work is so important and because she has put so much time and energy into the efforts so far, I have named the chair of the commission as Canon for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations. I know you will want to congratulate the Reverend Canon Maria Tjeltveit on her appointment. Those who attend convention are already familiar with her reports and her dedicated work on the dialogue with the Moravians. One of the Commission's tasks is to keep us educated and motivated in these matters, so with you I look forward to hearing from them. Blessings, +Paul
When conferred upon clergy in the Episcopal Church, canon is commonly regarded as an honorific similar to monsignor in the Roman Catholic Church. The title is usually given in recognition of position, significant service or achievement. Canon Maria W. E. Tjeltveit has been rector of the Church of the Mediator, Allentown, since September 1, 1999. (Her first name is pronounced "Mariah" and her last name is pronounced "Chelt vate".) Maria is a member of the Moravian-Episcopal dialogue on the national level and is active in Jewish-Christian and Muslim-Christian dialogue. She is Ecumenical and Interfaith Officer for the Diocese of Bethlehem. She graduated from Swarthmore College and the Berkeley/Yale Divinity School. Before coming to Mediator, she served at St. Matthew'sChurch in Charleston, West Virginia; St Paul's Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Virginia; and St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Harrington Park, New Jersey. Maria, her husband Dr. Alan Tjeltveit, who is a Professor in Psychology at Muhlenberg College, and their children, William and Anna, live in Allentown.