Death of the Rev. Dr. Martha Giltinan

The Rev. Dr. Martha GiltinanFuneral Details:

Funeral Service for the Rev. Dr. Martha Giltinan, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology, Trinity School for Ministry, will be held Saturday, January 3, 2015 at 1:00pm, at Church of the Ascension, 4729 Ellsworth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Given that Martha served as Trinity’s Director of Mentored Ministry and worked with clergy from a variety of Christian denominations, all clergy who knew her are invited to vest and participate in the service. White stoles.

Reception following the service.

Childcare available for children age 4 and under.

Parking is available at Oakland Catholic High School. Cars must enter one block west of Ascension on Craig Street. See parking directions on website available here:


AMBRIDGE, PA – December 12, 2014  – The Rev. Dr. Martha Giltinan died this morning in Boston at Massachusetts General Hospital after a yearlong battle with Leukemia. Throughout this year she has fought valiantly against the disease, but always with a deep trust in the Lord and without a fear of death. “Death has no dominion over me,” was her constant refrain during her treatment.

Martha has been a member of the Faculty of Trinity School for Ministry since 2005 teaching both Liturgy and Pastoral Theology. She was a priest in the Anglican Church of North America and served on the Liturgy and Common Worship Task Force which developed Texts for Common Prayer. Prior to her work at Trinity, she served in Parish ministry in the Boston area for nearly twenty years. “Martha has been a dear friend and a much-loved colleague,” remarked the Very Rev. Dr. Justyn Terry, Trinity’s Dean and President. “She was a great pastor and mentor to many of our students over the years and she will be deeply missed by the whole Trinity community.”

Martha is survived by her mother Carter, and brothers Thomas A., William, and Alexander. She is predeceased by her father Alexander.

May she rest in peace.



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Showing 9 comments
  • Anonymous

    I ran into an acquaintance walking down the sidewalk today, and I could not hide my face even though I wanted to. My eyes and nose were red and puffy – undeniably sad. I am grieving and it cannot be covered up.

    Something was wrong. Something is wrong in the world. I am weeping, like Jesus, who wept at the tomb of his beloved friend, Lazarus. I am weeping for myself and for the rest of us who were not given more time with this bright, lively, beloved person.

    “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
    Our days on this earth are counted out, numbered, and however many they are, they are too few in the face of eternity. The brevity of life on earth causes me to look up, to look to the stars, to search and ask and see. As we each travel, passing through, we are right to ask, “How then are we to live this short life of ours?”

    My friend and mentor Martha was a person who lived boldly – not for herself, but for the God she loves and serves, and for others. I first met Martha when I was 15. She was an Episcopal priest, who preached and taught from Scripture, who led both women and men, and who did not anesthetize her own lively personality to fit into the expectations of others.

    I could never have guessed when I knew her in high school that our Lord would call me to the same vocation. But Jesus knew, and he prepared me for the possibility that I, too, could light up the sky, burn up, and joyfully expend myself in loving and serving Him and others. Jesus showed me through Martha that I could be my loud, bright, beautiful self – a woman! – while leading and serving in ministry.

    Martha is like a comet in all its glory streaking across the night sky – bright and beautiful, ephemeral and on-the-move. She has now found her place of rest, face-to-face with the Light of the World, through whom she hears the Father say, “Well done, good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your master.”

    Since we must die, why not live like that?

  • Anonymous

    We, the Stevensons, met Martha and family when we moved next door on Churchill Circle in ’66. We immediately fell in love with the bright, smiling, loving and giving Martha. We enjoyed watching her grow up and begin her love relationship with God. I believe she was gifted with “feeling deeply” for the needs of others, along with “expressing” herself with exuberance. Again, we loved her smile. The last time I saw Martha was at her Father’s funeral where she sang for him. All I can say is WOW and POWERFUL. You’ve been a blessing Martha, a very sweet blessing. Will miss you, but smile every time we think of you.
    Betsy Stevenson Snyder

  • Anonymous

    I am so sorry to read about Martha’s death. She was such a wonderful, loving person and had an amazing singing voice. I will miss her.

    Tom Kitchens
    MAR 2012

  • Anonymous

    I listened to Reverend Martha’s message today on ‘Worship” and listened to the resounding message of true worship that she gave. Being thirsty for the true God and Him only and coming as we are to want God. Not necessarily the things of God but worshiping God in truth. Her invitation was to come to God to the living stream. Being thirsty enough for God and through grace coming to God to set us free.
    Wonderful sermon on worshiping God. Thank you Reverend Martha Giltinan for the worship sermon.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    May her departed soul find an eternal rest in the bosom of the Lord. My prayers go to the bereaved family members, well-wishers, Faculty, staff, and students of the Trinity School for Ministry. Since it pleased God to call her back to eternal glory, who are we to question Him. We only ask that God in his infinite mercy may give us the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.
    David Mbelu
    TSM Student.

  • Anonymous

    As President of Christians for Biblical Equality, I have had the opportunity to work beside Christian leaders from every continent and from nearly every denomination. In my over 20 years of Christian service, I have rarely met a leader so passionate to know and to make known the glories of Christ. Because of this, Martha could light up a room like no one else. Every cell of her being was so vitally alive! Eyes fixed on Jesus, she had overcome the world long before cancer tortured her body. A strong advocate for women, she was herself one of the best reasons I have for coming to work every day. As a friend, she was faithful in all that was seemingly insignificant, as always present in larger concerns. Devoted to the global church, Martha had a community of friends seemingly everywhere (making new ones daily) and she loved them sincerely. Though my heart is breaking, I feel so rich for having the honor of calling Martha a friend. She always did was was best for the body of Christ, and truly, I never heard her say a negative word about anyone. I love you dear Martha, and thank you for showing me so clearly what leadership truly means. With thanks to God for your example. Mimi Haddad

  • Anonymous

    She touched my life . We’ll see again in heaven!

    Venerable Israel Odita

  • Anonymous

    I met Martha in the fall of 1982 when we both were entering Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She was brave to pursue her ministry training at a non-Episcopal school, and doubly brave to do so as a woman in a school where many male students were at best uncertain (like myself) about the appropriateness of ordaining women. Martha did not fight that battle. She broke down my resistance and that of many others simply by pursuing the path she was convinced her Lord had laid before her.

    2 years later Martha became a neighbor. As a single woman she was an unlikely resident of “trailerville”(* mobile home heretofore married student housing). She often gave me rides to Gordon Fee’s night class on Acts in her antique VW Beetle. One night when the frozen precipitation turned the drive out of the seminary into a ski-jump ramp, she gave a little whelp of terror as the brakes, strenuously applied, were of little avail. I said, “Pump the brakes!” And she said, “What’s that mean!” Instantly I realized her West Virginia background had ill-prepared her for the wilds of New England. The lesson was given and crisis averted.

    Many years later, when I had returned to New England after 10 years in the Mid-west, I learned of Martha’s new position at TESM, 3 of whose January sessions I had attended. Then I was so surprised to learn we had a mutual MN friend – and to learn this simultaneous to the news of her fight with leukemia. What a dear, dear woman God lent to us for these years!

    Martha loved to sing, and sang well. I remember her breaking in to tears at the last verse of “I Cannot Tell” when her anticipation of the return of Our Lord became tangible. But she taught me “To be a Pilgrim” –
    He who would valiant be, ‘gainst all disaster,
    Let Him with constancy, follow the Master

    Thank you for following Him with joyful, valiant, constancy, my friend.
    Rejoice in your Master’s presence.
    Peter Smith