By Jan Whalen
For the Star 

New pastor installed at Epiphany Church

Lutheran and Episcopal faithful welcome Christina Mauntel


Photo courtesy Jan Whalen

Pastor Christina Mauntel, right, of Epiphany Lutheran and Episcopal Church, was installed last week by the visiting Bishop Shelly Wickstrom.

Bishop Shelly Wickstrom installed Pastor Christina Mauntel at Epiphany Lutheran and Episcopal Church on Sunday. Pastor Christina was ordained in September at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Jasper, Indiana, the place where she grew up. She arrived in Valdez this past Wednesday after a cross-country drive and a ferry ride up the Inside Passage.

Christina describes herself as a farm kid, her family grew corn, soybeans, had a dairy, and a large garden.

"I'm used to hard work and lots of chores," she said.

Thinking she'd be a lawyer, Christina earned a BA in Political Science and History, and then she began to travel. She studied abroad, joined Americorp Vista, and worked with a group dedicated to alleviating poverty. After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, 5000 displaced Louisianans moved to Indiana, and Christina assisted with finding housing, food, clothes, and health care for them.

Mauntel returned to college to earn a Master's Degree in Political Science, then signed up for the Peace Corps and moved to Bulgaria. She later taught at a local community college until an opportunity arose to teach on Coast Guard cutters in the South China Sea. There, she discovered a love for the sea. She also did a stint with Global Mission in South Africa, working with immigrants from Zimbabwe, additional Coast Guard work, in addition to good works in Colorado and Louisiana.

She attended Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in South Carolina, and was ordained in September. Besides being a pastor, she is a US Navy Chaplain candidate.

Mauntel said she looks forward to meeting the people of Valdez and exploring the area, especially the ocean.

"I think I'll need to buy a kayak," she said.


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