The Reverend Canon
Canon for Urban Ministry
Church Without Walls
St. Mary's Episcopal Church
The Rev. Canon Beth Tjoflat serves as canon for urban ministry for the Episcopal Diocese of Florida and vicar of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, a mission deeply rooted in Word and Sacrament. She is committed to following the way of Christ and to equipping and supporting those who long for concrete and relevant ways to embody the Gospel in the world.
Before coming to St. Mary’s in 2017, Beth served at St. Francis-in-the-Field. While there, she was called to launch a new form of ministry. This “church without walls” –- worshipping for 10 years now -- calls us beyond our parish walls to build a community of faith with the most vulnerable among us. Engaging in wider diocesan and ecumenical activities has added context and depth to her ministry. This work includes but is not limited to: serving on the Commission on Ministry; teaching pastoral care to those on the path to ordination as deacons; serving as a spiritual advisor for Cursillo and Kairos Outside (for women who’s loved ones are incarcerated); and serving as clergy chair of a delegation to General Convention.
A native of Jacksonville, Beth grew up at St. John’s Cathedral. Before finally saying ‘yes’ to a call to ordained ministry, she worked in health care development for more than 15 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville University, a master’s degree in professional writing from University of Southern California, and a master of divinity degree from Yale with a diploma in Anglican studies from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. She has completed 10 units of clinical pastoral education, providing strong theory and best practices as she takes a pastoral approach to all of her work.
She and her son Daron enjoy baseball, bicycles, Mario Kart, Uno, and their two rescue beagles Blossom and Charlotte Rose. Daron and Beth have been together since 2016 and became a “forever family” in 2017.
Dear Diocesan family,
How humbling it is to be a nominee for bishop coadjutor and ultimately the ninth bishop of our diocese. You have raised me up. You have supported and encouraged me throughout much of my life and through my vocation as priest. Thank you.
Now is a time of great opportunity in our diocese. We have a legacy of ministries that enable us to share the love of Christ with those nearby, with the incarcerated and with those in distant places. Our smaller parishes and missions have a passion and commitment to Jesus that is fervent and palpable. Our larger churches offer a breadth of programs and resources and a spirit of generosity that benefit us all.
In this season, God is calling us to come together like never before, as followers of Christ: to dream and to heal, to practice a radical welcome and love for each other as we cast wide the net, ensuring a safe space for increasing diversity in our diocese and for all God’s people. We live in a world facing many challenges, not just locally and within our diocese, but within our country and the wider global community. Jesus is bringing new life and inspiration to his creation. We will discover and articulate together a vision for growing and strengthening our churches and for sharing the love of Christ in an increasingly unchurched world. Grounded in holy scripture and in the breaking of bread, we will continue to listen to the Holy Spirit and to follow Jesus.
Leading a small congregation and mission church, facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles, has taught me to rely more fully on God than on human strength and will. Even and especially in this pandemic time, I have seen the Spirit move powerfully, bringing together people with an urgent desire to make a tangible difference in their communities and a deep hunger for a very real relationship with the living Word Jesus. Challenging times are a sacred crucible for transformation as we offer ourselves to God with abandon – knowing He never disappoints. In my essays, you will find some of the possibilities bubbling up for me. Whether elected or not, I look forward to dreaming together as we embody Jesus’ Beloved Community.
In the weeks ahead, let us pray for one another, for the Diocese of Florida and for God’s holy catholic and apostolic Church.