About Our Priests

The Christian Community of Chapel Hill/Durham is an affiliate of The Christian Community in the Greater Washington-Baltimore Area. The Washington-Baltimore congregation is blessed with two priests, Rev. Matthias Giles and Rev. Emma Heirman who happen to be a married couple. Rev. Matthias Giles is assigned to our community and will visit on average, 6-8 times during the school year. He is also available for special events such as baptisms, weddings, and funerals. In the event that he is not available, we may have the opportunity of a visit from Rev. Emma Heirman. We also have monthly Devotional Gatherings led by a lay leader when a priest isn’t available.

A little about Rev. Matthias Giles in his own words:

Rev. Matthias Giles

I grew up in a small town, absorbing the natural beauty of rural northeastern Ohio. As a young adult, a love for music, plants, and the riddles of existence guided my pursuits. In 2007 I received a BA in music from Earlham College. Through friendships in college I encountered Spiritual Science and the writings of Rudolf Steiner, which would profoundly influence my spiritual and intellectual life thereafter.

I first experienced the potent and healing substance of the sacraments of The Christian Community Movement for Religious Renewal while studying early Christian theology at Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. This life-filled nourishment became an increasingly central element in my life. After completing an MTS degree in 2014, I sought to follow an inner call toward the living Christ through the seminary priest training in Spring Valley, NY. I was ordained as a priest of The Christian Community in March 2019 and joined my wife, Rev. Emma Heirman, to serve the congregation in Denver, Colorado. It is my greatest honor to accompany fellow companions on the Christian path through the joys and the sorrows of life and death.

Rev. Emma Heirman

About Rev. Emma – I grew up in Silver Spring, MD when that congregation was an affiliate community of Devon, Pennsylvania. While my childhood was shaped strongly by my 12 years at the Washington Waldorf School, many of the memories that burn most bright are from my times in front of the altar of The Christian Community. Many of these occurred at summer camp during services for children, or vespers in the evening for staff. As a child and then young adult, I found comfort and strength for my sorrows and joys at the threshold, at the place where I turn my heart to the world of spirit.  
In my twenties, my search for my work and my place in the world led me back to the altar. I found that those who also gathered there were students of the school of which I longed to be part: the school of life that turns to Christ Jesus as its brother and guide. After studying at the Seminary of The Christian Community in North America and in Stuttgart, Germany, I was ordained in February, 2016. I served my first congregation in Denver, Colorado from 2016-2020. I am eager to serve the Baltimore/DC community beside my husband, Rev. Matthias Giles.