Off On A New Adventure

Well, I am off on a new adventure.  I have been invited by the Lutheran Deaconess Association (LDA) to enter into formation as a deacon in their community with the intent of being consecrated as a deacon, and then with the invitation to help in the formation of a male community of deacons.  I am excited. I love this quote on the home page of the Lutheran Deaconess Association, “With towel and basin, deaconesses and deacons reach out to those at the margins of society, providing hospitality, hope, and care for physical, emotional and spiritual needs.”  The LDA has been in existence since 1919 and continues a history of serving the needs of the culture in the name of Christ.  Deaconesses and Deacons have been a part of the ministry of the Church since the first century and provide powerful leadership in Word and Service ministry.

In actuality, I have been a diaconal minister (minister of Word and Service) for 42 years.  I am certified in two diaconal offices (Lutheran Teacher and Director of Christian Education) and have now been trained for a third (Chaplain).  The journey of service has been incredibly powerful, and it is a privilege to serve the needs of others.  I love service through teaching the faith and  through ministering to the dying.  Christ is present in these ministries, and the joy is incredible. 

I feel called to this affiliation with the LDA because I believe in the importance of community and I want to be in community with those who do Word and Service ministry.    The LDA is a part of the worldwide diaconal movement, which brings ministers of Word and Service into common witness, prayer and service.  I am excited that  current plans involve being one diaconate, with separate communities for men and women.   There is power in the common community, but there are also times when it is helpful for women to be with women and men to be with men.  When we share a common vision and call, it is helpful to be with those who offer prayer and personal support.

The beauty of this community is that members may or may not serve on the staff of Lutheran congregations.  In this rapidly changing world, the LDA provides the opportunity for women and men to use their gifts in the context of their daily lives.  I will use mine in the health care setting, but others may use their gifts as teachers, chiropractors, nurses, musicians, or on the roster of a church-body, serving a congregation or institution.

I began the process on March 1 by joining in a week long formation process with a group of men and women who are also entering the community.  Please keep this process in prayer.  I look forward to comments, questions and suggestions.

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