Deacon Community Keeps Me Grounded

Community helps me stay grounded and focused.  That is why it is important for me to be in a community of deacons.  How each of us lives out our diaconal calling is very different, but we all work around the same core values and theological touchstones.

Elliott is a youth minister in a parish in South Dakota.  Ben is a nursing student at Valparaiso University.  I am currently a chaplain in a health care facility but I am also a Lutheran Teacher, a Professor, and a Director of Christian Education.  (Forty extra years gets you a few more certificates and titles.)  The things we do differently are fairly obvious.  What is it that forms us into community?

The Lutheran Deacons in formation recognize that every Christian every Christian is set apart for the diaconal task by virtue of the call that comes through one’s BaptismThe theological touchstone of the LDA expresses it this way, “The diaconal task belongs to all the baptized.”

Each of the Lutheran Deacons in formation are committed to helping each Baptized person to find and use their gifts in service to others.  I am exploring this in the health care setting and looking for ways to help residents live out their vocation and calling.   In the worship setting, I have residents read the Scriptures and lead the prayers.  Residents have begun baking bread for the communion services and residents make banners for the worship environment.  Residents have helped lead Bible classes and residents are encouraged and supported in  finding ways to care for one another. Residents are encouraged to offer support to one another.

When the Lutheran Deacons in formation meet each Monday night (via Skype) for prayer and support, time is also spent helping each other find ways to affirm the diaconal ministry of those with whom we work and we specifically explore together what this might look like in each of our respective ministries.

As ministers of Word and Service, Lutheran Deacons in formation, are committed to supporting one another in living out the call of God in our respective settings.  This community does help me stay both grounded and focused.

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