Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Deaconess Martha S. Boss Commemorative Book

Serving the Lord with Joy - A Pioneer of The Lutheran Church-Hong Kong Synod
: Deaconess Martha S. Boss Commemorative Book

This 123-page book was just published by the Social Service Committee of The Lutheran Church-Hong Kong Synod. Contributors to the collection of stories about Deaconess Martha S. Boss (1913-1973) are the very people whom she served and/or worked with in China and Hong Kong for over 27 years.

The stories are heart-warming and include titles such as: "An Honorable Benefactress," "My First Piano Teacher," "My Big Sister," "From Temporariness to Eternity," and "My Beloved Deaconess." These tributes show the large and loving influence that Deaconess Boss had on the Chinese population, particularly in Hong Kong, while she spent her life in service to God and those who needed to know His love in Jesus Christ.

Martha is described as a woman for whom no task was either too small or too great - and in the midst of whatever she was doing, the people to whom she brought her ministry of mercy knew that they were loved both by her and by God.

This is an inspiring volume - which I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone interested in mission work, the work of deaconesses abroad, or in examining how one humble deaconess made a huge impact on the lives of countless others as she acted on her love for them.

ISBN: 978-988-99256-9-7

Monday, March 22, 2010

Website for LCMS Deaconess Biographies Project

A website for the LCMS Deaconess Biographies Project is now ready for public use at

The site includes pages that explain the project's background, a list of all deaconesses who have officially served the LCMS or the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America, and an easy-to-follow "submit information" page for the collection of material on these deaconesses. A catalog of acquisitions and list of project donors is also available on the website, along with the project timeline, updates, and photographs. It is also possible to make tax-deductible financial donations via PayPal or Credit Card on the site's "donate" page, (or checks can be mailed to the Project Business Manager).

Phase One of the Project lasted nine months and entailed creating a website and other communication tools; and setting up a physical project administration center (computer systems, shelves, archive folders and boxes, etc.).

As of March 4, 2010, Phase Two of the Project is underway, with the soliciting, receiving, and archiving of information related to the deaconesses and their work as agents of mercy on behalf of the church. This phase is expected to take three years.

Phase Three of the Project will include publication of a Biographical Encyclopedia of Deaconesses and Phase Four the depositing of the Project archives at Concordia Historical Institute in St. Louis, Missouri.

Have a look at the website and enjoy!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

International Women of Courage Award

In March 2007, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice established an annual International Women of Courage Award to recognize women, from anywhere in the world, who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women's rights or the advancement of women in society. According to the US Department of State website, the award created by Miss Rice is the only one of its kind which “pays tribute to emerging women leaders worldwide, and offers a unique opportunity to recognize those who work in the field of international women's issues.”

On March 10, 2010, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama served as joint hostesses for these annual awards at the Department of State.

The ten women honored with the 2010 International Women of Courage Award include:
1. Shukria Asil, of Afghanistan, for promoting government responsiveness to the needs of women.
2. Colonel Shafiqa Quraishi, of Afghanistan, for integrating women into the government and police force.
3. Androula Henriques, of Cyprus, for fighting human trafficking.
4. Sonia Pierre, of Dominican Republic, for ending discrimination based on country of origin and the human rights abuses of statelessness.
5. Shadi Sadr, of Iran, for advocating for women’s legal rights and an end to execution by stoning.
6. Ann Njogu, of Kenya, for seeking social transformation and being at the forefront of reforms in Kenya.
7. Dr. Lee Ae-ran, of the Republic of Korea, for promoting human rights in North Korea and aiding the refugee community in the Republic of Korea.
8. Jansila Majeed, of Sri Lanka, for strengthening rights for internally displaced persons.
9. Sister Marie Claude Naddaf (also known as Sister Marie Claude), of Syria, of working for social services for women.
10. Jestina Mukoko, of Zimbabwe, for documenting human rights abuses.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March is Women's History Month

My first reaction when hearing this designation for the month of March was, "Really? If March is Women's History Month, then when is Men's History Month?" On second thought, in spite of my skepticism, I decided to google the phrase and see just how seriously people are taking this idea.

Interestingly, I discovered that 2010 will see the 30th anniversary of the National Women’s History Project (NWHP). This organization's website explains, "When we began mobilizing the lobbying effort that resulted in President Carter issuing a Presidential Proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980 as the first National Women’s History Week, we had no idea what the future would bring. And then, in 1987, another of our successful lobbying efforts resulted in Congress expanding the week into a month, and March is now National Women’s History Month." [ ]
So there we have it. It is truly an official designation for this month, thanks to President Carter's proclamation.

Another couple of paragraphs on the NWHP website interest me in light of the fact that In the Footsteps of Phoebe records - for the first time - many thoughts, actions, and activities of women during important eras in church history. For example:
"The overarching theme for 2010 and our 30th Anniversary celebration is Writing Women Back into History. It often seems that the history of women is written in invisible ink. Even when recognized in their own times, women are frequently left out of the history books. To honor our 2010 theme, we are highlighting pivotal themes from previous years. Each of these past themes recognizes a different aspect of women’s achievements, from ecology to art, and from sports to politics."

Monday, March 8, 2010

Thank You to 19 Countries!

It is good to be able to return to this site and submit a blog after an absence of several weeks. My mom's funeral was on January 30 and I spent another 10 days with dad afterward. Home again, it took a while to "catch up" with life.

How gratifying it has been to see that you and others, including new readers, have continued to use the website resources. According to today's "Google Analytics report," individuals in 19 different countries accessed this site during the last four weeks. That information encourages me, because it is evidence of a continuum of healthy interest in deaconesses, their work, and the history of their work in church and society.

So... let's get back to work and see what we can find of interest to write about! And thank you to all who have checked in from the 19 countries!