Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Networking with Local Deaconesses

The last two weeks have been fun for me, getting to know a couple of people who are new to our school, and in particular, another deaconess who has been called to teach 2nd and 3rd grade across the hall from where I'll be teaching the 7th and 8th graders. Yesterday she and I traveled about 40 minutes away to meet another deaconess and her new deaconess intern for lunch. The four of us went to a local home-style diner, engaged in lighthearted introductory conversation about our work - including lots of laughter - and finished with a scoop of ice cream and a commitment to meet together at least once a month.

Such a meeting might seem like a waste of time, but I'd rather think of it as building relationships with my sisters in Christ. It's important for us to create a solid support network with those who have common interests and philosophies. There will be times when we need to turn to another to discuss a Bible passage; to ask for guidance on how to help someone in our care; to get a second opinion on a personal issue; to find/provide a shoulder to cry on.

I treasure the deaconesses living in our local area, and those who are scattered across across the US, and those who serve in partner churches in various places around the world. I treasure them as individuals and because they often fill the role of friend as well as colleague. And I treasure them for the mercy work that they carry out in the name of Jesus.

If you know that there are other deaconesses or student deaconesses living near you, take the initiative to visit with them. Write some encouraging notes. Pick up the phone and let them know you are thinking about them. Create some sort of "local area" gathering for socializing (an activity that we shouldn't forget). Once established, this kind of network will undoubtedly also engender opportunities for mutual personal, professional, and spiritual growth.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New President for The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

In 2002, Rev. Matthew Harrison, Executive Director of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS) department of World Relief and Human Care, secured funds to create a Deaconess Task Force for the purpose of promoting diaconal ministry in the LCMS. The Task Force reviewed current ideas and literature on the diaconate, pursued ideas for student financial aid, produced PR materials on deaconess ministry, and promoted deaconess professional care.

Since 2002, Rev. Harrison has remained interested and involved in the development of deaconess ministry in both the United States and abroad. His support and encouragement of the deaconess community has meant a great deal to deaconesses in the field.

Yesterday, delegates at the LCMS synodical convention in Houston, Texas, elected Rev. Harrison as their next President. This is an historical moment for the synod, and I also predict, an historical move for the future of deaconesses in the synod.

May God bless Rev. Harrison as he prepares to take office. May the Lord give him courage, wisdom, discernment, joy, and peace in all that he will need to carry out for the Lord and His Church, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be preached and made known to all peoples.