In August, members and friends of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will gather in New Orleans for the Churchwide assembly. This will be a rich opportunity for learning, fellowship and worship as the assembly considers a variety of items of business coming before it in plenary. One of the resolutions that will be considered by the assembly will be a proposal to create a new unified Ministry of Word and Service Roster, which will bring together the existing lay rosters (Deaconess, Diaconal Minister, Associate in Ministry). We celebrate this potential unified roster, as a separately incorporated community. The Deaconess Community will continue to seek opportunities to live into our commitment to intentional community, intentional servant leadership, and intentional diakonia for the sake of the world.

We have been in prayerful discernment for several years about our ministry, our organizational structure, and our overall call to serve God’s people. While this process of discernment has led to a variety of changes and adjustments, we are more convinced than ever that we are called to be a community of women in public ministry, living out our convictions and commitments to servant leadership in a variety of ways. We are more committed than ever to our unique focus of Word and Service ministry, following the example of Jesus who healed the sick, welcomed the children, grieved with the widow, and who declared the Kingdom of God to those around him. Our ongoing commitment to support one another through prayer and fellowship continues to sustain and strengthen us.

As the Deaconess Community thinks about this vote on a unified roster of Word and Service, we look forward to the possibilities for greater capacity to live out our mission.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the Deaconess Community, contact the Deaconess Community office at deaconess.community@elca.org.