November 14, 2012

Janet Stump elected director of ELCA Deaconess Community


CHICAGO (ELCA) — The Deaconess Community of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) elected Sister Janet Stump, Saint Johns, Pa., to serve a four-year term as its directing deaconess. After more than a year without a director, the community met earlier this fall at the St. Paul Retreat Center in Pittsburgh to elect a new director.
Although Stump said her election was unexpected, she said she has experienced the election “as a call from God.” She sees the call “as an opportunity to serve the church as a whole, to help the Deaconess Community deepen its communal spirituality, grow in its effectiveness to do justice and make peace in the world, and joyfully continue to engage its mission of proclaiming the gospel and serving all people in love, following the example of Jesus.”
“Our deaconesses serve in many capacities and individual ministries. Part of our role is to help the church better understand and claim its servant ministry in the world — making connections between the world and the church. It’s about serving people in the name of Christ, speaking the gospel, and especially reaching out in service to those who often are forgotten,” she said.
Stump earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from West Chester State College in West Chester, Pa., in 1976. She worked as a mathematics teacher before discerning the call to prepare for deaconess ministry. During that time, she also served as Sunday school teacher, prayer circle coordinator and adult Bible study leader in a congregation.
In 1987, Stump earned a Master of Arts degree with a concentration in pastoral care from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. She continued her deaconess training and served an internship in two ELCA congregations. A year later, with consecrations on hold until the ELCA Study of Ministry would be completed, Stump was appointed by the ELCA Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod to serve as parish deaconess at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Pine Grove, Pa. She was consecrated in 1995 and continued to serve St. Peter until the end of 2001. The following September she accepted a call to St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Saint Johns, Pa.
In her vocation as deaconess, Stump has served in a variety of ministries in the Deaconess Community and in other parts of the church.
The Deaconess Community is a community of professionally and theologically prepared women consecrated by the church to a ministry of word and service. Sisters in the community work in a variety of settings, such as health care, Christian education, social services and congregational ministry. Deaconesses are called to ministry by congregations and synods of the ELCA and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. More information is available athttp://www.ELCA.org/Growing-In-Faith/Vocation/Rostered-Leadership/Deaconess-Community.aspx.
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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of “God’s work. Our hands,” the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA’s roots are in the writings of the German church reformer, Martin Luther.

For information contact:
Melissa Ramirez Cooper
773-380-2956 or Melissa.RamirezCooper@ELCA.org
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