by Sister Barbara Collins
Recently my ESL (English as a Second Language) class worked with the English idiom, “Way to go!” We gave each other “high fives” and affirmed the accomplishments the other achieved. My mind floated back to the consecration of Sr. Annette Langdon on February 7, 2016.
As I sat in the morning church service of Holy Cross Lutheran Church of Oakdale, MN, Sr. Annette’s congregation, I saw her immersed in a loving congregation, gathered to celebrate with her. I rejoiced with them. As I sat in the midst of my fellow Deaconesses gathered to participate in the consecration ceremony that acknowledged Annette’s gifting and call to our community, I rejoiced.
As I sat and listened to her dear pastor friend and colleague, Rev. Sue Eidahl, who has accompanied her on her journey and who came from Wisconsin to preach, I rejoiced. To be blessed by such mentors and friends is a gift from God. As I handed Sr. Annette the basin and towel that would be symbols of her commitment to service, I rejoiced.
The affirmation that came to mind was, “Way to go, God!”
Sr. Annette has spent years serving as a parish nurse in Minnesota, and as a chaplain. She is now called by the St. Paul Area Synod to give leadership to the Advanced Care Planning project in the Fairview Hospital system. I can think of no kinder, sensitive, and gifted person to be chosen to do that work.
Sr. Annette chose as her consecration verse Lamentations 3:22-23, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
We bow our heads in appreciation for faith community, for Deaconess community, for mentors and friends along our journey, and for the privilege of serving God’s people.
“Way to go, God!” May Your name be praised through Sr. Annette, a consecrated Deaconess in the Deaconess Community of the ELCA.