By Sr. Liz Colver, Director of Vocation and Education

This year’s J-Term experience was held at Mount Olivet Retreat Center in Minnesota. In attendance were Sister Noreen Stevens, Sister LaDonna Olsen, and Sister Phyllis Enck as sisters in residence, 7 inquirers to the Deaconess Community, and others, making 15 students total representing 4 ELCA seminaries.

Dr. Lange and Dr. McArver provided careful and formative instruction for us yet again. The conversations were dynamic, the engagement with the course material was inspiring, and the attention to the future of the deaconate and relationship with the larger church and world was exceptional.

As a community, we were as blessed by the students as they were by us, through laughter, tears, prayer, story, mutual relationship, and future continued partnership.

This J-term course, like all the rest, was a gift. It was a place where people were formed into relationship with one another around a common baptismal call to diakonia. Learning how the Community has done and continues to do that was wonderful.

If you know anyone (synod staff, candidate, congregational pastor, whomever!) who you think could benefit from a shared experience of formation, diakonia, and community, please connect them to me for conversational partnership!