On October 20, 1996, I was consecrated as the fifth diaconal minister in the ELCA. It is difficult to believe that it has been almost ten years since I attended the first DMFE. God’s call for me as a diaconal minister has taken three different roads. The first was as I discerned the difference between serving as an Associate in Ministry and as a Diaconal Minister. The best that I can tell you is that the call to diaconal ministry “fit” like no other call for me in the church. The call to Word and Service, to equip others for ministry, to build bridges between the church and the world all came together after 10 years in ministry in those two weeks at the DMFE when I felt as if I had come home. To say that those of us who attended were of like mind and spirit is an understatement. For me it was a time like no other and I thank God for leading me in that direction. I was serving in a parish and as my diaconal lens changed, so did the ministry in which I was involved.
...no matter what else happens, the part of the song to which God has called me at this point in life is “to hold your people in my heart”.
My prayer then changed from “Here I am, Lord” to “I will go, Lord, if you lead me,” and I found myself on the second road. This one led me from the East Coast to the West Coast to teach at Trinity Lutheran College to prepare young people to enter the ministry. For the next six years, “equipping others for ministry” was written in my heart and in the classes that I taught. God made this call very loud and very clear so that I would take the road across the country. It was an amazing adventure.
This past year, I began the journey on the third road. I have been called to return to the East to be near my granddaughters. That part of my life is very clear. I have also been called to serve in a parish setting in a team ministry. I continue to equip others for ministry, but a new aspect of ministry is involved in this call. Preaching the Word is the challenge area that God put before me in this parish. Now after 20 years of ministry, there are challenges to be discerned; but no matter what else happens, the part of the song to which God has called me at this point in life is “to hold your people in my heart”.
God bless us all as we continue to serve our God.