It is my joy to write to you as the new diaconal intern for St. John United Lutheran Church! Thank you for graciously welcoming me into your community.
In Fall, the turning leaves, the crisp air, and the shorter days can be felt as a nudge from the Creator, calling us to slow down after our bustling summer and prepare for the upcoming winter. Fall is a season of settling, of re-discovering a healthy routine that tends both to ourselves and to our communities. It’s an opportunity to evaluate what our soul needs and then let the rest fall away.
This season of re-entering routine can be blustery at times. The fallen leaves of summer don’t always like to settle quickly. Yet we know that eventually God will rake away those leaves to clear our path forward and, throughout it all, we can lean on each other.
This fall, I will be settling into the role of interning as deacon candidate serving St. John United. If you’re wondering, “what is a deacon?” don’t worry, you are not the first to ask!
In the ELCA, deacons are rostered Ministers of Word and Service. The ELCA website explains that deacons “connect the church with the needs of the world and work to equip others to lead a living, active, and caring Christian life.” Whereas pastors are focused on holding a community, deacons help send people out to do God’s good work.
You will notice that I sign this letter as “Sister Jessica.” That’s because in addition to being a candidate for ordination to the ELCA deacon roster, I am also an invested member of the Deaconess Community of the ELCA. It’s a lot to follow, I know! The Deaconess Community is an intentional community that supports women in diaconal ministry across a wide variety of calls.
My call is to community organizing around faith-based environmental stewardship. I am passionate about a justice-oriented approach to creation care in which all can participate. I live this call out professionally as the Program and Outreach Director for Earth Ministry, a nonprofit that has happily moved into the downstairs office space at St. John United.
Spending the next year with you in not only part of my seminary education and candidacy requirements, it is truly a gift. Thank you for inviting me is to learn, practice, and grow with your community. I look forward to joining you in worship at least once a month and stepping in to the contemplative and creative space being fostered by the Listening for a Change Team.
It is an exciting time to embark on this journey together! I am happy to talk about any of the above in more detail, and would love to hear your story as well. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I pray you find peace as the fall leaves in your life begin to settle.
Blessings of the Season,