Conference OKs way to support diaconal work

Concordia Deaconess Conference (CDC) has approved a way for congregations to directly support its diaconal (mercy) work.

After four years as president of Concordia Deaconess Conference (CDC), Cheryl D. Naumann, right, of Oakmont, Pa., hands the microphone over to newly elected President Jennifer M. Phillips of Monroeville, Ind., during the CDC’s annual conference June 23-25 in Winter Park, Fla. (Sara Smith)

After four years as president of Concordia Deaconess Conference (CDC), Cheryl D. Naumann, right, of Oakmont, Pa., hands the microphone over to newly elected President Jennifer M. Phillips of Monroeville, Ind., during the CDC’s annual conference June 23-25 in Winter Park, Fla. (Sara Smith)

At its annual conference June 23-25 in Winter Park, Fla., members of the LCMS Recognized Service Organization adopted a resolution to make offering envelopes available through Concordia Publishing House to support CDC’s work.

The deaconesses also elected several new officers to serve two-year terms, including:

  • Jennifer M. Phillips of Monroeville, Ind., president;
  • Kimberly Fetz, St. Cloud, Minn., secretary; and
  • Sarah Longmire, Traverse City, Mich., executive committee member at-large for spiritual and professional growth.

Also elected for a three-year term as CDC spiritual counselor was the Rev. Kevin Loughran of St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Rev. John C. Lehenbauer of Perry, Ga., led the conference Bible study from Eph. 3:10 on the theme “In view of rulers and authorities in heavenly places.”

Participants gave a standing ovation to outgoing CDC President Cheryl D. Naumann of Oakmont, Pa.

Naumann told Reporter that during her four years as president, CDC experienced “a huge growth in membership. There were 60 CDC members when I came onto the executive committee nine years ago, and now we have 150 members with a potential 170 by the end of the year.”

In the 34 years since CDC was established, she said, “265 women have been members of this confessional Lutheran deaconess conference. We thank God that CDC has been here to serve all of these women and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.”

Naumann also told Reporter that funds from the offering envelopes approved at the conference would benefit “scholarships for deaconess students, continuing education for LCMS deaconesses, and assisting the LCMS in upholding and promoting diaconal service in the Synod’s congregations, institutions and foreign and domestic mission fields.”

The resolution that approved providing the envelopes also includes a stipulation that 55 percent of funds received from them would be placed into an account for eventually calling or contracting a deaconess to work for CDC in “business” responsibilities.

That resolution notes that “the activities and financial needs of CDC have grown to the point where they are no longer able to be covered solely by the dues of CDC members and CDC affiliates.” And it states that engaging a deaconess for business matters would greatly reduce such “time-consuming” work currently handled by members of the CDC executive committee.

Among the annual conference’s 65 participants were CDC members, a CDC affiliate representative, deaconess interns and students, and a foreign visitor — Deaconess Inta Putnina, head of deaconess work in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia. Other guests included LCMS Sixth Vice-President Rev. Dr. Robert T. Kuhn and LCMS Florida-Georgia District representative Mark Brink.

The conference offering of $542, along with a separate CDC gift of $500, was donated to another LCMS RSO — Redeeming Life Maternity Home, a Christ-centered home for single women in crisis pregnancies, in Sanford, Fla.

The 2015 CDC annual conference is scheduled for June 10-13 in Mundelein, Ill., with the theme “Daughters of Zion.”

For more information about Concordia Deaconess Conference, visit its website at concordiadeaconessconference.org.

Posted July 14, 2014

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