Friday, May 30, 2014

Community of Lutheran Deacons (CLD) Annual Meeting 2014

The Community of Lutheran Deacons (CLD) will hold its Annual Meeting from May 30 - June 2, 2014. The Community of Lutheran Deacons includes men who are deacons or deacon students (*). The CLD meets annually for worship, business and growth. These are typically four-day events. Please hold them in your prayers.

          Deacon Students 2013

(Source: LDA) In 2011, the Lutheran Deaconess Association Board of Directors voted to accept men into the LDA's diaconate.  Creation of a community of men as part of the LDA diaconate grows out of the church’s understanding that every Christian is called to a life of diaconal service. The church sets apart diaconal leaders to guide, encourage, and assist Christians in that service.
Three men began their education and formation process at the spring student seminar in 2012. They joined 20 deaconess students scattered around the country. These three men began forming the CLD (Community of Lutheran Deacons).
  • Ben Ema is a nursing student at Valparaiso University from St. Louis, MO.   Ben is the first CLD President.
  • Elliott Stephenson is Director of Youth and Family Ministries for a congregation in Mitchell, SD.  He is married and a Valparaiso University alum.
  • Steve Arnold is a chaplain living in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN.
In Spring 2013, two more men were accepted into the LDA's program:
  • Andrew Stoebig, a Valparaiso University alum, has a Master's in choral conducting, loves liturgy and sings professionally.  He spent several months in Germany prior to joining the LDA's program.
  • Jack Walter joins the LDA in mid-life.  He's using his professional training and career in the law to inform his Kairos prison ministry - his true calling.  And, Jack is married to a deaconess and they live in Northwest Indiana.
These five members of the deacon community are all students in deacon formation and anticipate consecration over the next few years. Within their small band, they represent a flexible range of diaconal interests: education, spiritual direction, gerontology, youth work, nursing, music and liturgy. They hail from Minnesota, Indiana, and South Dakota.

Rev (Deac) Dr Ted Dodd (Centre for Christian Studies, United Church of Canada) was a guest at the second annual retreat of CLD in 2013. He reflected: "These men are in the process of initiating a parallel community with the Lutheran Deaconess Association (LDA). During our time together, we pondered the nature of community. This new group wanted to discuss the kind of values and assumptions they brought to community life. In one of my presentations I asked them to consider a series of “both/and” polarities as marks of community. I hoped these tensions would not just denote dualistic thinking or competing tensions but rather opportunities for finding ways of balancing, or perhaps ideally  integrating, these points usually seen as opposites on a continuum". (See link here)

Members of the Lutheran Deacon community along with guests and hosts

 (*) The Lutheran Deaconess Conference (LDC) includes women who are deaconesses or deaconess students. 

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