New Deaconesses and Home Missioners
Commissioned by United Methodist Agency
Stamford, CT, March 11, 2008— Twelve new United Methodist deaconesses and two home missioners were commissioned on March 11 to perform ministries of love, justice and service in the United States. Deaconesses (women) and home missioners (men) are laypeople often engaged in work with the poor and marginalized.
The new deaconesses come from across the United States. One of the two home missioners comes from the Philippines but is working in Virginia. Several of the deaconesses direct facilities serving children or the ageing. Others direct spiritual retreat centers.
The office of deaconess in Methodism goes back to the late 19th century. The home missioner position, created by the 2004 General Conference, provides an opportunity for men to take part in the diaconal movement. Deaconesses and home missioners create a community of service and mutual support.
Bishop Joel N. Martinez of San Antonio presided over the commissioning service during the annual meeting of the directors of the General Board of Global Ministries, meeting in Stamford, CT. Bishop Martinez is the president of the international mission agency. To “commission” is to give persons special service roles on behalf of the church.
Also commissioned were 22 United Methodist missionaries. One deaconess, Joanne Finley, was also among the number of persons commissioned as missionaries.
Bishop Martinez described those commissioned as emulating Jesus in “healing and transforming acts.”
He was joined in the "laying on of hands," or sending forth to service, by Bishop Felton E. May, interim general secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries; the Rev. Edith Gleaves, head of the agency’s mission personnel unit; and several directors of the board, including John Peterson, Nelida Mora Morales, Byoung Baek, Jeremiah Thompson, Irene Kabete, and Josephine Deere.
The service was attended by some 270 directors of the mission agency and friends and family members of those newly commissioned.
In the course of the liturgy, the congregation says in union:
“The new deaconesses are:
Karen A. Caldwell is director of adult ministries of the United Methodist Church of Brea, in Berea, Ohio.
Sarah Barnes Capers is the executive director of the Ruby S. Couche Big Sister Educational Action and Service Center, Jamaica, New York.
Judy Davis is assigned as the community outreach coordinator in Laurel Heights United Methodist Church in San Antonio, Texas.
Joanne Finley, who was also commissioned as a church and community worker, is the executive director of the North Rampart Community Center, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Nancy Garrison is executive director of the Brooks-Howell Home, a Women's Division-related retirement home in Asheville, North Carolina.
Doreen Grayless is the director of student scholarships at the Indiana University of South Bend, South Bend, Indiana.
Patricia Hoerth is spiritual director and retreat leader at Turtle Rock Farm: A Center for Sustainability, Spirituality, and Healing in Red Rock, Oklahoma.
Deborah Humphrey serves as program coordinator for Cookson Hills Center United Methodist Mission in Cookson Hills, Oklahoma.
Kathlyne D. Kraiza is executive director of the Sager Brown Depot, a facility of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), Baldwin, Louisiana.
Gayle McCreery serves as minister of congregational care and development of the Christ United Methodist Church, Baltimore, Ohio.
Kandi Mount is the hospital chaplain at the Mercy Health Systems, Rogers, Arkansas.
Jo Sheetz is the education coordinator of Community Action Center in Sandy Springs, Georgia.
Haniel R. Garibay is projects coordinator for the National Association of Filipino-American United Methodists, Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Matthew Morgan is a project manager at The Advance for Christ and His Church at the General Board of Global Ministries, located in New York City.
To find out about how to become a deaconess or home missioner, visit the web page: http://new.gbgm-umc.org/about/us/mp/deaconess-homemissioner/calling/
A celebration of 120 years of the deaconess move was held at the March meeting of the General Board of Global Ministries. To read an account of that event go online to: http://new.gbgm-umc.org/umw/news/news-1/honoring-120-years-of-deaconess-service/
Date posted: Mar 12, 2008