Dear Sisters in Christ,
No one understands mercy better than a deaconess. Caring for others is part of who you are, what you do on account of and for the sake of Christ. Because you are loved by Christ — regarded as valuable because of His holy precious blood and innocent suffering and death — you are free to regard those around you in the same way: to acknowledge, to recognize, to value, to listen, to forgive, to have compassion, to speak up for and, ultimately, to act in mercy. The Church is exceedingly grateful to you for this, humbled by the way in which you so selflessly love those Christ has placed in your midst.
That’s why it gives me great joy to introduce a host of resources that not only explain the versatile services deaconesses perform in the LCMS but also discuss contemplating deaconess service, training, internships, placement, job descriptions, diaconal care in the congregation or an institution and the like. It’s my hope these will be not only helpful to you in your work but also to those whom you serve.
And finally, please know that you are in my prayers, that our God who deals with us mercifully because of His Son would steady your hands and strengthen your hearts to show mercy to His children: feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, comforting the grieving, consoling with the lonely and friending the friendless. May our Lord and Savior continue to shower His gracious mercy upon you that you may, in turn, serve His wretched ones and His poor, neither for reward nor thanks, but out of gratitude and love, satisfied day in and day out with our Lord’s grace and mercy.