[Christ’s] purpose was to equip God’s people for the work of serving and building up the body of Christ until we all reach the unity of faith and knowledge of God’s Son. God’s goal is for us to become mature adults—to be fully grown, measured by the standard of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:12-13, CEB)
In this issue of Making Christ Known we are highlighting the ministries of deacons, our Ministers of Word and Service. The lay rosters of this church were combined in 2017. Those who had been serving as associates in ministry, diaconal ministers and ELCA deaconesses are now known as deacons.
In the Northern Illinois Synod, we have 18 deacons, five of whom are retired. A majority of our deacons serve or have served congregations as musicians or directors of music. Across the church, however, deacons serve in many different capacities. Deacon Karin Graddy, for example, serves on my staff as our synod’s Director of Communication and liaison for youth ministries. Deacon Cheryl Erdmann works with me as a full-time assistant to the bishop.
As you read the stories of a few of our deacons, I hope you will help me affirm their work among us. Our lives are richer, more mature, because each one of them answered God’s call to a public ministry.
Thank you, deacons!
Walking with you,
Bishop Jeff Clements