IGREA EVANGÉLICA DE CONFISSAO LUTERANA NO BRASIL
Congratulations to our Sisters of the Evangelical Lutheran Sisterhood in Brazil celebrating 75 years of diaconal life and witness! (Deaconess Motherhouse was established in 1939)
Gratitude is what we feel when we look back and realize how God has taken care of the Sisterhood throughout its 75 years of existence. But, it also is time to look forward with faith and hope and dare to make new changes.
Since 1913 we have Lutheran Sisters working in Brazil. German immigrants felt the lack of someone who had knowledge in the area of nursing and pedagogy. That is why they requested that Germany send Sisters with training in these areas. Soon Brazilian women desired to work as sisters. In the Women’s Congress in 1938 the foundation of a Deaconess Mother House was approved to be built on Brazilian soil. On May 17th Annually we have the Convention of the Sisters to which all the sisters are invited from close and from afar. This year the convention took place in May thus facilitating the participation of the majority of the Sisters and ending with the celebration of the 75 years of the Deaconess Mother House. The theme of the Convention was: Strengthening Diakonia – Experiencing Communion in the Sisterhood.
The worship service celebrating the 75 year jubilee was officiated by ministers of the Diaconal and Pastoral ministries. The sermon was proffered by P. Sílvia Genz, the second vice-president of the IECLB. She spoke on the biblical text of John 20 which tells of the encounter of Jesus, the resurrected with Mary Magdalene.
After the festive worship service all were able to have their noon meal at the Deaconess Mother House and in the afternoon, have coffee, tea with cake. God granted us a beautiful day: without a hot sun, nor cold nor rain. A small museum was set up in a room showing the historical aspects of the Sisterhood. We had a cultural program and visitors were able to visit and get to know the Lar Moriá [Moriá Home] where over seventy elderly people live.
We know that life is constituted by changes, and that is what the Evangelical Lutheran Sisterhood has experienced and dared to do throughout its 75 years of existence. Currently, we also include women in the Sisterhood who feel themselves called to it, who have concluded a professional secular program, without theological formation, when they do not wish to work as ministers in congregations. These women are called diaconal Sisters. Likewise we accept into the Sisterhood pastors and catechists. We are grateful to God that we had two women join the Sisterhood in 2013 and two women pastors already have a date marked for joining in this year. God continues calling workers and we invite women, young and adults, to come get to know the Evangelical Lutheran Sisterhood. We invite you to be part of this family which wishes to live in communion and serve those who are in need, motivated by the love of God of 1939 this desire was fulfilled: the Deaconess Mother House was born. Diak. Gisela Beulke – Director of Deaconess Mother House – June 2014.
Information to be collected includes (but is not limited to) the following questions.
A brief history (may include links to documents and websites) – how did it all get started? What are the key dates and events? Are there documents that are part of the history (please specify)?
Denomination/agency/association/institution to which diaconal ministry agents belong?
Diaconal ministry agents: consecretrated/commissioned/ordained/other?
Title: Sister, Deaconess, Deacon, Rev, etc
Historical information and dates re formation/recognition of diaconal ministry agents in the denomination/church agency.
Does the diaconal ministry agent wear a distinctive uniform? Are diaconal ministry agents able to be married? Are they remunerated? Do they live in community (eg motherhouse) or independently? Etc.
What kind of training/formation do diaconal ministry agents receive before formal recognition in their church. Are there expectations of ongoing training, or professional development? If yes, what is expected and how often does it happen?
How many diaconal ministry agents are there currently in the denomination or church agency? Any comment on trends in numbers?
Are there key people (historical or current) in the organization who have provided significant leadership. Any weblinks to their story, or a short write up?
Who are the current leaders in the diaconal association? (photos, ‘blurb’).
Relationship of diaconal ministry agents to a denomination/church agency
An overview of main responsibilities for diaconal ministry agents (past and present). Are they located within a church, a particular facility or agency, or community based? Are diaconal ministry agents appointed to individual placements or work together on projects or in institutions?
Are diaconal ministry agents able to preside at sacraments (communion, baptism, weddings etc)?
Who makes the appointments for diaconal ministry agents eg they apply for positions, they are appointed (eg by a Bishop, by the conference office, or another body/committee).
Is there a length of time for appointments (eg usually less than 5 years, usually between 5 and 10 years, at the discretion of the diaconal ministry agent or at the discretion of the appointing body), appointed to and remain with a particular mother house, etc.
Do diaconal ministry agents organize conferences, seminars, gatherings for professional development, pastoral peer support etc? How often and what is the nature of these events?
Key issues and challenges in the contemporary ministry context
Do the diaconal ministry agents have ‘code of conduct’ or ‘code of ethics’ that inform ethical and behavioral expectations for ministry?
Key documents (historical, vision and mission etc) – links or PDF or Word files
Links to relevant articles, websites etc
Other areas of interest……
(information to Rev Sandy Boyce, President, DIAKONIA World Federation, firstname.lastname@example.org, to upload to this website)
The Diaconal Ministry in Lutheran Churches: A 2005 paper from the Lutheran World Federation consultation in Sao Leopoldo, Brazil.