North Georgia United Methodist Cindy Campbell will be among nearly two dozen Deaconesses and Home Missioners consecrated at the 150th Assembly of the United Methodist Women on May 18 in Columbus, Ohio.
Deaconesses and Home Missioners are laity called by God to a lifetime relationship in The United Methodist Church with a full-time vocation in ministries of love, justice, and service.
Since 2016, deaconesses and home missioners have been considered an official order of the UMC. They must complete a rigorous application and a course of study that includes the New Testament, Old Testament, theology of mission, history of the UMC and polity and doctrine of the UMC.
"Being a Deaconess affirms my call from God to engage in community ministries right where I live," said Campbell. "My current ministry is to work to alleviate suffering of senior adults who experience hunger and to facilitate self-care classes for family caregivers through Cobb County Senior Services. I will continue to serve in this capacity as the Volunteer and Advocacy Program Leader and also look for ways to engage the Church in our community through volunteering with Senior Services until God calls me to do something else."
Discernment is a lifetime process for Campbell who started out in ministry feeling a call to serve as an elder, but shifted direction to ministry as a lay person.
"Laity have important roles in growing the Kingdom of God. We have to be willing to listen to God and to the guidance offered by other Christians even when it hurts to listen," she said. "As a Deaconess, I will continue to listen to God regarding where I need to engage in ministry. We call this moving on to perfection."
The Office of Deaconess and Home Missioner is an important way for Christians to serve God as firefighters, volunteer coordinators, teachers, nurses, financial administrators, artists, disability specialist and many diverse professionals. There are about 650 Deaconess and Home Missioners around the world.
The consecration service will take place May 18 from 9-10:30 a.m. EST. Watch the service live at unitedmethodistwomen.org/live.