Chicago – The Deaconess Community
The Deaconess Community is comprised of women who have answered a call to serve the church and the world in ministries of mercy and servant leadership. We are a separately incorporated ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC).
We are also rostered leaders with those church bodies, doing public ministry with congregations, nonprofit organizations and people on the margins of society. Rooted in the unchanging grace of God in an evolving world and inspired by the example of deaconess forebears who courageously and innovatively carried Christ’s love and freeing word into the needy world of their day, the Deaconess Community seeks faithfully and fluidly to carry on a ministry of serving love and prophetic diakonia in the present time, so that the reign of God may flourish.
The contemporary history of this Deaconess Community can be located in four places: Kaiserswerth in Germany, Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, Baltimore in Maryland and Omaha in Nebraska. As early as 1947, the Philadelphia and Baltimore Houses were in close consultation with one another. Church merger and the birth of the Lutheran Church in America in 1962 provided good timing for the unification of these two deaconess communities – accomplished January 1, 1963.