Inspiration and Observation

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep.  You, Lord, preserve both people and animals. How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.

— Psalm 36: 5-9 NIV

“My name is Gwen Miller and I graduated from the Diakonia program on June 18, 2016 at St. Peters Lutheran Church – Huntington Station. Next to the birth of my son, this was proudest day of my life. Twice to this visit, Diakonia representatives visited my church Our Saviour Lutheran – Jamaica and twice before I sat and listened to the table-talks not feeling adequate to take the leap. This time, the holy spirit spoke softly and said “what are you afraid of? Surrender and the Lord will address all the rest of your concerns.” Three weeks later I attended the orientation meeting. I knew this is where the Lord had been calling me to all these time.

I met these amazing people, my classmates, (featured in the photo by the brick wall), received encouragement and guidance from Roberta Detmers our Program Coordinator and obtained a wealth of knowledge about faith, worship, serve and the bible from supportive Pastors. These classmates are friends whom are still part of my life.

The curriculum was varied, easy to follow at a self-pace. I still recall the engaging conversations about worship, faith, ethic, Lutheranism and how we became “The Church.” It was the best two year investment of my life. What I gave up does not compare to the knowledge, spiritual growth, insight and confident to share my faith and step up into leadership to minister to the needs of my congregation and beyond.

Diakonia “Grow In Faith” is exactly what this program is all about. I am currently an Diaconate Intern for this is where discernment from the “Grow In Faith” Diakonia program has lead me. Wether you pursue going beyond or not does not matter. What you will gain when you “Grow In Faith” is obtain the knowledge to equip you to become the servant the Lord intended of you. Grow in Faith, the Diakonia program gives you the tools to be an effect servant to your church and others as a disciple of Christ; is that not what WE as the body of Christ are called to do?”

— Gwen Miller – Class 2016 – Queens Location – Astoria NY

“I became more connected with the Lord, strengthened my faith and developed a new spiritual direction.”

— Linda Gray

“Learned a great deal and it was a wonderful experience.”

— Marilyn Keener

“Diakonia has provided me the spiritual nourishment that I have been seeking. In return, it has helped to empower me to go forth in service to others with joy”.

— Myla Groth

“The program provided a whole new world of experiences that deepened my faith.”

— Joan Grace

“What a wonderful gift – Diakonia gave me the opportunity to share and be supported on the faith journey with an awesome group of pilgrims”

— Amy Wacker

“Diakonia gave me the tools that will help me to better serve the Church.”

— Jeff Davis

“We are all called to serve.  We are all called to bear witness to the gospel.  But it can be very challenging to discern exactly HOW to serve.  For those adults in our congregations who are engaged in a process of looking for new ways to live out their baptismal calling, one outstanding resource is the ‘Diakonia’ program.  Through a two-year course of study, prayer, and growing faith friendships, ‘Diakonia’ has led dozens of dedicated Christians to a deeper engagement with faith and life.”

— Bishop Wayne Miller, Metropolitan Chicago Synod

I think the effort teachers expend should be to try to help each person at whatever level to grow in understanding and faith.  This program is not intended to lead to licensure or rostering, although several people have used this as a first step in finding just such a vocation for themselves. It works best when each of the group (teacher and students) tries to help the others and is open to insight and help from others.

— Reverend Tom Osterfield