In this season of gratitude, I give thanks for Deacon Linda’s presence among us. Her diaconal ministry at Holy Comforter comes to a close at the end of the year. Bishop Rob appoints deacons to serve up to six years in a parish, then following a sabbatical, a new call is mutually discerned.
Deacon Linda began serving at Holy Comforter in December 2011. I came in 2010, and have a memory block trying to recall the time before her arrival. She is an amazing partner in ministry.
Deacons are called to serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely; and to assist in the proclamation of the gospel and administration of the sacraments. She has fulfilled her ministry with distinction. These are some of the fruits of her work among us:
Early on, Deacon Linda called my attention to the Broomfield Sweep Report, published by the Broomfield Community Foundation, that gave an overview of the changing demographics of our community and projections of human need for the coming decade. She works with members passionate about outreach and strengthened our partnership with nonprofit organizations doing wonderful ministry in the area. She partnered with our Farmers’ Market for recognition as a Jubilee Ministry. She built relationships with other faith communities, ensuring that we weren’t replicating but complementing one another’s efforts to love our neighbors. She noticed a compassion for Native Americans among a number of our parishioners, and journeyed alongside to coordinate mission trips and pilgrimmages to Navajoland and Pine Ridge each summer. She has been an integral member of our pastoral care team, ensuring those in difficult seasons are remembered in prayer, visits and home communion.
Outside of Holy Comforter, she served as general manager for the 32nd Avenue Jubilee Center, mentored deacons in formation, and donned her scientist hat to teach youth at Cosmos Camp for two summers.
To list her accomplishments is one thing; to articulate the gift of her presence among us is another. She is a partner in prayer, a wisdom seeker, a careful listener, a team player, a worker bee, a community organizer, a fine teacher, a compassionate friend.
I’d be remiss to not give thanks for Jesse as well. Churches joke about clergy spouses being “two-fers,” meaning, they get two ministers for the price of one (especially remarkable given that deacons are unpaid!). Holy Comforter really did get a two-fer with Jesse. He, too, has a wonderful sense of call to ministry - that is firmly of the lay order. Like Deacon Linda, a Benedictine oblate and spiritual director, he too exhibits a prayerful presence that permeates every conversation. He’s passionate about his ministry with the homeless at St. Clare’s on Tuesdays, and began a men’s morning prayer and breakfast every other Thursday. He offered his professional expertise as a CPA helping us transition our bookkeeping in house a few years ago, and served as Bishop’s Warden for two years. Each of them, individually, and together, leave a deep imprint on this place.
On Saturday, January 6 at 5 pm, I hope you’ll join us for an Epiphany Blessing and Sending Celebration in Maglaras Hall. Bring your favorite chili or pie, and we’ll send the Browns off in true Holy Comforter style - with good food and goodwill for their incredible ministry among us. Their last Sunday with us will be January 7.
In the meantime, don’t miss the opportunity to benefit from Deacon Linda’s wisdom one more time as she leads our Advent Quiet Morning, Praying the Psalms in Advent, on Saturday, December 9, from 8:30-12. I will definitely be there (yes, childcare provided!)
Grace and peace,