While attending a youth event at Lake Junaluska at age 16, Lee Anne Venable felt God calling her into some type of Christian ministry. She explored being a pastor but that didn’t seem right. Over a decade later she met a Deaconess from her home church in Hattiesburg, MS and attended a Discernment Event. She says, “That was exactly what I was looking for!” Lee Anne was consecrated as a new United Methodist Deaconess in April 2014 and moved to NC in July to become the Outreach Coordinator at Partners in Ministry (#S-00193) in East Laurinburg, NC.
Lee Anne Venable sees the church as a verb. “We are called to be the church in the world.”
In her new role, Lee Anne Venable will play a key role in helping Partners in Ministry (PIM) expand feeding, home repair, and other ministries beyond Scotland and Robeson counties to the rest of Gateway District. Lee Anne will use skills she acquired working for Habitat for Humanity in Baton Rouge, LA, to write grants and develop PIM’s donor base. She likes to talk to groups and educate people about poverty. For more information about Lee Anne, her availability to speak to your group, or Partners in Ministry, email Leeanne.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn More About Deaconesses and Home Missioners
Perhaps God is calling you into some type of Christian ministry but, like Lee Anne Venable, you are not sure what that is. You might consider attending a upcoming Discernment weekend designed to help people to explore their sense of calling with fellow seekers in a retreat atmosphere. Click on Discernment Events to learn more about the process and how to apply for one of the following dates:
- November 7-9, 2014 in St. Louis, MO
- November 21-23, 2014 in Tempe, AZ
- April 10-12, 2015 at Lake Junaluska, NC
Deaconesses are professionally trained lay women who feel called by God to devote their lives to Christlike service under the authority of the Church. Home Missioners are their male counter-part. Deaconesses and Home Missioners work in diverse areas of service to make Jesus Christ known, especially in ministries that:
- Alleviate suffering;
- Eradicate causes of injustice and all that robs life of dignity and worth;
- Facilitate the development of full human potential; and
- Share in building global community through the church universal. (Book of Discipline, 1314)
Deaconesses and Home Missioners relate to the UMC through United Methodist Women and the annual conference. They are consecrated for lifetime service and commissioned by a bishop to specific settings. Deaconesses and Home Missioners are voting lay members of annual conference. To learn more about the ministry of Deaconesses and Home Missioners, visit the Office of Deaconess and Home Missioner homepage on-line.
Other currently active NC Conference Deaconesses and Home Missioners include Lisa Bachman (#S-00272), Charles Barrow (#S-00274), Thomas Gates, Gary Locklear (#982955), Melba McCallum (#S-00195), and Nancy Van Antwerp (#S-00273).