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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Making modern-day apostles

Lay leaders serve church and community

Janis Provost used to fear speaking in front of people. That changed seven years ago after she enrolled in Diakonia (based on a Greek word for service), a lay ministry program offered by four synods: Metropolitan New York, New Jersey, Metropolitan Chicago and Southeastern Pennsylvania. Over two years, Diakonia students learn more about their faith and deepen their relationship with God. They also listen for the Spirit to reveal their calling, a ministry in their congregation or community.

For Provost the Spirit moved quickly. She recognized her call after three months in the program, when her pastor asked her to teach catechetics at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Toms River, N.J. "I was petrified," Provost says. But, she adds, since there was no one to teach the six-week unit on the Apostles' Creed, "I said I'd do it."


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