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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Songs of service

Deaconesses raise voices and funds

It's amazing how the familiar can seem new again if treated creatively and given a personal touch. Such is the case with Servant Songs, a recording made by 27 women of the Lutheran Deaconess Conference.

Familiar names from the Lutheran music world appear among the various composers and arrangers: John Ylvisaker, Jaroslav Vajda, Paul Bouman, Herbert Brokering, Carl Schalk, Marty Haugen and Richard Hillert.

But the deaconesses make the music, both vocal and instrumental aspects, their own with light, pleasing treatments. According to Dawn Riske Hoye, co-project coordinator and keyboard musician, the project arose as a way to fund service work by the Lutheran Deaconess Association. Deaconesses perform services such as health care, teaching and social ministries.

As pointed out in the liner notes, the word "service" can have "negative implications in our world today — especially for women. Today's concept is tainted by undertones of subservience, victimization, inferiority, powerlessness." This is not the kind of service these women perform, but, rather, diakonia, the "outflow of a river of boundless love," deriving from strength, not weakness. Some of the income from the recording will go toward training future deaconesses.

Selection titles such as "Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service," "Hands" or "The Basin and the Towel" illustrate the varieties and richness of self-giving service.

To order the recording, send $15 (CD) or $10 (cassette tape) to the Center for Diaconal Ministry, 1304 LaPorte Ave., Valparaiso, IN 46383 (cost includes shipping). If you wish additional information, call the center at (219) 464-6925.


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