Every year, “A Call to Prayer and Self-Denial” encourages women to step out in faith and bring the love of Christ into a hurting world through their prayers and selfless giving. The theme this year is “Love, Justice and Service: Answering the Call” and the Mission Giving offering will support the vital and vibrant ministry of deaconesses and home missioners, consecrated laity who have dedicated the entirety of their lives to vocations of love, justice, and service. These vocations include social work, education, health care, advocacy, immigration reform, anti-poverty initiatives, antiracism efforts, legal justice and more.
Local units are encouraged to participate in a special service, program, or event lifting up the 2022 Call to Prayer & Self Denial. Women are encouraged to give thoughtfully to support the education and training of deaconesses and home missioners as well as retired deaconesses who continue to make a difference in the lives of women, children, and youth.
Deaconess & Home Missioners are laywomen and laymen who are called by God to be in a lifetime relationship in The United Methodist Church for engagement with a full-time vocation in ministries of love, justice, and service.
Deaconess Elizabeth (Lisa) Nichols was commissioned a Deaconess in October 2000 under the program direction of Betty Purkey, Executive Secretary of Deaconess Service. I joined Deaconess after determining that I wanted to devote my life to God's service, and the Order of Deaconess was a representation of that desire. I have served as Deaconess/Church and Community Worker at Community Outreach in Nevada, Missouri, St. Elmo/Alton Park Partners and St. Andrews Center in Chattanooga, TN, Henry Fork Service Center in Rocky Mount, VA, and at Jubilee Project in Sneedville, TN. I have enjoyed working with different people in very diverse situations and have been encouraged by their commitment to live out the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Deaconess Mitzi Sadler-Thorne I had always thought while growing up that I wanted to be a missionary. I felt like being a deaconess was like that of a missionary. I live in Rich Creek with my husband, my two daughters and my nephew. I attend Narrows First United Methodist Church. I am currently the UMW President for the New River District. I am a Special Education Teacher at Pikeview Middle School located in Princeton, West Virginia. It is important to me that students know that they can succeed and believe in themselves.
Deaconess Donna Camper My call to deaconess began several years ago when I became active on the conference and district levels. I met several deaconesses and was intrigued. I had felt a call to ministry and began that process, but it never felt quite right. My heart leapt at the deaconess path. I am a former educator, with 38 years in the classroom. I also founded and became the executive director of Bristol Recovery Road, a recovery facility to help those with drug and alcohol addictions and incarceration to begin new lives after rehab. I have been involved with this for 15 years. I am now mentoring the new director and program. I am married to Joe, have one daughter and a precious grandson. Currently, I lead music at Enterprise United Methodist Church.
Deaconess Margaret Frazier Margaret Frazier of Jonesborough serves as the Director of Christian Education and Family Ministries at Colonial Heights UMC, Kingsport. Her favorite part of ministry is crafting spaces during vacation bible school, mission experiences, bible study, fun events, or retreats for youth, children, and adults to engage in thoughtful conversation about who God is and how God is calling us to live together. She is a lifelong United Methodist and originally from the South Georgia Conference. She received her MTS from Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC, where she met her husband Caleb, who is an ordained elder in the Holston Conference. She was consecrated a United Methodist Deaconess at United Women in Faith Assembly 2022 in Orlando, FL. She was introduced to the Order of Deaconess and Home Missioner while serving as a US-2, UMC young adult missionary, in Baldwin, LA at UMCOR Sager Brown. She appreciates how the Order upholds the rich history of lay ministry in the UMC and looks forward to continuing this legacy of spirit filled work. Margaret and her husband have two children.
Deaconess Cindy Campbell grew up in Hamilton County, Tennessee and recently returned after living out of state for 40 years while attending college and developing her career in journalism and public relations. She is married to J.R., her husband of 27 years. They have 4 grown sons. Cindy was consecrated as a Deaconess in 2018 at the UMW Assembly in Columbus, Ohio. Her ministry is in Aging programs that bring together the Love, Justice and Service ideals of the Deaconess and Home Missioner movement for laypersons in ministry. She loves to create bridges that connect people; assisting those who want to give back to their community by helping those who need a hand. She learned compassion for older people from her grandmother and other older family members who were known in their community for being helpers. Cindy is the Transportation Coordinator for Southeast Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability. where she coordinates the MyRide program. Cindy brings her wide work experience in public relations, church ministry, and working with senior adults through parks and recreation and church programs. She was the volunteer coordinator for the Meals on Wheels program in one of Georgia's largest counties just prior to joining SETAAAD.
Deaconess Claire Lovelace grew up in Dunlap, TN; Earned a B.A. degree in 1961 from Tennessee Wesleyan College with a major in English and a minor in Religion; an M.A. degree in Religion and Social Welfare from Scarritt College & Graduate School in 1970. In 1987 was commissioned a Deaconess in the United Methodist Church. She served for 13 years in Knoxville Cooperative Parish and Knoxville District of Holston Conference, UMC. She taught in adult education programs in Knoxville and later in Weber City, VA after moving to Tri-Cities. Her last assignment was three years as Director of Neighborhood Reconciliation Services in Johnson City, TN before her retirement in 2005. She is married to Rev. David H. Lovelace, a retired pastor of Holston Conference. They now reside at Asbury Place, Kingsport. They have been active in Munsey Memorial UMC and First Broad Street UMC in retirement.
Deaconess Betty S. Purkey I was commissioned a deaconess in October 1982 and retired in October 2011. My ministry included the following appointments: Executive Secretary of Office of Church and Community Ministry and Executive Secretary of Deaconess Program Office of the General Board of Global Ministries in New York City, NY, Church and Community Worker with the Scott County Church and Community Renewal Project in Scott County, Virginia, and Program Coordinator of the Latino Institute of Pastoral Care, Inc. in New York City, NY.
Being a deaconess has enriched my life and ministry in ways too numerous to even begin to mention. I am especially thankful for the support I have received from United Methodist Women during my 29 years of service as a deaconess.
Not Pictured Deaconess Terri Goodin