Author Topic: Women's History Month  (Read 10721 times)

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Women's History Month
« on: March 09, 2021, 07:25:06 AM »
Lenten greetings. I have put together a new YouTube playlist for my people and I'm sharing a link to it here. Since March is Women's History Month, the playlist feature notable Lutheran women. Unfortunately, there is a limited selection of videos for this topic on YouTube. Hopefully some others will be created in the future. God bless.

Lutheran Women. https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6RVlO0YhDuhFmJ8rBKsWHOndQ-QtXD3d
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mariemeyer

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2021, 12:33:55 PM »
After viewing the you tube on LCMS deaconesses I would call attention to how the history made no mention of the first LCMS deaconesses.  Initially the women were trained as nurses. When the program was transferred to Valparaiso the education was primarily theological for service in LCMS parishes. Several of the women were RNs whose goal it was to serve as missionary nurses.   

As I young girl I witnessed LCMS deaconesses serve through the NYC Lutheran Inner Mission Society.  They also served at St. Luke Lutheran Church in the heart of Times Square.  The Lutheran Women's Quarterly featured stories of deaconesses Gertrude Simon and Martha Boss in mainland China before they had to flee to Hong Kong where they established a roof top school for refugee children. Both women were registered nurses.   I also read about deaconess Rose Zimke in India where she helped train deaconesses in India.  Many of the first LCMS deaconesses served as house mothers at Bethesda and other homes for children and/or the developmentally delayed. Originally LCMS deaconesses were not permitted to marry.

It was not until the deaconess program was moved to Valpo that women could continue serving if they married. When I was at Valpo, 1958-1960, several students favored the idea of having deaconess train at one of the seminaries. The Lutheran Deaconess Association Board favored continuing the program at Valpo.   Board member, Fort Wayne Sr. College Professor Robert Schnable, cautioned the Valpo deaconesses about such a move. Such a move might limit the freedom and flexibility of the existing LDA Board to supervise the Valpo program .   

Today, the history of how hundreds of women served as LCMS deaconesses prior to the black listing of Valpo's program is all but ignored. Simple things like having a deaconess read a lesson during worship divided the Valpo program and the synodically approved programs at RF, St. Louis and Fort Wayne.

The pastor under whom I served, 1958-60, had no problem with my teaching an adult confirmation class that included men.  It is my understanding that deaconesses trained at the synodically approved programs sign an agreement that limits areas of service that were not prohibited when I graduated.  Seven years ago when I went to India to work with the Indian deaconesses I witnessed how, in the LCMS
 partner church, the IELC, deaconesses are marginalized.   

My LCMS college education (Bronxville and Valpo)  made no mention of "the order of creation." Today, LCMS women, including the deaconesses,  are taught that Genesis two reveals the God ordained "Order of Creation Law" that defines how, when, where and whom women are permitted to serve. The Lutheran Study Bible now states that "the order of creation" is a Biblical topic that defines woman place and purpose in the church.   


Hopefully, the service of women who served faithfully from the time LCMS deaconesses were first trained at Ft. Wayne will include those subsequently educated at Valparaiso.   

Marie Meyer

D. Engebretson

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2021, 12:53:49 PM »
The deaconess program at CUC is a small but vibrant program for those pursuing the undergraduate option.  My youngest daughter is in her second year at CUC with the intent of being a deaconess. Since she has been studying remotely at home this year, due to COVID, I have had the unique opportunity to interact with her, especially as she takes theology courses. I love having something to talk theology with! I have been very pleased with CUC's program and am glad that my daughter chose this school. It also has a great music program, and as a organist she has had a great chance to study under a first rate instructor to develop a skill that will be in high demand when she graduates.  When she was still in high school she 'job shadowed' me on shut-in visits.  Again, it was great to have a part in her training not only as her pastor but as her father. 

Deaconesses are a valuable part of the overall mercy ministry aspect of our church and we are blessed by their presence.  Although somewhat small in number compared to other church workers, they are are indispensable asset to the church!
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2021, 01:30:11 PM »
After viewing the you tube on LCMS deaconesses I would call attention to how the history made no mention of the first LCMS deaconesses.  Initially the women were trained as nurses. When the program was transferred to Valparaiso the education was primarily theological for service in LCMS parishes. Several of the women were RNs whose goal it was to serve as missionary nurses.   

As I young girl I witnessed LCMS deaconesses serve through the NYC Lutheran Inner Mission Society.  They also served at St. Luke Lutheran Church in the heart of Times Square.  The Lutheran Women's Quarterly featured stories of deaconesses Gertrude Simon and Martha Boss in mainland China before they had to flee to Hong Kong where they established a roof top school for refugee children. Both women were registered nurses.   I also read about deaconess Rose Zimke in India where she helped train deaconesses in India.  Many of the first LCMS deaconesses served as house mothers at Bethesda and other homes for children and/or the developmentally delayed. Originally LCMS deaconesses were not permitted to marry.

It was not until the deaconess program was moved to Valpo that women could continue serving if they married. When I was at Valpo, 1958-1960, several students favored the idea of having deaconess train at one of the seminaries. The Lutheran Deaconess Association Board favored continuing the program at Valpo.   Board member, Fort Wayne Sr. College Professor Robert Schnable, cautioned the Valpo deaconesses about such a move. Such a move might limit the freedom and flexibility of the existing LDA Board to supervise the Valpo program .   

Today, the history of how hundreds of women served as LCMS deaconesses prior to the black listing of Valpo's program is all but ignored. Simple things like having a deaconess read a lesson during worship divided the Valpo program and the synodically approved programs at RF, St. Louis and Fort Wayne.

The pastor under whom I served, 1958-60, had no problem with my teaching an adult confirmation class that included men.  It is my understanding that deaconesses trained at the synodically approved programs sign an agreement that limits areas of service that were not prohibited when I graduated.  Seven years ago when I went to India to work with the Indian deaconesses I witnessed how, in the LCMS
 partner church, the IELC, deaconesses are marginalized.   

My LCMS college education (Bronxville and Valpo)  made no mention of "the order of creation." Today, LCMS women, including the deaconesses,  are taught that Genesis two reveals the God ordained "Order of Creation Law" that defines how, when, where and whom women are permitted to serve. The Lutheran Study Bible now states that "the order of creation" is a Biblical topic that defines woman place and purpose in the church.   


Hopefully, the service of women who served faithfully from the time LCMS deaconesses were first trained at Ft. Wayne will include those subsequently educated at Valparaiso.   

Marie Meyer

MARIE,

That history should be captured and published. It is important. I have speculated about my mother's career path. Sometime in the 1930's she entered a nurses' training program at the Lutheran Hospital in Hampton, Iowa. The hospital had a large house next door which served as a dormitory for the nurse candidates. When she graduated she was a Registered Nurse and worked in the Lutheran Hospital off and on until she remarried and moved away. By my time the nurses' school was closed but the hospital remained for quite a few years as Lutheran Hospital, the only one in the county.

My speculation is that this Iowa complex of institutions (Hospital, Nurses' Quarters, and School) was descendant from the deaconesses of the Muhlenberg Lutherans, which I believe included nurses as well as parish workers. I do know that other cities have or have had Lutheran Hospitals. (The one in Hampton closed.) I don't know if any also had the associated nurses' training. It is something that should be researched and might be found to have been a prelude to the formation of the LCMS deaconess enterprise sometime in the 1940s.

Peace, JOHN

PS: I do consider the "black listing" of the Valpo Deaconesses as immoral as in stealing. Very sad.
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2021, 01:34:00 PM »
After viewing the you tube on LCMS deaconesses I would call attention to how the history made no mention of the first LCMS deaconesses.  Initially the women were trained as nurses. When the program was transferred to Valparaiso the education was primarily theological for service in LCMS parishes. Several of the women were RNs whose goal it was to serve as missionary nurses.   

As I young girl I witnessed LCMS deaconesses serve through the NYC Lutheran Inner Mission Society.  They also served at St. Luke Lutheran Church in the heart of Times Square.  The Lutheran Women's Quarterly featured stories of deaconesses Gertrude Simon and Martha Boss in mainland China before they had to flee to Hong Kong where they established a roof top school for refugee children. Both women were registered nurses.   I also read about deaconess Rose Zimke in India where she helped train deaconesses in India.  Many of the first LCMS deaconesses served as house mothers at Bethesda and other homes for children and/or the developmentally delayed. Originally LCMS deaconesses were not permitted to marry.

It was not until the deaconess program was moved to Valpo that women could continue serving if they married. When I was at Valpo, 1958-1960, several students favored the idea of having deaconess train at one of the seminaries. The Lutheran Deaconess Association Board favored continuing the program at Valpo.   Board member, Fort Wayne Sr. College Professor Robert Schnable, cautioned the Valpo deaconesses about such a move. Such a move might limit the freedom and flexibility of the existing LDA Board to supervise the Valpo program .   

Today, the history of how hundreds of women served as LCMS deaconesses prior to the black listing of Valpo's program is all but ignored. Simple things like having a deaconess read a lesson during worship divided the Valpo program and the synodically approved programs at RF, St. Louis and Fort Wayne.

The pastor under whom I served, 1958-60, had no problem with my teaching an adult confirmation class that included men.  It is my understanding that deaconesses trained at the synodically approved programs sign an agreement that limits areas of service that were not prohibited when I graduated.  Seven years ago when I went to India to work with the Indian deaconesses I witnessed how, in the LCMS
 partner church, the IELC, deaconesses are marginalized.   

My LCMS college education (Bronxville and Valpo)  made no mention of "the order of creation." Today, LCMS women, including the deaconesses,  are taught that Genesis two reveals the God ordained "Order of Creation Law" that defines how, when, where and whom women are permitted to serve. The Lutheran Study Bible now states that "the order of creation" is a Biblical topic that defines woman place and purpose in the church.   


Hopefully, the service of women who served faithfully from the time LCMS deaconesses were first trained at Ft. Wayne will include those subsequently educated at Valparaiso.   

Marie Meyer

MARIE,

That history should be captured and published. It is important. I have speculated about my mother's career path. Sometime in the 1930's she entered a nurses' training program at the Lutheran Hospital in Hampton, Iowa. The hospital had a large house next door which served as a dormitory for the nurse candidates. When she graduated she was a Registered Nurse and worked in the Lutheran Hospital off and on until she remarried and moved away. By my time the nurses' school was closed but the hospital remained for quite a few years as Lutheran Hospital, the only one in the county.

My speculation is that this Iowa complex of institutions (Hospital, Nurses' Quarters, and School) was descendant from the deaconesses of the Muhlenberg Lutherans, which I believe included nurses as well as parish workers. I do know that other cities have or have had Lutheran Hospitals. (The one in Hampton closed.) I don't know if any also had the associated nurses' training. It is something that should be researched and might be found to have been a prelude to the formation of the LCMS deaconess enterprise sometime in the 1940s.

Peace, JOHN

PS: I do consider the "black listing" of the Valpo Deaconesses as immoral as in stealing. Very sad.
If the Valpo Deaconesses were indeed, as alleged, taught differently than the synodical Deaconesses, why would it be immoral to distinguish between them and limit synodical approval to those who agreed with synod? The only reason "blacklisting" (if that is a properly charitable term) would be wrong would be if they were taught the same thing but treated differently purely based on where they went to learn it. But Marie's contention is that they weren't taught the same things.

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2021, 02:07:36 PM »
After viewing the you tube on LCMS deaconesses I would call attention to how the history made no mention of the first LCMS deaconesses.  Initially the women were trained as nurses. When the program was transferred to Valparaiso the education was primarily theological for service in LCMS parishes. Several of the women were RNs whose goal it was to serve as missionary nurses.   
I knew Lutheran Deaconess Hospital in Minneapolis from having taken a teenager to its ER. It has Norwegian roots and had a nursing school associated with it.
Quote
The roots of the Fairview Deaconess Hospital and its nursing program go back to the 1888 establishment of a deaconess home on Hennepin Avenue by Sister Elizabeth Fedde, following a meeting of the General Council of the Norwegian Lutheran Church (later the American Lutheran Church) in Minneapolis. In 1891 the first permanent home was established at 417 East 23rd Street, which became known as the Deaconess Home and Hospital. Thereafter the facility was operated under the overall leadership of a rector, with a deaconess serving as superintendent of the hospital and a sister superior directing the home.

A new 90-bed hospital (24th Street and 15th Avenue) was dedicated in 1910, and in 1916 the training school for nurses was established, superceding the deaconess training program. The following year Bergh Hall, a dormitory to house 40 student nurses, was completed. In 1920 the institution was renamed Lutheran Deaconess Hospital (LDH), and both its physical plant and its programs continued growing over the following decades. A new nursing school and dormitory--Bergeland Hall--was dedicated in 1967, and in 1968 the positions of nursing school director and nursing services director were split.

In 1973 LDH formally consolidated its programs with Fairview and Fairview-Southdale hospitals, the merged entity becoming known as Fairview Community Hospitals and, in 1981, LDH was renamed Fairview Deaconess Hospital (FDH). The School of Nursing graduated its final class in 1987.
http://www2.mnhs.org/library/findaids/00028.xml

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2021, 02:23:12 PM »
After viewing the you tube on LCMS deaconesses I would call attention to how the history made no mention of the first LCMS deaconesses.  Initially the women were trained as nurses. When the program was transferred to Valparaiso the education was primarily theological for service in LCMS parishes. Several of the women were RNs whose goal it was to serve as missionary nurses.   
I knew Lutheran Deaconess Hospital in Minneapolis from having taken a teenager to its ER. It has Norwegian roots and had a nursing school associated with it.
Quote
The roots of the Fairview Deaconess Hospital and its nursing program go back to the 1888 establishment of a deaconess home on Hennepin Avenue by Sister Elizabeth Fedde, following a meeting of the General Council of the Norwegian Lutheran Church (later the American Lutheran Church) in Minneapolis. In 1891 the first permanent home was established at 417 East 23rd Street, which became known as the Deaconess Home and Hospital. Thereafter the facility was operated under the overall leadership of a rector, with a deaconess serving as superintendent of the hospital and a sister superior directing the home.

A new 90-bed hospital (24th Street and 15th Avenue) was dedicated in 1910, and in 1916 the training school for nurses was established, superceding the deaconess training program. The following year Bergh Hall, a dormitory to house 40 student nurses, was completed. In 1920 the institution was renamed Lutheran Deaconess Hospital (LDH), and both its physical plant and its programs continued growing over the following decades. A new nursing school and dormitory--Bergeland Hall--was dedicated in 1967, and in 1968 the positions of nursing school director and nursing services director were split.

In 1973 LDH formally consolidated its programs with Fairview and Fairview-Southdale hospitals, the merged entity becoming known as Fairview Community Hospitals and, in 1981, LDH was renamed Fairview Deaconess Hospital (FDH). The School of Nursing graduated its final class in 1987.
http://www2.mnhs.org/library/findaids/00028.xml

Peace,
Michael

Thanks, Michael; good to know about that. It confirms my hypothesis that the Muhlenberg deaconess institution was moving west. "Go west young lady, go west."   ;D

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2021, 02:47:50 PM »
"The Lutheran Women's Quarterly featured stories of deaconesses Gertrude Simon and Martha Boss in mainland China before they had to flee to Hong Kong where they established a roof top school for refugee children. Both women were registered nurses.   I also read about deaconess Rose Zimke in India where she helped train deaconesses in India."

Thanks, Marie, for the names. I did find information about them online but no one has made a YouTube video. Also, nothing about Muhlenberg deaconesses.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2021, 03:28:16 PM by Rev. Edward Engelbrecht »
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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2021, 03:06:50 PM »
Rose Ziemke was my sponsor (though distance kept her from having a large impact on my life when my parents left India in 1952).  As we were leaving the country, another Deaconess (I believe), Betty Rose Wolf (from Humboldt, KS), was killed in an airplane accident due to a dust storm.  She had accompanied our family to our place of departure.

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2021, 05:23:09 PM »
After viewing the you tube on LCMS deaconesses I would call attention to how the history made no mention of the first LCMS deaconesses.  Initially the women were trained as nurses. When the program was transferred to Valparaiso the education was primarily theological for service in LCMS parishes. Several of the women were RNs whose goal it was to serve as missionary nurses.   

As I young girl I witnessed LCMS deaconesses serve through the NYC Lutheran Inner Mission Society.  They also served at St. Luke Lutheran Church in the heart of Times Square.  The Lutheran Women's Quarterly featured stories of deaconesses Gertrude Simon and Martha Boss in mainland China before they had to flee to Hong Kong where they established a roof top school for refugee children. Both women were registered nurses.   I also read about deaconess Rose Zimke in India where she helped train deaconesses in India.  Many of the first LCMS deaconesses served as house mothers at Bethesda and other homes for children and/or the developmentally delayed. Originally LCMS deaconesses were not permitted to marry.

It was not until the deaconess program was moved to Valpo that women could continue serving if they married. When I was at Valpo, 1958-1960, several students favored the idea of having deaconess train at one of the seminaries. The Lutheran Deaconess Association Board favored continuing the program at Valpo.   Board member, Fort Wayne Sr. College Professor Robert Schnable, cautioned the Valpo deaconesses about such a move. Such a move might limit the freedom and flexibility of the existing LDA Board to supervise the Valpo program .   

Today, the history of how hundreds of women served as LCMS deaconesses prior to the black listing of Valpo's program is all but ignored. Simple things like having a deaconess read a lesson during worship divided the Valpo program and the synodically approved programs at RF, St. Louis and Fort Wayne.

The pastor under whom I served, 1958-60, had no problem with my teaching an adult confirmation class that included men.  It is my understanding that deaconesses trained at the synodically approved programs sign an agreement that limits areas of service that were not prohibited when I graduated.  Seven years ago when I went to India to work with the Indian deaconesses I witnessed how, in the LCMS
 partner church, the IELC, deaconesses are marginalized.   

My LCMS college education (Bronxville and Valpo)  made no mention of "the order of creation." Today, LCMS women, including the deaconesses,  are taught that Genesis two reveals the God ordained "Order of Creation Law" that defines how, when, where and whom women are permitted to serve. The Lutheran Study Bible now states that "the order of creation" is a Biblical topic that defines woman place and purpose in the church.   


Hopefully, the service of women who served faithfully from the time LCMS deaconesses were first trained at Ft. Wayne will include those subsequently educated at Valparaiso.   

Marie Meyer

I think the term "black listed" is a little over the top to describe women who chose to intentionally depart from the teachings and confession of the LCMS. 

And I signed no such agreement in the deaconess program I studied within.  Perhaps you are referring to the CDC's Code of Ethics.

mariemeyer

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2021, 06:08:41 PM »
After viewing the you tube on LCMS deaconesses I would call attention to how the history made no mention of the first LCMS deaconesses.  Initially the women were trained as nurses. When the program was transferred to Valparaiso the education was primarily theological for service in LCMS parishes. Several of the women were RNs whose goal it was to serve as missionary nurses.   

As I young girl I witnessed LCMS deaconesses serve through the NYC Lutheran Inner Mission Society.  They also served at St. Luke Lutheran Church in the heart of Times Square.  The Lutheran Women's Quarterly featured stories of deaconesses Gertrude Simon and Martha Boss in mainland China before they had to flee to Hong Kong where they established a roof top school for refugee children. Both women were registered nurses.   I also read about deaconess Rose Zimke in India where she helped train deaconesses in India.  Many of the first LCMS deaconesses served as house mothers at Bethesda and other homes for children and/or the developmentally delayed. Originally LCMS deaconesses were not permitted to marry.

It was not until the deaconess program was moved to Valpo that women could continue serving if they married. When I was at Valpo, 1958-1960, several students favored the idea of having deaconess train at one of the seminaries. The Lutheran Deaconess Association Board favored continuing the program at Valpo.   Board member, Fort Wayne Sr. College Professor Robert Schnable, cautioned the Valpo deaconesses about such a move. Such a move might limit the freedom and flexibility of the existing LDA Board to supervise the Valpo program .   

Today, the history of how hundreds of women served as LCMS deaconesses prior to the black listing of Valpo's program is all but ignored. Simple things like having a deaconess read a lesson during worship divided the Valpo program and the synodically approved programs at RF, St. Louis and Fort Wayne.

The pastor under whom I served, 1958-60, had no problem with my teaching an adult confirmation class that included men.  It is my understanding that deaconesses trained at the synodically approved programs sign an agreement that limits areas of service that were not prohibited when I graduated.  Seven years ago when I went to India to work with the Indian deaconesses I witnessed how, in the LCMS
 partner church, the IELC, deaconesses are marginalized.   

My LCMS college education (Bronxville and Valpo)  made no mention of "the order of creation." Today, LCMS women, including the deaconesses,  are taught that Genesis two reveals the God ordained "Order of Creation Law" that defines how, when, where and whom women are permitted to serve. The Lutheran Study Bible now states that "the order of creation" is a Biblical topic that defines woman place and purpose in the church.   


Hopefully, the service of women who served faithfully from the time LCMS deaconesses were first trained at Ft. Wayne will include those subsequently educated at Valparaiso.   

Marie Meyer

MARIE,

That history should be captured and published. It is important. I have speculated about my mother's career path. Sometime in the 1930's she entered a nurses' training program at the Lutheran Hospital in Hampton, Iowa. The hospital had a large house next door which served as a dormitory for the nurse candidates. When she graduated she was a Registered Nurse and worked in the Lutheran Hospital off and on until she remarried and moved away. By my time the nurses' school was closed but the hospital remained for quite a few years as Lutheran Hospital, the only one in the county.

My speculation is that this Iowa complex of institutions (Hospital, Nurses' Quarters, and School) was descendant from the deaconesses of the Muhlenberg Lutherans, which I believe included nurses as well as parish workers. I do know that other cities have or have had Lutheran Hospitals. (The one in Hampton closed.) I don't know if any also had the associated nurses' training. It is something that should be researched and might be found to have been a prelude to the formation of the LCMS deaconess enterprise sometime in the 1940s.

Peace, JOHN

PS: I do consider the "black listing" of the Valpo Deaconesses as immoral as in stealing. Very sad.
If the Valpo Deaconesses were indeed, as alleged, taught differently than the synodical Deaconesses, why would it be immoral to distinguish between them and limit synodical approval to those who agreed with synod? The only reason "blacklisting" (if that is a properly charitable term) would be wrong would be if they were taught the same thing but treated differently purely based on where they went to learn it. But Marie's contention is that they weren't taught the same things.

Clarification:  Prior to the early 1960s neither the Bible nor the Confessions were quoted at the St. Louis seminary, the Concordias or Valpo to teach that there are two biblical God's ordained orders for relationships in the church and home. The claim that God, prior to the Fall,  established a structured immutable order of creation Law where men by nature have spiritual authority in relation to woman first appeared in the 1955 CPH publication, "The Office of Woman" by Frtitz Zerbst.   

Prior to 1955 Luther and others referred to the orders of creation as God's work of preserving creation in a fallen world, not to a single immutable top down structure have to do with authority in the home and church.  IOW, the order of creation subordination to man did not become established in LCMS class rooms until after the 1968 CTCR report on suffrage was adopted.  At that time suffrage was granted if and when women did not use the right to vote in congregational meetings to teach adult men or in any other way exercise authority over men thereby "violating" the order of creation. 

In subsequent years the LCMS concept of an immutable order of creation structure that defined the identity, purpose and relationship between man and woman took on a life of it's own.  By 1985  the order of creation had become the "theological matrix" for understanding the identity and purpose of woman and her subordinate position in relation to man.  Thus, the concept of a divinely instituted top down order was now taught within the Concordia system, but not at Valpo where the Valparaiso Department of Theology did not accept the order of creation as a divinely inspired biblical doctrine.

Clearly, the history of women's service in the LCMS is complex.  One result of this is that women who for years graduated from the Valpo program and were duly called and consecrated to  serve in LCMS congregations are silently being dismissed as part of the story.

Marie Meyer

   

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2021, 10:57:50 PM »
The complex history of the service of deaconesses in the LCMS can be found in this book.  I disagree that Valpo deaconesses are silently being dismissed with respect to this history.  It is well documented in this book from the standpoint of those who personally experienced the theological shift at Valpo and sought to form a new organization for deaconesses who chose to remain true to LCMS doctrine.

I am so grateful for the solid theological training I received in the program I studied within (CTSFW) and am enjoying immensely the current opportunity I have to teach deaconess classes at Concordia-Chicago.  Some fabulous women are coming through the program with a desire to serve in a manner that aligns with the confession of faith of their church body.

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2021, 06:04:15 AM »
Marie, I wonder whether brief stories and photos of the three early deaconesses you mentioned might be scripted to create a Youtube video. I found that ALPB has a YouTube channel. Perhaps they would be willing to host the video. Here is a link to their channel:

https://youtube.com/user/alpb2011
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mariemeyer

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2021, 05:03:52 PM »
The complex history of the service of deaconesses in the LCMS can be found in this book.  I disagree that Valpo deaconesses are silently being dismissed with respect to this history.  It is well documented in this book from the standpoint of those who personally experienced the theological shift at Valpo and sought to form a new organization for deaconesses who chose to remain true to LCMS doctrine.

I am so grateful for the solid theological training I received in the program I studied within (CTSFW) and am enjoying immensely the current opportunity I have to teach deaconess classes at Concordia-Chicago.  Some fabulous women are coming through the program with a desire to serve in a manner that aligns with the confession of faith of their church body.

Like the Buckeye deaconess, I am profoundly grateful for solid biblical education from the time I entered an LCMS elementary school. 3rd grade teacher Arnold Batjhe was  a River Forest Teacher.  John Damm asked for a teaching vicarage from the St. Louis seminary. His request was granted and became my 4th grade teacher. Teacher Alan Steinberg was a RF graduate who later taught church history at Concordia Bronxville.  Teacher Herbert Geisler became and high school principle and was later ordained. Teacher Robert Schnable was a master teacher who went on to teach philosophy at the Sr. College, be president of Concordia, Bronxville and later, President of Valpo.

Not one of these men ever mentioned anything about  an "order of creation" structure where boys/men have authority in relation to girls/men in the home and church. The reason is simply that the LCMS had not yet published any writings by Fritz Zerbst. His understanding of the order of creation and the order of redemption did not become part of LCMS teaching until suffrage for women in the church surfaced as a critical issue in the church (1968-69). 

In time layer upon layer of natural human reason contributed to the order of creation becoming a "doctrine" and/or a biblical topic. I do  not know when or where you studied to become a deaconess, so I have no way of knowing what you were taught.  I know that LCMS seminary professors teach student that the order of creation structure is biblical.  My files contain Bible Studies, essays, articles, interviews and books by current seminary professors, members of the Doctrinal Review Committee, the Commission on Theology and Church Relations and synodical officers supporting the Zerbst understanding of the order of creation and woman/wives subordination to man.   

The service of women in the church is an issue that has contributed to division within the LCMS.  A fall out is how the Valpo deaconess program became suspect.  I can attest to the fact that my Valpo professors (58-60) were confessional Lutherans grounded in Scripture.  Zerbst's understanding of the order of creation had not yet surfaced at Valpo or Concordia Seminary, St. Louis where my husband was a student.  The decision to grant women suffrage was considered heterodox by a significant number of professors at Springfield who maintained the Bible taught men had "natural precedence" by birth."

On the basis on my study and experience the fallout from all this is that the Valpo deaconess program moved to the left and the order of creation assumed doctrinal status at RF, St Louis and FW.  Rather than an open study of God's will for the life of man and woman in the church and home, including the service of deaconesses in the church, a division took place that remains unresolved. While Valpo deaconess graduates were formerly welcomed and called to serve within the LCMS, it is my understanding that there is vetting process that does not apply to women who study at RF, FW and St. Louis. I recall being at worship in an LCMS congregation when an RF deaconess was introduced as a deaconess "who knows her place in the church."

It's a troubling sad story.

Marie Meyer 

Dave Benke

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2021, 06:35:43 PM »
I recall being at worship in an LCMS congregation when an RF deaconess was introduced as a deaconess "who knows her place in the church."

The RF deaconess at St. Peter's is active in Lutherans for Racial Justice.  She's happy in that place and at our place in the Church.  Who in the world was giving that introduction?

Dave Benke