During the 52nd session of the Annual Conference, three deaconesses were commissioned: Cheryl Bender, Jody Stevens and Beth Kwolek Vanoli.
Bender will be serving as the Executive Director & Social Worker at Dream Builders Group and The Clubhouse in the Miami Valley District. Stevens will be a Hospice Healthcare Volunteer for Interim HealthCare in the Foothills District and Vanoli will serve as the Coordinator of Spiritual & Social Education for the Academy for Spiritual & Social Practice at Dayton St, Paul UMC in the Miami Valley District
The United Methodist Deaconess and Home Missioner program is for laywomen and laymen who are called by God to a full-time vocation in ministries of love, justice, and service.
In addition to being called to life-long, mission-oriented service, Deaconesses must meet a number of requirements before being commissioned, including biblical and theological grounding in the Old and New Testaments, the Theology of Mission, as well as the history, polity and doctrine of The United Methodist Church.