Two Deaconesses to be Commissioned at Annual Conference

Two West Ohio laywomen, Katelin Hansen and Kristyl Shoaf, will be commissioned as Deaconesses at the conclusion of the Annual Conference Business Session on September 12. The event will be live streamed and recorded for future viewing.

“Laity who want to follow their passion for love and justice through a lifetime of service should think about the Deaconess and Home Missioner relationship,” remarks Carlene Triplett, a retired Deaconess and Church & Community Worker who served in South Carolina and Ohio. “The community of our order is very strong and has sustained me over the years.”

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. According to The United Methodist Book of Discipline, Deaconesses and Home Missioners function through diverse forms of service directed toward the world to make Jesus Christ known in the fullness of his ministry and mission.

Dr. Katelin Hansen is the Minister of Music and Director of Operations for UM Church and Community Development for All People in Columbus, OH. Church for All People aspires to serve hand-in-hand with their neighbors to build the front porch of the Kingdom of God, where all people can experience abundant life. “What a joy to wake up each day partnering in a wide range of ministries of love, justice, and service alongside my neighbors and our community,” Katelin says. Her personal motto is “to love with excellence.”

Kristyl Shoaf is Director of Communications for North Broadway UMC and Short North Church in Columbus, OH. “In my role as Director of Communications, and my calling as a Deaconess, I help tell the story of who we are, both as a church and as a member of our community,” Kris remarks. “Through a variety of mediums and platforms, I share our mission and ministry of being ‘Love Alive’ in the world.” Her personal motto is, “We were created for relationships: relationship with God and with others.”

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.

“You should consider joining the Deaconess/Home Missioner program if you are a layperson called to serving others through a relationship with the church and feel led to be in a covenant community with others who know their call in life is rooted in Scripture, informed by history, driven by mission, ecumenical in nature, and global in outreach,” states Marcia Florkey, a West Ohio Deaconess who serves as an administrative consultant for the program. “Knowing you are in a covenant community is key.”

If you are interested in learning more about the Deaconess and Home Missioner programs, visit