General Conference Feature: Celebrating Deaconess Lisa Miller Maidi

We celebrate Lisa Miller Maidi who was consecrated as a Deaconess at the General Conference in worship on Monday, April 29. Lisa serves in the Southeast District, and her all-volunteer service in the world is in the overlapping areas of refuge assistance, interfaith relations, and poverty relief. Located in Bloomington (a 55-year member of St. Marks UMC), she calls her work “Welcoming the Stranger” ministries. Her mission is to lead by example in fulfilling the Deaconess/Home Missioner motto of Love, Justice and Service. 

Deaconesses and Home Missioners are lay people 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. Together they form a covenant community that is rooted in Scripture, informed by history, driven by mission, ecumenical in scope, and global in outreach [from the UMF website].The Office of Deaconesses and Home Missioners is under the supervision of the United Women in Faith. If you’d like to learn more, click here for a short video.

In preparation for her work as a Deaconess, Lisa earned her MTH from Garrrett-Evangelical Seminary in 2011. She works with Monroe County United Ministries, an accredited sliding-scale nursery school and food pantry, and Opportunity House, the thrift store created to support MCUM and serve low-income customers. 

For several years Lisa worked with a team of planners to create enlightening and anti-racist interfaith dialogue groups and events for Noah’s Ark interfaith dialogue group. As a member of Bloomington Multi-faith Alliance, she was a co-organizer of last fall’s multi-faith Thanksgiving feast and celebration. 

Working with Bloomington Refugee Support Network, every Tuesday she assists two Afghan families by driving them on errands. Earlier this year she initiated meetings of community refugee assistance leaders to expand the Refugee Support Network to include entire church groups under its umbrella. 

This year during Lent Lisa co-organized a Pilgrimage for Peace, joining an international ecumenical movement of peace walks calling for a ceasefire and humanitarian aid for Gaza. This peace action in Bloomington was endorsed by the office of Deaconess/Home Missioner, the UMC’s General Board of Church and Society, and was honored to have C.S. Rev. Dr. Peebles and Bishop Trimble in attendance. Lisa co-authored a forthcoming article for Response Magazine, the United Women in Faith national magazine, about Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimages. 

In response to her consecration, Lisa commented, “Thank you all!!! I sincerely appreciate your noticing this effort of mine, with God’s help, to be the Church in the world!”

Written by Rev. Mary W. Cartwright

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