Isssues Etc — Phoebe and Deaconesses in the Church

Found on Issues, Etc:

Issues, Etc. interviews Deaconess Cynthia Lumley, Associate Director of Deaconess Studies at Concordia Theological Seminary-Ft. Wayne. She is an author of a chapter in Women Pastors? The Ordination of Women in Biblical Lutheran Perspective on Phoebe: A Role Model for Deaconesses Today

Deaconess Lumley speaks about Phoebe who is identified as a sister and a servant. Who actually is she? Is she a pastor? She is referred to as a Deaconess, but what does that mean? … There’s another woman in church history, Junia, who might provide us a little light on what Paul is saying about Phoebe.




About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord,, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at


Isssues Etc — Phoebe and Deaconesses in the Church — 3 Comments

  1. If there was not an official office of Deaconess in Scripture, then why do we have one today? Especially when we do not have a true office of deacon which is established in Scripture, why would we establish and promote without question an office that is not? How do we go from “maybe Phoebe carried the letter to the Romans” to “yes, she carried the letter” and “by the way, she also read the letter”? I felt this interview opened a can of worms without any justification or clarification. It took a possibility, and turned it into a definite occurrence. Deaconess Lumley speaks of possible situations earlier in her interview then calls them “facts” around minute 16.

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