Diaconal Ministers are consecrated for service in ministries at the intersection of church and world. Diaconal Ministers work to seek wholeness in the world and to help the people of God to live out the Gospel. They are committed to alerting the church to the needs of the world. Diaconal Ministry is a ministry of Word and Service, sharing the hope of Christ, helping where there is need, and equipping others for healing and justice in the world. Diaconal Ministers serve in and through agencies, institutions (both church related and secular), as well as traditional church programs in congregations, synods or the churchwide organization as they build bridges between the church and the world.
The Diaconal Minister at St. Paul is Dr. Holly Hoffman, who came to Carlisle in 1985 and still works full-time as a pediatrician. She completed her Masters Degree in Ministerial Studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg in 2009 and was consecrated as St. Paul’s Diaconal Minister on Sept. 19, 2010. In addition to helping with youth service activities and running a Spiritual Support Group at St. Paul, she is involved in other regional mission and outreach.
Prenatal Clinic in Harrisburg, PA
Christ Lutheran Health Ministries Prenatal Clinic in Harrisburg has been in operation for 12 years and provides low-risk prenatal care to women who are uninsured and uninsurable due to visa status or lack of documentation. Dr. Hoffman is the Medical Director for Christ Lutheran Health Ministries (which also houses a dental clinic) and is primary prenatal care provider, aided by volunteer interpreters/nurses as well as nurses from the Holy Spirit Mission and Outreach clinic (which is also located at Christ Lutheran). Dr. Hoffman established this clinic as part of an Independent Study while in seminary; 169 babies have been delivered at Holy Spirit Hospital from the clinic, and over 206 women have received care there, with over 120 patient visits per year. Learn more about all the health ministries offered at Christ Lutheran.
Dental Health Ministry for Adams, Franklin, and Cumberland Counties
Living Water Dental Health Ministry is a Christian outreach clinic whose mission is to provide quality comprehensive and emergent dental care to indigent patients using volunteer service providers. Founded in 2012, the clinic is a ministry of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Hampton. No fees are charged, and the providers involved are not reimbursed for their time and services. Created to serve the needs of migrant workers in Adams County, others of low income who would otherwise lack access to dental services are eligible. Patients are eligible for the clinic if a) they currently reside in Adams, Franklin or Cumberland counties (Franklin was added in 2014 because of the need in Haitian migrant camps there and the lack of other services) b) they have no dental insurance and c) their income is 200% or less of 2018 Federal Poverty Guidelines. The target population benefits not only by having acute dental needs met, but also by having preventive dentistry teaching and services. Dr. Hoffman procured grants from Wheat Ridge Foundation and the Lutheran Deaconesses in support of this clinic and currently serves on the board as its treasurer. Check out the Living Water Dental Health Ministry’s Facebook page for a look at the clinic and its volunteers.
Emmitsburg (Maryland) Council of Churches Kenya Mission
Dr. Hoffman works with a former intern from St. Paul, Rev. Jon Greenstone, to co-lead the Emmitsburg (Maryland) Council of Churches Kenya Mission. In the fall of 2007, Joshua Machinga, from the Kiminini/Kitale area of western Kenya, came to visit Emmitsburg. Joshua gave an introduction to his work in teaching sustainable farming and in providing a good education for vulnerable children and orphans in the region. Joshua’s school is called Pathfinder Academy and his NGO in Kenya is known as Common Ground for Africa (CGA). He invited the Council to send volunteers on a mission trip, and “Team Kenya” was born. Trips have been held in 2009, 2011, and 2014, 2018. Volunteers have provided funds resulting in a solar well pump and solar electricity system for the school, run medical clinics, done eye exams and provided glasses for the children, and shared the Word with schoolchildren, as well as many other activities according to volunteer gifts and the leading of the Spirit.