My name is Joanna Seibert and I am beginning my 18th year as a deacon licensed in the dioceses of Arkansas and the Central Gulf Coast. When I overheard a friend talking about the deacon formation program that started in Arkansas in the late 1990s, I immediately knew, “this is who I am.” Deacons at their ordination take a vow “in the name of Jesus Christ to serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely. “ (Book of Common Prayer, 543) My first spiritual director told me that God never wastes anything, and this has been so true throughout my life. My first natural diaconal ministry was to the sick because of medical background. This lead to more training in Community of Hope and Walking the Mourner’s Path and Daughters of the King, and Spiritual Direction at the Haden Institute at Kanuga. I have also been involved in Episcopal Recovery Ministries for almost 30 years as a result of working through my own recovery.
My writing as well is an outgrowth of my academic medical career where writing and research were as much a part of medicine as clinical care. From my ministries my writing themes have developed around knowing how we all are healed and cared for by God through being a part of God’s community. It is in community where we learn about and share God’s love. Inside the church I remind people how God is present in community. Outside of the church I remind those in the world that there is a loving community with open arms wanting to let them know how God cares and loves them.
My most recent book is A Daily Spiritual Rx for Lent and Easter. It is part of a trilogy of Daily writings for Advent and Christmas and then for the Pentecost Season which will be coming out in 2019.
My family has been coming to the Central Gulf Coast since 1976 and have become connected to Holy Spirit in Gulf Shores. In fact, we will be doing a Lenten Retreat there open to the public, Saturday, February 23 using A Daily Spiritual Rx for Lent and Easter. You can register by emailing Holy Spirit email@example.com.
Our heart goes out to the many people and towns whose lives were changed by Hurricane Michael on the Central Gulf Coast. We send prayers daily from Arkansas but want to do more. We are hoping later to send some teams to help with rebuilding.
For the present, this is what we can do. Proceeds from the sale of this most recent book are going for Hurricane Relief for the Diocese of Central Gulf Coast. The book can be ordered from the publisher or from Amazon or I would love to come and visit with other groups to bring the book and share what I have learned from so many of you about God’s presence revealed through spiritual friends in community as we stay connected through the liturgical days of Lent and Easter.
Joanna Seibert. firstname.lastname@example.org joannaseibert.com