On the final day of the 2012 Diocesan Convention, three people from our Diocese will be ordained as deacons. Get a chance to know them before Convention, and congratulations to them on the furthering of their ministries!
Elaine Pitzer was born in Detroit Michigan into a family that loved the arts and sailing. In her youth she spent her summers on the northern shores of the Great Lakes. Her career was in nursing and loved working for 26 years as a critical care nurse and supervisor. She retired when she and Tom moved here in 1989. She has worshiped at St. Stephen’s for over 20 years. She actively serves as a Eucharistic visitor, in pastoral care, and coordinating St. Stephen’s volunteers at Holy Trinity Dinner Table. For fun she loves to read, ski, and take long walks with her dog Shay. She also enjoys studying art and music history, and collects antique books. She and Tom love to travel, especially to Europe. Elaine was raised Roman Catholic and was a secular Carmelite for 20 years. She continues in the practice of contemplative prayer with the daily office. She is keenly interested in becoming more involved in outreach relating to refugees and immigrants, and religious tolerance. Her hope is that as a Deacon she may, by the grace of God, have the ability to draw people into an awareness of God’s Trinitarian living presence and action in their lives, whether it is through her service in outreach, education, or leading people to prayer.
Dianne Lowe, Ph.D., worked as risk and safety manager before retirement in 2001. A member of the Episcopal Church since 1995, she has served two Episcopal Churches on the Vestry, and on one as a senior warden. She and Jerri (her wife) have been married since 1993 They moved to Pullman in 2005, and have been members of Saint James’ – Pullman, since then.
The call to the diaconate has been one she has always known, and a life always lived. However, the formal journey of diaconal discernment and formation began in 2007. One is always “in formation” and joyfully, ordination does bring to fruition one very small part of that process. What makes ministry “diaconal” — is that deacons do it.
The expression of her diaconal ministry is a very active advocacy for social justice causes via the internet: Anglicans Against the Death Penalty, Change.org, and CREDO, to name just a few. She has organized a “Deacons at Prayer” group within this diocese. Deacons with email receive prayer requests, and are asked to place these requests on the list in their respective parish, thereby exponentially increasing the number of people who will pray. She works closely with the Saint James’ Social Justice and Outreach Ministry (SJOM). They are currently exploring partnership with other churches to work with Family Promise, a group that provides assistance for homeless families. She is a trainer for Eucharistic Visitors in the area, and manages the St. James’ intercessory prayer group. Most recently, she has been attending classes in preparation to become a volunteer hospice chaplain on the Palouse. The parish to which she will be assigned will no doubt have other venues and opportunities in which to assist.
She describes the ministry of the deacon as being a bit like Kokopelli — making music, one foot up in the air, and one foot on the ground, always dancing, always moving forward.
Robert S. (Bob) Runkle is 76 and has been in discernment in the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane since 2009 and completed his discernment at St. Luke’s Church, Coeur d’Alene. He was approved by the Commission on Ministry, the Standing Committee and by Bishop Waggoner for Ordination as a Deacon in September 2012, with the Ordination to be on October 21, 2012. He participated in the diocesan Deacon Formation program of eight weekends for 2011 and 2012. In the Diocese, he has served as founder and Chair of the Social Justice and Outreach Ministries Commission (2006-2011), a member of Diocesan Council (2008-2011), as Diocesan Jubilee Officer (2007-2012), and as Education for Ministry Coordinator (2005-2008). Previous member of Stewardship and Finance Committees of Diocese. Member, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Coeur d’Alene, ID chapter, Member Association of Episcopal Deacons since 2010 and has published articles in their newsletter regarding Diocese of Spokane ministries. Through his life, he has helped and been involved in the start-up of various outreach projects through his Episcopal Church affiliation across the US serving refugees during resettlement, homeless people, development of a shelter for abused women and children, feeding ministries, and housing for the underserved.
Bob is a retired engineering, sales, and business manager, experienced in biological safety techniques, design and construction activities. He worked for the US Government, for a Fortune 500 company, and several engineering and environmental firms before retiring. Bob serves as Executive Director for Trinity Group Homes, Inc. in Coeur d’Alene, ID which provides housing for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. He is responsible for administration, management of the life skills staff, grant writing and community outreach. Bob and his wife have lived in Kootenai County, Idaho since 2003, attend St. Luke’s Church in Coeur d’Alene, and now live in Coeur d’Alene, ID.