July 19, 2009 - Joyce Ann Ostermann

On its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2005, Concordia Deaconess Conference—Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (CDC) presented the Phoebe Award to Deaconess Joyce Ann Ostermann.  This honor, given only once every five years, recognizes "deaconesses who have unselfishly and lovingly dedicated their lives to our Lord Jesus Christ" and who have made significant contributions to diaconal ministry within the LCMS "through their labors of deaconess service."

Joyce was born on August 20, 1951 in Litchfield, Illinois, where she was baptized and confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church.  Joyce received her AA Degree from St. Paul’s College, Concordia, Missouri, and then transferred to Valparaiso for deaconess training, graduating with her BA in Theology and deaconess certification in 1974.  Her consecration as a deaconess also took place at Zion Lutheran Church in Litchfield on the Feast of Pentecost, June 2, 1974. 

An excellent organizer and administrator, Joyce’s first placement was at Lutheran Homes, Inc. in Fort Wayne, Indiana (1974-84), where she supervised a staff of five to seven deaconesses and social workers, while being responsible for Admissions and Social Services casework and management of the volunteer program.  Joyce subsequently served as Director of Social Services at Lutheran Retirement Village, Crown Point, Indiana (1984-87); Facility Administrator for Lutheran Homes, Inc., Kendallville, Indiana (1987-90), where she supervised a staff of 90 individuals; and since 1997 has been serving at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, in various positions including Executive Assistant to the Director of Financial Aid, Director of the Food and Clothing Co-op, and Database Manager for the Office of Institutional Advancement.  

Those who have ever worked with Deaconess Joyce know her as a quiet and hard worker, always on task until the job is finished, no matter how much of a sacrifice it might mean to her personal life.  Her contribution to the LCMS deaconess community has been immense.  In the fall of 1982, Joyce hosted the entire three-day Concordia Deaconess Conference annual gathering at her home.  Joyce is not only one of the nine founding members of CDC, but she has served as an elected officer for 15 years of the conference’s 29-year history!  (President 9 yrs; VP 2 yrs; Secretary 2 yrs; Executive Board Member 2 yrs).  From 2002-07 Joyce was a member of the LCMS Deaconess Task Force.  Most recently, she has agreed to be appointed as Business Manager for the LCMS Deaconess Biographies Project.

Joyce remembers that she first became interested in becoming a deaconess in eighth grade, while still in confirmation class.  We thank God for the good influence of her Pastor and parents, and the way that Joyce responded to God’s Word by embracing her confirmation verse as a guideline for life, and for service to the church:  “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”  Matthew 6:33.