Deaconess Karen Suter, a 2017 graduate of Concordia University Chicago, was installed on June 4, 2016. A Minnesota native, Suter was majoring in music education when she began college at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., but while there, she realized she had a passion for Christian theology and a strong desire to pursue a vocation serving in the church. In the middle of her sophomore year, Suter transferred to Concordia University Chicago and the deaconess program. She studied in England and Guatemala, and served a one-year deaconess internship at a multi-ethnic, inner-city congregation in the Midwest.
A deaconess is a woman who is trained, called and commissioned by the denomination to serve Christ and his church through works of mercy, spiritual care, and teaching the faith to others. Among Suter’s duties are visiting the sick and shut-ins, providing grief support and assistance, helping with the congregation’s Stephen Ministry program, and providing support and assistance with various ministries to older adults, families, and to children, youth and women. She leads a family ministry program and adult Bible Study on Sunday mornings, and assists the pastor with other Bible studies during the week.