“Better is the end of a thing than its beginning: the patient in spirit are better than the proud in spirit.” Ecclesiastes 7:8. This is the Bible verse I started off my letter to Bishop Egensteiner on September 1st letting him know that as of October 1st, 2020, I will be retiring as a Synodical Deacon of the Metro NY Synod (and therefore, your first ‘retired’ Deacon). As I explained to him, why I picked this verse, is that all through my 20 years of being a Synodical Deacon, I have learned so much, more than I knew in the beginning and yet still have so much more to learn.
In the last few months, I have gone through much prayer, discernment, and yes, tears, to come to this decision. I take the words of “Minister of Word and Service” very seriously. As a Deacon of Word, I have preached, led Bible studies, and have tried, and I emphasize tried, to live by God’s word. As a Deacon of Service (and as a member), I have served St. Paul’s for 50 years and will continue to do that. I feel I don’t need a title to serve the church that I love. My reason for retirement has to do with my service outside the church and to the community. I have been a Pastoral Care visitor at Mather Hospital for 27 years and have done nursing home/adult home worship services/Bible studies for over 20 years. Because of Covid, I have not been able to do any of this and for many reasons, will not go back to this even if things get better. I feel so strong that a Deacon’s ministry should be outside the church and because this ministry which I feel I have a gift for will not continue, I have decided to retire. It took a while, but I have peace with my decision. Covid has changed all of our lives a lot. I’m not going anywhere but now instead of being the ‘Senior’ Deacon, I can be ‘Deacon, Retired’! So according to Ecclesiastes, “the end IS better". ~ Gale Capone, Deacon, Retired
Gale Capone's Synodical Deacon Journey ~ September 10, 2000 - October 1, 2020
Gale Capone was set apart for the office of Deacon by the Metropolitan New York Synod, ELCA, on September 10th, 2000. She completed her studies at diakonia in June 1999 and did her internship at St. Paul’s and in the community for one year.
Deacon Gale's ministry of Compassion, encompassed Eucharistic Ministry, Prayer Ministry, and Pastoral Care at Mather Hospital and monthly worship services at St. James Nursing Home. She also wrote a monthly Deacon’s Corner in our newsletter, The Foundation. She was a co-coordinator of the Peconic and Western Suffolk Deacons.
Gale led Bible studies and continued her own education by attending various seminars, lectures and various diaconate courses. She was involved with the Outreach Ministry in coordination with our Church Council supporting ELCA World Hunger, ELCA Good Gifts, Lutheran World Relief and Seafarer’s International.
Gale attended the Stephen Ministry weeklong training in Pittsburgh, taught the 50-hour Stephen Ministry course and was commissioned as a Stephen Minister. She shared Christ’s love to care receivers.
She had been to Africa to visit our companion Synod in Tanzania and was involved in the Synod’s work in trying to alleviate malaria and world hunger. She went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic with “Save my Starving Children”.
St. Paul’s is very important in Gale's life as she has been a member for 50 years. As we heard in Lent the story of Jesus’ transfiguration, we too need to follow Jesus from the mountaintop into the valley to do His work. That’s what we need to remember as we leave our worship every Sunday and what we need to remember each and every day. We need to remember that we have God’s promise that He will be with us always, even through all of life’s changes.
Rev. Paul Downing, Pastor
Deacon Gale Capone
Deacon Johnny Slade ~ "Senior" Deacon Gale Capone ~ Deacon Stuart Meade