Ted Dodd elected president; Jan Cherry lauded

June 30, 2018

Diaconal Minister Ted Dodd was elected president of DOTAC (DIAKONIA of the Americas and the Caribbean) on June 19. He was asked to fulfill the vacated term of Jan Cherry. Ted has been, and will continue, representing DUCC (DIAKONIA of The United Church of Canada) on the Central Committee.

“I did not imagine this as part of my future, but I have the time and energy to step up,” Ted says. “I love the work for, and the people of, DOTAC and DIAKONIA. I am hoping to offer leadership that builds community and imagines new ways to nurture diaconia in our churches and the world.”

Ted Dodd and Jan Cherry recently represented DOTAC at the World DIAKONIA meeting in Germany.

Earlier in June, the DOTAC Central Committee determined that Deacon Jan Cherry was ineligible to remain in the position of DOTAC regional president. With dignity and grace, Jan has agreed to stand down from the role. (Please note this is a procedural and not a personal decision.)

The Central Committee holds Jan in highest regard and completely appreciates all the work and dedication she has offered our international, ecumenical movement. The good news is that Jan will continue to serve the DOTAC Central Committee as an affiliate member.

The reason for the change relates to DOTAC by-laws. These rules recognise associations not individuals, and only individuals who are part of DIAKONIA World Federation associations are eligible to stand as officers of DOTAC.

In January 2017, Jan’s denominational group, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), decided to close the rosters of diaconal ministers, deaconesses and associates in ministry, and create a new single Roster of Deacons, ministers of Word and service. Therefore, Jan’s former community, the Diaconal Ministers of the ELCA, is no longer a formal member of DOTAC; thus there is not currently a member group that Jan may represent.

Jan comments, “Am I truly happy with the end result? No, but it is what it is. I just have to move forward. I believe that I would have been a good president for DOTAC. . . . Meanwhile, I work on being aware of the grace that I have received.”

DOTAC is working with the ELCA Roster of Deacons toward their having a member group that joins DOTAC and World DIAKONIA.