Synod Podcast Episode 6 – To Be Love

Group 236

Where do you see Jesus and His bold and boundless love? For Deacons Deb Haynes and Dave Larrabee who are called to serve at the Lamb Center, a day shelter for people experiencing homelessness, they see Jesus’ love through the incredibly generous spirits of their guests. Even the most cantankerous of guests have shown grace to the staff and volunteers at the Lamb Center when the team needed a reminder of Jesus’ love the most. 

Knowing that poverty is the fourth greatest cause of death in the United States, Pastor Betty Landis is passionate about and involved with the Poor People’s Campaign. She is currently living out her call to serve immigrants and marginalized people at Saint Stephen Lutheran Church. Saint Stephen is located in the White Oak community of Silver Spring, MD where more than 13% of the population lives below the poverty line and about 45% of its residents were born outside of the United States. 

Hear how these leaders have engaged with someone as if they are not a stranger, offering true welcome and love for people who have been marginalized and are regularly outcast by society. Despite what the world tells us, we need Jesus’ love to be bold and boundless in our work to live out the Gospel each and every day. We cannot do this Holy work alone.

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Deacon Deb Haynes is called by the Metropolitan Washington DC Synod of the ELCA to The Lamb Center, where she is the Director of Case Management. The Lamb Center is an ecumenical Christian ministry that serves individuals experiencing homelessness in Fairfax, VA. Prior to the pandemic, Deacon Deb was a volunteer worship leader and preacher for the Community of St. Dysmas, an ELCA congregation inside the Maryland Department of Corrections for five years and an advance reader for Hear My Voice: A Prison Prayer Book. Deacon Deb is a teacher and supply preacher in the Metro DC Synod, sharing the gospel in the nation’s capital through a diaconal lens. She is a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Falls Church, VA, has a MAMS from the United Lutheran Seminary, a MSIS from UNC-Chapel Hill, and a BA from Ursinus College. In former careers she was the office manager for a small local business and a systems analyst in federal contracting. Both skill sets are surprisingly useful in her current call.

The Rev. Betty Landis serves Saint Stephen Lutheran in Silver Spring – a small, faithful multi-ethnic, multi-generational congregation with a heart for immigrants and others Jesus points us toward in love.  She is a newly elected member of the Metro DC Synod Council and is active in the Poor Peoples’ Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.  She sees Jesus’ love directing us to repair the breach at the intersection of poverty, racism, ecological devastation, militarism, and religious nationalism – doing God’s work, in Jesus’ love and faithfulness, and by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Deacon Dave Larrabee was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has been with the Lamb Center since February 19, 1999 in various capacities. Dave was hired as Pastoral Assistant to launch the Saturday ministry 20 years ago, in June 2003.  In 2005, he became Director of the daily operations of this ministry. He was recently named Pastoral Director of the growing Lamb Center ministry. Dave has been clean and sober since January 23, 2001. Before the Lamb Center, he worked for the U.S Department of Commerce from 1985 to 2000 and served 20 years in the U.S. Army and the Army Reserves. Dave has a BA in Political Science and German from Utah State University and an MA in Russian and East European Studies from George Washington University. Dave is a member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Vienna. In May, 2016, Dave graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (LTSG) in the MAMS Diaconal Ministry program. His teaching parish at LTSG was the Community of St. the Men’s Correctional Facility in Jessup, Maryland. In 2016, he was called by the Metropolitan Washington DC Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America to serve as a Deacon at the Lamb Center.