Friday, June 21, 2024
Concordia Sisters of St. Joseph

Concordia Sisters of St. Joseph

Loving God and neighbor without distinction: A pontifical institute of women religious of the Roman Catholic Church

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Myrna Shelton has been named the new Program Coordinator for Neighbor to Neighbor

Sister Missy Ljungdahl has been the director of Neighbor to Neighbor since 2019. Sister Missy has a joyful spirit that people can’t help but be drawn to, not to mention a lot of energy to complete the many tasks required to keep the center up and running. At the start of 2023, Sister Missy decided it was time to resign from her position as Director of Neighbor to Neighbor. The decision was not made lightly, and she had a real concern about what would happen to all of the women that used the services offered there. “Where will they go?” she worried. “They need somewhere to go.”

The Sisters hosted a public forum in March with several organizations showing interest in continuing the ministry. Ultimately, they decided that the timing wasn’t right for them to take over this venture.

Another option was considered and approved by the Neighbor to Neighbor Board. Sister Dian Hall will be the Director, and Sister Missy’s current assistant, Myrna Shelton, will become the Neighbor to Neighbor Program Coordinator. Missy will become Myrna’s Administrative Assistant.

This change will take effect on July 1st of this year. “This was the work of the Holy Spirit,” Sister Missy proclaims. “We had to have a lot of ‘yesses” for this to work, and the Holy Spirit ensured those ‘yesses’. I feel really good that the legacy that was started will continue.”

Myrna will take over many of the responsibilities that Sister Missy had. She has worked at Neighbor to Neighbor for many years. Myrna has the same joyful, caring spirit that we see in Sister Missy. She originally started as a guest, then a volunteer, and was hired as Administrative Assistant in 2015. “I fell in love with the Sisters. They are kind, lovable, capable women and I’m thankful to keep the center going for them,” she said. “We are all so excited and grateful to be able to give a three-year commitment to continue services at Neighbor to Neighbor.”

Sister Dian Hall will be available for anything that is needed at Neighbor to Neighbor. She’ll be present when needed and is willing to share her gifts in any way that’s required. “It’s a collaborative effort here at Neighbor to Neighbor. We all come together and combine and share our gifts to serve,” she said. “I’m so happy that we will continue the tradition of Neighbor to Neighbor. We were not ready for it to be done.”

Both Sister Missy and Sister Dian agree that Myrna will be wonderful as the Program Coordinator. “Myrna is the face of Neighbor to Neighbor,” Sister Dian said. Sister Missy added, “I can’t think of a better person than Myrna to run the center.”

The Neighbor to Neighbor team is very thankful for all of the support that they have received from the civic community and are so happy to receive many positive reactions from the guests when they hear the great news. They ask for your continued prayers and support.

With new leadership, there may be changes. But for now, Neighbor to Neighbor will continue to operate as it has been and the community will continue to benefit from the caring nature of these women who are “Loving God and Neighbor Without Distinction.”

Neighbor to Neighbor is a nonprofit women’s center in downtown Concordia that is operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia. Many women have utilized the facility over the years for numerous purposes. The center opened in 2010 as a ministry to help those women and women with young children in need. Those needs are different for each person.

Women can meet for fellowship when the center offers free playtime in their one-of-a-kind playroom. Many come for a hot lunch or to utilize the laundry or shower facilities. Crochet and baking groups meet weekly to work on their projects and share companionship. Preschoolers are invited once a month for a special storytime called “Reading With Friends.”