20 Dec Kaitlyn Wallett’s Unexpected Journey to the Diaconate
Kaitlyn Wallett was ordained as the Upper Midwest Diocese’s newest deacon at Christ Church Madison on December 18. Get to know her below!
Tell us about yourself: Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Krakow, Poland, where my parents were missionaries with YWAM. I lived there until I moved to the States to go to Wheaton College. Wheaton brought me to the Midwest and Church of the Resurrection kept me here.
The Cathedral was my introduction to the Diocese and my first job out of college. I was the church receptionist for a hot second, like five or six weeks. I started working for Fr. Matt Woodley, then the missions pastor. We were a team until I moved up to Madison when Christ Church was planted four years ago.
What is your background with the Church and ministry?
My passion for serving the Lord was rooted in my parents’ mission work, so I thought he would use that for cross-cultural ministry.
At Wheaton College, I started to major in International Relations before switching to Geology. I thought my path was grad school and becoming a professor in a country that I couldn’t go to as a missionary. But God clearly closed that door.
I stayed on staff at Church of the Resurrection instead. While there, I recognized God was saying, “Ministry is where I have you. This is more than just a placeholder; this is actually what I’m calling you to.”
My life journey has been paved in stepping stones—God showing me just one step at a time.
What were some of those stepping stones?
The diaconate has been the most surprising stepping stone. The clearest call I’ve received was when I was feeling my time at Resurrection in Wheaton coming to an end and didn’t know what was next.
I had a profound prayer experience with Isaiah 6:1-8, when Isaiah hears the Lord say, “Whom shall I send?” I poured my whole self into responding with Isaiah, “Here I am, send me.” And I heard God say in my head the word “Madison.”
I freaked out. I’ve never heard the Lord’s voice like that before or since.
That started a season of discernment that led me to move to Madison to help Fr. Scott and Marissa Cunningham plant Christ Church in 2018. I’ve found where my gifting, God’s mission, and a community that I can serve with all come together here.
I was very content serving alongside Fr. Scott and our growing ministry team. Then about two years ago, he and other church leaders invited me to consider discerning the call to the diaconate. Very slowly, I walked that journey of discerning whether I was even ready to discern. At first, I was hesitant, having not seen many examples of administrative leaders or unmarried young women becoming deacons in our Diocese—I didn’t know if I “fit the mold”. But going through our diocesan discernment process for Holy Orders, I came to recognize the diaconal shape of this next stepping stone.
What makes you excited or nervous about this new stage of ministry?
I’m not looking forward to being the center of attention on my ordination day. I prefer to have the fruit of my labor be seen but to stay behind the scenes myself. I’m thrilled to start serving alongside Fr. Scott and Fr. Kent, our assisting priest—having a clergy team is a big step for our church plant. And I’m sure I won’t understand this until it takes place, but I’m so excited for the closeness with Jesus that will come from sharing in his humility and servanthood in a new way once Bishop Stewart lays hands on me and that ontological change happens. I’m excited to have the rest of my life to figure out what that’s going to look like.
This article was featured in the December issue of our diocesan e-newsletter. Subscribe to receive good news from around the Upper Midwest Diocese here.