Interview with Diedre Milligan

Now I can see how God is working in my life. Let me tell you how this happened.


I grew up in a family that valued church life. As a young girl, even when my dad was away on business, my mother brought us to church. Worship attendance was regular, even if not every Sunday. We prayed at the kitchen table. My mother read us Bible stories.


Today, as I reflect back on those years, I realize three things:

  • This legacy of church life provided by my parents was and is important to me.
  • This legacy of church life, although always important, was at times shaky. The church that was there in my early life, was not always my rock.
  • This legacy of church life, for a stretch of years, didn’t involve Bible reading or Bible study.


My church involvement particularly suffered during my married life. Both of my marriages were with men who didn’t value the church or Christian faith. This led inevitably to my own falling away from the church. This situation continued until I moved to Florida in 1981. A single woman by then, I could rearrange my life. One of my chief priorities was to return to the church life I had known previously.

“One of my chief priorities was to return to the church life I had known previously.”

The first church I attended was Emmanuel Lutheran Church. Two things happened at Emmanuel that transformed my spiritual life.


  • I joined the altar guild. This service to the church taught me about the church calendar, major celebrations, and the flow of the liturgy. I learned and I grew in my faith. I’ve carried out this service for 23 years at Emmanuel. That’s how important it is to me.
  • COVID also changed my spiritual life. Before COVID I didn’t have time to attend Bible classes. After COVID struck, Emmanuel started putting their Bible studies online. I could participate in all the Bible studies, in my home, and on my own time. And I loved them! The result? Before COVID I didn’t do Bible study; now I do three Bible studies EVERY DAY. They are like vitamins that I take daily.


Service around the altar and regular Bible study have strengthened my faith in ways I couldn’t have imagined just a few years ago. Now I can see how God is working in my life – and how!

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