Deacons’ Conference 22-24th March 2019 Wydale Hall
Becoming a Diaconal Church – Broadening the Vision
Deacon David and Susan Clark
Distinctive deacons from York diocese and beyond were presented with an inspirational vision of an outward facing church by Methodist deacon David Clark. Formerly a presbyter, he is passionate about the renewal of the church as movement rather than institution. The way forward for the church is more than the cure of souls. In a world beset by social fragmentation, he believes solutions can only develop via strong communities. “It’s building community or bust” he said, but “community is a benign aerosol word we squirt on everything.” And so to unpack it…
He identified strong communities as those shaped by relationships, feelings, values and beliefs which is where theology comes in. Theology addresses the communal dilemma, moving its dark side away from insularity and sectarianism towards openness, inclusion, and acceptance of diversity. All people matter and each counts.
David pictures the diaconal church as a servant of the Kingdom community with deacons as mission enablers and the laity in pole position as messengers and community builders. Deacons have a key role to play in nurturing life, love, liberation and learning as the gifts of the Kingdom and noticing where these already exist outside church. The church exists to make these gifts real in people’s experience in everyday life and relationships.
Hear David’s talks: https://soundcloud.com/dioceseofyork
The weekend was an opportunity to be inspired by stories of deacons making connections with communities of interest beyond the church, for example with bikers, market stall holders place and older people. For enquirers, incumbents and anyone interested to know more about the diaconate, the date for Wydale Weekend 2020 is February 28th-March 1st
Don’t miss the next day meeting of the York deacons group on November 16th at St. Edwards’s Dringhouses, with Bishop Alison.
Deacon Liz Carrington