LOVE YOUR DDO 2023

Dear fellow Deacons

It is such good news that the CofE National Ministry Development Team is so supportive of the  distinctive diaconate, and has developed the new Six Qualities and Evidences for Distinctive Deacons which have now been sent to all dioceses, alongside those for priests. They were rolled out nationally last September, and we’re immensely grateful that this has finally happened. https://cofedeacons.org/are-you-being-called/current-formation-and-selection-criteria-for-distinctive-deacons/

Realistically, it will take some time for them to ‘trickle down’ to diocesan level.  19 out of 42 dioceses currently don’t mention the diaconate on their websites at all, and some deacons find there’s a lack of knowledge and experience in their dioceses.

So the Deacons’ Network Steering Group would like to invite you to take part in what we’re calling ‘Love your DDO 2023′.  Taking into account just how busy our DDOs are, it may be helpful for us to offer to be resource people for them, on behalf of the diaconate.

Here are a few practical suggestions for your consideration: feel free to adopt or adapt, according to your situation!

  1. Contact your DDO and ask if you could have a conversation about how you might help.
  2. Keep an eye on our website https://cofedeacons.org: if you haven’t already done so, please sign up for email updates (scroll to the bottom of the page).   Consider emailing your DDO now and again, and draw their attention to deacon posts and resources. For example, the World Council of Churches has published a very significant document recently, agreeing an ecumenical understanding of diakonia.  https://www.oikoumene.org/resources/publications/ecumenical-diakonia. Consider sending this link to them, as they may well not have come across it before.
  3. Offer to chat to a meeting of vocations advisers to brief them on the distinctive diaconate.
  4. Offer to be available for a chat to anyone currently exploring a diaconal vocation.
  5. Offer to support vocation explorer groups.
  6. Offer to become a vocations adviser for diaconal enquirers.
  7. Ask if it would be helpful for you to produce a leaflet about the DD, which can be used on vocations days. See this example, which can be adapted for your diocese:  https://acrobat.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:fc23ef03-e1d6-3384-b702-68488c968144
  8. Offer a short presentation about the DD on vocations days.
  9. Contact your local Theological Training Institute, and ask the Director of Studies how you might help. Could you be a tutor for those in diaconal formation?
  10. Last but by no means least – pray for your DDO.

For more details, please contact members of the national steering group via deacons@tutanota.com

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