These stunning photos were of images taken by the Webb Telescope. What completely caught me by surprise was how deeply spiritual this experience was. Every time I closed my eyes one of the images danced across my vision and over that weekend, I spent quite a bit of time immersed in the immensity of the presence of God they opened me to. Reflecting on those images resulted in a new spiritual practice for me that I wanted to share with you.
It must be clearly stated that Deacons, while being communicant members of congregations, having a liturgical ministry and dovetailing with the work of presbyters, are primarily a task force at the disposal of the Bishop, for work, most of which is out in the world. They have their proper place in a diocesan rather than a congregational strategy of mission. They are a pioneer corps rather than auxiliaries to share the load of existing intra-congregational ministries
It is very important to describe the role of Distinctive Deacons in terms of what they are and what they do: and not in terms of ‘status’ or what they can’t do.
“Every survivor of modern slavery has a different story but we have found they are usually super keen to work and get involved and be part of the community. They love being part of a team and particularly appreciate learning to bake, one-to-one with our volunteers. The café is a caring and nurturing environment and I think that makes a difference to the survivors.”
This article by Deacon Erin Moriz for Anglican Compass wrestles with a number of issues all-too-familiar to #distinctivedeacons in the Church of England. Deacon Erin grew up in the Southern Baptists, but is ordained into the Anglican Church of North America.
Diakonia is ‘an integral part of the church’s being and mission’. There is no church without diakonia, and no diakonia without ‘the distinctiveness of its faith-based action’.
Diaconic aspects in the Epistle of James video
we at last have the ability and opportunity to offer information about online courses available to distinctive deacons, which can be accessed from anywhere in the country.
Disciples are to call down from the Jesus in their midst what they have the courage to open themselves to in his self-giving. For deacons this message may well be especially meaningful, but deacons do not take their name from here. They take that from another kind of diakonia. We see this clearly in what the later writer, Ignatius of Antioch, had to comment about the deacons among the Trallians: ‘they are not deacons (diakonoi) of food and drink but are officers (hypēretai) of the Church of God.’
I am grateful for the generosity of resources, hospitality and welcome that the Methodist Diaconal Order offered to us as guests from different denominations: for their openness to listen to the ‘outsiders’ voices, and for the treasures gathered.