Canon Dr Anne Tomlinson is Principal of the Scottish Episcopal Institute. She is also a deacon, and oversees Scottish Episcopal Church deacons through their training. Here's a fascinating video of her conversation with two deacon ordinands regarding their experiences of discernment and formation.
place of the diaconate in the diocese.
The dark nails pierce him and the sky turns black We watch him as he labours to draw breath He takes our breath away to give it back, Return it to its birth through his slow death.
The overlooking of the particular ministry of deacons is
almost certainly due to a particular kind of clericalism – the
association of ‘priesthood’ with ‘leadership’, and the propensity
to collapse general talk of vocation into the particular calling
to the ordained ministry of priest.
We deacons get used to people questioning our identity and purpose. It's not only individuals who fail to understand: sometimes a diocese will simply ignore our vocation and seem unable to fathom it or understand how it fits in with other ministries. It can be upsetting and distressing.
All this is far too common in the life of the #distinctivedeacon. To counter it, we've asked Bishop James Newcome to tell us how he sees the place of the diaconate in the life of the diocese.
What does seem to be clear, however, is that there is a definite need
and place within the emerging Church for bridge-builders and ambassadors, for prophets and activists, for servant ministers and community healers and for those who are prepared to step into the ambiguity and “liminality” of the spaces where “Church” and “World” may intersect or be in dialogue with each other.
And this is exciting.
The in-church hospitality aspect of diaconal ministry holds a particular value to me. Understanding hospitality as an expression of love, care and welcome has been foremost in my mind when being ‘at the door’ of my own home and the church building.
what you have
to fill a need which
you never could have filled.
I'm delighted to welcome you to our next national conference! The theme is 'The Place of the Diaconate in the Diocese', and our speaker is the Rt Rev James Newcome, bishop of Carlisle and patron of the CofE Network of Distinctive Deacons.
As the Declarations say, 'They accompany those searching for faith and bring them to baptism.' So #distinctivedeacons should be fully involved in helping people to come to faith in Christ, encouraging them in that faith, and learning how to prepare them for baptism