this caring for the poor and defenceless, this reconciliation work with an ethnic minority, so relevant to our own day, turns out to be central to the life of the newly-forming church. Without it, the church can not be fully the church. This care is central to what the Holy Spirit was doing in the young church. That’s why the seven had to be people full of the Holy Spirit, and wise. Christ was working through his body, through prayer, preaching, and caring for the needy. So diaconal ministry, at ease on the margins of the church and society, caring for those who are unjustly treated, is crucial for an authentically Christian church and is part of its very identity.