DAP REPORT TO WORLD DIAKONIA FEDERATION EXECUTIVE MEETING JULY 2020
DAP Report July 2020 A Powerpoint Presentation to Download
METHODIST DEACONESS ORDER FIJI
“WE ARE CALLED TO SERVE” A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEACONESS ORDER IN FIJI The Methodist Order of the Methodist Church in Fiji had started since 1953 with the initial discussions in the Methodist Annual Conference. It was the first Deaconess Order Committee that discusses the establishment of a Deaconess Order. Before it started, we are grateful to the three women, Miss Muliya Dharanji, Sister Brent and Mrs Gladys Campbell who bought the property at Moala Street especially for the purpose of the setting up as a Deaconess Training Centre. The local training began in Samabula with four Deaconess students on February 10th, 1967. The first trainees studied at the Deaconess Training Centre for three years in 1967 – 1969. The Deaconess Order celebrates Deaconess Day on the 10th of February every year to mark its existence since 1967.
Deaconesses have served as Chaplains in schools, Religious Education teachers, family life education, and assistant teachers, teaching in divisional schools for Catechist and in pastoral appointments as assistant to ministers. Since 1967, a total of 156 women had been trained at Deaconess House in Samabula. In 2020, a total of 38 deaconesses are working in different fields of services varying from circuit work, chaplaincy, matron, secretarial work, working with women and young people, social work, child care and evangelism. Only 37 are Conference appointments.
The Deaconess Training Centre
Young women are encouraged to walk in faith, bearing in mind that the most important factor of training is their individual and collective relationship with God. The weekly night prayer vigil has proved to be the tower of strength, our shield, and guiding light as we prayerfully respond to God’s call in His service. Training is both at the Davuilevu Theological College (DTC) and at the Deaconess Training Centre. The first year students take classes at DTC from Monday to Friday. Bible Study, Sunday School Preparation and English class are taken in Deaconess Training.
Students Deaconesses are assigned to different churches nearby to do their practical work training. Practical work includes Teaching Sunday School, conducting Bible Study, Home Visitation, and attending Church services on Sundays at the practical places. The Deaconess Training has served in new areas of the community through specialised ministries such as children’s ministry, providing care for the aged and hospital ministry. After three years of training the final year student deaconesses write a project paper, from which the student must develop into a workshop and implement during their probationary period.
The two third year students are Mereseini Laqekoro and Joana Torika, have completed three years of training, and graduated with Diploma in Theology in Diakonia Studies. The two Deaconesses are currently serving in a Divisional Bible School and Secondary School. Currently for their fourth year of probation, quarterly assignments are being sent to them in which a time frame is given for them to complete. After completing the assignments, they will organize a workshop during the fifth year on the topics which was written during the third year of training.
After three years of Training, Deaconesses are appointed to Primary and Secondary school, Circuit and Institutions. Some Deaconesses are ministers wives who have contributed much to the fellowships. Deaconesses without Pastoral Charge move about in rural and urban communities on evangelistic, pastoral, social and visitation.
The COVID – 19 pandemic was reported to have spread to Fiji on 19 March, 2020 therein the Ministry of Education declared that all schools to remain closed. On that note, majority of the Deaconesses are serving in Primary, Secondary schools, Tertiary and institutions are advised to stay home. Meanwhile Deaconesses also prepare supplementary papers and assignments for students on break. With the Control measures still in place for COVID – 19 by the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Culture, Deaconesses continue to pray and fast for Fiji and the World.
Pre – Ordination Workshop for Year 5 Deaconesses Miriama Ravudelevu is currently serving at Jasper William Primary School. After three years of training, she wrote her project paper on the topic:” UNDERSTANDING AND CARING FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES”. During her fifth year of probation she organized a workshop. Prior to Ordination the year 5 Deaconesses will appear before the Ministerial Session of the Annual Divisional Meeting and Ministerial session of the Conference. Adi Mila Buiwai is currently serving at Lautoka Methodist Primary School. The topic of the Workshop : A Descriptive Analysis of Women’s Significant Contribution in the Methodist Church in Fiji with Biblical Relevancy. Serenia Ulacake is currently serving at Voua Circuit. The topic of the Workshop : Spiritual Discipline and Physical Food for Women’s Well being.
Deaconess Timama Vasu Tawake have gone to be with the Lord on the 25th of April this year, 2020.Her funeral service was held at her residence in Nakasi. Standing near her resting place are her three children.
REST IN PEACE, DEACONESS TIMAIMA VASU TAWAKE.
About 16 Deaconesses who have been called to eternal rest. However, their memories lingers on. Carrying the cross to fulfil the Lord’s Great Commission and Proclaiming the Gospel wherever they were called to serve was a tremendous calling. It was the divine purpose of sending Deaconesses to do God’s mission because the Great Commission is not an option to be considered, it is a command to obey.
May their souls rest in peace and they will always remain in our hearts.
Deaconess Fellowship groups are divided into four groups, the Suva, Nausori, West and Maritime Zones. The fellowship meets every last week of every month on Friday evenings to pray and share the word of God together. It is the time of telling stories and share experiences in the areas of service. Our time of prayer together is at 12 pm every day. Fasting and sharing the Gospel is a must and deaconesses have their prayer colleague in which they choose their own time to pray.
Retreat with Rev Dr Carmen Menchu Scheuerman, Global Mission Partner from the Philippines; Lecturer at the Davuilevu Theological College. She was a Deaconess from the Harris Memorial College.
Last year, 2019, the Deaconess Order organized an Uplift in Counselling Course for Deaconesses who are serving in schools, on the 26th November to December 6th at Dudley boardroom. 18 Deaconesses and four Ministers from various Primary and Secondary schools participated in this workshop. After the two weeks course the participants were awarded Certificate of Completion for Supportive Counselling.
DIAKONIA ASIA PACIFIC was held on July 8 – 12, 2019 at Wailoaloa Beach Resort, Nadi.
We, the Methodist Deaconess Order Fiji would like to thank the DAP President, Deaconess Meresiana Kuricava and DAP Executives for allowing the consultation possible. It is our prayers that we will get through this pandemic and to continue duly serve Him day by day. Looking forward to World Assembly in Darwin, Australia, in July, 2022.
FUTURE DIRECTIONS FOR THE DEACONESS ORDER
The struggle to establish the Order does appear to have borne fruit, and the fact that there are approximately 38 deaconesses working in the Methodist church appointments indicates that the work has value. Future planning is in the hands of those involved at present, under the Spirit’s guidance. The Deaconess Committee and the Church is working towards the Mission and Vision of how deaconesses should be better trained and then appointed to work with the people as we move towards the NEW EXODUS.
PLANNING FOR THE DEACONESS ORDER
Deaconess Training is working towards the Methodist University College.
Planning and working towards Accreditation with Fiji Higher Education Commission (FHEC) and South Pacific Association of Theological Schools (SPATS).Deaconesses for future development in Masters program and PhD.
CURRENT SITUATION AND CHALLENGES
The Deaconess Order and the training need space for a new building and library. Discussions are going on with Land registration for land rezoning.
To conclude this report in quoting Mark 10: 43 which says: “If you want to be the greatest one, then live as one called to serve others. We pray that this pandemic will end soon and grant healing to the sick for God to take control of the Coronavirus ravaging our world. May we comfort each other, even as we keep apart. May we follow the light of Gods love and spread hope. In this time of crisis, God is calling us to serve. There will be tangible needs in our communities. Prior to this outbreak, social distancing and isolation were serious problems in our nations. However, we are called to serve, to reach out, to let our neighbors know that they are not alone, and I quote, “The Best of All God is With us” (The Journal of John Wesley).
Where God guides, He provides. No matter how things look, God is still in control. Stay in peace and be hopeful.
Stay safe and God Bless Verenaisi Kaukinayau, Methodist Deaconess Order Fiji
DIAKONIA Aotearoa New Zealand Association (DANZA)
At the end of 2019 this association had 32 members spread around the country. We had been meeting annually during the national week-long Deacon School however in 2020 this School was cancelled due to the Pandemic Covid 19. Our Constitution only requires us to meet at least once every four years but we are hopeful of meeting again in 2021. In the meantime we use email to keep all members in contact with regular updates especially those from the World Federation.
Challenges this year already included a diminishing level of support from church leadership in our main denominations; this is not expressed as discouragement of our ministry but an increasing focus on directing all prospective ordained ministers towards the role of priest/presbyter. The result of this is the decreasing number of new deacons. One of our members was invited to contribute at a Trilateral Dialogue on the Diaconate (Anglican – Methodist – Roman Catholic) in May 2019. The overall vision of the meeting was for greater renewal of the diaconate and more collaboration however the challenges faced were very similar and nothing more has come from the aspirations of this Dialogue despite invitations from DANZA to continue the conversation.
Of course, the other major challenge for us all has been the current pandemic. The country was in strict lock-down for four weeks and then only gradually allowed gatherings. The borders are still closed to all but returning New Zealanders and they must quarantine for two weeks before re-integrating. The effects on society as a whole have been considerable but I have to say that the churches (including deacons) worked hard to find new ways to connect with one another and offer service to others.
One positive development in relation to this is that the funding that would have been used for a national gathering is now being directed towards the development of a national website for Deacons in Aotearoa New Zealand and it is anticipated that DANZA will feature in this. We hope that the website will enable training and formation opportunities as well as network support ; in this way we can work more effectively within the limits of geography, travel costs and availability for meetings. Anne Russell-Brighty
Indonesia: IKADWA HKBP REPORT
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.." (Isaiah 41:10)
Ikadiwa ministries main focus along 2019 until now:
1. The first is “strengthen society in the mining area” From the beginning in 2007 our ministry in the mining area give us so many challenges and in the last two years the risk bigger than before, after the mining company has permit from the government in 2017. They do exploitation wider, almost all the trees in forest are cut off, water on rivers are going less and the people’s land for rice fields are going narrow. Soil pollution is being the biggest problem.
We continue to inform and teach the people about how danger is the mining industry. It damages the nature and the people’s healthy. We accompany them to fight for their land and their right. We walk from village to village to collect the people and make a cell group and build a networking of all the cell groups. We develop their knowledge through discussions, seminar, workshop and trainings. We bring them for study comparison to other provinces that victim by mining industry. we were standing beside them when they fight to the minister of the forestry, to the minister of the environment and the other ministers.
We are joining with the non-government organization alliance and fighting together for the people rights. This struggle has a big risk for the Deaconesses and the staff who live in the mining area.
Beside as motivator for the society, Deaconesses in the mining area help also the people against violence and sex abuse. We just saved a 14-year-old girl from her stepfather who had raped her for years and the girl has a baby in June 2020.
2. Bringing Happiness to Children With HIV – Aids
Many people in Indonesia do not know or do not understand about HIV – Aids and many people who are infected with HIV don't know that they are infected and sometimes it's too late when they find out. They died in vain. Most tragically, there are still many who think that HIV – Aids is a curse and they will stay away from people with HIV - Aids. This mindset also makes many children infected with HIV - Aids from their parents not get help on time. Almost all children are found when their conditions are already bad.
Our Deaconesses in HIV – Aids Ministry (HAM) work hard to conduct outreach, guidance and counseling to the people; to government agencies, to senior high schools and to associations. Through House of Love (that’s running of our Church), we try to bring the happiness and hope to the children with HIV – Aids. As best as the can, our Deaconesses try to keep the children healthy. We know that it is difficult and really sorry that one of the children passed away in last June.The Deaconesses in HAM had a deep grief of this loss, but on other side they found another one, a 6 year girl even though in the bad condition, they do hope can save this girl and take care of her.
3. Handover Kindergarten to the Church
Deaconess Bonaria Hutabarat 91 years old who led one of our kindergarten on May 30, 2020 handed over the Kindergarten to the church because no more young Deaconess is appointed from the church general office to this kindergarten.
The Kindergarten is located in the family’s land of Deac. Bonaria but run by the Ikadiwa. Deac. Bonaria had led the kindergarten for about 25 years.
4. Deaconess General Meeting
Every four years HKBP has the Deaconesses General Meeting. The last meeting was in March 2016 and we planned the next on 27 – 30 April 2020. But according to the situation of pandemic covid – 19, we cancelled the meeting to 2021 or when the situation conducive.
Best greetings from Indonesia IKADIWA HKBP Deac. Solide Siahaan Ketua
India - Methodist Shaila JohnWesley
REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, COUNCIL OF DEACONESSES WORK M.C.I
Women have a very significant role in the Deaconess Ministry of the Bangalore Regional Conference under the umbrella of the Methodist Church in India. The church follows a 3-fold ministry which is preaching, teaching and healing. Thus, aligning ourselves to this, we are entrusted with responsibilities such as Principals, Managers, Hostel Superintendents, Lady Evangelists etc. co-working with the President and Secretary of the respective Regional Deaconesses Conference and District Superintendent of the respective districts. We are privileged to be encouraged by our honorable Bishop N L Karkare and Madam Kamal Karkare, church community and well-wishers to equip ourselves professionally and spiritually to face the challenges in our ministry journey.
Deaconess is a person committed to the church to perform the duties of the church. At the end of this quadrennial, there are 70 active deaconesses in all regional conferences who are currently engaged in multiple tasks with many responsibilities. There are 27 retired deaconesses who have inspired us to perform through their work and have set a standard to which we need to raise the bar with our work. Overall our mission is to glorify God through our work. The deaconesses work along with the Women’s Society of their respective Regional Conferences. Programs include World Day of Prayer, Women’s Day, Christmas Programme, Encourage Home Mission, Visit the Sick, Encourage the Widowed, Harvest Festival, Raise Funds for Church, School and hostel projects, Conduct medical camps in villages, WSCS Sunday, Seminars & Workshops , Women’s Work Week, Prison ministry, National Celebrations, such as Independence Day, Methodist Founders Day, Sunday School, Youth Programmes.
As the Executive Secretary of Council of Deaconess Work, MCI, I organized XI Quadrennial of the Methodist Church in India, held at Pilar Retreat Center Fr. Agnes Church, Velha, Goa, 20-24 November 2019. The theme was ‘We are His Workmanship Eph. 2:10’ The logo comprised a circle (the universe), a cross (Christian Church), a woman (Susanna Wesley) and a capital D (Division-Diakoni, Devotion,Disciplined life).
The Programme commenced on Thursday, 21 November 2019 with Processional Entry. The Chairman Bishop Dr. Anil Kumar Servand, released the Souvenir followed by Inaugural Service and the key note Address, Condolences were organized for those who left abode for the last quadrennium. Miss Shaila John Wesley, Executive Secretary, CDW, MCI, welcomed & Introduced the dignitaries, All Bishops of 6 Episcopal area & their spouses, Presidents of Deaconesses Conference, General Secretary, Asst .Central Treasurer, guests and all the Retired Deaconesses.
Resource persons for the day - Bishop Subodh Mondal, who spoke on the topic “Living sacrifices” Rom 12:1; Bishop M. A Daniel Spoke on the topic “Christ’s Ambassador” 2 Cor 2:20; Bishop E D Yesuratham spoke on the topic “Children and light” Eph. 5:8; Rev.Newton Parmar, General Secretary, spoke on the topic “Saved to Serve” Eph. 2:8; Dr (Mrs) Lois James Samuel Spoke on the topic “Health”.
Retired Deaconesses were honored and recognized for their sacrificial services to the Deaconess ministry. We went out for the outreach program to explore the heritage and culture of Goan tradition.
On the final day, Bishop N.L Karkare spoke on the topic “Deaconesses Futuristic Leadership” The closing Service was conducted by Bishop Dr Anil Kumar Servand. Miss Shaila John Wesley spoke on the Constitution and Methodist Church in India. The entire Program was anchored by the Executive Secretary, Shaila John Wesley, along with the Secretaries of respective Regional Conferences.
Praise and thank God Almighty for His Presence & for the success of the conference.
The pandemic situation in India is very bad. We are undergoing a critical situation since School and Colleges have been closed for four months. We are facing financial problems. No salaries have been paid for the said months. Yet we are attending daily routine work. The Government is helping those below the poverty line, whereas the middle class people like us are not getting any kind of help from the Government.
We are like the invisible salt that brings out the taste of the food. We eat, but at the same time it’s absence makes the food tasteless even with the best of ingredients. We are like the salt - committed to work for the church and ready to carry out the work assigned to us. We need to organize many more seminars and workshops which will be relevant to the needs of the society, bridging the way to digital India through a Christian perspective. Even though we are a traditional church, everything around us has changed with time and we are challenged to maintain traditions in the present age with Christ at the centre of it all.
Shaila John Wesley , Executive Secretary Council of Deaconesses work M.C.I
India - Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church TELC
The (8) 10 deaconesses of TELC Bethania are members of the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church (TELC), one of the oldest and largest Lutheran Churches in India. They have links to Kaiserswerth. The sisters help with the poorest of the poor - women, children, orphans and semi-orphans, the aged, the destitute, and disabled people as a sign of their commitment to the kingdom of God and to share divine love with humankind. They operate a home for women, Bethesda, and the Nazareth children's home. One sister works at the Bethlehem children's home in Pattukottai.
The Deaconess sisters mainly work in Thanjavur, in the southern State of Tamil Nadu. Institutions :Bethesda Home for Women, Thanjavur, Nazareth Home for Children, Thanjavur, Lydia Deaconess Home Thanjavur, Bethlehem Home for Children, Pattukkottai, Bethania Deaconess Home, Thanjavur.
Deaconess Mother : Mother Superior Sr. Grace Padma
Chairperson, Deaconess Board: Mrs. J. Muthumozhiyal, Biskopina
CSI Order of Women (Order of Sisters) in the Church of South India, Women’s House (Karnataka)
The Order of Sisters of the Church of South India is a special ministry of women called to a special way of life within the Church. Their motto is ‘Glorify God through faithful service’. The Order has both active members and associate members. The active members take a vow of celibacy and are committed to observe a rule of life and are engaged in some form of full time Christian service - including as Pastors and in pastoral ministry, Heads of Educational Institutions, Professors in Colleges, teachers in schools, social work, hostel and ashram managers, in-charge of training centers for the young girls, Senior Citizen Homes, medical work, child care, and working with differently abled persons. The Order of Sisters is similar to the Order of Presbyters in the Church. There are 55 in total, with 28 in active service and 27 retired. Sr Annamma Mathew is the key contact at the CSI Women’s House: Vishranthi Nilayam, along with Sr Thilagavathi S. Draviam, an Elder sister. Sr Anna John is the Secretary. Rev Sr Sujatha Williams is also an Elder sister, and Vice-President, Diocese of South Karnataka Diocese. based
A time of celebration was on the 16th January 2020, when the foundation stone for the construction of the 2nd floor at the CSI Women’s Resource Centre was laid (Balmatta, Mangalore), to develop the centre that was built in the heart of the city in 2005. This centre is used for conducting women fellowship meetings, seminars and other activities.
Japan (two associations)
Sr Edeltraud Kessler from Kaiserwerth liaised with Sister Amaha (92 years old), at the Mother House Bethesda in Tokyo. Thanks to Traude for facilitating this.
Six deaconesses belong to the community. Three sisters live in the mother house, two live in the nursing home nearby. Sister Amaha lives in Tatayama and is in contact with the sisters by phone. Currently it is not possible to visit the sisters, but they are all healthy and untroubled by Corona virus.
In the mother house Bethel, in Kobe, there are 8 deaconesses and very grateful to be healthy. Since the lookdown they have offered Sunday school and the service on Youtube and received a good response. The sisters celebrated the service as a family, with physical distance and mouth-to-nose masks.
It is difficult for them, however, that they have had no guests since April and will not have guests and groups until autumn this year due to the corona virus. They postponed the seminars until next year and for the first time in over 40 years history, they had to cancel the annual summer camp. They have also postponed the annual feast from May to September, but of course it all depends on the new infections.
Unfortunately they are not allowed to do services in hospitals or nursing homes, but they encourage and comfort people through telephone counseling. They are happy to invite individuals and small groups to the motherhouse, but do not serve meals.
Muan, Jeollanam-Do – Diakonia-Sisterhood in Korea
On May 1st 2020, the Diakonia Sisterhood in Mokpo, South Korea, celebrated its 40th anniversary. The sisterhood was established by 8 young women, even though there was a military dictatorship at the time. It is a non-denominational, evangelical, ecumenical Christian community of single women who live and work together in the model of the early churches and in the spirit of Diakonia. Dorothea Schweizer (ecumenical co-worker of Evangelical Mission in Solidarity in Korea from 1975 to 1985) was involved in founding the Diakonia Sisterhood. It is also associated with Kaiserswerther Verband (Germany). Sr. Young-Sook Ree (Oberin) is the Director of the Diakonia Sisterhood in Korea. The Sisterhood is connected with the Kaiserswerther General Conference, Germany. Since the establishment of the Sisterhood, the Sisters have been caring for the poor and sick, combining the following of Jesus with practical help for people in need. Besides their social diaconal commitment for the poor and most vulnerable in their country, the sisters placed great emphasis on fostering their spirituality. After a short time they had the opportunity to work in a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients, as nurses, pastoral workers or in the care of the dying. There in Mokpo, in the very south of the peninsula, the mother house was also built. The question "Where are we needed the most?" finally led them to their current commitment towards elderly people. Poverty in old age is also a major problem in Korea. It is only recently that pension insurance was introduced there, which is why elderly people often find themselves in financial difficulties.
50 senior citizens now live at the nursing home for the elderly of the Protestant Diakonia Sisterhood. It is located near the sea and mountains providing a place of healing and prayer for the public as well as a home for the members of our Sisterhood. "As if they were their own grandparents" - that is the motto of the sisters who look after the elderly patients who are in need of care or may also be suffering from dementia. Besides their nursing care, they also provide them with pastoral care until they pass away. Elderly people living on their own are also in great need in Korea. They often have no social network and they need medical and financial assistance. Industrialisation has destroyed the traditional family structures in Korea and many elderly people have no family support any more. The sisters therefore care for these people at their homes, together with a network of volunteers. They are usually out and about in the poor suburbs of the port of Mokpos, bringing rice to senior citizens or paying for expensive medication or medical treatments. They have also built several welfare centres together with the city authorities.
During their house visits, the sisters often find grandparents who are still bearing the financial responsibility for their grandchildren. Their parents have died, emigrated or are unemployed so the children stay with grandma and grandpa. But most of them need money themselves to be able provide their grandchildren with financial support. The sisters therefore assume the cost of the grandchildren's education with a scholarship programme and counsel the young people when they have problems at school. With their warm and friendly nature and open ear, the sisters are good counsellors for the young female and male pupils and their grandparents.
The Sisters have also served local teenagers from underprivileged families by providing scholarships and other support and have created programs for migrants from other Asian countries and from North Korea. The Sisters care for the old and sick, visit the poor and lonely, and empower children who have been neglected. Christ is the source of their strength and joy through their life and ministry. The Sisters radiate cheerfulness, heartfelt affection and warmth.
The Australian Anglican Diaconal Association
AADA is currently undergoing a revamp and renewal after a slump post the biennial conference in Adelaide in 2018.
There have been several issues affecting our membership across Australia over the past 6 years including some changes in several major Dioceses which has been the catalyst for the diminishing of the Diaconate in those places. The website fell into discontinuation and we failed to create a national voice for the Anglican deacons.
In endeavouring to update our database of deacons across Australia and in all dioceses, we have contacted every Diocese to let us know the contact details of their ordained deacons and have been met with silence from most of them!
The planned Conference for 2020 was to be held in Perth but with the advent of COVID-19 and the disruptions it caused to travel and movement and restrictions in place everywhere, the conference was postponed until 2021. We are still in discussion regarding the date and State it will be held in.
Over the past few months the executive have been working hard to raise our profile across Australia. The website is back up and running and the Facebook public page platform is seeing more activity and a growth in numbers of members.
We regularly Zoom Evening Prayer on Sundays at 7pm EST and our numbers attending are growing slowly. We have also implemented a monthly Friday afternoon Zoom gathering which all deacons are invited to attend. It is our hope that we will continue the monthly gathering with guest speakers every now and then and gradually grow our numbers.
A new initiative which we believe will help us to develop a strategic plan for the next few years is to compile an overview of the Diaconate across the dioceses of Australia. The role of the ordained deacon and the cultural landscape of the Diaconate varies hugely. In order to advocate for the Diaconate in the Anglican Church we need to understand the commonalities and differences of how the Diaconate is regarded, used and valued in each Diocese. This diversity of ministry expression, of course, is the nature of diaconal call but as a full and equal order of the Anglican Church’s three-part order – Episcopate, Presbytery and Diaconate – we believe there should be a foundational understanding of the role and ministries of the Deacon both liturgical and practical. It needs to be a collaborative endeavour where all voices are heard, acknowledged and included.
We are currently developing a brief of the depth and breadth of information that will feel will be helpful and assist us in creating a comprehensive picture of the current situation and enable us to find clarity in a vision for the future of the Diaconate.
I am hopeful that in the near future we may be able to present a Strategic Plan with a vision and mission statement to the next General Synod.