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The Role of Deacons & Licensed Lay Ministers. The relationship between orders and mission. The Historic Diaconate. Δ ιάκονος ( diakonos ) = servant, waiting-man, minister or messenger. Second order of the Church.

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the role of deacons licensed lay ministers

The Role of Deacons & Licensed Lay Ministers

The relationship between

orders and mission

the historic diaconate
The Historic Diaconate
  • Διάκονος (diakonos) = servant, waiting-man, minister or messenger.
  • Second order of the Church.
  • First deacons chosen to serve internal, charitable needs of the fledgling church.
the historic diaconate cont
The Historic Diaconate (cont.)
  • Historic ties to Apostolic/ Episcopal Ministry.
  • Deacons’ ministries are an extension of the apostolic ministry.
  • 1 of 3 major orders (plus 14 minor orders in former days)
more history
More History
  • 1st deacons = “The 7” from Acts
    • Stephen (the 1st martyr), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch
  • Never called Deacons
  • Only Saint Phoebe ever called Deacon (Romans 16:1)
and even more
And Even More!
  • Confusion about the “order” soon reigned
  • Deacons copied Apostles’ ministries:
    • Stephen went out evangelizing
    • Philip baptized the Ethiopian eunuch
  • Deacons & deaconesses.
the disappearing diaconate
The Disappearing Diaconate
  • Permanent order in Eastern churches (Orthodox and Catholic).
  • Mostly disappeared in the West by A.D. 1000.
  • Some deacons attached to cathedrals.
  • Final step to priesthood.
the reappearing diaconate
The Reappearing Diaconate
  • 20th century restoration in Catholic, Anglican, and United Methodist Churches.
  • Deacons assist priests in their pastoral and administrative duties
  • Report directly to the bishop.
distinctive roles
Distinctive Roles
  • Proclaim the Gospel.
  • Preach.
  • Assist at Eucharist.
  • Serve the poor and outcast.
  • In short, they function in: the Word, the Liturgy, and Charity.
two types of deacons
Two Types of Deacons?
  • Transitional Deacon
  • Permanent Deacon
  • Only one diaconate
diakonia service
Diakonia = Service
  • Particular service to:
    • Poor, Sick, Oppressed
  • Deacon’s service is a sign of Jesus, who came not to be served but to serve.
  • Deacons encourage & enable others to serve
liturgical roles
Liturgical Roles
  • Symbolize“One foot in the world and the other in the Church.”
  • Deacons’ role in liturgy symbolic of their real ministry in the world.
  • To serve & assist, not to lead
roles delineates at ordination
Roles Delineates at Ordination
  • The Bishop says to the ordinand
  • “Will you be loyal to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as this Church has received them? And will you, in accordance with the canons of this Church, obey your bishop and other ministers who may have authority over you and your work?”
ordination cont
Ordination (cont.)
  • “My brother, every Christian is called to follow Jesus Christ, serving God the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit. God now calls you to a special ministry of servanthood directly under your bishop. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are to serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely.”
  • God now calls you to a special ministry of servanthood
  • …serve … particularly the poor, weak, sick, and lonely.”
ordination cont again
Ordination (cont. again)
  • As a deacon in the Church, you are to study the Holy Scriptures, to seek nourishment from them, and to model your life upon them. You are to make Christ and his redemptive love known, by your word and example, to those among whom you live, and work, and worship. You are to interpret to the Church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world.
  • …interpret to the Church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world.
more on ordination
More on Ordination
  • You are to assist the bishop and priests in public worship and in the ministration of God\'s Word and Sacraments, and you are to carry out other duties assigned to you from time to time. At all times, your life and teaching are to show Christ\'s people that in serving the helpless they are serving Christ himself.
  • …assist the bishop and priests in public worship.
  • …show Christ\'s people that in serving the helpless they are serving Christ himself.
canons on deacons
Canons on Deacons
  • Canon 7: Of the Life and Work of Deacons
  • Sec. 1. Deacons serve directly under the authority of and are accountable to the Bishop, or in the absence of the Bishop, the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese.
canons on deacons cont
Canons on Deacons (cont.)
  • Sec. 4. …Deacons assigned to a congregation . . . act under the authority of the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight in all matters concerning the congregation.
canons on deacons cont1
Canons on Deacons (cont.)
  • Canon 7.4.(c) Deacons may serve as administrators of congregations or other communities of faith, but no Deacon shall be in charge of a congregation or other community of faith.
  • (d) Deacons may accept chaplaincies in any hospital, prison, or other institution.
  • (e) Deacons may participate in the governance of the Church.
deacons as icons of servanthood
Deacons as Icons of Servanthood
  • Deacons are symbols of Christ and his church.
  • Icons=a sign or likeness that stands for an object by signifying or representing it either concretely or by analogy.
deacons the ministry of training
Deacons & the Ministry of Training
  • Deacons have special role in training lay servants
  • EMs & EVs
  • Equipping the voice, hands and feet of Christ to become agents of grace for the healing of the world.
deacons pastoral care
Deacons & Pastoral Care
  • “Deacons are the ordained members of the Body of Christ who are given special charge ‘to serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely’.”

—The North American Association for the Diaconate

deacons as prophetic voice
Deacons as Prophetic Voice
  • Witnessing through deeds.
  • Witnessing trough proclamation.
  • Call for transformation of giver and receiver
deacons in social outreach
Deacons in Social Outreach
  • Special responsibility for mercy & justice
  • Leadership of encouragement, training, organizing.
  • Deacons as “Pointers”.
deacons as prophetic voice cont
Deacons as Prophetic Voice (cont.)
  • Challenge systems, structures, and powers that foster poverty, violence, injustice, and environmental degradation.
  • Speaking truth to power!
rules eucharistic ministers
Rules: Eucharistic Ministers
  • Deacons, if one is available in the congregation, are responsible for the training of Eucharistic Ministers.
  • If no deacon, an experienced EM or the presbyter may arrange/lead training.
rules eucharistic visitors
Rules: Eucharistic Visitors
  • Deacons train Eucharistic Visitors.
  • If no deacon in congregation, another deacon in the same deanery can be contacted to provide this service.
rules weddings
Rules: Weddings
  • Deacons do not ordinarily officiate
  • A deacon may deliver the charge to the couple
  • May ask for the Declarations of Consent
  • May read the Gospel
rules weddings p 2
Rules: Weddings (p. 2)
  • And may perform other assisting functions at the Eucharist.
  • Deacons, in extreme circumstances, may officiate at weddings
  • Bishop’s permission need in each circumstance
rules weddings p 3
Rules: Weddings (p. 3)
  • Sacrament at weddings is led by the couple
  • No nuptial blessing!
  • No Eucharist/Communion!
  • Deacon should counsel the couple to seek a Nuptial Blessing a.s.a.p.
rules deacon s mass
Rules: “Deacon’s Mass”
  • It does not exist; there’s no such liturgy.
  • In the absence of proper sacramental leadership, Morning Prayer is the appropriate service.
  • The BCP permits Deacons to be authorized to distribute Holy Communion from the reserved Sacrament.
  • Authorization must come from me on every occasion.
  • It will be given only on very rare occasions and under truly unique circumstances, never because of bad planning.
  • When authorized the service outlined on page

408 of the BCP will be followed.

someone is going to ask why
Someone Is Going to Ask, “Why?”
  • Leading services confuses proper role
  • Distracts from proper exercise of ministries.
  • Deacons who feel called by God to lead services need to re-enter discernment for the presbyterate.
ministry of all baptized persons
Ministry of All Baptized Persons
  • Title III, Canon 1: Of the Ministry of All Baptized Persons
  • Sec. 1. Each Diocese shall make provision for the affirmation and development of the ministry of all baptized persons, including:
  • (a) Assistance in understanding that all baptized persons are called to minister in Christ\'s name, to identify their gifts with the help of the Church and to serve Christ\'s mission at all times and in all places.
  • (b) Assistance in understanding that all baptized persons are called to sustain their ministries through commitment to life-long Christian formation.
lay reader
“Lay Reader”
  • Defunct title
  • Former name for Worship Leader
  • Please stop using
evangelist
Evangelist
  • Commonly assumed to a licensed ministry for laity.
  • Not in canons
  • Every Christian is suppoed to be an Evangelist!
lector
Lector
  • Requires no license beyond the invitation of the rector of priest-in-charge.
  • Authorized to read lessons in liturgies.
  • Attention to voice, diction, and delivery are in order
eucharistic minister
Eucharistic Minister
  • Training customarily by or arranged by Deacon
  • Direction customarily from Deacon
  • Recommendation from Priest required
  • Licensed by Bishop for three years
  • Initial license may be less
eucharistic visitor
Eucharistic Visitor
  • Part of congregational pastoral care team
  • Connects the absent to the community liturgy
  • Training by or arranged by Deacon
  • Oversight customarily from Deacon
  • Priest must recommend
  • Licensed by Bishop for three years
  • Initial license may be less
preacher
Preacher
  • A Preacher is a lay person authorized to preach.
  • May only preach under the direction of the clergy or other leader exercising oversight.
  • Training required
  • Licensed by Bishop in consultation with Commission on Ministry
catechist
Catechist
  • Catechists prepare persons for Baptism, Confirmation, Reception, and the Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows
  • They function under the direction of the clergy or other leader exercising oversight
  • Training required
  • Licensed by Bishop in consultation with Commission on Ministry
pastoral leader
Pastoral Leader
  • A Pastoral Leader is a lay person authorized to exercise pastoral or administrative responsibility in a congregation under special circumstances, as defined by the Bishop.
  • Training? You betcha!
  • Supervised by Bishop or deputy
worship leader
Worship Leader
  • A Worship Leader is a lay person who regularly leads public worship under the direction of the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith.
  • Training required.
  • Licensed by Bishop
  • Granted in certain circumstances
we don t have a priest
We don’t have a priest!
  • Let’s get our deacon to
we don t have a priest1
We don’t have a priest!
  • Let’s get our Deacon to lead the service
  • Deacons are not mini-priests waiting to pinch-hit when there’s no priest
  • Deacons assist, not lead
  • Enjoy Morning Prayer – anyone can lead
we want communion
We want communion!
  • We do not fall from God’s grace if we do not have weekly communion
  • Try the spiritual exercise of finding grace in the Word and in prayer . . .
  • It’s not only in the sacraments
but we really want communion
But we really want communion!
  • Let’s get our EM to lead the service and distribute reserved communion?
  • Not authorized by their license
  • How about a Worship Leader?
  • Not authorized by their license
but we can t get a priest often enough and no other solution works
But we can’t get a priest often enough and no other solution works . . .
  • Circumstances may compel
  • Deacons assist
  • Eucharistic Ministers assist
  • Priests lead
  • Worship Leaders lead
  • How to make this work?
what does work
What Does Work?
  • Bishop or Priest w/ or w/out Deacon
  • Worship Leader alone (non-communion services)
  • EM alone (MP only, as anyone)
  • Worship Leader assisted by EMs or Deacon (communion OK—special diocesan liturgy forthcoming)
when can we start
When Can We Start?
  • Not yet! Wait for the word.
  • Liturgy in preparation
  • Right circumstances must prevail
  • Worship Leader(s) must be in place
  • EM(s) too, maybe Deacon
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