January 24, 2017
When the first church began, many were added to the number day by day, and signs and the wonder of God’s presence were evident. And with the signs and wonders came practical concerns and challenges. Apostles who worked in leadership quickly determined they needed help. While they were preaching and teaching, caring for those in community was determined to be just as important a task. Therefore, deacons were called. In Christian Scriptures, deacons were called to serve in Acts 6. Deacons don’t do windows or grunt work; they provide extension of the ministry of the church; they are the ones who journey through difficult times with others while ministering to one another.
Now, in the life of Plymouth, I believe God is calling a deacon’s ministry into being. Deacons assist with many parts of the life of the church, to include pastoral care, worship leadership participation, assisting with serving communion and outreach as assigned. Ultimately, those who feel led to this ministry commit and covenant to support clergy with prayer, time and talent for the benefit of the church.
The idea of deacons is not new to Plymouth Church. Those who have been members for many years may remember there were deacons in the 1970s who acted primarily as ushers and helped with assigned tasks. Deacons may be any gender identity, ability and age, as long as the person is able to commit to the duties as assigned. Renewal of this ministry allows us to do what we have been doing so well—to care for each other in compassionate and holistic ways. This ministry will empower us to balance the work of clergy while gifting the many blessed hands and hearts of the church with the care of each other.
Cooperation is a holy thing, and many hands make light work. As a pastoral leader, it is important to model sharing leadership in healthy ways; the pastor/deacon/congregation relationship offers a wonderful example of collaborative ministry. If you feel led to become a deacon, please plan to attend a conversation and training Sunday, February 5, immediately after 11 am worship, in Hildebrand Hall. –Rev. Kelle Brown