Diocesan Convention is over and we have a new bishop-elect - on the first ballot! Our new Bishop will be the Reverend Phoebe A. Roaf, currently rector of St. Philip Episcopal Church in Richmond, VA. God willing, Bishiop-Elect Roaf will be consecrated on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at Hope Church. Events surrounding this transition will be posted here as they draw near.
As of December 2nd, we have entered Advent and our liturgical color has changed from green to blue for this season of hopeful waiting. On Wednesdays during Advent, we will have Morning Prayer at 8:00 in the morning at the church. Our first morning prayer will be December 5th.
In January we will begin a study of the book Walk In Love - Episcopal Beliefs & Practices by Scott Gunn and Melody Wilson Shobe. The dates, time, and place are to be determined. I anticipate these meetings being held monthly on Sunday afternoons, likely at my home, followed by a light meal and Compline.
The book may be purchased at Amazon in either paperback or Kindle format. It is also available from other online retailers.
So, what exactly is a Deacon?
There are three ordained ministries in the Episcopal Church - Bishops, Priests and Deacons. All three require rigorous and lengthy periods of discernment and formation prior to ordination. All bishops must first be priests and all priests must first be deacons. So, every ordained person in the Church has spent time as a deacon. Deacons may be identified by their stoles - which are worn over the left shoulder. There are two types of deacons. The first is a Transitional Deacon - this is a person who is on the track to be ordained a priest after serving a period of time as a deacon. The second is a Vocational Deacon - sometimes known as a Permanent or Perpetual Deacon. This is a person who has been discerned and formed to the specific ministry of a deacon - the "diaconate". I am a Vocational Deacon. Vocational Deacons are called and ordained to a ministry of service. They are especially charged with interpreting and communicating the needs of the world to the Church. Deacons strive to follow Christ's example of service to the needy, the sick, the hungry, and those on the margins. Vocational Deacons may be found in a variety of ministries, including feeding the hungry, visiting prisoners, serving as chaplains in hospitals, and working within our faith communities. Deacons also perform liturgical duties. The deacon always proclaims the Gospel and issues the dismissal at the close of services. They assist bishops and priests in administering the sacraments, and take communion to those who are unable to attend services. Deacons may officiate with the bishop's authorization when a priest is not available. Deacons may not consecrate the communion elements, offer absolution from sins, or issue corporate blessings. Vocational Deacons perform their duties under the direction of the diocesan bishop.