Living into the Season After Pentecost
We continue our annual journey through the Season After Pentecost. This is the longest season of the church year, the seasonal color is green, and it is known as "Ordinary Time". It's not ordinary because it is boring or uneventful, but because it is ordered. There is a certain rhythm to the season and often it is not difficult to identify recurring themes in the the daily readings.
Most importantly, though, this Season After Pentecost is a time in which we are to intentionally take what we have read and learned of the life of Christ from Advent 1 through Easter 7, and apply it to our lives.
It is a time in which the question becomes not "What did Jesus do?", rather "What do I do now that I have Jesus as an example and teacher?" It's a time to think about how we live into Jesus' teachings, and God's will for us - and do something about it. The ball is in our court!
The Bishop of West Tennessee, The Rt. Reverend Phoebe A. Roaf ("Bishop Phoebe") Will be making her first annual visit to St. Thomas on Sunday, October 6th. A reception in her honor will follow the service at the Turner's home. For the first time in many years, her visit will include the welcoming of new members through Confirmation and Reception.
Look for an upcoming announcement for the Christian Education offering for 2020.
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. 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.