As we are in the season of United Methodist Annual Conferences, which include the rites of commissioning and ordination, I want to celebrate the work of the United Methodist Deacon. The Order of the Deacon was established in the United Methodist Church in 1996, building on the lay diaconal ministry of previous generations. This shift to the fully ordained Deacon brought the United Methodist Church into much clearer alignment with other Christian denominations in their understanding of the work of the Deacon. The Deacon is ordained to the ministries of word, service, compassion, and justice. Many Deacons pursue a Certification in specialized ministry as part of their education. Our United Methodist Professional Certification in Spiritual Formation is one of these recognized specialized ministries. Here is link to description of the Deacon at The United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
Of the almost 50 contributors to A Quiet Pentecost, fully ¼ are Deacons or persons pursuing Deacon orders. Their contributions to A Quiet Pentecost showcase the ministries of the Deacon. Some of the applications discussed in the book are: •Women’s prison ministry
•Small group spiritual formation
•Wesley Covenant groups
•Healing Prayer opportunities in worship
•Praying the Labyrinth for world peace
•Cultivating a sustaining community for spiritual directors
•Art expression with youth
•Ministry with the aging and dying
•Serving at Conference level in ministry development
• An ecumenical community ministry for spiritual formation and service for persons in need of community resources
The Holy Spirit is doing amazing things through the committed individuals finding their life-work through the ministry of the Deacon.