Month: May 2017

A DEACON REFLECTS ON MANCHESTER

Taxi drivers give lifts for free. Locals offer the hospitality of home and a hug. Many people give their blood for others. World leaders stand together in solidarity and unity of spirit. Emergency services work through the night to serve the people of Manchester . . . “light has entered the world and the darkness cannot overcome it”.

One morning this week we mistakenly read the wrong scripture passage at Morning Prayer but now it seems so fitting.  “Above all . . . love one another deeply.  Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each one should use whatever gift they have received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 

I think we’ve seen and heard these things happening in Manchester over the last few days.   Fear and darkness must not win, so let’s follow the light.
Praying for Manchester . . . and peace.

Deacon Alison Handcock, Bath and Wells

 

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DEACONS: HOW TO AVOID CREATING DEPENDENCY

Diaconal Ministries Canada have many excellent resources and practical thinking for deacons and those engaged in diaconal ministries.  Their latest E-Quip newsletter majors on how deacons can initiate ‘benevolent’ projects through building relationships without creating dependency:  see ‘Facing the Giant’.

“Looking at the bigger picture of poverty in our community can be overwhelming and often paralyzes people.  The fight feels like David standing in front of Goliath, but knowing that the bigger battle of poverty is in God’s hands.  The first thing we need to do is hand it over to our Lord … and recognize that benevolence has to be about partnership and relationship; not about handouts.” ~ Anja Attema ~

Here’s a tantalising taster!

DEACONS: partners in benevolence

Long-term relationships
Helping people make long-term, sustainable growth and change in their lives is a process which takes a long-term commitment. It is usually easier (and therefore tempting) to provide temporary relief rather than long-term relationships and assistance.  But temporary relief often has the impact of creating dependency, whereas coming alongside someone in an encouraging relationship creates growth and change. The combination of being in a relationship with someone and encouraging that person to develop and accomplish a goal-oriented plan of action may have great benefits, even though it is a significant commitment.
The good news is that deacons do not have to do it alone! There are several partners who may also care about the families/individuals you are working with, and may assist the deacons in their work .

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PRAYING FOR MANCHESTER

Compassionate God,
whose Love dares to dwell in the midst of us.
Be with the people of Manchester today.
Grieve with us in our grief,
search with us as we seek out lost loved ones,
wait with us in the anxiety of unknowing.
Help us to give thanks for the people of Manchester –
warm, open, generous and resilient;
Help us to draw on the spirit of solidarity
and the defiance in loss of this great city.
Be with our emergency services
in this time of trial.
In the midst of our fears,
and the fierce pain of loss;
when our commitment to justice
and mercy and kindness
is tested by death and terror,
be with us, O Lord.
Today let us mourn, let us weep;
meet us in our anger,
fear and disbelief.
Tomorrow help us be makers of your compassionate world. Amen

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LAUNCHING DEACONS’ TOOL KIT

It’s a joy to announce the launch of the Diocese of Exeter’s Deacons’ Tool Kit, a new and growing collection of resources by deacon practitioners on key aspects of diaconal ministry.

DEACONS’ TOOL KIT

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So far, the Tool Kit offers:

  1. Andy Farmer’s Deacon in the Workplace (Andy is a diaconal ordinand, to be ordained this year);
  2. Deacon Jess Foster’s Deacon in an Interfaith Context;
  3. Deacon Terry Drummond’s Deacon in the Public Square;
  4. the Potted History of the Diaconate which is already one of this blog’s Pages;  and
  5. Deacon Gill Kimber’s four-session parish mission preparation course, Preparing for Mission.

All resources are downloadable, and the Preparing for Mission course can be adapted to different contexts.

Other resources are on the way and will be added  from time to time.

Do take a look:  http://exeter.anglican.org/ministry/vocations/diocesan-deacons/

If you’re a deacon with experience in a particular sector of diaconal ministry and you’d like to contribute, please get in touch with me either through the Comments or at deacons@tutanota.com

The Tool Kit is also available on this blog on one of the Pages (see right-hand tabs)