Around 200 deacons are expected to attend the Diakonia Region Africa-Europe (DRAE) event at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh this summer.Part of the Diakonia World Federation, DRAE brings together deacons from 20 countries across Africa and Europe.
They represent more than 16,000 people in 60 countries who are engaged in the mission of the Gospel.
Livingston Old Parish Church Deacon, Gordon Pennykid, secretary of the ecumenical group, said he is “excited” to convene the executive committee planning the celebrations.
He explained: “DRAE offers us the chance to find out what other diaconal groups in this ecumenical partnership are doing, what their underpinning theology is and the opportunity to worship and share fellowship with others who work diaconally.”
A deacon is someone who has pledged themselves to the service of Jesus Christ and His Church, and has been selected, trained and ordained according to the doctrine and discipline of the Church of Scotland.
The office of deacon is recognised by the Church to be a distinctive, life-long office within the ministry of the Church, and to be agreeable to the Word of God.
What is the role of a Deacon?
Deacons have been ministering within the Church of Scotland for more than 120 years. At present there are 58 deacons in active service, the majority of whom work in parishes.
Deacons tend to serve in areas of great need and scarce resources. They discern the gifts and the needs of the community; work with individuals and groups at grassroots level, nurture relationships, offer pastoral support, training and education; build bridges between church and world; and contextualise the gospel in our daily lives.
In your ministry as a deacon … be ready to be a pioneer, revealing needs not fully acknowledged, bringing to light injustices easy to overlook, pointing to tasks most avoid. May your work encourage and enable the church to discover new patterns of service, and challenge it to raise a prophetic voice against those things that destroy community and deaden the spirit. Build bridges between church and world, that gifts may be shared to the benefit of each, and that people in all situations may know that the Gospel speaks to them.
No – not the 2001 ill-fated report on deacons! This time it’s the title for a conference where 200 deacons from all over the world will come together. Your idea of deacon heaven? In that case you can attend this conference: the details have been sent from Church of Scotland Deacon Gordon Pennykid.
The 25th anniversary conference of DRAE (DIAKONIA Region Africa
Europe) will be held in Scotland in June 2019. This celebration returns to
Scotland where in 1994 in Stirling the group was formally constituted.
Made up from representatives from groups working in 24 countries and with
a total membership in excess of 16,000, DRAE is one of the world’s largest
ecumenical working groups.
Marion Stewart DCS, the current Scottish Diaconate President, announced
the conference recently at the World DIAKONIA conference in Chicago saying,
“We are delighted to be welcoming DRAE back to Scotland for this celebration. We have an exciting program in the planning and look forward to welcoming many friends new and old from around Europe and Africa to Scotland. At this uncertain time for Britain and Europe it is great to be organising a conference to show the world we are still working together.”
DRAE encourages groups to dialogue and share their experiences, hoping to strengthen the individual members and constituent groups, by promoting fellowship amongst Deacons.
We in the Church of Scotland are founder members of DRAE and continue to support its efforts.
The assembly of delegates will take place in Queen Margaret University from 19
th to 24th June 2019 with the theme “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14)