Sunday, June 10, 2018

Two newly ordained Deacons - Episcopal Church (USA)

News from Association for Episcopal Deacons (U.S.)
Congratulations to the two Deacons ordained on Saturday 9th June - Lisa Siciliano and Paula Waite
(Cathedral of the Incarnation, Baltimore Md). 

(Always great to have news of ordinations, consecrations and other significant moments in our diaconal communities)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Vale, Deaconess Olivia Nataniela (Fiji)

FORMER Superintendent and long-serving matron at the Dilkusha Girls Home in Nausori (Fiji), Deaconess Olivia Kauroto Nataniela, has died on 31st May 2018. She served as the Superintendent at the Girls Home between 1973 and 1981, and 1985 and 2010, before she retired in 2011.

Deaconess Meresiana (DAP Regional President) writes: Deaconess Olivia Nataniela was one of the first four Deaconess in 1967 in Fiji. She has been called to rest on the 31st May 2018. She was from Motusa Rotuma. Thank you you have been a Beacon and a Light to the church and society.
Rest in Peace.
Deaconess Olive Nataniela and Deaconess Meresiana
From Fiji Times report
HUNDREDS gathered at the Churchward Chapel in Rewa Street, Suva, to bid farewell to the former Superintendent of the Dilkusha Girls Home, the late Deaconess Olovie Kauroto Nataniela.
Deaconess Olovie was born in Motusa, Itu’ti’u on the island of Rotuma on November 3, 1938, the youngest of nine children.
While delivering his eulogy on behalf of the Tigarea family, Sukamanu Mani said after her parents passed, she was then embraced into the family of the late Gagaj Jotam Tigarea.
“Soon after she was born, Olovie was embraced as a grandchild in the family of the late Gagaj Jotam Tigarea, who was chief of the Itu’ti’u district then and his late wife Sarote Tigarea of Pepjei,” Mr Mani said.
“Sarote Tigarea became a central figure in Olovie’s life from Olovie’s childhood, adolescence, into adulthood.”
Deaconess Olovie was one of the pioneers of the Methodist Deaconess Training in Fiji and Deaconess Terani Lalomilo also a pioneer said she was the instigator of many things that had happened while they were together and that she was a very loving person.
“She was very intelligent, she was very fun and I think one of the things that the church needs to have today is fun, we need to have fun,” Deaconess Terani said.
“Deaconess Olovie was also a very loving person because she always looked inwards, one of the most important things that Christians must do all the time is to look inward first.”

Fiji Times: Lady of love, care

Friday, June 1, 2018

Minnesota United Methodist Deacons

Minnesota United Methodist deacons meet at UMC annual conference and celebrated an ordination and a retirement!

Monday, May 28, 2018

DUCC - United Church of Canada

Gathering of DUCCs at the last meeting of the Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario
Diaconal ministers in the United Church of Canada are members of the order of ministry who are commissioned to a ministry of education, service, and pastoral care. There are approximately 300 diaconal ministers in the United Church. You can find out more about Diaconal Ministers in the United Church Canada on their website

Diakonia of The United Church of Canada Statement of Vision

God calls us to diaconal ministry.
The gospel of Jesus invites all to this ministry:
to offer compassion and accompaniment,
to work for liberation and justice,
to act as advocates of creative transformation.
Diaconal ministry, as a recognized order, is rooted
within our faith tradition and history,
and it is continued and embodied
in an ecumenical, world-wide community.
This vocation is a journey
involving Spirit-filled enrichment and learning,
requiring humble offering of self,
demanding prayerful discernment and courageous risking,
exercising visionary and communal leadership,
promising joy and meaning,
and daring to imagine God’s abundance
in a world of love and respect.
Through education, service, social justice, and pastoral care,
diaconal ministry in The United Church of Canada,
encourages a growing faith,
speaks truth to power,
seeks mutual empowerment,
proclaims prophetic hope,
nurtures life-giving community,
fosters peaceful, right relationship,
within the church and the whole of creation
wherever the Spirit may lead.
Adopted at DUCC National Gathering, April 2009.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Congratulations, Rev Deacon Geraldine Swanson (NY)

The General Theological Seminary has awarded its distinguished alumni award for the first time to a vocational Deacon. Congratulations Geri Swanson, a member of the Sacred Order of Deacons in the Episcopal Diocese of New York! The Distinguished Alumni Award was presented on May 15, 2018.

The winner of the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award: The Rev. Deacon Geraldine Swanson

The Alumni Executive Committee of The General Theological Seminary is delighted to announce that the Rev. Deacon Geraldine Swanson, is the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award. Swanson is the deacon to the Richmond Episcopal Ministry overseeing the development of new ministries on Staten Island, NY and helping existing congregations revamp their vision for the future due to changing demographics and resources.

Swanson's diaconal ministry has been centered on serving under-represented populations in multiple roles of leadership coordination and direction, of a soup kitchen, an afterschool music program, and the Staten Island Hunger Task Force and Coalition for Housing Equality.

Ordained a deacon in the Diocese of New York in 1997, Swanson has served over 25 years as an educator in both public and private schools in New York City, both in the classroom and as a mentor to new teachers, trainer of teacher mentors, and staff developer. She has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Association for Episcopal Deacons for two terms, coordinated the Triennial Assembly in 2016, and is now serving on the Board of the Fund for the Diaconate.

A resident of Staten Island, Swanson filled multiple roles aiding relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Her efforts included setting up the parish hall for community needs, creating a drop-off center for donated food and clothing, providing meals for folks without kitchens, and arranging work crews from Manhattan parishes. While volunteering in a Sandy Relief Center, she visited every Episcopal parish on Staten Island, checking on status to report findings to the Bishop's office, providing additional holiday baskets to families on the heavily hit east and south shores, and supporting the work of “Soup in the Hood” to provide hot lunches for residents for residents of the Midland Beach community for a full year after the hurricane hit. Swanson was also a member of the Disaster Relief Committee, and ad hoc IPC Committee for the “Heart of the Home” Initiative, reviewing and approving renovations to kitchens in rebuilt homes with funds from Trinity Wall Street/Diocese of NY and ERD.

Swanson's invaluable contribution to the Episcopal Church's diaconal community has been her documentation of the history of the New York School for Deaconesses and the life of Susan Trevor Knapp, the only historical study of an important diaconal role model in a pivotal era. Completed for her General Seminary Master's Thesis, the material is the only historical study of an important diaconal role model in a pivotal era. Her analysis of this important figure from the “Second Wave” of diaconal theology provided essential background for the current development, for the first time in TEC's history, of a comprehensive theology of the diaconate.

The Distinguished Alumni Award was created in 2004 to recognize and hold up Seminary degree holders with both extraordinarily original, path breaking ministries and extraordinarily faithful, though quiet ministries.

Monday, April 16, 2018

DUCC gathering, April 17-20th, 2018

The National Gathering for Diaconal Ministers in the United Church of Canada takes place in Winnipeg from April 17th-20th, 2018. Prayers for them as they gather to share stories, to gather around the Word, and to be equipped and inspired for ministry. 

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Rev Deacon Alan Maratja Dhamarrandji

Congratulations to Rev Deacon Alan Maratja Dhamarrandji, who was ordained a Deacon in the Uniting Church in Australia in March, in his home community of Galiwin'ku (Elcho Island), in northern Australia. Here he is pictured with Rev Deacon Felicity Amery, Presbytery Minister, Northern Synod, Uniting Church in Australia.

For about 30 years Maratja worked on bible translation work in Arnhem Land and has published the DjambarrpuyŇču New Testament. This painstaking labour of love involved large numbers of very skilled Indigenous and non-Indigenous linguists in the deeply cross-cultural exercise of translation.
Former Uniting Church President Rev Alistair Macrae writes: “It helps keep Indigenous languages alive and thereby represents an honouring not only of the language but of the culture as well. Maratja and his family live at Galiwinku on Elcho Island and live out of town on his clan homeland. In his quiet way Maratja and his colleagues in translation are heroes in communication, celebration of culture and commitment to sharing the good news in the language of their people.”

Maratja co-wrote an article in Indigenous Australia and the unfinished business of theology, entitled 'Receive, Touch, Feel, and Give Raypirri'. The abstract reads:
Who we are is about where we are. Identity has to do with the land, which in my case is about an island (Elcho Island). Land is connected with the sea, and the sand, as well as with the animals and the fish. Who we are is about those things together. There is a delicate relationship between Aboriginal people with those things. We don’t own the land or the sea; we are of the land and the sea, and the land and the sea are [with] us. I am from a saltwater people, and so our totems come from the sea. The land and the sea is also the home of our ancestors. The land and the sea are there (present) in our ceremonies. Who we are is about the togetherness of land, sea, ancestors, culture, ceremonies, and us. This is why identity is about land and sea, and all those things in there. Identity is about country.