Rev April Casperson speaks about what it means to be in deacon ministry (with the United Methodist Church, USA).
In discerning a vocational call to ministry, 'I realized that while I love the local church, I tended to teach and preach about some key themes over and over again:
Education - the need to learn in order to grow in one's faith
Vocation - what is it that God is calling you to be and to do?
Justice - what does it mean to seek God's justice and to transform the world?
I struggled for a while - I still felt called to ordination, but I no longer saw myself as a pastor. I was called to ministry, but it had a different flavour - one of justice and compassion, beyond the local church. And then I started learning about the order of deacon.
Ordaining deacons means that the UMC is affirming the work of the deacon in the church and the world, and making a commitment to support ministries of compassion and justice.
You can read a longer version of her presentation here.
And an excellent article by April here on 'deculturalization' - 'when persons from a minority group (this can refer to race, gender, sexuality, age, theological stance…lots of options)
are welcomed into a group comprised of the majority. Their presence is
welcomed…as long as they then conform to majority norms'.