This week (Tuesday April 28th to Friday May 1st), Deacons in the United Church of Canada have gathered at Crieff Hills Centre, Puslinch, Ontario for their biennial national gathering. The theme is 'Timeless Wisdom: Exploring Innovative Traditions'. During the gathering they will revisit the history of diakonia, consider the future of diaconal ministry in the church, conduct the business of DUCC and explore diaconal identity as ministry agents. Participants will explore together major historical periods when Diakonia was forced to change in response to a changing context and new understandings. They will look at key documents from their denomination which have significance for DUCC, as well as future initiatives as DUCC. Key documents are on line here.
(Some video and photos from the gathering are on the DUCC Facebook page here)
- Lisa Polito, DOTAC President, Executive director Lutheran Deaconess Association
- Marg Robertson, Presbyterian Diaconal Minister; DOTAC executive member
- Sister Anne Keefer, Lutheran Deaconess Community ELCA/ELCIC
- Frank Tyrell, Anglican Deacon, CCS board member
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.
Please uphold the gathering in prayer. The prayer below expresses wonderfully the hope not only for the DUCC gathering but for God's world-wide church.
Holy One, Source of All, Creator of all that is and will be
Christ, Saviour, and Redeemer,
hope of the world to come,
Spirit and Sustainer, Advocate, breath of life and love.....
We give thanks for creation.
In awe and wonder,
we marvel at the new life and beauty you are continually creating.
And we know,
beyond all sense of knowing, that what you are doing is good.
We draw inspiration and strength from places
where we already see hope lived out and the Spirit unleashed.
And we know that your Spirit - that sense of unwavering hope -
is stirring and speaking life in the very depths of our being
and inviting us to be part of your new creation.
We know our attention sometimes strays
and we focus on things that do not serve your mission.
But your mission is our mission.
We pray for insight, that we may sense your call.
We pray for the strength to let go.
And we pray for the courage to travel more lightly.
May we draw closer to you and your vision,
as inspired and invited by Jesus’ own example.
Propel us into your future, which is rooted in the richness of our past.
This is our prayer, and in the name of Jesus Christ we pray.
May it be so. Amen
(Source: United in Vision, UCC comprehensive report 2015)