Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Chicago - Assembly 2017

There has been a change in plans for the DIAKONIA Assembly 2017.
Reluctantly, the Philippines has had to withdraw from hosting the Assembly, and DIAKONIA Asia Pacific region is not able to suggest an alternative.
The Executive is thrilled to announce that the DIAKONIA Assembly 2017 will be held in CHICAGO (in the DOTAC region).
Keep an eye on the DIAKONIA Webpage and Facebook for firm details very soon.

Full DIAKONIA Executive meets in Dusseldorf

The full DIAKONIA Executive has been meeting for the last few days in Dusseldorf. It has been a very full meeting, with lots of discussion and decisions. Our last day today (28th July).

From left to right: Gillian Wilson (DOTAC), Laura Lazar (Treasurer), Alison McRae (DAP), Emma Cantor (President, DAP), Marianne Uri Øverland (President, DRAE), Sr Elly Urio (DRAE), Lisa Polito (President, DOTAC), Sandy Boyce (President, DIAKONIA), Sabine Ritter (DRAE), Ann Wren (DRAE) Ulrike Kellner (DRAE), Traude Leitenberger (Secretary), Diane Kaufmann (Web manager)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

DIAKONIA Prayer Day (26th of each month)

On the 26th day of every month members of World DIAKONIA pray for each other.
You might like to pray for the DIAKONIA Executive Committee as it meets today in Kaiserswerth, and for members of the Executive.The program today is a visit around historic sites in Kaiserswerth connected with the work of Theodor Fleidner in establishing the Lutheran deaconess order in 1836.
You might like to pray for the three DIAKONIA Regions and the Regional Presidents - DIAKONIA Asia Pacific: President, Emma Cantor, DIAKONIA of the Americas and the Carribean; President, Lisa Polito, DIAKONIA Region Africa-Europe: President, Marianne Uri Øverland. 
You might like to pray for particular situations in countries, and for diaconal ministry responding to need, often in very challenging circumstances.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

3 DIAKONIA Presidents

Deaconess Louise Williams (President, from Brisbane 2001 to Atlanta 2009), Sr Doris Horn (President, Atlanta, 2009-2013) and Rev Sandy Boyce (President, Berlin 2013 - present) together in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Deac Louise Williams, Rev Sandy Boyce, Sr Doris Horn

A focus on Emmanuel Sisters, Cameroon

The sisterhood was first founded in 1971 by Rev Mother Magdaline Marie Handy. She had travelled to France in 1951 with five others on an academic scholarship to became a student nurse. Her school was at the Deaconesses Sisterhood of Reuilly (Paris).

The sisterhood is one of the first Protestant communities of Africa. At first, the sisterhood was only affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon but is now fully part of the PCC. The then Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, Rt. Rev. J.C Kangsen visited Makak, and learned about the problems of the sisters, the moderator invited them to attend the PCC Synod Meeting that held in Kumba in April 1974. It was in this meeting that the General Secretary finally gave the approval for the PCC to take over the community. Thus, the community became an institution under the PCC.

In 2014, the sisterhood changed their name from Sisterhood of Emmanuel to Emmanuel Sisters.

The beginning was not easy for the foundress Sister Magdaline and the other sisters as they lived without any income. In the midst of all difficulties and challenges, Sister Magdaline did not give up. She was ordained as the first female Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon in January 1978, and died in January 1999. She is burried in the community's Cemetery.

The first batch of consecrated sisters was on the 24th November 1985 - Sister Judith Ngo Nyemb, Joy F. Joy, Jane Manka'a, Ann Emmanuel, Martha Ngo Nge and Regina Shu. Sister Judith Ngo Nyemb and Sr. Joy F. Toy are the only two sisters out of the six first consecrated that are still living in the community. 

The sisterhood maintains good networks with deaconesses in Stuttgart who support the training for nursing and diaconal education in Cameroon. The sisterhood also has a close connection with the Diaconesses of Reuilly, Versailles, France. They are also supported by the Circle of Friends for the Emmanuel Sisters.

The sisters have a life of vocation and prayer, offer hospitality, work in the bakery and sewing room, and as medical nurses and midwives (Sr Hope, Sr Magdalena and Sr Samuel), as teachers (Sr Emmanuel and Sr Loveline), and in the Agape Unity Program, an outpatient programme supporting people with handicaps and those with epilepsy (Sr Judith and her team of trained volunteers and staff). 

The house at Akum where the sisters care for and train handicapped girls
In Akum, new host baking machines have arrived, and there have been extensions of the building, and the workmen's house (which will be transformed after completion of the extension into the guesthouse). The extension of the main building should be completed by August 2014. Melanie, a handicapped young women, finished her formation at the end of 2013. On her departure, she received a sewing machine which will help her to support herself in the future. The community is pleased she was able to complete the formation, and that she now steps into independence. Sr Mary Ann has been in charge of the home centre since 2009, and two sisters from Bafut take turns of one year to support her. Like Sr Judith, she is in need of a wheelchair at times. Visitors describe the joy of life of the young handicapped women and girls in Akum, a unique experience.

The team in Bafut, Sr Shalom, prioress and her first and second assistants, Sr Angele and Sr Claire, are fully established. The new, very nice dormitory for the sisters is completed. In Bafut, the education programs for the sisters have been supported, and the host baking machines replaced.

On June 21st, 2014, the General Assembly was held in the Mission House of Basel. Sr Traude Leitenberger (Secretary, DIAKONIA World Executive Committee) gave a short presentation with pictures on the subject, Eight years circle of friends Emmanuel Sisterhood - what has come to be?

Facebook page for Sisterhood

Some of this information was adapted from the newsletter by the Circle of Friends, Emmanuel Sisters, Bafut, Cameroon c/- Urs Scheibler, Bundtenweg 16, CH 4434, Holstein,

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

DIAKONIA Executive

DIAKONIA Regional Presidents and Officers
The DIAKONIA Executive meeting begins today with the 3 Regional Presidents - Emma Cantor (DIAKONIA Asia Pacific), Lisa Polito (DIAKONIA of the Americas and the Caribbean) and Marianne Uri Øverland (DIAKONIA Region Africa-Europe), and the three office bearers - Sandy Boyce (President), Laura Lazar (Treasurer) and Traude Leitenberger Secretary. The group will meet from Tuesday 22nd July to Thursday 24th July, when they will be joined by the full Executive of DIAKONIA, meeting from 24th July to 29th July.
Please hold the meetings in your prayers. 
You can find out more about the Executive here
Photos will be posted during the meeting. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

South Australian Deacons gather

A number of Uniting Church Deacons in South Australia gathered recently for a meal, followed by an informal meeting. Rev (Deac) Sandy Boyce, President of World DIAKONIA, is on the right hand side of the photo. Deacons present at the meeting are in placements that include community development, international mission, mental health, working with Aboriginal people, ministry with underprivileged, hospital chaplaincy, prison ministry, aged care, as well as congregational ministry with a diaconal focus. A robust range of ministries!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

'a prophetic, insistent voice'

A deacon is an ordained leader in the Church, serving as a prophetic, insistent voice that calls the attention of the Church to the needs of the world. The deacon serves as a bridge between Church and world, sending the people out at the end of the liturgy into the world to live out their baptismal ministry. Deacons bring the needs of the world to the attention of the Church. They make certain that the marginalized people in our society are remembered in the Prayers of the People. They organize outreach efforts in parishes. They raise questions: Why are people homeless and hungry? Why are our city streets places of danger for our young people? What can we do about it?

The Rev. Sue Nebel, Deacon
St. Simon’s Episcopal Church
Arlington Heights, IL

The diaconate is 'big' - Thomas Merton

A reflection by Thomas Merton, shortly after his ordination to the diaconate in 1949:

‘The first thing about the diaconate is that it is big. The more I think about it the more I realize that it is a Major Order. You are supposed to be the strength of the Church. You receive the Holy Spirit ad robur, not only for yourself, but to support the whole Church.’

Distinctive Deacons in the Church of England - DACE

Source: :
‘The deacon is one of three orders in the church of England.  It is important to see the orders as interconnected and complementary, not in opposition to each other. What are orders? For me, orders, or ordination is a gift from God – a gift not to me personally but to the church. Ordination – our orders - say something about how we as a church see God.
My story is rooted in a theology of ordination that says we are all Christian disciples through baptism and as Christians we have a duty and a joy to share in the ministry of Christ. Orders are there to help the Church understand itself. Orders reflect and focus the ministry of Christ in particular ways – diaconal, priestly and episcopal – serving, reconciling, overseeing and uniting.
2010 ordination at Ely Cathedral

Orders also reflect and focus the ministry of all the baptised – orders do not permit vicarious ministry but rather act as a focal point for all ministry.
The deacon is both model and enabler of the diakonia of the whole church.
The priest is model and enabler of the priesthood of all believers.
And the bishop either in person or as part of the college of bishops is the model and enabler of oversight and unity within our particular part of the church.
Understood in this way, orders and ordination do not lead to clericalism but to a flourishing of the ministry of the whole church, ordained and lay.
This may seem aspirational rather than reality -  but we set our sights high!
Within the Anglican tradition, we have sequential ordination.  You can’t be a priest without first having been a deacon.  I find this both helpful – reflective priests and bishops  value their diaconate as an undergirding their priestly ministry- and at the same time, it can be  very unhelpful.  It contributes to an hierarchical understanding of orders.  Priests are sometimes considered more senior than deacons regardless of the length of time in orders;  you can only be priested if you’ve completed the probationary year of deacon.  It can also contribute to an invisibility of the diaconate.  Although priests and bishops are deacons, they are not perceived as such by others.
The case for the diaconate as a ‘full and equal order’ has been eloquently made by James Barnett from the Episcopal Church in America in his book of that title.  And my vision within my own church has been for three orders, each open to men and women.

(from bridgetmary’

In 2007 the Faith and Order Group of the Church of England produced an excellent report called the Mission and Ministry of the Whole Church.  It calls for the distinctive diaconate to be actively encouraged both within the traditional parish boundaries and also as pioneer ministers reaching out to the unchurched.
Church reports are sometimes produced and shelved  and I’m not certain how much influence it has had -  but I do see a growing acceptance within the structures of the church that the diaconate is an order to which people are called, and that it is important for God’s mission in our world.  This is shown through development of the guidelines at Ministry Division for Bishops Advisory Panels and the growing awareness of DDOs and bishops that the diaconate is more than a probationary year. There is even reference on the Ministry Division website to the Distinctive Diaconate.
Some of this is undoubtedly influenced by ecumenical relationships;  in the UK through the Methodist Covenant;  in Europe through the Porvoo treaty with the Nordic Lutheran churches which each have a diaconate, and in North America through the Anglican Communion – both the Episcopal church and the Church of Canada have an active diaconate.
So I’m hopeful about the future for the distinctive diaconate.’
(Taken from Rev Kathryn Fitzsimon’s talk at the conference for York deacons in Feb 2014)

DACE (Church of England) - ordination of Deacons

This is just a sample of the ordination of Deacons in the Church of England in the last few weeks. Please pray for them as they immerse themselves in ministry. Some will go on to be ordained priest next year and some will continue as distinctive deacons.

People from all walks of life are coming to strengthen and serve in the Church of England as 47 deacons (and priests) are ordained this season including a former Sandhurst cadet, a physiotherapist, a retired teacher, a practising solicitor and a former nurse. These are just some of the first men and women to be ordained in cathedrals across the new Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales. The ministry placements include a pioneer curate, a chaplain for businesses in Leeds, a distinctive deacon, a mental health minister from Barnsley and a Fresh Expressions minister.
(from the diocesan website )

The following were ordained Deacon in Peterborough Cathedral on Sunday June 29th by Bishop Donald Allister
Mrs Nicola (Nicki) Hobbs, Assistant curate of Broughton & Cransley with Mawsley Village
Mrs Paula Challen, Assistant Curate of Towcester w Caldecote & Easton Neston & Greens Norton & Bradden
Mr Don McGarrigle, Assistant Curate of Ketton
Mr Glen Brooks, Assistant Curate of Northampton Holy Trinity & St Paul
My Haydon Spenceley, Assistant Curae of Northhampton Emmanuel
Mr James McDonald, Assistant Curate of Brackley
Mr Kevin Fear, Assistant Curate of Peterborough St Mark & St Barnabas
Mr Nigel Adams, Assistant Curate of Barton Seagrave w Warkton
Mr Shemil Mathew, Assistant Curate of Aynho & Croughton w Evenley & Farthinghoe & Hinton-in-the-Hedges w Steane

Pauline Taylor, parish of St.John the Baptist, Broughton as SSM

On 27th June, the following were ordained as Deacons:
Max Cross, St Mary Magdalene Sheet
Jane Isaac, All Saints Rye & St Michael Swanmore
Luke Mheana, St Michael and All Angels Paulsgrove
Barbara O'Sullivan, St Mary Portsea
Garry Roberts, Holy Trinity with St Columba Fareham
Mark Williams, St Mary Portchester
Kim Weeks, The North End Team Ministry in Portsmouth

On Sunday 6 July, 12 people were ordained as deacons in a service led by the Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Michael Perham. They are:
  • Steve Newnes – Brockworth
  • Kay Mundy – Deerhurst and Apperley
  • Jonathan Clark – Stroud Team Ministry
  • Philip Averay – Drybrook, Lydbrook and Ruardean
  • Andrew Hall – Cheltenham
  • Michelle Porter-Babbage – Bourton-on-the-Water with Clapton and the Rissingtons
  • Matt Cottrell – Thornbury and Oldbury-on-Severn with Shepperdine
  • Peter Fewings – The Sodbury Vale Benefice
  • Anna Griffiths – Cheltenham
  • Elizabeth Mitchell – South Cheltenham
  • Lynn Hayler – The South Cotswolds Team
  • Celia Woodruff – Chipping Campden


Thirty six men and women joined London's team of clergy on June 30th as they were ordained deacons at St Paul’s Cathedral by the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres. (Hear his sermon here). The new deacons bring a huge breadth of age, background and experience to the family of clergy in the Diocese of London. The new deacons will be working in churches across London, serving their local communities and undertaking public worship, teaching and pastoral work. Some of the Deacons are 'transitional', meaning that after a period of normally a year, a deacon is ordained to the priesthood. Some Deacons in the Church of England are 'distinctive deacons'.

Among the new deacons are:

Ajay More

Ajay More will join the team at St James Church, Alperton in Willesden. Ajay was born and brought up in Maharashtra, India, where he worked as a hospital Microbiology Technician, before getting married to Kavita and moving to London where he trained as a nurse. After practicing in A&E and Endoscopy Department for over seven years, Ajay felt called to expand his involvement in the church to full time ministry and trained at St Mellitus College. Ajay's particular interest is Asian Christian Ministry and expanding the ways that the Church of England reaches out to Asian communities. He will be playing an important role at St James's as the church supports the community during the regeneration of the surrounding area.

Peter Wolton

Peter Wolton will join the team United Benefice of Holland Park in Kensington. After graduating, Peter spent 30 years as a fund manager, working first in property asset management and then managing UK pension funds. He then went on to manage a number of businesses – one of which took him to Japan for four years – before taking up his position running a London-based not-for-profit primary school company, which aims to provide a first-class traditional education with a focus on developing a positive attitude to learning. Peter has an extensive background in managing and growing businesses and is a firm believer that the best way to grow an organisation is to grow the people within that organisation, something he hopes to reflect in his ministry in Holland Park. Peter also hopes to use his experience to act as a bridge between the Church and the world of work.

Maxwell Hutchinson

Maxwell Hutchinson will join the team at St John on Bethnal Green in Stepney. Prior to training for ordination, Maxwell was an established architect, broadcaster and composer. During this time, Maxwell was a regular contributor to BBC Radio Four, BBC London Radio and Newsnight and even presented Songs of Praise on two occasions. Maxwell has received various awards for his work, including the Sony Radio award in 2009.
In 2004, when on holiday in Sri Lanka with his wife, Maxwell was caught up in the devastating Tsunami where he was declared missing, presumed dead. Maxwell survived by escaping to a mountain top village, where the local villagers supported Maxwell and his wife until it was safe to return to the town where they were staying.
Maxwell hopes to use his expertise as a musician and artist to help develop art projects connected to churches in East London.


Olakunle Ayodeji St John the Baptist Pinner
Julia Bevis-Knowles St Paul Ruislip Manor
Peter Godden Holy Trinity Northwood
John Jenkins Uxbridge Team Ministry
Andy Johnson St John w St James West Ealing
Ben Lovell St Paul South Harrow
Ajay More St James Alperton

Missional Communities

Bola Adamolekun Westbourne Park (Latimer Minster) Missional Community


Greg Bannister Christ Church Cockfosters
Kristin Breuss Holy Trinity Swiss Cottage
Stephen Coleman St Paul Winchmore Hill
Jon Finch St Luke Oseney Crescent
Benjamin Kerridge Hornsey Parish
Timothy Miller St Mary the Virgin Primrose Hill
Andy Palmer St JohnDownshire Hill
Oliver Petter The Parish of Old St Pancras
Robert Willoughby St Michael Highgate & All Saints Highgate [Deaconed in February]


Claire Clarke St Saviour Sunbury
Stephen Foster Holy Trinity Brompton
David Lee St Peter Fulham
David Maclure St John the Baptist Isleworth, Hounslow Deanery Pioneer Curate
Joel Sales St John Hampton Wick
Richard Whaite All Saints Fulham
Russell Winfield Brentford Team Ministry
Peter Wolton St George Campden Hill with St John the Baptist Holland Road
Peter Wynter Holy Trinity Brompton


Maxwell Hutchinson St John on Bethnal Green
Alexandra Lilley St Paul Shadwell
Graham Stevenson St Thomas Stamford Hill
Matt Wall St Mary Stoke Newington
Darren Wolf Christ Church Spitalfields

Two Cities

Stephen Baxter St Olave Hart Street
Ash Carter Christ Church Mayfair
Ben Jones St Mary Bryanston Square
Michael Lynch All Saints Margaret St
Malcolm Riley Christ Church Mayfair      

 Source: Diocese of London website

Seventeen men and women were ordained as deacon by their diocesan bishop, Dr Martin Warner, at a moving ceremony in Chichester Cathedral on Saturday June 28. They are now ordained deacon, equipped to serve the church and wider community. They will now take up their title post in the parishes as follows.

Jimmy Young - Horsham St Mary
Alice Whalley - Moulsecomb
Chris Sutton - Slaugham & Staplefield Common
Christian Mitchell - Uckfield
Christine Keyte - Rustington
Irene Smale - Chichester St Pancras
Jo King - Pagham
Joy Collins - West field & Guestling
Kate Lawson - Hove All Saints
Mark Ashworth - Crowborough
Martin Mills - Bolney and Cowfold
Pauline Ingram - Maresfield & Nutley
Philip Edell - West Worthing
Stephanie Gardner - Beeding & Bramber with Botolphs
Steve Burston - Worth
Sue Wilkinson - Lewes St Anne, St Michael & St Thomas
Tanya Hockley - Stone Cross with North Langney