Deacons are called to be the “nags of the church,” Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told the biennial Conference of the North American Association for the Diaconate (NAAD) on June 22 at their meeting in Seattle. According to reports by Kim Forman for Episcopal Life Online.
“As we look toward a third-millennium church and a renewed sense of mission,” Jefferts Schori said, “I want to ask you deacons, and the rest of the church, about new ways in which deacons could be sent out.”
Reminding them of their ordination vows, she said deacons are called to serve the poor, weak, sick, the lonely and those who have no other helpers and to interpret the needs and hopes of the world to the church.
The ministry of deacons, she explained, is one of urgency about the starving and homeless and also about “the full humanity and dignity of those in all sorts of prisons, whether legal ones, nursing homes or hospices, as well as the prisons we build through prejudice about race, gender, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, national origin and so many others.”
Jefferts Schori asked the deacons to think about service to people “captive to a consumerist society” or “caught up in the rat race of jobs or shopping or keeping up with the neighbors” and about “forming communities of faith and transformation among co-workers or fellow commuters or soccer parents.”
“Where is the good news going unheard?” she asked. “Who are the hungry in spirit? Whose needs and concerns and hopes are not being addressed?”
Read the report of the Presiding Bishop’s remarks here