I went to Exploration 2003 when I was a senior in high school. I don’t know why I felt called to go as I look back now, but I went. I remember enjoying the trip out to Chicago with my friends, but being disappointed with the event.
You see, when they gave us the option to take a pic in the cardboard cutout clergy, I chose the Deacon, not the Elder. When I went to Exploration, I came home a little discouraged since Deacons weren’t really mentioned and it just focused on Elders.
I feel called to ordination through The United Methodist Church as a Deacon, so I find them very important. Deacons are the people who bridge the church to the real world, stepping out into ministries beyond our church doors. They are a rarely used source of wisdom within our churches, though they are so vital. Deacons may not have the “magic hands”, but they walk outside of the church building, connecting with those who do not enter our doors.
Deacons can be school teachers, run homeless ministries, be pastoral counselors, work for a general board or agency, and so much more! They can be in a church or outside it. Their work is their unique ministry.
One of the resolutions going to General Conference is, “Appointments of Deacons and Provisional Deacons to Various Ministries”. This would change Paragraph 331 in our Book of Disciple. Why would this matter?
This resolution gets rid of Secondary Appointments for Deacons. Well, what is a Secondary Appointment you might ask? When a Deacon’s Ministry is outside the church (as majority of them are), it gives them another appointment with a local church. They participate in worship (if being utilized), leadership within the church, and are supported by the church’s SPRC. I believe that this is taking away the bridge between the Deacon’s Ministry and the church.
Even though my current ministry settings have been within the church , I know that I will someday have a job outside of the church. I want to have a bond between myself and my charge conference. Secondary Appointments give Deacons that connection. Why would we get rid of that?
Photo Credit: Flickr user F H Mira, Creative Commons.