Meet Ministers of Diaconia
People are engaging in the ministry of the diaconate in many ways. Check out these stories to learn more and to be inspired!
Diaconal Minister, United Church of Canada
“Enabling and empowering nurture, growth-oriented and prophetic questioning, non-hierarchical inclusivity, consultative collegiality, mutuality in accompaniment are articulated faith values of the diaconal community,” observes Ted Dodd. “These attributes are not, of course, unique to the diaconal community. But the diaconal community offers accountability to these values and I continue to long to be officially a part of this kind of ongoing, intentional feedback and responsible discerning.” Ted transitioned from pastoral ministry to diaconal ministry. Read his story.
The Ven. Beth Mallon
Archdeacon, The Episcopal Church
“The best way I can describe it is to ask you to think of the church as a big circle. The priest stands right at the middle of that circle, drawing people into the church and meeting them there to nourish and teach. If you had to find a place in that circle for the deacon, though, you’d have to put us on the very edge of the circle. We have one foot inside the circle – inside the church – and the other foot firmly planted in the world,” says Beth Mallon. “At our ordinations, we deacons promise to always keep the poor, the sick, the weak, and the lonely in the forefront of our minds. Not only that, but we promise to keep these same people in the minds and hearts of the Church as well.” Read her story.
Rev. Megan Shitama
Deacon, United Methodist Church
“We hold together inward piety and outward justice,” says Megan Shitama. This retreat program coordinator at Pecometh Camp on the Maryland coast found her call to ministry outside the church walls. She is most passionate about ministry when sharing the beauty of God’s creation, helping people “experience God with their hearts as well as all of their senses.” Her hope for the future of the church is simple. “It’s about loving people for who they are, caring about their needs and becoming a part of their community. That’s church.” Read her story.
Rev. Jon Owens, deacon at All Saints Episcopal Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, tells his story.