In 2015 I was collecting call stories from my friends who are serving in diaconal ministries – ministries of service – expressed in the United Methodist Church through the provisional and ordained deacon, diaconal ministers, deaconesses, and home missioners. In this post, you will hear from Lisa McGehee who is an ordained deacon currently serving as the Associate Minister at Good Shepherd United Methodist in Richmond, Virginia. Here are Lisa’s words:
The seed for my call was planted before I was born. My maternal grandmother was passionate about serving and caring for others – humans, animals, and creation. It was through her life and the way that my mother was raised that I became an advocate for those without a voice. Granny left a legacy filled with stories of providing for care for children. She opened the family home to her children’s friends giving them a warm meal, clothes to wear and a place to stay.
She cared equally for animals and there are many stories of my grandfather and my mother and her siblings coming into the kitchen to find “the box” that sat beside the wood burning stove. “The box” provided protection for an animal that was born the littlest or one that was injured. She raised it with care until it was ready to leave. Her love for creation was equal to the love she had for people and animals. She was a farmer and a gardener who never seemed to have a challenge for growing plants. I believe it was the care in which she planted the seed and tended the soil. She gave thanks and praise to God for all that she had and deeply desired to share it with others.
I started sharing about Charlie and his blog/website Wesley Bros last week. You may want to start there first.
I was curious about Charlie’s process. When you read the comics, you will notice that he is able to include a lot of historical and theological details, while keeping the characters in a modern-day setting. I asked him where he gets his inspiration every week:
I usually jot down ideas when they come to me. I do a lot more research into church history and John and Charles Wesley now that I do this comic. I read Wesley’s sermons, I read histories of Methodism, Wesley’s journals, Charles’ hymns and the stories behind them. If I can find irony or humor in what I read, I scribble out ideas and get started.
In 2015 I was collecting call stories from my friends who are serving in diaconal ministries expressed in the United Methodist Church through the provisional and ordained deacon, diaconal ministers, deaconesses, and home missioners. This post you will hear from Joanna Dietz who is an ordained deacon currently serving as Minister of Mission and Service at Braddock Street United Methodist in Winchester, Virginia. Here are Joanna’s words:
As a third generation clergy person, I’ve never known life outside the United Methodist Church. But I never thought I’d be called to serve as an ordained minister! I began teaching elementary music right out of college, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. However, it seemed that something was missing.
One Sunday, a new program was announced that was designed to help elementary children grow in both personal and social holiness. Every time it was mentioned, I began to feel deeply emotional.
In 2015 I was collecting call stories from my friends who are serving in diaconal ministries expressed in the United Methodist Church through the provisional and ordained deacon, diaconal ministers, deaconesses, and home missioners. In this post, you will hear from Brenda Romenius who is a commissioned deaconess currently serving as Director of Christian Education at St. John’s United Methodist in Springfield, Virginia. Here are Brenda’s words:
“The call” is as unique to each of us as we are unique from each other. And yet, it is the same because it is a beckoning open to everyone that takes us into a place of service on behalf of God and Jesus Christ.
Rev. April Casperson spoke at the Methodist Theological School of Ohio in October 2013 about the ministry and role of the deacon. She has done a great job of explaining some of the differences between elders and deacons.
From her talk:
In the United Methodist Church, some people are called to ordination – a set-apart life of ministry and service. There are two orders within ordained clergy – elders and deacons.
Elders are ordained to Word, Order (the ordering of the Church), Sacrament and Service. Elders are primarily pastors; while elders can and do serve in extension ministries outside of the local church, an elder’s identity is rooted in the pastoral role, and being a pastor.
Deacons are ordained to Word, Service, Compassion and Justice. Deacons are not pastors – we are ministers. We can certainly be pastoral! But our identity is based in being a minister rather than being a pastor.
Deacons are called to specialized ministry. We have a specific area and skill in which we connect the people of God, the church and the world with compassion and justice. This is a challenge and an opportunity at the same time.
Read the complete article here.
Deacon stoles with the United Methodist deacon emblem are now available through Cokesbury. There are liturgical options. Click here to see.