I love church mailboxes. They can be a most curious thing. They tend to be gathering places, where we linger with our after church coffee, socializing. They are where we receive newsletters, congregational meeting notices, budget information, birth announcements, wedding invitations, The Banner… all sorts of fun things!
This week when I checked my mailbox (done faithfully and always in hopeful anticipation of something exciting) I discovered a bright blue envelope, with handwriting I didn’t recognize. It said… Melissa. (I was trying to add a little suspense for you there!)
When I opened it up I discovered a Thank You card, which had been signed by all the current deacons, who offered words of encouragement and appreciation for the diaconal work I had been part of. (My term just finished in June.) It was unexpected, unsolicited and gratefully received. That simple "thank you" brightened up my day, and reminded me again of how good God is.
In the Charge to Deacons it says, “They are also called to speak words of Christian encouragement." This statement is broad, and it can take many different forms. I think that makes it exciting! We can look at the unique gifts around our deacon table and choose to live out this charge as we have been gifted and equipped to. Maybe you'll find yourselves getting to know the church neighbours, doing home or hospital visits or sending out cards. Perhaps a different idea has popped into your mind already, and the wheels are turning as you try to determine how to make it happen!
I want to encourage you - as September says “hello,” summer draws to an end and the activity around the church begins again – to take a moment as a diaconate and think about ways you can live out this aspect of our call in your particular congregation. Prayerfully ponder what God is asking of your team this year, and think particularly about the ways you can be encouragers.
Let’s share stories! What are ways you’ve been able to be deacons who bring hope and joy? What are some ways you’ve received or experienced encouragement? What are you already sensing God doing this year in diaconal ministry with your team?