Did you hear the big change coming to Synod 2016?
If not, here it is! For the first time EVER, deacons will be delegates.
Historically, each classis would send two pastors and two elders to serve as delegates. But the times they are a-changin’! This year, each classis will be represented by one pastor, one elder, one deacon, and one other office bearer (from any of those three offices).
Curious how deacons became delegates? If you guessed that this change involved a task force, reports, and careful deliberation, you’d be correct.
To get more specific, the Office of Deacon Task Force presented a report to Synod 2013 called Diakonia Remixed. This report offered plans and resources to re-energize the office of deacon, focusing on community outreach. Wanting to build on this report, Synod 2013 created a task force to study the offices of both elders and deacons.
The Office of Elder and Deacon Task Force report came before Synod 2015 and affirmed the words found in the Diakonia Remixed report, stating that the delegation of deacons to broader assemblies “is not about equal representation, as if there should be some balance of power”; rather, “it is about the full representation of the whole church which these offices represent. When deacons are missing from major assemblies, the full voice of the church is not heard, nor is the full ministry of the church under discussion.
Do you agree? I’d love to hear your thoughts on deacons coming to Synod 2016. . .
- Is this decision overdue? How will the church benefit from the presence of deacons at synod?
- What concerns (if any) do you have about this change in representation?
- Are you going to synod as a deacon delegate? What are you excited about? What fresh perspective do you bring?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.