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Is the economy a "deaconal challenge?"

Gargantuan federal deficits, increasing taxes, growing global competition, tapped out consumers, threats of inflation, corporations making profits but not hiring, banks making profits but not lending, continued unemployment, waves of foreclosures.....   US News and World Report's list is long and dismal.

Deacons are prophetic voices and agents of mercy.   What's the relationship between the list and the job description?  What's the difference in experience between deacons in Canada and in the US?

I'm wondering - what do you think?

Is there special urgency these days for deacons to seek out the needy among their neighbors?   And should the church be developing new ways to help?    Are members of our congregations experiencing new pressure?   facing new decisions?   Is giving affected?   Is your church's neighborhood itself under new economic pressure?  

What if the deacons simply convened some meetings to talk informally about what families are experiencing?   Would people find some mutual support?  Would people uncover some new ways to help each other?  

I'm amazed at all the stuff I'm reading about how to be thrifty, how to save, how to shop, and how attitudes are changing about spending and saving.   Is there an opportunity here for deacons to host some conversations about alternatives to the nasty isms of consumerism, materialism, status-ism?   Are values changing, or at least being shaken loose?    Where is the church in the dialog about the new attitudes about spending and saving?

What is happening out there among deacons as the economy shudders and jitters?

I'd like to know.

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