It's seventh inning stretch time. This is the time of the year when the initial gusto of the start has waned, and now, you may find yourself in a bit of a rut. I always hope not, but the reality is that it happens. We get tired. It's tough. What should we do about it?
As children our lives are full of opportunities - and we seem to create endlessly in all sorts of ways. As we get older our lives change, our priorities and responsibilities look different and we may find ourselves idealizing those good old days, rather than living fully now. As deacons we can encourage hope and inspire joy simply by living truly.
Getting the roles of governance and ministry mixed up is the crippling confusion in many councils. For deacons, the role confusion can be even more painful and debilitating. Are deacons primarily decision makers? Or are they ministers of benevolence and mercy? Are they sometimes both?
The church is made up of people. Deacon teams are too. I'm thankful for the people who serve our congregations, and today we hear a brief reflection from an everyday deacon - someone like you!
A gold mine of information exists in the realms of the Deacon network! When was the last time you checked out the "All Resources" section? If you've browsed it, you've noticed tabs for articles, blogs, resources and websites. The wealth of information you can access is phenomenal!
How do you start your deacon meetings? Would you be interested in devotions that explore your calling to this role, while helping you understand the charge to deacons? Diaconal Ministries of Canada has provided deacons with another great resource - Devotions for Deacons!
There sits in the centre of our backyard a beautiful young healthy cherry tree, yet its story is a sad one of limited potential. As we begin a new year will your story be like the cherry tree's? Or will you embrace the opportunities and dreams God has given you?
It's been said that 90% of life is just showing up. I realized this week that HOW we show up is important. I think many of us (myself included) need to take a good hard look at the attitudes we are bringing to the table when we enter a particular situation, because it affects waaaaaay more than just ourselves.
Melissa Van Dyk mentioned the results of the Diakonia Remixed survey in her blog post and raised some questions concerning terms for deacons. The task force would like to take the opportunity, in this blog post, to preview some of our work and hear your feedback regarding terms for deacons.
The Diakonia Remixed Deacon Task Force has shared the responses from the survey taken earlier this year. With over 333 responses, it helps paint the landscape of diaconal ministry in the CRCNA. Reviewing the survey I had two responses...
If God is present in each conversation we are having, can we allow his voice to be heard? Or are we too busy inputting our own opinions and advice to actually allow the Spirit to speak. What might happen if we became people who actually let God say what needs to be said...?
We are entering the Christmas season and, as deacons, there are a lot of different initatives that we can undertake to help spread the hope and joy of this time. As we engage in these converations among our teams it can be helpful to brainstorm and share best practices from other congregations, so, let's do just that!
"You Add, God Multiplies" is more than a catchy phrase, it's the reality of what happens when, as churches, we pool our resources to accomplish more ministry than we could do each on our own. Unfortunately there is a lot of confusion about what Ministry Shares are and what they do...
When we offer help to someone we can have the crazy notion that we need to fix the whole issue ourselves. We would do more for those we offer assistance if we understood our role as referring folks to the resources of our broader community, without abandoning them.
When we're running on empty, in overdrive, going from commitment to commitment, we barely seem to have time to sleep, let alone rest or take Sabbath time... but that's exactly what we need to do. We have to stop, and take a moment to ponder "is what I'm thinking, saying and doing WORTH thinking saying and doing?"
What should the church be doing, then, if government effort seems to have little effect, except maybe for providing ongoing relief? How should the church shape its own response? Can the church actually REDUCE poverty and dependence on programs that help? Even just in our neighborhood? Seems like that’s the ideal...
We want to help people. We want to do the right thing, the good thing, the Godly thing. Often we discover that we need to learn how to help well. ABCD is a method of offering assistance which empowers those we are serving and, as it continues to grow in popularity, it's worth paying attention to.
As we head into the holiday season, we need to be aware that need doesn't stop. It also doesn't increase exponentially. How can we inspire our congregations to engage with those in need in a meaningful way? And why has Stephen Colbert called Christians out on this?
With the advent of another ministry year, it's a good time to take some time and think about what God may want to do through your team this year. In light of our call to this diaconal office, what's your vision? Oh, come on, dream bigger!
We love to do good. Sometimes though, our desire to do something good leads us to turn people into projects. In the latest issue of Partners, a diaconal newsletter, Linda Weening shares a story of assistance which may make you think about how you speak with those you serve.
You're a nurturer, but are you being nurtured? Our culture tells us we need to be productive and efficient. Usually that means every minute of our day has to be filled with some commitment. The reality is that's not healthy, truthful, or the gospel.
As deacons we can often find ourselves in situations that are unfamiliar or uncomfortable to us. As easy as it is to try to ignore or avoid these scenarios, we know that at some point, we need to venture out into that unknown. Are you ready to risk it?