The mandate of the deacon is “to interpret to the Church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world” and in particular, “to serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely” (BAS p. 655). Deacons are often seen as icons of servanthood ministry in parish liturgy and ministry settings as well as in their work lives in the world outside the parish. They are to encourage and call forth parish members to take on servanthood roles as part of their baptismal ministry and, perhaps, to discern a call to the diaconate.
The diaconate is understood to be a “full and equal order” in Rupert’s Land.
The Diaconal Ministry Team
The members of the DMT are lay and ordained, and serve as an advisory body to the Bishop. DMT advises on policy around diaconal formation and education, and oversees the deacon mentoring program of the Diocese. They review applications, interview candidates, and make recommendations to the Bishop at various points regarding an applicant’s suitability for diaconal ministry. Working with the Diocesan Ministry Developer, they also monitor and make suggestions about an individual’s formation (theological education, spiritual formation, field work, etc.).
Persons desiring to explore a call to diaconal ministry should speak with their parish priest who, with other parish leaders, will assist them in their discernment.
If the parish wishes to proceed with the discernment process by commending the individual to the Bishop, a Commendation form may be requested from the Bishop’s Office. Ministry Developer, The Rev. Heather McCance may be consulted for assistance at any stage of this process.
Network of Deacons
The Network of Deacons of Rupert’s Land is the body of all deacons and diaconal postulants in the Diocese. The Network gathers several times a year for continuing education, mutual support and fellowship, and continues to be in touch with one another electronically for the same purposes. NoD also maintains communication with national and ecumenical diaconal networks and advises DMT as needed regarding recommended changes to formation expectations.
Anglican Church of Canada Report on the Diaconate (including competencies for deacons) The Iona Report