|Minister's Letter - July/August 2016|
|Rev Peter Cornick|
|In September, we welcome Deacon Rona Eastman to the circuit. But what is a Deacon?
A Deacon is a ‘minister’ with a specific calling. A member of the Methodist Diaconal Order – a successor to the Wesley Deaconess Order – Deacons are men and women who receive theological training to work in a variety of situations. Some will work on specific projects; for example, a Deacon in Bournemouth cares for sex workers. Other Deacons support the general mission of churches. They are usually ‘people centred, encouraging, enabling, supporting and pastoral in nature.’ In practical ways, Deacons offer ‘a model of Christian service’ in the way they live and work (source: Methodist Diaconal website). Deacons tend to work on the fringe of the church and are sometimes seen as a bridge between the community and the church.
Some Deacons are local preachers; all are worship leaders. Whilst not presiding at Holy Communion, they may assist. Deacons do not take a leading role in church meetings or exercise pastoral charge of a church. They are, then, in a unique position to spend time with people and groups, building up those bridges I mentioned.
I pray Deacon Rona will be able to get involved in some of the many groups in Chandler’s Ford, help lead Bible studies and Alpha courses and support some of the new initiatives from the Action Teams. Whilst she is not a local preacher, she will encourage and work alongside others in leading worship and prayer. She will work across the circuit on specific mission projects and new ways of worship. As a Deacon, we hope Rona will add value to our circuit’s mission.
Please pray for Rona and her husband Les, as they move here, living in Exmouth Gardens and as Rona helps us understand the ministry of a Deacon.