Deacon Ministry

DEACONS blog“We’re Here to Serve”
words & Music by Sarah Moore

 How many needs are in this world?
Seems too much for any boy or girl
Start with one and when you’re done,
Start all over again.

(Refrain) Find a Place where you can serve.
Lend a hand to heal a hurt.
Make a difference in your world.
We all are here to serve.

You may be starting to realize by now how much I love singing with children and how simple the message of the Gospel really is –  when put into words children can understand. But how do we know we are here to serve? Answer: Because Jesus our Lord and Master has shown us and told us so.

The Gospel of John is the only one of the four Gospels that tells of the time during the Last Supper that Jesus took off his robes, tied a towel around himself and began to wash his disciples’ feet. Peter was adamant. “No, Master you will not wash my feet!” Jesus continued what he was doing. He  answered Peter, saying, that unless he allowed Jesus to wash his feet, Peter would not be able to partner and work with him in building the Kingdom.

How quickly Peter exclaimed,” Then wash my hands and head as well….not just my feet.” When Jesus was  finished he said,”…. I am your Lord and Master. I have given you all an example to follow. Do as I have done to you….that is the pathway of blessing.” For the complete account of this story see John chapter 13.

What a humble act out Savior performed! What an incredible glimpse into Jesus’ true character and the character Jesus wants all of us to adopt. As Christians we are to follow Jesus’ example of ministering to and serving one another.

BUT, how many times have you wondered just how you could serve? How you could help? There are as many ways as there are people, really! We all have such varied and wonderful talents and abilities that are meant to be used and shared.

Recently I spoke with Jane Amato, one of our Deacons. Jane has been ordained as a Deacon for many, many years now. She may actually be among one of our “oldest” Deacons – in terms of years of service – that is.

I asked Jane how she had become a Deacon and why she had returned over and over again for another three year term of service. Jane simply said,” Well, I was asked.”

To which I heard myself reply,” You were asked????”

“Yes, I was asked and I thought that if they were asking me, there must be a need. I didn’t really know what Deacons did but I had been wondering how I could serve and become more involved in living out my faith.”

Jane told me she also wondered about making a commitment for three years and whether her part would be of any significance. Quickly, however, she came to see all of the work that needed to be done. Jane learned that in working together with a group of people committed to serving in Jesus’ name to build the Kingdom, that there was much she could do that was significant.

Jane was saddened at the end of her first year when 1/3 of the group finished their term and were replaced by newly ordained Deacons. Would the new ones be as good? Would it be hard to get to know them? Could they now be as effective?

To Jane’s surprise, she found that her fears were groundless. The newly ordained Deacons turned out to be wonderful people, too! She made more friendships in the church!  “I became more and more exposed to other people who shared my faith and were committed to following Jesus’ example of showing God’s love for each and every person. I felt good that I could help make a difference.”

And therein was the blessing just as Jesus had promised!! Jane experienced  for herself all of the fullness of feeling that comes with loving and serving. Saint Francis of Assisi said it so well at the end of his famous prayer – “As much as we give – that much we are given…..I die to myself…at last I am living!”

Interestingly, there are many persons, formerly ordained as well as those who are not yet ordained, who presently work alongside our Deacons on an ongoing basis in various ministries of our church –  such as Visitation and the Food Pantry.  We are grateful to all who contribute their loving service with us. We are grateful as well to those who support our ministries financially by making their donations to the Deacon’s Fund and donating food items to our pantry basket in the Gathering Space. God Bless you all!

~ Carol Gaetani for the Deacons