The Ministry of Our Deacons

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I cry to the Lord. I call and call to him. Oh! That he would listen. I am in deep trouble and I need his help so badly. All night long I pray, lifting my hands to Heaven, pleading. There can be no joy for me until He acts. I think of God and moan, overwhelmed and longing for His help. I cannot sleep until you act. I am too distressed even to pray!  Psalm 77:1-4

Did you know that the Psalms in our Bible were for the Hebrew people what our hymns are for us today? They were sung for all occasions just as we sing hymns and praise songs today. The Psalms reflect every human emotion, mood and feeling that may be brought to God to be blessed. Many of our familiar Psalms reflect joy, thankfulness, faith, hope, joy and praise. The Psalm above reflects sorrow, hopelessness, despair and doubt.

How many times in your life have you experienced these very emotions? How many times have you sat alongside and waited with someone – a loved one or a friend – and watched helplessly as they experienced emotions like the ones in Psalm 77?

As Deacons it feels like we are always traveling between the highs and the very lows of emotions as we meet with, serve and try to help those of our church community and beyond. Recently the Deacons have witnessed and experienced significant hurts and losses as they have seen several of our long term and beloved  members and their families through dark and difficult times. It is often hard not to give in to these feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and despair ourselves.

Thankfully, though, the Deacons have many ways in which we can support and encourage each other in our faith and remind ourselves to trust in the eternal promises God makes to all of us. We meet on a regular basis and exchange experiences, thoughts, information, feelings and reactions. We also use texts and emails as well as traditional telephone calls. The many Ministries of the Deacons also give us concrete things we can do to help others.

Chuck Radke is our Deacon coordinating the Transportation Ministry. If there is a funeral service for one of our members, for example, Chuck arranges for transportation for anyone who would like to attend but is not able to get to church on their own. Likewise, if there is a special function and you would like to come, Chuck can arrange transportation for that too. Most often he does it himself!

Wanda Diaz sends cards and letters to those who may be grieving, sick, hospitalized, homebound or otherwise in need. Thankfully, she often sends congratulations for significant birthdays, anniversaries or other major joyful events in someone’s life. She even sends “Thank You” notes.

Recently, our Deacon, Carl Anderson, has written grant requests and has been able to obtain donations from area merchants and organizations to support our Food Pantry, School Supply and Diaper Ministries. Here a “Thank You” note from Wanda is another JOY to celebrate!

John Chessa manages the Deacons’ finances and keeps us on Budget. He reports to us as your gifts come into the Deacons’ Fund. We are always grateful for your prayers and support and continually welcome your gifts to expand and enhance the Ministries that are so vital to those in need. John also rotates with others like Bud Coccodrilli to organize the “Loaves and Fishes.”

Our Visitation and Bereavement team consists not only of our current members – Christine Lazarus, Marianna Sherman, John Winget, and Chuck Radke, and Tami Seidel– but also continues to be served by faithful Deacons that are no longer in office but have grown to love and value this ministry and the people we serve.

The Food Pantry Ministry is coordinated by Todd Child and Bud Coccodrilli and assisted by dozens and dozens of volunteers twice each month as an amazing amount of food and groceries (tons!) pass through our church walls and out again into the community.

Among our new members on the Board of Deacons, in addition to Marianna and Bud, are Emma Capichioni, Justin Leftwich and Debbie Hager. They serve alongside in these many Ministries including ushering during services.

Yes, there can be much pain and hurt in the world around us. Yet there is always hope, joy and peace that can be found as we individually and together as Brothers and Sisters in faith look to God our Heavenly Father and Jesus our Brother and Savior to direct us, guide us, and sustain us as we live out our lives. We are renewed and strengthened along our life journeys by the encouragement of Tami and Chip and the blessed assurances that God loves us and will walk with us through it all.

The Lord is our Shepard and we shall dwell in His house forever.  –Psalm 23

God Bless you all!!

-Carol Thorne-Gaetani