Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2nd National Conference for Deacons, June, 1981

2nd Annual Conference for Deacons

First publication: June, 1981


There are 700 vocational deacons in the Episcopal Church today, and the Second National Conference for Deacons, held May 21-23 at the center for Continuing Education at Notre Dame, Indiana, heard the rev. Dr. John. E. Booty challenge deacons to be, “true and lively catalysts of the universal servanthood of all Christians, both in their actions and their inner beings.” 

Dr. Booty,  professor of Church History at the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA, pointed to the revival of the vocational diaconate and the mushrooming numbers of deacons in the church as offering and opportunity to personify, sacramentalize and enable the servant ministry to which all Christians are called to at Baptism.

Approximately 100 vocational deacons and friends of diaconal ministry from 39 states and two Canadian provinces attended the conference.  Twenty Five workshops sharing the diversity of ministry of deacons and and the issues of diaconal ministry were at the heart of the conference.  A previous conference in 1979 explored the theological undergirding of the Diaconate.  The conference was a cooperative part of a six year effort  called for by the 1979 General Convention of the Episcopal Church, directed at raising the consciousness of the church about the work and ministry of deacons, setting up pilot programs and evaluating the national effort.  The conference recommended that province-wide deacon gatherings be held in the spring of 1982, and that another national conference  be held in 1983. 

The worship of the conference incorporated the many ways the deacon serves liturgically and was arranged by  The Associated parishes, Alexandria VA., who co-sponsored the conference  with the National Association for The Diaconate, Boston, MA.

The National Center for The Diaconate, formerly known as the Central House for Deaconesses, is a 35 year old agency working to promote the distinctive, vocational diaconate, to educate the church and to support deacons and others in diaconal ministry.  The Center is located at 14 Beacon Street, Boston, MA., 02108.  The Rev. James L. Lowery, Jr. provides executive services to the Center and Gail D. Hinand is the Administrator.


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