Sanctuary Ministry: Giving thanks for our Multicultural Bilingual Deacons

Sanctuary Ministry: Giving thanks for our Multicultural Bilingual Deacons

Deacons are the bridge between the Church and the Community. Archdeacon Sue von Rautenkranz will speak about this newly ordained cohort. We will also hear from recently ordained and seasoned deacons as well as from Fr Vidal, Senior priest of a sponsoring and receiving parish. Join us as we learn how we can walk alongside the Deacons of our Diocese to welcome the stranger and build the beloved community.

Ordination to the Diaconate, November 12, 2023

Ordination to the Diaconate, November 12, 2023

By the Grace of God and the people consenting
The Right Reverend Mariann Edgar Budde
Bishop of Washington
will ordain
to the Sacred Order of Deacons
in Christ’s One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church

Jessica Amber Ault
Rosa Luisa Briones
Sally Ann Ethelston
Martha Lynn Jenkins
Alethea Smith Long-Green
Francisco de Jesús Serrano
Thomas Roy Sinclair
Melissa Jo Sites
Nancy Starr Stockbridge
Adela Vasquez

on Saturday, November 12, 2022
The Feast of Charles Simeon

10:00 a.m.
at the
Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul
3101 Wisconsin Avenue, NW,
Washington, District of Columbia

Your prayers and presence are requested.
Clergy: Red Stoles

Please click this link to watch the livestream

Consejo de Diáconos

Consejo de Diáconos

A diferencia de apenas unos años atrás, cuando teníamos apenas un pequeño grupo de diáconos sirviendo en congregaciones y ninguna estrategia para formarlos, la comunidad de diáconos en la Diócesis de Washington cuenta ahora con muchos más diáconos y continúa creciendo con 10 diáconos más que serán ordenados por la Obispa Mariann, con la ayuda de Dios, el 12 de noviembre. ¿Por qué es esto importante? Porque los diáconos sirven de una manera única en la Iglesia. Ellos son enviados por los obispos a servir en congregaciones con el propósito principal de actuar como puentes entre la iglesia y el mundo. Los diáconos deben comunicar las esperanzas, necesidades y preocupaciones del mundo a la iglesia y empoderar a esta, al pueblo de Dios, a responder a estas necesidades.

Los cánones de la Iglesia Episcopal identifican a los diáconos de una diócesis como una comunidad de diáconos, y da poder a los obispos diocesanos a crear un consejo de diáconos para ayudar a los obispos y archidiáconos a ayudar, dar ánimo y proveer continuo desarrollo a los diáconos.

Al inicio del año, la Obispa Mariann le pidió a la Archidiácono, la Venerable L. Sue von Rautenkranz, que comenzara el proceso de formar un consejo de diáconos para nuestra diócesis y establecer los parámetros de este. Según las mejores prácticas en toda la Iglesia, la configuración actual de nuestros consejos diocesanos de diáconos incluye seis diáconos activos sirviendo en clases, con la posibilidad de que cada uno sirva por un segundo término. Dos diáconos sirven como co-presidentes y un diácono retirado sirve como consejero del consejo, mientras que el archidiácono actúa como conexión del equipo de trabajo diocesano. La configuración del consejo debe incluir laicos y sacerdotes.

El trabajo inicial del Consejo de Diáconos incluirá estas tres áreas:

  1. Desarrollar un manual para los diáconos.
  2. Planificar e implementar el retiro anual de diáconos.
  3. Preparar un reporte a la diócesis sobre la adopción de una compensación mínima para los diáconos, para que puedan participara de los beneficios del Fondo de Pensiones de la Iglesia, siguiendo el trabajo que han realizado otras diócesis.

Con el tiempo, el Consejo de Diáconos expandirá su trabajo para incluir dar consejos a la obispa sobre ubicaciones, políticas relacionadas con el retiro de diáconos y las posibilidades de educación continuada. Todas estas áreas ayudará a conectar y organizar mejor a los diáconos y a servir mejor a las congregaciones de la diócesis en el trabajo de justicia, especialmente en las áreas del cuidado de la creación, la reconciliación racial y los ministerios con migrantes y refugiados.

The Deacons Council

The Deacons Council

In contrast to just a few years ago, when we had a bare handful of deacons serving in congregations and no strategy for forming new ones, the deacon community in the Diocese of Washington now counts in the double digits and continues to grow with another ten to be ordained, God willing, by Bishop Mariann on Saturday, November 12. Why is this important? Because deacons serve a unique role in the Church. They are deployed by a bishop to serve in congregations with the primary purpose of acting as a bridge between the church and the world. Deacons are to communicate the hopes, needs and concerns of the world to the church and to empower the church, the people of God, to respond to those needs.

The canons of The Episcopal Church identify the deacons of a diocese as a community of deacons and empower the bishop of a diocese to create a council of deacons to help the bishop and archdeacon support, encourage, and provide continuing development of the deacons.

Earlier this year Bishop Mariann asked The Venerable L. Sue von Rautenkranz, Archdeacon, to begin the process of forming a deacons council for our diocese and to set up the parameters of the council. Based on best practices learned from around the Church, the current configuration of our diocesan Deacons Council comprises six active deacons serving staggered terms with the possibility of each serving a second term. Two more deacons serve as co-chairs and one retired deacon serves as an advisor to the council while the archdeacon acts as staff liaison. Future configurations of the council may include lay people and priests.

The initial work of the Deacons Council will fall into three main buckets:

  1. Develop a handbook for deacons.
  2. Plan and implement an annual retreat for deacons.
  3. Draft a report to the diocese regarding the possibility of adopting minimum compensation standards for deacons so that they may participate in the benefits of The Church Pension Fund, following the path a number of other dioceses have begun walking.

Over time, the Deacons Council will expand its work to include advising the bishop about deployment, policies regarding the retirement of deacons, and continuing education possibilities. All of these areas of focus will help to connect and organize the deacons to better serve their congregations and the diocese and to further the work of justice, especially in the areas of creation care, racial reconciliation, and immigration and refugee ministry.

To Seek and To Serve

To Seek and To Serve

Often when we think of deacons, we connect them with ministries of equity and justice, and rightly so. After all, the role of the deacon in a congregation is all about developing relationships between the community of the church and the world outside the parish doors. A deacon assists parishioners in discovering where their passion for service may lie then helps connect the parishioners to ministries in the wider world.

But another aspect to diaconal ministry that is a joy for the deacon to nurture comes as those new relationships in ministry form. For as the faithful open themselves to new ministries of service, they are changed by the Holy Spirit in a way that allows them a deeper understanding of faith in action. God shows up because we show up. And as deacons and parishioners together grow these ministries and grow in these ministries, together we are motivated to share our passions with more people, develop more relationships, and continue deepening our faith. We become more like God’s Beloved Community, our lives and the lives of the ones we serve enriched and transformed.

This is how the service of formation and transformation shows up in our local communities and around the globe:

Welcome the Stranger: Many of our congregations are active in supporting and resettling Afghan and Ukrainian refugees. From clothing drives and settling up apartments to sponsoring families and walking with them as they get children in school to helping them cope with paperwork for government and social service agencies and connecting them with resources to learn English.

Feed the Hungry: A large number of our congregations coordinate food ministries such as weekly meal programs and food pantries. Some instead provide sandwiches, meals, workers, and supplies in partnership with existing ministry agencies like Martha’s Table, Loaves and Fishes, and Shepherd’s Table.

Blessed are the poor: Reaching out to those who are unhoused is primarily a ministry of presence and pastoral care. A number of our congregations prioritize weekly walks in their neighborhood to talk with individuals, provide food and personal products, and with at least one parish, ask for desired prayers that are then added to the prayers of the people just a few hours later every Sunday morning.

Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also: Many of our congregations support ministries through financial means by providing educational scholarships and school support in Honduras, Haiti, Ecuador, and other places around the world. We also have groups from congregations sending short-term mission teams to learn and support these different international and domestic opportunities for service and building relationships.

Therefore encourage one another: Deacons also show up and take others along in ministries of presence and advocacy. Marching in the Pride Parade and working booths at the Pride Festival, participating in the March for Our Lives and other Gun Violence gatherings, and the Poor People’s Campaign Moral March. The Diocese is present in almost every possible advocacy initiative in the DMV area.

Baptismal ministry includes the promises to seek and serve all and to strive for justice and peace. Deacons empower the people of God to “walk the talk” in their everyday lives, putting Jesus’ hands and feet and eyes in the world and happens in different ways through time, effort, and gifts. Deacons also assist congregations in leading these efforts through the complete cycle of addressing the hopes, needs and concerns of the world by responding in charity, service, advocacy, and justice. The Diocese of Washington shows up and does what needs to be done and you can too. Just ask one of the 30 deacons now serving in our congregations about how you can be involved.

And if this ministry intrigues you, come to the Workshop Day on the Diaconate to see if God is calling you to be a deacon.

The Ven. L. Sue von Rautenkranz
Archdeacon and Diocesan Liturgist