by Deacon Bob
The end of this month, July 28th will be the 20th Anniversary of my ordination. My how time flies. Depending on how long you’ve attended St. George’s, you may remember I “retired” as a Deacon January 2016. Now that was the third time I retired, if you don’t count signing up for Social Security, in which case it is my fourth retirement. Clearly I’m not good at staying retired. Fortunately, unlike retiring from the Army and then the State of California, retirement as a deacon just meant I was no longer obligated to do things, but I could still do all of the functions of a deacon that I chose to do.
The role of the deacon is to serve as a model of Christ’s servanthood, modeling and helping others to find their call as servant ministers to our brothers and sisters. I, like most deacons, am quick to point out that St. Frances was a deacon. Even before my retirement, a number of folks have stepped forward doing servant ministry within our congregation that I had been doing. Rene Cress and the Round Table doing outreach, Vicki Karsten our most recent chair person for the Community Garden. Between Fr. Gould’s passing and COVID-19, our visitor’s program has dwindled and Fr. Ray recently invited folks to be part of St George’s Care team, I was not surprised that he got a good response. Actually, throughout the pandemic, folks have been checking on each other.
For the past year or so, you’ve seen me primarily in my liturgical role as a member of the Altar party each Sunday. It is nice that the Altar party is expanding to include EM’s and lector’s and hopefully not too far off our acolytes. You’ll notice that as the EM’s have joined us they are doing some of the things I’ve been doing in the service for the past year plus. In the Book of Common Prayer there are instructions, called rubrics, which identify things done by the deacon or priest and by the the deacon or a lay person. As the summer progresses, the EM’s will be taking back over those things they can do, so by August, my role in the liturgy will be to proclaim the Gospel, introduce the Creed, invite confession and dismiss the congregation. Oh and I’ll still be doing the announcements. Not a diaconal function but I will start bringing donut holes for coffee hour. Each Sunday morning for the last year or so, when I pick up maple bars for Sandy and I, the owner asks “and three dozen donut holes?” Both of us will be glad that I can once again say “yes.”
Each of us is called to servant ministry as a followers of Christ, and a few of us are ordained. I pray that each member of St. George’s finds their ministry or is able to resume one they had been doing as we come out of the COVID restriction.