Deacons are an ancient sacred order, beginning with the establishment of the early community of followers of the risen Christ in Jerusalem. In the Book of Acts, in chapter 6, the Twelve Apostles hear great concerns that part of their community is not being served. So, in order not to increase the burden further on the apostles, and to allow them to continue in the Gospel preaching, they named and blessed seven new people to serve (including Philip and the martyr Stephen). Later known as deacons (Greek: “diaconoi”), they played an important role in serving their bishops (and, later, priests) in both the liturgy and in service bridging the church and the world—especially in serving the marginalized poor, strangers, sick, etc.

Deacons are ordained, not to the priesthood, but to servanthood, answerable to the Bishop and to the parish authority in a parish where the Bishop may assign the deacon. Today there are several thousand deacons in the Episcopal Church, but only about a half-dozen in our Diocese! Bishop Budde initiated a program to build up the diaconate in 2014. Our congregant Harvey Bale is in the first “cohort” that concluded a new rigorous multi-year training program in preparation to join the diaconate. He and his four colleagues are in a vanguard of extending this ancient sacred order to better support the Church in our Diocese and its servant mission in the world. All are welcome to attend the ordination service on September 30, 2017. Download the invitation

—History provided by Harvey Bale