Greetings and Happy New Year from your Deacons!! I am glad to report that the spiritual life of the congregation at Oldtown is well. Throughout this past year, we have faced some challenges and risen to overcome them. We have grown together as a family, not without experiencing the growing pains that all families go through. However, as with most loving families, we have come together, supporting each other, taking the time to understand each other, smoothing over ruffled feathers, and working together for the greater good of our congregation family.
I know some of you may be asking, “What is a Deacon?” while others may answer, “Deacons are the people who hand out the bulletins and help with serving communion.” While those things are true, there is more to being a Deacon than just those more-visible tasks.
Different from other ministries at Oldtown, Deacons are “ordained” in a ceremony during worship where we ask the Holy Spirit to come down and bless the new Deacons and the work they will do. While many churches have strict requirements for becoming a Deacon, at Oldtown, we select Deacons based on people who express interest and have been reviewed by the Pastor and the current active Deacons. Deacons have a specific set of skills, abilities, and passions, including a familiarity with the theology of the UCC and with the life of our Oldtown family, and they feel a calling to serve and support the pastoral needs of our congregation and our community.
The word “deacon” comes from the Greek word “diakonos” which means “servant.” The Deacons work closely with Pastor Kelly and help to give leadership to the church’s ministry of serving the physical and spiritual needs of members and people beyond the congregation. This includes things like getting the sanctuary ready for worship, welcoming people as they arrive, and helping Pastor Kelly during the worship service with the sacraments of Communion and Baptism, but it also includes meeting with Pastor Kelly every month to discuss how we can help support the spiritual life and growth of our congregation. We pray for those in the congregation in need of prayer and discuss if they have any needs we can help fulfill.
The Deacons Fund, supported by your donations on the first Sunday of each month, is used to cover the expenses of worship supplies and communion elements along with the less-formal “elements” of coffee and donuts for our fellowship time. We also purchase the copies of the Upper Room devotional available to everyone for daily devotional reading. Following is a summary of how the Deacons Fund was used in 2019:
|Deacons Account 2019||Expenses for the year included|
|Starting Balance||$554.50||Upper Room||$276.00|
|Income||$570.84||Coffee & Donuts||$150.00|
Our congregation is growing – both in numbers and activity – and the energy is palpable. As we continue to grow in this New Year, may we all have the strength to endure the challenges and “growing pains,” the wisdom to be able to discern the best direction forward, the courage to step out and take action where we are needed, and the love to share with our congregation and our community.
May the love and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be yours, and with your family and friends, throughout the coming year.
~ Jim Fennell, for the Oldtown Deacons