We are pleased to announce that a retreat guide for our Deacon Candidates has been published. Developed by candidate John Roop of Apostles Anglican Church, Knoxville, Tennessee, this guide helps our deacons prepare for ordained ministry. We require candidates to take 1-2 days away for a personal retreat. This guide will help support that.
It will also be helpful to anyone preparing for any new ministry. Please feel free to use it and pass it along.
Here is an excerpt from the guide:
The process of diaconal formation – from the initial stirrings of the call to vocational ministry, to the communal discernment process with priest, parish committee, canon, and bishop, to the required psychological evaluation, gifts assessment, and theological examination – is one extended act of reflection, a vocational examen. The diaconal retreat invites the candidate to a different mode of reflection. Until this moment, reflection has focused on questions: Am I called to vocational ministry? Will the church – laity and clergy – recognize, affirm, and support this call? Am I adequately prepared for diaconal ministry?
Now, the candidate is invited to reflect on this great wonder: that the single answer to each of these question is yes. It is time to reflect not
on the questions, but on God’s gracious answer. Yes, you are called to ordained ministry. Yes, the laity and clergy, from the parish priest to the diocesan bishop, have recognized and affirmed your call and have pledged prayerful support of your ministry. Yes, even with all the flaws and weaknesses of our common humanity, by the grace of the Holy Spirit you are prepared for diaconal ministry, and that not of yourself; it is a gift of God, by grace through faith, lest you should boast. Reflect on these
The diaconal retreat also invites the candidate to reflect on imminent ordination and ministry, to look forward through Scripture, prayer, liturgy, and imagination.