The United Methodist order of deacon represents the ever-evolving understanding of ordained ministry. But because of the continual changes, there is confusion about the call, roll, identity, and tasks of deacons. With vivid examples, this book gives a clear understanding of the order of deacon, beginning with a discussion of how its unique call sets apart persons for ordained ministry.
"All Things Deacon" is what The United Methodist Deacon: Ordained to Word, Service, Compassion, and Justice could be called. Every elder as well as deacon should have a copy in order to help people discern a call to the status of deacon, to know how to best deploy the gifts of a deacon, and to insure the rights as well as the responsibilities of a deacon. It answers questions regarding details as well as a general, biblical and theological understanding of the role of the deacon in our church today.
Resident Bishop, Northern Illinois Annual Conference, The United Methodist Church
As The United Methodist Church approaches 30 years of a permanent order of deacon, Margaret Ann Crain provides us with a lens through which we can see where we have been and where we are going. Dr. Crain shares the continuing maturation of our Churchs understanding of the Order of Deacon and helps us all realize the importance of the Order as we seek to make disciples of Jesus Christ who are transforming the world. She articulately draws for us the brave vision that was present in the 1996 General Conference and calls us to live into that vision, now clearly defined, of Word, Service, Justice, and Compassion.
-David A. Dodge,
Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church
The Rev. Dr. Margaret Ann Crain has both the heart of a deacon and a teacher. This book should be required reading for every bishop, district superintendent, elder, deacon, DCOM and BOM member, candidate, and theological school professor. It is biblically, historically, and theologically well-grounded, yet easy to read. It includes several "case studies" presented to make the case of the importance of deacons to the church and world. In one small book Dr. Crain presents the ministry of the United Methodist Deacon in the most forthright way to date.
Pfeiffer University; and Deacon, Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference
With a clear description of the identity and role of deacons and with compelling stories that represent the variety of ministries to which deacons are called, Margaret Ann Crain provides a hope-filled examination of the ministry of deacons in The United Methodist Church. It describes how deacons, who move between the church gathered and the church dispersed, can be a catalyst to "making disciples for the transformation of the world." It should be required reading for all United Methodists, especially those who are discerning a call to ordained ministry.
-Virginia A. Lee,
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois
This is a book for the future - a future in which many thousands of deacons serve church and world with a passion for servant ministry and a conviction of their distinct calling. Margaret Ann Crain describes this future with clarity and intelligence, giving the church a fresh and promising language for an office established in this form less than twenty years ago. This is not a handbook, yet anyone considering becoming a deacon, or anyone who has never considered it but wants to find a way to serve on behalf of God's people in the world, should read it. This is not a manifesto, yet anyone from lay persons to local pastors to elders will find here a compelling vision for the church's ministries. Rich with stories of deacons who are physicians, attorneys, musicians, educators, admissions officers, counselors and advocates for people in need, this book demonstrates that the work of the deacon is the work of the church.
-Thomas Edward Frank,
Wake Forest University
Margaret Ann Crain deftly brings together Bible, church history, legislative initiatives, with the stories of real people to help us see the gift and the opportunity we have to be more robust in our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. By casting a clarifying light on deacons, she illuminates all baptismal and representative ministry. I trust we have courage to walk in the light.
-Gregory Vaughn Palmer,
Resident Bishop, Ohio West Episcopal Area, The United Methodist Church
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