Tomorrow, God willing and people consenting, I will be ordained as a deacon during our Sunday morning worship service at Church of the Redeemer at 10am at Western Guilford High School. We'd love for you to join us and afterwards we'll have a potluck lunch at Western from 11:30-12:30.
It's been a long journey to this point. Lots of meetings with the Bishop, meetings with our church discernment team, counseling, a psychological evaluation, Natalie was interviewed, and a 13 hour written exam, mostly essays, etc... I'm looking forward to tomorrow!
This won't change my job or role at Redeemer, but it is a significant time to receive a spiritual blessing and to be set apart for ministry. It's another step following the call God placed on my life as an 8th grader to serve a lifetime in vocational ministry.
In one of our discernment team meetings they asked me what was my understanding of the role of the deacon. I answered:
- To model the servant ministry of Christ
- To encourage and enable others to do ministry
- To assist in worship
- To interpret the needs of the community to the church
- To faithfully pray for the church, the community, and the world
- To faithfully study the Holy Scriptures
- To execute the vision of the Rector and Bishop
- To demonstrate the Gospel to the congregation and the community
You can read in Acts 6 about an ordination that happened in the early church.
You can read more about the qualifications of a deacon in 1 Timothy 3.
Below is the Diaconal Ordination service that comes out of the Book of Common Prayer. There are 3 main sections to the ordination: The Presentation, The Examination, and The Consecration.
Presenters (Pastors & Discernment team from COTR)
Quigg Lawrence, Bishop in the Church of God, on behalf of the clergy and people of the Diocese of PEAR-USA, we present to you ANDREW DOUGLAS HILL to be ordained a deacon in Christ's holy Church.
Has he been selected in accordance with the canons of this Church? And do you believe his manner of life to be suitable to the exercise of this ministry?
We certify to you that he has satisfied the requirements of the canons, and we believe him qualified for this order.
The Bishops say to the ordinand
Will you be loyal to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as this Church has received them? And will you, in accordance with the canons of this Church, obey your bishop and other ministers who may have authority over you and your work?
I am willing and ready to do so; and I solemnly declare that I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation; and I do solemnly engage to conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Church.
All stand. The Bishop says to the people
Dear friends in Christ, you know the importance of this ministry, and the weight of your responsibility in presenting ANDREW DOUGLAS HILL for ordination to the sacred order of deacons. Therefore if any of you know any impediment or crime because of which we should not proceed, come forward now, and make it known.
If no objection is made, the Bishop continues
Is it your will that Drew Hill be ordained a deacon? Will you uphold him in this ministry?
As a deacon in the Church, you are to study the Holy Scriptures, to seek nourishment from them, and to model your life upon them. You are to make Christ and his redemptive love known, by your word and example, to those among whom you live, and work, and worship. You are to interpret to the Church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world. You are to assist the bishop and priests in public worship and in the ministration of God's Word and Sacraments, and you are to carry out other duties assigned to you from time to time. At all times, your life and teaching are to show Christ's people that in serving the helpless they are serving Christ himself.
My brother, do you believe that you are truly called by God and his Church to the life and work of a deacon?
Answer I believe I am so called.
Bishop Do you now in the presence of the Church commit yourself to this trust and responsibility?
Answer I do.
Bishop Will you be guided by the pastoral direction and leadership of your bishop?
Answer I will.
Bishop Will you be faithful in prayer, and in the reading and study of the Holy Scriptures?
Answer I will.
Bishop Will you look for Christ in all others, being ready to heal and serve those in need?
Answer I will.
Bishop Will you do you best to pattern your life [and that of your family, or household, or community] in accordance with the teachings of Christ, so that you may be a wholesome example to all people?
Answer I will.
Bishop Will you in all things seek not your glory but the glory of the Lord Christ?
Answer I will.
Bishop May the Lord by his grace uphold you in the service he lays upon you.
The Bishop then says this Prayer of Consecration
O God, most merciful Father, we praise you for sending your Son Jesus Christ, who took on himself the form of a servant, and humbled himself, becoming obedient even to death on the cross. We praise you that you have highly exalted him, and made him Lord of all; and that, through him, we know that whoever would be great must be servant of all. We praise you for the many ministries in your Church, and for calling this your servant to the order of deacons.
Here the Bishop lays hands upon the head of the ordinand, and prays
Therefore, Father, through Jesus Christ your Son, give your Holy Spirit to Drew; fill him with grace and power, and make him a deacon in your Church.
The Bishop continues
Make him, O Lord, modest and humble, strong and constant, to observe the discipline of Christ. Let his life and teaching so reflect your commandments, that through him many may come to know you and love you. As your Son came not to be served but to serve, may this deacon share in Christ's service, and come to the unending glory of him who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.
The People in a loud voice respond Amen.
The new deacon is now vested according to the order of deacons.
The Bishop then gives a Bible to the newly ordained, saying
Receive this Bible as the sign of your authority to proclaim God's Word and to assist in the ministration of his holy Sacraments.