Members of the Niagara Diocese’s College of Deacons had a wonderful opportunity to meet with our counterparts in the Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches. We gathered in the parish hall of St Andrew’s Anglican Church in Grimsby, where we were welcomed by our Director, Deacon Jean Ruttan-Yates.
Following opening worship lead by Deacon Lorenzo Cromwell, Deacons Rod McDowell and George Newman led us through a review of the formation journey for deacons in the Anglican and Roman Catholic dioceses. Although there are many similarities in the journey, it is interesting to note how the process differs. We found many similarities in the various ministries that each deacon present described, and picked up some new ideas from the work of our colleagues.
Deacon Janice Maloney-Brooks spoke about the Anglican ministry to seafarers on ships that visit Hamilton Harbour, and Deacon Mike Timmins shared his experiences with the ships that pass through the Welland Canal. Deacon Paul Bates focused on Leadership in the Workplace, and Deacon Maurice Prindville described aspects his ministry among the street people in the Niagara region. Deacon Nina Page spoke to her ministry to the bereaved in Halton region. Perhaps the most eye-opening presentation was given by Deacon Guenther Eyer, who works in prison ministry. Each speaker had 15 minutes to present, and the 15 minute question and answer time was often lively and impactful. The closing worship conducted by Deacon Guenther Eyer.
The day of fellowship would not have been complete without the delicious meal prepared and served by the ladies of St Andrews. Our thanks to them, and to Deacons McDowell and Newman who arranged the program. At the end of the day all agreed that this venture should be held again, and that we continue to share our common passions and the news of our ventures as we follow Jesus in the communities we serve.
Rev Deacon Nancy McBride, St Paul’s Anglican Church (Caledonia)