They dress and look like their neighbors. But within their human appearance, deacons are empowered by the Holy Spirit to help transform the world into the realm of God.
They are more than meets the eye.
The Rev. Nick Nicholas never tires of seeing the result of combining his love of ministry and a passion for justice.
“You just know you’ve done something right when God, through the Holy Spirit, opens a person’s eyes to see things they ordinarily would not see,” he says.
Nick is a deacon residing in Philadelphia who serves as coordinator of United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (VIM) in the Northeastern Jurisdiction. His secondary appointment is with at Arch Street United Methodist Church.
A number of other deacons are featured in this issue, which focuses on ministry in the United Methodist Church. It shows the breadth of ministry leadership that deacons provide.
Dr. Margaret Ann Crain speaks in another article in that issue about the ways deacons lead United Methodists in the denominational mission of transforming the world:
“One of the gifts of the order of deacon is that they have permission to stay focused on the ministry of all Christians and the transformation of the world,” says the Rev. Margaret Ann Crain, professor emeritus of Christian education at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and author of The United Methodist Deacon (Abingdon, 2014). “Because deacons are not focused on ordering the church, they have the freedom to focus elsewhere, specifically on the transformation of the world—or, to put it another way, to participate in bringing to fruition the reign of God. Deacons are always looking for opportunities to connect resources and people to needs in the wounded creation.”
Check out the issue and consider ordering extra copies for your ministry of helping people discern their ministry callings (whether those are lay or clergy callings).