This year marks the 25th anniversary of General Conference’s vote for the Permanent Order of Deacon in The United Methodist Church. There have been deacons in the Church since its inception. Denominations have named and authorized them differently across the centuries. At the 1976 General Conference in Portland, Oregon, General Conference was not ready to have a fully ordained Order of Deacons and the compromise Order of Diaconal Ministry – a lay ministry – came into being. Twenty years later, the Permanent Deacon Order came into being. This is a much too short introduction to the history of the Order of Deacon. You can learn more by going to the Deacons Page at www.umoi.org/deacons.
There you will find representation of the way that the Oregon-Idaho Order of Deacons has been celebrating the anniversary. You can learn a lot and you can contribute to the ongoing ministry and history of the Deacon there. The Oregon-Idaho Order of Deacons is spiritually connected by its weekly prayers for each member of it, bi-annual spiritual days apart (pre-COVID), a writing ministry via cards and emails to support them and contributing to the annual conference in a myriad of ways. Following COVID-19 protocols, the Order has been meeting quarterly via zoom. Together, the Order chose ways to celebrate the anniversary, the results of which you can find on the webpage as follows:
- A fishbowl conversation about the call to Deacon ministry
- A power point presentation and Video that introduces the members of the Orders throughout the Greater Northwest Area
- A Resource Bibliography that can be used for research and reading; it can also receive additions as an ongoing source of information written by and for Deacons
- A series of blogs to which you are welcome to contribute and engage with Deacon Ben Hartley and others.
The current co-chairs of the Oregon-Idaho Order of Deacons are Patty Meyers and Jane Hill; Kay Barckley is the Chair of the PNW Conference Order. The Greater Northwest Area is blessed by remarkable persons engaged in the ministry of the Diaconate.