New Deacons Training
The Diocese of Ohio's new deacon training began this August. This three year training program is designed to have the students actively involved in the church and the community.
The students participating in the first Deacon Training are Daniel Hinde (Church of the Epiphany, Euclid), Steve Mockensturm (St. Andrew’s, Toledo), Barbara Telfer (St. Patrick’s, Brunswick), David McBee (St. Paul’s, Akron), and Marie Moore (St. James’, Wooster).
The first semester will focus on teaching the students to offer the ministry of presence to the Church. The following semester the students will begin engaging in the parish and/or mission area through outreach projects and mission work. During the second and third years, the students will implement a Ministry Project with the guidance of the Deacon training team, their priest supervisor, and the Commission on Ministry.
The Ministry Project is designed to inspire, equip, and empower. The project will be comprised of three phases. The student must determine the needs of the parish neighborhood, develop a ministry with parish leadership to address one of the needs, and lead parishioners in that ministry by modeling and training them to engage the poor and marginalized.
The students are expected to spend 18 hours per week training, including three and a half hours weekly spent in field work. Every week, attendance at a Sunday worship service at the student’s field work parish is also required. Each student will be assigned to a parish where a priest supervisor will assist in their training for the remaining two years. The placements will be Hinde at St. James', Painesville; McBee at Church of the Epiphany, Euclid; Mockensturm at Old Trinity, Tiffin; Telfer at Church of the Ascension, Lakewood; and Moore’s placement is to be determined. Students will also partake in six retreats, including one silent weekend retreat.
The Task Force on Deacon Training, a sub committee of the Commission on Ministry, is comprised of both lay people and deacons. The Task Force is chaired by the Rev. Vanessa Clark, the rector of St. James’ Church in Painesville. Also on the committee are the Rev. Lydia Bailey, Josh Butler, Linda Martin, Steve Sedgewick, and Mary Bowan. Sedgewick created the last deacon program.
This program is essential to help the Diocese of Ohio train deacons in ways that will be most beneifical to the parishes. As Bishop Hollingsworth says, we need deacons that make us get up out of our pews and live into our Baptismal Covenant.