How does a national organization engage, support, and equip its members in a hands-on, relevant, and meaningful way? Here at Diaconal Ministries Canada we do this through our incredible network of Diaconal Coaches (formerly known as Diaconal Ministry Developers, or DMDs for short). Our trained coaches are available to connect and meet with deacons and churches across Canada: to provide helpful resources and to provide training and workshops on how deacons can animate their churches to engage with communities, live stewardly, and promote mercy and justice.
Here’s one Diaconal Coach we’d like to brag about!
While many people believe a smile or song is the universal language, Lucinda Klapwyk believes it might in fact be coffee. Lucinda is one of 15 Diaconal Coaches that Diaconal Ministries Canada has stretched out across the country, ready and willing to serve deacons and equip them in the work that they do. On top of visiting Deacons formally at meetings and holding workshops, for the last 4+ years Lucinda, who works in Classis Alberta North, has ‘set up shop’ on the 2nd and 3rd Thursday of the month at two local cafes in Edmonton. One is held in the morning at the Carrot Cafe, a local, volunteer-run art gallery/community coffee shop, while the other is at a local Second Cup in the evening.
So what’s so great about these ‘coffee chats’? “I’ve had the privilege of connecting with Deacons informally over a coffee – to share what’s going on in their churches, their communities, or their own personal lives,” Lucinda shares. Some of her coffee chats have included Jesse Edgington from the Northern Alberta Diaconal Conference (NADC), guests from World Renew Disaster Relief, local pastors and church planters, members of the Edmonton Interfaith Housing group, Christian Labour Assoc. of Canada reps, and others. “It’s been amazing to hear how God is at work in a diversity of ways in our city and beyond and to see the diaconates of the Edmonton churches grow and blossom,” she reflects.
Not only do these gatherings support two local businesses, they also get deacons outside their church walls and into their community. Lucinda has had the privilege of facilitating collaboration and cross-pollination between organizations, churches, deacons, and pastors. One cool story Lucinda recalled was her introduction of a local church planter and a local pastor who are now partnering in ministry together!
It’s clear to see that Lucinda’s consistent ‘ministry of presence’ has helped build trust and rapport with the churches she serves. When Lucinda began her work as a Diaconal Coach over 9 years ago, she would contact each church in her region to offer support and training. “Now almost all of the churches I serve reach out to me with questions and to seek help!” she muses. As Lucinda plans for future coffee chats, one idea she has is to incorporate field trips, visiting a local agency, like the Edmonton Native Healing Centre – to see what they do, how churches can help/partner, and more.
Through their experience in diaconal work and their love for God and His people, our Diaconal Coaches are making a difference in countless ways as they encourage and equip deacons and churches across Canada.
Diaconal Ministries Canada has approximately 1 Diaconal Coach per Classis across Canada. Through their experience in diaconal work and their love for God and His people, they are making a difference in countless ways as they encourage and equip deacons and churches. Find out more HERE.