It’s January! And that means it’s time for a look back at last year in the form of top ten lists. But since last year was such a unique year AND because here at Diaconal Ministries we like to do things just a little bit differently, we are presenting our Top 11 Blog Posts of 2020. Here goes:
1. Top 10 Ways Deacons Can Help during Covid (April 2020) by Erin Knight
Not surprising, this was our top pick for 2020. This article, posted early on the pandemic, was viewed 378 times! It contains practical help and specific reminders for deacons to continue to bless and serve their congregations and communities DESPITE the ongoing challenges.
2. Spreading like Wildfire (April 2020) by Ron Vanden Brink
This message from our National Director was published on April 1st, 2020, to help remind deacons that while most of our conversations, meetings, newsfeeds and social media messages were related to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, something else was spreading: HOPE and LOVE and GRACE. Deacons were reminded of their unique opportunity to help these things spread even more quickly.
3. Meet our First Youth Justice Partner (July 2020) by Erin Knight
We were so excited to share about our first ever Youth Justice partner, and clearly you were just as excited to read about it! Unity Christian School in Chilliwack, BC, was our first recipient of grant money and coaching through our revamped NewGround program (formerly Operation Manna). They used the money to do a variety of creation care projects in and around the school!
4. Breaking News During Covid-19 (April 2020, updated regularly) by Erin Knight
This was an ongoing blog post that curated a variety of good news stories from churches all across Canada who were showing and sharing Christ’s love during Covid-19. Go now and see if YOUR church is listed there! (If not, we’ll add your great story!)
5. What Deacons Need to Know about Re-opening, Part 1 – Sunday Worship During a Pandemic (August 2020) by Erin Knight
When churches began talking about re-opening for worship, WE WERE ON IT! We wanted deacons and church leaders to be equipped and encouraged in their decision-making and processes. This 2-part series looked at what deacons need to know about reopening, what conversations they should be having, and other considerations they should make.
6. If We Build It, They Will Come…? (May 2020) by Karla Winham
Maybe it was the snazzy title, or maybe it was the timely reminder to diaconates to not sit back and wait for people to ask for help. In this article, Karla gently reminded churches and deacons to join the people who were actively loving their neighbours for weeks now (hint: collaborate with other community agencies and groups!).
7. A Message from the National Director (June 2020) by Ron Vanden Brink
On top of the global pandemic, in the middle of summer we were also reminded of another ‘pandemic’ that has raged for centuries – racism. Events in the United States once again raised our awareness of its existence there, but we were reminded that racism exists in Canada as well.
8. Being Good Neighbours During Covid-19 (June 2020) by Erin Knight
We were so pleased to share the story of Maranatha CRC in Lethbridge, AB. They wanted to find a safe and fun way to reach out to their community to show them that the church was still active and cared about them. They created weekly “Neighbour-to-Neighbour” kits to hand out to children in their community!
9. Spread Love… Wherever and However You Can (April 2020) by Samantha Bondy
We were excited to have staff member Samantha Bondy share how her family was challenged to show love during the pandemic, and especially during the early days of the first lockdown.
10. Leaving a Legacy of Leadership and Love (July 2020) by Erin Knight
While we regretted having to write this article on the retirement of longtime staff member, Tammy Heidbuurt, we were delighted to see so many of you take a moment to read about her time at Diaconal Ministries. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s a must-read!
11. What Deacons Need to Know about Reopening, Part 2 – Ministry in a Post-Covid World (August 2020) by Erin Knight
We were pleased to see many also read our 2nd part in this series as a new ministry season came upon them in September. While many deacons and churches were facing a lot of ‘firsts’, we wanted to help them navigate the next few months BEFORE their ministries and activities resumed and went “back to normal”.
We just had to include one more article. One Door Closes, Another Door Opens with help of Covid Grant (October 2020) by Dan Galenkamp is definitely worth a mention.
One of the great outcomes of 2020 was a partnership between Diaconal Ministries Canada and World Renew Canada to offer Covid-19 Grants to churches who longed to serve in and with their communities but lacked the resources. Here was a story from The Bridge Church in Fergus, ON, on how they used their funds to resurrect a weekly community meal.
We are grateful to our story writers but more importantly, to the deacons and churches that have shared their stories with us over the past year (and years). Keep ‘em coming!
And in case you were interested, here are the top searches/pages you viewed on our website.
As always, if there is anything you would like to see on our website, let us know. We’re here to serve :).
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[image by Photo Mix from Pixabay]