Diaconal Ministries Canada provides many resources for deacons in the Christian Reformed Church. At the very top of the resource list are the Diaconal Ministry Developers (DMDs). These passionate and creative individuals are encouragers and coaches for deacons. They are experienced in diaconal work and are available to help deacons understand their role and work out their calling in the church and its community.
But even equippers need equipping. And encouragers need encouraging. So Diaconal Ministries Canada gathers the DMDs together for a time of mutual encouragement, sharing, learning, and equipping. Recently, the gathering was held in Abbotsford, British Columbia, and what follows are some of the highlights of that gathering.
We began our mornings with worship, praising our Father, giving thanks to Jesus and praying the power and presence of the Spirit in our gathering and in our work. One DMD wrote that there was a “great feeling of the presence of God at our gathering.”
We spent time sharing, learning and discussing (in sometimes new and interesting ways). Our conversations touched on justice in the CRC, the office of deacon, and many other experiences and ideas. One DMD wrote that “it was good….to participate in discussions with people whom I admire and trust, and who share many of my passions.”
We drove into Vancouver to learn about poverty, homelessness and addiction from staff of Union Gospel Mission and a former resident (Dave, centre of photo, left). One DMD wrote that “Dave’s testimony was a highlight for me. Just shows what can happen when God’s grace invades a life.”
We also visited Studio Works, an Operation Manna partner in Vancouver. We met Shelimar, the potter in residence, and learned about how artists together “explore artistic expression and entrepreneurship as a pathway to lasting change.” (from the Studio Works website)
On Saturday morning, Pastor Wilma Van Der Leek (of the BC Leadership Development Network) led us through the book of Timothy as a pattern for diaconal leadership. One DMD wrote that “Wilma did an excellent job of making the Bible practical for deacons. This was a highlight for me.”