Dear Church Family,
A couple of months ago in September of this year, we began the second of three phases of our plan to work toward becoming an established (or particular church) with our own local body of elder. We’re calling this second phase, “Building Infrastructure.” A volunteer survey was distributed and collected. If you’d like to read what I wrote about this second phase at the time, you may do so here.
The information received through the volunteer survey will be helpful as we move forward. Our first action was having a meeting of those interested in helping set-up for worship at our rented facility. We now have a working plan for volunteers to sign-up and serve on a monthly basis in this capacity. If you didn’t sign-up, but are interested, to serve – or to just learn more about what this entails – please let me know.
Deac Committee Concept
Our next service committee which we will begin to implement is something that I’m calling the “Deac Committee,” where ‘Deac’ is short for ‘deacon.’ We are working toward particularization which entails the training and ordaining of qualified men in our congregation in the offices of elder and deacon; however, until we reach that goal, there are still needs that need to be met. Additionally, this Deac Committee will be a helpful way for members of the church to discern and use their gifts as they are able.
So, what’s the Deac Committee about, you ask? Well, it might help to begin by thinking about what deacons in the church do. The office of deacon is one of both service (meeting the physical needs of individuals, as well as the church in general) and leadership (developing the grace of liberality in the members of the church). Typically, the deacons in the church are responsible for three areas: mercy ministry, finances, and the physical property of the church.
We are still a “mission church” without our own building and without ordained officers. So, things will look a little different for our initial Deac Committee. Should the Lord bless us with ordained deacons at some point in the future, those serving on this committee would probably provide assistance and come under the supervision to the diaconate. At this point, the Deac Committee is open to any member or regular visitor of the church (man or woman, adult or youth) who is interested in meeting the physical needs of the church and other individuals.
Let’s Get Specific
The first organizational and planning meeting of the Deac Committee will be held on Tuesday, November 30th, 7:00-8:00 pm, at the Dietsch home. The work of the committee will most likely begin in the new year. Though these may evolve as we meet together, here are the priorities and some of my own personal ideas for the committee:
1. Cleaning out and eliminating the church’s storage rental space. This would include scheduling work-days, recruiting volunteers from the church, and organizing the re-storage, sale, donation, or recycling of the items currently in storage.
2. Home service projects for individuals in the church. I envision that the committee would coordinate and organize regular “deac days” where individuals in the church go to someone’s home and take care of a maintenance or repair project.
3. Community service projects. The Deac Committee may find ways for those in the congregation to serve those in need in our local community (e.g., soup kitchens, shelters, etc.).
4. Finances. The finances of the church are currently managed and overseen by the provisional session of elders; however, eventually this role would be taken up by the diaconate. So, if there are those who are able and willing to assist in managing the finances of the church, they would also be a part of this committee. (By the way, while the treasurer of a particular church is a deacon, sometimes the treasurer will supervise a bookkeeper – who is not an ordained deacon – to help manage the finances.)
While the office of deacon is restricted to qualified men in the congregation, our Book of Church Order makes a provision for the Session of the church to appoint godly men and women of the congregation to assist the deacons in their work (BCO 9-7). So, even if you don’t feel called to be a deacon – or are not qualified to pursue the office – there are still many areas in which you may serve, many areas in which you are needed.
If you’re interested in serving on the Deac Committee – or just want to investigate and learn more – join us for our first organizational and planning meeting on Tuesday, November 30th, 7:00-8:00 pm, at the Dietsch home. This first meeting will mostly be a discussion and Q&A about the work of the committee, and then scheduling our first official meeting in the new year to begin our work. If you have any questions, please let me know.
The Lord be with you!
– Pastor Peter M. Dietsch