From the Maine Episcopal Network for Justice...
Immigration Advocacy Resources for Episcopalians
Below are resources and links from the January 2017 webinar sponsored by the Episcopal Public Policy Network and Episcopal Migration Ministries.
Join Episcopal Public Policy Network: http://advocacy.episcopalchurch.org/home
Know Your Rights: https://www.informedimmigrant.com/
Immigration Advocacy Webinar Recording:
Resources for Action:
Call your to elected officials (sample script & number): http://www.interfaithimmigration.org/protectsanctuary/
Hold a vigil or press event https://docs.google.com/document/d/ 1eXNsf8rX4CqW1qHCsltIKYciYXwRBV-z2FHB1yXF77k/edit?usp=sharing
Apply for United Thank Offering Grant http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/uto-grants
Report Hate: https://www.splcenter.org/reporthate
Resources for Learning:
Policy for Action (all Episcopal Church policies) http://cqrcengage.com/episcopal/file/ PocEWf9Lpbg/OGR%20Policy%20for%20Action%202016.pdf
Interfaith Immigration Coalition: http://www.interfaithimmigration.org/
Organizations to Connect With:
United We Dream http://unitedwedream.org/
National Immigration Law Center https://www.nilc.org/
National Farm Worker Ministry http://nfwm.org/
Episcopal Farmworker Ministry https://episcopalfarmworkerministry.org/
PICO National Network http://www.piconetwork.org/
Episcopal Sacred Resistance-Los Angeles on Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/groups/1151723051532022/
Take action to support refugees:
Sign a petition http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/do-not-stop-refugee-resettle
Call members of Congress http://www.interfaithimmigration.org/supportrefugees/
Learn more about refugee resettlement http://advocacy.episcopalchurch.org/RefugeeAdvocacy
Learn more about Episcopal Migration Ministries http://www.episcopalmigrationministries.org/
Stay in touch:
Episcopal Public Policy Network Social Media:
Follow #FightForFamilies #RefugeesWelcome #SupportRefugees #NoBanNoWall #AmericanStories
Liturgical Duties of a Deacon
by the Rt. Rev. Stephen T. Lane, Bishop of Maine
Deacons have specific liturgical responsibilities in the worship of the Episcopal Church that are intended to reflect their role as servants of Christ. These duties include taking the Good News of God’s love to the world (proclaiming the Gospel), bringing the concerns of the world into the church (working with others on the prayers of the people), modeling servanthood (preparing the table) and sending the people of God out to serve the world (proclaiming the dismissal). Ideally, each of these liturgical duties is matched by real world and congregational ministries.
From the ordinal: “Your are to interpret to the Church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world. You are to assist the bishop and priests in public worship and the ministration of God’s Word and Sacraments...” The ordination service suggests that the primary liturgical responsibilities of the deacon are proclamation of the Gospel and prayer. The deacon assists with the preaching and the sacraments.
Leading Worship: Deacons are frequently invited in a variety of settings to lead the servants of Christ in prayer. This may be at a ministry site or with a gathering of congregants. Familiarity with the prayer services of the BCP is very helpful. Deacons may also lead Morning Prayer under the direction of the priest-in-charge. If Morning Prayer is offered regularly, licensed lay ministers should share this ministry. Deacons may preach on an occasional or regular basis.
Deacons may assist in the administration of the consecrated elements in worship. They may also take the consecrated elements to the sick and shut-in. With the Bishop’s permission and as a matter of missionary strategy, deacons may administer communion from the reserved sacrament when “the services of a priest cannot be obtained.” (BCP, 408) With the bishop’s permission, in consultation with the priest-in-charge and as a matter of pastoral judgment, deacons may officiate at weddings and burials.
Concerning blessings and anointing: Deacons may not offer God’s blessing to the people or pronounce the forgiveness of sins. Deacons may pray over people and assure them that they are loved and blessed by God.
The operational distinction regarding blessings is found in the words that are used. The priest speaks directly on behalf of God. (“The blessing of God... be upon you.” “Almighty God have mercy on you...”) In contrast, the deacon speaks of our hope. (May Almighty God grant us forgiveness...” “Almighty God have mercy on us...” “May God bless us and keep us...”) Blessings for persons at the communion rail are to be administered by the priest.
Although anointing of the sick is primarily reserved to priests, in times of necessity a deacon may anoint (BCP 455-56), particularly in their servanthood ministries outside the church. Such anointing may be of particular concern to deacons who are hospital chaplains, hospice chaplains, nursing home chaplains, even prison chaplains.
Warning signs of the blurring or confusion of liturgical roles:
1. Liturgical duties are listed first in the deacons’ letter of agreement.
2. Deacons are expected to lead services at their assigned church on a regular basis, except as a matter of missionary strategy approved by the bishop.
3. The priest-in-charge proposes communion from the reserved sacrament rather than securing a supply priest for vacations or other absences from the parish.
4. The deacon’s liturgical duties take time away from the deacon’s servanthood ministries.
Communications in the Episcopal Diocese of Maine
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The Role of the Deacon
by the Rt. Rev. Stephen T. Lane, Bishop of Maine
The diaconate is a full and equal order in the church. Its purpose is to help the body of Christ grasp the fullness of Christ’s ministry. As the church moves from an “operational” mode of life to a “missional” mode of life, deacons will play a crucial role.
From the ordinal: “...God now calls you to a special ministry of servanthood directly under your bishop. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are to serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely... You are to make Christ and his redemptive love known, by your word and example, to those among whom you live, and work, and worship... At all times, your life and teaching are to show Christ’s people that in serving the helpless they are serving Christ himself.
” The central concept of the diaconate is “servanthood.” Deacons are to model servanthood, by their word and example, and they are to call Christ’s people to their own servanthood in Christ’s name. Deacons are to remind us to seek and serve Christ among all people. They are the icon of Christ’s service to us and to all creation.
Such an understanding means the primary functions of deacons are to exercise their own ministries of servanthood and to recruit and train the people of God for theirs. Deacons are examples and models of servanthood. Deacons are discerners, recruiters, trainers, organizers, exhorters and pray-ers for the servanthood the baptized.
Relationship with the Bishop: Deacons serve at the direction of the bishop and the agreement of the local priest-in-charge. Normally, deacons work in their home communities, but for good cause or missionary strategy may be moved. A letter of agreement between deacon, bishop and priest helps keep expectations, roles and time commitments clear. When a new priest arrives in the parish, all parties will work hard to establish a good working relationship and will re-draft the letter of agreement.
Pastoral care: While all Christian ministries are pastoral, i.e., they are done out of love and in response to the care we have received from our loving shepherd, the role of a deacon is not primarily pastoral - at least not within the congregation. Care for the sick in the community at large or in institutions is an honorable diaconal ministry. But care for the congregation is the responsibility of the priest-in-charge. Neither is the deacon charged with the administration of the congregation. Canon law specifically prohibits it. Administration of servanthood ministries may properly fall to the deacon. The role of the deacon in worship is to incarnate the servanthood of Christ, to represent the concerns of the world, and to assist the priest.
Warning signs of role blurring or confusion in the congregation:
1. The deacon is put in charge of pastoral care or of the pastoral visitors. The deacon might properly train and organize such persons.
2. The deacon is put in charge of worship services.
The deacon may well train lectors, organize the prayers of the people, assist in the administration of the sacraments. The deacon may also lead non-eucharistic services as part of a worship team and as part of a missionary strategy authorized by the bishop. The deacon may preach on an occasional or regular basis.
3. The deacon’s congregational duties detract from and compete with the deacon’s ministry in the community: the deacon is to make Christ known by word and example. Actions speak louder than words. The deacon’s words in the congregation should grow out of the experience of hands-on work in the community.