From maintenance to ministry : signs of renewal in the offices of deacon and elder

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Betty Voskuil


Winds of change are blowing through the offices of deacon and elder in the Reformed Church in America, providing a breath of new life for these centuriesold offices. Consequently, by the power of the Holy Spirit, deacons and elders are helping revitalize and refresh their congregations as well.

The backdrop for this reinvigoration was provided by the actions taken by two General Synods of the Reformed Church in America. The 1988 General Synod accepted the recommendation of the Committee on Ecclesiastical Office and Ministry to expand and clarify the description of the role of deacon in the Reformed Church in America by adding the following phrases to the Book of Church Order, chapter 1, part I, article 1, section 10. "The office of deacon is one of servanthood and service after the example of Christ. In the local church deacons are chosen members (of the local church) of spiritual commitment, exemplary life, compassionate spirit, and sound judgment, who are set apart for a ministry of mercy, service, and outreach."

Article Details

Church officers -- History; Elders (Church officers); Deacons; Church officers; Clergy; Laity; Reformed Church in America -- Clergy; Reformed Church -- Clergy; Reformed Church orders; Church work; Pastoral theology