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Deaconesses & Home Missioners

Deaconess & Home Missioner Discernment and Formation Retreat

September 9-11, 2010

A retreat for persons of all ages who are discerning a calling to a ministry of love, justice and service as laity with the Office of Deaconess and Home Missioner or in the early stages of candidacy / discernment for licensed local pastor, ordained deacon or elder.

The second Joint Discernment and Formation Retreat co-sponsored by the General Board of Global Ministries and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry will be held September 9-11, 2010, at Scarritt-Bennett Center* in Nashville, Tenn.

The objectives of the retreat are to help people discern the will of God for their lives, especially those who are seeking to respond to a call of full-time ministry on behalf of the United Methodist Church; and to provide information to assist in the preparation and formation for set-apart lay, licensed or ordained ministry on behalf of the church.

The retreat is for women and men of all ages who are discerning a calling as laity to ministries of love, justice and service with the Office of Deaconess and Home Missioner or for those in the early stages of candidacy / discernment for licensed local pastor, ordained deacon or elder. Distinctions among these ministries will be presented. Worship, workshops, conversation, Bible study, individual reflection and small group work will be sprinkled throughout the weekend in a quiet and reflective retreat setting.

Ministry Descriptions

The descriptions of various ministries that will be the focus of this weekend are listed below. We hope all will be open to listening, sharing, discerning, learning and exploring with other participants, leaders and presenters, and/or any of the design team members.

Deaconesses (laywomen) and Home Missioners (laymen) are called by God to a lifetime relationship in servant ministries with those who are marginalized and in need in the world today. They are commissioned by a bishop of The United Methodist Church through the General Board of Global Ministries to full-time ministries of love, justice and service in a helping profession or church related vocation.

Deacons are ordained by a bishop to a lifetime ministry of Word and Service to both the community and the congregation in a ministry that connects the two. Deacons exemplify Christian discipleship and create opportunities for others to enter into discipleship. In the world, the deacon seeks to express a ministry of compassion and justice, assisting laypersons as they claim their own ministry. In the congregation, the ministry of the deacon is to teach and to form disciples, and to lead worship together with other ordained and laypersons.

Elders are ordained by a bishop to a lifetime ministry of Word, Sacrament, Order, and Service. By the authority given in their ordination, they are authorized to preach and teach the Word of God, to provide pastoral care and counsel, to administer the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, and to order the life of the Church for service in mission and ministry.

Chaplains and pastoral counselors are elders or deacons who engage in ministries of pastoral care in specialized settings. Endorsed chaplains and pastoral counselors are appointed to prisons, hospitals, the armed forces, and counseling centers where they serve people in difficult places outside the local church. In more than 16 different civilian settings and in all areas of the military, chaplains and pastoral counselors care for those who are hurting physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Local pastors are clergy who are not ordained as elders or deacons but who are licensed for pastoral ministry and are appointed by a bishop to preach and conduct worship and perform the duties of a pastor including the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion as well as the service of marriage, burial, confirmation, and membership reception within and while appointed to a particular charge or extension ministry. They are approved annually for continued licensing and appointment; a continuing appointment is not guaranteed. 

* Scarritt-Bennett Center is a conference, retreat, and education center committed to empowerment through cross-cultural understanding, education, creativity and spiritual renewal. 

Last Updated: 06/08/2010
 
 

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