“If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things they need for the body, what good is that?”–James 2:15-16
The deacons are elected officers of the church who are passionate about carrying out Jesus’ mission by serving the needs of the congregational members and the community.
We do this through operating a monthly food bank, serving meals, facilitating Encouragement Ministries to church personnel, supporting the sick and needy, and meeting tangible needs within the congregation and surrounding neighborhoods.
What Is a Deacon?
The Christian life is a life marked by service and characterized by a love for others that is grounded in the love God has first shown us. Jesus Christ himself said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). While all Christians are called to demonstrate compassion for those in need and minister to those who are hurting, there also exists the specific office of deacon.
The EPC Book of Order defines the office this way:
“The office of Deacon as set forth in Scripture is one of compassion, concern for needs, and of serving others. Therefore, the first duty of the Deacon is sympathy and service. Historically, to this office has been given the duty of being the Church’s instrument for the ministry of compassion. Such duties may include the care, maintenance, and preparation of the church and its facilities. Since the Board of Deacons is not a court of the Church and since it is under the authority of the Church Session, to the Deacons both individually and collectively the Church Session may assign from time to time special duties felt to be appropriate to that office.” (G 10-7)
In short, deacons are elected and ordained officers called to ministries of service and compassion within the Church. However, “These offices are not indications of special pre-eminence by those who hold them, but rather indicate a call to service, to ministry to special discipleship and the evidencing of the fruit of the Spirit in every part of life.”
Serving at Bellefield
Deacons meet monthly and/or as needed to discern congregational and community needs. They work to ensure that those who are shut-in or hospitalized are visited regularly. They oversee our food pantry and monthly lunches, provide grief-counseling materials to those who lose loved ones, and many other similar acts. Deacons may assist the pastor in serving home Communion to our shut-ins, and are called to be models of integrity and commitment in their own worship attendance.