About the Diaconate and Discernment

The Diaconate

The diaconate is a distinctive order of ministry dating from the earliest days of the church. Deacons are ordained to personify, sacramentalize, and encourage the ministries of witness, justice, and compassionate action to which all Christians are called in baptism. At ordination, a deacon is charged to "serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely ... to interpret to the church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world ... to make Christ and his redemptive love known by your word and example ... and to show Christ's people that in serving the helpless they are serving Christ himself. " (Book of Common Prayer, Page 543)

The Episcopal Church has experienced a renewal and revitalizing of the diaconate over the past 50 years. There are now nearly 3,000 deacons engaged in a wide array of ministries and leadership roles.