We now intend to reopen diaconal discernment in the diocese. The following notes are meant to display the distinctiveness of the diaconal order as it is worked out in a practical way. We are making progress in finding examples of this understanding, e.g. among those with PTSD, the homeless, the incarcerated, etc.
- Deacons have, first of all, responsibility to be servants to those in greatest need, to encourage others to serve them too, and so to be a model for Church which imitates its Lord in His lowliness. Deacons should demonstrably serve the least and the lost.
- Deacons in addition have responsibilities in the liturgy, teaching, and in pastoral care.
- Deacons in our polity also have a share in the councils of the Church. For this reason, they need a theological education preparing them for this ministry. For this reason, diaconal candidates complete the new, streamlined, two-year Stanton diploma, followed by a one-year, online, ATS accredited diploma program through Wycliffe, Trinity in Ambridge, PA or an equivalent program.
- Diaconal candidates will need to complete these requirements with enough time and energy for them to fulfill their ministry.
- Deacons should have a faith consistent with our Prayer Book tradition as defined in our pathways documents. Prospective deacons should consult this document in all its details.
- Deacons should understand themselves as serving according to the direction and placement of the bishop.
The Rt. Rev. George R. Sumner
Bishop, Diocese of Dallas