Petition 80476

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Deacon Responsibilities (80476-MH-¶328)

Amend ¶328: “Deacons give leadership in the Church’s life: in the teaching and proclamation of the Word; in worship, and in  assisting the elders in the administration of the administering of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper; in forming and nurturing disciples; in conducting marriages and burying the dead; in the congregation’s mission to the world; and in leading the congregation in interpreting the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world.”
  
Amend ¶329.1: “Deacons are persons called by God, authorized by the Church, and ordained by a bishop to a lifetime ministry of Word, Sacrament, and Service to both the community and the congregation in a ministry that connects the two.”
  
Amend all other passages of The Book of Discipline which refers to the ministries to which Deacons are ordained.
  
    As deacons are called and ordained to connect the church with the “most needy, neglected, and marginalized among the children of God,” and it is the duty of the church to administer the sacraments, deacons should fulfill the role of the “divinely called” to administer the sacraments to all God’s children.  
(¶ 328, Preamble of Constitution, The Book of Discipline)

Rationale

The Church must extend the gifts of the table beyond its walls, using all available means of grace to offer Christ for the transformation of the world. Utilizing distinct and specialized gifts ‘in the world’, deacons meet emerging needs, serving in appointments beyond the local church, not unlike elders in...