Newly Ordained Deacon of the Uniting Church in Australia

In late November, 2021, Rev Chelsea Size was ordained a Deacon for the Uniting Church in Australia. She tells me that her lifelong call to ministry started a long time before her specific formation for ordination within this church. It all began in her childhood, in a quiet rural town in South Australia. Her familyContinue reading “Newly Ordained Deacon of the Uniting Church in Australia”

The Blood of the Street

Tom’s* Mum was dying, thousands of kilometers away, and he didn’t know what to do. Tom was not religious but he did know someone who was. Peter Presdee, a Catholic Deacon and Chaplain, had passed him in the prison where he worked as an officer. Peter would say hello and have a yarn. And heContinue reading “The Blood of the Street”

Deacon Gary Stokes – Just Amazing

Deacon Gary Stokes was called to the hospital one day to visit a man on the point of death. He had experienced it before; people ask what is ahead and it frightens the heck out of them. But this time was significant. He had very recently baptised the man’s children and soon after that, theContinue reading “Deacon Gary Stokes – Just Amazing”

Liturgy on the Margins

Australian Diaconal Ministry, Present and Future Once upon an outback prison, there was a need. A yearning for spiritual support and motivation. And there were not enough ministers to provide it. But one day, the appeal from the bishop and priest chaplain received a response, and a volunteer started to visit one of the units.Continue reading “Liturgy on the Margins”

What is Diaconal Ministry?

This is a question that has much exercised my pondering neurons of late. There doesn’t seem to be a simple or universally-agreed answer. I’m bearing in mind that the current model of the ministry has only existed in the Roman Catholic Church since Vatican II in the 1960s, so it is still in the earlyContinue reading “What is Diaconal Ministry?”

About Women in the Diaconate

There is a long history of women in the diaconate, starting with St Phoebe, named in Romans 16:1-2. A verse in 1 Timothy 3:11 also refers to the qualifications of women deacons.1 At the time, all ministries in the church were in development, and there were no clear structures or offices, such as the bishop/priest/deaconContinue reading “About Women in the Diaconate”

Deacon Gary Stone – A Force of Compassion

Gary is a Brisbane-based deacon who has served as an army and police chaplain, and then established Veterans Care: “holistic care of body, mind and soul”. He set a time to contact me with military precision: 0900 hours, if you please. However, on talking to him, I found that he has calibrated his sharp sensesContinue reading “Deacon Gary Stone – A Force of Compassion”