Deacons’ Message, April 2023

Six years ago, when I was invited to join the Board of Deacons, I readily agreed. Not only was I eager to help the Pastor minister to the Congregation and plan for worship, but I was searching for a way to enrich my own spiritual life. Joining a dedicated group of people who were already Deacons seemed like a good way to begin. To be completely forthcoming, being responsible for preparing for and helping to serve Communion was something I had longed to do since I was a little girl in a Catholic parish where only Altar Boys were allowed that privilege.

Now, six years later, my two terms of service under the leadership of two extraordinary ministers – Pastor Diane Monte-Catania and Pastor John Nelson – are coming to an end. I find myself looking back at the many opportunities for service, friendship, community, learning, and personal and spiritual growth that these years have afforded me.

During my first few years, Karin Noyes chaired the Deacons. I quickly became a great admirer of her natural, authentic way of leading and engaging others. When we Deacons gathered monthly, it felt less like a meeting and more like a spiritual community of like-minded souls – often with different points of view – but always coming together with care and respect in the service of the Pastor, the Congregation, each other and – of course – the Spirit.

Initially there were twelve of us, all seated around the Communion Table in the Meeting House. We are Apostles of sorts, I suppose. I found myself eagerly looking forward to our practice of taking turns opening our meetings with a spiritual reflection whether it might be a Bible passage, a poem or a bit of inspiring prose. After discussing and determining how best to take care of our responsibilities for the coming month, our time together would culminate with Communion and/or a Pastoral Prayer. It was a peaceful way to go out into the world prepared to meet the unexpected.

In recent years of course, the Pandemic forced us to meet remotely, which is never quite the same as meeting in person. But it is remarkable just how connected we all still feel – even on Zoom. The sense of oneness that we experience at the end of each Deacons’ meeting may be best expressed in the final verses of the long poem of thanksgiving offered daily by the Haudenosaunee peoples:

“……For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds together as one and send our choicest words of greeting and thanks to the Creator…. We now arrive at the place where we end our words. Of all the things we have named, it is not our attention to leave anything out. If something was forgotten, we leave it to each individual to send such greetings and thanks in their own way. And now our minds are one.” (Braiding Sweetgrass, p. 113)

I am thankful for the time, energy, dedication, love and sense of unity that my fellow Deacons share and give so abundantly. I leave this experience much strengthened and renewed in wisdom and faith.

Won’t you please consider joining the Board of Deacons? You’ll receive far more than you can ever give.

Lorna Duphiney Edmundson, Chair Board of Deacons
April 1, 2023


One thought on “Deacons’ Message, April 2023

  1. Karin Noyes says:

    Beautiful piece, Lorna. I treasured our time together as deacons. Thank you for leading this group through the last few years.

Comments are closed.