1. Definition of terms:

1.1 Inquirer: A person who is considering that he/she may be called to ordained ministry, wants to learn more about the discernment process, and wants to explore the willingness of the Parish/Congregation to support that process.

1.2 Candidate: A person, who can articulate a sense of call, has met with the Parish/Congregation leaders, the Bishop and has the permission and support of both the Bishop and the Parish/Congregation to formally enter the discernment and training process of the programme.

1.3 Postulant: A person who has completed, or nearly completed, the discernment and training process, has met with the Examining Chaplains, attended a Diocesan Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination (ACPO), met with the Bishop and has permission from the Bishop to proceed at some future date to ordination.

1.4 Ordinand: A person who has been through the programme, whom the Bishop has decided to ordain and who has written a covenant with his/her Parish/Congregation.

1.5 Deacon: A person who is ordained or received by the Diocese of Kootenay, whose discernment and training are recognized by the Diaconal Commission and affirmed by the Bishop.

1.6 Diaconal Commission: The Diaconal Commission advises the Bishop on the suitability of candidates for the Diaconate, in the Diocese of Kootenay.

1.7 Incumbent: An incumbent is a priest appointed by the Bishop to be responsible for a parish. A team ministry arrangement may include a missioner, who may carry out duties that this document assigns to the incumbent.

Deacons: Preliminary Requirements

  •  is baptised and a communicant member of the Anglican Church of Canada

  • is an active member of the worshipping community for a minimum of one year and has a significant level of maturity and stability

  • who demonstrates some ability to care for people, both individuals and in groups

  • has high moral and ethical standards

  • has the support of his/her spouse, fiance(e) or partner, if applicable

  • has a good reputation in the community and in the Parish

  • has the recommendation of her/his parish and Incumbent

  • has a mature spirituality and disciplined prayer life

  • has demonstrated some time of diakonia, particularly in the area of community work and/or social advocacy

  • has an understanding of the diaconate and of diaconal ministry

  • has an understanding of Baptismal ministry

  • has the potential for leadership

  • has a personal support system in place or a commitment to form one

  • is committed to the discernment process and has the time and resources necessary for the education requirement

  • is committed to, and has the capacity for, the training and education involved in the process

  • will have the time and resources necessary to carry out diaconal ministry

  • can articulate a sense of call

  • must provide the Diocese with a criminal record check

Deacons: Expectations

3.1 At the heart of the Diaconate is a Christian person whose ministry is within a servant community and living and proclaiming the Gospel in the world. The Deacon’s presence, bringing the needs, concerns and hopes of the world to the church, is a living reminder of the community’s call to servant hood. The community of Deacons is to enable the church to be justice makers, truth tellers, advocates and reconcilers in the world.

3.2 After training, education, and formation, and prior to ordination to the Diaconate in the Diocese of Kootenay the candidate will be expected to:

3.2.1 Have completed all the courses listed herein and all the steps in the discernment process.

3.2.2 Manifest a personal spirituality, which demonstrates an integration of body, mind, and spirit working towards wholeness. This spiritual maturity is not only demonstrated in regular participation in the liturgical life of the community, but also in an explicit commitment to spiritual growth, and a disciplined life of prayer. Deacons are encouraged to receive spiritual direction, if possible.

3.2.3 Have a commitment to develop a Discernment group who reports regularly to the Bishop and the Diaconal Commission. (See Appendix A)

3.2.4 Have a healthy attitude towards his/her own personal care, as well as a commitment to forming a support group, which meets regularly with the candidate for prayer, reflection and discussion of ministry, and self care. The support group will serve for one year after ordination. (See Appendix B)

3.2.5 It is possible that, depending on the size of the Parish, these groups will need to be combined. (See Appendix C)

3.2.6 Have an ability to reflect critically and creatively on his/her spiritual, theological and behavioural assumptions, as well as her/his own ministry practice.

3.2.7 Be able to demonstrate competency in the Scriptures and church history. In order to demonstrate that competency, the candidate must have:

  • a basic knowledge of the content of the Scriptures including the Apocrypha

  • the ability to set Scriptural texts in their historical context.

  • a familiarity with resources for scriptural exegesis.

  • a basic familiarity with the development of the Christian church in the West in general, and the Anglican Communion in particular.

  • a familiarity with the history and development of the Anglican Church in Canada.

3.2.8 Be able to demonstrate knowledge of Christian theology especially as it relates to baptismal and diaconal ministry, this will require:

  • a basic knowledge of the primary themes of Christian theology, i.e., the Trinity, the person and work of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, Christian hope, and the mission and ministry of the church.

  • an ability to clearly articulate a personal confession of faith.

  • an ability to interpret the baptismal covenant.

  • an ability to articulate a theology of the diaconate in relation to the ministry of all the baptized, and to the ministry of the ordained.

3.2.9 Be able to demonstrate a competency in the area of ethical decision-making. This will require:

  • a familiarity with theological processes of ethical decision-making.

  • an ability to relate the processes of ethical decision-making to ethical questions in the family, congregation, workplace, community, and society.

3.2.10 Be able to demonstrate a competency in Christian worship with a special focus on the deacon in the liturgy. This will require:

  • a familiarity with the structures and general history of Christian worship.

  • an understanding of and ability to exercise diaconal liturgical roles. an ability and commitment to involve and equip others in appropriate liturgical roles.

  • an ability to plan and lead services within the worship tradition of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Deacons: Discernment Process

 (Note: This process may need to be adjusted according to individual Parish needs. The Bishop and Diaconal Commission will help the Parish/Congregation make that determination.)

4.1.1 When a person is considering becoming a candidate, he or she will inform both the Incumbent and the Wardens. The Church Committee (Parish Council) will be informed of the request. If the Committee supports the application and wishes the process to continue, then the Committee agrees to support the individual in the following ways:

4.1.2 Inquirer discusses interest in the Diaconate with Incumbent.

4.1.3 Inquirer meets with Bishop, if Incumbent is supportive.

4.1.4 Bishop calls Diaconal Commission who will send an application form to inquirer. Diaconal Commission will also send a set of questions and guidelines for the formation of either two separate groups or one discernment/support group for the inquirer, to the Incumbent. (See Appendix A, B, and/or C)

4.1.5 Upon return of application, Diaconal Commission arranges to interview inquirer.

4.1.6 The Diaconal Commission will arrange for a psychological assessment of the inquirer. When the test results are returned the Diaconal Commission meets with the inquirer to discuss those results.

4.1.7 Commission writes report for Bishop, sends initial paperwork, and recommends whether or not inquirer ought to enter the programme, as a candidate.

4.1.8 The Incumbent and wardens meet with the Church Committee to obtain a commitment to form a discernment/support group for the candidate and a commitment to lead the Parish/Congregation through a training process on the role and function of a deacon.

4.1.9 The Incumbent and wardens will meet with candidate to clarify expectations of the programme, including formation of a discernment/support group(s), as well as the financial commitment of Parish/Congregation to candidate’s discernment and training process. Required financial support includes: 50% of required course fees (not including books), 50% accommodation if billets are not available, and 100% of fuel for travel  for candidate’s attendance at all required courses and interviews.

4.1.10 Candidate may begin the education segment of the programme at any point in this initial process.

4.1.11 Bishop meets with the Inquirer to discuss report from the Commission and then communicates the Episcopal decision, regarding entrance into the programme as a candidate, to the Diaconal Commission.

4.1.12 Diaconal Commission holds an education event in the Parish on the diaconate and diaconal ministries, including meeting with discernment/support group(s) to help clarify standards for working together.

4.1.13 Parish discernment/support group(s) meets regularly to:

  • evaluate their own readiness and to understand their task

  • to evaluate readiness of Parish/Congregation to receive a deacon

  • assess that the candidate is appropriate to be a deacon in the Parish/Congregation

  • determine how best to support the candidate

4.1.14 Parish discernment/support group(s), after the Parish/Congregational training, makes a written recommendation to the Diaconal Commission as to suitability of candidate, and readiness of Parish to have a deacon. The process will end at this point, if the candidate is deemed to be unsuitable or the Parish/Congregation is deemed to be unready.

4.1.15 Diaconal Commission reviews candidate’s completed application form and Parish/Congregation’s recommendation then forwards these completed forms, together with their own recommendation for Candidate’s continuing education needs, to the Bishop.

4.1.16 If all recommendations are positive, and the Bishop is willing, the candidate may formally enter the training programme.

4.1.17 Diaconal Commission sends a letter to the Bishop reporting on the candidate’s progress through the programme with evaluative comments.

4.1.18 Generally, after one year the candidate, upon the recommendation of the Bishop, is interviewed by the Examining Chaplains. This interview will primarily assess the candidate’s understanding of diaconal ministry and recommends, or not, attendance at a Diocesan Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination (ACPO).

4.1.19 If the above recommendation is positive, the candidate attends a Diocesan ACPO.

4.1.20 If the Diocesan ACPO says no, and the Bishop wishes to move forward with the ordination process for the candidate, the Bishop will write a letter to the Diaconal Commission and the Examining Chaplains stating reasons for allowing the candidate to move forward with the process.

4.1.21 After attending a Diocesan ACPO and upon the decision of the Bishop, the candidate becomes a postulant and may meet with the Examining Chaplains for a further interview.

4.1.22 The Postulant continues training and formation events.

4.1.23 The Postulant meets a second time with Diaconal Commission. This interview will assess the candidate’s growth and understanding of the diaconate, as he/she moved through the formation process and identify any issues that may have arisen during formation.

4.1.24 The Diaconal Commission writes a final recommendation to the Bishop regarding Postulant’s readiness for ordination to the diaconate.

4.1.25 The Postulant meets with Bishop.

4.1.26 If Bishop decides to ordain postulant she/he will become an Ordinand. The Parish/Congregation will write a covenant with the Ordinand setting out the nature and scope of the new deacon in that Parish/Congregation. (See Appendix E for a sample covenant).

4.2 Note: If this discernment process is stopped at any point because the candidate is deemed unsuitable, there is a process in place to provide pastoral care for the candidate and the Parish. (See Appendix B)

4.3 It is important to remember throughout the process that there is no guarantee of eventual ordination. The final decision rests with the Bishop.

 

Deacons: Training Process

 5.1 A candidate seeking ordination to the Diaconate in the Diocese of Kootenay is expected to have successfully completed, or have covenanted to complete, a programme of theological study acceptable to the Bishop. This may be obtained through:

5.2 The candidate will also have successfully completed the following list of courses offered through the Kootenay School of Ministry:

  • Diaconal Studies

  • Foundational Theology

  • Anglican Theology and Identity

  • Evangelism/Proclaiming Christ

  • Spiritual Formation

  • Liturgy

  • Ethics

  • Equipping Others for Ministry

  • Congregational Leadership

5.3 After completing this required programme, a candidate in diaconal formation will:

  • have comprehensive knowledge of the Holy Scriptures;

  • be able to outline the history of the biblical record, and identify the historical, social, and geographic context of the Bible;

  • be aware of the process of canonization of scripture, including the reasons for the development of the Canon;

  • be familiar with various approaches to scriptural interpretation, and be able to identify and defend his/her approach in the context of his/her tradition

  • be able to identify and use exegetical tools, and be knowledgeable about Biblical scholarship

  • be able to identify prophetic and servant hood themes in scripture, and relate those themes, in preaching and daily ministry, to the needs of the world and the church’s response to those needs

  • be aware of significant differences in the themes and approaches in the four Gospels, and know how to model the message of the Gospels in his/her servant and liturgical ministries.

  • be able to articulate basic historical periods of the Christian faith, from its origins through to today

  • be well grounded in the development of the Anglican tradition and liturgy

  • have a basic knowledge of the spiritual formation in the church

  • have a clear understanding and appreciation of the traditions of other Christian communions and world religions, since ministry to the poor and the oppressed is inherently ecumenical, and indeed interfaith.

  • have an understanding of sacramental theology

  • have an understanding of the development of Trinitarian theology and Christology

          

5.4 There will be nine educational courses organized around the following foci:

Diaconal Studies 

One course to review of the history and development of the diaconate, looking at the first centuries of the church, and the changes seen in this and other denominations, from that time to the present. This session will also explore the various areas of diaconal ministry, the call of all Christians to serve others and the role of the diaconate in that call, how to look at issues for the application of Christian belief and assistance, seeing the deacon as a bridge between the church and the world.

Foundational Theology

Foundational Theology is an introduction to theological method, with a focus upon critical thinking skills, and the basic touchstone topics of Christian theology: Trinity, Christology, and salvation. The approach will be both historical and systematic, so that participants encounter the main streams of thought in Western Christianity, ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary. Significant attention will be given to the development of the Nicene Creed and its explication at the Council of Chalcedon. This course will be particularly attentive to the relevance of this material for priestly and diaconal ministry, with assignments oriented toward preaching and pastoral situations.

Anglican Theology and Identity

Anglican theology is theology that belongs to the whole church, but has a particular character that is rooted in its historical development. This course, therefore, seeks to elucidate the nature of Anglicanism through investigation of works by Anglican theologians and discussion of Anglican history. We will address the nature of Anglican understandings of the church, orders, and sacraments. Canadian Anglican history (with a focus on British Columbia) will be a significant part of the course, as will the Anglican Covenant and contemporary expressions of Anglicanism worldwide.

Ministry of Evangelism Today

This course aims to provide an understanding of the theology and practice of evangelism that resonates with Anglicanism today. Course content will include: biblical and theological foundations, starting with the mission of God (missio dei) and the content of “the good news;” Jesus as an evangelist; evangelism as process; evangelism as a dimension of healthy parish life; how to talk about God; the place of evangelism in a pluralistic society; and how to help a congregation embrace the ministry of evangelism with confidence, joy and fruitfulness.

Spiritual Formation

One course which will outline the formation of a rule of life. This course may include instruction about:

  • praying a daily office;

  • regular involvement in public worship;

  • regular reading of scripture, meditation, and personal prayer;

  • developing a personal stewardship that supports the work of the church in the local parish, diocese, nation and internationally.

  • receiving personal spiritual direction on a regular basis.

A candidate needs to demonstrate the ability and willingness to help other persons form and nurture their own spiritual growth, through support and study groups. A candidate will learn the history of spiritual formation in the church. He/she will need to be aware of major figures in spiritual classics through the centuries. This course will include a discussion regarding the basic skills necessary to becoming a spiritual director; so that candidates will know what training, they may need if this is a ministry to which they feel called. It will also help the candidate balance her/his secular vocation, ministry, and family life in a healthy manner.

Equipping Others for Ministry

One course, which will assist the candidate to form, educate, and support the people of God for the ministries to which they are called at baptism. This will require an ability to recruit, motivate, and inspire lay participation. The candidate will need skills in effective communication, in implementation and evaluation of projects, recruiting and caring for volunteers, and in facilitating group process. Time will be spent looking at the various organizational structures of our church, so that the candidate will know what resources are available to them. Since a deacon’s ministry is primarily a ministry of service to the world, we seek to form deacons who serve as spokespersons for the apostolic faith, by working to alleviate poverty, misery, and ignorance, and by actively seeking peace and justice and by empowering others to do the same.

Ethics

This course seeks to cultivate an awareness of contemporary social issues and a desire to wrestle with them. Topics will include: ethical theories, the challenge of change, skills for theological and pastoral reflection on ethical issues, and ways of preparing others to wrestle with moral dilemmas. Experiential group work, using case studies, will enable students to develop practical skills and a deeper awareness of ethical issues.

Diaconal Role in Liturgy and Homiletics

This course will introduce the candidate to liturgy, and homiletics, with particular attention to the deacon’s role. The course will include both theory and practice. Candidates will prepare and deliver a sermon for critique for the weekend. The weekend will follow the liturgical year, demonstrating the liturgical role of the deacon throughout. It will include instruction in the taking of reserve sacrament to the sick, other pastoral services, and the preparation and leadership of non- sacramental worship for a variety of contexts. Primary to this area of instruction will be the history, theology, and use of the church’s principal liturgical books and other authorized resources, with particular attention to the deacon’s traditional functions in all the liturgies of the Church.

Congregational Leadership

This course will focus on the pastoral care of congregations with particular emphasis on leadership of congregations including strategic planning, visioning, systems and change theories, and conflict management. This course will explore group dynamics, supporting volunteers and self care including management of time and stress. It will include a personal assessment of the candidates own conflict style and its strengths and liabilities. Candidates need the skills to both see the bigger picture and to make decisions under fire. They must come to understand that leadership is not about personality but about presence, and the capacity to foster collective action.

The following will be a pre-ordination day with the Bishop:

  • Diocesan Policies and Standards (1 day)

  • One day with the Bishop which will address the unique community and ministry of deacons and Diocesan requirements for ministry. The purpose of the day will be to communicate and clarify Diocesan policies and requirements of both the Ordinand and the Parish in which the Ordinand will serve. The day will also begin the process of writing the covenant, which will set out the scope and nature of the work of the deacon in the Parish.

It will be necessary for representatives of the candidate’s discernment/support group(s), the incumbent and wardens, to attend this session.

Deacons: Parish Training

At the beginning of the process, the Parish discernment team, the Wardens and Incumbent along with the Candidate will need to attend a training session based around the history, development and ministry of the Diaconate. Prior to ordination there will also be a study session with these same participants and the Bishop, on the Diocesan polices regarding Deacons. This study session will include the writing of a parish covenant with the Ordinand.

6.1 Parish Training Information

Training will be on a date set by the Parish and the Diaconal Commission from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (times may vary) The Parish will need to provide a morning refreshment break and a noon meal for the participants. It may be better to have everyone bring a bag lunch rather than preparing a meal.

Equipment for the Parish to supply for the Trainer:

  • a flip chart

  • markers

  • masking tape

Equipment that each participant needs to bring:

  • pen

  • paper

  • Bible

Please have sufficient copies of the Book of Alternative Services (BAS) available for the participants.

Please photocopy the articles entitled:

  • “The Deacon as a powerful symbol”

  • “Called to serve God and to serve God’s creation”

  • Core Values needed by a candidate

  • Diaconal Principles of Ministry

These need to be distributed to the Discernment/Support group(s) (if they have not already received copies) and to the Church Committee, before the training, and need to be read in preparation for the training. You may wish to have some copies on hand for other interested members of the Parish.

6.2 A set of questions will be sent to the Parish before the training. The discernment/support group(s) and the Church Committee need to discuss them together and attempt to answer them.

The following people should attend from the Parish:

  • Members of the discernment/support group(s)

  • The Incumbent

  • Members of the Church Committee

  • The candidate for the Diaconate and spouse or partner, if applicable

  • Any member of the Parish who is interested in learning more about the Diaconate

 

6.3 At the conclusion of the Training the participants will have:

  • An overview of the scriptural and historical basis of the Diaconate

  • Explored both the symbolic aspect and the functions of a Deacon

  • Explored the distinctiveness of the Diaconal Order, and how it differs from the other two clerical orders of the Church, and from lay people

  • An understanding of the Parish expectations of the Diaconal Programme

  • An overview of the discernment, formation and training required by the Kootenay Diaconal Programme

  • An understanding of what “being under orders” means for the candidate, as well as for the Parish 

    Deacons: Policy, Standards and Accountability

     7.1 Deacons are clergy, a full, equal and distinctive order. They are ordained for life and under authority, having taken the vows and made the oaths required by the canons of the Anglican Church of Canada. They function only with a licence or letter of permission from the Bishop and are accountable to the Incumbent of their Parish, or other person designated by the Bishop. They receive the clergy mailings of the Diocese and an invitation to the clergy retreat and clergy conference.

    7.2 Deacons with a licence, from the Bishop shall attend and vote at Synod as members of the order of clergy, according to the process outlined in the Canons. Others with a Letter of Permission to officiate may attend Synod and vote according to the process outlined in the Canons.

    7.3 Deacons are subject to all of the provisions of Canon Law regarding discipline and to all the policies and practices of this Diocese, which apply to their order. There will be separate provisions for the term of appointment of a deacon, which will be written into the Parish covenant.

    7.4 In accordance with the present policy of this Diocese, transitional Deacons (called to the Priesthood) will be so designated.

    7.5 Deacons will bear the title “The Reverend”

    7.6 Deacons may wear clerical collars when they are in a role of proclamation or witness. If vesting for the eucharist the proper liturgical dress will be an alb and stole. If it is the custom of the presiding priest to wear a chasuble, the deacon may wear a dalmatic.

    7.7  The traditional roles for the Deacon in the Eucharist include involvement in overseeing, providing training for, and participating in the proclamation of the Gospel, preaching, if the Deacon is skilled in this area and licensed by the Bishop, the prayers of the people, and administration of communion. A deacon will prepare the table and dismiss the people to their mission in the world. Deacons are to give leadership to these roles in parishes/congregations in ways, which uphold and affirm the ministries of all baptized persons.

    7.8 Deacons will not be licensed to officiate at weddings or baptisms.

    7.9 Deacons are required to maintain a schedule of continuing education, including the clergy retreat and conference. Continuing education will be a requirement for the renewal of licenses. Parishes are responsible for paying the registration fee, travel, accommodation, and meal expenses for required events.

    7.10 Deacons may attend regional, diocesan, and national committees as a deacon of this Diocese.

    7.11 Use of the Reserved Sacrament by Deacons is limited to pastoral occasions such as visits to the sick. Only in exceptional circumstances will a Deacon be authorized by the Bishop, to preside at a public service using the Reserved Sacrament.

    7.13 If the situation arises, a Deacon may transfer to a different parish, provided the parish receiving the Deacon undergoes a process of education and discernment. The transfer will require the consent of the Bishop, the Deacon and the Incumbent or other authority in the new parish.

    7.14 Deacons who graduate from the Kootenay School of Ministry may or may not have their training recognized by another Diocese.

    7.15 In the event that a Deacon discerns a call to priesthood, the process will be the same as for any baptized applicant and will include a new discernment process, visits to the examining chaplains and attendance at ACPO.

    7.2 When the Incumbent leaves a Parish, the following policies and procedures apply during the interim period and the selection process of a new Incumbent for a Parish:

    7.2.1 If there is a resident, ordained Deacon in the Parish:

    7.2.2 The Deacon will not be the interim Deacon-in-charge of the Parish.

    7.2.3 As a member of the permanent staff of the parish a Deacon will not be a member of the personnel commission for the new incumbent. Information on the ministry of the deacon will be included in the parish profile.

    7.2.4 The Deacons’ primary ministry in the community and the Parish/Congregation, as well as his/her usual liturgical role in Sunday worship, will continue during the transition.

    7.2.5 The interim Priest-in-charge ought to seek guidance from the Deacon(s), the Bishop and/or the Diaconal Commission about the role of the parish Deacon(s).

    7.2.6 During the search process the personnel committee will engage in conversations with candidates for the incumbency about the role and function of a deacon and about perceived areas of concern identified by either/or/both the Parish/Congregation and the candidates for the incumbency.

    7.2.7 At a suitable opportunity after the Incumbent’s arrival the Incumbent and the Deacon(s) will meet to discuss the deacons current covenant. The conversation ought to include such topics as the deacon’s role in the parish and ministry in the larger community; the lines of the deacon’s accountability to the Bishop, the Incumbent, and the Church Committee. The discussion should also include the topics of how the Incumbent and the deacon(s) might work together, agreed upon steps to resolve tension or differences should they arise, the liturgical roles of the priest, deacon and laity and how they are enacted in that Parish/Congregation.

    7.2.8 A new Incumbency brings the possibility of change in responsibilities. The Deacon’s covenant is therefore to be renegotiated after the first six months of the new Incumbent’s arrival. The Diaconal Commission is available as a resource for this process.

    7.2.9 Deacons who have been members of the parish for many years know a substantial amount of Parish/Congregational history. Deacons can be a valuable resource who should only impart information when consulted or when not to do so would cause the new Incumbent grief or embarrassment.

    7.2.10 At all times the Bishop is responsible for supporting the Deacons and safeguarding the continuity of their ministry/ministries. If a deacon’s covenant with a Parish/Congregation is not to be renewed, the Bishop will make every effort to either resolve the issues around the non-renewal of the covenant or relocate the Deacon in another parish.

    7.3 If there is a candidate for Diaconal orders in the Parish:

    7.3.1 It is understood that the candidate may continue with the education programme of their choice and to attend the Kootenay School of Ministry formation events during the search and selection process of a new Incumbent.

    7.3.2 During the search process the personnel committee will engage in conversations with candidates for the incumbency about the role and function of a deacon.

    7.3.2 The diaconal candidate may continue with her/his education and formation events but generally may not proceed to the next step of the discernment process until the new Incumbent has been in the Parish for six (6) months.

    7.3.4 The new Incumbent will need to enter into a number of conversations with the Bishop, the Parish and Wardens, the candidate and possibly the Diaconal Commission, as to her/his understanding of the role and function of a Deacon and his/her willingness to support the candidate in the quest for ordination. At a suitable opportunity after the Incumbent’s arrival the Incumbent and the candidate will meet, to discuss the candidate’s current status in the Diaconal programme and whether or not the new Incumbent is willing for the candidate to proceed in the process to ordination.

    7.4 If someone wishes to present themselves for candidacy:

    7.4.1 Potential candidates may make inquiries of the Diaconal Commission, while the Parish is searching for a new Incumbent. They may also begin an education programme during this time.

    7.4.2 They may not apply for candidacy or in any way formally enter the Diaconal Programme until the Incumbent has been in place for six months.

    7.5 Policy for an Ordained Deacon moving into or within the Diocese of Kootenay

    7.5.1 If an already ordained Deacon moves into, or changes communities within the Diocese of Kootenay, the following steps will apply:

    7.5.2 The Deacon will meet with the Bishop to discuss the possibility of serving in the Diocese of Kootenay, or serving in a new community within the Diocese.

    7.5.3 If the Deacon wishes to serve in the new parish, he/she must take a suitable length of time to examine the possibilities of an appropriate personal diaconal ministry. The Deacon must discuss the wish to serve with the Incumbent and Wardens. This discussion will include information about the Deacon’s proposed ministry and examination into how it fits with the diakonia of the Parish.

    7.5.4 If the Incumbent is willing to have a Deacon serve in the Parish, the Bishop must interview the Deacon. At this point, the Deacon ought to discuss with the Incumbent and Wardens forming a support group for the Deacon.

    7.5.5 If the Bishop is willing to have the Deacon serve in the Diocese, the Diaconal Commission will then interview the Deacon. This interview will focus on all aspects of the Deacon’s understanding of the Diaconate, and particularly on her/his training, formation, and education. (In the case of Deacons ordained in the Diocese of Kootenay, moving to a new Parish, the interview with the Diaconal Commission will not apply, unless the Commission is requested by either the Incumbent or the Bishop to do an interview.)

    7.5.6 The Commission may make recommendations that will help the Deacon develop in areas, which the Commission feels, are missing from the training, formation, understanding and education of the Deacon.

    7.5.7 If there is not a Deacon already in place in the Parish, the Parish will go through a Diaconal Parish training process. The discernment/support group will need to meet, deliberate, and then send the Parish recommendation form to the Diaconal Commission.

    7.5.8 If there is a Deacon already in place in the Parish, the Incumbent and Wardens will decide if they think the Parish needs another training session. If the decision is not to do the training, the discernment/support group will still be required to meet, deliberate and send the Parish recommendation form to the Diaconal Commission.

    7.5.9 If the Parish recommendation is positive then there will be a commissioning service that welcomes the Deacon and the Deacon’s ministry to the Parish. The Diaconal Commission will attend that service to present the Deacon and the Bishop will be the presider, unless the Bishops circumstances and schedule dictate otherwise.

    Terms of Reference for the Diaconal Commission

     DIACONAL COMMISSION – DIOCESE OF KOOTENAY

    The Commission is responsible for the administration and operation of the Diaconal Formation and Training Programme for the Ordination of Deacons in the Diocese of Kootenay.

    Composition

    The Commission shall consist of:

    • two Deacons, one Presbyter and a Layperson, appointed by the Bishop, one of the above must be the Director of Deacons for the Diocese, who shall be chair of the Commission.

    • the Bishop of the Diocese of Kootenay is a member ex officio.

    • one of the Deacons on the Commission will also be a member of the Archbishop’s Committee on Ministry.

    Duties and Responsibilities

    The Commission shall:

    • be responsible for interviewing candidates, writing reports regarding candidates, and ensuring that both the candidates and their Parishes meet the requirements of the Programme.

    • be responsible for carrying out the Parish trainings, which are a part of the Diaconal Programme.

    • be responsible for updating the Diaconal Programme in a timely manner and seeing that it is distributed to interested parties.

    • provide educational materials and expertise to Parishes and to the Diocese.

    • prepare a budget, to be presented to the Diocesan Budget Preparation Committee, for each year to cover the costs of travel for the Commission and for the ongoing costs of administering the Diaconal Programme.

    Meetings:

    The Commission will conduct most of its meetings by conference call and e-mail.

    Face to face meetings shall be called as required.

    Members of the Commission are:

    • The Ven. Christine Ross, Diocesan Director of Deacons and Chair

    • The Reverend Alan Akehurst

    For more information, please contact:

    The Ven. Christine Ross, Deacon
    Director of Deacons
    clross@telus.net

    Deacons: Appendices

    Introduction to Appendices A-C:  Discernment and Support Groups

    A1.1 Each Candidate will normally have two separate groups of people in their Parish/Congregation, who will be part of the formation and training process for the Candidate.

    A1.2 The discernment group will be responsible for helping the candidate and the Parish discern whether or not the candidate is indeed called to the diaconate and whether or not the candidate is the right person for the particular Parish/Congregation. (See Appendix A for an outline of procedures and responsibilities of a Discernment Group).

    A1.3 The support group will be responsible for providing a safe, confidential place for the candidate to share experiences and review learning. (See Appendix B for an outline of procedures and responsibilities of a Support Group).

    A1.4 Where a Parish/Congregation is too small for these two groups to function; the Parish/Congregation may choose to have a joint group. (See Appendix C for an outline of procedures and responsibilities of a Joint Discernment and Support Group). 

    Appendix A: Guidelines for Parish/Congregational Discernment with Separate Support for Candidate

    Appendix B: Guidelines for a Parish/Congregational Support Group with Separate Discernment Group

    Appendix C: Guidelines for a Single Parish/Congregational Support Group for a Candidate

    Appendix D: Recommended Reading

    Appendix E: Diaconal Covenants

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