United Methodist Deacons Gather to Discuss Their Roles as Emissaries, Sent by the Spirit

Published On: April 27, 2017

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and the Office of Deacons and Diaconal Ministers at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) are co-sponsoring Deacon Dialogue 2017 on June 28, 2017, at Loyola University Lakeshore Campus, Chicago, Illinois.  

Deacon Dialogue is a biennial event designed to provide United Methodist deacons with an opportunity to fellowship with other deacons, learn about each other’s ministries and receive both encouragement and challenge to their ministries. 

Ben Hartley
Ben Hartley

With the theme, “Deacons as Emissaries, Sent by the Spirit,” Deacon Dialogue 2017 is held in conjunction with the World DIAKONIA Assembly. Ben Hartley, Th.D. will serve as the featured speaker, leading an exploratory discussion on the meanings of the Greek word “diakonos.” While many believe the word means “servant,” research suggests that “emissary” or “spokesperson” are primary aspects of its definition. Hartley will lead the group in an examination of how the different meanings of the word can impact the ministries of deacons across the denomination.  

Hartley serves as a United Methodist deacon and associate professor of Christian mission in the College of Christian Studies at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon. A published author, Hartley has more than a decade of experience in theological education.  

“Garrett-Evangelical is pleased to co-sponsor this event with GBHEM, especially during this anniversary year. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first deacons ordained in full connection in The United Methodist Church. After the order was established at the 1996 General Conference, the first deacons were ordained at annual conferences in the spring of 1997. I look forward to celebrating the ministry of all deacons at this event,” said Rev. Dr. Virginia A. Lee, director of Deacon Studies and associate professor of Christian Education at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.  

“Deacon Dialogue is a wonderful platform for deacons to explore the opportunities and challenges affecting their ministry,” said Rev. Victoria Rebeck, director of Deacon Ministry Development and Provisional Membership at GBHEM. “We are honored to co-sponsor the event with Garrett and provide a valuable resource for the deacons of our church.” 

A limited number of travel scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis for United Methodist participants. If interested, complete the application and return it to deacons@gbhem.org

Additional information about the Office of Deacons and Diaconal Ministers is available at www.gbhem.org

About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to lead and connect the educational and ministerial life of the church. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call on their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.

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