Saturday, 21 May 2011

Methodist Diaconal Order -Convocation

Convocation is the annual gathering of the Methodist Diaconal Order at the Hayes Conference Centre, Deryshire. I was really looking forward to introducing Alison to everyone, Convocation is not easily explained it really is one of those events which has to be experienced to be understood.
Here we are with the Warden (Leader) of the MDO Deacon Sue Culver who has done a great job in facilitating vision and change within the MDO alongside the Leadership Team (Deacons, Karen McBride, Ian Murray, Janet Thomas, Margaret Cox).

As the Methodist Diaconal Order gathered this year there was a sense of deep thankfulness and gratitude as we received news of 13 new students for Sept 2011, adding to the existing 16 in training. The MDO currently has 266 members, including 18 Probationers and 114 retired deacons.
Convocation in session.

Our nine Diaconal Ordinands being presented to Convocation as they go forward to the Southport Conference for ordination.

The General Secretary Rev Dr Martyn Atkins delivering an outstanding bible study on Acts 2 relating it to early Methodism. Martyn also presided at our final service of Holy Communion and participated as Secretary of Conference at our Diaconal Committee.

The MDO's rather stunning creative contribution to the National Handwritten Bible Project

In the MDO we are deeply aware and appreciative of the support we are given by our presbyteral and lay colleagues who enable the Order to flourish and grow in
many and varied ways.

Here presiding at early morning Communion is Rev Jenny Impey (one of the three London Chairs) and also Chair of our Diaconal Probationers Oversight Committee.

Another example of presbyteral support with Rev Paul Wood and Rev Ian Worsfold who contributed to our sessions with their musical talents.

Community building ......great fun!

Dr Andrew Orton is a lecturer at Durham University and is co-ordinating a research Project on 'Good Practice in Diaconal Ministry.' At Convocation we heard some of the highlights of the research and responded to further questions on diaconal practice. A conference exploring
Diaconal Ministry will be held at St John's College, Durham 8-9th Sept 2011 with Dr Paula Gooder and Dr John Collins in attendance.

Ann Morisy author and community theologian joined us, to present two sessions on the, 'Potency of Early Methodism.' Many of us in the MDO have read and valued her books particularly, 'Beyond the Good Samaritan' and 'Bothered and Bewildered'.

Our National Safeguarding Officer Elizabeth Hall came along and updated us on good practice and care of ourselves.

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