Thursday, October 07, 2010

Organizers of deacon trainings ask, ‘Don’t let it snow!’

"Last winter we made the nearly four-hour (one way!) trip to Bremen, Ind., to attend a deacon training event. Actually it was longer even than that since we had to stop and dig our van out of the February snow along the way!" laughed Gene Karn, Outdoor Ministries director for the Southern Ohio District of the Church of the Brethren.

"In spite of the travails of travel, it was a very worthwhile day, and we wished more of our fellow deacons could have come along," Karn added. "By the time we arrived home we’d decided to schedule a training session of our own. And, if we felt it would be good for our congregation’s deacons, then other deacons and church leaders in the district would probably enjoy the workshop as well.

"Specifically, I would hope that new or potential deacons would get a better understanding of what the role of deacon is, both in their own congregations as well as in the denomination."

And that’s how the deacon training session scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 23, at West Charleston Church of the Brethren in Tipp City, Ohio, came about. Anticipating a good turnout given the location, multiple workshops are planned on the topics of congregational peacemaking, listening skills, caring for caregivers, and discussing financial concerns as a part of holistic caregiving.

The plenary session, offered by Donna Kline, director of the Church of the Brethren’s Deacon Ministry, will address the question, "So What Are Deacons Supposed to Do, Anyway?" Other presenters are Kim Ebersole, the denomination’s director of Family Life and Older Adult Ministries, and David Doudt, a Church of the Brethren spiritual director.

For more information and to register for this day of workshops in southern Ohio, visit, where this and other fall sessions are described.

-- Donna Kline is director of Deacon Ministry for the Church of the Brethren.

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