These essays are part of a series on the diaconate in the Orthodox Church derived from talks delivered at the St. Phoebe Center for the Deaconess “Renewing the Male and Female Diaconate in the Orthodox Church Conference” in Irvine, California in October 2017.
Diaconal Service in Church Administration and Governance
Rev. Protodeacon Peter Danilchick
I have been privileged to serve for the past 42 years in the holy diaconate in Christ. For the deacon, to live is to serve and to serve is to live. This living and serving is, however, not for oneself—it is for the Church, the Body of Christ.
When we think about governance, we might imagine a board, like a parish or diocesan council, meeting in a conference room, making “big decisions.” Well, governance, properly understood, is far more intimate and grassroots than that.
The icon of governance in the Church is the episcopate. In the New Testament, St. Paul uses the word episkopous to refer to the overseers of the flock, who also serve as guardians and stewards. The image of the Good Shepherd immediately springs to mind, the one whose sheep know his name and the one who seeks after the lost and lonely ones.
But how do deacons fit into the governance structure? Continue Reading…