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Calling Orthodox Deacons

1 November 2013

For a while now I’ve been thinking that it would be good to communicate with other Orthodox deacons. Sometimes there are questions I want to ask, and sometimes there are ideas that I’d like to ask others about.

Three deacons

Three deacons

I checked to see if there was an online forum for Orthodox deacons, and was glad to see that there was an Orthodox_Deacons mailing list on YahooGroups. I applied to join it, but there was no response. The last message was posted there more than two years ago, and attempts to contact the moderator have proved futile. It would be nice if it could be revived, but unless one can contact the moderator there is not much chance of that.

It might, however, be possible to start another mailing list if there is enough demand for it, and so I’m asking any Orthodox deacons who might be reading this to let me know in a comment below, or in some other way, whether they think it is a good idea, and if you would be interested in taking part.

It would primarily be an English-language list, but deacons from anywhere in the world who can communicate in English would be welcome to take part.

I have found that the ministry of deacons tends to be neglected. Parishes often say that they are short of priests, but I’ve never heard a parish say it is short of deacons. Bishops say that their dioceses are short of priests, but they rarely say that they are short of deacons. For anyone interested, I’ve written about this in another blog post at Deacons and diaconate | Khanya.

Another three deacons

Another three deacons

I hope that on such a mailing list we would be able to share information about resources that would be useful for the ministry of deacons, and news of what deacons in different places are doing.

So if you are a deacon, and would be interested in joining such a list, please e-mail me: Deacon Stephen Hayes, or you can leave a comment in the comments section below. And please mail or tweet or otherwise pass on this link to other deacons you may know. You should be able to do this by clicking on one of the buttons below. Even if you aren’t a deacon, and you’ve read this far, you can still pass this on to some deacons that you know.

And one last thing: if you are on Twitter, and tweet anything that may be interesting or useful to deacons, or news about diaconal ministry, if you use the hash-tags #deacons or #diaconate, they will probably end up in a weekly digest of Twitter links called #Diaconate. You can click to see a sample. It will only collect tweels with links to web pages, and as a weekly digest it can be quite useful,


Since several people have expressed interest in such a forum, it has now started. It is called Orthodox Diaconate.

Contact me if you’d like to know more:

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 1 November 2013 6:51 pm

    Glory to Jesus Christ!

    Dear Fr. Dcn. Stephen:

    I follow you on Twitter but really wasn’t aware of your blog. I’m glad I have come across it and have added it to my Feedly. At present I am a subdeacon in the NY/NJ Diocese of the OCA. God willing, I will complete St. Tikhon’s Diaconal Formation Program in the spring and after that, I hope to be ordained to the diaconate. So I’m simply writing to a) introduce myself and b) encourage you in your attempt to establish an online “watering hole” for Orthodox deacons worldwide.

    May God bless you in your ministry!

    In Christ,
    David Maliniak

    • 6 November 2013 5:08 am

      Thanks for the comments. The list has now started (see “Update” at the end of the post) and a couple of sub-deacons have joined as well.

  2. 3 November 2013 1:20 am

    I have found that the ministry of deacons tends to be neglected. Parishes often say that they are short of priests, but I’ve never heard a parish say it is short of deacons.

    Some of our parishes here might like to lament the lack of deacons a bit more. I don’t know what the statistics in America may be overall, but in my own experience there have seldom been deacons. They often enough are just men immediately thereafter ordained to the priesthood. I have never been a member or regular attendee at a parish with a deacon. It’s a shame.

    • 6 November 2013 5:11 am

      I think many have little experience of deacons, and not just in America. Many printed liturgical texts print “Priest:” for the deacon’s parts of the service, thus creating the impression that lack of deacons is “normal”.

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