DUCC Dynasty

Three of the CCS staff – Lori, Ted, and Ann – were at the national gathering of DUCC (Diakonia of the United Church of Canada) last week.  Ted reports…

Diakonia of the United Church of Canada national gathering 2015
Diakonia of the United Church of Canada national gathering 2015

The DUCC meeting mingled the past, present and future in a creative manner.  Of course, we supported one another in the present through community building, social connection, and site outings and tours.  We, also, explored diaconal history in a rich variety of song parody, character drama, art installations, scripture study and panel presentations.   Check out this video to see how one group used a Joni Mitchell song to recall the contribution of the Massey Family to Canadian diaconia.

DUCC skit4-cropFrom these educational pieces we asked questions — emerging from the historical periods — as we examined the future represented by the major reports that are coming before General Council in August.  Examples:

  • As the church continues to discuss diaconal ministry and diaconal identity, what biblical images of diaconia need to be maintained? Jettisoned?
  • Through the centuries the diaconate has challenged empire by upholding alternative visions; in what ways do we continue that prophetic tradition in response to this document/report?
  • During much of the history of the church the diaconate went underground without official recognition or status; in what ways would the General council reports lead and result in the work of diaconia going underground? Encourage and support a distinct and recognized diaconate?
  • In various European cities, the Reformers organized ministry in a divergent ways; how is a diversity of approaches to the diaconate explored or espoused in the GC documents?
  • The restoration and revival of the diaconate in the 19th century was in response to the cultural chaos of the industrial revolution and widespread war; in what ways do the reports respond to the context and chaos of our times?
Lori at DUCC-crop
Lori Stewart at the DUCC gathering

In the end it proved to be a stimulating and integrative process that allowed us to hold the discussion about the future of the diaconate in the United Church while being grounded in a bigger story of our history and identity.