Mondays in May with DOTAC
CCS program staff person Marci Gibson reflects on renewing and reviewing diaconal scholarship with DOTAC’s Mondays in May series:
May is often a time of finishing things up around CCS, but this May, we were invited to participate in something new – 5 online sessions exploring different perspectives on Diakonia with scholarship and colleagues from across the Americas and Caribbean as part of DOTAC’s Mondays in May seminar series. Some of the sessions were particularly timely – addressing the role of diakonia in the midst of COVID (Rev. Dr. Carlos Emilio Ham from Cuba), or the 25th anniversary of the United Methodist Order of Deacons (Rev. Dr. Margaret Ann Crain from the USA) – while others took a particular perspective – Brazilian perspectives on diaconal methodology and empowerment (Deacon Dionata Rodrigues de Oliveira from Brazil), emerging expressions of Diakonia in the Lutheran tradition (Sister Dottie Almoney from the USA), and seeking an ecumenical consensus particularly between denominations with bishops and those without (Rev. Canon Deacon Michael Jackson from Canada). Each session involved a 15-minute presentation, small group discussions, and then a brief Q&A with announcements. The format allowed not only for fresh ideas and language, but also cross-border ecumenical conversation that is often reserved for local groups or biannual events. The presentations themselves were recorded and are available publicly here.
What amazing material to revisit in easy half hour segments!
As CCS program staff, it is heartening to hear fresh research and analysis about diakonia itself, as well as its relationship with other parts of the church and the wider world. As a diaconal minister, I feel I am often thirsty for this kind of content and conversation, to stretch and inform my own identity. This also offers rich material for conversation-starters with local field committees, mentors, DUCC and ADC gatherings, and circle sessions focusing on diakonia in the CCS programs. Thank you so much to DOTAC for sponsoring and organizing these sessions! I encourage you all to check out the website with information on their next 6 month series of online events on Anti-Racism.