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The gift of a renewed diaconate

By David Clark


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As the church strives to engage with a world radically different from that which shaped Christendom, creating new forms of church leadership has become a necessity. In this endeavour, the office of deacon, so communally relevant and influential in the early church, but then neglected for centuries, is again coming to the fore, not least in North America. In Britain, the Methodist Diaconal Order embraces many features of a renewed diaconate. The papers in this book address key theological and ecclesiological issues faced by British Methodism, but of relevance to all churches, as it continues to engage with the potential of a renewed diaconate to enhance its life and mission.

David Clark became a member of the Methodist Diaconal Order in 2005. Previously, as a presbyter, he worked in Sheffield and inner London. He then became a senior lecturer in community education at Westhill College, Birmingham. He played a leading role in promoting the Christian Community Movement of the ‘eighties. In subsequent years he set up the Christian in Public Life Programme, founded the Human City Institute and initiated the Kingdom at Work Project. He has written prophetically about his vision of the church to come, identified by him as ‘the diaconal church’, and of a renewed diaconate as a hall-mark of its leadership.

 

 ‘David Clark in his two earlier books Breaking the Mould of Christendom and Building Kingdom Communities – with the diaconate as a new order of mission offers very compelling arguments for a new way of thinking. He casts his vision to what he calls the kingdom community. He provides a comprehensive vision of church and ministry from a diaconal perspective.’

 

 Sandy Boyce – from her Presidential Address to the 22nd Assembly of DIAKONIA, theworldwide gathering of diaconal associations, Chicago, 2017

‘It is a privilege to commend this collection of papers. David Clark offers a timely and helpful contribution to the ongoing debate about the nature of the diaconate and diaconal ministry both lay and ordained. Drawing widely from his own experience, that of British Methodism and of our ecumenical partners, he shares his vision of an emerging diaconal church. His book deserves a wide readership.’

David Emison – Former Chair of the Methodist Cumbria District, former Chair of the Methodist Diaconal Order Committee and an Associate Member of the Methodist Diaconal Order

Paperback ISBN: 9781784566111


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