Deacons

 “Reaching Out in Loving Touch

Our Deacon Mission

 

“The Deacons at Lebanon Presbyterian Church are called by God to develop a church community that shares the love and healing of Jesus Christ with a caring spirit. 

 These disciples will use their God given gifts to serve, affirm, encourage and restore others into the body of Christ.”

 As I reflect on my last three years of being a Deacon, I am amazed at the amount of contacts each deacon has had in the course of their varied ministry jobs!  And, when I think about the power in each of those touches – how a simple card, a heartfelt hug, or a personal visit can change the heart of a lonely, hurting church member I am ever more grateful for our group of Deacons. 

 I see the job of Deacon as an entry-level position for Christ’s church.  Frequently the newly installed deacon has never been asked to become so involved in caring for God’s people.  There is an expected learning curve as new members choose specific Ministry Teams to become part of and begin their new jobs of reaching out to people.  To help make these important choices easier and perhaps more fitting I would like to see a Spiritual Gift class offered to incoming deacons to help them appreciate what special gifts God has given them that they might not know they have!  And, although this has been discussed (and offered) in years past, I think assigning each new deacon a mentor would be a good thing.  Besides being a source for knowledge, I think this would also help with the continuous flow of duties as deacon terms expire and positions need to be filled.

In preparation for writing this report and as I really studied the collected monthly contact sheets, I was amazed by the sheer number of “touches” made in a year’s time.  And like a pebble tossed into calm waters, we cannot know how the effects of that one contact might ripple out to touch many!  Surely this team is fulfilling the call stated in our Mission Statement!  The calculator had to come out…

 

DEACON MINISTRY TEAMS

 

Between Jobs – Support and encourage LPC members who are currently unemployed.  (Thankfully, there was no activity this year.)

Blood Drives – In cooperation with the Dayton Blood Center, a blood drive is held in the Kingdom Building 6 times a year.  See attached report.  (241 donors and 208 units of blood – which might, in turn touch 2 – 3 people)

Bridges – This ministry reviews the attendance of members of LPC.  Once someone is absent for an extended period of time, a post card is sent or a phone call is made to touch base and let them know they are missed.  (114)

Cards – Send notes and cards to the LPC congregation in times of illness or grief.  (317)

CD Ministry – CD’s of the 8:45 A.M. service are mailed to homebound and nursing home members as requested. (248)

College Bound and Military – Provide support to the LPC congregation who are attending school or are overseas in the military.  This year, in addition to semi-annual notes of encouragement sent with Starbuck cards, our college “touches” have been increased.  Deacons see these 4 years of college as critical times that church support needs to be maintained.  Each deacon took 2 – 3 college kids that are sent monthly notes or cards of encouragement. (400)

Financial Assistance – Deacons assist folks from the church and community throughout the year as requested with help for utility bills and rent.  They also help members of the congregation who are in desperate financial need.  (263 individuals and $23,378)

Flower Delivery/Christmas Poinsettias – Sanctuary flowers are delivered to nursing homes or LPC individuals in hospitals.  Poinsettias are also delivered to people during the Christmas season. (34)

Food at Bereavement – Provide meat tray to LPC family members who have lost a spouse, parent, sibling or child, or assist with a luncheon with help from others in the congregations.  (2)

Frequent Meals – Provide occasional meals to LPC members following surgery or hospitalization.  (131)

Hands-On – Provide assistance to LPC members with minor home chores such as raking leaves, cleaning gutters, painting.  (21)

Homebound and Nursing Home – Support and visit LPC members who require long-term care at home or in a nursing home. (82)

Memorial Fund – If the bereaved LPC member doesn’t desire a food tray or reception, a contribution will be made to the charity of their choice. (0)

New Moms – Support for new moms during pregnancy and for one year following the birth of their child. (3)

Transportation – Provide planned and emergency transportation for LPC members as needed.  (60)

Worship Leadership Ministry – Deacons are serving as greeters on a weekly basis and also assisting with reading scripture and leading Prays of the People.  (21,863)

 

Number of touches (conservative): 24,195!  Think about the power of that!

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Cheryl Bogen