Keynote Speaker: The Right Rev. William H. Stokes, Bishop of New Jersey
Oct. 21–23 via Zoom
The Zoom conference’s central focus will be the unique voice of the deacon as a reflection of the diaconate’s mission to represent the Church to the community and the world to the Church.
EPF’s Dean of Faculty Stephen Smith summarized: The mission of the diaconate has never been more central to the needs of the Church. Deacons point us in the direction where the Church can be of service in the world in these increasingly dismaying times; and to be fully effective in this role the diaconate needs to speak powerfully and authentically from the pulpit. We hope that these conferences will play a role in lifting the diaconate to this role.
The program will emphasize the deacon’s unique opportunity – and responsibility – to speak the sometimes uncomfortable truths that may be less acceptable coming directly from the incumbent priest.
In addition to preaching to peer feedback in small, moderated preaching groups, the participants will hear from highly-respected guest faculty:
- Bishop “Chip” Stokes offers poignant examples of successful diaconate ministry
- Stephen Smith will present an opening refresher workshop on exegesis and sermon preparation
- Ryan Bonfiglio, Ph.D. of Candler School of Theology will present The Bible and Poverty, a reminder that the alleviation of poverty is one of the most dominant themes in both Old and New Testaments.
- A panel discussion will explore the need for a clear understanding of the deacon’s role, both within the Church as well as in our communities, as a precondition of effective diaconate ministry.
The conference follows on the heels of well-received EPF preaching conferences for the diaconate of Provinces 7 and 8.
“After more than 30 years of guiding seminarians and clergy toward the goal of excellence in preaching, the EPF is delighted to offer this conference series dedicated to the diaconate said EPF Executive Director Peter Wild. “This focus will enable the faculty to explore the topics and the homiletic emphasis that are of greatest importance to deacons at this unique time in our culture.”
The online infrastructure is provided by the EPF’s technical partner, Bexley Seabury. In recognition of the frequently non-stipendiary nature of diaconal ministry, the reduced registration cost of $25 is made possible by financial support from the Diocese of Long Island.