Barbara del Caro Scaia
I have been an ordained Deacon with the Episcopal Church in Minnesota for 6 years.
I have been called to be a deacon for my whole life. I have discerned that God calls me loudest to be present with all. Whether it be in a one-on-one setting or out on the streets, my work revolves around seeing all those who are often ignored, forgotten, or not even seen. Bringing and living into the “good news” is my calling. My work is to meet people where they are, being present with them as the Spirit calls and guides me.
I started my work with Saint Paul’s several years ago in a time of transition, and now we walk together on another journey of transition. I would not want to be anywhere else right now. It is an honor to be with this community. Some of my work here has been around lifting up this community in their intention to be more active in not just seeing those whom we’d rather ignore but loving them as Jesus mandates. Saint Paul’s has been actively working towards a “doing with” rather than “doing for” ideation of living into our faith.
It is exciting for me to be a part of this active, thriving community as we stretch our imaginations and learn new ways to live into being God’s children even as we imagine again what the next leg of our journey towards God will be like.
What is a deacon?
Deacons are one of the orders of ministry recognized by the Episcopal Church. The orders are: lay people, bishops, priests, and deacons (BCP p. 855). Each order is a particular calling, according to the various gifts given by the Holy Spirit. The role of a deacon is summarized in what the bishop says the service of ordination for a deacon, just before the laying on of hands:
My brother/sister, every Christian is called to follow Jesus Christ, serving God the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit. God now calls you to a special ministry of servanthood directly under your bishop. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are to serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely.
As a deacon in the Church, you are to study the Holy Scriptures, to seek nourishment from them, and to model your life upon them. You are to make Christ and his redemption love known, by your word and example, to those among whom you live, and work, and worship. You are to interpret to the Church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world. You are to assist the bishop and priests in public worship and in the ministration of God’s Word and Sacraments, and you are to carry out other duties assigned to you from me to me. At all times, your life and teaching are to show Christ’s people that in serving the helpless they are serving Christ himself.
— Book of Common Prayer (BCP) p. 543