God of grace, who calls us to a common ministry as free servants of Christ, give us courage and discipline to follow where your servants rightly lead us; following them as they follow Christ; that together we may declare your wonderful deeds and show your love to the world. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
All Christians are charged to love their neighbors and care for one another. The Deacons provide an organized way of bringing the love of Jesus Christ to the church and the community.
Our Background and Mission: With “service” as its ancient root (“diakonoi”) the essence of a Deacon is “to serve the people” through the ministry of compassion. We demonstrate God’s love by following Christ’s example in practical ways of assisting the needy, caring for the suffering, and welcoming new faces to GPC. Deacons visit those who are sick, homebound, or who may be in distress or bereaved within and beyond the faith community. They seek to listen, be a presence and represent the healing ministry of Christ. Deacons assume other duties as may be delegated to them from time to time by Session, such as leading the people in worship through prayers of intercession, reading the scriptures, presenting the gifts of the people, and assisting with the Lord’s Supper. Meetings: A Deacon is elected by the congregation and serves a three-year term.
The Board of Deacons meets one evening a month. A Deacon Representative is present at selected monthly Session meetings to stay informed and foster good communication between Elders and Deacons.
Tasks and Ministry: Specific tasks and responsibilities of the Board of Deacons at GPC include:
- Prepare and assist with serving Communion
- Visit those who are in hospitals, convalescent centers or home bound
- Deliver flowers and remembrances to the sick, frail and elderly
- Coordinate and provide hospitality for memorial service receptions
- A therapeutic harpist is available to play music at the bedside of those unable to participate in congregational life, who need cheering up, for hospice visits and end of life vigils
- Send cards and notes when appropriate
- Support the Santa Barbara Food Bank, Domestic Violence and homeless Socks for Souls
- Coordinate meals once a month at Transition House and Community Kitchen
- Coordinate the preparation and delivery of meals to congregants who temporarily find themselves unable to cook for themselves
- Coordinate efforts of the Parish Nurse and Blood Bank.
Keep-In-Touch Program: Our Keep-in-Touch Program has been experiencing success by providing periodic phone calls and visits to those less able to get out on their own.
Local Mission Fund: The Deacons promote programs to identify local mission needs and implement funding. Some of the community organizations we support or have supported are the following:
- Casa Esperanza Homeless Shelter
- Catholic Charities
- Community Action Commission
- Community Kitchen
- Easy Lift Transportation
- Foodbank of Santa Barbara County
- Food from the Heart
- Hospice of Santa Barbara
- Isla Vista Youth Projects
- Mental Health Association of SB
- Rape Crisis Center
- Santa Barbara New House
- Santa Barbara Womenade
- St. Vincent’s PATHS
- Storyteller Children’s Center
- Transition House