Let’s Break it Down-Week 4


Ministry of a Deacon by NCCB–“By ordination, particularly and officially committed to service, the deacon is to inspire, promote and help coordinate the service that the whole Church must undertake in imitation of Christ. The deacon has a special responsibility to identify to the Church those who are in need and particularly those who are without power of voice at the margins of our society. Among such people, the deacon is to speak about Christ and to offer them the Church’s varied assistance. But in the Church, the deacon is also to speak about the needy, to articulate their needs, and to inspire and mobilize the whole community’s response. The deacon thus becomes a representative figure in whom the Church reaches out to the needy and the needy challenge the Church.”

This ministry of love is also a ministry of justice that aims not only at meeting needs but also at addressing their structural and institutional causes. Action on behalf of social justice is thus an integral part of the deacon’s ministry of love. The Deacon must not only assist the powerless and speak for the voiceless, but also help them find their own voice and to assume power over their lives. This prophetic role of social criticism and reform can be carried out in specific ministries, but deacons who have secular occupations also have many opportunities to carry it out in their everyday work.”

Let’s Break it Down

All that is hidden will be made clear; all that is dark now will be revealed; what you have heard in the dark, proclaim in the light; what you hear in whispers, proclaim from the house tops.

Thanks Kayla-  “Opportunities to preach are as common as grass.”

Thanks David- “What do you ask to be done in Jesus’ name?”

“I want you to do everything in my name” says Jesus

Thanks to Suz – “ Live into it. Have alternative house churches; live this for one another; not as a confrontation; how can we be before one another.  See what happens?  What comes out of it? It is who I am.

Thanks to Rose-“Remember those who put on the breaks; they are part of church too”. Thanks for giving us grace to remember all those we must continue to welcome.  Really WISE!

Let’s break it down into GOALS to live into the ministry of love and justice—a deacon.

 Create new liturgy- take dreams and ideas and weave them into other spaces to create holy spaces outside of the church mass.

WINGS( Women in God’s Spirit Group)- opening prayer service

Advent by Candle Light– prayer service at our church

Benefit- draw on the gifts of the spirit; create a holy space.

Obstacles- afraid that it won’t be “good” or “accepted.”

Skills and knowledge needed- Help from my mother in law who is a liturgist or my good friend who is a liturgist.

Group to work with- WINGS leadership.

Plan- set time table for first event which would be October and second one would be December

  • Local women preach group invite women together once a month

Benefit-draw on those women already in our circle on the WEST coast

Obstacles- how to present ie tape or via zoom as start for gatherings. 

Skills and knowledge- create a preaching group maybe from GTU or other; talk to those already at GTU or have connections.

Group to work with-WINGS leadership; people at GTU or USF or St. Mary’s; maybe this type of group exists already in the East Bay ??

Plan—set up time table to talk with people

  • Alternative house church or prayer groups-


This last Sunday our “church” was in the car.

My two kids did the readings and the gospel. Then as my 19 year old son said, “Let’s break it down.” Our homily was an interchange of voices that melded the readings with the everyday as we tried to hear God speaking.  We listened to the Aramaic “Our Father” and my daughter closed with a poem A Small Needful Fact by Ross Gay –

Is that Eric Garner worked for some time for the Parks and Rec Horticultural Department, which means perhaps, in all likelihood, he put gently into the earth some plants which, most likely, some of them, in all likelihood continue to grow, continue to do what such plants do, like house and feed small and necessary creatures, like being pleasant to touch and smell, like converting sunlight into food, like making it easier for us to breathe.

Benefit- involving my kids and “youthful ideas”

Obstacles-people thinking we are trying to compete

Skills and knowledge-what Agape and small churches look like

Group to work with—Start with my own family and also engage my friends who have kids in similar age group.

Plan—Start with our Sundays and write down ideas.

  • Social Justice Committee-  Work with local Catholic Worker and St Vincent De Paul and Catholic charities to come up with projects to address poverty or homeless.

Partner with St. Theresa School and Bishop O’Dowd for more projects

Look at how to support Black Live Matters, LGBTQ communities,

Do food drive for St. Vincent Pantry, buy groceries for refugee families

International- CRS, IRC, Doctors without Borders, Corazon

Benefit—help others in need

Obstacles—Time, buy in by our congregation and pastor

Skills and knowledge—Seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching; Catholic Worker mission.

Groups to work with – from other local groups doing the work already.

Plan- Meet with pastor; start with small group and build

My prayer:

“Awaken your spirit to adventure

Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;

Soon you will be at home in a new rhythm

For your soul senses the world that awaits you”.- J.Donahue

6 thoughts on “Let’s Break it Down-Week 4

  1. Your “church in the car” example is just so beautiful and perfect. So simple and so profound. It is relevant to everyone. Everyone has something to bring to the Table. And because you see that and know that, you have something profound and beautiful to offer. Our church is hungry for you to carry this vision forward. I hope your story continues to ground and inspire you as it will ground and inspire me.

  2. Amazing all the possibilities percolating. Whew! Good energy. I keep thinking “Let’s break it down” before having a breakdown. We get to choose what is within our scope and our bandwidth. “House church” was so appealing in its stark contrast to the incredible burden of opening for liturgy I (or anyone?) would be wise to avoid. It called to my desire for rest and simplicity. I need house church right now for many reasons. Like Katie, I love your story of church in the car. It’s so organic and non-churchy. Is there a next step calling your name because of your own need, that offers opportunity for self-care as well as caring for others?

    Thanks for mentioning Advent by Candlelight. We do that too — one of my favorite things. Our Faith Formation Director has orchestrated it for years, most recently in our new parish hall after a two-year hiatus while we were building. She is moving away. We are now in a kind of Advent waiting for what we long and hope for but can’t yet see. Odd how the liturgical seasons seem to flow in and out of each other these days with no respect to the calendar. I may need to re-imagine what that Advent by Candlelight might look like in time of pandemic. I’m not willing to just let it go. I need to let possibilities percolate.

  3. In each of your posts I see the liturgist in you come alive! I think the creativity of your words and the way you bring different sources together is something that can create meaningful change in people’s spiritual lives and hearts. I’d love to work with you on making a creative liturgy happen for Bay Area women! You are already doing the work of preaching and presiding, and perhaps even more impressive you are creating the space to let others share their spiritual voices.

    1. Wow! Creative liturgy for Bay Area women, I love it. Maybe we can do a Phoebe liturgy for the Bay Area.
      Would so enjoy to work with you.

  4. Lydia, Thank you for citing this information on Deacons. I did not realize how justice oriented this role was – its more radical than I would have expected! There is much potential here for institutional change. From your previous posts and this one, you seem to be living out these excerpts of being a deacon already serving the vulnerable in our community, and striving to accompany them by being the eyes, hands, feet of Christ. I work in your area at Corpus Christi Church doing Confirmation Prep, and would like to support the movement toward women deacons too. I am also working on growing our service opportunities for youth. If you’d like to connect, please email me at catherine.h.720@gmail.com

    Blessings as you continue this growth and these new dreams and goals grow! I hope that you continue to live with courage and inspiration.

    1. Hi Catherine,
      Yes will be in touch. Will be nice to have our support group in the Bay Area for women in the diaconate.
      I would love to put our heads together to get service opportunities for youth.
      Thanks for sharing your email.

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