Deacon Nominated - Stephen Recognition

Deacon Nominated - Stephen Recognition

by the Ven. Beatryce "Cookie" Clark, Archdeacon of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California

The Rev. Cindy Long, RN, deacon at St. Matthews, Sacramento, has been nominated by the Rt. Rev. Barry L. Beisner and the Ven. Beatryce "Cookie" Clark to receive Stephen Recognition at the triennial Diaconal Assembly in June. Deacons that are recommended should exemplify in their lives and ministries the charge made to them at ordination:

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 redemptive 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 time to time. 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, p. 543)

The nomination of Cindy for this recognition says in part: Cindy’s ministries at St. Matthews includes: food closet, clothes closet, free lunch, after-school snacks, parent resource center, and health outreach. In addition, she works with Pastoral Partners, EMs, EVs, a bible study—including the Bible Challenge—acolytes, and intercessors as well as preaching in English and Spanish.

While St. Matthew’s provides the area with the usual food closet, clothes closet, and holiday food baskets, the Rev. Cindy Long, RN, used her professional knowledge to bring a variety of health care to the area: blood pressure readings, health education, child abuse prevention, and after school programs on health and exercise. What makes Cindy special is that she calls upon resources other than herself such as student nurses and their faculty, a pre-school making use of their buildings, volunteer builders to renovate and restore, and various local churches who collect food and money to help out. According to Cindy her job is to oversee this remarkable program and to help others see and join in the service of poor and the needy learning “that in serving the helpless, you are serving Christ.”

 Another deacon in our diocese, the Rev. Lewis Powell is a past recipient of Stephen Recognition and was nominated by the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande.

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