Agenda Now Available for Women & Diaconal Ministry Conference

November 2014

Visit website for more info here:

Saturday, December 6, 2014
9 AM to 5 PM

Union Theological Seminary
3041 Broadway @ 121st St., NY, 10027

Scroll down for Conference Details & Highlights, Speaker Bios, Registration, Lodging Information, & Transportation


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THE PAST Build a solid understanding of the female diaconate in the early and medieval Church with presentations and discussion that explore the ministry and the attempts at the restoration of the office in the modern era through the work of Evangelos Theodorou, the decisions of the Rhodes Consultation, and the churches of Russia and Greece.

 THE PRESENT Learn about the ‘diaconal’ work that women are doing today as chaplains, spiritual directors, ministers of the Word, and parish administrators and outreach coordinators.

THE FUTURE Explore what an ordained ministry could offer the Church, how a deaconess could/would serve, and what short-term and long-term steps could be taken for restoration of the office as well as rejuvenation of the entire diaconate—male and female—for the building up of the Church today.


Pre-Conference Gathering, Friday, December 5, 7:30 pm Due to the positive response to the conference, we will hold an informal gathering of registrants who will have arrived the evening before the conference. This will take place after the Sophia Institute Conference and Banquet at Union Theological Seminary in James Chapel.

Come and enjoy dessert on us, begin the conversation of women and the diaconal ministry, network with one another, and enjoy fellowship.  For those interested, we encourage participation at the Sophia Institute Conference and Banquet.

Blessing & Offering of Food to the Needy The Women & Diaconal Ministry Conference will include DISTRIBUTION OF FOOD TO EMMAUS HOUSE, a hospitality house located in Harlem. We encourage registrants to bring (or purchase when you get to the city) non-perishable items to offer at our opening thanksgiving service. These will be blessed as a way to demonstrate the connection between our offerings and feeding the poor. In the early Church, the leftovers from the offerings (that were not used for Communion) were distributed by the deacon to the poor and needy. A remnant of this practice is seen in the blessing and distribution of the antidoron. A representative from Emmaus House will be present to receive our offerings.

Themed Lunch Tables In order to make the most of our limited time together, lunch tables will be organized so that those interested in the various ministry topics covered at the conference (chaplaincy, spiritual direction, ministry of the Word, and parish administration) can eat lunch together, enjoy informal discussions, and network.

Book Tables Publications will be available for sale that pertain to the topics addressed at the conference, as well as those written/edited by some of our speakers.

Ministry Table  We invite attendees to display/distribute information about ministries in which they are involved. (To receive approval to display/distribute your information, please email us at

Post-Conference Dinner  If you are not planning to leave immediately after the conference on Saturday, we invite you to go to dinner as a group (Dutch treat). Information about the restaurant will follow.

CONFERENCE WILL INCLUDE presentations, a panel discussion, breakout session, Q&A after each session, and the opportunity for networking.

Held in conjunction with the Sophia Institute Conference on Fri. Dec. 5 ‘Healing, Reconciliation, and Forgiveness in Eastern Orthodox Perspectives.’ We encourage those interested to participate in both events.