Servants by the Sea: Deacons to gather in Halifax

The Association of Anglican Deacons in Canada will gather in Halifax, Nova Scotia from August 14 to 17 for a time of fellowship and community building.  Throughout “Servants by the Sea,” deacons from across the Canadian church will enjoy workshops suited to diaconal ministries, including ones on advocating for the unemployed, outreach in the 21st century, and team ministry.

Those gathered will also enjoy a keynote address by the Primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, who hails from the Halifax area and has carried out much of his ministry in the region. The Rev. Dr. Eileen Scully, General Synod’s Director of Faith, Worship, and Ministry, will also offer leadership during plenary sessions.

The Rev. Heather MacEachern, President of the Association of Anglican Deacons in Canada, is excited for the opportunity to greet fellow deacons in Halifax and learn with and from them. “Being a deacon can be a lonely role, so it’s a great opportunity to get the whole community of deacons together every three years to see what other folks are doing.”

With one foot in the church and one foot in the secular world, deacons often have unique vocations that look unlike other kinds of ministry. For example, deacons can work in prisons, help with palliative care, minister to sexual offenders, feed people, and even carry out the ministry of administration.

MacEachern describes the eclectic and community based life of a deacon as akin to being “square pegs in round holes.” She continues, “We don’t really seem to fit anywhere and are called to have our ministry outside the church. So it will be wonderful to meet with, have fellowship, and learn from all these square pegs!”

The five-dozen deacons attending the conference have relied on the generosity and support from their home parishes and dioceses. “The Church is so good to us,” MacEachern says with gratitude.

To learn more about deacons in the Anglican Church of Canada please visit

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