15 April 2013

Chaplain at this week’s Porvoo Consultation in Dublin

The waterfall at Milltown, within walking distance of CITI, yesterday afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford

Patrick Comerford

For the next four days, I am the chaplain at the Porvoo Communion Consultation on the Diaconate, which is being hosted in the Church of Ireland Theological Institute.

The consultation opens this afternoon [Monday, 15 April 2013] and continues until Thursday next [18 April 2013].

This is the third Porvoo Consultation held to address some aspect of the area of vocation and has the theme: “Diakonia as a proclamation of the Gospel.”

The purpose of this consultation is to bring all the member churches of the Porvoo Communion up to date with developments in the Communion and the extent to which the recommendations of the last consultation in 2009 have been implemented.

The consultation will also look ahead to providing space for reflection on fresh opportunities to strengthen the ministry of deacons in today’s fast-changing European scene. It will call the member churches of the Porvoo Communion to co–operate in this endeavour and to add momentum to our Christian witness to contemporary society.

The Church of Ireland is assisting in resourcing the Consultation which will have 30 or so participants from Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Sweden and Wales.

The consultation is being co-chaired by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, and the Archbishop of Uppsala, Dr Anders Harald Wejryd. The Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Richard Clarke, is also taking part.

The speakers include Professor Kjell Nordstokke from Diakonhjemmet University College, Norway, and the Bishop of Edinburgh, the Right Revd John Armes, while from the Church of Ireland there will be contributions from the Bishop of Clogher and the Bishop of Cashel and Ossory and the Rector of Clones, Canon Helen Steed.

The consultation opens this afternoon with a Lutheran-rite Eucharist, celebrated by the Revd Jenny Sjögreen, Co-ordinator for European Ecumenism in the Church of Sweden, with a sermon by the Bishop of Clogher, the Right Revd John McDowell.

Tomorrow morning [Tuesday], I am celebrating an Anglican-rite Eucharist, and reflecting on Matthew 25: 31-46, which is the Gospel passage for Dr Katie Heffelfinger’s Bible study later in the day. Later tomorrow evening, I am leading Evening Prayer according to the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of Ireland.

On Wednesday morning, the Revd Dr Mika Pajunen, Theological Adviser to the Archbishop of Turku and Finland, the Most Revd Kari Mäkinen, is celebrating a Lutheran-rite Eucharist, and I am reflecting on John 13, which is the Gospel passage for a Bible study led by the Irish Augustinian theologian, the Revd Dr Kieran O’Mahony. Later on Wednesday, the participants in the consultation are invited to Choral Evensong in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin.

On Thursday morning, the Revd Canon Helen Steed, a priest of the Church of Seden and Rector of Clones in the Diocese of Clogher, is celebrating an Anglican-rite Eucharist, and I am reflecting on Ephesians 2: 11-122, which is the New Testament passage for a Bible study led by the Bishop John Armes of Edinburgh.

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