Consultation on Diaconal Ministry

The Porvoo churches commit themselves to work towards a common understanding of Diaconia. The second consultation was held in 2009.

The second Porvoo consultation on diaconal issues was held in Oslo, Norway in April 2009.

The aim of the consultation was to continue the work of deepening their churches’ understanding of and collaboration in the diaconate. The Porvoo Declaration, the foundation document of the communion between the Porvoo Churches, commits its signatory churches “to work towards a common understanding of diaconal ministry.”

There is a difference in the understanding of the diaconate not only between different confessional families but also within the Lutheran church family.

The consultation makes the following recommendations to the Porvoo churches:

All churches

  • To continue to exchange information and developments in thinking on diakonia and the diaconate
  • To collaborate in further study on the forms of admission to, and the canonical context of, the diaconate
  • To collaborate in the education and formation of those who will exercise diakonia as the focus of their public ministry

Lutheran churches

  • To define more clearly those areas of ministry that are understood as belonging to the diaconate
  • To clarify whether, and in what sense, deacons are understood as being ordained in each respective church
  • To explore possibilities inherent in the role of the deacon in liturgy

Anglican churches

  • To develop ways in which the element of diakonia in the mission of the church may more explicitly be understood and named as such
  • To develop an understanding of the diaconate that is not automatically associated with junior ministerial status
  • To recognise and affirm the diaconal aspect of the vocation of presbyters, and describe it explicitly
  • To consider how the vocation of those who are called to distinctive diaconate may be discerned, and how they may be encouraged and supported.