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Diakonia

A New Community-Based Chaplaincy 
Serving at the Margins of Church and Society

Diakonia is a term derived from Greek, used in the Bible, New Testament, with different meanings. Sometimes it refers to the specific kind to help any people in need.  At other times it means to serve the tables, and still other times it refers to the distribution of financial resources.  In contemporary theology the word presents a variety of connotations and representations, including transforming service to change people's lives and contributing to the construction of citizenship of the less fortunate.

DIAKONIA is a simple, focused community-based chaplaincy and pastoral care ministry that offers care in the Huntsville community to 
those at the margins of church and of society.  This inclusive and professionally grounded ministry is built upon solidarity with marginalized persons and families in our community.   

Founded upon Mathew 25: 31-45 its aim is to provide a ministry of presence that includes three expressions of ministry - caring, sharing, and praying.  These are offered in a way that helps give full voice for those at the margins to participate in any or all three.  Its’ theological grounding:  “Grace abounds and knows no limits – and there is more than enough to go around.”  Its deep intention:  “to demonstrate the tangible love and wide mercy of the Living God.” It is dedicated to extending the compassionate ministry of “He who had no place to lay his head.”   

It reaches out to those who have faced barriers and breakdowns to living well and in some instances are deeply challenged and barely living and may find themselves forgotten, displaced, excluded, unjustly treated, somehow without full regard.   These include homeless persons, those struggling with persistent and chronic mental illness, those "differently-abled," veterans, and those in rehabilitation. 

Settings for this simple but relevant ministry include places which prioritize physical rehabilitation care, poverty church ministry, veteran’s care, homeless advocacy, and assisted living/nursing homes.  The weekly minimum of six hours entails these core services:
  • Basic shepherding care through visitation, compassionate listening, intercessory prayer  
  • When fitting and requested simple services of healing and wholeness, laying on of hands, anointing with oil,  and communion
  • On occasion linking those at the margins with no or little voice to community resources. 
It is coordinated through Community Pastor and Chaplain Frank Broyles who, as an experienced community minister, pastoral care leader, and chaplain is positioned to identify and respond to needs primarily in fitting community settings where he has gained welcome and served or currently serves. He welcomes the affiliation of the ministry with the Huntsville Association for Pastoral Care who has approved it as a timely, needed, and charitable ministry and grants donors tax-free avenues for giving.  HAPC supports high standards of integrity, consistency, and accountability regarding the professional delivery of care.

The full range of services are provided regardless the size of support base.  That base is small and currently has four underwriters who have pledged monthly support for the remainder of the year.  One of them is investing with only one requirement – that others be informed about the opportunity for this as a ministry investment so that it can grow and “that the Ministry Manager be adequately thanked and undergirded.” 
   
Prayer support is always welcome.  Financial investment with other underwriters can be made with a pledge and sending funds through HAPC (details upon request).  The ministry currently seeks added pledges that combine for $275 a month for the last six months of this year to meet the goal of $600 per month.  Any amount will help grow the depth of the work.    Questions/comments go to Pastor Broyles at 256-529-1062 or fbroyles@live.com.  Thank you for considering a pledge - or for passing on the opportunity to any you think might benefit from awareness.