I propose we add a new section to the moderated forums for the discussion of Orthodox ministry/diaconia/service/outreach/charity. For ease, we can just call it the “Ministry” section.
This forum would cover discussion of parish, diocesan and lay ministries; advice for starting various ministries at one’s parish and in one’s community; and (within the rules for advertisement) the sharing of these ministries with one another.
The sorts of ministries in mind are: Homeless outreach, soup kitchens, food banks, shelters, education programs, catechetical programs, certain sorts of camps, training programs, shut-in ministries, certain forms of activism, assisted living home ministries, festivals, the activities of ladies’ societies, school visits, etc.
Why should we have such a subforum?
1. A flourishing, realized Orthodox Christianity necessarily involves ministering to the world and one another. Since this is an Orthodox Christian discussion board that has room for a family forum and comparative religion discussion, we certainly have room for a Ministry section.
2. We really don’t have a place for this sort of discussion on the board. It doesn’t’ fit into Liturgy (although perhaps if we took liturgy seriously it would) and Faith Issues casts too broad a net.
3. Because such ministries are a partial realization of the Christian ethic (see the Sermon on the Mount), discussion of ministry as an essential part of the realized Christian life will lead to an increase in mercy on the board and make people a little less cruel to one another.
Why shouldn’t we have such a subforum?
You might think that we shouldn’t have such a subforum because the people don’t want it; after all, we have very few posts about Ministry/Diaconia here on OC.net. However, if we did have a section for it, it’s reasonable to think that the topics would follow. Furthermore, to say again, it is unacceptable for Orthodox Christians to ignore ministry. So even if we don’t want it here on the board, we should want to want it.
Please do not de-rail this thread.