What's a Deacon?

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

Deacon Karen Kaminskas

In our ongoing series spotlighting deacons across the diocese. To learn more about becoming a deacon, email us at archdeacon@diopa.org.

"I finally heard my call in 2010 at the age of 60. I had been climbing the corporate ladder for some 25 or so years and feeling less and less connected and fulfilled with what I was doing. I felt as though God had something more/different for me to do. Through discerning with some clergy and lay individuals who knew me pretty well I was asked, 'sounds like you're called to be a deacon.' That was it! My heart was opened and I felt the joy.

But, because I had never been in the presence of a deacon I asked my clergy friend 'What's a deacon?' That conversation helped me see how deacons have a unique role in The Episcopal Church: one that brings together being a servant to those on the margins of the community, to serve at the altar, proclaim the Gospel and preach.

Since ordination in June 2014, I have ministered to the older population as a hospital and hospice chaplain as well as heading up pastoral ministries across all faith traditions at Maris Grove Retirement Community for a few years. In June 2017, I was offered a full time position as Deacon and Assistant in Ministry at St. Mary's in Ardmore where I have been responsible for the Ardmore Food Pantry, pastoral care, and a number of social justice issues.

Running a food pantry during a pandemic has been quite a challenge: revamping the entire process, procedures to keep guests and volunteers safe, ensuring that food and monetary donations met or exceeded needs, and ministering to volunteers and guests alike. The Holy Spirit has been with us through all of this guiding our way. I'd be happy to chat with anyone who may be sensing a call to the diaconate. God's peace and blessings." To reach Deacon Karen or learn more about becoming a deacon, contact archdeacon@diopa.org.