Thursday, October 11, 2007


Welcome to the web log for the ministry of Rolin Bruno (me). I have been working on the post-Katrina gulf coast since August 2006, and began this blog with the help of Alan Morris in January 2007.

As a missionary deacon, my goal is the Great Commision: to make disciples for Christ--not just converts, but true disciples.

As a captain for Church Army USA, my ministry is to the least, the last, and the lepers of our society--especially those afflicted with chronic homelessness or addictions to drugs and alcohol.

I am currently on leave in California. I will be attending ordination services at Saint James Anglican in southern California, then spending time visiting my mother and sister in northern California.

My most recent newsletter for this ministry is well down the page, beginning here. Older newsletters follow that post.

Before I left, I spent time in New Orleans helping Kevin Kallsen of Anglican TV; that post is here.

Immediately below is the introduction to a 14-part series of posts describing pictorially how this ministry got started.

Again, welcome! And check back every once in a while to see what God is doing!


Mrs. Falstaff said...

Is it common in the States for people to be ordained deacon and stay a deacon, not become a priest? In Canada, the diaconate is seen mostly as a sort of "apprentice period", and I've always thought that a bit of a shame. Not everyone who is called to ordained ministry is called to lead a parish, after all.

Rolin said...

Mrs. Falstaff, you have made a discerning observation. In the States as in Canada, there would be few deacons were it not a required step on the path to priesthood.

But both in the States and (I believe) in Canada, there is nonetheless a distinct and distinguished history of permanent deacons--sometimes called the "Occupational Diaconate." Many of these have been indigenous people among, e.g., the Lakota Sioux and (I believe) the Inuit.

My call and inspiration to the Occupational Diaconate came about as a consequence of observing my mentor, Deacon Kathleen. She was serving at St. James Newport Beach and had been a "permanent" deacon for 17 years. She was a leader in training and supporting deacons, and considered the diaconate her lifelong call.

When St. James left ECUSA and came under the protection of Uganda, Deacon Kathleen was called to become a priest. She was upset with God at first, for she had been content in her "lifelong" call.

After Kathleen was ordained a priest she was still at St. James, but I felt something missing. Deacon Kathleen was gone. There was no person left at St. James who was called to the Occupational Diaconate. There seemed to be a hole, a vacant space, in the body of Christ.

I will endeavor to cover this subject in a future post and include a photo of Pastor Kathleen.

In the ancient Church, permanent deacons were the first Order to be called into service after the Apostles, and the Diaconate remained a needed part of its ministry up until the present time. They are still around, but because it is not a pulpit ministry, they are not as viible as priests. Deacons work quietly in the body of Christ, many of them serving the least, the last, and the lepers.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if it's time (or necessary) to bring back the Anglican deaconesses who did so much missionary work in the 19th & early 20th century, especially in Appalachia -- an elderly deaconess is a character in one of the wonderful "Father Tim" books.

Miss Sippi