Keep a Towel Ready: Six Vocational Deacons Ordained to Serve

Vocational Deacons introduced

Bishop Mark Lawrence threw a towel from the pulpit during his sermon at the ordination of six vocational deacons at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul in Charleston, June 9, 2018.

“Keep a towel ready,” he said to the men and women about to take a vow of lifetime servanthood. “There’s always a mess to clean up, a tear to dry, dirty feet to wash and dry.”

Each of the six deacons: Deborah Hamilton, Ron Hamilton and Glenn Ohanesian, from the Well By the Sea, Myrtle Beach; Ann Darby Hunter from Church of the Advent, Marion; Keith O’Neal from the Parish Church of St. Helena, Beaufort; and Frank Stoda, from St. Matthew’s, Darlington, had gone through a rigorous process of discernment and a two year course of study and preparation under the direction of the Rev. Canon Mike Malone prior to their ordination.

As vocational, or permanent, deacons their roles will be to serve Christ and the church in and outside the local parish, assisting the priests in liturgical duties and serving those in need in their communities.

Preaching on Luke 12:35-40 Lawrence contemporized the command to “Keep your lamps burning” by urging the deacons to keep gas in their cars. “Be ready at any time to go where the need is,” he said. “When someone calls from the hospital in the middle of the night you need to be ready to go.”

“You are a living emblem of the servanthood of every Christian who models his or her life on the servant ministry of Jesus Christ,” said Lawrence.

The choir, from multiple churches in the Diocese, under the direction of Mr. Paul Thomas, the Cathedral’s Organist and Choirmaster, led the congregation in glorious musical worship. More than 250 people, from across the Diocese attended the joy-filled celebration.

Learn more about the vocational deacons.

Listen to the sermon by the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence.