I chose not to be commissioned for health reasons. Since graduation from the Centre for Christian Studies in 2010 I have worked independently as a self-proclaimed Liturgical Artist/Diaconal Artist. You can view my website at www.tjchedore.ca
Program of Formation
CCS Diploma in Diaconal Ministries: Studies in Transformation and Action. My background includes studies at the Nova Scotia College of Art and the Ottawa School of Art, as well as years doing commissioned artwork.
What called you to diaconal ministry?
The interactive, hands-on educational model appealed to me. Combining practical work with deep reflection and intensive study in a community of leaders and learners is a holistic method of learning that I have been able to bring with me into my work. Diaconal ministry suits my personality.
Describe some of your experiences of ministry
I spent two years as a Program Coordinator in a large rural church, one and a half years as Student Supply in a smaller rural congregation, and one year as Youth and Families minister in a large urban church. I have journeyed with a congregation in conflict, worked closely on the long-term care issue with a community health coalition, and assisted a nursing home in re-establishing a strong pastoral care team.
In the broader community I assist with Palliative Care Training, lead art-based grief workshops, and offer presentations on the conflict in Israel and Palestine. I also work with congregational members to explore their spirituality through art, help inspire the creation of banners for worship spaces, and provide occasional pulpit supply.
I am learning that Diaconal Ministry is more than a set of functions or a style of ministry. It has a cultural identity of community and outreach that is grounded in historical and biblical experiences. Diaconal ministry is a model of ministry that embraces a strong commitment to lay involvement. Participation is encouraged through an educational model that develops leadership skills, explores issues of power and group dynamics, and encourages healthy team relationships; the gifts and skills of congregational members are thus lifted up and affirmed. While most DMs are commissioned to Education, pastoral care and social justice, a few, like myself, choose to work on the edge of the church, encouraging a diaconal style of ministry for all.
What gives you the most satisfaction, reward, sense of fulfillment from the ministry you do?
Developing educational workshops that help groups and individuals explore their spiritual nature is very satisfying for me. Using simple art activities can reveal deeply hidden beliefs that prevent us from moving forward. I am fulfilled when I watch faces light up as people ‘see’ themselves more clearly in relationship to God and others. As their self-awareness and their biblical knowledge grow, their understanding of God evolves.