2023 Arizona Deacon’s Retreat

“God Brings Water to a Thirsty People”

By The Venerable Amy Bryan, Archdeacon

This last weekend I had the privilege of gathering with many of the deacons around the diocese for refreshment and renewal, and to discern how we, as deacons, can respond in new ways to the changing needs of a hurting world. 

As deacons, we are called to minister to those in need and to reflect the needs of the world to the Church. Our call is not only to be of service but to empower others, particularly the laity, to join us in the necessary work of being Christ’s hands and feet in the world. Yet for many of us (and not just deacons), the realities of a new normal with COVID and an ever-changing digital landscape have us feeling isolated and disconnected. Many of our ministries became no longer possible during the pandemic; others have struggled to start because there are not enough willing hands to do the work and lighten the load. Still, others have had to find creative ways to evolve their ministries to adapt to these new realities. 

Over the weekend we responded to these struggles in a variety of ways. We prayed together; through meditation and art, with words, with laughter. We had time to sit in silence, to enjoy nature, to reconnect with each other, and even time to nap. Most profoundly, we participated in several peer-led workshops to discuss where the needs of the world are at this time—topics including mental health (especially in youth), the prison system and the death penalty, digital ministry and digital mindfulness, and homelessness, to name a few. I am humbled by the hopefulness and strength of our deacons in this diocese, who have continued to work tirelessly during the pandemic.

Our ministries are often overlooked because they happen outside of Sunday worship. If you want to serve in one of the ministries mentioned above, if you want to get more involved in your church community, or if you are feeling a bigger call to servant ministry, please contact me at

Let us go forth in the name of Christ!