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Letter to Editor

On the First Deaconess Ordained at Metropolis of Zimbabwe

To the Editor:

Thank you for the front-page story in the May 18 issue regarding the ordination of Deaconess Angeliki to the diaconate in Zimbabwe. This is an exciting and hopeful development in the Orthodox Church, and I pray more bishops in other jurisdictions will do the same. The church will greatly benefit from the many ways deaconesses, called by the Holy Spirit, can serve today – pastoral counseling, chaplains, educating, taking communion to the elderly and sick, etc. Our priests desperately need help, and our communities need the gifts of all its people. Orthodox men and women have been advocating with conferences, papers, and prayer for this moment since the 1988 Rhodes Consultation, convened under the auspices of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, declared that women should be ordained to the diaconate as they were in the early church for many centuries. For the most complete information available (far beyond Orthodoxwiki cited in the above story from Greece), I recommend readers visit the preeminent source: St. Phoebe Center for the Deaconess in the U.S. at www.orthodoxdeaconess.org.

Thank you,

Marilyn Rouvelas

Arlington, VA

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