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Deaconesses in Europe and their Lessons for Americ

No vow shall be exacted from any deaconess


"THE NEW OFFICE OF DEACONESSES IN THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.

"For some years past our people in Germany have employed this class of workers with the most blessed results, and we rejoice to learn that a successful beginning has recently been made in the same direction in this country. A home for deaconesses has been established in Chicago, and others of a similar character are proposed in other cities. There are also a goodly number of similar workers in various places; women who are deaconesses in all but name, and whose number might be largely increased if a systematic effort were made to accomplish this result. Your committee believes that God is in this movement, and that the Church should recognize the fact and provide some simple plan for formally connecting the work of these excellent women with the Church and directing their labors to the best possible results. They therefore recommend the insertion of the following paragraphs in the Discipline, immediately after ? 198, relating to exhorters:

"DEACONESSES.

"1. The duties of the deaconesses are to minister to the poor, visit the sick, pray with the dying, care for the orphan, seek the wandering, comfort the sorrowing, save the sinning, and, relinquishing wholly all other

pursuits, devote themselves in a general way to such forms of Christian labor as may be suited to their abilities.

"2. No vow shall be exacted from any deaconess, and any one of their number shall be at liberty to relinquish her position as a deaconess at any time.

"3. In every Annual Conference within which deaconesses may be employed, a Conference board of nine members, at least three of whom shall be women, shall be appointed by the Conference to exercise a general control of the interests of this form of work.

"4. This board shall be empowered to issue certificates to duly qualified persons, authorizing them to perform the duties of deaconesses in connection with the Church, provided that no person shall receive such certificate until she shall have served a probation of two years of continuous service, and shall be over twenty-five years of age.

"5. No person shall be licensed by the board of deaconesses except on the recommendation of a Quarterly Conference, and said board of deaconesses shall be appointed by the Annual Conference for such term of service as the Annual Conference shall decide, and said board shall report both the names and work of such deaconesses annually, and the approval of the Annual Conference shall be necessary for the continuance of any deaconess in her work.

"6. When working singly each deaconess shall be under the direction of the pastor of the church with which she is connected. When associated together in a home all the members of the home shall be subordinate to and directed by the superintendent placed in charge.

"J. M. THOBURN, _Chairman_. "A. B. LEONARD, _Secretary_."


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