The Deacon's Ministry of the Word will offer both scriptural and theological resources, as well as strategies and approaches, for effectively communicating the word of God. The book will focus primarily on the homily--but the ideas and skills can be readily applied by deacons in any presentation in which the word of God is central, including RCIA meetings and retreat conferences.
- Chapter 1: Morning Drive
- Chapter 2: The Sunday "Conversation"
- Chapter 3: Four Questions
- Chapter 4: One
- Chapter 5: Preaching Visually
- Chapter 6: Putting It Together
- Chapter 7: You, the Proclaimer
- Chapter 8: You, the Minister 1
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Highly recommended not only for deacons but also for anyone who preaches God's Word.
This is an ideal book, even a handbook, for deacons to use as a resource in improving their preaching of the Word. We can all use this book to take the Gospel message and apply it to our own lives and not be as reluctant to bring others to a better understanding of our faith.
There is no such thing as "diaconal" preaching, as distinct from presbyteral or lay preaching. But, as Cormier notes, there is a way in which the distinct experiences of the deacon-as a man of service among the marginalized-should shape his preaching. Using an abundance of clear and simple examples, mostly drawn from his own preaching, Cormier illuminates that way. Cormier shows how the deacon can "pass his life through the fire of thought" in order to speak a relevant word for ordinary folk struggling to make sense of the Gospel in daily life.
What is abundantly clear in The Deacon's Ministry of the Word is that its author, Jay Cormier, not only understands the art of communication but is a gifted communicator. With clarity and conciseness, with bundles of examples and engaging images, he lays out a vision of preaching that is spot on target. What a gift to the preaching community.
Deacon Cormier has done a commendable job of providing deacons and other preachers with a fine introduction to the ministry of the Word. He avoids simplistic remedies and instead employs solid rhetorical and communication theory in a meaningful and thoroughly accessible fashion, wisely using both sacred and secular sources and examples. Any preacher, novice or veteran, would benefit from attention to Cormier's analyses, suggestions, and exercises. I know I have.