Tracey has been a Deaconess at St. James’s since 2013 and is involved the areas of visitation, pastoral care and development.
My working week has a general routine. Currently, on a Monday I write a handout for the Women’s Bible Study which I take on a Thursday morning. The Bible Study is run in six week blocks. When the Bible Study is finished, I carry out pastoral visitation on a Monday and Thursday in both in hospitals and congregation.
On Tuesday I am researching the feasibility of St James’s running a Toddler group and I attend the “Tuesday Group”. I also attend Presbyterian Women, Midweek Bible Study or Home Group on alternate Tuesday evenings.
Friday’s are usually spent meeting with women on a one-to-one basis for pastoral help. On a Saturday I usually write prayer for the Sunday morning service. I also prepare for Youth Fellowship which takes place on alternate Sunday evenings.
I have been the deaconess in St. James’ for over three years now and I know the majority of the congregation. In November, I had a three year review and I am looking forward to the next three years.
In 2016 I undertook the following:
- Hospital Visiting
- Pastoral visiting
- Taking part in funerals
- Leading Evening Fellowship Meetings
- Leading Prayer Meetings on an ad hoc basis.
- Women’s Bible Study
The women’s Bible study is ongoing February and October each year in six week blocks. This enables women to attend all the studies. In 2016 we studied the Book of James and “What Does the Bible Really Say about Homosexuality” and “Islam – What Do Muslims Believe?”
Pastoral visiting is ongoing and in the different settings of home, hospital, nursing homes and one-to-one prayer ministry.
Women’s Craft Club
This continued in 2016 and the women who attend really trust each other now and are sharing their worries, concerns and problems as well as their joys. It is a lovely group of women and I feel blessed just to be among them. I always read Scripture and pray at the end of each morning for what the people and problems we have discussed. I get to hear things that I never would otherwise know about.
I continue to undertake deputation both at PW meetings and in morning services.
In January 2016, I began “Tracey’s Trolley.” A shopping trolley was placed in the vestibule of the Church and members of the congregation can give items of food or toiletries. I empty the contents of the trolley every Sunday after the morning service and the food is distributed among a few people in our congregation who need it. The overflow is given to Ballymoney Foodbank. The congregation has really supported this ministry and the trolley is full every week.
“Come Dine With Me”
I had originally started this in my placement year in Ballywillan Presbyterian Church. Then Rev. Hugh Cubitt asked me to start it at the end of 2016 in St. James’. It is still early days but I have had about 10 people come for Sunday lunch about once a month. We look forward to seeing what 2017 holds.