Deacon Changes

Dear WPC members and friends,

Greetings! Many of you are familiar with the way deacons have served over the last many, many years at Wilton Presbyterian Church. The model has been for each deacon to be assigned a “flock,” consisting of 10-12 families, and to serve as a shepherd for this group, caring for their needs.

However, over the last several months, we have been contemplating how to update our diaconate model to do two things: better utilize our deacons’ strengths and offer more efficient, effective support for members. For example, some deacons love planning gatherings to foster fellowship, others are good at quickly responding to an urgent need and arranging practical help, while others have the time and temperament to sit and listen.

And so, with the support of our Deacon Moderator Cathy Thomas and our eight excellent deacons, I write with the exciting news that our diaconate will take on a new structure, effective immediately! Deacons will serve on one of three ministry teams, according to their gifts, interests and availability: Fellowship Team, Helping Hands Team or Connections team.

Fellowship Team

Tara Cummins, Margaret Greene, and Julie Stein

The purpose of this ministry is to provide opportunities for the congregation to gather in ways that nurture faith and deepen meaningful ties within the church:

• small, intimate events, typically in-home, for 10-20 people

• events rooted in the church calendar or ministerial purpose

• Examples: in-home communions, new member brunches, Advent gatherings, reception following memorial services, etc.

Helping Hands Team

Susan Stofega, Ashley Courtney, and Cindy Ely

The purpose of this ministry is to coordinate support for members in immediate distress (health or personal concerns) over a short period of time.

• This team will coordinate our congregation’s efforts to provide rides, meals, prayers, flowers, cards, emails, phone calls, etc., in the short term—generally over a couple of weeks—for congregants in acute need.

• They will work with the Deacon Moderator and Pastor to identify and respond to individual needs.

Connections Team

Berta Hull, Cathy Thomas and Marianne Wilson

The purpose of this ministry is to connect with members who have ongoing needs (as opposed to members in crisis) and to express care and interest in members’ lives. This team will:

• Offer in-home visits and phone calls for members in need of companionship due to illness, isolation or life circumstance (especially for those home-bound)

• Share a cup of coffee, bring news of church life, lend an attentive ear and presence

• Reach out to members in the congregation to maintain everyday connection to WPC

What this means practically for each of you is that you will no longer have one deacon, you will have nine deacons caring for you! If you have a pastoral need of any kind, please reach out to Cathy Thomas (, 203 962-1812) or me (, 203 762-5515); if it is helpful, and with your permission, we will contact the appropriate deacon team to coordinate care or support for you.

On Sunday, when our new diaconate met for the first time, and divided themselves into teams of three, there was a buzz of energy in the room and a lot of new ideas swirling about how to communicate well and coordinate care so that they can love and serve each of you well. These capable deacons will follow in the footsteps of generations of WPC deacons, “lead[ing] the congregation in compassion, witness, and service,” (PCUSA Book of Order, W 2.0302). I can’t wait to see how God’s spirit will move through them in our congregation.

If you have questions about the new deacon roles or how these changes will impact you, please reach out to Cathy Thomas or me. We would love to hear from you.

In hope, faith and joy,

Reverend Jessica Jones

Pastoral Care, Diaconate, Faith Formation

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