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DUTIES VARY FOR DEACONS IN OTHER CHURCHES

Like the Catholic Church, other Christian denominations also have deacons, but their duties vary widely.

In the Episcopal Church, just as in the Catholic Church, deacons are ordained to assist on the altar at celebrations of Eucharist and to provide service such as visiting the sick and elderly.

Congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America select lay people to serve specific functions. For instance, there are preaching deacons who preach, visitation deacons who visit the sick and homebound, and congregational deacons who assist their pastors with the liturgy.

In the Presbyterian Church, deacons are ordained as lay officers of the church, but they do not perform a liturgical function like the Catholic and Episcopal deacons. Instead, the Presbyterian deacons, who are elected by their congregations, carry out a ministry of sympathy, witness and service to people in need, the sick, the friendless and anyone in distress within or beyond the congregation.

United Methodist deacons are ordained for service in such positions as business administrator, director of music and director of Christian education. They do not perform sacramental functions.

Deacons in the United Church of Christ are ordained to advance the spiritual life of the congregation. They prepare the altar and elements for services with communion, oversee the music ministry and visit the sick and shut-ins.

Baptist deacons are appointed by the congregation and ordained after a period of training and evaluation. Their functions vary from church to church, but they may include teaching Sunday school, conducting prayer meetings and Bible study, serving communion, visiting the sick and providing assistance to people in financial need.

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