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Deacon Assistants

The Presbyterian Church in America provides for men and women to be appointed as Deacon Assistants.

Current Deacon Assistants
Christine Guarnera Sandra Johnson
Emily Massengill Maggie Stein
Ben Ward




The PCA Book of Church Order states:

9-7. It is often expedient that the Session of a church should select and appoint godly men and women of the congregation to assist the deacons in caring for the sick, the widows, the orphans, the prisoners, and others who may be in any distress or need. These assistants to the deacons are not officers of the church (BCO 7-2) and, as such, are not subjects for ordination (BCO 17).

Deacon Assistants join and expand the work of Deacons in demonstrating and encouraging Christian love and mercy through service to others—especially the vulnerable both within and outside the church. They comfort those in need, care for the poor, and encourage the church in this work, thereby authenticating and demonstrating the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Deacon Assistants will thus serve as members of the Mercy Ministry Team.

In establishing this role at Trinity, our Session has charged the congregation with identifying and nominating individuals to serve in this role.

To Make a Nomination

When the nomination period is announced each year, you will find an online nomination form for Deacon Assistants. Instructions for nominating Deacon Assistants will be included with the nomination form, but the following guidelines should be helpful.

For deacon assistants, consider adult men and women who are church members and who exhibit:

  • an eagerness to serve others without expectation of reciprocity
  • clear concern for the poor and vulnerable
  • demonstrated ability to solve practical problems
  • readiness to "get their hands dirty"
  • ability to work well as part of a team

Nomination is a result of the Holy Spirit bringing to mind those who would serve the church well. Therefore church members are asked to:

  • Pray for wisdom as you consider a potential nominee, who must be an adult member of Trinity.
  • Ponder your nominee’s qualifications, remembering the Bible emphasizes character for service.
  • Ask the person if he/she is willing to be nominated, to learn more, and to prayerfully engage in a time of discerning God's will and preparing to serve. Urge your nominee to read this webpage.
  • Complete and submit the Deacon Assistant Online Nomination Form by the deadline, or a hard copy (which will be available in the foyer) may be left in the wooden box between the outside doors in the church foyer or mailed to the church office (PO Box 5102, Charlottesville, VA 22905).

Trinity Church requires separate nomination forms from at least two church members to complete a Deacon Assistant nomination. It is wise to ask others to support your nomination with another nomination if they agree that an individual would serve well.  Those nominated in the past may be nominated again as they may have felt the time was not right for them for many reasons but may now be ready to prepare and serve.

The Discernment and Training Process
Since Deacon Assistants principally serve in the area of Mercy Ministry, their training is overseen and provided by the Pastor for Mercy in coordination with the Mercy Ministry Team of the Diaconate.

Beginning Service as a Deacon Assistant
All who satisfactorily complete the designated process of preparation may be appointed for a specified term by the Session. Upon appointment each one will be publicly commissioned to serve at Trinity in this role.