Just as the deaconess movement began with cutting-edge urban ministries with immigrants, the sick and the poor, deaconesses and home missioners today still engage in emerging and innovative ministries.
St. Phoebe the Deaconess. In the early Chuch there were women deacons. However, they were limited to that role and were not allowed in the priesthood. The reason for the deaconesses: it was considered improper for males to be physically handling women, so deaconesses were commissioned to assist especially in baptism and chrismation. While there are no liturgically recognized female deacons in the Orthodox Church in the USA, there are some in Japan, Russia and Greece.
This book looks at the contributions of St. Mark’s, in particular the important role played by women (especially deaconesses) as the church confronted social issues through the rise of the social gospel movement and into the modern civil rights era.