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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    Perspectives: Meet the Deacons

    Meet the Deacons: Rev. Vivian Ruth Waltz

    September 23, 2019 / By Rev. Vivian Ruth Waltz / 1 Comment

    I am Deacon Vivian Ruth Waltz, appointed by Bishop Webb to an extension ministry as fulltime Director of the SSJ Sister Karen Klimczak Center for Nonviolence in Buffalo. The mission of the Sister Karen Center is to eliminate violence in ourselves, in our society, and in our world. We work to create a nonviolent community in our thinking, our acting, and our relationships.

    Our primary training program is the Alternatives to Violence Project where we explore the causes of violence, the roots of nonviolence, and how to resolve conflicts in a positive way. We provide workshops for adult community and church groups, in schools, with homeless and abused youth, as well as in Wende Correctional Facility for men and Albion Correctional Facility for women.

    I also work with the Buffalo Peacemakers Gang Intervention and Outreach Program. Peacemakers work with law enforcement to intervene in potentially violent situations with youth in or at-risk of joining gangs.

    The Sister Karen Center runs “Camp Peaceprints,” a day camp for economically disadvantaged children which provides exposure to a diverse community while introducing and exploring communication, social justice issues, community organizing, and peaceful conflict resolution.

    In my role within Hamburg UMC, I preach and lead worship, I assist Pastor David Nicol in the sacraments; I teach bible study; I chair the Outreach Team (including our ministries to people recovering from addiction, as well as our hospitality ministry to homeless families); I visit homebound members; I am secretary for our UMW Circle; and I enjoy singing in the choir!

    I love being a deacon and being called to focus on the need for justice in the world. Over the years, I have often told the elders in my church that I am glad I am not called to “Order” in the UM Church. Any administrative challenges are not my job - my job is to respond with compassion to those who are struggling to find peace in their lives wherever I find them.

    Each week before the pastor’s benediction, I dismiss the congregation with a charge to find and to serve God outside the walls of the church. Hear the challenge that United Methodist deacons put before you: seek out the lost and the lonely in the world, and know that in caring for “the least of these” in the family of God, we are serving Christ himself! (Matthew 25:40)

    Comments 1

    Dear Reverend Waltz,
    Thank you for all you do for Jesus! It's a wonderful thing when Christians abide by Mathew 25:36-40. This is the Scripture we , (Gouverneur Kairos Council), use to explain Prison Ministry to all people we are in reach out to.
    You are Blessed,
    Everett

    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on September 25, 2019 at 5:13 pm
    Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

    With more than 134,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 85 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."