Saturday, May 30, 2020

Late deacon was the face of LR church

From Arkansas-

One of the Rev. Joyce Hardy's favorite things was to stand in Little Rock's Christ Episcopal Church before services and welcome the people entering its narthex.

"I'm getting lots and lots of stories ... that Joyce is the first person somebody met when they came to Christ Church," said the Rev. Kate Alexander, rector of the church, where the 68-year-old Hardy served as deacon from 2005 until her death earlier this month of melanoma. "By the next week she'd remember their name and welcome them again."

Welcoming others was one of Hardy's duties as a longtime deacon in the Episcopal Church but only a piece of her legacy. The social justice advocate has been described as a champion for the marginalized and underprivileged, and as a person who truly found her calling.

Those discerning their calling as ordained ministers in the church are called to be a deacon or a priest, Alexander said. Priests work within the institutional church, while deacons mostly focus on the world outside their church buildings, seeing and helping to meet the needs of their communities.

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