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This bi-vocational idea is an interesting one. It seems that the Church is always trying to define emerging realities, even realities that have existed for awhile. For example, I am a Roman Catholic deacon. I work primarily in Adult Formation, but I do not get paid and have a regular, professional, job. I agree that the word volunteer seems dismissive. I also agree that defining ourselves in terms of whether or not we get paid creates serious issues for how are church and how we serve. It goes something like, those who are paid bear the responsibility, while the rest of us are here to help. In other words, people whom we have dubbed volunteers do not see their diakonia as a vocation. So, while bi-vocational may not catch on, I think we need the term vocation. Of course a vocation is a call to put our charisms at the service (diakonia) of others.

In the RCC we are starting to use the term Lay Ecclesial Minister for laypeople, most of whom are women, who either are paid to serve, or who are deeply involved in various aspects of church life. Predictably, this is not without some resistance.

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