Recently, Iona Collaborative featured Deacon Wayne Hanway in a ministry spotlight check out the story below.
Written by Iona Collaborative:
The Iona Collaborative is proud to extend the Seminary of the Southwest's mission to be a seminary for the whole Church, forming disciples of every order who are committed to their communities, grounded in the Anglican tradition, and prepared to lead a changing Church into a changing world.
This month, we are taking you to McAlester, OK for a visit with The Rev. Wayne Hanway, Deacon at All Saints Episcopal Church. Many thanks to Melanie Moore for sharing Wayne's story with us.
A cradle Episcopalian, Wayne had hardly walked onto campus as a college freshman when the Episcopal chaplain “grabbed me and plugged me in as a lay reader for Monday evening prayer. The Episcopal student center became my home away from home in college.” With an older brother who spent his career as an Episcopal priest and a sister who married a priest, it seems inevitable that Wayne would wind up serving. After retiring from a 41-year career as a public library administrator in 2015, he led the project of launching a prison ministry when his men’s group at All Saints Episcopal Church in McAlester, Oklahoma, location of the state penitentiary (and a minimum security prison as well) decided they wanted to begin that work.
“It became quickly apparent to me that I was going to be more effective if I were to become a Deacon,” he said. He completed the Iona School of Formation in Oklahoma in 2021 and was ordained in December 2021. Serving first at a minimum-security prison for two and a half years, he then transferred to the state penitentiary. “When I’m ministering to the guys, I work on a very basic level. I’ve been told by them that they’re going to hell. I have to assure them that God loves them, that God’s love is unconditional, that no matter what they’ve done, God loves them. It’s a very basic message and I have to repeat it over and over again. That’s the overall situation that I’m dealing with.
“I am deeply indebted to the Iona Formation Program that has made it possible for me to do what I’m doing. It’s very well run, very high quality. It’s been one of the high points of my life to be involved in it. And I appreciate the continuing support through the Thriving in Bi-Vocational Ministry program. I’m just finishing up the preaching practicum that I’ve been doing this fall and it’s been wonderful. Last year I did the pastoral care course and that was excellent. That kind of support is crucial. It is a fact we are very much seeing in Oklahoma, that the number of Bi-Vocational ministers is really growing because the need is there. We’d have to close down a bunch of congregations if we didn’t have our Bi-Vocational clergy and Iona is so important in addressing that need.”
924 N. Robinson I Oklahoma City, OK 73102
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