In many places, and at various times, Dorcas has become known now as Adventist Community Services and men as well as women have become involved. Dorcas has been, and continues to be, an important part of the church program; however, it is not a department of the church. It is an outreach of the Sabbath School, Personal Ministries Departments for reaching out into the community, primarily in helping the poor and needy. Since it was first begun by a group of women, it has become broader in its nature. This is because in many places the help of men is needed. Women have taken care of the program and have made it not only an outreach for the church but an area where women can take leadership, women can have training, and women can have retreats and many other activities.
This society gathers and prepares clothing, food, and other supplies for the poor, needy and unfortunate. This organization works in close cooperation with the deacons and deaconesses of the church. Community Services/Dorcas ministry, however, includes more than giving material aid; it encompasses also adult education, visiting, homemaking, home nursing, counseling and other services. The church Personal Ministries Department has primary responsibility for this work.
One of the misconceptions regarding Dorcas and Women’s Ministries is that women can only serve in one place in the church and so they either have to serve in Dorcas, or Dorcas has to be done away with and take on Women’s Ministries. This is not true. Women can belong to both Dorcas and the Women’s Ministries and possibly be involved in Children’s Ministries, Health Ministries, Family Life Ministries and many other things at the same time-whatever appeals to the individual woman and wherever the Lord leads that individual woman.