Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz: 150 years world-wide for others

Published on 09.10.2011

The world-wide association of the Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz (KGK) celebrated its 150th anniversary with international guests. The KGK is a model for ecclesiastical-diaconal work, said Olav Fykse Tveit, Secretary General of ÖRK.

KGK Press Release 4/2011
150 years Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz: Between October 8 and 9, 2011, a "family celebration", a festive service and various other events marked the 150th anniversary of the association of more than 100 Deaconess Houses, diaconal communities and diaconal organizations from Europe, North and South America and Asia. More than 160 people from 13 countries gathered on the premises of the Kaiserswerther Diakonie in Dusseldorf, the founding place of the General Conference in 1861.

KGK President Christof Naef (Bern) welcomed the delegates under the motto "In diaconal community – world-wide for others".

International guests participated in the festivities with words of greeting and congratulations. "Its impressive experience in diaconal ministry and the living synergy of Diakonie and spirituality is an example for the ecumenical-diaconal work of our Churches", emphasized the Secretary General of the Ecumenical Council of Churches (ÖRK), Pastor Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit (Geneva). Eurodiaconia Secretary General, Heather Roy (Brussels), emphasized the "professionalism and expertise" of the KGK institutions: "They have ensured health and social services on the highest level", said Roy: "They shared this commitment in Europe and the world and have learned from each other, worked together and supported each other".

The ceremonial address was given by Annette Leis-Peters of the University of Uppsala. "In times of increasing internationalization, the Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz is ahead of other organizations", said Leis-Peters. The social-political developments give cause to further strengthen the international network. In the face of growing social marginalization, it is not easy to define the diaconal mission. Leis-Peters: "It is therefore particularly important that the international Kaiserswerth Community makes this problem their diaconal task."

The sermon of the festive service was held by Thomas Wipf (Bern), President of the Gemeinschaft Evangelischer Kirchen in Europa (GEKE). Petra Bosse-Huber (Dusseldorf), Vice President of the Protestant Church in Rhineland and Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, Mayor of Dusseldorf, delivered further words of greeting.
The commemorative publication Festschrift "Diakonie in Community – Perspectives of Successful Motherhouse Diakonie" was published by Neukirchner Verlag on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the General Conference. The 41st KGK General Conference will take place directly after the anniversary celebrations. On October 10 and 11, the participants in the conference will, among other things, be presented and asked to vote on an updated fundamental order and new electoral rules of the Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz. There will also be a separate, parallel program for former abbots, mothers superior and retired business directors of the KGK member organizations.

The Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz is an association of more than 100 Deaconess Houses, diaconal communities and diaconal organizations from Europe, Nord and South America and Asia.
Members of the KGK Executive Committee are: Pastor Christof Naef (CH), vacant (DK), Vice Rector Deaconess Terttu Pohjolainen (FIN), Prieure Evangeline (F), Director Terje Steen Edvardsen (N), Director Marek Londzin (PL), Deaconess Monica Denk (North America), Abbess Pastor Hannah Becker (G-North), Mother Superior Reinhild Pursche (G-East), Sen. Sr. Deaconess Anke Frickmann (G-West), Board Spokesman Pastor Matthias Dargel (G-West), Mother Superior Sr. Hildegund Fieg (G-South), Sen. Sr. Roswitha Buff (G-South), Rector Mag. Christa Schrauf (A), KR Dr. Christine-Ruth Müller (Secretary General).

Kaiserswerth on October 9, 2011

Media contact:
Dipl. theol. Thomas Flügge, Press Spokesman
Tel.: +41 31 37025 -02, Fax -80
Mobile: +41 79 6401902
E-mail: presse@kaiserswerther-verband.de

KR Dr. Christine-Ruth Müller
Managing Director of the Kaiserswerther Verband and Secretary General of the Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz
Landhausstrasse 10, 10717 Berlin, Tel. +49 30 8642 4170
E-mail: verband@kaiserswerther-verband.de