This is where the diaconal communities come into play

Published on 07.09.2009

Despite the pressure of competition, diaconal communities have an important role to play in enterprises. This according to the 7th International Symposium of the Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz, which took place from September 4 through 6 in Budapest.

"Between Mother House and Diakonie Enterprise" was the title of the 7th international symposium of the Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz (KGK) from September 4 through 6, 2009 in Budapest. Proceeding from the original characteristic values of the Deaconess Mother Houses, 60 executives and interested parties from Deaconess Mother Houses based on the Kaiserswerth model from seven countries discussed aspects of diaconal corporate culture in the field of tension between community and enterprise in various countries in Europe.

"Do we still need diaconal communities in an enterprise?", asked Beate Hoffmann in her main lecture. The professor for Christian community education and religious education at the Ev. University of Applied Sciences Nuremberg referred to the competitive situation which diaconal providers face today. "It takes a transformation so that people of today can experience and understand what Diakonie means", says Hoffmann.

"A living Christian spirituality can help cope with the daily boundary experiences in social welfare activities. And this is where the diaconal communities come into play", says Hoffmann. They could act as "Christian Year Messengers", for instance, who accompany an enterprise for a year and assist in organizing the liturgical year. Deaconess communities have a distinct culture of dealing with transitions and partings. Experienced members of the communities could act as "Coping Aid Workers" and assist staff members in diaconal institutions in difficult situations.

The participants also learned about the tradition of the former reformed Filadelfia Deaconess Mother House in Budapest and visited the Hungarian deaconesses of the Lutheran Phoebe Deaconess Motherhouse in Budapest, as well as the diaconal Silo facility for the physically handicapped in Piliscsaba.

Among other topics, the subsequent KGK fall meeting of the Executive Committee on September 7, 2009 addressed the preparation of the 150 year anniversary of the Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz, which will take place from October 8 through 10, 2011 in Kaiserswerth / Düsseldorf.

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:
Abbot Pastor Christof Naef (CH), Abbess Edy Kjærsgaard (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 Hannelore Reichert-Pfundstein (G-South), Sen. Sr. Roswitha Buff (G-South), vacant (A), KR Dr. Christine-Ruth Müller (Secretary General).

Budapest/Bern on September XX, 2009

Media contact:
Dipl. theol. Thomas Flügge, Press Spokesman
Tel.: +41 31 37025 -02, Fax -80
Mobile: +41 79 6401902

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