Support for Russian Lutherans establishing a diaconal structure

Published on 22.06.2012

The Kaiserswerther Verband and the Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz strengthened their ties to Russia with a study tour to diaconal projects in the Kaliningrad region and Lithuania from June 6 through 14, 2012.

The Kaiserswerther Verband KWV and the Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz KGK deepen their contacts with Russia. On a study tour from June 4 through 14, 2012, forty-five participants from German member houses visited various ecclesiastical and diaconal projects in the Kaliningrad region and in Lithuania.

Under the direction of Winfried Gayko, KWV board member and diaconal representative of the Paul Gerhard Stift Berlin, the journey went from Königsberg to Cranz to the Curonian Spit and to Nidden. The tour included visits to the "Jablonka" Center for street children and to the regional hospital, to the former "Diakonissenmutterhaus zur Barmherzigkeit" in Kaliningrad, the former Königsberg. The participants were also given insights into the outpatient Diakonia of the Protestant Lutheran Provostry of Kaliningrad, which, despite great financial difficulties, operates a TB children's hospital and provides prison ministry by taking care that the contact between mothers in prison and their children is maintained.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia is in the process of establishing a working diaconal structure and is therefore reinforcing their contacts with Diakonia organizations worldwide. A Russian delegation took part in the meeting of the Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz in Düsseldorf on the occasion of its 150th anniversary in October 2011. This was the first time a Russian delegation took part in a major international diaconal symposium since the October Revolution of 1917. The Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz then adopted the promotion of Diakonia in Eastern Europe as a medium-term goal into their own legislative objectives. The diaconal study tour was a first important step.

"On this tour, the participants were able to experience traces of the German past, the Russian present, Protestant life in the Diaspora, the development of various diaconal projects, natural wonders such as the shifting dunes on the Curonian Spit and multifaceted encounters with different people", said Winfried Gayko.
The upcoming 42nd Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz from June 19 through 23, 2014, in Dzi?gielów / Poland, will discuss the expectations for international cooperation of the project managers in the Kaliningrad region and the possibilities for support and networking on the part of the General Conference.

The Kaiserswerther Verband (KWV) stands for exercising diaconal tasks in the Protestant Church in the tradition of Mother House Diakonie based on the Kaiserswerth model. It represents Diakonie in its special form as Diakonie in community. For more than 90 years, the KWV has been a network of diaconal competence and Christian charity. It facilitates a Christian oriented exchange of values possible for its members, represents the members on various political, ecclesiastical and diaconal levels and assists the members in establishing their networks. The KWV connects more than 70 diaconal communities and organizations in Germany.
Berlin/Bern on June 22, 2012
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