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Issue # 3
August 25, 2020
Welcome to our third edition of DIAKONIA World Federation News.  Thank you to everyone who personally invited people to share their thoughts and all who responded with reports and pictures.   This is an inspiring collection of stories of the ways in which we are living out our unique calls to diaconal service in our own situations around the world.  There are links to more detailed reports in each of these short summaries.

As you continue in God's call, remember that we are endeavoring to have this ENews come out every other month, so we need your stories, even when you don't think you are doing much, you have a story to tell. 

Send articles in to Please include your name, your member organization and the region of  DWF to which you belong. 

Now sit back, relax for a minute and rejoice in the amazing people with whom we are fortunate to share friendship and call to ministry.  

~ Your E-News team: Sandy Boyce, Jan Cherry & Ted Dodd. 

COVID-19 quick turn around grants

The EC recognizes the different ways member associations have engaged in responding to COVID-19, and has invited applications for ‘quick turn around’ grants that will offer support for diaconally-related short  term projects and activities specifically responding to the pandemic. THERE IS STILL TIME TO APPLY.The deadline for applying is August 28, 2020.  For an application form contact:
Traude Leitenberger, Secretary:
or visit the website.

DWF Executive Committee meets via Zoom

Originally, the DIAKONIA World Federation (DWF) Annual Executive Meeting (EC) was to take place in person in Frankfurt, July 14-18.  Instead, because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, the EC met via Zoom.  Time zones were a challenge: The Australians were opening their eyes to be conscious for 5:30 a.m., and the Europeans/Africans  had to stay awake for a meeting that started at 10 p.m, for four days in a row. ’Time zones were a challenge with members of the Executive stretching around the globe from Fiji  in the Pacific to Seattle in North America.  Yet, all were in good spirits, and an amazing amount of work was accomplished.  COVID 19 has had a tremendous impact globally and we had a time to share our personal experiences and how the pandemic has impacted us in our local contexts. 

 A Financial Futures Task Group reported to the EC making a number of recommendations that will affect the operation of the organization.  As a cost-saving measure, it was agreed that the EC will meet every two years (instead of annually) with multiple meetings in between via electronic platforms. To see all of their recommendations A series of Committees will be established to further the work and deepen the networks of the Federation beyond those on the EC.  By involving more people in DWF, we envision an increased investment in the organization, and an energized re-commitment to the organization’s mission.

E-News The EC was pleased with the direction of the new Enews format of our newsletter which provides regular news, updates, and resources with a wider readership in member associations.  The program has a translation button which is an asset to deepen understanding internationally.  Thank you to Jan Cherry for serving in the role of editor and distributor of the news. To subscribe  and to send articles 

Bylaws The EC continues to work on Bylaws, which will be presented for approval at our next Assembly in Darwin 2022.  Thanks to Jan Cherry and Gordon Pennykid for their leadership in this area. 

A new logo, for DWF and the Regions, will be adapted from the logo used at the 2013 Berlin Assembly (see above  header for current design).  It has been necessary to clarify copyright arrangements, and fees for the graphic designer to tailor the logo for our purposes. Stay tuned for final design.  

Web Manager Diane Kaufmann has been the DWF Web Manager since 2012 and has indicated she plans to hand over responsibilities by the end of 2020.   Thank you for your years of faithful and dedicated service, Diane.  Welcome to her successor, Deaconess Student, Sara Manning.  We look forward to the redesigned web site coming soon.

New member association
Kaiserswerther Schwesternschaft

In July 2020, the DIAKONIA World Federation (DWF) approved Kaiserswerther Schwesternschaft in Germany as a new member association, on the recommendation of DRAE (DIAKONIA Region of Africa Europe) Executive Committee.


Herzlich willkommen 
Read more

Responses to the Pandemic

How has your community experienced the COVID 19 pandemic? 
How have your ministries been impacted?  
We share creative and inspiring stories from DIAKONIA  member associations around the world about how they have responded to COVID-19.
DIAKONIA Asia Pacific (DAP)

Fiji - COVID 19 and Cycle Harold

The Methodist Deaconess Order of Fiji had to manage both COVID-19 and Cyclone Harold in April 2020. They were able to support 2 Deaconesses serving in the outer islands with the provision of groceries. Learn More

COVID 19 lockdown and community connections

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown, social isolation, financial stress and insecurity about the future, have taken a toll on mental health and emotional well-being. Rev Christa Megaw, a Deacon in the Uniting Church in Australia, invited her congregation to consider ways to support people in their neighourhood. The responses were creative, and addressed the need for community connection despite the requirement for ‘social isolation’
Read more.

DIAKONIA of the Americas
and the Caribbean 


Research Diakonia (ReDi) is hosting a virtual conference September 17.  The theme is Diaconia as Gamechanger? Leadership of Service in Times of Crisis, Complexity and Transformation . 
DOTAC has registered as an institution and if you want to tune in send Ted Dodd an email,  He will send you the link and relevant documents as soon as received.  

DOTAC will also host
a debriefing session on the following day, Friday, September 18 at noon Central Daylight Time.  

ELCA responses to the pandemic

The Deaconess Community of the ELCA answered our question: "What losses and opportunities have members of the Deaconess Community of the ELCA experienced as they faithfully respond to their diaconal calls and work for the flourishing of all God’s creation?" They shared....

ProGente Connections’s Pandemic Response

 A Deacon founded and led nonprofit near Boston, Massachusetts
ProGente Connections is a coalition of Episcopal, Lutheran (ELCA) and Presbyterian (PCA) churches empowering and supporting the huge population of Brazilians living west of Boston, MA.  A Lutheran and an Episcopal deacon were instrumental in its founding.  Read more

#IECLB - Masks of Hope

Igreja Evangélica de Confissão Luterana no Brasil

We can not provide all the care we would like.  Time does not permit it; always someone else is in need of some compassionate service.  In these difficult times, many people have had to interrupt their professional activity or lose their jobs. For this reason, Igreja Evangélica de Confissão Luterana no Brasil (IECLB) Diakonia, in its various locations, has motivated organizations and faith communities to initiate diaconal campaigns, emphasizing the necessity that Diaconia must move on, even if in different ways, with care and hygiene, in the fight against the coronavirus. Read more

COVID19 responses in Winnipeg - Josh Ward

In Winnipeg (Canada), United Church of Canada Diaconal Minister Josh Ward serves as the Community Minister at St. Matthews Maryland Community Ministry – an outreach ministry that works to provide support and build community alongside some of the most vulnerable people. Read more: 

Cheryl Plummer, Hospice Chaplain (Lutheran Deaconess Association)

Cheryl Plummer, Lutheran Diaconal Association, is a hospice chaplain. During this pandemic she has continued to be at the bedsides of those near the end of their lives, to offer spiritual comfort and support, religious rituals, and connection to loved ones in the hospital, extended care facilities and private homes. The hospitals are a somewhat eerie and different place during this COVID pandemic ... Read more

And here are links to two more reports received from DOTAC

COVID responses in British Columbia

ELCIC and the pandemic

DIAKONIA Region Africa Europe (DRAE)

Sisterhood Bethesda in Basel, Switzerland - supporting COVID-19 projects

Member associations have offered financial support for projects in other countries. The Sisterhood Bethesda in Basel, Switzerland, maintains its commitment to diaconal work, even though the small community of 20 elderly Sisters is no longer able to conduct projects of their own. The three projects outlined here are indicative of their generous support to vulnerable people in a time where hope has been diminished and the future looks grim for so many people.

Left: Connexio (Network for Mission and Service of the United Methodist Church) 
Lower left: Onesimo 
Lower right: Osteuropa Mission Schweiz (OEM -Eastern Europe Mission Switzerland)

To learn more: 

Düsseldorf, July 7th, 2020. 

The corona pandemic has posed great challenges to the Kaiserswerther Diakonie and the people who work here in recent months. But how has life and work changed in the Kaiserswerth Diakonie? The special edition of the Kaiserswerther Mitteilungen offers an exciting look behind the scenes. The editorial team spoke to employees from six institutions about how they have experienced and mastered the past few months. The Florence Nightingale Hospital had to prepare for an increased rush of COVID-19 patients - which fortunately did not happen. Day care centers switched to emergency care for many weeks, schools were closed and pupils were given digital instruction, homes for elderly care and integration assistance were banned from entering. Emergency programs were set up, familiar forms of work changed and some things were completely reinvented.

How COVID-19 is impacting communities in Nigeria and Africa

Picture: 2017 Chicago DIAKONIA World Assembly


The Corona Virus Pandemic or the Covid-19 is an uncommon situation that showed up across the World and created a situation that the present generation had not witnessed before. The pandemic caused virtually all economies of the world to shut down. Movement within each country and across continents have been limited. read more:

by Deaconess Ibironke O. Oremade-Oworu 

Other Ways to stay in touch with DIAKONIA round the world: 
DIAKONIA World Federation Group DIAKONIA World Federation Group
DIAKONIA World Federation Website DIAKONIA World Federation Website
DIAKONIA President Sandy Boyce's Blog DIAKONIA President Sandy Boyce's Blog
Monthly Prayers Monthly Prayers
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