The Board-Along with Guests-Met in Johannesburg
The Pro Diakonia in the German-Speaking Area Project* Initiated
The IDC Board met in Johannesburg between February 25th and March 1st. Our host deacon, Greg Garnie prepared everything wonderfully and, as a result, all the conference took place in a good atmosphere. The main topic on the agenda was the discussion and preparation of the Pro Diakonia worldwide project which will be preceded by a similarly named project in the German speaking area.
Klaus Kieβling explained to the Board and its guests the aim and structure of this project which the IDC will be able to conduct with the support of a foundation. This project will be connected to Klaus Kieβling’s Institute at the St. Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology in Frankfurt; therefore its very important scientific supervision and evaluation is guaranteed. The President of the IDC also welcomed representatives of the diaconate in Australia, Hong Kong and the United States to Johannesburg. They were invited in order to build up, together with the IDC’s Delegates a sustainable global network which is of great importance for the Pro Diakonia Worldwide project. We are happy to report that Vicar General Dominic Chan of Hong Kong and the spokesperson for the deacons of the same diocese, Edwin Ng, as well as Deacon Nick Kerr from Adelaide, Australia and Deacon Gerald DuPont from the USA accepted to come on board.
The Pro Diakonia Worldwide project aims to strengthen the profile of the diaconate throughout the world and to make visible the way deacons understand themselves. By means of model-based interviews, deacons from the German speaking area, as a first step, are asked about the way they understand themselves. The Pro Diakonia in the German Speaking Area project, serves as a precursor to the worldwide project.
After the interviews are carried out, the results of the qualitative-empirical study will be scientifically evaluated. In this way, beside individual portraits which make one realise the diversity of the faces of the diaconate, there will appear certain topic-centred bundles which reveal the main features of the diaconate. If the project in the German speaking area is successful, the 50 year anniversary celebration of the IDC, which will take place in Rome and Assisi between the 21st and the 25th of October, 2015 will see the start of the expansion of this project on a world-wide scale. The agreement expressed by IDC advisor Gerald DuPont as well as by the guests from Australia and Hong Kong makes us hope that the Pro Diakonia Worldwide project which can benefit from experience already acquired in Argentina, South Africa and India, will stimulate and strengthen the image of diaconate worldwide. In October 2014 in Havana, Cuba the IDC Delegates will discuss the project further and determine the next steps to be made.