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Not competition but collaboration

In Geneva, Rev. Matthias Börner (left) and Rev. Godwin Ampony (right) met with Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay, General Secretary of the WCC. Photo by: WCC

This spring, Rev. Matthias Börner and Rev. Godwin Ampony from UEM’s Team Diaconia met in Geneva, Switzerland, with representatives of the WCC* and the LWF*.

During their meeting with the WCC, it was decided to retreat some of the working cooperations, because this would duplicate efforts where a single effort is enough to serve the universal church.

Education videos of diaconic topics will be a future initiative of UEM and WCC: Rev. Dr. Kenneth Mtata, WCC Programme Director for Public Witness and Diaconia, and UEM Team Diaconia agreed on piloting these videos, targeted at students, researchers and practitioners of diaconia. Lecturers might also find them helpful for their teaching.

The UEM Team also met with Rev. Prof. Dr. Simone Sinn, Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, and had a discussion on academic issues, including exchange of professors, sharing learning platforms, and joint lectures.

UEM and LWF will work together as well: for example in the LWF Scholarship, the UEM study course on Diaconic Management and the organization of the alumni at the regional levels of Africa, Asia, and Europe. UEM’s Team Diaconia organizes an International Master of Arts in Diaconic Management (IMADM), cooperating with different Universities around the world, to strengthen diaconic institutions in the UEM member churches. Until now, our alumni are organized globally, but connecting on a regional basis might be a good opportunity for specific actions. For this, Ms. Katariina Kiilunen, LWF Program Executive for Capacity Building and Leadership Development, discussed with our team Ecumenical Diaconia and Diaconia in the global south.

We are happy to have strong partners in WCC and LWF and look forward to a cooperative future.


*WCC = World Council of Churches

*LWF = Lutheran World Federation


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