Diaconia in Dialogue Conference 15 Sept 2016, Diaconia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki

Dear participants,

The Church without Diaconia would be an institutional monster. The Church without Diaconia would be a faceless organization. The Church without Diaconia would be a good structure or a beautiful ceremony.

Diaconia makes the Church to be the Church! With Diaconia and through Diaconia we survive as the one, which we are called to be. To care, to share and to struggle for justice. Diaconia is difficult, embarrassing, complicating … and exactly that´s why we need it. Diaconia brings to us the hidden stories as well the words, which are whispered in shame and in shadow. Diaconia is the selfie of our society! Diaconia is a bridge, an open bridge, not a locked room and certainly not a close concept.

Maybe a Navigator in our institutional car – so, what would happen, if we dare to ask, where we actually want to arrive?

I welcome you here in Helsinki. But and however, I appreciate your professional vocabulary of “being welcome”. It is more and deeper, than “come in”. Welcome, it is a word of surprise!

I welcome you to surprise us with your knowledge and with your compassion.

You are most welcome!