As we come close to the end of another year we can once again enjoy a time of reflection. However, 2016 is perhaps a difficult year to reflect on positively. Political upheaval, terrorism and ongoing conflict across the globe has touched the lives of many of us and left us with questions and doubts as well as deep sadness. Diaconia is not immune to the challenges that our world faces and throughout the year our members have been committed to alleviating distress, working to combat populist rhetoric that threatens to weaken our social fabric and care for those newly arrived as well as those long established in our societies. Diaconal work is based on values of solidarity, hope, dignity, care and justice. These were emphasized in 2016 when our members shared a common statement on hospitality and the need for our societies to rediscover what welcome and hospitality mean. Throughout the year diaconal organisations have spoken out, provided services and shared that commitment to hospitality in its many forms.

We do not know what 2017 will bring but we do know that our values will be our anchor and our contribution to Europe throughout the year. Thank you for your support and your contribution to our work this year and as we celebrate that great festival of hope at Christmas time may we share the peace, hope and understanding that started in a stable, amongst poverty and persecution, 2000 years ago.

Wishing you a good weekend, a merry Christmas and a hopeful 2017,