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Date(s) - 13/03/2019 - 15/03/2019
All Day

Apex Hotel

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Welcome to Edinburgh! – Fàilteachaidh do Dhùn Èideann!

At a time when we are challenged by the phenomenon of fake news; of echo chambers and the variance of narratives it is more important than ever to ensure that we, asorganisations committed to the truth of the reality of life for the people we serve, are able to be recognized as truth tellers and truth protectors.  In our advocacy work we must continue to speak truth to power but also ensure we create and give space to those who can speak of their own truths.  In our social care work we should be demonstrating the truth of human dignity, rights and love in our actions as well as our words.  Therefor our Annual Conference in 2019 will be organized around the theme of .

Why you should attend?

Attending our annual conference and general meeting gives you the opportunity to learn and exchange with peers from around Europe, develop new projects and ideas and discuss how our work in Diaconia can shape systemic and structural social needs in our communities.

Our programme will take place over three days, each day having a particular dynamic.

  • Our first day (Wednesday) will focus on our engagement in society at political and organizational levels as well as give space for members and partners to share their projects, plans and contribute to European level initiatives.
  • Our second day (Thursday) will see everyone travel to the city of Glasgow where we will spend a day visiting projects, meeting with self-advocacy groups and learning how community and public truths are being told by those who experience social challenge and risk
  • Our third day (Friday) will bring us together to reflect on what we have seen and what it means for Eurodiaconia. We will also conduct the business of Eurodiaconia in this session, ensuring that we are a well governed, well-resourced network working in partnership with our members to achieve social justice.


Workshops and seminars

Building on feedback from previous events we are offering one round of workshops and seminars but for a longer time period, therefore allowing participants to dig deeper into the topic. In each session there will be a lead expert speaker who will introduce the topic and several practical examples, where possible, on how the topic is used in practice by diaconal organisations and partners. There will then be time for debate and discussion as well as some European context development and action planning for future work on these topics (participants will be able to choose one from the following)

  1. Telling Truths – the Bible as a resource for Diaconia
    The Bible lays out both the origin and characteristics of diaconal service. Does it remain our guiding text for our diaconal work today? How can we rediscover the Bible as a resource for Diaconia and a reference point for the type of Diaconia needed today?
  2. Telling Truths – the role of academic research in bringing diaconal truths into the public square
    Academic research in Diaconia is increasingly contextual with a greater willingness to close the gap between praxis and research. Academic research can uncover truths that may previously been hidden and can share the reality of both peoples lives and the impact of the work of Diaconia. How can we create greater space in our work for truth telling in partnership with academics?
  3. Telling Truths through culture and the arts
    Poetry, theatre, music, rap, art are just some of the ways in which truths can be told in an alternative way. In this seminar we will be exploring the power of arts and culture in Diaconia to be truth tellers and hearing about existing projects that support truth telling audiences more engaged through culture and the power of such work to change lives and politics.
  4. Telling Truths – giving care
    How do we tell truths when we provide care to people with Alzheimer’s and dementia, to children in kindergartens, in rehabilitation services or in access to work programmes? What truths do we want to tell and how just our work exhibit the truths of our values and our faith.
  5. Telling truth – speaking out
    Engaging in the public square and being prophetic voices is part of our diaconal work. How do we engage effectively in advocacy at local, national and European level and how do we ensure our truths are heard?
  6. Telling truth – the challenge of the media
    Our truths fight for space alongside other truths as well as lies and fake news. How do we rise above the caphonony of voices claiming space and ensure we engage positively with the media?
  7. Telling truths – engaging and hearing voices of experience
    If we wish to be truth tellers, we must also ensure that those who experience those truths can speak for themselves. Developing our work on participatory democracy and the engagement of experts by experience is essential for both ensuring the rights of all we engage with and ensuring the legitimacy of our work.

Keynote speech

The Power of compassion – and the truth(s)

Prof. Anne Birgitta Pessi

Information and programme

More information about travel and accommodation, as well as the 1st draft meeting agenda, can be found on the Eurodiaconia AGM 2019 Final Programme and information


Participants should register as soon as possible using the online registration form. Information on accommodation will be required as will registration for workshop and seminar sessions.


Eurodiaconia has reserved rooms at a preferential price at the APEX Grassmarket Hotel in the Old Town of Edinburgh. This is the same venue for the first day of our conference. Information on the hotel can be found on their website. Booking of these rooms must take place via the link below and delegates requirements must be indicated on the registration form. Please pay the hotel directly before the 1st February 2019. A limited number of rooms are available and therefore participants are encouraged to register as soon as possible.  If participants wish to stay elsewhere then it is delegates’ own responsibility to arrange this accommodation.

To book a room at the APEX Grassmarket hotel, please click here.

First information and registration letter for the AGM

1st AGM 2019 information letter


AGM documents

Document 1 AGM 2019

Document 2 AGM 2019

Eurodiaconia AGM 2019 Final Programme and information

Document 4A AGM 2019

Document 4B AGM 2019

Document 4C AGM 2019

Document 4D AGM 2019

Document 5 AGM 2019

Document 6 AGM 2019

Document 7 AGM 2019

Letter of Mandate 2019 Eurodiaconia AGM

Travel in Edinburgh

Eurodiaconia Hymn


Elections to the Supervisory Board

Victoria Munsey, Diaconia Valdese, Italy

Letter of nomination Victoria Munsey

Motivation letter Victoria Munsey





What book is currently on your nightstand?

The Moor, by William Atkins.

 Beach holiday or City Break?

Beach holiday please…I get plenty of time in cities as it is.

 What is your ‘go to’ comfort food on a cold evening?

Go to comfort food: definitely my own homemade beef and vegetable soup. I make a big pot full and then put small portions in the freezer ready to heat up when needed.

 What is your most treasured possession?

I am rather fond of my 2008 Volkswagon Polo I suppose. It’s very dependable.

 Facebook or Twitter?

I am not on Twitter and not really crazy about Facebook although it is a useful way of keeping up with friends living far away.

Iwona Baraniec, Diakonia Polska, Poland

Letter of Nomination Iwona Baraniec

Motivation letter Iwona Baraniec








What book is currently on your nightstand?

The girl in the Woods, Camilla Läckberg.

 Beach holiday or City Break?

City Break.

 What is your ‘go to’ comfort food on a cold evening?

One of the small Polish restaurants in Warsaw old town, warm soup in good company.

 What is your most treasured possession?

 I am not able to point materially, the intangible value is meeting and talking to another human being.

 Facebook or Twitter?



Olli Holmstrom, Helsingin Diakonissalaitos , Finland

Letter of nomination Olli Holmstrom

Motivation letter Olli Holmstrom








What book is currently on your nightstand?

A biography of Pentti Linkola, the first and most famous Finnish prophet and proponent for ecological lifestyle (lately, I have been reading biographies. Comes with age, I believe…)

 Beach holiday or City Break?

City Break absolutely!

 What is your ‘go to’ comfort food on a cold evening?

Warm Halloumi salad and red wine (here in Finland cold evenings are the rule so it may be basically whatever).

 What is your most treasured possession?

 When it comes to mammon it is our new cottage in the archipelago. But I also have an Icon of Christ Pantokrator which comes from my grand grandfather’s house.

 Facebook or Twitter?

Twitter, then Twitter, then whatever and then Facebook.



Stephanie Scholz, Diakonie Deutschland, Germany

Letter of nomination Stephanie Scholz

Motivation letter Stephanie Scholz








What book is currently on your nightstand?

 A book which is on my nightstand is the “Oeuvre poétique” (collected poems) of Léopold Sédar Senghor (Senegal), I like very much as a counterpoint to the pure political texts I normally deal with during the day.

 Beach holiday or City Break?

As I live in a big city, beach holidays are most welcome to relax from daily life.

 What is your ‘go to’ comfort food on a cold evening?

A cold evening is a good opportunity to prepare a roasted chicken in the oven and to enjoy it with some Basmati rice.

 What is your most treasured possession?

My most treasured possession is a big teacup painted with a map of the world (Scottish Stoneware).

 Facebook or Twitter?

 I’m using  Facebook because I’m curious and sometimes I think I have a message which should be disseminated.


Vasileios Meichanetsidis, Apostolì, Greece

Letter of nomination Vasileios Meichanetsidis

Motivation letter Vasileios Meichanetsidis