The Diakonia World Federation Assembly was to hold its gathering in Darwin Australia in 2021. This has now been postponed. See important notice.
Important notice: DIAKONIA 2021 World Assembly postponed
Greetings in the name of the risen Christ.
The DIAKONIA World Executive met recently (by Zoom) to consider the implications of COVID-19 and planning for the DIAKONIA World Assembly, scheduled for mid 2021. COVID-19 remains a problem for any travel until a vaccine is available. The lockdowns we are experiencing in many parts of the world will not eliminate COVID-19 but simply serve to ‘flatten the curve’ to reduce pressure on the health system, and to protect the more vulnerable ones in our communities. Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said recently that a COVID-19 vaccination could take 12-18 months to develop, test and approve for public use. New vaccines typically take years to earn approval. It may not be realistic that a coronavirus vaccine will be ready in 2021.
This means there may not be a ‘return to normal’ for travel arrangements for quite some time, and people will be hesitant to make plans to travel internationally until it is considered safe to do so.
Many people are also facing significant financial challenges with COVID-19, including millions of people suddenly without work. The share market downturn will have significant effects on savings and investments, and self-funded retirees. In turn, this will have a huge impact on the capacity of individuals and organisations to cover the costs for international travel and registration for the DIAKONIA World Assembly if it was to be held in just over 14 months time, as planned.
Given these disruptions and other considerations, the DIAKONIA World Executive has made the decision to postpone the 2021 DIAKONIA World Assembly. Please inform your membership about this decision.
We will keep you fully informed as decisions are made for a new timeframe, which we anticipate will be mid 2022. The Executive will discuss this further when we meet in July 2020 (via Zoom and not face to face as planned) and report back to you.
Let us hold each other in prayer and support each other with practical action where we can.
Gracious God, we give thanks anew for your providence and presence. We prayerfully seek your grace, as COVID-19 spreads its way around the world. We pray for those in need of healing, and for individuals and communities especially vulnerable. We pray for your peace with those who are anxious or grieving. We pray you will strengthen and sustain all those who are serving in a myriad of ways, as the days turn into weeks, and the weeks into months. We pray for your Holy Spirit’s discernment amidst the many choices and decisions facing our political leaders, medical teams and specialists, churches and community agencies. We give thanks for acts of compassion, kindness and generosity springing up in our communities. We pray for our DIAKONIA family at this time, for safety, and strength, in a time of crisis. All of our prayers and hopes are offered in confidence in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Yours in Christ
Rev Sandy Boyce President,
DIAKONIA World Federation