Training session

Asia Regional Training on 'Ecumenical Diakonia and Sustainable Development' hosted by Christian Conference of Asia in Medan, Indonesia.


The training drew 40 participants, representing Asian churches from 14 countries, who are engaged in ministries related to social, economic, and environmental challenges. 

They discussed themes including "Diakonia as Common Witness for Transformation in a Divided World,” “Regional Approaches on Sustainable Development Issues,” and Networking and Collaboration for Collective Impact,” among others. 

The training aimed to help church leaders develop effective strategies for managing and implementing programmes and projects under church diaconal missions, and enable churches to better contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in their respective regions.

The fourth in a series of trainings in diakonia that began in 2019, the World Council of Churches and Christian Conference of Asia have established a peer-learning network of churches in various countries, sharing their expertise and experiences in ecumenical diakonia. 

The network is committed to building a compendium of resources and experiences in the different facets of diakonia and charting how they contribute to the respective Sustainable Development Goals,” said Dr Manoj Kurian, director of the WCC Commission of the Churches on Health and Healing. They also pointed to a clear strategy to prioritise the advocacy thrusts, strengthen linkages between diakonia ministries and theological education, and increase meaningful engagement of church leadership in diakonia as a foundational ministry of the church.”  

Participants also emphasised the vital priority on gender inclusivity and on providing an equitable and enabling environment in all diaconal ministries for women and youth to actively engage in sustainable development efforts.

The role of diakonia—to bring unity, meaning, and purpose to churches—was clear. Rt. Rev Steven Lawrence, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia, observed, Dogma may divide, but diakonia unites!”

Church leaders also learned how to maintain and promote the uniqueness of the ecumenical approach to sustainable development in Asia while fostering holistic wellbeing and justice in their communities. 

Learn more about Ecumenical diakonia