|Deaconess Terttu Pohjolainen|
Terttu has served on the DIAKONIA World Executive for many years, the Executive of DIAKONIA Region of African and Europe (DRAE). Until recently, Terttu also represented DIAKONIA in the ecumenical partnership with the World Council of Churches. Thank you, Terttu, for your faithful service and congratulations on your recognition with the gold badge of merit of diaconia.
The President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, sent greetings to the Deacons and Deaconesses assembled at Jyväskylä. He noted that the word 'deacons' originally meant to serve, and in particular to cover the dining room table.
"Today, the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church maintains a meaning of a word by doing the work of our fellow human beings in distress. Diaconal workers are the key experts for this job".
The President referred to the Diakonia Barometer 2013. According to the barometer, many diaconal workers are concerned about the economic challenges facing young people in particular and also many other factors such as loneliness and depression, and life management issues.
"Church welfare and education activities affect young people and disadvantaged groups positively. By tackling issues and taking action, we can all one way or another to help the people around us. We need co-operation between the players, to build bridges".