July 8, 2018 in Darmstadt finished the international forum “day of the Orthodox volunteer”. To exchange experiences gathered over 50 volunteers from Germany, Switzerland, Israel, Russia, Ukraine and Moldova, according to Diakonia. The forum is the Orthodox European volunteer service “Good deed” for the fourth time. The event was held charity event “White flower”.
The Holy Martyr Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna was born in Darmstadt. “This German city was not accidentally chosen to host the “Day of the Orthodox volunteer”. Our event was timed to the 100th anniversary of the memory of the martyrdom of Elizabeth Feodorovna,” — said the organizer of the event, head of the Orthodox diaconal service in Europe “a Good thing” Alina Titova.
Meeting Orthodox volunteers, began with a moleben to St. John of Shanghai and Holy Martyr Elizabeth Fyodorovna.
The volunteer day was opened by the clergyman of the Church of St. Nicholas of Myra in Stuttgart Archpriest of Elijah Limberger, who noted that social Ministry is integral to Church life.
On the forum made a report to the head of the charity programs of the Orthodox service of assistance “Mercy”, head of the Synodal Department for Church charity and social service Irina Meshkova. She recalled that in 1909 the Grand Duchess founded the Marfo-Mariinsky convent. Monastery prayer, work and charity was absolutely unique at that time by a combination of charitable activities of the monastery and medical care, said Irina Meshkova. Experience Elizabeth Feodorovna important for today’s social service, said the representative of the Orthodox service of assistance “Mercy”.
The forum volunteers have shared their best practices of the Orthodox diaconal Ministry has studied the experience of Germany and other countries. “We want to help volunteers gain a deeper understanding of modern detail of the interaction of Church and secular charity — said the organizer of the “Day of the Orthodox volunteer” Alina Titova. Our main goal is to give volunteers to get acquainted, support each other, share wins and best practices and work together to find ways and solve problems.”
With the forum participants met the founder of the “River of childhood” Olga Pozdeeva, who spent training volunteers. On the organization of volunteer work in the German Caritas, said the representative of Caritas in Stuttgart Markus Schwer. “The forum outlined the steps of a possible cooperation “Caritas” and “Good deeds”,” — said Alina Titova.
The forum also discussed the participation of volunteers in the organization of the stay and treatment of foreign patients in Germany, interaction with charitable foundations and social organizations.
The forum was held the all-night vigil and divine Liturgy at the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Darmstadt.
On the last day of the forum, everyone could take part in the charity festival “White flower”, which aimed to raise funds for medical equipment needed for sick children — wards of the “Good deeds”. White flowers and other hand crafts for the holiday for several months prepared by children from Sunday schools of the Orthodox parishes in Germany.
Annual international forum “the Day of the Orthodox volunteer” held in Germany in 2015. The organizer is the Orthodox diaconal service “Good deed”, created in 2012 with the blessing of Archbishop Feofan (Galinsky) and Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany. The main objective of “Good cause” — support for seriously ill children and adults coming for treatment from Russia and the CIS countries.
Forum in Darmstadt took place with the active support of the Society of the saints of the neo-martyrs Grand Duchess Elizabeth and Queen Alexandra in Darmstadt.