About Us

Diakonia of the Americas and Caribbean (DOTAC) is one of the regional groups of DIAKONIA World Federation

About Us photoOur member organizations of deacons, deaconesses, and those in related associations are located in South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and North America. These are church-related groups that practice the biblical idea of diakonia (servanthood) and lead the church in ministry to the world.

DOTAC connects and gathers those engaged in diakonia, is a prophetic voice for ecumenical relations and social justice, and encourages, supports and empowers the development of groups practicing diakonia in the region.

Our purposes are to

  • encourage and strengthen ecumenical relationships and sense of community among diaconal associations, sisterhoods, and orders in North America, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.
  • reflect on the nature and task of diakonia in the Old and New Testament sense and to further the understanding of it
  • provide a forum for discussion of issues of mutual concern
  • render mutual assistance and undertake common tasks

Our History

In 1849, the first deaconesses from Europe arrived in Pittsburgh, Penn., U.S.A., to serve in the first Protestant hospital in America. Over the next 100 years, nine deaconess organizations were formed in North America. At the organizational meeting of World Diakonia in 1947, one of these organizations was represented.

In October 1966, appointed representatives of Methodist and Lutheran Church in America deaconesses met in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, to discuss the possible joint meeting of all deaconess organizations of the United States and Canada to help them become better acquainted and consider hosting a Diakonia event in North America in 1972.

In January 1967 deaconess representatives from the United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church, Methodist, United Church of Canada, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and the Lutheran Church in America gathered and began planning the first Conference of North American Deaconesses, which met August 19-22, 1968, in Racine, Wisconsin, U.S.A.

A second conference, carrying the theme “Called to Holy Obedience Now,” took place June 28-July 1, 1971, in Valparaiso, Indiana, U.S.A. Participants at this conference decided to change the name of the group to North American Diakonia.

They also discussed plans to host the eleventh meeting of the World Diakonia Assembly, which took place June 14-21, 1972, in New York, New York, U.S.A. The global event, “Signs of the Church of Tomorrow,” welcomed some 400 delegates, visitors, and observers from twenty countries and representing some fifty different organizations of deaconesses, into Riverside Church.

“Diaconal Ministry Now” was the theme of the third conference, June 24-27, 1974, in Lennoxville, Quebec, Canada. This conference asked the central committee to accept as a priority the investigation of reaching out to deaconesses in South America, Mexico, and the Caribbeans.

In 1978, the group changed its name to Diakonia of the Americas (DOTA) as an expression of the desire to include diaconates in South and Central America and the Caribbean.

The subsequent name change to “DIAKONIA of the Americas and Caribbean” (DOTAC) came at the conference in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1989 in response to the involvement of two member groups who expressed the feeling that DOTA did not fully include them.

Sources:

Sister Anna Ebert, “Utrecht to Bethel 1946-1975,” DIAKONIA, 1975; Chapter: North American DIAKONIA

Deaconess Louise Williams, DIAKONIA Challenge and Response; Chapter 4, “DIAKONIA in The Americas and The Caribbean”

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2 weeks ago

When newspapers.com had a free trial a few years ago, I spent a weekend searching key words. Just came across this 1975 file from that search about the World Federation of Deaconesses.

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When [newspapers.com](https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fnewspapers.com%2F%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR1V1ONP7kVXpqXWp-szhSm35jMBDM9j5HeHjAK3Tt-PZxDekV7tSO4vfy4&h=AT04DMVOufw0GdaVrdid3OMExzP84OXGc5-uro5QZNrp-9vOWuin2enQrIv25PCINHViZ_A5Vq24zG0pvXS7HS1n9M8SzXhk07gogith_l8M9JqZ1LSp9M9TnJHCAIEYwg&__tn__=-UK-R&c[0]=AT0SAOyhibQ2Al0hNJ_W2LuUoIUOiAqT5IWoTHZdg7L5iOyogDKu2nU5N0dxIJF1X4X8aO4FE1NAWySWvRkXLih08ylZWaqJnx-ADLy4PuryaMbmqRJEbabCCtRZ0NpgeJAJ88bo3nZsndtNDCojzlDx7HYi2L9U7phlgymCj2mbABwogM3Il4gOI74nfM5-WGPMThUl2UmALxBCVSVDnzM) had a free trial a few years ago, I spent a weekend searching key words. Just came across this 1975 file from that search about the World Federation of Deaconesses.
2 months ago

December 7 - Day 13 in 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence

Oh God, we pray for all victims of gender violence.

Be with them as they painfully struggle for equality.

Comfort them and their families.

Hear our pleas for women,

especially those oppressed in countries where women are enslaved and treated as objects, property, mutilated and killed,

just because they are female.

Help us to be instruments of your justice.

We pray for those who are persecuted due to their sexual identity,

sexual orientation and/or gender.

Instill in them the knowledge that they are beloved children,

made in the image of God's goodness.

God, let your love engulf and empower those who are and have been persecuted,

so they may proudly be voices for change.

We pray fervently, that those in power (governing officials as well as our church leaders),

will promote and protect the rights of gender, sexually vulnerable people,

encouraging and enacting laws on their behalf, by calling a halt to abuse,

(be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual).

Call us all to be advocates on their behalf.

Remind all humanity, that God's love, calls for peace, compassion, justice, and equality.

God embraces diversity in all creation.

Continue to shine your light of compassion in the hearts of the mistreated and oppressed,

calling them to become bright beacons of hope.

Deaconess Ruth Dyer, Lutheran Diaconal Association

... See MoreSee Less

December 7  - Day 13 in 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence

Oh God, we pray for all victims of gender violence.

Be with them as they painfully struggle for equality.

Comfort them and their families.

Hear our pleas for women,

especially those oppressed in countries where women are enslaved and treated as objects, property, mutilated and killed,

just because they are female.

Help us to be instruments of your justice.

We pray for those who are persecuted due to their sexual identity,

sexual orientation and/or gender.

Instill in them the knowledge that they are beloved children,

made in the image of Gods goodness.

God, let your love engulf and empower those who are and have been persecuted,

so they may proudly be voices for change.

We pray fervently, that those in power (governing officials as well as our church leaders),

will promote and protect the rights of gender, sexually vulnerable people,

encouraging and enacting laws on their behalf, by calling a halt to abuse,

(be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual).

Call us all to be advocates on their behalf.

Remind all humanity, that Gods love, calls for peace, compassion, justice, and equality.

God embraces diversity in all creation.

Continue to shine your light of compassion in the hearts of the mistreated and oppressed,

calling them to become bright beacons of hope.

*Deaconess Ruth Dyer, Lutheran Diaconal Association*
2 months ago

December 10 International Human Rights Day

Last Day of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence

Almighty God, who created all of humanity in your own image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against all forms of gender-based oppression and violence, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual; may we reverently seek justice, healing and new life for those who have been victims of such oppression and violence, seeing in all affected the very body of your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Margaret Light, deacon-in-training;

The Rev. Joy Walker-Miller, a transitional deacon;

and Rev. Deacon Tracie Middleton, (Association for Episcopal Deacons),

the team of diaconal ministers serving at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Beaumont

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**December 10 International Human Rights Day **

**Last Day of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence**

Almighty God, who created all of humanity in your own image:  Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against all forms of gender-based oppression and violence, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual; may we reverently seek justice, healing and new life for those who have been victims of such oppression and violence, seeing in all affected the very body of your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

*Margaret Light, deacon-in-training;*

*The Rev. Joy Walker-Miller, a transitional deacon;*

*and Rev. Deacon Tracie Middleton, (Association for Episcopal Deacons),*

*the team of diaconal ministers serving at St. Marks Episcopal Church in Beaumont*
2 months ago

December 9 --

15th Day of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence

God of wisdom, God of strength.

We are loved and accepted by you.

You see beyond our earthly woes

to the heart and soul of who we are and who you created us to be.

Help us define ourselves by love.

Help us to be wise when we approach one another and act with kindness.

Let us appreciate one another for the beauty within each of us and

for the gifts we have to share with the world.

Let us gain strength by lifting one another up and

triumphing over the pains of ignorance and damaging words.

Let our words be ones of honor and grace not hate and bigotry.

As God’s love seeps into the world, in every corner and place,

may we be open to receiving it.

May we be the momentum of harmony and reconciliation

towards a world filled with respect and dignity.

Amen

Deacon Kelly Brooks, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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**December 9 -- **

**15th Day of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence**

God of wisdom, God of strength.

We are loved and accepted by you.

You see beyond our earthly woes

to the heart and soul of who we are and who you created us to be.

Help us define ourselves by love.

Help us to be wise when we approach one another and act with kindness.

Let us appreciate one another for the beauty within each of us and

for the gifts we have to share with the world.

Let us gain strength by lifting one another up and

triumphing over the pains of ignorance and damaging words.

Let our words be ones of honor and grace not hate and bigotry.

As God’s love seeps into the world, in every corner and place,

may we be open to receiving it.

May we be the momentum of harmony and reconciliation

towards a world filled with respect and dignity.

Amen

*Deacon Kelly Brooks, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America*
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