The Activities of the Patriarchal Network
The 1st Conference took place in Rhodes, October 8th - 12th 2008. This Conference covered general themes in caring from the sick viewed from a theological aspect and from its practicum, such as care in the hospitals, homes for the elderly, special issues regarding the ill child, the relations between doctors and clergy and burnout of health care providers. One hundred and seventy participants attended.
The 2nd Conference took place again in Rhodes, October 12th - 16th 2011. The theme of the Conference was “Caring before the Gates of Death”. The presentations and workshops focused on care of the dying from a medical, theological, philosophical, psychological and pastoral perspective. Two hundred participants were in attendance.
In addition to these Conferences, the Patriarchal Network has published the book in Greek entitled “Let us Come-Forth to Therapy – an Introduction to Pastoral Health Care”.
In cooperation with the Metropolis of San Francisco, the Network organized a spiritual retreat for health care professionals of the Bay area held in February of 2013. It is anticipated that other similar events will be organized in the near future so as to provide spiritual support for those that care for the ill. The Network is also represented in many European conferences and events.
Lastly, in cooperation with the Orthodox Academy of Crete, a consultation was held on Friday February 7, 2014 in Kolymbari, Crete in order to help combat the rise of suicide that has struck the great island.
It is significant that the Patriarchal Network has established relations with other Christian denominations and agents that are related to health. It is a member of the European Network of Health Care Chaplaincy* and has close relations with the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral and the Council of European Churches (CEC).
*European Network of Health Care Chaplaincy (ENHCC) is the largest European organization that brings together all who offer pastoral care in health care facilities throughout Europe. It is composed of official representatives from all the Christian denominations and chaplaincy organizations of Europe, as it is expressed in the cultures of Europe. The Network aims at mutual sharing and understanding both on a religious, cultural and organizational level. It brings together the various chaplaincy experiences of all the health care systems in Europe.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate has taken a leading role in the organization of the “European Network”. Protopresvyter Stavros Kofinas, representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Coordinator of the Patriarchal Network was unanimously elected the European Network’s first Coordinator. Fr. Kofinas was re-elected two other times, serving the “European Network” for 10 years (2000-2010).
More Information on the Network’s website: http://www.pastoralhealth-ep.com/
January 4, 2014