Doris Peschke leaves her position as general secretary of the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) after nearly two decades of faithful service to the organisation and all migrants and refugees. The following are remarks from CCME Moderator Lemma Desta delivered to the 2018 Novi Sad General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches.
It is a wonderful privilege and great honour for me to stand here in the presence of European church leaders and representatives to say a few words of gratitude to you.
For almost two decades you have worked diligently leading CCME. You have travelled throughout Europe extensively, visiting our churches and organisations, giving presentations, lectures, and advice on a host of complex issues related to migration—from advocacy for asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and ethnic minorities to the issues of inclusive community, antiracism, and xenophobia.
You have become synonymous with CCME. Doris is CCME and CCME is Doris.
With your sharp analytical skills you have helped us grasp policy and political developments. By articulating these complex and at times hotly debated issues in an understandable language, you have done a commendable job and achieved greater results for CCME, our churches and indeed to many migrants, refugees in need.
With your ability to listen, sympathise, take note of and relate with each and every one, you have built such a good reputation and respect for yourself and for CCME. Without seeking so much attention for yourself, you have managed to navigate the European ecumenical landscape effectively.
By being one of the few female general secretaries in church organisations you have paved a way for others to follow and set an example for our churches to entrust the wisdom of women.
Dear Doris, your passion, commitment, clear thinking, articulate responses, strategic leadership, and networking skills benefitted and brought impact in many people’s lives. I want to commend and rejoice for work well done, life well spent, times and skills well used. You leave behind a great legacy.
We will miss you but remember your great work. For all your work, your kindness, dedication, leadership on behalf of the wider CCME constituency, I want to thank you. It is not only us, but the wider European churches owe you appreciation and regards.
Finally, I wish God’s abundant blessing for future engagements. I want you to remember these words of the scripture: “God is not unjust. He will not forget your work, and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” (Thess. 6:10).