Thought for the day
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
- Matthew 7:7-8
CSI Synod organized and conducted a consultation on rethinking ecclesia from ‘Prophetic Diakonia Perspective’, attributed towards a borderless church by being and becoming Christ communities. This consultation was held in CSI Synod Center on the 15th and 16th May 2018. The consultation was inaugurated by the Most Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, Moderator, CSI., where 40 participants from different professions, including Bishops, pastors, social concern directors, people’s movement and interns from seminary and social work colleges actively participated.
It was an exercise of introspection and rethinking Ecclesia, in the context of 500th anniversary of reformation and 70th anniversary of the Church of South India. Keynote address was delivered by Rev. V. J. John who set the tone for the discussion by expounding 1) Ministry from biblical and theological perspective, 2) Practice of ministry within the church and 3) Rethinking mission (in line with the mission task of Jesus, the Nazareth manifesto). There were a total of 12 presentations on life-affirming activities in the community facilitated by different community organizations, peoples movements and networks. The panellists include Dr. K. Krishnan, Foundation for Sustainable Development, Ms. Geetha Ramakrishnan of Unorganized Workers Federation, Dr. TMN. Deepak of December 3 Movement, Dr. Faizur Rahman of Islamic Forum for the promotion of moderate thought, Mr.Martin, Mr.Siva and Dr.Ramki of Nirangal, Orinam and SAATHI, Ms.Loretta Johanna of International Justice Mission, Dr.Paul Divakar of National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, Ms.Kousalya Periyasami of Positive Women Network (PWN+), Dr.Richard Devadoss of Cornerstone Trust and Rev.Asir Ebenezer, Director, CSI – SEVA. These life-affirming experiences shared by the panellists challenged participants to see Jesus mandate carried out by many others in the community, including those who do not believe in religion. Respondents to the panellists were the theologians and pastors, including Rt.Rev.Mohan Manoraj, Rev.Jacqulin Jothi, Dr.Mohan Larbeer, Rev.Dr.Samuel Rajadurai, Rev. Dr. Isaac Kadirvelu and Rev.Milanton Rajareegam responded to the panellists and tried to capture the learning and challenges. They suggested ways and means to rethink ecclesia toward a borderless church.
The entire deliberation of the 2 days consultation suggested that to redraw the border of the Ecclesia, making it liberative and inclusive, is possible only when the church comes outside and experiences salvation, as concluded by the General Secretary of CSI Synod.Back
Rev. Dr. Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, the General Secretary of the Church of South India (CSI)Synod and Dr. Susan Thomas, the President of the CSI Synod Women’s Fellowship attend the Executive Committee meeting of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC), which has been taking place at the Korean Presbyterian Church Centennial Hall in South Korea from 10th to 16th of May 2018. Rev. Dr. Sadananda, as the Moderator of the Strategic Planning Committee, presented the strategic plan for WCRC 2018- 2020 and approved and Adopted by the Executive Committee. Dr. Susan Thomas is on the drafting committee. Dr. Susan Thomas extended the greetings of the CSI and WCRC to the Korean churches in a worship service at Young Aham Church.
Rev. Dr. Najla Kassab, the President of the WCRC, in her first address to the new Executive Committee of the World Communion of Reformed Churches, said, “We are grateful for God who brought us here in Seoul at this time where all efforts toward peace have started to bear fruits.”
Rev. Dr. Chris Ferguson, the General Secretary, presented his report to the Executive Committee, “giving thanks to the Living God for the rich and deep witness and work of our member churches, our officers group, our staff and our many networks and working groups who have sought in the past year to live out our identity as a global koinonia, called to communion and committed to justice.
This is the first meeting of the new Executive Committee, elected during last summer’s General Council in Leipzig, Germany. Besides conducting their business, the Executive Committee will deepen the WCRC’s involvement in the Korean peace process by holding a prayer vigil in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), worshipping in local churches and hearing from Korean church leaders.
Focusing on growing together in communion, the Executive Committee meetings had deliberations on the following aspects:
· Strengthening and empowering the work of the regions
· Communicating through new media to more people more regularly
· Reporting to the Executive Committee throughout the year
· Promoting the WCRC to the world
· Strengthening relations with key partners
CSI Synod Communications with inputs from WCRC Communication Department.
The Church of South India is celebrating the second Sunday of June 2018 as Ecological Sunday under the auspices of the Ecological Concerns Department of the CSI Synod. The Sermon is prepared by by Rev.Viji Varghese Eapen, former director of CSI Synod Department of Ecological Concerns. This English sermon and the translations in Telugu (Rev. Ramulu Immanuel) Tamil (Prof. Philip Robinson), Malayalam (Rev. Viji Varghese Eapen), Kannada (Rev. Ravi Joseph) are attached here.
The Dioceses/churches/institutions are requested to kindly use this sermon on the Ecological Sunday.
Prof. Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackadu,
CSI Synod Ecological Concerns Department.
One day program on building agenda for Socio-Political Consciousness among peoples’ groups and movements was organized by Justice Empowerment Diakonia Perspective (JEDP) of CSI-EVA in partnership with Urban Rural Mission of National Council of Churches in India. (NCCI-URM) on 27 April 2018 at CSI Centre, Chennai.
Thirty-five representatives of different peoples’ groups, movements, organizations and social activists from North Tamil Nadu region participated in this program. The focus of the meeting was:
· To unite people those who are working at the grass root level
· Hear the voices of the marginalized and voiceless
· To know each other’s work in different context
· And to build agenda for Socio-Political consciousness to address the issues of people in their day to day life.
The participants brainstormed on the current situation, the socio-political and economic scenario of the country. The emerging problems and burning issues including religious fundamentalism, caste exploitation, constituting water management board, political vengeance, NEET and ideological conflicts in different parts of India were discussed. They were challenged to respond the participants to respond to these socio-political concerns by sensitizing people.
During the group discussion, the participants listed out the following issues which need to be addressed:
Basic Amenities, Water, Sanitation, Caste Discrimination, Equal Education, Deforestation, Migration due to Employment, Grabbing of Land by Multi-Nationals, Caste based Violence, Poverty, Gender Discrimination, Child Labor and Child Marriage, Child Trafficking, Housing, and Bonded Labour.
The panel decided to conduct similar meetings in different places and orient the facilitators through a Training of Trainers program to ideologically strengthen the movement and prepare the people to reclaim their citizenship rights both individually and collectively with the agenda of creating peoples’ manifesto.
Rev. Asir Ebenezer, Director, CSI SEVA, Mr. Sekar Chief Executive of “An Idea” (NGO) and Executive committee member of NCCI-URM and Mr. Yesupadam, Hon.Treasurer , NCCI-URM,facilitated the meeting. Mr. Isaac Jebaseelan, Consultant - Research, Training and Documentation, CSI-SEVA and Mr. Solomon Raja of JEDP, CSI- SEVA facilitated the group work.
CSI Synod Mission and Evangelism Department has conducted A One Day Retreat for the Missionaries in Rayalaseema Diocese at Sunday School Hall, CSI Central Church in Kadapa on 3rd May 2018. Retreat theme was “Enhancing Capacities of Congregation as Missional Congregation”. Rt. Rev. Dr. B.D. Prasada Rao, Bishop in Rayalaseema has inaugurated the Retreat. Mrs. Lilly Prasad, Rev.Dr. Issac Varaprasad (Diocesan Secretary), and Rev. Benn Hinn have conveyed greetings. Rev.Maxcin John (Synod Mission Director) has led the retreat. As a part of the Retreat, there was a group discussion regarding the theme as well as action plan. Participants actively participated in the discussion and shared their burning issues which they are facing in their living context such as poverty, lack of education, malnutrition, caste discriminations, religious atrocities etc. They all unanimously decided to work together for the common well being of the community even in the midst of all those burning issues. All were dedicated themselves for the well-being of the society and church. Retreat started at 10am and concluded at 4pm. Twenty-One Missionaries were attended in the Retreat.
Retreat was the opportunity to learn and listen each other and also the time to share and have close fellowship. All were able to enhanced as well as rejuvenated more for the Mission and Evangelism.
Department is very much grateful to the Rayalaseema Diocese, especially Respected Bishop, Bishop Amma, Diocesan Secretary, all other Officers and staffs including Rev. Jeevankumar, Rev. D.Subuddhi, Mrs. Dayana, Mr. Chinna and others for their dedicated and excellent services for the blessing of the Retreat and also department is thankful to them for their remarkable as well as cordial hospitality . We are grateful to Bishop House staffs as well.
Director, Mission and Evangelism Department, CSI Synod.