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
The Departments of the Church of South India Synod adopted a novel way to present the triennial reports during the 36th session of the CSI Synod, which was held at the Bishop Heber College in Trichy from 11th to 14th January 2020. The Departments presented full- length videos of their work during 2017- 2020 along with the full-colour book contains the printed form of the reports.
The report of the Christian Education Department in the text form, pdf form and video format are seen here.
CHURCH OF SOUTH INDIA
THE DEPARTMENT OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
TRIENNIAL REPORT FOR THE SYNOD COUNCIL JANUARY 2020
The Church of South India Christian Education Department (CED) is committed to working for the transformation of Churches to become missional congregations. Christian education serves the purpose of an instrument for transformation/ change. The aims and objectives of the department are to nurture local congregations of the CSI Dioceses to be Children- friendly. There are eleven categories put together constitutes children-friendly Churches. These categories are theological, missional and transformative in nature. Follows are the eleven categories of children-friendly Churches: Christ-centred, Missional, Gender-sensitive, Zero-tolerance to sexual abuse, Casteless, Inclusive, Eco-friendly, Integrating abilities, Rights-based, Safe learning environment and Border-crossing. In the triennium period (2017-2019), the department had developed a course outline that covers the aims and objectives of the department which is used to equip Sunday school teachers/ Sunday school directors/ Trainers. Following reports are details of the department activities for the triennium.
New Wings of Faith: Pedagogies for Missional Congregations
An important component of the Church or local congregations is children. Even though a statistical data is yet to be worked out on Sunday school children population as well as trained Sunday school teachers within CSI, children population in CSI is assumed to be around one million (100,000) population and above. In the past, the department had prepared resource book for the Sunday school called ‘Wings of Faith.’ In the light of aims and objectives of the department, ‘New Wings of Faith: Resource Handbook’ is prepared that provides details of Sunday school lessons for three years period covering a total of 225 lessons. It is a common curriculum for the whole of CSI that includes lessons for the beginner, primary, junior, intermediate and senior classes starting from the age group of four to seventeen years. The new syllabus is intended to cover only 30 weeks out of a total of fifty-two weeks in a calendar year.
What is ‘New’ in the ‘New Wings of Faith’? It is a paradigm shift. The previous approach to the Bible was the thematic, content-based approach. Feedback from previous experiences based on a thematic approach informs us that the Biblical text is sacrificed on the altar of themes. Another limitation of the thematic approach is the neglect of children language and children world view. Yet another limitation is the total neglect of context in which children live. The aims and objectives of the CED had to do with the living context of child-vulnerability and a vision to see the holistic development of every child. The paradigm shift takes the said vision and aims to transform the context of child-vulnerability. Inferring from the works of Paulo Freire on pedagogy, a Brazilian educationalist who worked with the World Council of Churches at one point of time, reading the scriptural text in the light of living context is adopted. Children are familiarised to the text as well as to the problems of children context.
Familiarising children to the Biblical text requires a theological approach to assist paradigm shift. It is ‘narrative theological approach’ adopted to introduce children to the text. Narrative theology can be very child-friendly in its adaptability to storytelling method. Narrative theology does not confine to any language binaries of secular and sacred language. Narrative theology can be applied to pick-up child-vocabulary, child worldview.
‘New’ in the ‘Wings of Faith’ recognises the importance of ‘incorporating child-abilities.’ The assumption is that every child has abilities which need to be nurtured at each age and given due opportunity to transform the context of child-vulnerability. An analysis of context through problem posing is an attempt to incorporate child-abilities.
The spirituality of the New Wings of Faith connects with the Wings of Faith and takes it further towards problem-solving and problem analysis and roots it with the Biblical text, appropriate prayers and memory verses. There are videos for almost all the lessons, where the children can see and be inspired by colourful moving pictures, music and narrative.
Sunday school teachers are mostly practising preaching as a method in the Sunday School where the children find no place; children imagination finds no room. The New Wings of Faith requires Sunday school teachers to be facilitator using the handbook as well as online Sunday school package, which can be downloaded for free of cost. They are encouraged to be facilitators for the holistic development of Children.
There are around 17 women and 25 men involved in creating this resource package called New Wings of Faith, who met as core-committee, lesson writers, artists and video editing. The core committee had completed editing one-year lessons (75) and it is yet to complete editing two more years of lessons. The journey of preparing New Wings of Faith is a long one; the first time they met at CSI Synod Secretariat on 01st and 16th May and 10th July 2018. The Core committee had to finalise the Biblical text, title for the text and fixing objectives for the lessons in its consecutive meetings on 9-10th, 24th April, and 02-03rd May 2019. Writing lessons were organised from 14-17th May and 23-27th July 2019. For three days 18-20th Sep’ 2019 artists worked to develop the activity. Video downloads and editing had been continuing for the past four months. Thanks to our General Secretary Rev. Dr D. R. Sadananda for initiating and persistently overseeing the project.
Training Christian Educators for Transforming Churches to be Missional Congregations
Christian education gives importance to pedagogy. As discussed above, Christian education pedagogy introduces perspectives from bellow, from the communities at the margins. For Christian education to be an instrument for transforming Churches to be missional, Christian educators need to be trained in line with the pedagogical perspectives from bellow and for liberation.
Pedagogical training programmes/ workshops are organised for the Sunday school teachers, Christian educators of all the CSI Dioceses in this triennium. The topics covered are in four major areas namely Christian education Pedagogies, Child-Counselling, Chid-Rights and Child-Abuse, and Children-friendly Churches. Every workshop is organised for three consecutive days mostly in regional languages. The Department had collaborated with the respective Diocese in organising the programme. In this triennium, a total of 19 workshops were conducted benefitting around 1500 Christian educators from rural as well as urban congregations. Majority of these trainers are female. Every year planning committee with Christian education directors from CSI Dioceses had been organised; one was on 03 May 2019. In spite of planning, the Christian Education Department had experienced organisational impediment with the sick leave of the then Director followed by her dropping from the office. In spite of unforeseen eventualities, the Director-in-Charge had to make-up the gaps to the possible extent. Following are workshops in the respective CSI Dioceses on the theme of Christian Pedagogies for Missional Congregations as well as Child-friendly Churches.
Christian Education Pedagogies for Child-friendly Churches
23-25 January 2017 at CSI Centre, Chennai.
The CSI Christian Education Department had organized three days’ workshop from 23-25 January 2017 on the theme ‘Training for Children’s Ministry: Child- Friendly Churches” at CSI Synod Secretariat, Chennai. Fifty- five (54) Sunday School teachers from the Diocese of Karimnagar had attended the workshop. The workshop was inaugurated by Rev. Priscilla Reuben, President of Women’s Fellowship of the Diocese of Karimnagar. In the inaugural address, she emphasized faith and obedience to God, perseverance and commitment in order to realise the possibility of a new world which is free from any kind of abuse. She encouraged the participants to be ‘change-makers’ in the lives of children.
The participants were introduced to ‘High Impact Teaching Skills’ which are relevant and useful to teach children of all ages by Mr Prabu, Director of Kids Kount, Bangalore. The teaching skills are centred on knowledge of story/subject, understanding story/subject and application of story. The participants learnt many creative ideas about Bible stories and missionary journeys, lesson preparation and presentation, and teaching memory verse. The participants were taught to make their own visual aids using the available, low-cost resources.
On the third day Rt. Rev. Dr Prof. K. Rueben Mark, Bishop in Karimnagar, celebrated the Holy Eucharist. He exhorted the participants to have the mind of Christ, accept children who are most vulnerable in society. He further exhorted them to be compassionate like Christ in order to transform their lives. He encouraged them to be courageous like Christ to overcome the barriers and challenges that obstruct the ministry. Rev. K. James Cecil Victor, Director for Pastoral Concerns Department had taken session on ‘Child-friendly Churches.’ He enumerated necessity to pay attention to child-abuse, child-rights and children with disabilities for a holistic approach in Christian Education. The Most Rev. Thomas K Oommen, CSI Moderator, had encouraged the participants to make Christian education relevant to the context of every life. He reflected upon present generation children as techno-savvy and their world views shaped by media and technology. He challenged the participants to set an example in prayer, faith and conduct. The participants had an exposure visit to St. George’s Cathedral and other places of importance.
Through this triaging program, the participants were helped to understand teaching and mentoring as the crux of Christian Education. The feedback session was very encouraging as all of them said that it was a very useful and unique training program that made them realize their responsibilities more vividly. Participants had said that they could make new friends and learn from one another. Mrs Apolina Calvin said, “It is a comprehensive training program that helped them to fain confidence to teach effectively. She further said that Child-friendly Churches is a new perspective.”. Rev. Jeevarathnam, the Convener of the Diocesan Christian Education Board, proposed the vote of thanks. The program concluded with prayer and benediction by Bishop Rueben Mark.
Pedagogical Training Program towards Child-friendly Churches
29 March 2017 at CSI St. Paul’s Church, Sanatnagar, Hyderabad.
Pedagogical training program for the Sunday School teachers of the Diocese of Medak was held on 29th March 2017 at CSI St. Paul’s Church, Sanatnagar, Hyderabad. The program was jointly organized by the Diocese and the CSI Christian Education department. Around 250 Sunday school teachers from 110 Pastorates in the Diocese had attended the program with a lot of enthusiasm. The delegates were from the twin cities (Hyderabad and Secunderabad) as well as from the rural pastorates. For some participants, it was the very first workshop that they ever attended. The program was inaugurated by the Rt. Rev. Dr A. C. Solomon, Bishop in Medak. He had reminded that the training children to walk in the ways of God is the primary concern of Church. Mrs A. C. Vajra Santhosha Kumari Solomon, Bishop Amma; Rev. Dr T. Bhasker, Vice-Chairperson; Mr Dolkala David, Property Secretary and Mr P. Mervyn, Diocesan Youth Secretary, had felicitated the gathering. Rev. Shanthi Roberts, Chairperson for Town DCC offered prayer.
The purpose of Christian education was the main thrust in the first session. To lead children to experience faith in Christ; help the child to see the world through the word of God and overcome hurdles by trust in God. Dr Prabhu, the Director, Kids Kount, Bangalore, had initiated such discussions. In yet other sessions, he focused on various methods that help Sunday school teachers to present lessons innovatively. He explained 10 possible ways of communicating in Sunday schools. They are 1. Direct Experience 2. Made up Experience 3. Drama and Skits 4. Demonstration 5. Field Trip 6. Exhibition 7. Videos 8. Audios 9. Visuals and 10. Verbal. It was an eye-opener for most of the participants for they followed mostly verbal method. Rev. James Cecil Victor, CSI Director, Pastoral Concerns Department, took a session on Model Sunday School. He informed the participants that every Sunday school should be child- friendly, disabled friendly and gender-sensitive. He encouraged the teachers to create space for the children to express their views and doubts. He brought to their notice that Christian education is about transformation and discipleship. While today’s children are more susceptible to negative influences of pseudo ideologies presented to them on social media, even in cartoon networks, Christian education needs to mould the tender minds appropriately.
The feedback was very touching as most of them opined that the training program was very useful. Anita Thomas from SPG church said, “I have helped my mother and sister who take Sunday school but, I never took Sunday school by myself. I’m quite challenged and inspired today to take up this ministry seriously.” Mrs Feba Christina from Holy Trinity Church, Bollaram, expressed that the training had helped the participants to update themselves with creative and innovative teaching methods that are useful for both Sunday School and forthcoming VBS. The training program came to an end with the prayer by Rev. M. Jayanand, the presbyter in charge of St. Paul’s Church, Sanatnagar and vote of thanks proposed by Mr Samson Katamalla, the Sunday School Secretary of the Diocese.
Trainers of Trainees for Missional Congregations
22-24 November 2017 at CSI Synod Secretariat, Chennai
The CSI Department of Christian education had organized three days training program on the theme “Trainers of Trainees (ToTs) for Missional Congregations” for the Christian educators, Sunday school teachers from 22nd to 24th November 2017. The programme was organised at the CSI Synod Secretariat, Chennai. A total number of 76 participants representing 19 CSI Dioceses actively took part in the training programme.
The General Secretary of CSI, Rev. Dr D. Rathnakara Sadananda and Rt. Rev. Dr B. D. Prasada Rao, Bishop in Rayalseema, inaugurated the training program. In his inaugural devotion, Rev. Dr Sadananda appreciated the role of Sunday school teachers in leading the largest lay movement in the church, voluntarily and passionately, which marks the continuity of Christian faith in our churches. In his keynote address, Bishop B.D. Prasada Rao reaffirmed the role of Christian education in the mission and ministry of Church of South India.
Rev. Dr Bethel Krupa Victor led a session on the historical overview of Christian education and its impact on the ministry of Sunday schools in the CSI. Rev. Dr Arun Gopal, while speaking on the sub-theme, ‘educational psychology and ministry to children’ reminded the participants to understand every child in order to meet out to the differing needs of them with Christian values.
Sub-themes such as ‘human sexuality’, ‘ecological sensitivity,’ were introduced by Rev. Dr Jayachitra L. and Dr Mathew Koshy Punnackad respectively. Creative ways of communicating the gospel through various means such as puppets were also introduced. The training programme was concluded with challenging the participants to carry forward the mission to children by enhancing Child-friendly churches and Sunday schools all over the CSI.
Training for Ministry among Children
13 February 2018, Kollam- Kottarakkara Diocese
The CSI Department of Christian Education in collaboration with the Board for Christian education, Diocese of Kollam-Kottarakara organised a Sunday school teachers' training program on 13th February 2018. This took place at Craven High School auditorium, Kollam. Around 240 Sunday school teachers from the diocese of Kollam-Kottarakara had participated in the programme. The Rt. Rev. Dr Oommen George, Bishop in Kollam-Kottarakara, had inaugurated the event. He had exhorted the participants to commit oneself for the children ministry and expand the ministry all over the Diocese. Rev. Dr Bhanu Samuel, Vice President of the diocese, had highlighted rewarding the ministry among children, impact that the Sunday school teachers make on the Sunday School children. Rev. Dr Jayachitra L, Director for the CSI Department of Christian Education, recalled the first-century Palestinian context in which children were treated as 'no bodies' and it was in such a context that Jesus gave importance to the Children, theologically explaining the reign of God. She invited all to strive for a child- friendly Sunday school and church in their respective places. Rev. Aby K. Thomas led two sessions on the role of Sunday School teachers in the Children Ministry and on the methods of Bible Lesson Preparation. The feedback was highly appreciative of impetus to engage with Sunday school ministries.
Training for Ministry among Children towards Children-friendly Churches
27-28 February 2018, Melukaavumattom.
The CSI Department of Christian Education had organised two days training program for the Kerala region at Melukaavumattom in the Diocese of East- Kerala on 27- 28 February 2018. Total participants in the regional programme were 51 Sunday school teachers. They were representatives from six regional Dioceses. The programme was inaugurated by the Rt. Rev. Daniel, Bishop in East- Kerala Diocese, Melukaavumattom. In the inaugural session, Bishop Daniel had underlined the importance of ministry among the Children. He emphasised the importance of Christian education where secular educational institutions demand classroom education at the cost of the creative imagination of the children. The training program dealt with different sub-themes namely Child-friendly Churches and Child-friendly Sunday schools; Preparing Bible Stories for Sunday School; Planning and Preparation for Sunday School and Pedagogies for Sunday School. Feedback from the participants was very encouraging.
Training for Children-friendly Churches
11 March 2018, Karimnagar
One-day training program for Sunday school teachers of the Diocese of Karimnagar was organised at Centenary Wesley Church, Karimnagar, on 11th March 2018. Rev. Priscilla Reuben, President of Women's Fellowship, Karimnagar Diocese, had inaugurated the program. Rev. Dr Jayachitra L, the Director of the CSI Department of Christian Education shared greetings and exhorted to strive towards ensuring children-friendly Sunday schools in the diocese. The session was conducted in regional language. A total number of participants were 127 from four Group Church Councils of the Diocese namely Warangal, Karimnagar, Jagtial and Parkal. Sub-themes dealt within the programme were Children-friendly Sunday schools and Child– friendly Churches; Biblical methods in Counselling Children, and Counselling Different Age groups. Rev. Priscilla Reuben inaugurated the programme and said that Sunday School in the rural Diocese such as Karimnagar is very important for the rural children to find fewer opportunities to learn, compared with the cities. Therefore, special efforts should be made to organise Sunday schools in rural areas in the Diocese. Mr Syrus discussed Biblical methods of counselling. He says that the Bible can be approached as a book of care and counselling for different age groups. Therefore, sharing the Bible with the children should bring out the dimension of care and counsel for children. Discussing on Care and Counselling, Syrus emphasised homes, as well as educational institutions, should serve the purpose of care and counselling for the children. Rev. Jeevarathnam dealt with the Child-friendly Sunday School and Child-friendly Churches. He discussed different signs to identify the need for Child- friendly Sunday schools and Churches. The programme was concluded with a prayer by the local Pastor. The participants were happy over the classes. They all said that counselling was a new area of their training programme for they had not approached the Bible from care and counselling point of you. They further asked more classes on the new subject of counselling.
Christian Education Pedagogy for Missional Congregations
6 April 2018, Nandyal
The CSI Department of Christian Education had organised one-day training program for the Sunday school teachers of Nandyal Diocese at Vishvasaalayam, Bishop's Chapel, Nandyal. The theme for the workshop was ‘Sunday School Teachers Training.” The Rt. Rev.Dr. E. Pushpalalitha, Bishop in Nandyal, inaugurated the program. Rev.Dr.Jayachitra L, CSI Director, Christian Education Department, took classes on the sub-theme ‘Children-friendly Sunday schools’. Mr.Syras Kumar led a session on the sub-theme ‘Biblical Basis for Counselling Children’ and ‘Counselling Different Age group Children.’ In the inaugural session, Bishop said that Sunday school activities are mostly dependent on the Sunday school teachers. If the teachers are adequately equipped, by all means, we can expect Sunday schools to get organised with enthusiasm and participation. Dr Jayachitra taught the importance of perspective such as ‘Child-friendly Churches and Sunday schools’ in grooming the Sunday school. Mr Syras Kumar presented counselling as an important component in child development. He based his Biblical presentation on the book of Deuteronomy and Gospels. The participants numbered around 100, mostly women. Feedback from the participants was very encouraging. ‘We are helped in approaching the Bible as a story of counselling which is a new idea’ is the response from all the participants.
Christian Education Pedagogies for Missional Congregations
21-23 May 2018 at CSI Synod Centre, Chennai:
The CSI Department of Christian Education organised a workshop on the theme ‘Christian Education Pedagogies for Missional Congregations’ for the Christian educators/ Sunday school teachers from the Diocese of Dornakal for three-days at CSI Synod Secretariat, Chennai from 21-23rd May 2018. The total number of participants was sixty. Rv. James Cecil Victor, Director, CSI Pastoral Concerns Department, had taken a session on the sub-theme ‘Basic Principles of Christian Education Pedagogies’ emphasising on its relevance in promoting missional congregations. Rev. Dr Rohan Gideon, Assistant Professor of Theology, UTC, Bangaluru, had taken a session on the sub-theme ‘Reading and Interpreting the Bible from children’s perspectives.’ This session had enabled the teachers to come out of their adult bias in reading and interpreting the Bible and to focus on identifying child experiences in the Biblical passages as well as from the contemporary life context.
Mr Syras Kumar, a Counselling Trainer, had taken a session on the sub-theme ‘Counselling in the Sunday School Ministries’ and he had introduced the participants to see the need to address child emotional growth to be more positive and affirming. Therefore, the psychological dimension of the Sunday School ministries should give enough importance. Further, he had facilitated in training the participants to understand basic components of counselling and application in the Sunday school education. Rev. Dr Jayachitra L, the Director for the Department of Christian Education, Mrs Suhasini Cecil, both of them had taken sessions on the sub-theme ‘Child Rights and Child Abuse’ respectively. They had emphasised upon different forms in which abuse of children takes place, on both male and female children. They wanted to see that the church along with the trained personal through such workshops should strive towards ensuring a safe learning environment in churches. Rev. Dr D. R. Sadananda, the CSI General Secretary, had exhorted the participants to go back to their respective congregations as ambassadors of CSI Synod Christian Education goals of capacity building, for teachers of Christian education and train children through holistic Christian education. A special word of thanks is recorded to The Rt. Rev. Dr V. Prasada Rao, the Deputy Moderator and Bishop in Dornakal and to Mr K. J. Subhakar Ashirvadam, Diocesan Treasurer. The participants expressed the importance of learning counselling skills to meet out to the pressing issues faced by children.
Training Christian Educators for Child-Friendly Churches
29-31 May 2018 at CSI Synod Centre, Chennai:
A group of forty- three Christian educators/ Sunday School teachers from the Karnataka Northern Diocese had attended a three-days’ training program of the CSI Department of Christian Education at CSI Synod Secretariat, Chennai, from 29- 31 May 2018. The theme for the programme was ‘Training Christian Educators for Child-friendly Churches.’ Rev. Hanna Niranjan, President of Diocesan Women’s Fellowship a senior presbyter of Karnataka Northern Diocese, had inaugurated the program. They gave a call to reach out children with a commitment to establish God’s reign in our times. She appreciated the participants’ voluntary initiative to instil Christian values in children and encourage them to equip themselves with the skills to communicate. Dr Kamala Dhawale, Principal, CSI College of Commerce, led the first session on “Teaching Methods in Sunday School” in which she explained adopting various teaching methods in order to enhance learning experiences of children in the Sunday School. It was a good start to the program as it set the tone for participants to focus on their basic methods of teaching that would result in a better learning environment.
Rev. Dr Rohan Gideon, Assistant Professor of Theology, United Theological College, Bangaluru, had spoken about ‘Reading and Interpreting the Bible from Children Perspectives.’ His presentation had inspired the participants to recall and relive their childhood aspirations in reading the Bible as children. A thorough analysis of prejudices behind the adult reading of the Bible exposed the need to do an intentional reading of the Bible from the viewpoints of children. The participants prepared Bible lessons by re-reading the select Bible passages from the lived experiences of children. They demonstrated through innovative methods of teaching re-creating classrooms and transforming the whole approach to the Bible narratives. This session had enabled teachers to come out of their adult biases in reading and interpreting the Bible and to focus on children's experiences in the Bible passages and the contemporary context of living. Rev. Solomon Paul, Director, CSI Director, Department of Youth, spoke about the preparation of Bible lessons in view of the contemporary challenges such as ‘culture of materialism’ and ‘culture of Hatred.’ Such an approach helped the participants to relate the familiar Biblical passages to various socio-cultural and political issues of our society.
Ms Vincy Venugopal and Ms Nancy Susanna, two trained student counsellors, had taken sessions on the sub-theme ‘Child Emotional and Psychological Needs’ relating it to the context of Sunday Schools teachings. They trained the participants in the basics of counselling and applying in Sunday school education. Many participants expressed the urgency to learn counselling skills to meet out to the pressing issues faced by children.
Rev. Dr D. R. Sadananda, the CSI General Secretary had inspired the gathering in the valedictory session. He highlighting the scope of instilling Christian values in children for the growth of the Church in the Indian scenario. He challenged the participants to go back to their respective congregations as ambassadors of Synod Christian Education goals of capacity building for Sunday school teachers and train children towards holistic Christian education.
The Rt. Rev. Ravikumar J. Niranjan, Bishop in Karnataka Northern Diocese needs to be thanked for bringing the participants for the workshop and Professor Immanuel S. Malekar, Honorary Secretary of Karnataka Northern Diocese for coordinating the training program along with the CSI Department of Christian Education.
Sunday School Teacher’s Workshop on “Christian Education Pedagogies for Missional Congregations” 09-1 Nov’ 2018 at Bishop Heber College, Trichy.
Three days Sunday school teachers’ workshop was organised at Trichy for two Dioceses Trichy-Tanjore and Coimbatore for three days, 09-11 Nov’ 2018. The programme was held at Bishop Heber College, Trichy. Inauguration of the programme was done by the Rt. Rev. Dr D. Chandrasekaran, Bishop in Trichy-Tanjore. This programme dealt with the subjects on Child- friendly Sunday school, Child- friendly Homes and Churches. The presentations included ‘Approach to the Bible from the experiences of children,’ ‘Safeguard Child Rights and Holistic Growth of Children.’ Resource persons were Rev. James Cecil Victor, Synod Director, Pastoral Concerns Department, Rev. Maxcin John, Synod Director, Mission and Evangelism Department and Rev. Solomon Paul, Synod Director, Youth Department.
Training for Christian Educators for Child-friendly Churches at Thoothukudi-Nazareth Diocese 16-17 November 2018
The Christian Education Department of the Church of South India organized a two days Camp to train potential young women along with the elderly women to conduct “Women’s Bible School”. The Women’s Bible School was a new initiative in the diocese by Bishop the Rt. Rev. Dr Samuel Ebenezer Clement Devasahayam and Bishop Amma Mrs Shanthini Devasahayam. It was a program to nourish the faith of women in the Church with a deeper understanding of the Bible. The theme of the Women’s Bible School (WBS) was ‘Love.’ A syllabus for this program was framed under the leadership of Bishop Amma with the help of eminent clergies in the diocese. WBS was a three days program. Three different titles were framed as follows, Family Bounded with Love, Church Bounded with Love and Society Bounded with Love. The lessons for each day consist of a story from the Bible, a short devotion, the inspiring life story of a missionary and the missionary journey of St. Paul. There was special space in the syllabus for the ecological concern as well. New songs were composed in accordance with the theme.
The workshop of this program was held on 16th & 17th of November 2018. The Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr SEC. Devasahayam chaired the program. Special speakers from various Department of CSI participated in the Camp. On the First day Rev. Solomon Paul, the director of the Youth Department delivered a special keynote address to the gathering. The Second day Rev. Cecil Victor, the director of Pastoral Aid Department gave a lecture to the participants. Nearly 350 women participated in the program. It was a great awakening among the women in the Diocese. The women who participated in the workshop said that they are blessed to the new initiative to come together as young and old women of the Diocese approach the Bible, their own missionary history.
Sunday School Teacher’s Workshop on “Christian Education Pedagogies for Missional Congregations.” 23 – 25 May 2019 at Secunderabad.
The CSI Department of Christian Education had organised three days workshop in collaboration with the Diocesan Christian Education Department for the Sunday School teachers in the Diocese of Medak on the theme ‘Christian Education Pedagogies for Missional Congregations’ from 23-25 May at CSI Medak Diocesan Office, Secunderabad. The workshop was inaugurated by the Rt. Rev. Dr A C Solomon Raj, Bishop in Medak. In every Pastorate in the Diocese of Medak Sunday school will be revived says Bishop in Medak in his inaugural speech. The programme started with the lighting of the lamp by the Bishop and the Diocesan Officers, clergy in- charge of Sunday school in the Diocese, Diocesan Sunday school secretary Mr K. Samson and Synod Directors Rev. K. James Cecil Victor and Rev. Dr P. Praveen Prabhu Sudheer. Bishop exalted the gathering of around 120 Sunday school teachers, encouraging them to carry on the vision to have active Sunday schools in the village pastorates as well, not to confine to the urban alone. The Diocesan Women Fellowship President Smt. A.C. Vajra Santhosha Kumari Solomon, Diocesan Vice-Chairman Rev. Dr T. Bhaskar, Diocesan Secretary Rev. Dr U. Daniel, Diocesan Lay Secretary Dr K. Dayanand, Diocesan Treasurer Prof. Dr B. Vimal Sukumar, Rev. C. Shanthi Roberts and others greeted the occasion. There was a total of nine sessions of presentations with discussions and an inaugural as well as valedictory session. Following resource persons were assigned with different sub-topics namely Rev. James Cecil Victor initiated the discussion on ‘Sunday school movement; Introduction to CSI Department of Christian Education and Childly-friendly Churches.’ Rev. Dr Praveen PS. Perumalla has taken session on the sub-theme ‘Reading the Bible with Children, Like Children (Pedagogies)’; Mrs Nancy Agustine and Ms Usha had taken sessions on the sub-theme ‘Child-friendly Educational Methods (Skills in Teaching, games and arts)’. Dr Samson Gandhi had taken a session of the sub-theme ‘Child Development and Psychology.’ Dr Jyothi Victoria had taken a session on the sub-theme ‘Christian Education and Evaluation Methods.’ Mrs V. Keerthi James had spoken on the sub-theme ‘Child Rights and Child Abuse.’ Mrs Tabitha had taken a session on the sub-theme ‘Personal Safety Education for Children.’ Some of the responses from the participants as follows: “Learning Christian Education Pedagogies is capacitating us to continue child-friendly atmosphere in teaching professions outside of the Church as well”; “A number of sub-topics dealt with have introduced us to a wide range of concerns pertaining to children”; “An introduction to the Bible as a book with poetry and stories has interested us to teach children instead of a set of doctrines and philosophy”; “Rural children concerns are given enough space in the interactions.” Rev. C. Shanthi Roberts as well as Rev. Dr U. Daniel led the Bible study cum devotion for two days. The delegates cherished hospitality extended by the Diocese.
Sunday School Teachers Workshop “Christian Education Pedagogies for Missional Congregations.” 29-31 May 2019 at Calicut.
A three days’ workshop for the Sunday school teachers in the Diocese of Malabar was organised by the CSI Department of Christian Education in collaboration with the Diocese of Malabar. The workshop was inaugurated by the Rt. Rev. Dr Royce Manoj Kumar Victor, Bishop in Malabar in the presence of Diocesan Clergy and Evangelists. Evg. Shaiju M J. and Rev. Sam Prakash offered prayers. Diocesan Sunday school General secretary had welcomed the dignitaries and the participants. Rev. NK Sunny the Clergy Secretary, Mrs Sophia George the secretary of Women’s fellowship, Rev. Sinoj Manjooran the General secretary of the Youth Department, Area Presidents Rev. P.T George and Rev. Koshy George offered felicitations. Evg. Sibin Stanly expressed thankfulness to the dignitaries and to the participants. Evg. PA Thomas offered a closing prayer followed by the benediction by The Bishop. Rev. Sam Prakash gave a short introduction to the classes. The Christian education, Child rights and Child Development Psychology classes were taken by Adv. Lincy Vivek, who shared serious issues which had been happening in the present-day context. She conducted the sessions using an interactive method. Rev. Sam Prakash taught a song to the teachers and he took a class on the sub-theme ‘Christian Education Department’, Role of Sunday School Teacher.’ He engaged the session using an activity that makes the participants think about their role as Sunday school teachers. On the sub-theme ‘Child Development- Counselling’, ‘Psychology of Child Development’ Evg. Sibin Stanly had taken a class. He explained about what is counselling, how we should take care of our children, what are the goals of the counselling, how to build self-esteem in children and Psychology of child development and stages of child development. It was an interactive session; this class was fully addressing different concerns related to personality development. The delegates had shared their experiences of working with the children in their respective parish. Rev. Dr T. I. James took a class on the topic ‘Child Education and Child-Friendly Churches.’ He concentrated on the legal dimension of Children education and inspired the class with new ideas to be Child-friendly churches. He further discussed disabled children and their life in society as well as in Church. He explained how the service pattern could change according to the children and the possibilities for their active participation in the Church service. It was an eye-opening session to all those who were there. Evg. P.A Thomas had addressed the topic ‘Child-friendly Educational Method.’ It was very effective and helped in keeping the full attention of the children in the classroom. Mr Nivin Thomas, Project co-ordinator and Social Board Convenor of the CSI Malabar Diocese, had spoken on the topic ‘Forms of Child Abuse- Sexual, Cultural, and Physical & Spiritual.’ This class was related to our present situations and the problems faced by our children. He explained about ways and means to help the children who face the problems of child abuse. The sub-theme of ‘New Sunday School Syllabus’ was dealt by Rev. Sam Prakash. He clearly explained about new features, new methods and activities in the New Sunday School Syllabus of CSI. Rev. James Cecil Victor, Director from Synod, had dealt with the sub-theme ‘Reading the Bible with Children.’ He explained about relating the Bible to the Children in order to be Child-friendly and the importance of caring for children through the Bible stories telling. Morning devotions were conducted by Evg. Sibin Stanly and P.A. Thomas consecutively for two days.
In the valedictory programme Rev. Sam Prakash, the Sunday School General Secretary of CSI Malabar Diocese had expresses thanks to all the participants as well as resource persons the to the CSI Synod Christian Education Department. Prayer and the benediction were said by Rev. P.T George.
Sunday School Teachers Workshop “Christian Education Pedagogies for Missional Congregations,” 07- 09 June 2019 at Madurai.
Three days Sunday school teachers workshop was organized by the CSI Department of Christian Education in partnership with the CSI Diocese of Madurai- Ramnad, in Madurai. The theme of the programme was “Christian Education Pedagogies for Missional Congregations.” The Rt. Rev. Dr M. Joseph, Bishop in Madurai- Ramnad Diocese, had inaugurated the programme. He had encouraged the work of the Christian Education Department in the Diocese. Bishop shared about ‘Grace of Children Mission’ in the Diocese from his own experiences, which was an inspiration to the participants. He thanked the CSI Christian Education Department for a meaningful programme in the Diocese. Rev. A. David Jebaraj, Clergy Secretary of the Diocese, had spoken on the topic ‘Introduction to the Sunday School Movement.’ He had enlightened the gathering about Sunday School history within the Diocese of Madurai- Ramnad and in India, connecting with the history of Sunday school mission worldwide. It was very useful and inspirational. Rev. Dr Praveen Perumala had dealt with the topic ‘Re-reading the Bible with Children as Child.’ He used a PowerPoint presentation method. His presentation enabled the participants to realise different limitations in the present methods of Sunday School. The session helped the participants to work towards Child-friendly method of reading the Bible. The topic of ‘Child Psychology’ was taken by Mr Selvakumar. This session was conversational and participatory in approach. The conventional practices on teaching lessons were modified through the session. The participants were introduced to various levels in child psychology using biblical narratives. On the topic of ‘Managing Stress’ Rev. A. Peter Joseph, director for Christian Education in the Diocese, used Biblical paradigm to deal practically with stress. The Diocesan Lay Secretary Adv. C. Fernandas Rathina Raja presented on the topic ‘Child Rights.’ The children of today’s world are said to be extremely under threat while they pursue their life ambitions. He further emphasized on violent contexts that the children are exposed to. Through this session, the participants got awareness and clarity in constitutional protections and child rights. Mr D. Benedict Abraham, an activist and social worker, initiated the discussion on the topic ‘Today’s Challenges for Children at Home, School, Society and at Church.’ The participants were asked to analyse the present day’s struggles. He made a strong point that children had been reduced to a thing with some use value and not as persons. The consequences of viewing children as a commodity are explained in terms of child abuse, child labour, sexual assault on children. This session helped the participants to consider the value of children and change their old perceptions of children. The participants gave feedback that the sessions were highly educative and inspiring.
Sunday School Teachers Workshop “Christian Education Pedagogies for Missional Congregations” 28- 30 June 2019 at Kadapa.
Sunday school teachers workshop on “Christian Education Pedagogies for Missional Congregations” was organised by the CSI Christian Education Department in collaboration with the Diocese of Rayalaseema Christian Education Department from 28- 30 June 2019 at CSI Central Church Sunday School Hall, Kadapa. Around seventy Sunday school teachers had enrolled for the workshop. The workshop was inaugurated by the Rt. Rev. Dr B. D. Prasada Rao, Bishop in Rayalaseema by lighting a lamp. Soon after the inauguration, the first session was taken by Rev. Nischal on ‘Historical and Biblical foundation of Christian Education.’ Morning devotion was organised by the local Presbyter at CSI Christ Church Kadapa. The session followed was taken by Rev. P. Shanthi Swaroop on ‘Child Development and Child Abuse,’ followed by a session by Rev. P. Isaac Varaprasad on ‘Child Rights and Child-Friendly Methods in Christian Education,’ Rev. Dr Praveen PS Perumalla, Director in-charge of CSI Department of Christian Education, had taken session on ‘Reading the Bible with Children’ followed by a session by Rev. Devanand Subuddi on ‘Sunday School syllabus.’ Rev. C. Ananda Rao, Director, Diocesan Christian Education Department, had successfully organised the workshop with the support of Bishop and Diocesan officers Rev. C. Mathaiah, Administrative Secretary, Mr G. Prabhakar Rao, Financial Administrator. Rev. Bharat was very helpful in organising the workshop. On Sunday, all the participants along with the resource persons had joined the worship service in the Central Church, Kadapa, where Rev. Dr. Praveen PS Perumalla was invited to preach the word of God. In the worship service, Bishop B. D. Prasada Rao had exhorted the participants, led them in a prayer of the pledge to serve the Children through Sunday school ministries, offered a prayer of dedication and distributed certificates, declared that the certificate awardees are authorized to serve as Sunday School Teachers in the Diocese of Rayalaseema. Feedback from the participants was very encouraging. They all expressed the desire to have similar workshops periodically as the Diocesan Sunday school teachers are more spread across the Diocese, which is mostly rural Diocese. They stated that giving importance to the Bible in Sunday school that too from children's experiences is something inspired them as a new thought. Giving certificates is appreciated as an incentive to continue in Sunday school ministries with much vigour. They further expressed the need for new songs to be taught at the time of such workshops.
Sunday School Teacher’s Workshop “Christian Education Pedagogies for Missional Congregations” 23-25 July 2019 at Vijayawada.
“Sunday School ministries are very important ministries of the Church,” says the Bishop in Krishna- Godavari Diocese the Rt. Rev. Dr T. George Cornelious. A three days’ workshop was inaugurated by the Bishop along with Bishop Amma, President for the Diocesan Women Fellowship Smt. Rev. D. Joshua Kumari Cornelious, in the presence of Mr G. Samuel Sudhir, Diocesan Secretary, and Rev. V. Issac Ratna Raju, Diocesan Treasurer, Rev. K. James Cecil Victor, Synod Director and Rev. Dr Praveen PS. Perumalla, Synod Director. Around fifty people participated in the workshop in spite of heavy rain, impaired state transport.
It was heavily raining in the State at this time. The venue had to be changed on the second day of the workshop. There was a field exposure programme for the participants to visit children home. Following sub-topics are covered: Rev. K. James Cecil Victor presented on ‘Sunday school ministries’ and ‘CSI Department of Christian Education’; Rev. Dr Praveen PS. Perumalla on ‘Reading the Bible with Children as Children’ and ‘Child Rights’; Smt. Rev. D. Joshua Kumari Cornelious on ‘Child- friendly Educational Methods’; Mr T. Ravi Kumar on ‘Child Abuse and Child Rights.’ Morning devotions were led by Rev. Dr Ananda Rao, Presbyter of All Saints Church. There were feedback and discussion session at the end of the programme. Three questions were given to discuss. For the first question on what is learned, their responses were the importance of finding creative ways and means to motivate children; develop moral values among children; work toward making them disciples; teach the bible stories, make it attractive and desirable learning. They reported that they could learn Christian Education and Child Rights importance, both within the Church as well as in society. They further said that the workshop gave them good knowledge and importance of providing moral support to others.
To the second question about their plans to implement what is learned, responses are: The Sunday school teachers should strive to impart a biblical world view of life through systematic Bible study. They said that the parents of the Sunday school children should be encouraged to be sensitive to various needs of the children belonging as per their age groups and turn homes as centres of care. The participants had said that the Churches should radicalise distribution of gifts, practice charity based on need. For instance, gifts given to the Sunday school children should not be of any plastic goods but health-related and education-related goods. To develop our Sunday School to be Children-friendly, it requires work to bringing change among the Sunday school children, also among the parents and elders within the families. In this workshop, we learned good activities for Sunday school children when compared to the activities we had done before. For instance, our bible cover should be a story-oriented coloured picture.
Feedback on the final question about activities of Sunday school needs to be improved, the responses were: impart discipleship among the children as well as among the family members of the children. Make use of technology to teach children animated stories, craft making and innovative games and songs. Such an approach in teaching will impress on the heart and mind of a child. Through such innovative approaches, the feedback report says, it is possible to prepare every child as a shining star to the future generations.
Sunday School Teacher’s Workshop “Christian Education Pedagogies for Missional Congregations” 22-24 August 2019 at Shoranur.
A three days’ workshop for the Sunday school teachers of the CSI Cochin Diocese was conducted on 22 – 24 August 2019 at CSI Retreat Centre, Shoranur. The workshop was organised by the CSI Department of Christian Education in collaboration with the Diocese. The workshop was inaugurated by the Rt. Rev. B. N. Fenn, Bishop in Cochin, & Kerala Regional Sunday School Chairman, in the presence many clergies from the region of Kerala. Rev. Sujin Jacob (South Kerala), Rev. Satu P. Roy (Kollam-Kottarakkara), Rev. Sam Prakash N (Malabar, Rev. Johnson Kunnappilli (Madhya Kerala), Rev. Mathew Gorge (Cochin Diocese), Rev. K. A. Lukose (East Kerala) had felicitated the occasion. Rev. Dr Mervin Shinoj Boas had presented the keynote address on the Theme ‘Christian Pedagogies for Missional Congregations’. The participants were around 100 Sunday School Teachers at the workshop. Dr P. R. D. Prabhu had taken a session on the sub-theme ‘Child- friendly Education Methods’ which was very interactive based on activity involvement that enabled the participants to grasp quickly. He emphasised on visual presentations of the Biblical characters and Bible stories that enables quick grasp of the subject matter by the Children. Dr Prabhu took a class on the sub-theme ‘Child development’ impressing on the audience importance of psychological approach. After morning worship, Mr Bensic Miranda had led the session on “how to counsel new generation children’. An umbrella was gifted to everyone. Rev. Mathew George, General Secretary, Christian Education Dept., Cochin Diocese, had organised the programme satisfactorily. The feedback from the participants was very encouraging as they all said that it was good educative sessions.
Sunday School Teachers Workshop “Christian Education Pedagogies for Missional Congregations” 8- 10 September 2019 at Mangaluru.
The CSI Department of Christian Education in collaboration with the South Karnataka Diocese had organised three days’ workshop for the Sunday school teachers in the Diocese from 8-10 Sep’ 2019 at Sahodaya, Mangaluru. The participants had taken part in women Sunday in the CSI Shanthi Cathedral Balmatta. The participants were from six different areas of the diocese. The programme was inaugurated by the Bishop, Rt. Rev. Mohan Manoraj by planting a sapling in the programme venue and made the inaugural address. The office-bearers of the diocese were part of the inaugural programme. Mr Vincent Palanna, treasurer of the diocese, addressed the gathering, spoke about the importance of Sunday school. The sessions followed started with Introduction to Sunday School Movement and Aims, Objectives of the CSI Christian Education Department. Mr D. William Carey, Secretary of KSD had spoken on the sub-theme ‘Reading the Bible with Children as Children’ from his experiences. Two sessions were taken by Rev. Icon Palanna, Presbyter, CSI Karunya Church, Krishnapura, on the sub-themes ‘Forms of Child Abuse – Sexual, Cultural & Institutional’ and ‘Forms of Child Abuse – Physical, Emotional, Spiritual.’ He shared from his expertise in Law and work with various organization. A highlight of his presentation was about the problem of child abuse in Church and society, which otherwise was not visible. There was activity based on the topic organised by Rev. Palanna. A session was taken by Dr Prabhu, Director, Kids Kount, Bangaluru. He had explained about the psychology of children under the sub-topic ‘Child Development’ (Counselling, Psychology of Child Development). Rev. Adrian Deepak, Assoc. Presbyter, CSI Shanthi Cathedral, Balmatta & Co-ordinator, KSD Sunday School Dept, had taken a session on the sub-theme ‘Sunday School Syllabus and Evaluation Methods.’ Rev. Noel P. Karkada, Presbyter, CSI St. Paul’s Church & Co-ordinator, KSD Youth Dept, had taken a session on the sub-theme ‘Christian Education & Child Rights.’ He highlighted the importance of Christian education and child right through biblical and social sciences understanding. Mrs Rekha Barnabas, Secretary, CSI Shanthi Cathedral, had taken a session on the sub-theme ‘Christian Education for Child-friendly Churches. She emphasised the importance of Child- friendly church in the present context. Her presentation was followed by activities and games designed by her. Dr Prabhu, Director, Kids Kount, Bangaluru, had spoken on a sub-theme ‘Child- friendly Educational Methods’ (skills in teaching, games, arts, etc). There were morning devotions lead by Rev. Adrian Deepak and Rev. Sudhakar, Convenor, Christian Education Department. In the morning devotion, one Bible study was led by Bishop Mohan Manoraj and following day Bible study was led by Rev. Sudhakar. A cultural evening was organised for the participants. Each area had to present one event. Participants enjoyed presenting songs and dance from each region. Group discussion and feedback was organised. Participants actively participated in the sessions by sharing their experiences. Their feedback was in written form. The valedictory programme was chaired by Rev. Sr Sujatha, Vice President. She brought greetings from CSI KSD on behalf of the Bishop. She expressed a few encouraging thoughts for conducting a teachers’ training program and shared her experience in God’s ministry. She congratulated all the participants for choosing children ministry and working hard in bringing children towards Christ. Rev. Prakash Dasar, Sunday school Area coordinator of Chamarajanagar, Rev. Hemachandra, Area chairman of Kodagu district were present. The programme concluded with the prayer by Rev. Hemachandra and vote of thanks by Rev. Sudhakar.
Sunday School Teachers Workshop “Christian Education Pedagogies for Missional Congregations” 7-9 Oct’ 2019 at Panigiri,
A three days’ workshop for the Sunday school teachers was organised at Panigiri for the CSI Diocese of Karimnagar by the CSI Department of Christian Education in collaboration with the Diocese. Fifty Sunday school teachers, mostly youth from rural Churches, had participated in the workshop. For the first half of the workshop, all the clergy from the Alair Group Church Council were invited to understand the importance of Sunday school ministries. The workshop was inaugurated by the Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr Prof. K. Reuben Mark, Bishop in Karimnagar, in the presence of Diocesan Treasurer, Rev. Christopher, Diocesan Ministerial Secretary Rev. E. Paul, Diocesan Sunday School Director Rev. R. Jeevaratname, Panigiri Pastorate Chairperson Rev. Purushotham, Alair GCC Chairman Rev. AmruthaRao and other clergies. Rev. Dr Praveen PS, Perumalla, Director in-charge for the CSI Department of Christian Education, was present at the inauguration programme. The Bishop had emphasised about Children and ministry among the Children and also dedication on the part of Pastors as well as Sunday School teachers for ministry among the Children. Rev. Dr Praveen P.S. Perumalla had discussed ‘Reading Bible with Children as Children,’ ‘Child-friendly Churches’ and ‘Child Rights.’ He elucidated on the importance of approaching the Bible from Child world view, in a language understandable to the children, and introducing the Bible to Children as a book for Children. For which unlearning on the part of Sunday school teachers were the first requirement, followed by relearning, he said. On the sub-them ‘Child-friendly Churches’ he talked about giving a due place for the child participation in the liturgy, in the worship service; need to make deliberate attempts to create space for the children. Any kind of humiliating tendencies, belittling children by the elderly needs to be overcome, he said. On the sub-theme of ‘Child Rights,’ he emphasised on the citizenship of children and the constitutional rights of children that needs to be always reminded and observed. Different State agencies to protect Children Rights needs to be watched closely by the Church as well as Sunday School in order to deliver goods to the needy children. Mrs Purushotham had presented on the sub-theme ‘Child Abuse and Role of Sunday School.’ Her presentation brought out local variant in Child abuse, which otherwise was not visible and the importance of being sensitive towards children needs by the elders. She further emphasised on the role of Sunday school teachers in training Children to recognise different forms of Child abuses and importance to teach Children to resist any kind of abuse. On the sub-theme ‘Children Education Methods’ and ‘Child Psychological Development’ Rev. R. Jeevarathnam had discussed rural children requirements while teaching Sunday school. Importance of folklore usage was emphasised which needs to be integrated with Christian teachings. He further explained that the rural Children needs differ based on gender.
In the feedback session four questions were given to them, what did you expect from this workshop? What is your opinion on the given topics and the way they are dealt with? What did you learn from this workshop? What are your future plans for the Sunday School in your village?
The feedback report says that their expectations were learning new songs, action songs in the workshop. They were surprised by an introduction to important sub-themes at the workshop. They said that the topics were very informative and educative. They said that many new aspects are introduced to them such connecting psychological component with the spiritual such as praying for children by the Sunday School teacher and praying with each child as the time demands and also praying with the children as a group. They said about learning the Bible as a book of stories and Child Rights as the constitution has given rights; Churches to be Child-friendly are innovative thoughts that inspired them. They were saddened to learn that the Child abuse culture surrounding them but they were not sensitive to children. They all committed to serving the children in their respective villages and they asked for more opportunities to come together for learning and time to learn new songs as well as puppet shows and Children videos. They expressed the desire to incorporate audio-visual methods in teaching to the children as well as to the teachers. Morning devotions were taken by the Sunday School teachers with the help of local Pastor.
Peter Cater Scripture Examinations and Awards:
In the triennium, Peter Cater Scripture examination was conducted in different centres within the CSI Dioceses in four regional languages and in English. For two levels scripture examination was conducted, one for the lower grade, class 9, and another higher grade, class 11. Both classes covered the Biblical books, from First testament as well as New Testament and Psalms for memory verses. We had around 400 and above children writing scripture examination every year. Awards were declared for all the five languages for each category three awards – first, second and third. Synod level awards were also declared in three categories- first, second and third. The award was in the form of a certificate, memento and cash award. The prize distribution for 2017 scripture examination took place on 13th Jan’ 2018 at CSI Synod Secretariat and for 2018 awards on 27th Sep’ 2019 at CSI LITE Auditorium, Chennai.
For the Peter Cater Scripture examination awardees, half a day retreat was organised at the CSI Synod Secretariat. Sessions were taken by Rev. Dr Rohan from UTC Bangaluru and Rev. Dr Jayachitra, Director, CSI Christian Education Department. They had encouraged children to grow in Scriptural knowledge. The Peter Cater Scripture examination award ceremony was organised for the year 2018 clubbed with the CSI Formation Day celebrations at CSILITE Auditorium amidst of Dalit and Adivasi Cultural Programme. The awards were given out by the CSI Deputy Moderator the Rt Rev. Dr V. Prasada Rao, and the Rt. Rev. George Stephen, Bishop in Madras, Rev. Dr D. R. Sadananda, CSI General Secretary, and Adv. C. Robert Bruce, CSI Synod Honorary Treasurer.
Child Protection Policy (CPP), Children Rally, Child-Champs, Children liturgy and Green Parables for Sunday School.
The department of Christian education works related to children within the CSI Dioceses were organised in collaboration with some of the Synodical departments. CSI- SEVA was engaged with preparing Child Protection Policy (CPP) for the CSI, and they organised Children Rally and Children liturgy; Youth Department organised Child-Champs and Ecological Concerns department prepared Green Parables for Sunday School. All these works do contribute to reaching the aims and objectives of the Christian Education Department.
The Department of Christian Education looks forward to taking Christian Education to the Dioceses and through Dioceses, it reaches to the local congregations. In order to realise the Department aims and objectives, a scientific approach is needed to assess the need, measure the extent of work undertaken, feedback from the local congregations for improvisation. Each Diocese does have its focus on Christian Education. Therefore, the CSI Synod Christian Education Department is bound to look into congregational requirements as envisioned by the respective Dioceses and integrate it with the Synodical programmes for a vibrant partnership. Besides concentrating on Sunday school teachers and Sunday school children alone, Christian Education needs to explore areas that come under Christian Education. For which listing to the local congregations within each Diocese is an important way forward.
I express thanks to the CSI Moderator Most. Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, Deputy Moderator Rt. Rev. Dr V. Prasada Rao; CSI General Secretary Rev. Dr D. R. Sadananda and Adv. C. Robert Bruce, Synod Hon. Treasurer for placing your faith on me to take care of the Department of Christian Educa
The Departments of the Church of South India Synod adopted a novel way to present the triennial reports during the 36th session of the CSI Synod, which was held at the Bishop Heber College in Trichy from 11th to 14th January 2020. The Departments presented full- length videos of their work during 2017- 2020 along with the full-colour book contains the printed form of the reports.
The report of the Communication Department in the text form, pdf form and video format are seen here.
CHURCH OF SOUTH INDIA
THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATIONS
TRIENNIAL REPORT FOR THE SYNOD COUNCIL JANUARY 2020
The Communication Department of the Church of South India Synod (CSI) works with a vision to help the CSI Synod to communicate the image of the Church, her mission, life and witness using effective means of communication and also to equip the congregations to communicate God's message and love relevant to our times. The Department has aims and objectives to facilitate communication centres/cells in all the dioceses, share resources and expertise, to help the CSI Synod in the documentation of events, projects and programmes and provide communication assistance to the CSI Synod in the publication of magazines, bulletins, diaries and calendars, to organize programmes sensitizing the community on social issues using latest and relevant media, to establish and facilitate media relations with the secular media, and to provide support to the creative persons of the CSI and thus strengthen the human resources of the Church. In order to achieve this goal the department organises Seminars/conferences on information and communication technology, developmental communication, traditional and alternative communication, courses on communication for clergy and the laity for the effective proclamation of Gospel, workshops/seminars for lyricists, musicians, artists, writers, photographers, theatre artists, and cartoonists, and Summer music courses in the Synod level and short music courses in the local levels.
The Department is vested with the responsibility of making and providing video documentaries on various issues pertaining to projects, development activities and life of the church. The official Magazine of the CSI, ‘CSI Life’, is designed and prepared for publishing by the department.
The Department operates the websites of the CSI Synod, www.csi1947.com and www.csisynod.com
The Department is happy to present the report for the triennium 2017- 2020, mainly because the special efforts taken with the support of the officers of the synod to cope with the changing times being in tune with the technological developments in the field of communication technologies. In the triennium, the focus was specifically on probing the rich treasure of creative human resources the church has and strengthening them by giving the needed training and spaces to perform.
One Church; One Web
One of the most ambitious projects of the Communication Department of the Church of South India (CSI), ‘One Church; One Web’, which brings the activities, projects, news and information of both the CSI Synod Secretariat and the 24 dioceses under one webspace, the new website www.csi1947.com, was launched in the public meeting in connection with the Seventieth Year Celebration of the formation of CSI held on 27th September 2017 in Chennai. Most Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, the Moderator of the Church of South India, switched on the new website during the ceremony and Rev. Dr Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda explained the concept behind the website.
“Brush, Paint and Canvas: Harmony of Justice and Peace” CSI 70th Year Art Camp
Sixty artists and sculptors from the five different states of South India who belong to the Church of South India gathered in the CSI Synod Centre to do a wide variety of painting and sculptors to commemorate the seven decades of the CSI. The ‘CSI 70 Years Arts Camp’ organised by the Synod Communication Department titled “Brush, Paint and Canvas: Harmony of Justice and Peace”, was inaugurated by Rev. Dr. Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda in a function chaired by Rt. Rev. A. C. Solomon Raj, the Chairperson of the Communication Department and the Bishop in Medak. The inaugural worship was led by Rev. Sunil Raj Philip, The Director of the Department. Rev Maxcin John led the meditation, who began his words by asking a pertinent question about art and its relation to Almighty God. ‘What is art' was the initial query echoed during the meditation discussion. The sermon brought out the wonderful idea of the relation between art and God. He portrayed God as a great artist who created the universe from chaos, beautiful world from nothingness and finally he exhorted that the purpose of an artist is to take part in God's creative endeavour.
In the inaugural function, Rt. Rev. A. C. Solomon Raj made a remarkable note on the importance of communication. He also stressed upon the need to celebrate the historical moment in CSI life by unleashing creativity and identifying creative spirit through art, which is an important resource for communication.
The inaugural address was delivered by Rev. Dr Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, who reiterated the concept of God as the great artist. As his address set the pretext for the camp, he stressed upon the different social and cultural aspects of art. He related art with six social functions, to begin with, he said that art is a medium of imagination where an artist has the liberty to imagine and create artefacts from nothingness. Moreover, he attempted to establish the biblical truth behind creation. The second function that he reiterated was the relationship between art and communication, where he provided examples of how art could convey messages and taking its role in communication. The third concept revolved around the idea of art as the tool for expression, where one unleashes his imaginative power that eventually transforms society. This was followed by the next concept of art as protest, where he focused on the necessity of art that stand against exploitation and marginalisation. One could also consider art for liberation by identifying the liberating potential art often provides. The concluding idea was art as a resource for affection. The speech was followed by felicitations by Rev. James Cecil Victor, Rev Solomon Paul and Rev. Maxcin John.
The camp was held from 22nd to 25th of July 2017. The artists and sculptors are creatively engaged in responding to social issues with the perspective of Christian spirituality.
The paintings from the art camp had been used as book covers, CSI Synod calendar designs and the cover designs of the CSI Life magazines. The paintings will be published as a coffee table book.
‘Powerful Palettes: Harmony of Justice and Peace”
CSI Synod Art Camp of South Indian Artists inaugurated by Minon, the National Award-Winning Actor
Seventy acclaimed artists and sculptors from the five southern states of India came together under one roof for four days at the Church of South India (CSI) Synod Centre in Royapettah to paint and sculpt under the theme ‘Powerful Palettes: Harmony of Justice and Peace” with a specific focus on the Dalit and Adivasi concerns. Master Minon, the National Film Award winner of best actor in 2012 who himself is an artist, inaugurated the four- day art camp on 15th July 2019 morning at 10 am. The Art Camp has been organised by the Communication Department of the Church of South India aiming at promoting justice concerns and communal harmony, with a specific focus on denouncing caste-based discriminations. Rev. Sunil Raj Philip, the Director of the Department, informed that the artists were given the freedom to express their perspectives through their artworks because the brushes, paints, and palettes are powerful tools of social transformation. Rt. Rev. A. C. Solomon Raj, the Chairperson of the Department, presided over the inaugural function. The artists include many of the trained artists from the reputed institutions such as Hyderabad Central Varsity, Fine Arts College, Trivandrum, and College of Fine Arts, Chennai. Mr Vinu Vadakkedathu, who caught the attention of the connoisseurs in the Kochi- Muzirus Biennale with his large sculptures, also attends the Art Camp.
A seminar has been organised along with the Art Camp, which will critically evaluate Indian art from different perspectives such as art and Indian politics, subalterns in India and Indian art, Art and theology, Indian art and literature, male gaze in Indian art, and art as a tool for social change. Ms Shobana P. Mathews (Professor, Christ College, Bangalore), Dr Sajin P. J. (Art Critique, Documentary Film Director, Kerala), Rev. Sam Mathew (Communications expert/artists, Kerala), Dr Gladston Jathanna (Mangalore), and Rev. Paul Karunakar Nalla (Warangal) presented papers in the seminar.
The Art Camp was led by the Synod officers, Most Rev. Thomas K. Oommen; Moderator, Rt. Rev. V. Prasada Rao; Deputy Moderator, Rev. Dr Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda; the General Secretary, and Adv. Robert Bruce; the Treasurer.
The Church of South India (CSI) Synod Art Camp, which witnessed around seventy artists from the five states of South India and more than ninety paintings they have done during the camp, came to a close on 18th July 2019 at the CSI Synod Centre in Chennai. Rev. Dr Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, the General Secretary of the Church of South India Synod gave the concluding speech and distributed the participation certificates for the artists.
The Paintings from these art camps were featured as the cover designs of Books and CSI Life Magazine and in the CSI Calendars. The paintings from both camps will be published into two Coffee Table Books.
Two of the artists from these camps were invited by CWM to attend an international art camp held in Taiwan.
The Selfie Spot of Church of South India Synod Awaits you!
When you visit the CSI Synod Centre in Chennai next time, the Synod Selfie Spot will welcome you!
This attractive wall is the creation of the young artists who attended the CSI Synod Art Camp 2019 organized by the Communication Department. We are sure that you will agree with the fact that they have done commendable work!
The graffiti on the wall speaks about different campaigns and concerns the Church of South India has been engaged with such as girl children's safety, the rights of Dalit Christians, Adivasis, seafarers, Gender equality, missional congregations, Youth Against Addiction and Abuse (YaAA), disability interventions, pastoral concerns, communication for social justice etc.
So, when you will here next time, your social media accounts will be vibrant with this selfie spot!
EMS International Communication Network Meeting Held in CSI Synod
It is important to know the human interest stories from different parts of the world, share the concerns related to justice and equality and have a common platform for sharing the news and ideas among the member churches of the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS, Stuttgart, Germany), felt the Communication leaders of the member churches who had an international meeting in the CSI Synod Centre in Chennai hosted by the Church of South India Synod. The conference, led by Ms Regina Karasch-Böttcher, the Secretary/Head of Corporate Unit Press and Public Relations of EMS. While inaugurating the conference, Rev. Dr Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, The General Secretary of the Church of South India, suggested that by the process of Christian Communication one is expressing, exposing and exegeting the truth. He expressed his hope that the conference will be eventually helping the member churches to speak the truth loudly and stand for the truth firmly.
The conference went underway on the 3rd of March and had its conclusion on the 7th of March 2018. The delegates from the Member Churches, Mr Thomas Lohnes (EMS, Germany), Ms Nadine Angel Cloete and Ms Janine Thyssen (Moravian Church, South Africa), Rev. Hyon Mo Pyo (Presbyterian Church in Korea), Rev. George Ezekiel Larbi (Presbyterian Church in Ghana), Ms Mega Kamase Sambo (Pastor in Toraja Church in Indonesia), and Rev. Sunil Raj Philip (CSI), had a meaningful and fruitful time of discussion and deliberations and eventually made a pattern of working more closely and effectively. As part of the conference, the team visited CSI Special Children’s Home at Puthuir and Anbagam CSI Home for Aged in Adyar under the auspices of the Madras Diocese of the Church of South India.
Photography Workshop for of CSI Synod Led by Thomas Lohnes
As part of the capacity building process, a photography workshop was organised for the photographers of the Church of South India across the 24 dioceses by the Communication Department of the Church of South India Synod. Thomas Lohnes, an internationally acclaimed photographer, led the workshop. Twenty- five photographers from the five states of South India along with a group of select staff from the CSI Synod Secretariat attended the workshop. The workshop was inaugurated by Ms Regina Karasch, the Secretary/Head of Corporate Unit Press and Public Relations of the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS, Stuttgart, Germany), inaugurated the workshop, which was held at the CSI Synod Centre in Chennai on the 4th and 5th of March 2018. Rev. Dr Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, The General Secretary of the Church of South India, addressed the photographers and encouraged them to be the voice of the voiceless through their photos because "a picture is worth a thousand word". Rev. Sunil Raj Philip welcomed the photographers and expressed the gratitude of the CSI Synod to Mr Thomas Lohnes and Ms. Regina Karasch for the great support they extended to make the workshop materialized.
The participants of the workshop unanimously agreed upon the fact that it was a time of great learning and realizing that 'photography is not merely a profession, but is a way of living'.
“The Mighty Keyboard” Synod Level Missional Workshop for the Writers in the 21st Century
A synod level workshop for the young writers' in the Church of South India Synod (CSI) was organised at the CSI Retreat Centre in Kozhikode (Calicut) in Kerala under the auspicious of the Malabar Diocese. The Workshop was inaugurated by Rt. Rev. Royce Manoj Victor, the Bishop in the Malabar Diocese. Ms Shahina K., an eminent writer in Malayalam and a film director and critique, gave the keynote address. Rev. Shibin Varghese spoke on the theme "Writers in the 21st Century: A Theological Quest". Prof. Reeba Sara Koshy (Dept. of Communication, Devagiri College, Calicut) took a class on "Disruptive language: Zeitgeist of social media". Rev. Joseph Samuel spoke on "Is writing suicidal in India?". Rev. Sunil Raj Philip, the Director of the Communication Department of the CSI Synod, led a workshop on Poster Designing.
Rev. Joe Varghese Malayil gave leadership in the local arrangements of the programme. Mr Desmond Babu, the Treasurer of the Malabar Diocese, gave the felicitation speech in the inaugural session.
The Workshop continued on the second day at the Malabar Christian College and the English Department Faculty under the leadership of Dr Premanand, the Head of the Department, takes the classes on the second day at the Audio Visual Centre in the Malabar Christian College in Calicut. The sessions at the Malabar Christian College were inaugurated by Dr Godwin Samraj (Principal, Malabar Christian College). Mr Jayapal Samuel (Manager, Malabar Christian College) and Rev. T. I. James (Corporate Manager for Schools, CSI Malabar Diocese) also spoke in the occasion.
In the forenoon, Dr Premanand (English Dept., Malabar Christian College) led the session on "Writing Across the Boundaries: The Message and the Medium". Prof. Subin Varghese (English Dept., Malabar Christian College) conducted an interactive session on "Proclaiming the Message using Social Media- Use of Twitter, Facebook & WhatsApp".
Prof. Saigeetha and Dr Premanand led the practical session on "The Digital Inner Voice - Using Podcasts to spread the Message". As the final session, Prof. Subin Varghese and Dr Premanand M E helped the participants in "Preparing an Infographic".
The participants were taken to the Archives of the college, which is a treasure of documents on the work and witness of the missionaries of Basel Mission. The participants got some awareness on how the work of the missionaries influenced the progress of the Northern Parts of Kerala and the Southern Parts of Karnataka especially in the field of education and healthcare. Education was given to all irrespective of caste and creed. The intervention of the missionaries in the field of literature and the positive results of those interventions were enlightening information for the participants.
The participants had an outing to the Calicut beach in the late evening.
The final day of the workshop started off with the morning worship service. The participants of the workshop spend one hour on creative writing. They wrote Christmas Carols, which have relevance in the 21st century.
Ms Maleeha Raghaviah (renowned Journalist, former Senior Editor of the Hindu) took the class on "Writing, Editing, Layout". Dr Jaiprakash Raghaviah (Journalist) led a session on "Book Writing".
In the concluding meeting, Mrs Bindu Royce Victor, the President of the CSI Malabar Diocesan Women's Fellowship greeted the participants. She distributed the certificate of participation to the participants.
CSI Synod Writers Workshop: ‘The Mighty Keyboard’ Second Phase
The second phase of the Writers’ Workshop titled ‘The Mighty Keyboard’, which has been organized by the Communication Department of the Church of South India was inaugurated at the CSI Synod Centre in Chennai on the 7th June 2019. Rev. Dr John Samuel Ponnusamy, the Principal of the Gurukul Lutheran Theological College in Chennai who is an eminent Old Testament Scholar delivered the keynote address.
Rev. Shibin Varghese, a research scholar, spoke on “To Fetter or Free? Exploring Biblical Writing”. Prof. J. E. Kunnath (Dept. of English, CMS College, Kottayam, Kerala) took the class on the writing on Social Media under the title “The Cyber Scribes”. The last session on the day was by Mr Steve Kunnath on Writing for the Stage and the session was titled “As You Write It”.
The second day started with a presentation titled “When God Hugs as a Mother: Feminist Theology and Indian Writings” by Dr Vedha Kani. This session was followed by a class by Rev. Gladson Jathanna (Professor, Gurukul Lutheran Theological College, Chennai) on “The Reciprocity of Indian Christian Writings and the Indian Secular Writings: A Critical Appraisal”. Rev. Joseph Samuel (Research Scholar, The United Theological College, Bangalore) spoke on “Writing in Such a Time as This”.
Mr Manoj Ebenezer, a freelance researcher and historian, explained the rich treasure of the missionary documents in his speech titled “Digging the Gold Mines: Archival materials and contemporary writings”
The final day, which was a Sunday, started off with the Holy Communion Worship led by Rev. Sunil Raj Philip. Mr Sherry Roy (Associate Director, Film Industry, Hyderabad) took a practical session on “Kollywood, Mollywood, Tollywood, Sandalwood: Writing for the Screen”. The final session was by Prof. Sayujya Sankar (Stella Maris College, Chennai) on “Voices from the Margins: Identity Politics in Indian Writings”
There were sixty potential writers from the 24 dioceses of the CSI, who are from all the five southern states of South India.
This workshop was organised on a concept that being an Indian church, the communication tools, forms and practices of the Church of South India aim at a radical, indigenous, and identifying with the marginalized, fine-tuned with the changing times, and making more bridges and harmony that will form missional congregations. When the Church of South India uses her communication tools and activities, she is not only touching the lives of her congregation members, who form a massive 4.5 million people but also to the social matrix of five southern states of India as well as Jaffna in Sri Lanka.
'The Mighty Keyboard': Communication Workshop for the Pastors of CSI Madurai Ramnadu Diocese
A workshop for the pastors of the Church of South India (CSI) Diocese of Madurai Ramnadu has been organised on 'Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and its effective use in the church and the ministry. This workshop was jointly organized by the CSI Synod Communication department and the Department of Communications of the Madurai Ramnadu Diocese at the American College, Binghamton Hall, in Madurai. Rev. Sunil Raj Philip, the Director of the Department of Communications of the CSI Synod, led three components of the topic: Information and Communication Technology, the Layout and designing of pamphlets, booklets, etc., and the tips for making effective PowerPoint presentations. Rev. Joe Daniel, The Director of the Communication Department of the Madurai Ramnadu Diocese, gave effective leadership in organising the Workshop.
Earlier in the inaugural session, Rt. Rev. Dr M. Joseph, the Bishop in the Diocese, released the official WhatsApp group of the pastors of the Diocese, which aims and seamless and faster communication. Mrs Dr Leela Manohari Joseph, the Vice-President of the CSI Synod Women's Fellowship, and the officers of the Diocese- Rev. Dr A. Yakkobu; the Deputy Chairman, Rev. A. David Jebaraj: Clergy Secretary, Adv. Fernandes Rathinaraja; Lay Secretary and Mr Edwin Chelliah; Registrar, participated and Grace the Workshop.
Communication Workshop for the CSI Presbyters Held in Thoothukudi
A Communication Workshop has been organised by the Department of Communications of the Church of South India (CSI) Synod at Thoothukudi for the Presbyters of the Thoothukudi Nazareth Diocese of the CSI on the 23rd November 2019. Rt. Rev. S. E. C. Devasahayam, the Bishop in the Diocese, inaugurated the workshop. Rev. Sunil Raj Philip took interactive classes on ‘need for effective communication in pastoral ministry’ and a practical session on ‘how to make effective PowerPoint presentations’.
Communication Workshop for the Theologically Trained Catechists Held in Thoothukudi
A Communication Workshop has been organised by the Department of Communications of the Church of South India (CSI) Synod at Thoothukudi for the theologically trained catechists of the Thoothukudi Nazareth Diocese of the CSI on the 22nd November 2019. Rt. Rev. S. E. C. Devasahayam, the Bishop in the Diocese, inaugurated the workshop. Rev. Sunil Raj Philip took interactive classes on ‘the relevance of communication in ministry in the 21st century’ and a practical session on ‘how to make effective PowerPoint presentations’.
Writers’ Workshop Held at Madhya Kerala Diocese
A writers’ workshop named ‘Sahithi 2019’ was held at the CSI Eco- spirituality centre in Othara, in Kerala under the auspices of the Madhya Kerala Diocese with the help of the Communication Department of the Church of South India. The workshop was inaugurated by Dr Babu Cherian, the former Head of the Malayalam Department of the CMS College in Kottayam and a Researcher in the field of missionary history. The inaugural programme was chaired by Rev. Nelson Chacko, the Secretary of the Literature Board of the CSI Madhya Kerala Diocese. Rev. John Isaac (Clergy Secretary, Madhya Kerala Diocese), Rev. Sabu K. Cherian (District Chairman, Madhya Kerala Diocese), Mr SRD Solomon, Mr Shibu Joy (coordinators of the programme), Mrs Shalu Jomon, Mrs Asha Binu (Joint Conveners of the programme), and Mr Philip Varghese led the inaugural function. Rev. Sunil Raj Philip, the Director of the Communication Department of the CSI Synod, explained the concept of the workshop.
Eminent Novelists from Kerala Mr Benyamin, Mr S. Hareesh, poet Mr Renukumar, poetess Ms Muse Mary, short story writer Mr Francis Norona, and writer-director Aju K. Narayanan led classes on various topics.
Church Music Workshop for Vocalists, Choir conductors and Pianists, at Chennai
Aiming at the formation of a Synod Choir and helping the musicians to fine-tune their talents, a Church Music Workshop was organised by the Department of Communications and the Department of Youth of the Church of South India (CSI) Synod in two phases. The second phase was held at the CSI Synod Centre in Chennai from 6th to 10th of August 2019.
This workshop, which was organised to help young musicians and vocalists to attain a greater level of clarity and proficiency in music to be trained in the nuances of modern church music especially voice training and helping them to form as a Choir, was attended by around 40 select musicians from various dioceses of the CSI.
Rev. Dr Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, the General Secretary of the CSI, inaugurated the workshop in Chennai. He suggested that the interaction between the Indian musicians and the western musicians will be an occasion of mutual learning and mutual respect. He expressed his hope that the musicians from the dioceses of CSI will definitely be benefitted from the five- day workshop.
Rev. Dieter, in-charge of Basel Mission German Branch was also present to share his greetings and participated throughout the music workshop with the young people of CSI. Every morning he led a brief bible study, which helped the participants to have a better biblical understanding of church music.
Mrs Hannah Schussler, church music expert from Germany was the main resource person who facilitated this workshop and training the musicians in vocals, choir conducting and technical insights on piano.
The second day started with vocal and physical warm-ups through the first session of each day and explained the importance and use of the same. This was followed by the singing of canons to start with and slowly teaching how harmony should be achieved. The delegates learnt the role of the conductor and how one should follow the instructions. As part of this, Mrs Hannah also taught the art of choir conducting to all the delegates while paying special attention to the choir conductors (present and aspiring). This was very necessary and insightful for the delegates. The choir conductors present in the delegation were also given in-depth training into the movements, positioning and attitude while conducting and following this, they were given a chance to conduct the delegates for a song of their choice. With every day, the delegates learnt to follow the conducting of Mrs Hannah and the conductors improved their techniques. Mrs Hannah had brought along and distributed the music scores for some beautiful songs which were practised and sung by the choir. The end result of the practice and singing was beautiful, to say the least, and the delegates enjoyed themselves while singing in harmony.
During the workshop, the participants had the opportunity to visit St. George’s Cathedral for two evenings where they were able to perform with the piano and the pipe organ as accompaniment.
On a penultimate day, the participants of the workshop organised a cultural night with full of singing and even a couple of skits.
On the final day, the delegates and Mrs Hannah performed all the pieces which they had practised to the delight of everyone. Rev. Dr Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda gave the concluding remarks and requested Ms Hanna to distribute the certificates to the participants. This workshop was a revelation to the church about what can be achieved when young people are brought together from various places to sing to the glory of God. This was a time of learning, not only singing and choir conducting but also the means of communicating with God and people through music.
Mobile App for the CSI Book of Common Worship Released
The Mobile/Tab App for the Church of South India (CSI) Book of Common Worship prepared by the Communication Department of the CSI Synod with the help of Pastoral Concerns Department was officially released on the 27th September 2019 by Rev. Dr Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, the General Secretary of CSI, during the Dalit and Adivasi Cultural Festival organised by the Dalit- Adivasi Concerns Department of the Synod.
You can download this from Play Store and will be available in the App Store soon.
The worship orders in the regional languages (Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil & Telugu) will be added to the App in due course of time.
Please do spread this news with others and write a review in the Play Store.
CSI Synod Communication Department Organised Photography Competition
The Communication Department of the Church of South India (CSI) Synod announced a photography competition with awards to the best entries. It was open for any of the CSI Members. The first 12 entries were featured in the 2019 calendar of the CSI Synod and the next 12 appear as the Cover Photo of The CSI Life magazine, which has been published both as hard copies and soft copies and has a wide reach across the world.
Communication Department Helped in Coordinating Flood Relief
During the devastating floods in Kerala and Karnataka in 2018, the Dept. coordinated the photographers and reporters from various places and shared the news and with the partner churches and agencies, which helped the relief work. Photographers who were part of the photography workshop organised by the communication department helped to get original good quality photos of the flood, and channelized through the Communication department and eventually were published in the websites of the international agencies.
Calendar, Diary, Designing of Book Covers, Banners, Badges, Brochures, Standees and Making of Videos
The Department of Communication organises, designs and brings out the Diary and Calendar of the Church of South India Synod. In the last triennium, the department initiated to bring out the diary with multicolour cover and this was the first time in the history of CSI. Paintings from the art camp were used in the two years of the calendars, the first time in the history, all the cathedrals of CSI were featured in the calendar and in one-year photographs from the photography competition were used. The department helped other departments in making book covers, banners, badges and brochures etc. The department is helping to make videos too.
Under the leadership of the officers of the Synod, especially the General Secretary who is techno-savvy, the department has seen a great leap in the area of infrastructure development. The department now has high-resolution cameras, professional video cameras, high-end computers and original software such as Corel Draw (designing) and Adobe Premiere Pro (Video editing). The department took the lead to purchase LCD projectors to all the three auditoriums and the board room, a new Yamaha Keyboard, and a rhythm pad.
International Communication Networks
The Director of CSI Synod Communication is part of the International Communication Networks of EMS and CWM. He has taken part in the meetings of the network of EMS held in South Africa and Chennai and Singapore meeting by CWM. He has joined CWM for a month as a working intern and attended the General Assembly of EMS at Neustadt as part of the Communication team. The CSI hosted the Communication Network meeting from 3rd to 7th March 2018.
The International Meetings the Director of Communications Attended
The General Council Meeting of WCRC in Leipzig, Germany
The General Council of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) began on the 29th of June 2017 at Leipzig, Germany and went on with the presentations from the famous theologians like Jurgen Moltmann, deliberations, and major business sessions till 7th of July. World Communion of Reformed Churches has more than 220 member churches and the General Assembly was attended by more than a thousand people from across the world.
Rev. Sunil Raj Philip, the Director of the Communication Department was invited to attend the General Council as part of the Communication Team. The reports and photos by the director appeared on the website of WCRC.
Communication Network Meeting of CWM, Singapore
The Council for World Mission (CWM) organised a Communication Network Meeting in Singapore from 27th to 31st of August 2017 in which the Director of the CSI Synod Communications attended. The Director thanked the Council for World Mission for the support the CSI received in organising various workshops for communication such as Photography Workshop, Writers’ Workshop, Art Camp etc.
Exposure Visit to the Protestant Church in Baden, Germany
Rev. Sunil Raj Philip, the Director of the Communication Department, was invited to have an exposure visit of three days with the Communication Department of the Synod Centre of the Protestant Church in Baden from 27th to 29th November 2018. This visit to the Church, who will host the World Council of Churches Assembly in 2021, is a possible initiative for a further strengthening of the relationship between the Communication Departments of both the CSI and EKIBA (Evangelische Landeskirche in Baden- Protestant Church in Baden).
General Assembly of EMS at Neustadt, Germany
The General Assembly of the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS) was held at Neustadt from 6th to 9th December 2018 as part of the Communication team. The General Meeting of the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS), which is a major mission partner of the Church of South India (CSI) was attended by Most Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, the Moderator of CSI, Rev. Dr. Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, the General Secretary, and Dr. Susan Thomas, the President of the CSI Women's Fellowship representing CSI. The General Meeting was attended by the delegates from the member churches of EMS from 24 countries from various continents.
Visits to the Middle East Countries
Rev. Sunil Raj Philip, the Director of Communications of CSI visited the CSI Malayalam Congregation in Abu Dabhi for delivering the Passion week sermons in 2017, Bahrain in 2018 and Dubai in 2019. These visits were utilised by the Director to spread awareness among the diaspora CSI communities about the communication processes of the Church of South India.
All praises to God the provider for the last triennium in which the Communication Department became more active. I should not be showing restricting my words and should be profusely thanking and appreciating Rev. Dr Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda for his vision supported by his techno-savvy attitude and the support he had given to the department to venture new areas. Most Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, the Moderator of the Church of South India, Rt. Rev. Dr Vadadapalli Prasada Rao, the Deputy Moderator, Adv. Robert Bruce, the Hon. Treasurer, and Rt. Rev. A. C. Solomon, the Chairperson of the Department contributed to the growth of the Department with their experiential wisdom and support. I would like to record my gratitude to them.
I would like to express my gratitude to the Bishops of the Dioceses of the CSI who always have shown their interest in the activities of the Communication Department and extended their support. The officers of all the dioceses should be mentioned here for the support they extended, especially in organising programmes in the regional and diocesan levels.
The staff of the Department, Mr John Bharati, Mr Joshua Rajkumar, Mr Elavazhagan, and Mr Simson, should be specially mentioned for their creative support. Mr Eby Mathews from the Malabar Diocese rendered special support towards the end of the triennium to the Department.
Thank you very much!
Let us together continue to spread the good news!
Rev. Sunil Raj Philip,
Department of Communication,
Church of South India Synod.
The Departments of the Church of South India Synod adopted a novel way to present the triennial reports during the 36th session of the CSI Synod, which was held at the Bishop Heber College in Trichy from 11th to 14th January 2020. The Departments presented full- length videos of their work during 2017- 2020 along with the full-colour book contains the printed form of the reports.
The report of the CSI- EMS Liasion Office in the text form, pdf form and video format are seen here.
CHURCH OF SOUTH INDIA
CSI-EMS LIAISON OFFICE
TRIENNIAL REPORT FOR THE SYNOD COUNCIL JANUARY 2020
The Church of South India (CSI) is a member Church in Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS), Germany. In India EMS is CSI. The CSI-EMS liaison office is intended to strengthen relationships through the strengthening of synodical departments, a direct partnership between the CSI dioceses and German Churches, and partnership concerns with the theological educational institutions which are in EMS fellowship. It is an important desk for CSI international relationships. The model of CSI-EMS liaison office is unique in the EMS fellowship and EMS is planning to take the same model to other member Churches in Korea, Japan and elsewhere. The CSI-EMS liaison office work since Sep’ 2018 onwards is reported bellow.
Appointment of CSI-EMS Liaison Officer
Rev. Dr Perumalla Praveen Prabhu Sudheer, an ordained minister of the CSI Diocese of Karimnagar, Professor in Social Analysis at Andhra Christian Theological College, Hyderabad, and also first Auxiliary Secretary of the Bible Society of India Telangana Auxiliary, was appointed as CSI-EMS liaison officer in September 2018; Installed to the office by the Moderator the Most. Rev. Thomas K Oommen, in the presence of CSI General Secretary Rev. Dr D. Rathnakara Sadananda and directors of the Synod and staff members.
Mission Among the Children: EMS Partnership with CSI Children Homes
There are eight EMS supported homes spread across South India, CSI Girl’s Boarding Home, Mulki; CSI Boy’s Boarding Home, Udipi; Basel Mission Girls Orphanage, Sumaddi; Basel Mission Boy’s Orphanage, Gadag; BEM Girl’s Home, Chambala; CSI Bethania Girl’s Home, Kannur; CSI Industrial School, Manjeri; and Empowerment & Skill development Centre, Meppadi. All these children homes are taken care by the CSI Board of Child Care (CSIBCC). These homes are for girl and boys, who stand below the poverty line, and also for the orphan children. These children come from different revenue administrative districts. It is reported that around 400 underprivileged children had been taken care of by these homes. The liaison officer had visited children homes at Udipi, Mulki in Oct’ 2018 and children homes at Kannur and Chambala in Aug’ 2019. Some of these homes are engaged to provide intercultural exposure to German young volunteers for the past few years under the project of EMS called Ecumenical Youth Volunteer Programme (EYVP). EYVP volunteers from Germany had been placed in Kannur home and boy’s home in Udipi.
A conversation with the inmates and staff of the homes had brought to light new challenges. Respective State governments are restricting the homes from giving admission to children in the name of non-local. The government authorities are periodically scrutinizing the children homes to disqualify them for violating non-local admission. These authorities also verify other components to disqualify our mission with children in the name of building fitness and hygienic standards. The CSI needs to revisit the mission with children in a context of changes in state cooperation with the Churches mission with the children.
Transformative Mission Engagements: EMS Partnership with CSI Synod Department
EMS partnership with the synodical departments is an important function of the CSI-EMS liaison office in terms of processing the synodical projects and work closely with the CSIGS office in sending the reports on scheduled time. In the year 2018 and 2019, the CSI Synod Departments had received fourteen projects, which is the second-highest of all the support projects and programmes of the EMS. Statistically, it speaks of a strong relationship with the EMS. Challenges before the CSI Synod is to take complete advantage of the EMS support in strengthening Diocesan ministries and local congregations. Let each diocese provide adequate information on the issues pertaining to each project and appropriate the project fruits and report back changes from the local congregations. The EMS is interested to see the transformation in local congregations through its ministerial partnership.
Mission through Direct Partnership with CSI Dioceses The CSI Dioceses are in direct partnership with German Churches that are in fellowship within EMS. There are eight CSI Dioceses in direct partnership with the German Churches. Protestant Churches of Hessen-Nassau is in direct partnership with the Dioceses of Krishna-Godavari and East Kerala; The Deanery of Villingen in partnership with the Diocese of Karnataka Southern Diocese; The Deanery of Pforzheim in partnership with the Diocese of Coimbatore; The Deanery of Heidelberg in partnership with the Diocese of Malabar; The Deanery of Waiblingen in partnership with the Diocese of Tirunelveli; The Evangelical Churches of Kurhessen Waldek (EKKW) in partnership with the Diocese of Northern Karnataka and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wurttemberg, Degerloch & Schew, Gmund, in partnership with the Diocese of South Kerala. Such a partnership enables the mission to be in solidarity.
Baden Churches stood in solidarity with the people of Kerala, sent flood relief to their partner Dioceses. The Deanery of Villingen Churches sent flood relief to the Southern Karnataka Diocese. The CSI-EMS liaison office reports to the EMS Stuttgart on flood situation as well as flood relief works. There had been mutual visitations of the CSI Diocesan Bishops, congregation members to Germany as a part direct partnership. The German Churches had been observing Indian Sunday Worship Services in their respective Churches raising support for their partner Dioceses in CSI. In such special services, Indian preachers are engaged. In 2019 at Pforzheim Deanery Rev. Dr, John Samuel was the preacher and in Degerloch Church Rev. Solomon Benjamin, EMS Liaison secretary for India/ East Asia was the preacher. The German Churches looks forward to getting mission work reports from their respective partner Dioceses that can be presented at the Indian Sunday Worship Service. The CSI-EMS liaison office assists the Dioceses in strengthening direct partnership relationships
Direct Partnership Meeting with Rev. Michael Starck of Baden Churches at Malabar
State Church representative for the Church Development Services of the Protestant Churches in Baden Rev. Michael Starck had visited the Diocese of Malabar on 5-6th Aug’ 2019 along with Rev. Solomon Benjamin, EMS liaison secretary and Rev. Dr Praveen PS, Perumalla, liaison officer. Three Diocesan Bishops of the Basel Mission Region namely Bishop Timothy Ravinder, Bishop in Coimbatore; Bishop Mohan Manoraj, Bishop in South Karnataka and Bishop Royce Manoj Kumar Victor, Bishop in Malabar, met at Calicut and discussed active partnership. Following day Rev. Starck visited children homes that are supported by the Baden Churches, at Kannur and Chambala along with the liaison officer and Mr Nivin, project manager of the Malabar Diocese. They also visited flood relief works in the district of Wayanad. The Baden churches are very much eager for active partnership with the CSI Dioceses.
Mission Intercultural Exposure: Ecumenical Youth Volunteers Programme (EYVP)
The CSI-EMS Liaison Office had organised EYVP intercultural exposure for the German young volunteers under the programme North-South volunteers. These volunteers work in various CSI projects, schools, and children homes for a period of 10 months, starting in September to end of June. These youths will get to know churches and cultures, contribute their experiences to congregational work. They make use of time to develop their personality in a culturally pluralistic context. A total of 16 German volunteers had availed the EYVP programme since 2018 and 2019. Ten CSI homes across the CSI had catered these youths for inter-cultural exposure. These home are St. Mary´s Rehabilitation Centre, Khammam; Asha Nilaya, Udupi; Wesley Girls´ Hostel, Secunderabad; CSI Boys Boarding Home Udupi; Elwin Centre, CSI Home for Mentally Retarded, Satchiyapuram; Bethania Girls´ Home, Kannur; Women Workers´ Training Centre, Nagalapuram; Balar Gnana Illam, Salem; Holy Cross Boarding Home for Girls Nandyal; and Hardwicke Boys Boarding Home, Mysore. Thanks to the respective Bishops as well as wardens for their cooperation in an ecumenical partnership.
Every year the EYVP officer concerned at Stuttgart Ms Kathrine Lehbeah visits the volunteers for mid-terms evaluation. In the year 2019, the mid-term evaluation took place at Hendry Martin Institute, Hyderabad. At the time of her visit, EYVP placement homes are visited along with the liaison officer or person delegated. In the year 2018, homes in Kerala region were visited; in 2019 homes in Telugu region was visited. These intercultural exposures bring goodwill among the German youths who experience Indian realities and CSI ministries. They share their experiences back home within the EMS Youth Network that facilitate more youths to visit CSI under EYVP programme.
Challenges faced in organising EYVP is registering the German volunteers with the respective CSI children homes. The government agencies are demanding document after document with no end. There is an urgency to take up EYVP volunteer registration matter seeking a long-term solution.
The mission at Asian Regional Level: Indo -Korean Mission Council
Three days Indo- Korean Mission Council took place at CSI Synod Secretariat, Chennai, from 20th to 22nd August 2019, hosted by the CSI. The participants were from six churches in Asia and one mission organisation in Germany. Leadership from the Presbyterian Church in Korea (PCK), Presbyterian Church in Republic of Korea (PROK), Church of South India (CSI), Church of North India (CNI), Presbyterian Church in India (PCI) and Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS), Germany, had participated in the mission council. There were six presentations in the mission council, which stimulated serious thinking to consolidate the vision of forming regional council and strengthen South-South Fellowship, and it had come out with a mission statement to that effect.
The delegates were taken for exposure with the Ponneri Pastorate, Diocese of Madras, where they interacted with the self-help groups of the CSI, children of the fishing community. The beneficiary women who attended the meeting were poor. No priority based on religious identity is given to them but, based on their poverty and determination to overcome poverty. These women shared may liberative stories about Churches involvement in lending loans to the poor women of self- help groups. They asked Churches to continue supporting the poor women through small loans and not to withdraw from liberative path.
Theological Educational Mission: EMS Partnership with Theological Institutions
EMS has a partnership with five theological educational institutions namely Andhra Christian Theological College, Hyderabad; Karnataka Theological College, Mangaluru; Kerala United Theological Seminary, Trivandrum; Tamilnadu Theological Seminary, Madurai, and United Theological College, Bangaluru. These colleges/ Seminaries continue to receive support from the EMS partnership in terms of project support, exchange of human resources and providing intercultural engagement. Liaison officer was invited by TTS, KUTC, KTC and ACTC and discussion to improve partnership relationship with EMS if shared between the liaison office and respective theological college/ seminary. The liaison officer could visit KTC, TTS and yet to visit KUTS and ACTC. Some of these theological college Principals had visited the EMS Secretariat at Stuttgart and some of them had visited CSI-EMS Liaison Office. EMS is interested to work more closely with the theological educational institutions in the days to come.
Mission through EMS International Bible Workshop
EMS Bible Workshop was held from 29th September to 6th October 2018 at United Theological College, Bangaluru. The workshop was attended by delegates from 8 countries namely Cameroon, Germany, Ghana, Hongkong, India, Indonesia, South Africa and South Korea. Out of all the 19 delegates attended, 8 were women. The Principal of UTC Rev. Dr Ch. Vasantha Rao warmly welcomed the delegates in the community worship service, where Rt. Rev. Dr Royce Manoj Kumar Victor, Bishop in Malabar, introduced the workshop theme “Reading the Bible through the Eyes of Another” in his preaching. The Bible workshop included a public lecture on “Mother Tongue Hermeneutics” by Prof. Philip Laryea from Ghana. A team exposure programme was organised as part of the programme; one team visited the CSI Karnataka Southern Diocese and Karnataka Theological College, Mangaluru, and another team visited Tamilnadu Theological Seminary, Madurai. The participatory approach, contextual reading of the text, was conceived as “Bible Sharing” that takes seven steps: Opening prayer or song; Listening to the Bible text; giving voice to the biblical text; Meditation in silence; Sharing insights; Acting together; Closing with prayer or song. The Biblical texts used for reflections were St. John 14, Book of Ruth, St. Mark 9, Galatians 3 and St. Luke 24 respectively. Five academic papers on different themes were presented. The Bible workshop method is helpful in overcoming monologue, insensitivity towards others, reflecting beyond one’s political state boundaries, etc. It is more probable that such a workshop can lead towards inter-religious sharing of scriptures.
On Duty Visit of CSI- EMS Liaison Officer to Germany The CSI-EMS Liaison officer was invited by the EMS acting General Secretary Rev. Dr Kerstin Neumann from 6th to 22nd Nov’ 2019. The itinerary was well prepared by Rev. Solomon Benjamin, EMS Liaison Secretary for India and East Asia, and by Ms Regine Nagel. The following Churches/ Deaneries, offices are visited during the time: Waiblingen Deanery; Esslingen Deanery; Pforzheim Deanery; Heidelburg, Headquarters of the Church of Baden at Karlsruhe, Villingen Deanery, Degerloch Church in Stuttgart and Zentrum Okumene in Frankfurt. Some of the highlights of the visitation are participation in the EMS Mission Council held on 21st Nov’ onwards at Hohenwart; Participated in Indian Sunday Service observed by two partner Churches, one at Pforzheim and other Degerloch Church, Stuttgart; Lectured on the theme of ‘Indian Political and Church Scenario’ at Pforzheim and at Villingen; Participated in Baden Churches Staff Meeting at Karlsruhe and briefed on Church and political context of contemporary India; A lecture on ‘Diversity and Church Music in India’ was delivered for young musician gathering at Esslingen, which was followed by a meeting to explore possibilities for a music concert in India; Two Bible studies were taken, one for the Partnership group at Oberhausen in Nidda and other one at the EMS Chapel, Stuttgart; An academic presentation was made on the theme ‘Indian Experiences in Greening Initiatives: Christian Responses’ on 16th Nov’ at Indian Seminar organised by EMS for the German Churches in fellowship within EMS. There was time to interact and learn with different EMS departments at the Stuttgart Office. Time to interact with the acting EMS General Secretary Rev. Dr Kerstin Numann, where I was introduced to different administrative documents, policies of EMS; time to meet Public Relations Department Jorg Conzelmann, Regina Karasch-Bottcher, Thorsten Kruger along with Solomon Benjamin. The discussions were very helpful in reporting, news related matters and need to think of information hub. Time was allotted to interact with the Programmes and Projects department unit support headed by Christine Grodzinger, who made a PowerPoint presentation to explain about EMS policy on project-related matters, finances, and reports. Their expectations from the CSI-EMS liaison office was also explained. There was time to listen to Intercultural Learning and Gender department headed by Gabriele Mayer, who gifted a book, which is an outcome of the Bible Workshop organised at UTC, Bangaluru in Oct’ 2018, and suggested to start similar Bible study groups with the Theological Educational Institutions that are in partnership with the EMS. Time was allotted to interact with the department of EYVP Northe-South headed by Ms Kathrin Lehrbach, who explained about EYVP programme, discussed on recent challenges in registering the EYVP volunteers; discussed next mid-term evaluation schedule as well as next batch of EYVP volunteers posting. Time with Rev. Solomon Benjamin, EMS Liaison Secretary for India and East Asia and Regine Nagel was meaningful to learn about CSI-EMS liaison work and way forward. There was also time to know the work of EMS among the children. The Diversity book was introduced with a request to integrate it with the CSI ministries, preferably with the Christian Education Department. There was time to get introduced to the staff members of EMS Secretariat, Mr Rudolf Bausch, Head of Admin and Finance Department, Birgit Grobe- Slopianka, head of EYVP South-North programme/ Youth networking, Uwe Grabe, Liaison Secretary Middle East, Hans Heinrich, Liaison Secretary Indonesia, George Meyer, Liaison Secretary Africa, Dieter Bullard-Werner, Executive Secretary Basel Mission German Branch and also contact person with Esslingen Church, Cathrin Kaufmann, head of Human Resouces and Dorothea Wagner, Head of Distribution Unit and others.
I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the CSI Synod Officers the Most. Rev. Thomas K. Oommen. Deputy Moderator the Rt. Rev. Dr V. Prasada Rao, General Secretary Rev. Dr D. R. Sadananda and Hon. Treasurer Adv. C. Robert Bruce, for placing trust on me to lead the CSI-EMS Liaison office in India. I do express my gratitude to the officers concerned in EMS, Stuttgart, especially to Rev. Dr Kerstin Neumann, Acting General Secretary, for welcoming me to the office of the liaison of EMS in India. I am thankful to my Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Dr Prof. K. Reuben Mark, Diocese of Karimnagar, and the ministerial committee for sending me to serve as liaison officer for CSI-EMS.
Rev. Dr Praveen Perumalla
CSI- EMS Liasion Officer
The report of the CSI- BCC in the text form, pdf form and video format are seen here.
CHURCH OF SOUTH INDIA
CSI BOARD OF CHILD CARE
TRIENNIAL REPORT FOR THE SYNOD COUNCIL JANUARY 2020
The former Executive Director of UNICEF, Carol Bellamy once said, “ the quality of a child’s life depends on decisions made every day in households, communities and in the halls of Government. We must make those choices wisely, and with children's best interests in mind. If we fail to secure childhood, we will fail to reach larger, global goals for human rights and economic development. As children go, so go nations. It is that simple.”
It is true that children are important and children form the focal point of our ministry of childcare. And we can boldly echo the words of Dr.Karyn Purvis, who said that “the goal is to see the precious child that exists beneath the survival strategies and to let them know that we see them.”
We need to remember that “the ultimate test of any civilization is how we treat the most vulnerable…. what we do to our children” in the words of none other than Dr. Ravi Zacharias.
Very true and sensing the reality of that scenario in the year 1959 Kindernothilfe began its ministry in the northern part of Kerala now part of the Malabar diocese in a place called Paraperi with the child sponsorship programme and the support to the five most deserving children.
Over the years CSI had a great role in supporting this great venture. First, as the CSI council for childcare, secondly as churches council for child and youth care and thirdly as CSI Board of childcare.
The CSI Board of Child Care came into being from the first of April 2016 as one of the departments of the church of south India. The inspirational words from Mathew 25:40 “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” continues to motivate the ministry among the children.
The CSI Board of Child Care envisions children, youth and communities taking charge of their lives, enjoying the rights as citizens and living in an environment-friendly atmosphere with peace and harmony.
The CSI Board of Child Care is one of the departments of Church of South India which seeks to serve irrespective of caste, creed or religions. The disabled and the most disadvantaged children, youth and marginalised communities and offer them the opportunities for developing their potentials, leading them to have a self-sustaining life.
The mission of the CSI Board of Child Care is also to facilitate child rights and protection to ensure children are equipped to safeguard their childhood.
KEY IMPACT INTERVENTION AREAS
Types of Programme Projects Children
Residential Care Programme. 79 4044
Day Care Programme 45 2177
Rehabilitation of the Disabled 15 1209
Community Institution Based
Intervention Programme 5 655
Child Focused Community
Development Programme 1 148 (up to 31.03.2019)
Children at Risk 1 100
(These numbers are inclusive of 400 EMS supported children and 1400 CSI supported children)
1.RESIDENTIAL CARE PROGRAMME (RCP)
According to Global Developmental and relief agencies, there are around 11 million street children and 56.4 per cent of the Indian population lives below the poverty line.
For many years now, the Residential Care Programme has been transforming the lives of many deserving children with significant interventions which include arresting trafficking of children, child marriage, migration, poverty and assuring of their rights and are protected. The residential care programme helps children reach their inherent potential as well as provide for their total development and access to developmental resources for progressive change.
Name of Child: Akash 20052/575
Project Name: CSI Boys Boarding Home, Puttur
Diocese: Karnataka Southern Diocese
Akash is studying in CSI boys boarding home Puttur and he is from Hassan which is 175 Kilometres from the project. Akash is studying in the 10th standard this year. He was admitted to this Project in the year 2012 for 2nd standard when he was just 7 years old. His father and mother have deserted him as their marriage broke. Akash was very sad and disturbed. Akash with all these tragic incidents without losing hope has continued his studies as this Project always supported him. He is very good in his studies, sports and other activities. He has the ambition to do a 3 years diploma in electrical and electronics and wants to be a technician.
In June 2019 the Rotary Club of Puttur has recognized and honoured him as he scored highest marks in the 9th std. The project is very proud of him and the impact of the intervention can be seen in his life. As a child coming from the broken family, the progress he has made in the project seems to be exceptional. As he is focused and determined we are sure that he will be successful in his life.
2. DAYCARE PROGRAMME (DCP):
Children are the most valuable resource and we need to protect and provide for them, to enable them to build a secure future. Providing holistic development of children also significantly contributes to personal and community development.
The Day Care Programme is designed to provide early childhood care and support to children between the ages of 0-5 years from marginal sections of society. It not only facilitates age-appropriate child development; it also helps parents in rural areas understand the importance of school education.
Name of Child: P. Sudhakar 21105/162
Project Name: CSI Day Care Centre, Dudyala
Diocese: CSI Nandyal Diocese
Former child P. Sudhakar 21105/162 is one of the meritorious students. He was admitted to the Project for Pre-school education during the year 2000. He belongs to a poor Christian family. His parents are agricultural workers in the field on daily wages. He is the youngest child in the family. He has three sisters. They have studied only up to primary level and they are married now. He is the only one who is educated in the family. He got a seat in the Indian Institute of Information Technology at Idupulayapaya in Kadapa district on merit basis and this year he has completed his B.Tech course in Civil Engineering with 84% marks. Now he is working as a civil engineer in GramaShavalyam( Village Secretariat) which is a state government job and he is earning Rs. 15000/- per month. He is happy that because of the support of the sponsors he was able to study higher education and also through the guidance of the Project. And now he is preparing for competitive exams to get a government job. The impact of the intervention through the project has made it possible for him to come up in life.
3.REHABILITATION OF THE DISABLED:
The advancements in the medical and related fields have contributed to the formulation of effective rehabilitative measures that can be used to maximise the abilities and functioning of the disabled. The programmes of CSI BCC provide systematic assessment and Individualised interventions for the education, training and mainstreaming of the children with disabilities - sensory, cognitive and locomotor. The projects are disabled-friendly in their infrastructure and provide appropriate interventions for maximising development and independent living.
Name of the Child: Saravana Kumar 20503/570
Name of the Project and No.: CSI Home for the Deaf, Manamadurai
Diocese: Madurai Ramnad Diocese
Child Saravana Kumar hails from an interior village near Madurai and was identified to be a Hearing Impaired Child from Birth. Mr Murugesan, the father of the Child was bedridden due to his sickness and hence was unable to earn for the family. The child’s mother Mrs Mannalakshmi was the only breadwinner of the family and with the little salary earned through her work as a saleswoman in a fancy store she was able to meet the daily needs of her 2 Children but not the special education along with the required intervention of the Disabled Child Saravana Kumar. Under such situation, the child was referred to CSI Home for the Deaf, Manamadurai, a project for the Hearing-Impaired Children under the Diocese of Madurai Ramnad.
The Child was provided with all opportunities to meet his basic needs in the project. He formed part of the Self-Government system and all other activities of the project. He did his schooling in CSI High School for the Deaf, found on the same campus. The Childcare workers and the school teachers provided the Child with every opportunity for learning and the Child too utilised it effectively. He completed his 10th standard and 12th standard in 2014 and 2016 respectively with a 1st class marks. As per his interest, he was enrolled for his Turner Course in Worth ITI, Katpadi for 2 years. He completed this course successfully in 2018.
Soon after the completion of his education, he appeared for an interview in Ashok Leyland Company and was immediately recruited to work with them. He is now working in the steering manufacturing unit and earns a good salary to support himself and his family.
4. COMMUNITY INSTITUTION BASED INTERVENTION (CIBI) PROGRAMME
This Programme combines the strength of the institution and the family and community-based approaches for cost-effective rehabilitation of children with disabilities. The programme is designed to meet the developmental needs of differently-abled children through individualised intervention by Trained Community-Based Educators (CBEs) and holistic support through Transitional Resource Centre (TRC). The CIBI Programme ensures that the children are guaranteed their rights, are protected and enable them to become contributive members of their families and the community.
4. Case Study:
Gokinapalli Pavansai is a five-year-old child from Pindiprolu community in Khammam district of Telangana state. He is a CP child (cerebral palsy). By birth, Pavansai was bedridden due to his disability. His father is working as an agricultural labourer and his mother is a housewife. They both are illiterates. Their economic condition is very poor. They were undergoing a lot of stress as their child’s developmental milestones were delayed.
As his parents are uneducated, they started giving treatment (village medicine) on their own. But there were no results. He was identified in 2017 by the St. Mary’s Rehabilitation Centre during medical assessment in their respective community and they found that this boy is suffering from cerebral palsy. Our staff referred him to a government hospital and got disability certificate for him. During the medical assessment, the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) prepared an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for the boy.
Based on the IEP, Community Based Educator started interventions like physio and speech therapy availing services from Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). His parents are also trained on physio and speech therapy so that they can also do therapy interventions at home as per the directions given by MDT.
Now, the child's developmental milestones are improving. He can stand and walk with the support of someone and he can articulate 2 letter words. He started smiling and trying to communicate with others. His parents are very happy while seeing his child’s developmental milestones. They said that the child's condition has improved only because of CIBI program through St. Mary’s Rehabilitation Centre. They conveyed their heartfelt thanks to the project, CSIBCC and concerned sponsors for their timely generous help.
5. CHILD- FOCUSED COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
The only one CFCD project, at Thungathurthy belonging to the Karimnagar dioceses, completed its tenure on the 31st May 2019.
5. CASE STUDY
BurgulaSomaiah (30yrs old) S/o Prasad is residing at Reddy Gudem village of Thungathurthy Mandal of Nalgonda Dist in Telangana State. He was very active during his childhood. He studied up to 7th standard in his village. After that, he studied up to intermediate at Thungathurthy. Because of the poor financial position, he was unable to continue his further education. He got married in the year 2009. He learnt electrician course after the marriage and is doing his works and leading the life normally.
As a part of the job he went to a town called Manugur and working in an electricity department. One day, when he was climbing the electric pole, he fell and his spinal cord was broken, and he became handicapped. He was given treatment but could not become normal. The electricity department has given one Lakh rupees as compensation and department also has given the job to his wife.
Due to his disability, his wife left him and went away. He became isolated. His life story was also telecasted in news channel TV9. Two of the viewers responded and gave financial assistance for one year. Later he faced many difficulties due to lack of finance and moral support. Nobody gave him employment due to his disability. As a result, he was unable to get proper food and became very weak. Because of insecurity, he became depressed and was living a hopeless life.
During our project field staff visits, to his village called Reddy Gudem, he was identified with the help of village development committee and gave him moral support and encouraged to lead a successful life. The VDC has recommended him for the financial support, to start an electric shop. Now he is doing electrical works and bicycle repairing at his village and earning rupees 200/- to 300/- per day. Now his journey has moved from depression to self-confidence and he is leading a successful life with dignity. He is much grateful to the project staff and the sponsors.
6. CHILDREN AT RISK (CAR)
Children at risk, besides being defined by age, includes any child vulnerable to neglect, abuse, violence or exploitation. The focus is on building a child’s capacity to self-protect, defend and take action to re-build a successful life.
6. CASE STUDY
ADAIKALAM – A place of shelter and hope P.no 20414
Mr Parandaman and Mrs Suguna got married in 1994 and were blessed with 3 Children namely Srilekha, Praveen Kumar and Abilasha. Mr Parandaman, being a lorry driver was usually away from his family for most of the days. Parandaman fell sick and was tested positive for HIV. Later, his wife was also tested positive for HIV. They have received the required care and support through the Government Hospital in Vellore. Even after receiving the required medication for the illness, both the parents expired in the year 2006 leaving all the 3 children under the care of their grandparents.
It was under such situation when the Children have lost their caregivers to HIV and AIDS, they were referred to Adaikalam, P. No. 20414 in the Diocese of Vellore, by the Vice Principal of Voorhees College, Vellore. Living under the clutches of severe agony and psychological depression, the project provided the Children with the required counselling and imparted them a need to swim against the tide. A ray of hope was instilled in them with the constant efforts of the staffs and the counsellors.
Children were guided to continue their education and the needed care were provided from time to time. Regular tuitions were arranged to guide the Children in their academic achievement. All the 3 Children worked hard to accomplish their dreams. Child Srilekha has completed her B.A. (Eng. Lit), M.A in Sociology and also has cleared NET (National Eligibility Test) thus qualifying herself for University level Lectureship and the award of Junior Research Fellowship for Indian Nationals. She along with the project guided her siblings in pursuing their higher education. Child Praveen Kumar is now doing his B.A (Eng. Lit) and Child Abilasha is doing her Diploma in Teachers Education.
Thus, project Adaikalam, as the name signifies, has provided shelter, care and support for the children who were on the verge of facing social isolation and being deprived of their rights. The project along with the support of KNH and CSIBCC has contributed to the social well-being of the Children, to work productively and fruitfully and to make a contribution to the family and community.
ROLE OF CSI IN THE CARE OF CHILDREN:
Over the years the Church of South India has played a great role in the care of children supporting the initiatives of KNH for about 60 years in India now and to be precise since the year 1959.
In the beginning, it was CSI Council for Child Care, then Churches council for child and youth care and now since April 2016 it is CSI Board of Child Care as one of the departments of CSI Synod.
KNH has a phaseout plan in place and now whenever KNH withdraws support to a bunch of projects at the end of a particular financial year the CSI Synod has taken the responsibility to continue these projects and now we have about 34 projects supported by the Church of South India with support to about 1400 children. In April 2020 another 15 projects will be added and CSI will be supporting 49 projects with 647 children. This is a great achievement and is a great help to the deserving children to continue their studies and is helpful to the respective Dioceses also to continue the child care projects.
We are grateful to the General Secretary and the leadership of the CSI Synod for this timely intervention through which a large number of children have benefitted.
SPONSORSHIP ADMINISTRATION TRAINING:
During the period from June 2017 to November 2017, we had the sponsorship administration training programme covering all the key staff of projects in the five Southern states. This was organized by KNH with support from CSIBCC. The training programme highlighted the importance of good quality documents in the form of reports and letters to strengthen the communication with the sponsors who are considered to be the backbone of the ministry of KNH.
CHILD PROTECTION POLICY(CPP)INITIATIVES:
COMPUTER LITERACY AND IMPLEMENTATION PROGRAMME(CLIP)-:
This programme intends to train children to be equipped for good work opportunities in the digital world. The programme is designed to be instruments that prepare children for the future. It is also intended that this initiative will drive the country towards scientific and technological development.
During the reporting period this was introduced in the CSI girls boarding home in Chickamagalur, P no: 20062 on the 23rd of March 2018 with 3 computers and a printer.
CLIP goes beyond imparting basic skills in computers. Children are offered training so that they can obtain a government diploma in computers to ensure they get better job placements in towns and cities.
PROGRAMME OF PSYCHO-SOCIAL INTERVENTION:
Realising the importance of emotional support to the children especially at crucial times like just before the exams with the help of professionals in the field like Psychologists, counsellors and mental health specialists this programme was conducted mainly for the 10th class and above students of the residential child care projects in the Diocesan level across South India co-ordinated by the programme executives from time to time.
TRAINING OF THE STAFF OF PROJECTS IN COMMUNITY INSTITUTION BASED INTERVENTION(CIBI)
This training was conducted for the field level staff including community-based educators of three projects located in Tamilnadu and Kerala at Kanyakumari from the 28th – 30th of August 2017.
The Medical personnel, Psychologists, various therapists, counsellors and other experts on the field were involved as resource people. The staff could share their experiences and suitable guidance was given to excel in their area of intervention with the children, families and community.
TRAINING FOR THE STAFF OF EMS SUPPORTED PROJECTS:
The EMS supported project managers and key staff were involved in a training programme for two days each in Karnataka and Kerala as both the states have 4 projects each. The training programme on-Quality child care and effective project management for the 4project staff in Karnataka was held in CSI boys boarding home, Udupi on the 18th and 19th of April 2018 and for the Kerala region it was held on the 27th and 28th of April 2018 at Bethania students home, Kannur. Apart from guidelines for effective implementation of the child care programme the guidelines for the preparation of the planning report, evaluation report and programme proposals were given.
LEADERSHIP TRAINING PROGRAMME:
Two leadership training programmes were conducted for the 10th and above class students of the residential child care projects in the state of Karnataka. The first one was from the 15th-17th June 2018 held at the Lay retreat centre in Dharwad. The second one was on the 7th and 8th of October 2019 at Asha nilaya, Udupi. Around 50 children participated in both of these programmes. The purpose of this training programme is to highlight the importance of leadership qualities in children, apart from engaging them in Bible study, role play and building their knowledge base on values of life, child rights/protection and career plan with a future focus.
ECUMENICAL YOUNG VOLUNTEERS PROGRAMME (EYVP)
As in the previous years, EMS continues to send young people and this year we have 7 volunteers and they had their orientation at the CSI BCC campus from the 13th -15th of September 2019.
The placement gave a good opportunity for the volunteers as well as children and staff in projects to interact with each other, share and learn about each other’s culture, customs, traditions etc.
TRAINING FOR THE NEWLY APPOINTED STAFF:
A need was felt for a long time to have training for the newly appointed staff on effective child care and project management. Finally, this training programme was conducted from the 9th to the 12th of October 2019. This was organized both for the CSI Projects and now –CSI Projects at the CSIBCC campus in Bangalore. About 60 staff attended this and we had a wide range of topics covered such as,
Quality standards for institutional child care.
Introduction to child care and child protection child-protection policy.
Psycho-social well being of children
Quality child care with emotional support as a focus.
Quality child care with importance to health, first-aid and hygiene.
Preparing for the future and alternate forms of discipline.
Importance of the sponsorship programme
Accounts and related topics.
We wish and pray that these staff will work towards uplifting the quality of child care in the respective projects.
ATTENDING CONFERENCES ABROAD:
We are grateful for the leadership of the CSI Synod for these opportunities.
UPGRADING OF FACILITIES AT CSI BCC CAMPUS IN BANGALORE:
Apart from the painting of all the buildings in the campus and plumbing, electrical and carpentry work and apart from the main hall,6 other conference rooms/meeting halls are created and equipped with blinds and carpet. We also have accommodation for about 50-60 people to stay here with dining facilities and we have started renting out to people for the training/other events. The response during the past few months have been great and in the coming days, we hope to generate more resources with effective marketing of the space available.
We feel privileged to have walked this journey with children, families and communities. Through our strategy and plan of work, we continue to focus on issues that affect children the most. We are grateful to God for walking with us and guiding our efforts during the past 3 years. Our thanks are due to our sponsors, donors and supporters. We also thank the diocesan leadership and the managers and all the project staff /volunteers. Finally, we also thank the leadership of CSI Synod with specific reference to the General Secretary, CSI for the timely guidance and encouragement.
As we look back on the past years' work, we are constantly reminded of the growing needs of the children which motivates us to continue to give our best for the well being of the children.
Mr Prashanth Solomon
CSI Board of Child Care
The report of the Mission and Evangelism Department in the text form, pdf form and video format are seen here.
CHURCH OF SOUTH INDIA
THE DEPARTMENT OF MISSION AND EVANGELISM
TRIENNIAL REPORT FOR THE SYNOD COUNCIL JANUARY 2020
Church of South India (CSI) is a Missionary Church with a lot of evangelistic zeal. Towards the sustainable transformation is the focus and passion for the Church. The Church is tirelessly striving to realize justice, peace and reconciliation in the living context of the people of God. Therefore, the department of Mission and Evangelism, CSI Synod is organizing programs and making missional engagements in Local Congregation, Diocesan, Regional, Synod and Ecumenical levels of the Church in order to equip the missionaries to build Christ communities and to enhance the capacities of congregations to become missional congregations. With immense praise and thanksgiving to God, the triennial report of 2017-2019 of the Department is submitting before the CSI Synod on 11th -14th January 2020 at Bishop Heber Memorial College in Trichy-Tanjore Diocese.
II. DIOCESAN LEVEL PROGRAM
1. Celebration of the Sermon on the Mount Golgotha in Karadivaripally
The Department has engaged in a Missional program named as the Celebration of the Sermon on the Mount Golgotha which was conducted at Karadivaripally Village under Bengarupalayam Pastorate in Vellore Diocese on 16th and 17th September 2017. The program was held on the Golgotha Mountain Top and nearly one thousand people have attended the meeting. Celebration of the Sermon on the Mount was a venue for gathering together, listen together and having fellowship together in the very presence of God. The strong faith of the congregation was clearly evident in the celebration which is still communicating and handing over generations to generations!
2. Gospel Rally and Open-Air Meeting in Kanjar
The department has engaged in the gospel Rally and Open-Air Meeting conducted by the Holy Immanuel CSI Church Men's Fellowship of East Kerala on 1st October 2017 at Kanjaar Town in Idukki District. The Rt. Rev. Dr. K. J. Samuel (former CSI Moderator and Bishop), Rev. Maxcin John (Synod Mission Director), Rev. P. V. Andrews (Vicar), Dr. Abraham Johnson (Men’s Fellowship Secretary) and the Church Committee, as well as Men's Fellowship Members, attended the meeting. It was an occasion for public witnessing the Gospel of Jesus Christ through singing and preaching.
A Mission Consultation with CSI East Kerala at BCC
A Mission Consultation was conducted by Synod Mission Department with the Board for Mission and Evangelism of CSI East Kerala Diocese at CSIBCC, Bangalore on 16th November 2017. Bishop The Rt. Rev. Dr. K. G Daniel, Rev. K. James Cecil Victor ( Synod Director for PAD), Rev. V. S. Francis (Mission Director), Rev. James P. Mammen (Mission Board Secretary), Rev. K. S. Daniel (Mission Coordinator), Rev. George Joseph (Mission Coordinator), and Rev. Maxcin John (Synod Mission Director) have participated in the special consultation.
1. A Mission Consultation in Varkkala
On behalf of CSI Synod Mission and Evangelism Department, a Mission Consultation with Kollam-Kottarakkara Diocese was conducted at Light to the Blind, Christhu Giri School for Blind, Varkkala on 20th November 2017. Kollam Kottarakkara Diocesan Bishop The Rt. Rev. Dr Oommen George, Rev. Dr Bhanu Samuel (Vice-Chairman), Rev. M. Franklin (Diocesan Mission Director), Rev. Rajesh Charles (Youth Coordinator) and Rev. Maxcin John (Synod Mission Director) have participated in the consultation!
5. Evangelists Training Program in Mugulappally!
The Mission department of CSI Coimbatore diocese has organized a Training Program for Diocesan Evangelists and their Families at IEM’s Outreach Training Centre, Mugalapalli, Hosur, Tamil Nadu from 19 Oct 2017 to 01st Nov 2017. It was fifteen days of training. The Rt. Rev. Timothy Ravinder, Bishop in Coimbatore Diocese and Rev. David Suresh, The Mission Board Director has led the Training Program along with other resource persons. Rev. Maxcin John, Synod Mission Director has engaged in the training program and led the devotion. The themes related to the Bible, Mission, Family Life, Leadership, Preaching, Worship and Mission Strategies were discussed in the training program.
6. One Day Retreat for Missionaries in Nandyal
CSI Synod Mission and Evangelism Department and CSI Diocese of Nandyal jointly organized one-day Retreat for Missionaries, Evangelists, Bible Women and Missionary Ordains of Nandyal Diocese on 22nd November 2017 at Viswasalayam, CSI Bishop’s Compound, Nandyal. The Retreat was conducted based on the Theme “Enhancing Capacities of the Congregation to Become Missional Congregation”. There were sixty participants including Evangelists, Missionaries, Sisters, Bible Women and Missionary Ordains who have enthusiastically participated in the retreat. It has enormously helped to boost the Kanya- Nandhy Mission Partnership (Mission Partnership between Kanyakumari and Nandyal Diocese) as well.
7. Mission Consultation in South Kerala Diocese
On behalf of Mission and Evangelism Department, CSI Synod, a Mission Consultation was organized at Bishop’s House, CSI South Kerala Diocese on 20th January 2018. Rt. Rev. Dharmaraj Rasalam (Bishop, South Kerala Diocese) has presided over the meeting. As per the consultation, Nagpur Missionary Conference for the Missionaries from Gujarat, Rajasthan Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh along with Mission Field Exposure Visit were planned to be held on 23rd February to 28th February 2018. This will be the joint program of CSI Synod Mission Department and South Kerala Diocesan Mission Board. Preparations for the Nagpur Missionary Training College also was taken into discussion.
8. One Day Training Program? in Karimbanthurai
The Mission and Evangelism Department of CSI Synod has organized one-day Training Program for the Missionaries of DMPB (Diocesan Missionary Prayer Band), Kanyakumari Diocese on 17 January 2018 at CSI DMPB Mission Centre, Karimbanthurai, Salem. The theme for the meeting was “Equipping Mission Workers Towards Building Christ Communities”. Fifty Missionaries have participated in the training program.
9. One Day Retreat for Missionaries in Kadapa.
CSI Synod Mission and Evangelism Department conducted One Day Retreat for the Missionaries in Rayalaseema Diocese at Sunday School Hall, CSI Central Church in Kadapa on 3rd May 2018. The theme of the retreat was “Enhancing Capacities of Congregation to become 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. There was a group discussion regarding the theme as well as an action plan regarding poverty, lack of education, malnutrition, caste discriminations, religious atrocities etc. Twenty-One Missionaries were attended in the Retreat.
10. Missionary Training in Kazipet.
The Synod Mission and Evangelism Department organized a one- day training for the Missionaries in Karimnagar Diocese on the theme “Equipping Missionaries Towards Building Christ Communities” at the St. John’s CSI Church, Kazipet in Warangal, Telangana, on the 26th June 2018. The Program was presided over by Rev. G. Srinivasa Naik, Mission Director for the Karimnagar Diocese, and inaugurated by the Rt. Rev. Dr Reuben Mark, Bishop in Karimnagar Diocese. Rev. D. Purushotham, Ministerial Convenor in Karimnagar Diocese, Mr Shyamsukumar, Rev. Supriya, Rev. Shalu T. Mathew, and Rev. John K. Mathew also has led the training programme along with Rev. Maxcin John, Synod Mission Director. Forty people, including Missionaries as well as Evangelists, have attended the training program.
11. Mission Board in Kottayam
The Mission and Evangelism Department of CSI Synod has engaged with the Mission Board of Madhya Kerala Diocese at CSI Bishop’s House, Kottayam on 3rd July 2018. “Not religious conversion but making and transforming discipleship must be the thrust of the Missional activities”, said the Most Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, Moderator of Church of South India during his Presidential Address. Rev. Thomas Paikadu (Treasurer), Rev. John Isaac (Clergy Secretary), Dr Simon John (Lay Secretary), Mr Jacob Philip (Registrar), Rev. Das George (Mission Board Secretary), Rev. Jacob George (Mission Director), Rev. Raju Jacob (Mission Co-Ordinator, North Indian Mission), Rev. Mathews P. Oommen (Integral Mission) and Rev. Maxcin John have attended the meeting along with other Mission Board members.
1. Mangalore Mission Consultation-2018
???????A Mission Consultation was organized on 27th July 2018 at Bishop's office, Karnataka Southern Diocese, Church of South India. Healing ministry is an integral part of the Church. A holistic approach must maintain towards the healing ministry of the Church, said Rt. Rev. Mohan Manoraj, Bishop in Southern Karnataka Diocese during the consultation. Moreover, " all medical care professionals are the missionaries and agents of God ", Bishop added. Further, he emphasized that all health service must be inclusive and selfless. Dr Mrs Prem Sarojiny (Bishop Amma), Sister. Sujatha (Vice-President), Mr Palanna (Treasurer), Rev. Sebastian Jathanna (Mission Director), Rev. William Branham and Rev. Maxcin John were the part of the consultation. The consultation was concluded with a decision to organize mission enhancing programs for medical care professionals.
13. One day Missionary Workshop in Parakal
The Department has organized a one-day missionary workshop on 20th September 2018 at C.S.I. Mission Compound, Parkal. The Rt.Rev.Dr. Reuben Mark, Bishop in Karimnagar Diocese delivered a key-note address. “Missionary work is not for name or fame, but the service to all”, said Bishop Reuben Mark, Bishop in Karimnagar Diocese said during the Key-Note Address. Bishop highlighted the work and life of a servant girl of Naaman as a model missionary who has actively participated in the threefold ministry of preaching, teaching and healing. “Starting point of building Christ communities must be through listening and identifying the feeble voices amid the dominant sounds”, said Rev. J. Solomon Paul, Youth Director, C.S.I. Synod during his session on “Equipping Missionaries Towards Building Christ Communities: Mission from the Margin”. In a session on “Mission in today’s Context”, Rev. Maxcin John has pointed about the need of inclusivism and tolerance in all missional engagements. One day Missionary workshop was started with a Bible Study led by Rev. John K. Mathew (Katrapally Mission) based on Luke 5: 1-11. Rev. Shalu T. Mathew (Parkal Mission) has organized the workshop. Sixty Missionaries from Parakal, Mogullapally and Katrapally Mission fields have attended in the workshop
14. Youth Mission Festival in Vembayam
Mission and Evangelism Department, C.S.I. Synod has engaged in the ‘Youth Mission Fest-2018’ organized by Kollam-Kottarakara Diocese from 20th to 22nd September 2018 at Bible Museum, Vembayam. Mission Fest was inaugurated by the Rt. Rev. Dr Oommen George (Bishop in Kollam-Kottarakkara Diocese) and Er. Cherry George Cheriyan delivered a keynote address. Rev. Dr Bhanu Samuel (Vice-Chairman, K.K. Diocese), Er. Jose P. Oommen, Br. Asok Alex Philip, Rev.Moses David, Evg. Jose Stephen, Evg. Regimon and Rev.Maxcin John have conducted different Missional Orientation sessions. Rev.Dn. G. Kunjumon and Rev. Dn. Biji Abraham have shared their life testimonies. Youth Mission Fest was an avenue for Mission Orientation to the younger generation of the diocese. It was a moulding venue for the future of the church. As Church of South India having forty-three lakhs of members and as each member is considered as a missionary in a broader sense, Youth Mission Fest-2018 loudly echoes that “Youths are also belonging to the ‘Forty-Three Lakhs’ of Missionaries in Church of South India”. More noticeably, it was the occasion for dedication and consecration for missional engagements. Mission Fest was concluded by Rev. P. O. Ninan who has served as Missionary for eighteen years in Mogullapally, Telangana State. One hundred and seventy delegates have attended in the Mission Fest including Children and Youth. Rev. Paul David and Mr Nibu Jacob have served as General Conveners for the Fest and Rev. Thomas George, Rev. Mosses David and Mr Anish also have served as organizers of the Fest.
15. A Mission Consultation and Mission Board in Malabar Diocese
Department of Mission and Evangelism in Church of South India has engaged in a Mission Consultation along with Diocesan Mission Board on 25th September 2018 at C.S.I. Diocesan Office, Kozhikode in Malabar Diocese. The Rt. Rev. Dr Royce Manoj Victor, Bishop in Malabar Diocese has presided the meeting. The Board has identified the need of the hour as Enhancing Capacities of Congregation towards Missional Congregation. In this concern, the board meeting has decided to organize a program in terms of Enhancing Capacities of Congregation towards Missional Congregation. As a beginning, the program will be focused on medical professionals as well as educational professionals to enhance their capacities to participate in missional engagements of the Church.
16. Bellary Junior Mission Fest-2018
Bellary Rural Children’s Enrichment Program and Junior Mission Fest have conducted on 15th to 19th October 2018 at C.S.I. Girls Home, Bellary. It was the joint program organized by the Department of Mission and Evangelism C.S.I. Synod along with Women’s Fellowship, Karnataka Northern Diocese. Rev.Hanna R. Niranjan, Bishopamma, CSI KND has led the program. Mr Martin Theodre and Hubli Team have conducted the games and singings. Rev.Gona Immanuel (Area Chairman, BAC, Bellary), Rev. Samuel Prasad, Rev. Ravi Joseph have led the devotions and motivated the children to move ahead in tune with Gospel values. Rev. Rohan Gideon (Professor, U.T.C. Bangalore), Mrs Margaret Mary (Bangalore), Mr Immanuel Dayakar (Bangalore) and Rev. Maxcin John, Synod Mission Director have conducted classes on “ Children for Social Justice: Gender Sensitive and Inclusive Community”, “Character Formation and Leadership Qualities for Better World”, “ Church and Mission”, “ Importance of the Bible in the Daily Life of a Child”, “ Child Rights and Social Medias and Internet influences”, “ Role of Children for Friendly Family and its Neighborhood”, “ Enhancing Capacity of Children towards Better world: Rural Perspective”, “Green Fellowships and Qualitative Settlements”. There was a procession in which Children raised the following slogans to the public, i.e.; “We want Clean India”, “ We want Peaceful India”, “ We want Green India”, “ Education is Child Right”, “ Educated Child is National Asset”,” No to Child Marriage”, “ No to Child Abuse”, “ No to Child Labor”, “ We need Life Examples”, “ We Need Role Models”, “ We Love Each Other”, and “ We are for Each Other”. Bellary Rural Children’s Enrichment Program and Junior Mission Fest were organized by Mrs Nivedita Martin, the Manager of C.S.I. Girls Home, Bellary along with Bellary parishes, Teachers and volunteers. Six hundred participants were there including Teachers and Volunteers.
17. A Retreat for the Medical Care Professionals in Mysore.
A Missional Retreat for Medical Professionals in C.S.I. Mysore Mission Hospital was conducted on 15th October 2018 at the Mary Holdsworth Memorial Hospital, Mysore. “All the medical professionals are called out not for business, but for the maximum service”, said The Rt.Rev. Mohan Manoraj, Bishop in Karnataka Southern Diocese during the inaugural ceremony of the retreat. Bishop further added that all medical professionals are Missionaries of God “Medical Professionals should engage with the community in most love and compassion”, highlighted by Rev.Maxcin John, Synod Mission Director during his session on “Enhancing Capacities of Medical Professionals towards Missional engagements”. He reminded that “being a Medical professional is not a matter of privilege, but a matter of accountability and credibility”. Rev. Sr. Sujatha (Diocesan Vice-President) and Mr William Carey (Diocesan Secretary) also have highlighted the need for dedication and commitment in the day to day activities of Medical service. The retreat was organized by Rev. Sebastian Jethna (Mission Director, K.S. D) in collaboration with Dr Suguna Santhy (Hospital Director). Rev. Anupama (Hospital Chaplain) and 60 participants have attended in this retreat. It was conducted by the Department of Mission and Evangelism joined with Karnataka Sothern Diocese.
18. A Retreat in Hassan for Medical Care Professionals
“Not for Commercial, but the passion for the service is our driving Spirit” highlighted by Bishop the Rt. Rev. Mohan Manoraj, Bishop in Karnataka Southern Diocese during his inaugural speech in a retreat for Medical Professionals in Hassan Mission Hospital on 16th October 2018 at C.S.I. Redfern Memorial Hospital, Hassan. Medical Professionals are the partakers in Mission of God, emphasized Rev.Maxcin John during his talk on “Enhancing Capacities of Medical Professionals towards Missional Engagements”. He further added that all Medical professionals are transformers and actively serve the community without any divisions and discriminations. Rev.Sr. Sujatha (Diocesan Vice-president), Mr William Carey (Diocesan Secretary), Rev.David(CSI Hassan), and Rev. Sudhakar (Hospital Chaplain) have attended the meeting and pressed the necessity of passion and compassion towards service to all and dedicated and submitted for the meaningful healing Ministry. The Retreat was organized by Rev. Sebastian Jethna, Mission Director for Karnataka Southern Diocese along with Ms Jyothy Nirmala (Hospital administrative-in-Charge). The retreat was conducted by the Department of Mission and Evangelism join with Karnataka Sothern Diocese.
19. Gospel Sunday Celebration in Melukavu
Synod Mission Department has engaged with Gospel Sunday Celebration on 25th November 2018 at C.S.I. Christ Cathedral Melukavu in East Kerala Diocese. Cathedral Prayer Fellowship has organized the program with a strong vision that ‘all congregation must be a missional congregation towards the radical transformation of the society’. “Our Mission is the Mission of God. We are the co-partners in God’s Mission. All are the part and parcel of the Mission. It is aimed at the radical transformation of the living community and the entire creation at large”, said Rev. Maxcin John, Synod Mission Director during the preaching on the Gospel Sunday. “We have to remember the ways which we had passed and crossed, and we must be enthusiastic and energetic by the legacy of Mission laid by our forefathers and former Missionaries”, said Rev. Prasad John, Madhya Kerala Diocese, during his preaching in Gospel Sunday Convention. The mission must be the passion for all members, and it should be inclusive and sustainable, he added. Rev. Thomas George, Vicar in Cathedral, Melukavu (East Kerala) presided over the meeting. Following Prayer Fellowship officers, Rev. M. T. George (Vice President and Asst. Vicar in Cathedral, Melukavu), Mr V. G. George (Asst. Patron), Mr. P. I. Thomas (Secretary), Mr. K. S. George (Treasurer), Mr. P. A. George (Convener), Mr. P. J. Johnson, Mr. Isaac Joshua, Mrs. Mariyamma Samuel, and Mrs. Valasamma Raj (Mission Coordinators), Mr. T. J. Johnson, Mr. Stanly Issac, Mrs. Aliyamma Issac, Mrs. Mary Wilson (Committee Members) and the Cathedral Church Committee have organized the Gospel Sunday Celebration. Five hundred people have attended the Gospel Sunday Celebration.
20. Kreesthalayam Church Dedication in Kadiri.
The Department has participated in the Kreesthalayam Church Dedication in Sreeramula Vari Pally Mission Field of Kadiri Mission, Rayalaseema Diocese on 27th November 2018. It was the first milestone ever laid in the history of Mission Partnership in Kadiri Mission. The dedication of the newly constructed Church was marked by a mission partnership between South Kerala Diocese and Rayalaseema Diocese. Synod Mission Department witnessed the Mission Partnership blooms in Kadiri Mission. Rt. Rev. Dharmaraj Rasalam, Bishop in CSI South Kerala Diocese and Rt. Rev. Dr. B. D. Prasada Rao, Bishop in Rayalaseema Diocese, conducted the dedication service. Rev. C. P. Justin Jose (Mission Director, SKD), Rev. David Naik (Mission Director, Rayalaseema Diocese), Mrs. Lilly Prasad, Mr. Donald Lal, Rev. Maxcin John, Synod Mission Director, and the Mission Board Members of the South Kerala Diocese, Missionaries from Kadiri Mission and Guramkonda Mission have attended in the Dedication Service. Mr. C. D. George and Mrs. Gracy have extended their financial support for the construction of the Church in loving memory of their parents. Rev. Jiji Stewart, Missionary in Charge, has supervised the construction project.
21. Missionaries Retreat in Nazareth
The Department along with Thoothukudi-Nazareth Diocese has organized missionary retreat on 28th to 30th November 2018 at Art Industrial School, Nazareth. The Rt. Rev. Dr. S. E. C. Devasahayam has led the Retreat. “Today’s Missionaries have to be energized by the passion of former missionaries, especially Canon Arthur Margoschis who has sacrificed his life for the radical transformation of the society”, said Bishop Devasahayam during his speeches in Missionary Retreat.“We are blessed in many ways in order to be a blessing to others”, said Rev. A. Aruldas, Madhurai-Ramnadu Diocese, during his sessions in the retreat. “Missionaries are the salt and light to the whole world”, highlighted Rev. Maxcin John during his sessions in the retreat. Global Missionary Society (GMS) in Thoothukudy- Nazareth Diocese and Synod Mission Department have jointly organized the retreat. Rev. Dr. S. J. Jesuspadam (General Secretary, GSM), and Rev. D. G. A Thomas (GSM Coordinator) have led the retreat in a meaningful way. Mrs. Shanthini Devasahayam, Diocesan Officers such as Rev. J.S. Devaraj Njanasing (Vice-Chairman), Rev. P. Mosses Japaraj (Clergy Secretary), Mr.Pon Durairaj( Treasurer), Mr. Stephen( Principal, Art Industrial School), Rev. S. Edwin Jebaraj (Council Chairman), Rev. John Samuel (Youth Director), Rev. Michael Raj( Social Welfare Director), Pastors, Catechists and Missionaries and their families have attended the retreat. One hundred and fifty participants were attended including women and children. Along with Retreat, there were ‘Pothukoottam’ (Public Meeting) in different churches in Nazareth Areas such as St. Michael and All Angels Church, Muthallur, Transfiguration Church, Pillai Manai, and St. Paul’s Church, Veignanampuram. It was the platform for preaching and missional talent shows which boosted the fellowship and missional enthusiasm. A Holy Communion Service also conducted in Nazareth Cathedral.
22. Educational Professionals Meet in Kozhikode.
The Department along with the department of Mission and Evangelism in Malabar Diocese has organized an educational professional meet on 18th November 2018 at St. Mary’s CSI Church, Kozhikode. ‘Education is an integral part of Mission; therefore, all educational professionals are the Missionaries’ was the focal message of the program based on “Enhancing Capacities of Educational Professionals towards Missional engagements”. Mr. Sheril Jose, Motivational Speaker, CSI Tholassery in Madhya Kerala Diocese has delivered a keynote address to the meeting. He has stated that as an Educational Professional, “we are called out to empower and transform others”. Rev. T. I. James, Corporate School Manger, has coordinated the meeting along with Board of Mission and Evangelism, Malabar Diocese and the director Rev. Shobhan Kumar Daniel. There were around 400 educational professionals have attended the meeting.
23. Missionaries Christmas get-together in Thottithurai.
Synod Mission Department has engaged in Christmas Mission get- together organized by Diocesan Mission Prayer Band (D.M.P.B) in Kanyakumari Diocese at Thottithurai in Salem Dist. on 7th December 2018. “Christmas is the missional accompaniment and embracement with the grassroots for the radical transformation”, said Rev. Maxcin John during his Christmas Message. Rev. Justin Devadas, D.M.P. B General Secretary has led the celebration along with Mr. P. Soorya Raj (Treasurer), Rev. Ravi Raj, Rev. S. Godwin Balis, Rev. Donald, Rev. Mayan, Mr. Kingsley, Rev. Justin Raj, Rev. Edwin, Mr. Issac Anandakumar, Mr. Davidson, Mr. Sundradhen, Mr. David Chithiyam, Mrs. Njana Geethu, Mr. Braisil Raj, Rev. Dr. Alias, D.M.P.B Committee Members, Office Staffs, Promotional Work Staffs, Missionaries, Teachers, Medical Missionaries and hostel Missionaries have attended the meeting. One hundred and fifty missionaries have attended.
24. Three-day Missionary Retreat in Salem
Kanyakumari Diocesan Missionary Prayer Band and Synod Mission Department have jointly organized a three-day Missionary Retreat on 21st to 23rd January 2019 at AGL, Camp Centre, Vianayakapatty Salem. Rev. J. Justin Devadas (General Secretary, DMPB), Mr. Sooryraj (Treasurer), Rev. Ravi Rajan (SM) and all other office-bearers actively organized the retreat in an excellent meaningful way. Rev. S. Christopher Vijayan (General Secretary, National Missionary Society of India), Rev. Maxcin John (Synod Mission Director), Mr. Reginald (President, Friends Missionary Prayer Band), Dr. R. Jayakumar, and Mr. D. Wesley Navaraj led the sessions based on 'Transformational Mission'. Dr. D. Thambi Vijayakumar (Diocesan Vice President), Er. S. Byju Nizeth Paul (Diocesan Secretary), Mr. N. P. Thankraj (Diocesan Treasurer), and Rev. M. Muthuswamy (Education Department Secretary) have conveyed felicitations to the retreat. Worships, Prayers, Bible Classes, Meditations and Fellowship meetings were part of the retreat. These activities helped all the participants to relook, revaluate, re-examine and reorganize their own actions and attitude. It was the venue for mutual sharing, empowering and fellowship. A- one hundred and fifty Missionaries attended including their families and children.
25. DMPB’s Resource Pooling Event in Edmor
Department of Mission and Evangelism CSI Synod took part in a mission event of resource pooling on 26th January 2019 at St. Andrews Church, Egmore. It was organized by CSI Kanyakumari Diocesan Missionary Prayer Band, Chennai Branch. Many mission-oriented families including children and women actively participated in the event. It was a remarkable experience of gathering various resources and sharing for others, especially most vulnerable in the living society. Rev. J. Justin Devadas (General Secretary, DMPB), Rev. Ravi Rajan (Superintend of Mission), Rev. Maxcin John (Synod Mission Director) and all members and officials of DMPB Chennai Branch actively participated in the event.
26. A Missional Gathering in Kolli Hills
The People from eighty villages of Kolli Hills have gathered together on 27th January 2019 at Paul Brant Memorial Church, Thindu in Kolli Hills to celebrate the joy of fellowship, community life, caring and sharing each other. The event was organized by Kanyakumari Diocesan Missionary Prayer Band where Synod Mission Department has extended meaningful participation. This event was marked by Worship services, baptism, confirmation service, new missionary dedication, Holy Communion service and fellowship meals. Fourteen members were confirmed and accepted as the full members of the church, and Mr. Rajkumar and Mr. Robinson were dedicated as new Missionaries for Church of South India through DMPB in Kanyakumari Diocese. Rev. J. Justin Devadas (DMPB General Secretary), Rev. Godwin Balis (Assistant Superintend for Missionaries), Rev. Maxcin John (Synod Mission Director), Rev. Dr. D. Elias and all the Missionaries in Kolli Hills Divisions and around one hundred and fifty people from villages have participated in the mission event.
27. Othara Mission Conference- “ORUKKAM-2019”.
The Department of Mission and Evangelism, Synod and the Board of Mission and Evangelism, Madhya Kerala Diocese have jointly organized a three-day Mission conference- “ORUKKAM” on 3rd -5th March 2019 at Eco-Spirituality Centre, Othara in Madhya Kerala Diocese. The theme for the conference was “Enhancing Capacities of Congregation to become Missional Congregation”. The conference was inaugurated by Rev. Maxcin John (Director, Synod Mission and Evangelism) and he has pointed out that the Church of South India is a missionary church with commendable evangelistic zeal. The Church always considering that each member of the church are the missionaries of God. So, it is the need of the hour to enhance the capacities of the Congregation to become missional, he added. The Most Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, CSI Moderator has engaged with the conference and bless the conference with prayer and greetings. Rev. Dr. Sabu K. Cherian (Chairman, Thiruvalla Church District) conveyed greetings.
In the conference, there was a panel presentation based on “Enhancing Capacities of Medical and Educational Professionals Towards Transformative Mission”. Dr. Josemon (Medical College, Kottayam), Dr. Jessy Sara Koshy (Former Andhra Missionary), Dr. Ashok Philip (Peet Memorial College, Mavelikkara), Mrs. Sanila T. Sunny (Mysore Missionary) and Mr. Moncy Peter have served as panellists. All panellists emphasized the need of enhancing capacities of the congregation since all members are an integral part of the mission. Moreover, they underlined the importance of healing and education in the missional engagements. A Mission story night was organized on the first day of the conference. Rev. Dr. Sabu K. Cherian, Mr. Philip Varghese, and Mr. Shenoy V. Issac have shared their missional experiences. Rev. Dr. Y.T. Vinayaraj (Professor, Marthoma Seminary, Kottayam) has conducted a Bible Study and a session based on “Mission and Spirituality: Sociological Dimensions”. He told that the “mission is an invitation into the abundant life”. The mission is not about profit or achievements, but the vision of the mission of Jesus Christ and the constant accompaniment with the people, especially, grassroots for the sustainable transformation. The mission is an act of welcoming others into the Christ experience to enjoy justice, peace and reconciliation. There are various modes of missional engagements like “Mission to the Margin”, and “Mission from the Margin”, but we also need to investigate the “Mission in Mutuality” where everybody participating and involving together, he added.
“Genuine spirituality is the constant relationship and communication towards Godhead and Manhood”, said Rev. Sunil Raj Philip, Director of Communication and Adivasi – Dalit Departments, CSI Synod, during his session based on “Spirituality in Communication”. We need to practice our genuine spirituality through our intra-personal, inter-personal, group and mass communications. In this concern, we need to use the new language of inclusion which will embrace all, he added. “A Missionary must be dedicated and committed person for the sake of mission”, said Mr. V. C. Jameson, Asia-Coordinator for Campus Crusade for Christ, during his session based on “Qualities of Missionaries and Inducing Missionary Spirit in youngsters and the formation of young missionaries”. Adv. Sheeba Tharakan led a session based on “Human Rights: Legal Implications”. She has explained the relationship between the Bible and the Law of the Land. She further added that we are obligated to obey the law of the land which is for all and we should be the exponents of justice and peace. An Open forum was organized in which Diocesan Officers of Madhya Kerala Diocese have attended and have answered to the queries of delegates. Rev. Thomas Paikadu (Treasurer), Rev. John Issac (Clergy Secretary), Dr. Jacob Philip (Registrar) and Rev. Viju Varkey (Pastoral Board Secretary) have interacted with the delegates.
The Mission Conference was organized by the board for Mission and Evangelism, Madhya Kerala Diocese under the leadership of Rev. Jacob George (Mission Director, MKD), Rev. Das George (Mission Board Secretary, MKD), Rev. Raju Jacob (Mission Coordinator, North India), Rev. Prasad John (Mission in Charge, MKD), Rev. Mathews P. Oommen (Integral Mission), Rev. Rejeev Sugu, Rev. Anuroop, Mr. Lalu, Mr. Roy, and Mr. Tharian (Mission Board, MKD), Mr. Philip Varghese (Othara Spirituality Centre) and all other missionaries have contributed much for the mission conference.
28. Missionary Conference-2019 in Chennai.
A Missionary Conference based on the theme “Enhancing Capacities of Congregation to become Missional Congregation” was jointly organized by the Department of Mission and Evangelism, CSI Synod, and the Department of Mission and Evangelism, Madras Diocese, on the 29th and 30th March 2019 at LITE, Auditorium, Chennai. “Today’s mission must be for the radical and sustainable transformation through compassion”, said the Rt. Rev. Dr. J. George Stephen, Bishop in Madras Diocese during his address in Missionary Conference-2019. Bishop further added that all missionaries have to have a face of compassion and love. All churches must be the centres of service. We need to focus on the social transformation where all people could live together without any fear or frictions, Bishop added.
The Missionary Conference-2019 began with opening worship and Bible Study led by Rev. Dr. Manuel S. Titus (Madras Diocesan Secretary) in which he emphasized the mission engagements towards the grassroots. “Mission must be inclusive, and we are doing a mission to embrace everybody, not to exclude or divide anybody”, said Rev. Christopher Vijayan, General Secretary for the National Missionary Society of India (NMSI) during his session based on “Missional Engagements in the pluri-faith context of India”. He pointed out that India is blessed with a rich diversity of culture and religion. There should be religious harmony and reciprocal relationship. “Like Moses, Joshua and Samson, all missionaries should commit and submit for the will of God to engage in the mission of God”, said Rev. Dr. John Samuel Ponnusamy, Principal, Gurukul Theological College and Seminary, Chennai, during his session based on “Bible and Mission: Contextual Reading”. The mission must be addressing today’s context and tirelessly serving to bring total transformation which could be enjoyable to all, he added. “All Missionaries must be exponents of God’s love and all should ready to bear cross through the life and action”, emphasized Rev. Paul Dayanandan, Mission Director, Madras Diocese, during the Bible Study on the second day of the conference based on Mark 10: 1-34.
“Guide people in the proper way and take people to the right place in the right time” are the responsibilities of all missionaries, said Ms. Nancy Walter, Junior Lecturer, CMC Vellore, during her session on” Towards Community Health Perspective”. As missionaries, we need to have basic awareness about community health and also, we should be trained in terms of first aids and pre-hospital care. It will help us to guide people and help people in that direction, she added. “God is the truth, God is always with truth, and we should be an exponent of truth and truth will set us free”, said Rev.Fr. Jagth Kasper, a social activist and motivational speaker based in Chennai during his session “Basic Human Rights and Religious Freedom”. He further added that right to speak, right to express the belief, and right to propagate are the basic religious freedom provided by the constitution of India. We need to identify the divine intervention in politics, and we should know we have constitutional rights and privileges. Poverty is a crime and we should have simplicity in humanity. It is the need of the hour to defend truth and constitutional provisions for everybody, he added. The mission statement of Church of South India and Missional priorities were shared to the delegates by Rev. Maxcin John, Synod Mission Director, during his session on “Mission-Today”. We should use the language of inclusivism and we should love everybody, he added. The mission must be the expression and experiment of love as exemplified in Jesus. It is our bounden duty to declare solidarity with the most vulnerable for their transformation constantly and sustainably, he added. One hundred and fifty-five delegates have participated in the Missionary Conference-2019 including resource persons and other well-wishers. It was the joint effort between Synod Mission Department as well as Madras Diocesan Mission Department.
29. Ramachandrapuram Mission Conference-2019
The Church of South India Mission and Evangelism Department and the Krishna-Godavari Diocese have jointly organized a two- day Missionary and Evangelist Retreat on 24th to 25th April 2019 at Ramachandrapuram Lanka Avenue. The retreat was based on the theme “Enhancing Capacities of Congregation to become Missional Congregation”. The Rt. Rev. George Cornelious, Bishop in Krishna-Godavari Diocese has inaugurated the retreat. During the inaugural speech, Bishop urged the delegates to go and preach the good news in 365 days for the transformation. Rev. Mrs. D. Joshuakumary, Bishop Thalligaru has conveyed the greetings. She reminded that all have to keep the prayer life like Daniel in the Bible which will help us to face all struggles in our day to day life. Rev. Maxcin John explained the purpose of the meeting. He further added that all people of the congregations are valuable and unique and therefore, it is the need of the hour to enhance the various capacities of the congregations so that they may able to join the mission through their everyday life.
“Jesus Christ was the real advocate for the Human Rights,” said Dr. T. Ravikumar, Director for Association of Relief Volunteers in Andra Pradesh, who has led a session on “Basic Human Rights and Religious Freedom”. He stated that all kind of suppressions and oppressions are human right violations. Indian constitution is safeguarding the freedom to all the citizen. Therefore, all kind of violations and negations towards individual freedom including the right to speech, right to act, right for expression and right for the propagation of own beliefs and religious freedom, he added. “We should live out by the resurrection power”, stated by Rev. Dr. I. Rathna Raju, Treasurer, Krishna-Godavari Diocese during the time of devotion in the retreat. The resurrection power will enhance our various capacities towards missional engagements so that we may able to be an instrument of God’s mission throughout our life, he added.
“Only God can see and identify wisdom and power in an uneducated as well as weak according to the world parameters”, said Rev. James Cecil Victor, Director for Pastoral Aid Department, CSI Synod, during his session based on “Enhancing Capacities of Congregation to become Missional Congregation and Inclusive Communication in Pluri-faith Context”. He further stated that everyone has their own limitations, but each one is unique before God. God sets the leadership model in order to follow by us. It is incarnational model, moreover, it is the mission towards last, least and lost, he added. The retreat was concluded by Rev. Maxcin John and he urges the delegates to move on and participate more ardently and enthusiastically in the mission of God which embrace everybody. Rev.B. Jeeva Manohar, Mission in-charge and Bishop’s Chaplain coordinated the program along with Mrs. Lorry Lanka Ravi. Eighty-Two missionaries and evangelists have participated in the retreat.
30. ‘Gramiya Thiruvizha’: Senur Village Mission Fest-2019
Gramiya Thiruvizha was an event jointly organized by CSI Synod Mission and Evangelism Department and CSI Vellore Diocese Mission Board along with Youth Work and Ecological Concerns Departments of Vellore Diocese on 11th May 2019, at Senur Village in Vellore District. In this event, people were gathered from the adjacent villages and the event become the venue for health and legal awareness among village people, to preserve Rural Art and Culture and to promote religious harmony. Gramiya Thiruvizha led by Rev. H. Sharma Nithyanandam, the Chairperson of the Board for Mission and Evangelism, Vellore Diocese. He shared the need for organizing Gramiya Thiruvizha i.e. Rural Festive Celebration. There was a procession started with ’Parai Isai Muzhakam’ performed by St. Thomas Church Cultural team, Karivedu, around 200 people have joined in the procession by holding placards with slogans written on it such as “Give Blood Save Life, Women are the light of the house, Education is must, Cleanliness is next to Godliness, Save Earth, Prevention is better than Cure, Educate Girl Child,” Some held wooden crosses, and went in procession till Christhuvin Thotam. In Christhuvin Thotam, saplings were planted by the Rt. Rev. J. J. Christudoss, Bishop in Tirunelveli, Rev. Maxcin John, Director, CSI Mission Department and Rev. Christopher Vijayan, NMSI General Secretary.
During the public meeting, Rev. Christopher Vijayan, NMSI General Secretary addressed the gathering and shared about the need of Mission work. After which, Rev. Maxcin John, Director, CSI Synod Mission Department, addressed the gathering and said that God is God of Love, Compassion and Mercy. Hindus and Muslims are our brothers. Everyone must stand for religious harmony and any kind of religious fundamentalism must not be supported. There was a Patimandram (Debate) on the interesting topic: Who excel in spiritual and family life – Women or Men? This debate was moderated by Kanchi Kiruba and participants were: Jeyamalar, (Teacher – BRC Head); Hepsi, (HOD Biochemistry, DJM College), and Kayalvizhi, (Professor, BCA Depart. Voorhees). After Debate, Magic show was performed under the leadership of Rev. Jeeva Rathnam, ALC. On the whole, around 500 people have been part of this event. All local arrangements were made by the Board of Mission and Evangelism, CSI Vellore Diocese under the leadership of Rev. Dr. H. Sharma Nithyanandam (Chairman) and Rev. DSC Menon (Mission Director) along with other board members and the missionaries.
31. The School of Mission and Evangelism -2019 in Kannammoola
The Church of South India Mission and Evangelism Department was involved in a three-day training program for youngsters in the church to inspire them more missional. The program, ‘School of Mission and Evangelism-2019’ was organized by the Board of Mission and Evangelism, South Kerala Diocese on 9th to 11th May 2019 at Sunday School Mandiram, Kannammoola. The theme for the meeting was “Evangelization: Focus and Commission”. A three -day training program was inaugurated by the Rt. Rev. Dharmaraj Rasalam, Bishop in South Kerala Diocese. Bishop highlighted the need to encourage and inspire the youngsters to become creative channels of kingdom values such as peace, justice, and reconciliation. Rev. Dr. Prinstone Ben conducted a Mission Motivation Class, Rev.Dr. B.H.Wils Raj led a session based on “ Character formation and leadership quality”, Dr. Kavitha Kavitha Sreenivasan led a session based on ‘the History of Mission’, Rev.Ramesh Kumar spoke about ‘ Focusing on Mission’, Rev. Kalvin Kisto conducted a session based on “ mission’, and Dr. Willima John taken a session on “ Evangelization”. Synod Mission Director educated the delegates based on “Mission and Calling: Transforming engagements”. Mr. J.S. Sathydas (Manager, BFM) and Rev. Sathydhas Prasad (Peringamala) also have led different sessions regarding the mission. The prayers and devotions were led in various sessions by Mr. Devaraj (A. O. BFM), Rev.Dr. Samjis (District Chairman, Kannammoola), Rev.M.R. Solomon (Chief Promotor, BFM), and Rev. Dr. John Winslow (K.U.T Seminary, Kannammoola). Rev. C.P. Justin Jose (Director, BFM), Rev. P. Chandran (Ass. Director, BFM), Mr. Donald Lal (Secretary, BFM) have organized the training program along with other members. The program was enriched by the time for prayer and devotions, Mission skits and mission cultural activities. Forty delegates have attended the training program
32. Pulikuthi Mission Summer Camp-2019
Church of South India, Department of Mission and Evangelism has involved in the Mission Summer Camp-2019 organized by Board for Mission and Evangelism, Vellore Diocese on May 14th – 18th at CBSE School, Thirupattur. Mission Summer Camp was organized under the missional leadership of Rev. Dr. H. Sharma Nithyanandam (Chairman, Board of Mission and Evangelism, Vellore Diocese), Rev. DSC Menon (Mission Director, Vellore Diocese) and Mr. Gnana Sigamani (Mission Coordinator). The Missionaries of Vellore Diocese have attended in it. They were divided into five teams: Devotion team (This team is responsible to organize and lead Everyday devotion in the morning), Registration team(This team is responsible for registering the names, addresses of all the members who participate in this 5 days camp) Organizing team(This team is responsible to organize all the programs in this camp, to distribute the tracts, gospels to each group etc), Food team(This team is responsible for food to all the members who attend the camp), and Hospitality team(This group is responsible to receive guests from different places).
As an introductory remark, Rev. Dr. H. Sharma Nithayanadam told that ‘Mission work is must, needful and its must be done with wider aspect’. Rev. Barnabas, (Central Area Chairman), and Rev. Bhaktha Thyagaraja, (Local Presbyter), Rev. C. Manimaran, (The Chairperson of Eco Concerns & Central Area Vice President), Dr. Kabilan (Rtd. Medical Officer), Mr. Amen Raj (Secretary, CSI Velam Church), Mr. Israel, Treasurer, (CSI Velam Church), Mr. Gnana Sigamani, (Coordinator), Mr. Suresh( Independent Church Pastor) , Mr. Kumar, Mr. Jothi (CPM Pastor), Rev. Paul Robert Kennedy, (Director, Eco Concerns Department), Rev. T. Augustine( Former, Synod Mission Director) and Rev. Maxcin John ( Synod Mission Director) have participated in the Mission Camp in different times and conveyed greetings. The Missionaries have visited various villages such as Thimmavaram, Ravanthampatti and Vinayakapuram, Karapatti, Gangapirampatti, Uthangarai and Papanur, Thimmavaram, Ravanthampatti and Vinayakapuram and delivered street preaching, distributed tracts of Gospels, and prayed for the sick and the needy. A short film was played in connection to " Alcohol Addiction " and how Jesus loves everybody.
33. Bangalore Mission Camp -2019
The Department of Mission and Evangelism along with the Board of Mission and Evangelism, Karnataka Central Diocese has organized one-day Mission Camp on the basis of “Enhancing Capacities of Congregation to become Missional Congregations” on 25th June 2019 at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Bangalore. The Camp was opened with a Bible Study and the message by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Prasannakumar Samuel, Bishop in Karnataka Central Diocese. “It is the need of the hour to identify the various capacities of our congregations and enhance all those capacities to become missional day by day”, said Bishop P.K. Samuel during the opening Bible Study and Message. He further added that we need to translate everything into practicality. “Is our church really a mission- motivated or mission-minded Church? What are the missional engagements we are doing today? What kind of mission fields we are promoting?”, “Are we really an inclusive?”, asked Bishop. People are watching our life more than our preaching. So, the time has come for action. Try to reconnect past, present and future. Learn and listen mutually so that we may able to network with each other and journey together for the glory of God and for the betterment of all people, Bishop added.
Rev. Rohan Gideon (U.T.C, Bangalore) has led a session based on” Enhancing Biblical and Theological Capacities of Congregations”. “We need to review the missional capacities of our congregations”, said Rev. Rohan Gideon. He further added that We have to go and visit the fields to listen from the people. Don’t be in arrogant by saying that we are representing God. We should consider others are greater than us. It must be a missional attitude (Phil. 2: 1-16). We need to discern the signs of the times. Moreover, we should introspect the models and ways for the missional engagements. The mission must be a friendship with others. It should be an accompaniment with others. Through the mission, we need to declare our deep solidarity to the broken communities. After all, the mission must be a movement, he added. Dr. Gladstone Jethna (Gurukul Theological Seminary, Chennai) also led a session based on “Various possibilities and opportunities of Congregation to participate in the Mission”. He emphasized that the Mission as an act of construction, confrontation and celebration. It is the construction of togetherness, confrontation to the various life-negating issues of living context for the transformation and celebration of life by all through the life-affirming activities. We need to have a newer understanding of the mission that must embrace and include everybody. It must be an eco-oriented, with margins and viable to accept ‘many-ness’ in God. Building Christ community is not building any religious community. Rather, it will be a community of love and unity where all could have space and room to enjoy the celebration of life, he added. “We must be prophetical in our day to day missional engagements”, said Rev. Dr. Vincent Vinod Kumar, Vicar in St. Mark’s Cathedral, Bangalore during the final remarks in the valedictory ceremony. He further added that we must be responsible to the community and try our best level to transform our community according to the values of the gospel of Christ where we could able to realize radical transformation the society.
The Mission Camp was organized by Rev. Noah Vasanth, Mission Director in Karnataka Central Diocese. Rev. Maxcin John, Synod Mission Director explained the purpose of the camp. Rev. Sudhakar Joshua translated the summary of all sessions into Tamil Language for the delegates. There were seventy-five delegates attended in the camp including Rev.Timothy B. P, Rev.Christy Rajkumar, Rev.Elish, Rev. George Jayaprabhu, and other pastors, church workers, evangelists and missionaries.
34. Etturnagaram Mission Camp-2019
The Synod Mission and Evangelism Department along with the Board for Mission and Evangelism in South Kerala Diocese have organized the one-day Mission Camp on 28th June 2019 at CSI Mission Compound, Eturnagaram in Telangana. The camp was based on the theme” Enhancing Capacities of Congregation to become Missional Congregation”. It was a historical moment to come together for a radical transformation in which Telangana Mission of South Kerala Diocese and Madhya Kerala Diocese and the Karimnagar Diocesan Missionaries have attended together in the camp. “Mission must be journeying together to everyone to everywhere”, said The Rt. Rev. Dr. Reuben Mark, Bishop in Karimnagar Diocese during the inaugural address. He further added that journey to the new places will give us new vision towards the mission. St. Paul and Timothy were the apt examples for such kind of journeys, Bishop added. The Camp was begun with a Bible study led by Rev. Shalu T. Mathew, (Parakkal Mission), based Acts 2: 1-11. “We need to declare solidarity to the poor for their radical upliftment,” said Mr. Donald Lal, Secretary, Board for Mission and Evangelism, SKD during the felicitation. He added that as much as we are alienated from our fellow beings, that much, we will be alienated from God. Parish (“Edavaka”) is an avenue to provide space(“Idam”) for homeless and space -less, he added.
There was a session for the sharing of Mission stories about Telangana Mission running by South Kerala Diocese as well as Madhya Kerala Diocese. Rev. Shalu T. Mathew, Rev. Justin Jose, and Mrs. Suma Thomas have narrated the stories of respective Missions. Thereafter, group discussion and plenary session were conducted on the basis of “identifying various capacities of congregations and suggest an action plan for missional engagements for next six months”. Everybody actively participated in group activities. Rev. Prescilla Reuben, Rev. John K. Mathew (Katrapally Mission), Rev.Rijin Mathew (Mugalapally Mission), and Rev. E.V. Paul (Ministerial Secretary in Karimnagar Diocese) have conveyed their greetings to the camp. Rev. Maxcin John, Synod Mission Director spoke about the purpose of the camp. Rev. Justin Jose (Mission Director, South Kerala Diocese) and Rev.Biju Japasing made necessary arrangements for the conference. The Mission Camp was concluded with a valedictory message given by Rt. Rev. Dharmaraj Rasalam, Bishop in South Kerala Diocese. Bishop appreciated each mission for their active involvements in the mission of God and encouraged everybody to move ahead more and more for the glory of God and for the betterment of all the people.
35. Nandyal Mission Camp-2019
The Department of Mission and Evangelism, CSI Synod and Nandyal Diocesan Mission Board have jointly organized one-day mission camp on 9th July 2019 at Viswasalayam, Bishop’s Chapel, Nandyal Diocese. It was based on the theme “Enhancing Capacities of Congregations to become Missional Congregations “. The camp was begun with the Holy Communion Service in Bishops Chapel. Rev. Samuel Rathna Raj, Treasurer of Diocese has preached the word of God. Rev. Dr. Z. Yesurathnam vice president of the Diocese and other Office-bearers led the devotion and order of Worship. “We should move in compassion with love”, said the Rt. Rev. Dr E. Pushpalaitha, Bishop in Nandyal Diocese during the inaugural speech. She further added that we should "Listen, Trust and Obey the Word of God". Rev. Maxcin John explained about the purpose of the Mission Camp. He encouraged the delegates to “Identify the hidden talents, develop them and utilize in mission and ministry according to the will of God and for the Glory of God”. Dr Mounica Gandhi (MD) led the first session and gave tips about "Basic community health awareness and pre-Hospital Care". She explained the causes, symptoms, and prevention of hypertension, diabetes, dengue, malaria and other viral infections. Rev. P. Johnson explained the importance of knowing the medical and health information in the mission field. Adv. Sreedhar, A Senior Adv. Ap. H.C. led the second session and gave information about "Basic Human Rights and Religious Freedom in India". He gave a tribute to Dr B.R. Ambedkar for his enormous work to empower women, Dalits and marginalized communities in India. He extended his message by explaining the work of the human rights commission in India. He explained about the rights of prisoners, Rights for Women, children etc. He also pointed out some contextual law and order issues regarding divorce cases, minor love marriages, rape issues, property disputes and many more. He also explained the human rights concerning the "religious freedom in India".
The Mission Camp was organized by the Board of Mission and Evangelism, Nadyal Diocese under the leadership of Rev. A.P. Johnson (Mission Director). Rev. Dr. Z. Yesurathnam (Vice President), Rev. D. Samuel Rathnaraju (Hon. Treasurer), Rev.B.J. Chandra Sekhar and other Pastors, Evangelists, Missionaries, and the members of Congregations have attended the Camp. There were one hundred and forty delegates for the camp.
36. Wayanadu Mission Conference-2019 in Sulthan Bathery
Department of Mission and Evangelism, CSI Synod along with the Board for Mission and Evangelism in Malabar Diocese organized a one -day Mission Camp on 11th July 2019 at St. Thomas CSI Church Sulthan Bathery. The Rt. Rev. Dr Royce Manoj Kumar Victor, Bishop in Malabar Diocese has inaugurated the camp which was based on the theme” Enhancing Capacities of Congregations to Become Missional Congregations”. “It is the need of the hour to transform each congregation to become missional congregations”, said Bishop Royce Manoj Kumar Victor during the inaugural speech. He further stated that the light which we have received must share and radiate to others so that they may able to receive and radiate the same to others. “Ask, Listen and Obey God”, said Mr Benjamin Christostem (USA) during the keynote address to the camp based on” Inclusive and Transformational Missional Engagements”. Everybody should be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and ardently participated in the mission of God through day by day life. There were a group discussion and activity regarding the “Missional Engagements and Action Plans in the Context of Malabar Diocese, especially Wayanad Area. The delegates proposed some of the specific actions plans such as the promotion of Bible Studies, Prayer Meetings, Fellowship Meetings, House Visits, sharing of educational and medical aids, de-addiction programs, agricultural movements, prevention engagements towards suicide attempts etc.
Rev. Johnson C. J. (District President) and Mr Philip Abraham have conveyed their greetings to the camp. Rev. V. L. Michael, Rev. P. V. Cherian, Rev. Sherry George, Rev. Ebin K. P., Rev. Shabu Thomas, Rev. Robin Lorence, Rev. Anil Jaison David, Mr. Billy Graham, Mr. Nevin, Mr. Stanley (Nilambur), and Mr. Chrisostam have attended the camp along with other missionaries, evangelists, church workers and the members of various congregations. There were three hundred delegates who have attended the camp enthusiastically. Rev. Shobhan Kumar Daniel (Mission Director in Malabar Diocese) organized the camp along with Rev. V. L. Michael (Vicar in Sulthan Bathery) and Mr Billy Graham. Rev. Maxcin John shared an opening remark regarding the purpose of the camp.
37. Trichy-Tanjore Diocesan Mission Fest-2019
Department of Mission and Evangelism, CSI Synod participated in the Trichy-Tanjore Mission Fest-2019 on 13th July 2019 at St. Peter’s CSI Church, Tanjore. It was the Celebration of Mission legacies left by the foreign as well as native missionaries with a strong passion for the Mission. This celebration was the right venue for envisioning and awakening the congregations to become more missional. “All congregation must be the missional congregations “, said Rt. Rev. Dr. D. Chandrasekaran, Bishop in Trichy-Tanjore Diocese during the opening address in the Mission Fest. Bishop furthermore added that each and every member of the church are the missionaries. “Mission is the salvific action”, said Bro. Daniel Gnanamutthu, Lamp Institute, during the main speech in the mission fest. He further added that since God’s salvation is for all, our mission engagements must be for everybody. “The Church of South India stands for the radical transformation of the whole world”, the participants were reminded by Rev. Maxcin John, Synod Mission Director. There was Missionary dedication service, Holy Communion Service, Cultural performances by the participants from various mission fields. Bro. Daniel Gnanamutthu and Rev. Dr Aruldoss Gnanamutthu have attended in the fest as chief guest speakers. Rt. Rev. D. Chandrasekaran, Bishop in Trichy -Tanjore Diocese, Mrs. Rosalind Chandrasekhar, Rev. Sudharsan (Clergy Secretary), Mr D. Ravikumar (Lay Secretary), Mr. S. Rajendran (Treasurer), Rev. Manavalan (Convener, Mission Festioval-2019), Rev. Arul Singh ( Mission Director), Mr. Soma Sundaram( Education Board Secretary), and all the DCC chairmen have led the mission festival. The Pastors, Church Workers, Missionaries, Evangelists, and other congregational members have attended the fest. There were three thousand participants from various parts of the diocese to attend the Mission Fest-2019.
38. . Mettupalayam Mission Camp-2019
The Department Mission and Evangelism, CSI Synod along with Board of Mission and Evangelism, Coimbatore Diocese has organized one-day mission camp on 15th July 2019 at Mettupalayam CSI Church. The camp was based on the theme “Enhancing Capacities of Congregation to become Missional Congregation”. The Rt. Rev. Timothy Ravinder, Bishop in Coimbatore Diocese has inaugurated the camp.“Our missional engagements should lead to the realization of the kingdom of God”, said Rt. Rev. Timothy Ravinder during the inaugural speech. Bishop further added that the church is called out to be an exponent of the kingdom of God. Therefore, we should serve the world as ‘light and salt’, he added. “Lifestyle Modification is Essential for the Healthy Life”, said Ms. Nancy Walter, CMC Vellore during the session based on “Basic Community Health Awareness and Pre-Hospital Care”. Mr. Dinesh (C.M.C Vellore) also joined with Nancy to lead the session. They have highlighted the contributions rendered by the Christian Missionaries for the educational as well as health sectors. Moreover, they have explained about the importance of the medical assistance, awareness about the various diseases, need of education for the prevention of the health issues, First-Aid, CPR, and the healthy routines that have to keep in everyday life. Constant health education and creating awareness are inevitable to organize a healthy community, they added.