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