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 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
Continued from the former news item...
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.
“Ignorance of the Law is not an Excuse for Ani kind of Violations”, said Adv. Prabhu, Coimbatore during the session based on “Basic Human Rights and Religious Freedom”. He furthermore added that everyone is supposed to know about the basic laws and regulations, and all are responsible to abide with it. “We must be the Watchmen for the Living Community”, said Rev. Paul Davison during his session based on “Basic Human Rights”. He furthermore added that Church has the prophetic role to act and raise voice for the peace and justice in the society. Faith without action is meaningless. “Make discipleship of Jesus Christ must be the focus of present mission”, said Rev. Christopher Vijayan, General Secretary, NMSI. He further added that the Church of South India is a missional community. All members are the agents of God and responsible to transform the world to realize peace, justice and reconciliation. “Our Missional engagements must be relevant to the present living scenarios”, said Bishop Timothy Ravinder during the valedictory message. Rev. David Suresh (Mission Director for Coimbatore Diocese) has organized the camp along with other mission board members, promotional workers, and the missionaries. Rev. N. Charles Samraj (Diocesan Secretary), Mr. D. Selvakumar (Diocesan Treasurer), Rev. Livingstone (Diocesan Executive Member), Rev. Ramesh, Mr. Bartholomew Siegen Paul (Eco-Director), and Rev. Christopher (Mettupalayam) and other Pastors, Catechists, Missionaries, Evangelists, Lay Preachers, and other members of the congregations have attended the camp. There were two hundred delegates for the mission camp-2019.
39. Mariyoor Mission Camp-2019
The Department of Mission and Evangelism, CSI Synod along with Board of Mission and Evangelism, Cochin Diocese has organized one-day Mission Camp on 17th July 2019 at Thanga Samipuram, Mission Vayal, Mariyoor in Cochin Diocese. The Camp was based on “Enhancing Capacities of the Congregation to become Missional Congregations”. The Rt. Rev. B.N. Fenn, Bishop in Cochin Diocese has inaugurated the camp. “Discipleship is an Explorative Experience of God’s Ways in Daily Life,” said Bishop B.N. Fenn during the inaugural address. He further added that we are the instruments for God’s mission. Unless and until we have the personal identification and conviction with God, nobody could able to participate in the mission of God, Bishop added. “Nammedeya Vazvin Moolamake Arulpani Nadaivarum” (Mission must be through our life-witnessing) said Rev. Dr Peter Singh (Lecturer, Communication Department in TTS, Madurai). He further pointed out that we are the community of adoration, interaction and dialogue with our fellow-beings, and constant learning. Bible study must be an everyday activity. We need to cross the boundaries and witness the gospel of Christ. We should incarnate into the streets to empower lost, least and last which means “thiru chapai theru chapai akavendum”, (Church should be the church on the street), he added.
“Lifestyle Modification is Essential”, said Dr Tijo P. Jose (Gvt. PHC, Mariyoor) during the session on” Community Health Awareness”. He further explained the communicable and non-communicable deceases and its cause and possible remedies. The doctor encouraged the participants for diet modification and constant exercise for a healthy life. Furthermore, he encouraged the participants to use and tap the government facilities and provisions to build healthy communities. “Each and every one has the room and Space in the Mission of God”, highlighted by Rev. Maxcin John, Synod Mission Director, while he was explaining about the purpose of the Mission Camp. The Mission Camp was attended by the Missionaries, Church Workers, Members of the various congregations in Moonnar District, and the pastors including Rev. David Edison( Mission Director), Rev. Selvakumar (Mattupetty), Rev. Edward Satheesh (Nalla Thanny), Rev.Jayasing (Vagguvarai-Thalayar), Rev. Sigamony (Marayoor), Rev.Davidson (Devikulam), Rev. Malairaja (Pooppara), Rev. Arulraj (Ellapatty), Rev. K. M. Hezekiel (Anjiri, Trissur), as well as Mr. Raja Das, Mr. Sabu Cherian (Vaniyakulam), Mr. Solomon, Mr. Gjnana Robinson, Mr. Balan, Mrs. Swarnamery and Mrs. Vimala. It was remarkable that a newly constructed CSI Centre at Chorakulam opened by the Bishop B. N. Fenn for the community Development.
40. Udumalaipettai Mission Camp-2019
The Department of Mission and Evangelism, CSI Synod and the Board of Mission and Evangelism jointly organized a one-day mission camp on 20th July 2019 at CSI Immanuel Church, Thali Road, Udumalaipettai in CSI Trichy-Tanjore Diocese. The meeting was based on “Enhancing Capacities of Congregations to become Missional Congregations”. The Rt. Rev. Dr. D. Chandrasekharan, Bishop in Trichy-Tanjore Diocese has inaugurated the one- day Mission Camp. “Only through the credibility of the life, we could able to share the good news of Jesus Christ to others,” said Bishop Chandrasekharan during the inaugural speech. He further added that our priority must be the mission of God. Since CSI having 4.5 Million Missionaries as the members of the church, it’s the need of the hour to enhance the various capacities of the congregation to participate in the mission of God, Bishop Added.“We should have a constant relationship with Jesus Christ”, said Rev. S. Sudharshan, Clergy Secretary in Trichy-Tanjore Diocese while he was taking opening Bible Study based on Romans 8: 31-39. “All congregations must be the missional congregation”, said Rev. Christopher Vijayan, General Secretary, National Missionary Society of India (NMSI) during the keynote address. He further stated that mission and evangelism are the responsibility of the churches in which everybody should participate. We should live out the mission through life with ardent passion. Discipleship of Jesus Christ is more important than anything.” Transformation should be our focus”, said Dr. Daniel Gnanamuthu during the session based on “Missional Congregations”. He further stated that it is time to give more importance to the “priesthood of all believers”. The church should participate in the Mission of Jesus Christ described in Luke 4:18-19. “As being light and salt to the world, all members should creatively participate in the mission of God”, said Rev. Maxcin John while he was explaining about the purpose of the mission camp. He further stated that Jesus Christ is our role model. We need to imitate the footsteps of Jesus Christ and be in the same mind of Jesus Christ (Phil 2: 1-7). The Mission Camp was organized by the Board of Mission and Evangelism, Trichy-Tanjore Diocese. Two hundred and sixty people have attended in the camp from various congregations in Trichy-Tanjore Diocese. “As a responsible and answerable community, it is the obligation of the Church to take Gospel of Jesus Christ to the neighbours through the credibility of life” was the prophetic message emerged from the Udumalaippettai Mission Camp-2019.
41. Melukavu Mission Conference-2019
Department of Mission and Evangelism, CSI Synod and the Board for Mission and Evangelism, East Kerala Diocese have organized one-day Mission Conference on 30th July 2019 at CSI Christ Cathedral, Melukavu in East Kerala Diocese. The theme for the conference was “enhancing capacities of congregations to become missional congregations”. Rt. Rev. V.S. Francis, Bishop in East Kerala Diocese has inaugurated the conference in the presence of Rt. Rev. Dr. K. G. Daniel (Former Bishop in EKD) and Rev. Christopher Vijayan (NMSI General Secretary). “Mission and Evangelism are our priorities”, said Bishop V.S. Francis during the inaugural speech. He further stated that for the church, everything is the mission. “Witnessing Jesus Christ through our life is mission and evangelism”, said Bishop K. G. Daniel during the opening speech. Bishop further stated that we need to learn the history of the church. Moreover, we have to celebrate the legacy of mission left by our former missionaries and we should transform our today’s missional engagements as missional legacies for tomorrow so that our younger generations will carry on the same, Bishop added.
“Mission and Evangelism will flourish as far as possible we could able to reach the grassroots”, said Rev. Christopher Vijayan, General Secretary, National Missionary Society of India (NMSI). He further stated that it’s the need of the hour to reach the smallest congregations to transform them as the partakers in the mission and evangelism. We need to capacitate each congregation to become missional. Moreover, we should build confidence in congregations to participate in the mission. The credibility and integrity of life is an important matter for the mission. Ultimately, the mission is something about ‘SEVA’ -service to others in love and compassion, he added. “Gospel of Jesus Christ brings transformation in the holistic ways”, said Dr. Josemon George (Lay Secretary, East Kerala Diocese) during his session based on “Mission as Healing”. He further stated that healing was an important matter in the ministry of Jesus Christ. It is the responsibility of all to participate in the ministry of healing in possible ways. We should work together for the social, mental, spiritual and physical health of everybody without any discriminations, he added. “Annihilation of sin is the mission,” said Rev. P. C. Mathewkutty, Treasurer in EKD during the Panel discussion on the mission and evangelism. He further stated that it will repair the broken relationship and transform everybody into fellowship in the presence of God, he added. “Women are highly potential and they have an important role in the mission of God,” said Mrs. Salomy Daniel while she was talking in the panel discussion. All women must be the channel of peace and justice wherever they are living and thus, everybody could participate in the mission of God, she added. The Conference was presided over by Rev. Johny Joseph, Vicar in Cathedral. “We need laborious missionaries for the mission and evangelism those who are ever ready to preach the crucified and resurrected Christ”, he stated during the presidential address. The One-day Missionary conference was organized by the Board for Mission and Evangelism, East Kerala Diocese. Mr. Thomas Chazhikadan (Member of Parliament, Kottayam) also has participated in the conference and conveyed his greetings.
42. Vellore Diocesan Mission Festival-2019
The Department of Mission and Evangelism, CSI Synod engaged in the Mission Festival of CSI Vellore Diocese on 16th -17th August 2019 at Voorhees College, Vellore. The Rt. Rev. Dr. H. Sharma Nithyanandam, Bishop in Vellore Diocese has inaugurated the Mission Festival. He has emphasized the need for building inclusive and sensitive churches. Furthermore, Bishop inspired everybody to be united and be together which will help to achieve the missional goals. The Rt. Rev. Dr. V. Devasahayam (Bishop Emeritus) was the Chief guest. He has urged everybody to participate in the mission of God through daily life. Mr. T. John Mahendran (Chairman, Minority Commission, TN), Rev. Solomon Benjamin (EMS, Germany), Mrs. Emily Titus (Principal, Monogon), Rev. Maxcin John (Synod Mission Director) have attended the festival and conveyed the felicitations. The festival was well attended by the thousands of people from various parts of the diocese including Diocesan Officers Rev. Dr. I. Isaac Kadirvelu (Vice-President), Rev. N. Sampath Sadhanandam (Secretary) and Mr. Sundar Raj (Treasurer), Pastors, Catechists, Church Workers, Missionaries, Evangelists and other members from the different congregations. It was organized by the Diocese and the Board for Mission and Evangelism especially Rev. Noble C. Gembeeram (General Convener) and Rev. D.S.C Menon (Mission Board Director), Mr. Paul Deva Sigamani( Co-Ordinator, Mission Board), Mr. S. Armstrong, Mrs. Lilly Catherine, Dr. Samson David have led the festival along with other missional personalities.
1. Mangalore Mission Conference-2019
The Department of CSI Synod Mission and Evangelism and the Karnataka Southern Diocese have jointly organized one day Mission Conference at Shanthi Nilaya, Belmatta in Mangalore. The Conference was inaugurated by the Rt. Rev. Mohan Manoraj, Bishop in Karnataka Southern Diocese. “Mission is all about to live out and practice the gospel of Jesus Christ in the daily life”, Bishop emphasized in the inaugural address. “The Local Congregations are the basic units for Mission and Evangelism”, stated Rt. Rev. Dr. C. L. Furtado, Bishop Emeritus of Karnataka Southern Diocese during the keynote address based on “Enhancing Capacities of Congregation to become Missional Congregations”. Bishop further stated that the Church must be a witnessing Church and promote the inclusive mission for everybody everywhere. Moreover, we should be conscious about the history of the church where we could understand the missional attempts contributed by the missionaries both native and foreign. “It is the need of the hour to preserve the missional literature including documents and records in scientific ways,” said Mr. Bennet G.M., an Archive in-charge of Karnataka Theological College (KTC) during his session based on “Mission and Literature”. He further added that the systematic way of preservation of records in the past will be most helpful for the upcoming generations to extract energy and motivations out of it so that they may able to doing mission more creatively and meaningfully in the days to come. Rev. Maxcin John, Synod Mission Director highlighted about the Mission Statement of Church of South India. He further stated that each and every member of the church are the missionaries. Mr. William Carey, the Diocesan Secretary and Mr. Vincent Palanna, the Diocesan Treasurer have conveyed their greetings to the conference. The Pastors, Lay Leaders, Lay Preachers and Evangelists from three Church districts (Mangalore, Uduppi and Kodaku) have attended the conference and participated in the discussions. There were 52 participants those who have attended the one-day conference. Rev. Sebastian Jathanna, the Mission Director for KSD, organized the one-day conference along with the staffs of Diocesan office as well as Bishop’s Office.
2. Mysore Mission Conference-2019
The Department of CSI Synod Mission and Evangelism and the Karnataka Southern Diocese have jointly organized one- day Mission Conference at Calvert Girls Boarding School, near KSRTC Bus stand in Mysore. The Conference was inaugurated by the Rt. Rev. Mohan Manoraj, Bishop in Karnataka Southern Diocese. “The responsibility of the present church is to equip the local congregations to become missional congregations”, said Bishop during his inaugural address. Furthermore, Bishop highlighted about the mode of Jesus Ministry as Teaching, Preaching and Healing. The liberation was the focal matter of Jesus’ ministry. The Mission and vision of Jesus’ ministry is described in the Nazareth Manifesto (Luke 4:18-19). The missionaries and Evangelists are called out and send out to carry on the mission rooted in Jesus Christ, Bishop added. “Our mission should be towards the fullness of life, not institution centred, rather, people-oriented”, said Rev. Sandeep Theophil (SKD). He further stated that the church itself is the mission. We need a shift in our mindset towards re-thinking of the borderless mission. Each and every member of the congregations are the missionaries. The local congregations should live out the gospel in their given living context. The pastors have an important role to equip the local congregations. The pastors are the facilitators. It is the need of the hour to work beyond the “mission compound”. We need to set up leadership as kingdom-centred. We need to re-claim and re-gain the missional spirit which we had in the past and equip the local congregations as the partners of the mission, he added.
“We should explore and acknowledge the various capacities of congregations to encourage them to become missional”, said Rev. Maxcin John, Synod Mission and Evangelism Director. He further added that small is beautiful and we are called out to trace out the significance of the so-called insignificant people. The leaders should do the SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) analysis in the congregations and include everybody for the mission of God. We need to have team-spirit. We are not for competing with each other, but to complement each other, he added. Rev. Sister. Sujatha, the Vice-President for the Diocese, Mr. William Carey, the Diocesan Secretary and Mr. Vincent Palanna, the Diocesan Treasurer have conveyed their greetings to the conference. They have emphasized the “PREETHI and SATHYAM “to be keeping in missional engagements for the sustainable transformation. The Pastors, Lay Leaders, Lay Preachers and Evangelists from three Church districts (Mysore, Hassan and Chamarajanagar) have attended the conference and participated in the discussions. There were 59 participants those who have attended the one-day conference. Rev. Sebastian Jathanna, the Mission Director for KSD has organized the one-day conference along with the staffs of Diocesan office as well as Bishop’s Office.
3. Kasaragod Mission Conference-2019
A one-day Mission Conference was held at C.S.1 Bethel Church Kasaragod on 24.11.2019 organized by C.S.1 Karnataka Southern Diocese and Department of Mission & Evangelism of C.S.1 Synod, based on the theme “Enhancing capacities of the congregation to become a missional congregation.” “As a church, we are invited to participate in the mission of God,” said Rev. Maxcin John, Synod Mission and Evangelism Department. The message was focused from the scriptures St. Luke Chap.4:18-19, Phil chap.2: 2-6, and St. Mathew Chap.25:34-38. He described that each one of us is the messengers of Jesus Christ whose life was the role model for all human beings. Rev. Sebastian Jathanna, the Mission Director for KSD has led a session based on St. Mark Chap.10: 46. Vincent Palanna, the Treasurer in KSD has shared his testimony. The one-day conference was arranged by the Mission Department in KSD and CSI Bethel. The total members attended the conference were 80, from Nileswar, Kallar, Kanhangad and Kasaragod C.S.1 Churches. Rev. Edwin Joseph, Rev. Maxcin John, Rev. Sajithdas, Pastor Prabhakar, Rev.Sebastian Jathanna, Rev. Binu John and Mr. Vincent Palanna, the Treasurer of South Karnataka Diocese have led the conference.
4. Palayamkottai Mission Conference-2019
The Department of Mission and Evangelism and the Tirunelveli Diocese have organized a one-day Mission Conference on 13th December 2019 at CSI St. Paul’s Church, NGO ‘A’ Colony, Palayamkottai in Tirunelveli Diocese. The conference was based on ‘Enhancing Capacities of Congregations to become Missional Congregations”. The Rt. Rev. Dr. J. J. Christdoss, Chairman CSI Synod Mission and Evangelism Department and the Bishop in Tirunelveli Diocese have inaugurated the conference. “God has given us multiple talents and capacities and it’s our responsibility to identify those talents and develop it for the glory of God and for the betterment of all “, said Bishop Christdoss during his inaugural speech. He furthermore added that be and becoming salt and light to the earth must be our missional challenge. “Love is Mission, Love is life and Love is everything”, said Rev. A. Packiaraj, Director TDCM in Tirunelveli Diocese. He further added that the Church and mission must be meaningful based on love. The great commandment (Mathew 22: 37-40) is the root of the mission. The self-renunciation and sacrificial service are an integral part of the love. The features of love are described in 1st Corinthians 13: 1-11. It is all about forgiving and forgetting in mutual respect and honour without any selfish motives, he added. “The Church of South India is the missionary Church and all the members are the Missionaries of God”, reminded by Rev. Maxcin John, Director, CSI Mission and Evangelism Department, Synod. He has explained about the Mission Statement of Church of South India. He furthermore told that it’s the need of the hour to identify the various capacities of congregations and rekindle those talents towards transformative missional engagements, he added. Rev. D.K. Stephen, Pastorate Chairman, Jawahar Nagar Pastorate along with the Church committee has organized the conference. Two hundred delegates have attended the conference including Pastors, missionaries, lay leaders and the members from various congregations in Tirunelveli Diocese.
5. Thottithurai Missionary Gathering-2019
The Department of Mission and Evangelism, Church of South India, Synod along with Diocesan Missionary Prayer Band (DMPB) have organized a Missionary gathering on 17th December 2019 at CSI Church, Thottithurai in Kanyakumari Diocese. The meeting was stared with Holy Communion Service led by Rev. Justin Devadas, the General Secretary for DMPB. Rev. Maxcin John, Synod mission Director has shared the message. He told about the season of Advent and the reason behind the season is Jesus Christ. Like an experience of ‘Immanuel’ (Mathew 1:23), we should radiate ‘Immanuel-ness’ through our lives to others. Our life must be rooted in the Humility of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:1-6) and filled with service mentality (John 13:5). We must be the spokespersons of good news (Isaiah 61:1-3, Luke 4:18-19). Moreover, we need to tirelessly strive for the transformation of the living context through qualitative life (John 1: 1-14), he added. “We need to be filled with new hope, new relationship, and a new vision in the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ’, said, Rev. Y. Lawrence, Kanyakumari Diocese. He further added that not any construction of buildings but building community must be the focus of our missional engagements. The life of the Missionary is more important when propagating the good news of Jesus Christ. We should remain as a watchman of the community. The credibility of life is more important other than any outer expressions, he added. Rev. Justin Devadas reminded the participants to maintain credibility, responsibility and accountability of the life. During the meeting, there were award distributions to the missionaries who have maintained the mission compound and the field as eco-friendly. There were 300 participants who have attended the gathering including Pastors, missionaries and their families. Rev. Ravi, Superintendent of Mission (SM)along with other Assistant Superintendent of Mission (ASM) and missionaries have organized the meeting.
111. REGIONAL LEVEL PROGRAMS:
1. The Mission Festival Committee in Varkkala
A Committee Meeting was organized at CSI Cathedral at Kollam in Kollam Kottarakkara Diocese on 29th January 2018 in connection to the Kollam Kottarakkara Diocesan Mission Festival along with Kerala Regional Missionary get-together. The meeting was presided over by The Rt. Rev. Dr. Oommen George (Bishop Kollam-Kottarakkara Diocese). Rev. Dr. Bhanu Samuel (Vice-Chairmann), Mr. Varkey Jacob (General Convener and Diocesan Secretary), Er. P. D. Benedict Raja (Diocesan Treasurer), Rev. N. Franklin (Diocesan Mission Board Director), Rev. Maxcin John (Synod Mission Board Director) and other Pastors, Evangelists, Women’s Workers, Representatives from Diocesan Institutions and Organizations have participated in the Meeting. The committee has decided to organize Mission Festival, Convention and Missionary get-together on 06th March to 10th March 2018 at Varkkala Christhu Giri, Varkkala.
2. Nagpur Missionary Conference-2018
CSI Synod Mission and Evangelism Department and Board of Mission in CSI South Kerala Diocese have jointly organized A Missionary Conference at Santhy Asram, Nagpur on 26th -28th February 2018 in order to Equip Missionaries towards Building Christ Communities. The Rt. Rev. Dharmaraj Rasalam (Bishop, South Kerala Diocese) has inaugurated the Conference. Mrs. Sherly Rasalam, Rev. Dr. Ajith Kumar, Rev. Maxin John, and Rev. Dr. Prinstone Ben have led the sessions. Mr. Selvaraj (SKD Secretary), Rev. Dr. Christopher Rajkumar (NCCI) and Mr. Laurence (Secretary Board of Mission) have conveyed the greetings. Rev. Sathyadas, Rev. Babu Raj, Rev. Joseph, Rev. Biju, Rev. Aji, Rev. Prasad Das, Rev. Ajikumar, Rev. Christudoss, Rev. Godwin, Mrs. Stella, Mrs. Bindhu, Mr. Vijayanm Mr. Mohan Ilavattom, Mr. Mohan Kumar, Mrs. Santhy, Mr. Thankan, Mr. Vama Devan, and all other Missionaries have worked together for the conference. There were a hundred participants in the Conference from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Kerala States of India. Holy Communion Service was solemnized in the conference and the meeting was also enriched with fruitful group discussions and various talents and cultural programme of the Missionaries.
3. Kerala Regional Missionary Get-together-2018 in Varkkala
Kerala Regional Missionary Get together along with Kollam-Kottarakkara Diocesan Mission Festival and Bible Convention was organized from 6th March to 10th March 2018 at Christhugiri Centre, Varkkala. The Most Rev. Thomas K. Oommen (CSI Moderator and Bishop in CSI Madhya Kerala Diocese) has inaugurated the program. The Rt. Rev. Dr. Oommen George (Bishop in Kollam Kottarakkara Diocese) has presided over the program. Twenty-Six Missionaries were attended in the Kerala Regional Missionary get together those who were from Cochin, East Kerala, Kollam Kottarakkara, Malabar, Madhya Kerala, and South Kerala Dioceses. Apart from Missionaries, all Kerala CSI Bishops and Diocesan Mission Directors have attended the program and rendered commendable leadership to the Missionary Get Together.
4. Karanataka Regional Missionary Conference-201
The Department of Mission and Evangelism, CSI Synod has organized Karnataka Regional Missionary Conference at RLTC, All Saint’s Church Compound, Dharward in Karnataka Northern Diocese on 26th to 27th April 2018. The Rt. Rev. Ravikumar J. Niranjan, Bishop in Karnataka Northern Diocese has inaugurated the Conference. Rev. Vincent Vinod Kumar (Karnataka Central Diocese) has delivered the Keynote Address on the Conference Theme: “Equipping Missionaries Towards Building Christ Communities”. Following the Keynote Address, there was an interactive as well as action planning session conducted by Rev. Vincent Vinod Kumar on the theme. Rev. Solomon Paul (Director, Youth Department CSI Synod) has led a class on “Equipping Missionaries Towards Building Christ Communities: Youth Perspectives” and Rev. Dr. L. Jayachithra (Director, Christian Education Department, CSI Synod) has led both Bible Study and Class on Equipping Missionaries Towards Building Christ Communities in Children Perspectives. All resource persons have encouraged the participants to actively participate in the Mission of God in their own living context. There were Diocesan level group discussions and presentations in connection with each session. The participants were also actively participated in Cultural Presentations. The Morning and the Evening Worships were led by each diocese of Karnataka Region. There was a Mission Exposure Visit to the historical places in Dharwad. The participants have visited the Basel Mission Hebich Memorial CSI Church as well as Cemetery which is specially dedicated to Missionaries where participants have offered flowers in loving memories of Missionaries. Participants also have visited the statue of German Missionary Rev. Dr. Ferdinand Kittel who has rendered commendable contribution to the Kannada Literature and thereafter, visited the University Campus of Karnataka University at Dharwad. There were sixty participants who have attended in Karnataka Regional Missionary Conference.
5. A Preparation Meeting for Telugu Regional Missionary Conference-2018
On behalf of Mission and Evangelism Department, a Preparation meeting was conducted for the Telugu Regional Missionary Conference at Diocesan Bishop’s Office, Dornakal in Warangal District of Telangana. Rt. Rev. Dr. V. Prasada Rao, Deputy Moderator, CSI has presided the meeting. Rev. B.D.P. Ravindra (Secretary, Dornakal Diocese), Mr. K.J. Shubhakar Asirvadham (Treasurer), Rev. Linguana Samuel (Mission Director), Rev. Anandha Rao, Rev. Bhaskar (Bishop’s Chaplain), and Rev. Praveen (Cathedral Vicar) have participated in the meeting. Telugu Regional Missionary Conference was scheduled to be held on 3rd & 4th July 2018 at Epiphany CSI Cathedral Compound, Dornakal.
6. A Preparatory meet for Kerala Regional Missionary Conference in Shoranur
As a part of the preparation for Kerala Regional Missionary Conference, a meeting was conducted at CSI Retreat Centre, Shoranur, Cochin Diocese on 22nd June 2018. Rt. Rev. B.N. Fenn (Bishop in Diocese) has presided over the meeting. Rev. K.M. Hezekiel, Rev. George Mathew, Rev. Anish, Mr. Sabu k Cheriyan and Rev. Maxcin John have attended in the meeting. The conference was scheduled to be held on 16-17 July 2018 at CSI Retreat Centre, Shoranur and Missionaries/ Evangelists from six Dioceses of Kerala participated.
7. Telugu Regional Missionary Conference
Mission and Evangelism Department of CSI Synod has organized a Telugu Regional Missionary Conference at Epiphany CSI Cathedral, Dornakal on the 3rd and 4th July 2018. The Conference started with a Bible study on Luke 4: 18-19 led by Rev. K. James Cecil Victor (Director, Pastoral Aid Department, CSI Synod). “All Missionaries have to set their agenda in tune with Nazareth Manifesto, the Agenda of Jesus Christ”, Rev. James Cecil highlighted throughout the Bible Study.
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Vadapally Prasada Rao, Deputy Moderator & Bishop in Dornakal, has inaugurated the Conference. “In a pluri-faith context, we need to uphold inclusivity and we should be the channels of Christ Communities that embrace all in love and compassion”, said the Deputy Moderator. In an introductory address, Rev. Maxcin John, Synod Mission Director, outlined the main thrust and focus of the conference. “Our focus is to spread and propagate the unconditional love and compassion of Christ through our deeds and words to all, and we are never ever for any religious fundamentalism or extremism. On the other hand, we should stand together for religious harmony, peace, justice and reconciliation in our living context”, Rev. Maxcin John emphasized. Rev. Mrs. V. S. Sunanda Prasada Rao (W.F. President, Dornakal Diocese), Mr. K. J. Shubhakar (Treasurer, Dornakal Diocese) and Rev. B. D. P. Ravindra (Diocesan Secretary, Dornakal) have conveyed their greetings. Rev. Victor Paul (UTC, Bangalore) delivered the keynote address on “Equipping Missionaries Towards Building Christ Communities: Biblical Perspective”. Bible is the primary source to equip missionaries in doing the mission and all missionary conferences are the venue for unlearning and relearning the Bible contextually. Furthermore, he has emphasized a need of paradigm shift from ‘Mission to the Margin towards Mission from the Margin’. Grassroot People are not the object of Mission, but the subject of the Mission, he precisely pointed out. Rev. Dn. Cynthia Sobha Rani (General Secretary, W.F., CSI) has shared her missional exposure experiences in the grassroots levels. She stated that more accompaniments and engagements are needed to empower the grassroots people for their sustainable livelihood, especially in the context of women empowerment.
Rev. Shalu T. Mathew (Parkal Mission) has shared Missional Experiences in the context of Parkal Mission. In his sharing, Rev. Shalu T. Mathew thankfully commemorated the life and service of Bishop V. S. Azariah, a great Missionary who has rendered commendable service towards the Church in doing the mission. Bishop was a living example to others throughout his life in the missional engagements. Moreover, he highlighted that Parkal Mission is still serving as a centre for holistic transformation to all people in the community. The Rt. Rev. Dr. E. Pushpalalitha, Bishop in Nandyal has led a session on “Equipping Missionaries Towards Building Christ Communities: Congregational and Field Context”. Bishop stated that “the church should be the midpoint of transformation aimed at the well-being of all people”. Subsequently, Rev. K. James Cecil Victor led a session on “Missional Communication in the pluri-faith context”. During his session, Rev. K. James Cecil Victor stressed about ‘the need for a radical alteration in the use of languages’. All Missional Communication must be inclusive in mutual honour and love with each other, Rev. James Cecil added. There were cultural performances as part of the conference. Holy Communion Service also was celebrated during the conference. Telugu Regional Conference was concluded by Rt. Rev. Dr. Vadapally Prasada Rao, Deputy Moderator, CSI. In his message, the Deputy Moderator pointed out that the Mission of the Church must be an expression of Christ’s love and compassion to all. One hundred delegates have attended the conference from six respective dioceses of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
8. Kerala Regional Missionary Conference in Shoranur
“A radical transformation in an inclusive way as the need of the hour” was the remarkable call raised by Kerala Regional Missionary Conference held at CSI Retreat Centre, Shornoor on 16th and 17th July 2018. The Conference started with a Bible study led by Rev. Sunil Raj Philip (Director, Communication& Dalit and Adivasi Department, CSI Synod) based on the text Luke 4:18-19. “Contextual reading of the Bible is inevitable to understand the current living scenario. It was the methodology of Jesus Christ. Gospel of Jesus was the gospel of sustainable care and support to the most vulnerable of the society” said Rev. Sunil Raj Philip during the Bible Study.
“There are 4.3 Million Missionaries in Church of South India”, said Rev. Maxcin John (Mission Director, CSI Synod) in his introductory Address. Each member and each family are the missionaries of the Church of South India. Moreover, the life and work of the members of the church are the best media to propagate the gospel of Christ to all, he added. “Transformed and transforming discipleship are the main characteristics of Christian fellowship”, said Rt. Rev. Dr. K. G. Daniel, Bishop in East Kerala Diocese, during his presidential address in the inaugural ceremony. Christ community should be based on the gospel values, prayer and fellowship, Bishop added. “What Missionary ought to be rather than what missionary is” should be an important concern in doing the mission, pointed out by the Rt. Rev. B.N. Fenn, Bishop in Cochin Diocese, during his inaugural address. Missionaries should lead others by trust in God so that God will enable us to move ahead in doing Mission and equip us through corrections and rectifications, Bishop added.
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Oommen George has delivered a keynote address on “Equipping Missionaries Towards Building Christ Communities- A New Testament Perspective”. Jesus Christ is the missionary par excellence. It is the need of the hour to follow in the footsteps of Christ in doing the mission. Passion for the mission is important than anything, added Bishop. “We must be an embracing community in the spirit of inclusion”, said Rev. Sunil Raj Philip in his Bible study based on Mathew 25: 31-46 during the Holy Communion Service solemnized by Rt. Rev. Dr. K. G. Daniel. There will be a judgement based on our actions and attitudes. Our duty is to cross the borders and identify the most vulnerable and be with them as much as possible for their liberation as well as transformation, Rev. Sunil Raj Philip emphasized. The Rt. Rev. Dr. K. G. Daniel led a session based on “Equipping Missionaries towards Building Christ Communities: Commitment and Dedication in doing Mission”. A Missionary should be a steward, capable to use the resources, faithful, act like a soldier, and hope for good, Bishop added based on 2 Timothy 1-2. A team from SEVA department of CSI Synod has conducted a session on “Justice and Empowering Diakonia Perspective” (JEDP). “We need to discern the signs of the age and then, we should do our prophetic role towards the living surrounds”, said Issac Japaseelan, Coordinator, CSI SEVA. Service should be empowering, the voice of the voiceless, and defence to the defenceless. Our Churches should be disabled- friendly and we should challenge the injustices to do justice for all, Isaac added. Mr. Cruze, Mr. Chacko and Rev. Saju Benjamin also have represented the SEVA Department.
“Missional languages and signs should be translated into the level of grassroots and it must be inclusive”, stated Rev. Sunil Raj Philip while he was conducting a session on “Missional Communication in Pluri-faith Context”. He emphasized for a paradigm shift from the mission to the margin into the mission from the Margin, Rev. Sunil Raj added. “Our calling is not just to start the race, but to accomplish the race”, said Bishop Fenn during the valedictory message of the conference. We may face various hurdles, but we must overcome by placing our trust in God who called us and send us out for God’s Mission, Bishop added. Mrs. Sakhi Fenn has conveyed her greetings to the conference. Rev. Shalu T. Mathew (Parkal Mission), Rev. Anish Mathew (Cochin Diocese) and Mr. Sathyadas (South Kerala Diocese) have shared their Missionary experiences. There are eighty delegates have participated in the conference from respective dioceses of Kerala.
9. Tamil Regional Missionary Conference in Thirupattur.
“Mission as the transformative actions towards an abundant life for all”, was the boom of Church of South India (CSI) Tamil Regional Missionary conference held on 24th and 25th July 2018 at the NMSI Asram, Tirupattur. It was started with a Bible Study led by Rev. DSC Menon (Mission Director, Vellore Diocese) based on Luke 4: 16-21. In the introductory remarks, Rev. Maxcin John, Synod Mission and Evangelism Director reminded the delegates that “we are called out and send out community”. The conference was inaugurated by the Rt. Rev. Timothy Ravinder, the Bishop in Coimbatore Diocese and Moderator’s Commissary in Vellore Diocese. “We need to kindle the divine spark within us, and we have to move ahead for the well-being of all”, Bishop emphasized in his inaugural address. “We should have a dare to learn to unlearn and then relearn in doing mission contextually”, said Ms. Vedhakani (TTS-Madhurai), while she was delivering the keynote address based on “Equipping Missionaries Towards Building Christ Communities: Mission from the Margin- A New Testament perspective”. “Without considering the agonies and pains of the underprivileged, the mission may not be meaningful. Furthermore, the radical transformation of all must be the thrust of the Mission. This was the example par excellence given by Jesus Christ”, Vedhakani said.
“Mission is constant and compassionate accompaniment with most vulnerable for the radical transformation. Integrity and credibility of the church must be the strategy and medium in doing mission”, Rev. Christopher Vijayan, NMSI General Secretary, pointed out while he was conducting a session based on “Equipping Missionaries Towards Building Christ Communities: Transforming Actions towards grassroots- Mission strategies”. “We need to honour all in a pluralistic context, and it will be meaningful to witness faith and conviction through our day to day life activities rather than mere superficial words”, Rev. Christopher Vijayan added. “Mission should be the engagements and intervention with the struggles of people”, Rev. Solan Chellaiah (Missionary Madurai-Ramnad Diocese) stated in his Bible study based on Mathew 25: 31-46. “Mission is all about the life-giving action towards the abundant life to all”, said Rev. Asir Ebenezer during his session based on “Equipping Missionaries towards building Christ Communities in pluri-faith Context and Action Plans towards Mission from the margin”. Broadly speaking, Church of South India having 43 lakhs Missionaries which means all members. Therefore, it is the need of the hour to enhance the capacities of the congregation to become a Missional Congregation, Rev. Asir emphasized. “Unless and until Missionaries are transformed into the humility as well as simplicity of Jesus Christ, all kind of mission works will be superficial and just mere a show-off”, said The Rt. Rev. J. J. Christdoss, Bishop in Tirunelveli Diocese and Chairman for Synod Mission and Evangelism Department, during his closing remarks. In addition to the resource persons and visitors, eighty delegates have attended the conference from respective Dioceses of Tamil Region.
10. Malabar Mission Festival-2018 in Kozhikodu
“Mission is not the Matter of Power, but the Matter of Being and Becoming Small, Simple and Significant like Jesus Christ” stated by Rev. Dr Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, General Secretary, Church of South India during the Inaugural and Key-Note Address in Kerala Regional Mission Enhancing Program along with Malabar Diocesan Mission Fest-2018 at CSI, St. Mary’s English Church, Kozhikode on 16th to 18th November 2018. He further emphasized that Mission is all about becoming small for the least, lost and last. It is not a matter of power, but the matter of service in love. Furthermore, General Secretary added that like a small boy who has two fish and five loaves, our resources must be shared with others. God will bless it and transform it for the well-being of all. The church must embrace the people on the street those who are deprived of the mainstream of the community. As a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies to bear fruits, the Church should be emptied themselves in order to bear fruits for the living community. It is the need of the hour for the Church to organize a common platform to celebrate justice, peace and reconciliation through which Church could able to invite all to join and celebrate the life.
The meeting was presided by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Royce Manoj Victor, Bishop in Malabar Diocese. During the presidential address, Bishop highlighted this Mission Fest is the first and foremost Mission Fest of newly formed Malabar Diocese. Bishop reminded about the remarkable legacy of the Mission and Missionaries those who are sacrificially worked for the common well-being of the society. “As getting power out of this legacy, we need to identify the signs of the age and serve the community for the radical transformation of all”, Bishop added. Rev. N. K. Sunny (Clergy Secretary), Rev. T. I. James (Corporate School Manager) and Mrs. Esther Reginald (Women’s Fellowship General Secretary) have conveyed the greetings. The Faculties from Kerala United Theological Seminary also have extended their presence to the Mission Enhancing Program. Rev. Dr. M. P. Joseph (KUT Principal), Rev. Dr. John Winslow (Theology), Rev. Ninan Jacob (NT), Rev. John Davidson Johnson (Ethics), and Rev. Ebenezer Shinekumar (Religion) have attended the program. “We all are born out of the gospel of Jesus Christ”, stated by Rev. Dr. M.P. Joseph during his felicitation in the meeting.
Rev. Paul David Thottatthil, Rtd. Presbyter, Malabar Diocese has conducted a session based on “Missionary Dreams in Malabar”. In this regard, he commemorated all tireless efforts rendered by the Missionaries including Basel Mission Missionaries for the development of the Church and society. Prof. Jaiprakash Raghaviah, an Author and Historian have led a session on “Conversion and Re-Engineering of Self”. He has highlighted the tremendous efforts done by the missionaries for the social reformation as well as transformation. Conversion is not mere change from one religion to another, rather, it is all about personal transformation and correlation to one another, he added. There was a special gathering for “Enhancing capacities of Medical Professionals as well as Educational Professionals towards Missional engagements”. ‘Healing is an integral part of Mission and all the Medical professionals including Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists, Physio Therapists, Medical Reps, Hospital Attenders, Chaplains, so on are the Missionaries’ was the profound message brought forth in a program for medical professionals. Dr. George Itty, (Malabar Diocese), Dr. Josemon George (East Kerala Diocese), Dr. Sheela Noone (Malabar Diocese) and Dr. Periyan (Malabar Diocese) have conducted the sessions based on enhancing capacities of Medical professionals towards Missional engagements. The meeting emphasized that “Medical Mission is an act of transformation”. Therefore, all medical professionals irrespective of any categories are the Medical Missionaries. Moreover, all medical professionals are called to be servants to serve society without any reservation and divisions. They must radiate positive energy and hope to the living context, and they should empower others. Therefore, Medical Mission is the life-giving Ministry. ‘Education is an integral part of Mission; therefore, all educational professionals are the Missionaries’ was the focal message of the program for “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 stated that as an Educational Professional, “we are called out to empower and transform others”. Therefore, all educational professionals are missionaries for the transformation. Rev. T.I. James, Corporate School Manger has coordinated the meeting along with the Board of Mission and Evangelism, Malabar Diocese. Around four hundred educational professionals have attended the meeting.
Mission Bible Conventions also have organized in the evenings as part of the Mission Fest. The Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Mar Theethos Episcopa (Bishop in Malankara Marthoma Church) , Rev. Dr. Ajith Kumar, and Rev. Fr. Paulose Parekkara, Cor Episcopa in Arch Diocese of Syrian Orthodox Church have delivered the messages. It was the opportunity for the missional revival and restoration. The Holy Communion Service also was conducted at St. Mary’s English CSI Church in connection to the Mission Fest. The Rt. Rev. Dr. Oommen George, Bishop in Kollam- Kottarakara Diocese was the celebrant and the preacher. In his preaching, Bishop highlighted that ‘Church of South India is the Missionary Church. Passion for the Mission is needed for all of us. A valedictory function also was organized in which Senior Evangelists were honoured and appreciated for their commendable services rendered to the Church. Bishop Royce Manoj Victor reminded about the “Mantle of Responsibility”. We should be more responsible, transparent and accountable in doing Mission, Bishop advised the participants. Rev. Shoban Kumar Daniel (Mission Director, Malabar Diocese) along with Dr. George Itty (Program convener) have organized the Mission Fest. The Rt. Rev. Dr. Royce Manoj Victor (Bishop), Mr. Desmond Babu (Malabar Diocesan Treasurer), Mr. Kenneth Lazar (Lay Secretary of Malabar Diocese), Mrs. Bindu Royce (Women’s Fellowship President of Malabar Diocese), Rev. Maxcin John (Synod Mission Director), Pastors, Church workers, Missionaries from various Dioceses of Kerala Region and the congregation members have attended in the Fest.
11. Hindi Regional Missionary Get together in Delhi.
Hindi Regional Missionary Get together was conducted on 18th to 19th December 2018 at St. Martin CNI Church, Condonement, Delhi. The Rt. Rev. Dharmaraj Rasalam, Bishop in South Kerala Diocese inaugurated the meeting. Bishop reminded everybody “to be an agent of sustainable transformation for the common well-being of all the people”. Through the credibility and integrity of our attitude and action, we must witness Jesus Christ, Bishop Added. Rev. Maxcin John, Synod Mission Director conducted a session on” Mission and Evangelism of Church of South India” and encouraged all the participants to uphold the spirit and zeal for Missional engagements as the radical transformation of all the people without any divisions. Rev. Kalvin Kisto (Diocesan Treasurer, SKD), Dr. Rose Bist (Diocesan Secretary, SKD), Rev. C.P. Justin Jose (Mission Director, SKD), Mr. Donald Lal (Board Secretary, SKD), Rev. Joseph Israel (Delhi Mission) Rev. Dhipu Njanadas (Delhi Mission) and Rev. Dennis Lal (CNI) have led the meeting. One hundred and eighty participants have attended in the meeting from seventeen states. The meeting was the venue for mutual fellowship and rejuvenation.
12. West Bengal Missionary Training-2019
Department of Mission and Evangelism, Church of South India has engaged in West Bengal Missionary Training Conference which was organized by the Board for Mission and Evangelism, South Kerala Diocese on 9th to 11th March 2019 at CSI Mission Compound, Belda in West Bengal. Rt. Rev. Dharmaraj Rasalam, Bishop in South Kerala Diocese has inaugurated the training program. “The commitment and dedication are needed for the missionaries to engage in the day to day missions”, Bishop said during the inaugural speech. Rev. J. Justin Jose, Mission Director in South Kerala Diocese has conveyed greetings to the training program. The training program was led by Rev. P. Chandran (Joint Mission Director in SKD), Rev. S.K. Santhosh (Mission in Charge Salem), Rev. R. Jayaraj (Mission in Charge, West Bengal), Rev. I. Joseph (Mission in charge for Delhi Mission), Rev. Shibu Mayam (Mission in Charge, Chennai Mission), Rev. Dipankar Halder (New Testament Professor, Serampore College, Kolkata), and Rev. Maxcin John (Synod Mission Director). Each session was directed based on different missional themes such as mission statement of Church of South India, what is the mission and who is a missionary? how to maintain mission fields, nature of the mission, worship and preaching, how to enhance the capacities of congregations in the mission fields, and inclusive mission for the transformation. The training program was the occasion to search and research for the rural missional engagements. Eighty Missionaries have attended the training program. Furthermore, there was a mission exposure visit to rural mission fields. It was an eye-opening visit to the mission fields of Donapuram and Arkord. Mission Exposure visit was accompanied by Rev. R. Jayaraj, Rev. Shibu Mayam and Mr. Akhil A.V(Missionary in Belda)
13. Kerala Regional Missionary Conference in Thiruvanathapuram.
Kerala Regional Missionary Conference of the Church of South India (CSI)was conducted on 24th to 26th July 2019 at the Women’s Centre, L.M.S. Compound, Thiruvanthapuram. The theme for the conference is based on “Enhancing Capacities of Congregation to Become Missional Congregation”. The conference was inaugurated by the Rt. Rev. Dharmaraj Rasalam, Bishop in South Kerala Diocese. “All congregations must be the missional congregations”, said by Bishop Dharmaraj Rasalam during the inaugural speech. “All local parishes must be transformed as the centres of missional engagements”, said Rev. Dr C. I. David Joy, Principal, Kerala United Theological Seminary, Kannammoola, during the keynote address. He further added that all missional agendas must be planned by the power of the Holy Spirit. When the parishes become missional, our neighbours will know the presence of Jesus Christ. Moreover, local parishes must have a merciful face. Dr David Joy stated that “The whole churches should take the whole gospel to the whole world”. He further stated that "we have to analyze ourselves whether we are practising the gospel even before we are preaching the gospel of Christ. We should have five things in our life while we are participating in the mission of God such as 'sense of direction, discipline, discernment, demonstration and demarcation'. We should address social issues and try to transform the situations." “We need an inclusive missional language in both verbal and non-verbal communications to embrace others, said Rev. Sunil Raj Philip, Director for Communication and Adivasi-Dalit Departments of the CSI Synod. Therefore, through our missional communication, we should use the language of love and mercy instead of the language of fundamentalism and militarism, added Rev. Sunil.
The inaugural session was presided over by Rev. Maxcin John, Synod Mission Director, and Mr Donald Lal, Secretary for BME in South Kerala Diocese (SKD) extended the welcome to all the participants. Rev. Dr. R. Gnanadas, Vice- Chairman SKD, and Dr P. K. Rosebist, Secretary in SKD, conveyed the greetings to the conference. There were one hundred and sixty people attended the conference including Pastors, Catechists, Missionaries, Evangelists, and other members of the various congregations. “Everybody is supposed to use their own talents to serve the people,” said Rt. Rev. Dr. Reuben Mark, Bishop in Karimnagar Diocese during the session based on “Possibilities and Potentialities of Congregation” in the second day of the Kerala Regional Missionary Conference on 25th July 2019. Bishop further added that God is not partial, but for everyone. Therefore, the mission is for everyone, Bishop added. “Missional Engagements must be revitalized by the using of various art forms,” said Rev. Sunil Raj Philip during the session based on” Mission Through Arts”. He further said that everyone has artistic instincts which should be inspired and boosted. Today’s missional engagements could be streamlined through various arts, added Rev. Sunil Raj Philip.
“I love Mission, I love Missionaries and I love the people those who have a vision about the Mission of God,” said Rt. Rev. V. S. Francis, Bishop in East Kerala Diocese. during his speech in the conference. Bishop further added that “commitment, dedication, and involvement” are the important factors in the missional engagements. On behalf of Kerala Regional Missionary Conference, there was a special reception to Bishop V.S. Francis who is newly consecrated as the 4th Bishop of CSI East Kerala Diocese. “The Church should acknowledge the role of Women and the Children in the Missional engagements”, said Rev. Mrs. Priscilla Reuben, Karimnagar Diocese. She further opined that the Church should ensure gender equity and provide more creative stage and venue for the women and the children to engage in the mission with their various talents and capacities.
The second day of the conference began with worship led by Cochin Diocese and the evening worship was led by Malabar Diocese. There was an outreach program organized by the South Kerala Diocese to Kannammoola Seminary and to Kovalam in which all delegates participated and engaged. Moreover, there was a cultural performance evening in which delegates from various dioceses performed their God-given talents through various art forms. Until and unless we are transformed by the gospel Christ, we cannot lead anybody into sustainable transformation,” said Dr William Jones; Former Secretary, Board for Mission (BFM) of the South Kerala Diocese (SKD) of the Church of South India (CSI) during the session based on “Mission in the Pluri-Faith Context-Practical Guidelines”. He further stated that the credibility of life is more important in the missional engagements (Phil 2: 14-16, Rom 12: 1-2). We are the servants of God. Therefore, we should be controlled by the word of God (Ps 95: 8). Evangelism through life is our obligation (1 Cor. 9: 16). It is an act of transformation from darkness into light. It must include everybody, added by Dr William Jones. “Our life must be the gospel,” said Mrs Sherly Rasalam during the valedictory message for the final day of the conference. She further stated that we should reach to everybody in love and compassion. We need to overcome all hurdles in our day to day life by the power of God. Furthermore, with an ardent passion, we have to address everybody and embrace everybody with the gospel of Christ.
The final day conference was beginning with the worship led by East Kerala Diocese. There was a group work based on “Action Plan for the Missional Engagements in the Context of Kerala Region”. All participants actively participated in the group activities and proposed possible as well as feasible activities towards the missional engagements. Rev. C. P. Justin Jose (Mission Director, BFM SKD) conveyed the vote of thanks to everybody. The Kerala Regional Conference was concluded with re-dedication and re-commitment for the mission by the participants.
14. Kerala Regional Mission Forum (KL-RMF) Constituted in 2019
In order to co-ordinate and facilitate the regional level Missional engagements, a Regional Mission Forum was constituted on 27th August 2019 at LMS Compound, Thiruvananthapuram. The Forum was inaugurated by the Rt. Rev. Dharmaraj Rasalam, Bishop in South Kerala Diocese and Kerala Regional Mission Chairman). He has urged the members to be empowered by the Holy Spirit in order to participate in the mission of God. The meeting for the constitution of Forum was represented by the delegates from Madhya Kerala, South Kerala, Kollam - Kottarakkara, Malabar, East Kerala Dioceses. Rev. Raju Jacob (Madhya Kerala) was selected as the Secretary for the KL-RMF and Mr. Stanley (Malabar Diocese) was selected as Coordinator for the Forum. Moreover, all the Mission Directors of six dioceses in Kerala will be the organizers of the Forum. It is decided to ensure the woman representation for the Forum from each Diocese. The KL-RMF will be an avenue to come- together to share the available resources for the smooth coordination and facilitation of missional engagements in regional level.
15. The KL-RMF in Kottayam-2019
The Kerala Regional Mission Forum was gathered at Baker Chapel, Kottayam on 30th August 2019. Rt. Rev. Dharmaraj Rasalam (Bishop in SKD & Kerala Regional Mission Chairman) has presided the Forum and encouraged the members to actively participate in the mission of God at any circumstances without considering any in-convenience. The Forum was represented by the delegates from all the dioceses of Kerala. As per the decision of previous Forum, Mr. Donald Lal (Board Sec. SKD) has presented a draft of working guidelines for the KL-RMF. The Forum has discussed on the draft and decided to finalize in the next Forum which will be held on 12th November 2019 at Changanassery, Kottayam. Furthermore, the Forum has decided to submit the working guidelines before the Synod Mission Board for further ratification. The Forum has decided to collect and compile old Missional songs for the present and future generations and also decided to organize an inter-diocesan mission exchange programs as well as missional workshops to equip all the members of the congregations to be missional.