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The Hour has Come to Arise and Act for “Oikumene”: CSI Mission Directors Meet 2018. Mission & Evangelism

Chennai: “The Hour has come to arise and act for ‘Oikumene’- The Family of God which includes all” was the dynamic Missional Call and Challenge raised by The Most Rev. Thomas K Oommen, Moderator, Church of South India and the Rev. Dr. Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, General Secretary, Church of South India during the CSI Mission Directors and Board Members Meet-2018.

CSI Mission Directors and Synod Mission Board Members Meet along with Mission Equipping Program was organized by the Department of Mission and Evangelism, CSI Synod on 29th -31st October 2018 at CSI Synod Centre, Royapettah Chennai. The Meet was based on the theme “Equipping Missionaries Towards Building Christ Communities”. It was also the Training of Trainers to “Enhance the Capacities of Congregation to Become Missional Congregation”.

“The Hour has come to act”, enthusiastically prompted by The Most Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, Moderator, Church of South India during the Inaugural Address. Moderator further added that fight against the darkness is Mission. The mission is the love of God. Cross must be the experience of the missional activities. Again, the mission is a search for our brothers and sisters those who are living around us. After long decades, India has opened doors for Evangelism. Many evil things are going on as the power of darkness. So, the hour has come to act. With much patience and perseverance, we must encounter with the agonies and pains of people and creation for the radical transformation, added Moderator.

“We are invited to become part of God’s Home- ‘Oikumene’” strongly emphasized by the Rev.Dr.Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, General Secretary, Church of South India while he was delivering the key-Note Address in Directors Meet. He further added that Mission is to become part of God’s oikumene. It is for all created being. Each one has space and room in this home. It is an inclusive home, the home of everybody. There are homeless people and wandering people still searching for Home and searching for belongingness. It is the Missional Challenge to build home among the people. Through the Missional activities we must empower others to have hope to face their life struggles. Church should be sensible as well as sensitive to the needs of the community. Church must be the center of transformation. Church should celebrate the liturgy of koinonia in streets. We must promote equality. Church should make sure dignity and honor of all. It should be everyday experience.  We should be ready to make a home for everybody, General Secretary meaningfully added.

Morning Worship has led by Rev. K. James Cecil Victor, Director, Pastoral Aid Department. A homily was given by Rev. Sunil Raj Philip, Director for Synod Communication and Adivasi and Dalit Department. “Amalgamation of love and action must be today's Mission,” said Rev. Sunil Raj Philip during his homily based on Luke 4: 16-21. The mission is all about crossing boundaries. Not only talking about Jesus, but we also need to be with people to witness Jesus Christ through our words and action. The mission is Christian responsibility to all others. We don’t confine our Mission to any spots. We should reach as much as possible. Preaching to the poor is to share the resources. We must raise our prophetic voices to the liberation of captives. Accompany with captives and stood strong against the oppressors are equally important, added Rev. Sunil Raj Philip.

“Whoever is oppressed, God belongs to them,” said Rev. Dr. John Samuel Ponnusamy, Principal, Gurukul Theological Seminary, Chennai, during his session based on “Mission in the context of Inter-Faith Context”. One humanity and one creation must be our driving focus. Not only proclamation, but we must also witness or live out the gospel through our actions and words.  Jesus Christ was always for others and for the whole world without any divisions. Therefore, Mission should be for everybody. Through the Mission, we need to promote justice and peace to all the creation, added Rev. John Samuel.

“We are the channels and mediums to propagate Gospel of Christ”, said Rev. Christopher Vijayan, NMSI General Secretary in his session on “Towards Mission Strategies in the Present Context”. He has added that “strategy of Mission is all about our life and the something we have to live out”. He further stated that Mission should be indigenous. We must cherish the spirit of oneness. We should discourage any kind of duplication of Missionary activities, rather, we should encourage real networking among like-minded Missional Groups. We are not for competition, but for complimenting each other. Moreover, we should participate in the Nation Building Programs. The church should act as a transformational agent and should be role model to others through credibility and integrity. Through the ‘diakonia’, we should try to transform our living community, Rev. Christopher Vijayan added.

The meeting was presided over by Rt.Rev.J.J. Christhudoss, Chairman, Department of Mission and Evangelism, Church of South India, Synod. During the presidential address, Bishop underlined that “Mission is Church and there is no church without Mission”. Love is the heart of Mission, added Bishop. Rev. Maxcin John, Synod Mission Director has given introductory remarks. He reminded that Church has no Mission other than Luke 4: 18-19. Furthermore, Church has no any missional challenges other than Mathew 25: 36-46 and moreover, the church has no any missional attitudes other than Philippians 2: 1-6.

During the Inaugural Session, Department of Mission and Evangelism has specially honoured Rev. Christopher Vijayan, NMSI General Secretary and Rev. Asir Ebenezer, NCCI General Secretary Elect at the great achievement of their new offices.

A sapling was also planted in the Synod Compound by the resource persons along with delegates as a Memorial Tree of CSI Mission Directors Meet-2018

Reported by

Rev.Maxcin John, Director for the Department of Mission and Evangelism, CSI Synod.

Mission Directors Meet Photos_October 2018_Day 1
Mission Directors Meet Photos_October 2018_Day 2 

Mission Directors Meet Photos_October 2018_Day 3