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"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

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Explore the Unexplored Communities for the Radical Transformation: Missionaries Retreat in Nazareth Mission & Evangelism

Chennai: ‘It is the need of the hour to explore the unexplored communities to enhance their capacities towards the radical transformation’ was the total notion of the Missionaries Retreat organized from 28th -30th November 2018 at Art Industrial School, Nazareth in Thoothukudi Nazareth Diocese. The Rt. Rev. Dr. S. E. C. Devasahayam has led the Retreat.

“Today’s Missionaries have to be energized by the passion of former missionaries, especially Canon Arthur Margoschis who has sacrificed his life for the radical transformation of the society”, said Bishop Devasahayam during his speeches in Missionary Retreat. Bishop further added that all the developments what we are enjoying nowadays are the contributions of former missionaries. Their selfless services and sacrificial missional engagements transformed the community thus far. Without any whining, it is our bounden duty to uphold the same spirit and serve the community for further transformation without any reservations.

“We are blessed in many ways in order to be a blessing to others”, said Rev. A. Aruldas, Madhurai-Ramnadu Diocese, during his sessions in the retreat. He further added that we are empowering day by day by the presence of God in order to empower others, especially most vulnerable. As missionaries, we have representing identity and we should witness gospel through life and act as an ambassador of God, he added.

“Missionaries are the salt and light to the whole world”, highlighted Rev. Maxcin John during his sessions in the retreat. He added that it is not any matter of privileges, rather, it is the matter of responsible, accountable and transparent presence in the community for the sustainable transformation. We should uphold an otherness in our action and attitude and ready to see and hear the groaning voice of last, least and lost for their sustainable existence, he added.

Global Missionary Society (GMS) in Thoothukudy- Nazareth Diocese and Synod Mission Department have jointly organized the retreat. Rev. Dr. S.J. Jesuspadam (General Secretary, GSM), and Rev. D. G. A Thomas (GSM Coordinator) have led the retreat in a meaningful way. Mrs. Shanthini Devasahayam, Diocesan Officers such as Rev. J.S. Devaraj Njanasing (Vice-Chairman), Rev. P. Mosses Japaraj (Clergy Secretary), Mr.Pon Durairaj( Treasurer), Mr. Stephen( Principal, Art Industrial School), Rev. S. Edwin Jebaraj( Council Chairman), Rev.John Samuel ( Youth Director), Rev.Michael Raj( Social Welfare Director), Pastors, Catechists and Missionaries and their families have attended the retreat. One hundred and fifty participants were attended including women and children.

Along with Retreat, there were ‘Pothukoottam’ (Public Meeting) in different churches in Nazareth Areas such as St. Michael and All Angels Church, Muthallur, Transfiguration Church, Pillai Manai, and St.Paul’s Church, Veignanampuram. It was the platform for preaching and missional talent shows which boosted the fellowship and missional enthusiasm. A Holy Communion Service also conducted in Nazareth Cathedral.

 Retreat for the missionaries was the venue for learning, unlearning and relearning. It was also time for mutual listening and fellowship. Retreat helped a lot to revisit, reexamine and relook into the missional doings and was the opportunity to reform, renew, and rejuvenate in doing mission in the days to come.

Reported by

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