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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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Discussions and Deliberations Make the Parallel Group Sessions Lively and Meaningful in the Triennial Pastors Conference of CSI Pastoral Concerns

The parallel sessions in which around 600 pastors of the Church of South India are divided into three groups, became the venues of heated deliberations, passionate discussions, and sincere suggestions on the inaugural day of the Triennial Pastors Conference organized by the Pastoral Concerns Department of the CSI at Kanyakumari under the overarching theme, ‘Celebrating Transformative Patoralia’.

Group 1 “Gender Equity and Women’s Ordination: Challenges and Possibilities”
The discussion in the first group on the theme “Gender Equity and Women’s Ordination: Challenges and Possibilities” was moderated by Rev. Maxcin John and was led by Rev. Mrs Jessie Ranjan from Karnataka Central Diocese. Rev. Mrs Jessie said that gender equity is distributed by the world and that people’s perspective about women’s ordination and mistreatment brings about a greater gap in the equality of gender. She then explained about “Human Rights” according to UNO and asked people to come out of a stereotypical sense of traditional “gender construct” and to wholly understand God’s purposes. She then said that gender equality is also known as sexual equality of the sexes; she further explained economic participation and decision-making to evaluate the difference in behaviours, aspirations regardless of gender. She concluded saying that when a man tells that there is no part in property there is no equality.

Group 2 “Perspectives on Advocacy for Transformation” was moderated by Rt. Rev. Dr J. George Stephen and the session was led by Dr Manoj Kurien, Coordinator, World Council of Churches, EAA, he explicated about advocacy and that advocacy would bring about an international change through active priority groups. He then said that everyone should be empowered through social advocacy. He concluded saying that we all need new strategies for transformation and that we must first repent for transformation. Dr Manoj Kurian, Coordinator, WCC-EAA, said that for drastic changes people need leadership, especially the leadership of the Bishops. He said that changes are happening where urbanization takes place and gave a lot of examples of mission work that took place throughout Southern India. He said that certain Christian movements take place just for namesake without following their corresponding actions. He said that when Christians forget to raise their voice for the oppressed and speak up against injustice, it is no longer a movement and concluded saying that as Christian leaders we must be an inspiring example to the nation advocating for justice and not injustice.

Group 3 “Psychodynamic Approach to Transformation” The session was moderated by Rt. Rev. Timothy Ravinder and was led by Dr Magdalene Jeyarathnam, she said that the psyche of each person differs and varies from each other. She then said that most of the conflicts happen because of victimization where one person would victimize another person to transfer their pain, this follows and forms like a chain reaction victimizing one after the other. She then said that suicide rate in Tamil Nadu and Andhra are very high and can be treated with “psycho-traumatic theory’ and insisted everyone be in touch with their own experiences in life for a guiding light. She helped the participants to recollect their childhood memories through interactive methods. She concluded saying that we need to find NGO’s of different concerns and connect with them to help people, she said that it is very important to pray, but also to step down and work for the people. The rapporteur replied saying that according to Dr Magdalene Jeyarathnam today all are defined by their childhood and that pastors have to serve communities through challenges and also by networking with various NGO’s.

Reported by the CSI Pastoral Concerns Dept. Team

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