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
EMS General Meeting adopts a strategy for 2021-2026.
Churches from India and Indonesia become EMS guest members.
(Stuttgart, 18 November 2020) Adv. C. Fernandas Rathina Raja, the General Secretary of the Church of South India (CSI) Represented the Church in the General Meeting of the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS) which was held online for the first time in 33 years. The meeting agreed to expand their association by accepting two churches as guest members. For the time being, the Church of North India (CNI) and the Protestant Church of West Sulawesi (GKSB) will have a guest status for the next two years and may take part in all EMS programmes. However, they will have no voting rights in association bodies and will receive no financial support for projects during this time. A decision regarding the final inclusion of the two churches will be taken at the next EMS General Meeting in 2022. The General Meeting also adopted the strategy for the next six years and scheduled the dates for the celebrations of its 50th anniversary.
The Church of North India (CNI) has about 2.2 million members in 4,500 congregations served by around 2,150 male ministers and 56 female ministers. The CNI extends over 22 of the 28 Indian states. The CNI was inaugurated in 1970 by the union of six churches of different Protestant denominations and runs 564 schools. For the past 30 years, it has maintained partnerships with the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau (EKHN) and the education fund of the Evangelical Church of Kurhessen-Waldeck (EKKW).
The Christian Church of West Sulawesi (GKSB) split from the Toraja Mamasa Church in Sulawesi in 1977 due to the enormous distances involved. Its 19,200 members live in 105 congregations in the rural areas of West, South and Central Sulawesi. They are served by 44 male ministers and five female ministers. In 2012, the GKSB founded a Theological College to remedy the most pressing problem of the lack of ministers. At present, 80 young people attend college.
The future strategy of the EMS for 2021-2026 is based on the slogan “Free for the future”. Among the strategic aims are the expansion of participation and the internationalisation of all work areas. It is the intention of the EMS to evolve as a “learning association" and to find new approaches to issues such as communication and visibility.
The EMS Anniversary Year will start on 16 September 2021 with a Theological Conference hosted by the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. During the following twelve months, the EMS Anniversary Year will be celebrated according to Luke 4:18 with events such as a youth festival. It will end with a thanksgiving service and an international reception at the Hospitalhof conference centre in Stuttgart on 16 September 2022. The Hospitalhof was the birthplace of the “Evangelical Mission Society in South-West Germany” on 16 September 1972.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the General Meeting for the delegates of all EMS member churches took place for the first time online at the end of last week. The EMS General Meeting, which welcomes delegates from the 28 members convenes every two years. It is the key body of the EMS and decides the association’s orientation and long-term strategy.
Report based on the Press release from Ms. Regina Karasch, Print Editor, EMS.