The National Council of Churches in India and the Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action has jointly initiated a pilot programme with four local congregations to address the climate justice issue, thereby accompanying them in their journey towards becoming ‘green congregations’. This programme is an outcome of the National Church Leaders’ Consultation on ‘Ecumenical Diaconia at the Grassroots’ held from 24 -26 August 2015 in Bangalore.
Since there has been a long standing concern to strengthen churches in North India, the four local congregations belonging to NCCI Member churches come mainly from this region. The four congregations are part of the Church of North India (Amritsar Diocese), Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church (Ranchi) Hindustani Covenant Church (Pune) and Methodist Church in India (Delhi Conference).
In order to launch this programme, NCCI and CASA jointly organized a workshop for the responsible persons from the above mentioned churches on ‘Congregation Based Diaconia: Towards Climate Justice’ on 3 – 4 August 2016, at CNI Bhavan, Delhi, India. There were twenty participants including women, youth, lay and clergy from these four local congregations. They will constitute the nucleus of their own congregations in implementing the climate justice programme in their respective grass-roots contexts.
This pilot programme aims at developing a mature understanding of Ecumenical Diaconia at the grassroots, and to evolve relevant diaconal and missional interventions at the local congregational level, addressing the issue of climate justice from devotional faith, theological, ministerial and missional perspectives, in the context of un-earth-friendly ‘growth’, ‘development’ and ‘globalization’ policies of the governments. The underlying principle is that of being responsible stewards of God’s ‘good’ creation.
In the course of one year, the four local congregations will start a process and cultivate a life-style of becoming green communities of love, justice and inclusivity. They will thus be expected to become torch bearers for local congregations all over the country who will follow their example.
Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, Dr. Sushant Agrawal, Ms. Ruth Yamima Kachhap, Ms. Prita Samantaroy, Mr. Sanjiv Tigga, Ms. Ekta Lall and Rev. R. Christopher Rajkumar facilitated various sessions in this workshop.
Rev. R. Christopher Rajkumar
National Council of Churches in India
Ms. Ekta Lall
Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action