Ecumenical Dhorom Sabha (EDS) was organized by the Santalia Council of Churches (SCC) from October 14 – 16, 2016 at Jidato Mission Compound, Pakur, Santal Parganas, Jharkhand. The theme of the programme was based on Mathew 19:19 Love your neighbor as yourself. The Methodist Church in India (Pakur & Birbhum District) was the official host of this mega event which witnessed a gathering of about 2000 delegates from the three member Churches – Methodist Church in India (MCI), Church of North India (CNI) & Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church (NELC) from Assam, Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand.
The programme officially began in the morning of October 14 with a procession led by a musical band playing hyms, from the Jidato Methodist Church to the venue covering the main road and the market area. This was a great show of unity for Christians when we are going through a time of turmoil because right wing forces are constantly blaming us for conversions. The EDS 2016 was declared open by our Chief Guest Rev. Caesar David from the NCCI through a Ribbon cutting ceremony, after which Flags of all the three Churches were hoisted along with that of the SCC in the venue.
The inaugural session witnessed representation from all the three churches, the NCCI and the officials of the Santalia Council of Churches. Welcome address was given by Mr. Joy Raj Eric Tudu, Secretary, Santalia Council of Churches.The Key note Speech was delivered by Mr. Raja McGee, Executive Secretary, Bengal Regional Conference of the MCI. Rev. Emmanuel Chitrakar, D.S, MCI, Rev. Francis Hansdak, CNI, and Mr. Marsellius Hansdak from NELC were the official representatives of the three member churches present during the inaugural session. Rev. Roshan Hansdak, Treasurer of the Santalia Council of Churches moderated the inaugural session.
Rev. Benjamin Soren, Vice President, Santalia Council of Churches and Rev. Ramesh C. Kisku, Asst. Secretary, SCC were also present at this event. However, our President, Most. Rev. S. Soren could not participate due to his illness.
It was of great honour to have Mrs Basanti Biswas, Member of the Ex. Com. of NCCI in our midst who also shared greetings on behalf of the NCCI.
We are thankfulto Dr. Anil Murmu, MLA for participating in this Dhorom Sabha and supporting us throughout.
The three days programme had speakers from all the three member churches namely, Rev. Stephen Murmu, Principal, Santal Theological College, NELC, Rev. Emmauel Chitrakar, D. S, MCI, Dr. Esmael Murmu, Prof. STC, NELC and Rev. Pradip Hansdak, CNI. The main speaker of the event was Rev. Caesar David who spoke on the theme of the EDS 2016.The programme also included opportunities for cultural expressions and a song competition and the winners of the same were awarded certificates of appreciation by the SCC. The highlight of the EDS 2016 was the closing Sunday Worship which was jointly hosted by the Pastors of all the three Churches.
The following people played an important role in convening the programme:
Rev. Emmanuel Chitrakar, Chief Convenor,Mr. Rajesh Besra – Programme Committee, Mrs. Neetu Hazra – Reception Committee, Ms. Purnima Ghosh – Arrangement Committee, Ms. Shukla Dutta – Food Committee and Rev. Roshan Hansdak – Finance Committee.
The EDS 2016 was a self sponsored event which was financed by donations collected from individuals and families of the member congregations. The SCC remains thankful to the local host committee of the MCI for the success of this mega event. It is indeed a matter of great pride and immence joy that the SCC has been able to facilitate unity and good networking among the Santal Churches in India.
Joy Raj Eric Tudu
Secretary – Santalia Council of Churches