NCCI joins NCDC to include Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims in Scheduled Caste list

 

The outcry of the Dalits has always been suppressed in different ways by the dominant hierarchical groups in India. The sheer interference in letting them accept a religion which breaks the bondage of caste and treats them equally comes in the limelight when it tries to uplift them from their suppression. But the tyranny of caste still remains with them as these chains does not leave them free. The reservation policies made to uplift the subaltern groups not only provides them a social status but also uplifts them from their social identity. In this times of trials and tribulations the Dalit Christians and Muslims have faced the termination of enjoying the equal rights which their brothers and sisters of similar identity holds in other faiths especially in Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh religions.

Read more

Call for applications to the post of NCCI Executive Secretary – Women Concerns Ministry

Copy of the advertisement of the NCCI calling for applications to the post of NCCI Executive Secretary – Women Concerns can be download here…

Please encourage suitable candidates to apply for the same.

Thanking you,

Sincerely,

Rev. Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary, NCCI

Vidarbha Centre for Labour Concerns Bounce Back to Life

Date: 6th March 2019

Venue: Vidharbha Centre for Labour Concerns (VCLC), Butibori

The youth and women living on the fringes are quite often ignored by the mainstream of the society. They are not provided opportunities to explore their potentials. Devoid of a domain to learn and an orifice to demonstrate their skills, add to the disheartenment of many youths and women. Discrimination prevails even within the margins. In a society where the earnings of man is given credence, the ability of the youths and women to bring about a change is undermined or rather not bothered at all. This concept is being inverted through a Youth and Women Program jointly conceived and executed by four institutions viz. National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), Church of North India – Social Service Institute (CNI-SSI), Mure Memorial Hospital and Christian Service Agency (CSA). As a part of this endeavour a Mobile Training Centre was inaugurated on 6th March 2019 at the Vidharbha Centre for Labour Concerns (VCLC), Butibori, Nagpur. The program aims to equip the youth and women of Tembhari village – Butibori.

The inauguration program witnessed officials from NCCI, CNI-SSI, Mure Memorial Hospital and the residents of Tembhari village. There were around 50 participants. The dignitaries present were; Mrs. Aradhana Upadhyay – Director – CNI-SSI; Mr. Rajesh Jadhav – Coordinator – VCLC; Mr. Jianthaolung Gonmei – Executive Secretary – Youth Concerns – NCCI; Dr. Pranit Kashyap and Dr. Swapnali Rao – Doctors of Mure Memorial Hospital. The program commenced with a brief introduction by Mrs. Aradhana Upadhyay concerning the Mobile Training Centre and the courses which would be offered i.e. tailoring, beautician, embroidering and electrical management. She encouraged the people present there to make use of the opportunity to the fullest and also to spread the information so that many more could avail this prospect. Followed by her speech, Mr. Rajesh Jadhav, Mr. Jianthaolung Gonmei and Dr. Pranit Kashyap expressed their wishes and prayers for the success of the program. The vote of thanks was proposed by Dr. Siddhart Bhange – CNI-SSI. Soon after the inauguration a medical camp was organized for the people under the aegis of the doctors from Mure Memorial hospital. To share the joy of this initiative sweets were distributed and everyone partook in the refreshments thereafter.

This program marks the renewed vigour of Vidarbha Centre for Labour Concerns which is an arm of NCCI-URM working among labours in Asia’s largest SEZ since 2002. Plans are afoot to further the work on rights, dignity of labours in the 12 districts in the Vidarbha Region of Maharashtra State.

Consultation on Ecumenical Formation and Capacity Building for Young Dalit, Tribal/Adivasi Theologians

National Council of Churches in India- Dalit and Tribal/ Adivasi Concerns
in partnership with
Henry Martyn Institute, Christian Service Agency and EMW Germany
 Consultation on Ecumenical Formation and Capacity Building for
 Young Dalit, Tribal/Adivasi Theologians
11-13 February 2019, Henry Martyn Institute, Hyderabad

The tyrannical social system of caste is creating a major disturbance in the society and community. Human dignity is being trampled ruthlessly every day. The Tribal communities as well who are the heart and soul of our civilizational heritage are being dDalitsisplaced in the guise of development to serve the vested interests of the dominants. In such a time as this the National Council of Churches in India – Dalit and Tribal/Adivasi Concerns reaffirms the divine praxis of liberation of human beings from the clutches of all dehumanizing forces at work so as to achieve authentic humanization ensuring each individual self-respect and dignity in the midst of systemic evils and structures which threaten the very existence of all lives on this planet. The intrinsic value of the entire cosmos needs to be reclaimed. These concerns were the subsistence of the consultation organized by the Dalit and Tribal/Adivasi Concerns of National Council of Churches in India on “Ecumenical Formation and Capacity Building for Young Dalit, Tribal/Adivasi Theologians” from 11-13 February 2019 at the Henry Martyn Institute, Hyderabad. The consultation bore witness to 39 delegates and 17 resource persons. 15 Theological Colleges affiliated to Senate of Serampore delegated their students for the consultation. Read more

Rev Dr Gnana Robinson passed away

The National Council of Churches in India is deeply saddened by the demise of Rev Dr Gnana Robinson, an eminent ecumenical leader in India. He was a visionary and an able leader who led many Christian institutions including the Untied Theological College, Bangalore and Tamil Nadu Theological Seminary, Madurai. He was also the founder president of the Peace Trust, Kanyakumari.

His ecumenical contributions are exemplary. Being an Old Testament professor, he proved his scholarly skills and inspired many students who became leaders of the Church now. He was keen on developing a second layer leadership in Indian Church. His passion for the liberation of the common masses in the southern hemisphere of the world had been expressed through his writings.

He left behind his wife Rev Florence Robinson and children Jeevan Robinson and Ratna Robinson. On behalf of the constituent bodies of NCCI, we convey our deep condolences to the bereaved family and pray that may God grant eternal peace to them.

NCCI Republic Day Message 2019: Let us Arise and build . . .

We have been a unique republic. It is with great joy and a sense of satisfaction that we look forward to another year, and many more, organising ourselves as a people – different and diverse, rich in heritage and righteous in spirit, sincerely hoping that we will sustain the legacy of this great nation for generations to come. Read more …

Rev. Asir Ebenezer

General Secretary

National Council of Churches in India

Secretary,

Christian Service Agency

NCCI invites all to be a part of Global Campaign “Thursday in Black”

 

Gender based violence is a universal and global issue that harms men, women and children in their most private arena. People often feel helpless and hopeless in the face of so much pain and injustice.

In 2011 a survey conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation has ranked India as the world’s most dangerous country for women to live in. However, we can all be involved in a simple but powerful campaign to address gender Based violence.

Thursdays in Black encourages everyone, men and women, to wear black every Thursday. This can be a campaign T-shirt, other black clothing or simply a campaign badge as a sign of their support.

Wearing black on Thursdays shows others that you are tired of putting up with violence, and calls for communities where we can all walk safely without fear; fear of being beaten up, fear of being verbally abused, fear of being raped, fear of discrimination. The campaign is not confined only to countries at war, but recognizes that violence takes many forms, including domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, incest, murder, female infanticide, genital mutilation, sexual harassment, discrimination and sex trafficking.

The Thursdays in Black campaign protests began in the 1970s and its roots lie in groups such as Mothers of the Disappeared in Argentina. These women began wearing black sashes in honor of their friends and family members who were disappearing, being raped, and abused. They would gather every Thursday in silence to protest the loss of loved ones under the military dictatorship, with the aim of raising the government’s awareness that these acts of violence were happening in their homeland. Other groups have developed including women who wanted to express outrage at the rape-death camps in war torn Bosnia, the Black Sash in South Africa and women who oppose the Israel occupation of the West Bank and ordinary woman all over the world.

In the 1980s, Thursdays in Black became an international human rights campaign supported by different organizations, groups and individual as a peaceful way of saying “I support the human right of women’s to live in a world without violence, rape and fear.”

National Council of Churches in India has been part of “Thursday in Black” campaign, and it acknowledges the churches, organizations, faith groups and individual who have been part of this campaign.

Jayalakshmi is a domestic violence survivor and her story is that of lakhs of other Indian women. That is why it needs to be told. 

https://www.womensweb.in/articles/domestic-violence-survivor-story/

National Council of Churches in India invites people to join this worldwide movement which enables the despair, pain and anger about rape and other forms of violence to be transformed into political action.

 

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2019 (Unity Octave)

Every year Christians across the world gather in prayer for growth in unity. We do this in a world where corruption, greed and injustice bring about inequality and division. Ours is a united prayer in a fractured world: this is powerful. However, as individual Christians and communities, we are often complicit with injustice, and yet we are called together to form a united witness for justice and to be a means of Christ’s healing grace for the brokenness of the world.

The theme for the 2019 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, “Justice and only justice you shall pursue”  is taken from the book of Deuteronomy 16:18-20.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2019 has been prepared by Christians from Indonesia. With a population of 265 million, 86% of whom are reckoned to be Muslim, Indonesia is well known as having the largest Muslim population of any country. However, about 10% of Indonesians are Christian from various traditions. In terms of both population and the vast extension of the country Indonesia is the biggest nation in South East Asia. It has more than 17,000 islands, 1,340 different ethnic groups and over 740 local languages and yet is united in its plurality by one national language Bahasa Indonesia. The articulations on the prayer themes have however been adapted to the Indian context by the NCCI Secretariat.

Churches all over the globe are called to work together to heal the wounds in the body of Christ. At the same time, need to discern God’s hand at work in bringing about reform, healing and liberation. In other words, churches should be together and work where God is.

Download the Week of Prayer 2019 for Christian Unity

 

To Everything Turn, Turn, Turn

December 31, 2018

To

All the Constituent Members of NCCI
Dear Ecumenical Fraternity,
Greetings in Christ from the NCCI Secretariat!
As 2018 comes to a close, 2019 dawns on us with 365 days of challenges and  opportunities, changes and hopes. In such a context, the NCCI will be blessed with a new General Secretary in the person of Rev. Asir Ebenezer. As he takes on this responsibility, he brings to it several years of experience as a church minister, ecumenist, and societal change maker, along with his multi-faceted talents, particularly his administrative acumen and incisive leadership.
I have had the privilege of serving the NCCI for eight years (December 2010- December 2018). It has been a time of challenges and opportunities working together with all the Secretaries, Staff, and Interns, as well as with the NCCI Office Bearers, Executive Committee and General Body Members and all other committee members and the people of God at large.  During my time  we have focused our ministries on the themes of the three quadrenniums: “Together in Mission: Empowering Local Congregations” (2008-2012)”The Gospel in a Groaning World”(2012-2016) and “Towards Just and Inclusive Communities” (2016 -2020). We have also celebrated the centenary of the NCCI in 2014 on the theme”Towards Integral Mission and Grass-roots Ecumenism.”
I am grateful to all of you for enabling me to serve as a steward in this ecumenical journey of NCCI. Above all, I am grateful to God, within whom we live and move and have our being, as we endeavor to give expression to and experience the Nazareth Manifesto of Jesus (Luke 4:18-19).
Roger Gaikwad
Rev. Asir Ebenezer

Manger on the Streets: Nativity in 2018

National Council of Churches in India

Christmas Programme – 2018

Manger on the Streets

Venue: Srishti Lawn, NCCI Campus                            Date: 18/12/2018                 Time: 6:00 pm

 

“We need to fight for the sick child, the woman in sanctuary, the migrant family, the transgender teenager, the homeless veteran, the young black man at the traffic stop,; because when we do, we are perpetuating the heart of the Middle Eastern child, born under duress, amid the smell of damn straw and animal dung—the one who turned the world upside down in the name of a compassion that knew no borders and a love that had no walls.”

                                                                                                                                                -John Pavlovitz

 

Introduction

Narrator:

Good Evening!! Christmas is on the verge. What is Christmas?Is it yet another festive of celebration? Certainly not. It is an emotion. It is a harvest of memory of God acknowledging God’s humanity and humans realizing their divinity. Christmas is when Christ – the Creativity of God – took flesh in Jesus. So come let us try to comprehend the incomprehensible mystery of Incarnation.

SCENE 1

Skit: Christ – less Christmas

(A woman hears the voice of Jesus expressing his desire to dine in her home. The woman feels overwhelmed and starts cleaning her house. Meanwhile she makes calls to her friends and a photographer as well. Later she hears a knock at the door and opens it to find Jesus. She warmly welcomes him. Soon her friends also drop in and the woman introduces them to Jesus. Finally the photographer arrives and all of them get ready for a group photo with Jesus. The photographer says that the frame does not accommodate everyone and hence one should move. None of them agrees to move out of the frame and eventually Jesus himself leaves and stands at the fringe. Then the photo is clicked without Jesus.) 

Moral: Christmas seems to have lost its anamnesis. The paraphernalia commemorating its memories are at sale but too expensive for the commons. Market has usurped the manger. In the pomp and gaiety of the celebrations of Christmas we often push Christ to the periphery and thus our Christmas turns out to be a Christ – less Christmas.

SCENE 2

Flashback

Narrator:Who is this Christ Jesus secluded on the fringe? Shall we take a re-look at his birth.

One fine day, off-the-wall, trees blossomed, birds chirped like never before, wind blew bearing the aroma of flowers, the sky poured out his love through the clouds and the earth drenched in it, spread her fragrance all throughout. The entire cosmos stood in awe on seeing its Creator, Creativity and Animator. Jesus, him we call. The True Human.

We re-imagine the birth of Jesus on the Streets.

Mary: May Peace be upon all of you as we welcome you to celebrate the birth of our child Jesus the Christ. We are the children of the street, we bear the stench of exclusion, our clothes are tattered and stained, we have nothing to offer than our sweat and blood, yet God chose to incarnate on the streets among us. Today the streets are blessed.The womb of a woman has become the site of inception of the Salvation of the World.

Joseph: Come and witness you people how God has sanctified the profane, how the wise and wealthy have been put to shame, how the powerful and complacent are mocked and how the ethos of the margins are acknowledged and upheld. The Light of the world has been born in the darkness of the streets. We are overwhelmed and thank God for this subversive act. We shall pray;

The God who sees we thank you for looking at us with utmost mercy and compassion. We understand that we encounter you in places we least expect. In the face of infant Jesus we see your radiance that penetrates deep into our being. In his eyes we see your unconditional love towards creation. May we perceive all things through his eyes so that we explore the unexplored beauty of this world. Help us to grow along with your Son so that we renew ourselves. In Christ Jesus we find the embodiment of the impoverished, the excluded, the homeless, the refugee and the outcast. May our pilgrimage with Christ enlighten us to embrace all so as to flourish our intrinsic humanity. For Christ’s sake we pray. Amen

Mary: It’s time to celebrate. Come let’s sing and dance for the Savior is born today.

Read more