The National Council of Churches in India – Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment organized “Christmas of People with Disabilities” on 1st December 2018 at the NCCI Campus, Civil Lines, Nagpur. This is an annual celebration of the Children with Disabilities celebrating Christmas for others. This celebration is organized on the eve of the Advent (Christmas) Season every year, thereby setting off Christmas Celebrations in the city.
This celebration is to remember a child (Jesus) who was born during the cold winter in the wilderness of Judea as a migrant child. His birth heralded glad tidings of great Joy to all creation; the joy of inclusion and social justice – the justice of bringing the wise men and shepherds together. Thus, began the Christmas celebration, in the NCCI campus, with a gathering of over 350 people including over 200 Children and People with Disabilities; it was indeed a grand event. The children with disabilities and the persons with disabilities, who gave expression to the good news of the season, ornamented this celebration. The Children with Disabilities (CWD) in particular, enthralled the audience with their dances, songs and enactments, through which they declared the Gospel of inclusion to the people present at the celebration.
Several faith-based and secular organizations that promote, propagate and inculcate the culture of inclusivity in the societies at large, participated in this celebration, namely Ashirwad Kanti, Jeevoday Special School, Prerana Social Development Welfare Soci
ety, Untkhana – Home for the Aged and Disabled, SAKSHAM, CNI – Social Service Institute, Shramdeep, St. Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary and Talking Hands Restaurant.
The Story of Christmas and the message on inclusions were articulated in a manner in which the Children with Disabilities understood it. They showcased an Autistic Joseph, a Down-Syndrome Mary, a Commodified Baby Jesus, and Santa on a Wheel-Chair. This radical yet conventional Christmas message intrigued the hearts of the ‘abled-audience’ who attended the Christmas Extravaganza. At the end of the program the CWDs and PWDs received gifts from the hands of the Santa on wheel-chair.
Institute on Disability
19 – 22 November 2018, Nagpur
The Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment of the National Council of Churches in India in partnership with the World Council of Churches – Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network, Church of Scotland- World Mission Council, Asia CMS and Christian Service Agency organised an Institute on Disability at the Mission India Theological Seminary Campus, Nagpur on 19 – 22 November 2018.
Sixty seven participants from different walks of life including Rights Defenders, Activists, Care-givers, Clerics, Academicians, Researchers, Development Practitioners and Community Leaders representing 37 organisations, including 18 persons with disabilities, participated in this institute.
The institute focused on the theme “Walking Together with People with Disabilities: Serving Justice, Peace and Inclusion.” This theme was highlighted from different viewpoints, such as Scanning the Disability Contexts from the societal, legal and medical perspectives as well as from different faith perspectives, pondering on questions such as: “How do religious scriptures address disability? How do the religions look at PWDs ? Are religious worshiping places accessible and inclusive? The Disability concerns were also looked at from the struggles of the marginalized sections of society, through reflections on Caste and Disability, Gender and Disability and Indigenous views on disability. Another session dealt with bio-ethics and socio-spiritual ethics and disability. Further, the institute discussed about the educational, employment and social protection schemes related to PWDs and modern approaches to disability. There were times of sharing of faith stories by the PWDs and their siblings along with a session facilitating the participants to read the scriptures from the eyes and experiences of the PWDs.
National Council of Churches in India
Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment (NCCI -IDEA)
The NCCI – Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment is annually organizing the Christmas Celebration of the People with Disabilities on the eve of Advent Sunday. This year it falls on the 1st December 2018 (Saturday). We would encourage all our constituent members and related stake holders and partners to organise similar programmes. If you are around Nagpur, please join us on 1st December evening.
We would happy to have you with family and friends to this celebration and encourage the Children with Disabilities and their parents.
Looking forward to meeting you,
Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad
President, NCCI – IDEA
General Secretary – NCCI
Rev. R. Christopher Rajkumar,
Director, NCCI -IDEA
Executive Secretary, NCCI – Unity & Mission
From 25 November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to 10 December (Human Rights Day), the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.
For far too long, impunity, silence and stigma have allowed violence against women to escalate to pandemic proportions—one in three women worldwide experience gender-based violence.
The time for change is here and now.
In recent years, the voices of survivors and activists, through campaigns such as #MeToo, #TimesUp, #Niunamenos, #NotOneMore, #BalanceTonPorc and others, have reached a crescendo that cannot be silenced any more. Advocates understand that while the names and contexts may differ across geographic locations, women and girls everywhere are experiencing extensive abuse and their stories need to be brought to light.
This is why the UNiTE Campaign’s global advocacy theme this year is: Orange the World: #HearMeToo
Under the theme Orange the World: #HearMeToo, the UNiTE partners are encouraged to host events with local, national, regional and global women’s movements, survivor advocates and women human rights defenders and create opportunities for dialogue between activists, policy-makers and the public. As in previous years, the colour orange will be a key theme unifying all activities, with buildings and landmarks lit and decorated in orange to bring global attention to the initiative.
The NCCI urges Churches, Women Fellowships, Christian Organizations, Related Agencies, and Regional Councils, to get involved in this campaign. This Campaign may be observed in different ways, such as articulating contextual themes/slogans for the 16 days, organizing Prayer meetings, Bible Studies, processions, poster campaigns, street theatres, and other Advocacy Programmes.
NCCI Women Concerns has been advocating the campaign:
365 Days of Zero Tolerance to Gender Based Violence : Make it Happen Now!!!
The Telugu Baptist Women’s Convention (TBWC) was established in 1918 in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh. All the Telugu Speaking Baptist Church women are the members of TBWC. Geographically the TBWC is divided into five Regions (Southern Region, Northern Region, Central Region, Western Region and Deccan Region) and 30 Fields. More than 1001 Baptist Churches are members of TBWC. There are more than 2,00,000 Telugu Baptist Women in the four States of India.
According to its Constitution, the TBWC is an Autonomous Body. It has it’s own Executive committee, elected by the General body of TBWC. The TBWC is however ecumenically related to the churches in the 5 regions.
This year the TBWC Centenary Celebrations were held in Stantan Memorial Baptist Church, Kurnool, A.P from 17th to 19th October 2018. It was attended by 2070 delegates. The celebration was graced by ecumenical leaders including:
1. Rev.Dr.Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary, National Council of Churches in India
2. Rev.Dr.Prof.Thathapudi Immanel, Secretary, Board of Theological Education of the Senate of Serampore College
3. Rev.Dr.A.J.Prabhakar, Principal, Andhra Christian Theological College
4. Rev.Mrs.Pankaja Manilal, Vice President, Association of Theologically Trained Women in India
5. Mrs.Elizabeth Joseph,Treasurer, ATTWI
6. Bishop Pushpalalitha, Nandyal Diocese, Church of South India
7. Rev. Dr. R. R. D. Sajeevaraj, Board Chairman, ACTC
During the centenary celebration, 7 Women were ordained for full time ministry. Today there are 100 Ordained women in TBWC. This is a major achievement for women among Telugu Baptist churches.
The Theme of the centenary convention was :
Celebrating the Legacy,
Visioning the Future.
Living the Jubilee
All the speakers are delivered wonderful messages. God was glorified through their Spirit filled preaching.
The Host Church provided wonderful and comfortable accommodation to all the 2070 delegates.
Rev. Dr. P. SyamalaSukumar,
Executive Secretary TBWC,
Theme: “God of the Disabled:
Walking Together, Serving Justice, Peace and Inclusion”
NCCI –IDEA (Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment) is an Ecumenical Initiative of the National Council of Churches in India, accompanied by Unity and Mission. NCCI – IDEA theologically motivates ministerial interventions of its constituencies by encouraging and facilitating the Indian Churches to be inclusive and disabled-friendly. Considering the importance of inclusivity, the XXVIII Quadrennial Assembly of NCCI has chosen the theme ‘Towards Just and Inclusive Communities” for this Quadrennial. Thus, the Members of NCCI are being encouraged to ensure that their ministerial interventions result in inclusivity.
NCCI-IDEA has been a facilitator of conversations with communities in the Church and Society with regard to advocacy for disability rights. Considering the importance of observing this day, the NCCI Executive Committee in 2011 officially approved of designating the Sunday before the Advent as Disability Advocacy Sunday (DAS), since 3rd December is the International Day of People with Disability.
Since 2009, DAS is being organized by NCCI–IDEA along with ecumenical organizations, local congregations and institutions both locally and globally.
From its inception, DAS is focused on promoting and inculcating the value of ‘An Inclusive Church’, urging the Church to serve as an ‘accompanier’ of PWDs, seeking justice ‘for’, ‘by’ and ‘with’ persons with disabilities. Surveying the past celebrations / observations and the positive responses from the Churches and the local congregations regarding the observance of DAS, NCCI-IDEA expects that the congregations are becoming more open to PWDs and are more Disabled-Friendly.
DAS works on a theme every year. This year’s theme is “God of the Disabled: Walking together, Serving Justice, Peace and Inclusion”. This theme was selected to join the World Council of Churches’ 70th year ecumenical pilgrimage of Justice and Peace.
Every year, NCCI – IDEA assists the Churches and the Congregations by preparing an Order of Worship for DAS observances. Since, this year, 25th November 2018 is the Sunday prior to the Advent season, IDEA recommends and encourages churches to observe it as DAS. In case, if anyone is not able to observe DAS on 25th November, please feel free to observe any Sunday that is convenient to you and your congregations.
As indicated earlier, NCCI – IDEA’s DAS has inspired several global communities, congregations and organisations through global partnerships to advocate the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. The World Council of Churches – Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network (WCC – EDAN), the Christian Conference of Asia’s – Asian Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network (CCA – AEDA), Church of Scotland (Board of Overseas Ministries) and ASIA CMS, are joining in the campaign. Therefore, we encourage each and everyone to be part of the campaign and observe this year’s Disability Advocacy Sunday.
Christmas of the Disabled:
We are also glad to inform you that NCCI-IDEA organises ‘Christmas of the Disabled’ every year. This is a unique Christmas programme organised and conducted by Children and Youth with disabilities for others. This is organised on the eve of Advent Sunday every year. We are planning to organize this day on 2nd December 2018. Therefore, we encourage you to organize this day, and celebrate along with us in your respective Churches and Congregations.
Kindly share with us inspirational stories and experiences of divine interventions through DAS 2018 in your Church or Congregation.
Download the DAS 2018 Poster
With Prayer and Good Wishes,
|Rt. Rev. Dr. P. C. Singh
|Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad
NCCI General Secretary
Rev. R. Christopher Rajkumar
Executive Secretary -Unity and Mission, NCCI
A brief report of the Ecumenical Peace Consultation and Workshop held at Guwahati during 29th – 31st October 2018.Jointly organized by NEI-Action Desk – NCCI (National Council of Churches in India, CBCNEI (Council of Baptist Churches in North East India), APBF (Asia Pacific Baptist Federation), JPMT (Joint Peace Mission Team) NEISF (North East India Social Forum)
A three day Ecumenical Peace Consultation and Workshop was organized at CBCNEI Conference Hall under the theme Cultivate and Create a Culture of Compassionate Christian Community in the North East India: the 6 C’s. Around 57 delegates from various North East States from various backgrounds and professions such as Church leaders, missionaries, principals, theological students, teachers, peace activists, social workers and students pursuing M.A in Peace Studies took part in the program. During the three day consultation and workshop the participants were inspired and taught how compassion within the community can play an important role in bringing peace in the Northeast states of India.
There were three key note speakers for each day on day 1 Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil gave the key note on the topic “Creating a Compassionate Community”. On Day 2 Rev. Steve Smith delivered the key note on the topic “Compassionate Communities”. On Day 3, Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad General Secretary of NCCI gave the key note on the topic “Institutionalizing Compassion”. Apart from the Key note addresses there were also panel presentations and discussions each day on various concerns of Peace. The group of panelists were: Elungkiebe Zeliang, Malthyus Sangma, Dr. Gangtei, Fr. Owen, Mukul Bora, Allen Brooks, Amrit Goldsmith and V. Shitovi Sema. Based on the three key note addresses and the sharing of all the panelists the participants took part in various brainstorming workshops which helped all the participants to articulate and bring out a declaration note on the final day as a sign of their commitment to work in creating compassionate communities, indeed to be channels of sharing compassion, thereby facilitating a societies of Peace and Justice.
Asian Church Women’s Conference organized the 16th Quadrennial General Assembly and 60th anniversary of ACWC at The Church of Christ in Thailand (CCT), Bangkok on October 3 – 8, 2018. The theme for the Assembly was “Now Choose Life, Change our Ways and Actions”. ACWC voting Delegates and Observers of ACWC and members of the International Committee of the Fellowship of the Least Coin (ICFLC) participated in the Assembly. We, Mrs. Wellorich Sohkhlet, Presbyterian Church of India, Mrs. Sushma Tirkey, Gossener Evangelical Lutheran Church, Jharkhand and Jenifa Rani, Intern, National Council of Churches in India represented NCCI in the ACWC General Assembly at Bangkok.
The Assembly started with the procession of the Representatives with the country banners followed by the opening worship on 4th October on the theme “Now Choose Life”. ACWC President Dr. Saisuree Chutikul given the key note address, in which she inspired the participants saying that life as ‘being alive’ and ‘living’ is guided by having a twin citizenship: one as being Christians in God’s Kingdom and the other is as being a citizen of a country. She stated that changing of ways and actions within the framework of life, living and being alive, including the ‘purposes’ of life need to produce outputs, which would be compliant with the purposes and the kind of life that we choose.
ACWC Vice President led a 7 minutes show “Her Story” remembering the 60 years of ACWC. In the panel session moderated by ACWC Treasurer Mrs. Roshini Mendis, Ms. Janejinda Pawade, Aftercare Liasion Manager and Social Worker of NVADER challenged the participants talking on the theme “Human Trafficking: A Challenge to Asian Church Women”. She put forward the challenge for the Asian Church Women to choose life, to be the Voice of the Voiceless, who are vulnerable to any forms of exploitation and change our ways and actions, to challenge ourselves to do more advocacy work rather than humanitarian work. Sr. Siphim Xavier, O.S.U., Directress and Chaplain for Catholic Commission for Women, Catholic Bishops Conference of Thailand talked on the theme of choosing life. Ms. Wandee Cheunchooprai, Clinical Social Worker at New Life Center Foundation in Chiang Mai, expressed the need of the enhancement of the life choices of the tribal girl children and women, who suffer disadvantage, vulnerability and all forms of exploitations.
Two business sessions chaired by the President of ACWC included Officers Report, Executive Secretary’s Report, National Reports by National Representatives, Formation of Committees, Nominations and Assembly Statement. Mrs. Wellorich Sohkhlet read the report of Women Concerns of NCCI. Representatives from WSCF-AP, AACC, EFFCW, and MECC shared their greetings. Thereafter, as prayer partners met, India along with our prayer partners Mongolia and Malaysia gathered and discussed about the prayer issues of partners and prepared for the Cultural Night to celebrate ACWC’s 60th anniversary.
Next day, 5th October, started with a Bible study by Rev. Dr. Chuleepran Srisoontorn, chaired by Supaorn Yarnasarn. The theme for the day was “Change Your Ways”. Dr. Chuleepran focused on John 14:6 and John 6: 48 – 51 and led the group in discussion on the steps toward changing our ways and actions. In the Business Session 3, the Assembly Secretary read the Minutes of the previous day, after which the Treasurer’s Report and Budget was presented by Mrs. Roshini Mendis, Treasurer, ACWC. The national representatives presented their National Reports. We then formed small Groups to discuss the Assembly Theme and each group reported their discussions and suggestions, especially Young Women’s Forum of ACWC actively participated in it. The day ended with the cultural night in which the nine pairs of prayer partners and ICFLC members participated.
The third day, focused on the theme “Change Your Actions,” started with a Bible study by Rev. Dr. Chuleepran Srisoontorn. Sirirat Pusurinkham chaired it. The Business Session 4 comprised of the Minutes of the Previous Day and the National reports by NRs. Representatives from CLAI, CCC, WICCC, CW_USA, PCC, and WCC shared their greetings. In Business Session 5 there were elections of General Committee members and Executive Committee members and Orientation of General Committee members. With the consecration of the newly elected members and Rev. Moon Sook’s message in the closing worship, on 2 Kings 4: 8 – 37 (the story of the Shunemmite Woman and Elisha, in which the shared what she had) by which Rev. Moon Sook exhorted women to choose life, and responsibly and persistently bring about changes in the society, the Assembly ended.
As her commitment towards building ecumenism, the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) through Youth Concerns has produced various young ecumenical leaders in both national and international levels over few decades. In continuing the vision of witnessing in forming young ecumenical leaders, the School of Ecumenical Leadership Formation for Indian Youth (SELFIY) was organized by the Youth Concerns of NCCI from 11th – 25th October 2018 at the NCCI Campus, Nagpur. The programme aimed at enhancing the prophetic Indian young minds so that the Indian Church and society at large may bear witness to ecumenism in a much more organic and tangible way. This year we focused on youth members from North and Central India. The proceeding SELFIY will emphasis on the young people from South and North East India.
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