Gender Equity Enabling Timetable (GEET) of Church of South India Removing Bottlenecks to Build Just Inclusive Communities

Mission Paradigm Shift from Equality to Equity to Promote Gender Justice & Build Just Inclusive Communities

Women’s empowerment programs have been at the core of the ‘Diaconal Ministry’ of the Church of South India. According to Revd Asir Ebenezer- Director of Diaconal  Concerns- CSI Synod “these programs have taken many forms in different contexts. Education, empowerment, and economic livelihood options were some of the areas that took root in most places. Education of girls was the flagship of church’s education ministry. Many hostels for girls as well as nursing and teacher training schools for young women were started and flourish to this day.”  CSI also initiated the ‘Girl Child Campaign’. Ebenezer further states “However despite a radically sound theology and a reformist mind with regard to gender sensitivity, there are many bottlenecks. The aim of the discourse on gender equity is to reach beyond the domain of women and their associations. There is a vital need for gender mainstreaming to end gender based violence.  So GEET  brings the discourse to the mainstream life and witness of  Church Women and Men. The present visible leadership of males in the church sphere is to be challenged to bring significant changes.”

Gender Equity Enabling Timetable (CSI-GEET) –   Has three foci:

 1) Workplace- To ensure a safe working space, institutions of the CSI are oriented on  awareness , prevention, and redressal of sexual harassment of women at workplace  promoting ‘Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal Act, 2013’ . Ebenezer states that many christian  institutions have constituted an Internal Complaints Committee  in compliance with the Act. After the constitution of ‘Internal Complaints Committees’ in our institutions, male staff have become more sensible in their interactions with their female colleagues. Women are aware that they can be treated with dignity and do not have to ‘adjust’ or put up with inappropriate behaviour from the opposite sex.”

2) Homes including Christian Homes –  CSI is also engaging in various endeavours of spiritual formation  to  create safe home free from abuse and empowering both men and women to work towards ending domestic violence and other gender based violence within home .

 3) Mind of the Man for Nurturing Gender Equity– Developing contextualised study material based on ‘Created in God’s image: from Hegemony to Partnership’ (a church’s manual on men as partners promoting positive masculinities was published by WCRC in collaboration with the WCC and the United Methodist Church) to be studied by men in five locations in each of the 24 CSI Dioceses.

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NCCI mourns for the sad demise of Bishop B. P. Sugandhar, the former Moderator of the Church of South India

Rt. Rev. Dr. B. P. Sugandhar, the former Moderator of the Church of South India, passed away on 05 December 2017. He was residing at Hyderabad after his retirement as the sixth Bishop of the Medak Diocese of the CSI.

Bishop Sugandhar was the Deputy Moderator of the CSI for two terms (2000- 2004) and the Moderator for another two terms (2004- 2008). He was very well known as a people’s bishop, and his memory power to remember people and their names was highly appreciated. He was an office-bearer of the Andhra Pradesh Federation of Churches, (APFC) a society that incorporates bishops of the Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Indigenous Church traditions and whose members strive for ecumenism

He served as the Vice-President of the Andhra Pradesh Auxiliary of the Bible Society of India. He was also on the governing board of the United Theological College, Bangalore, and the Andhra Christian Theological College, Hyderabad.

He started his student life at Wesley Boys’ School in Secunderabad. He had done his Bachelor of Divinity at United Theological College in Bangalore and later earned a Doctorate in Theology.

Bishop Sugandhar is survived by his wife Mrs. Nalini Sugandhar, Sons Mr. John Priya Babu and Dr. Vimal Sukumar (Treasurer of the Medaka Diocese of the CSI), Daughter Ms. Glory and five grandchildren. His demise was on the evening today (05.12.2017).

Most Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, the Moderator of the Church of South India, Rt. Rev. Dr. Vadapalli Prasada Rao, the Deputy Moderator, Rev. Dr. Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, the General Secretary, and Adv. Robert Bruce, the Hon. Treasurer expressed their deep condolences to the bereaved family of late Bishop Sugandhar.

NCCI mourns for the loss of a good leader.

news courtesy-

Rev. Sunil Raj Philip, CSI Communications.

 

Presbyterian Church of India Declaration on Climate Change

Rev.  Laldawngliana,  Moderator  of the  Presbyterian  Church  of  India  (PCI)   officially  released  and  dedicated  the  PCI’s  Declaration  on  Climate Change   in Shillong  on 1st November 2017   during  the  meeting  of the  PCI’s  Peace  &  Justice  Committee  chaired  by  Rev.  Dr.  P. B.  M.  Basaiawmoit,  the  Committee  Chairman.

This  is  an  outcome  from  the  One  Day  Consultation  on  taking forward  the  Paris  COP21 Agreement  on  Climate  Change  held  last year  in  Shillong  itself  and partnered   with  Centre  for  Social Development  (CSD),  Imphal.

This  Declaration  has  been  released  before  the  meeting  of COP 23  in  Bonn,  Germany,  during  06 – 17  November,  2017  with the  hope  that all  stakeholders  will  seriously  and  concertedly act  without  reservation  on  mitigating  climate  change.

Download the Climate Action.pdf

Ecumenical Dhorom Sabha 2017

Santalia Council of Churches organised its yearly event ‘Ecumenical Dhorom Sabha’ from October 26 – 29, 2017 at CNI Mission, Taljhari, Dist Sahibganj, Santal Parganas, Jharkhand. More than 5000 delegates from Santal Churches of Assam, Bihar, Bengal & Jharkhand participated in this event. Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary, NCCI was the Chief Guest and the Main Speaker for the event. The Keynote address was delivered by Moderator Emeritus The Most Rev. Dr. Philip P. Marandi, CNI. The theme for this year was taken from Mathew 5:41. The Most Rev. B. Murmu, Moderator, NELC, Rt. Rev. B.B. Baskey, Diocese of Chotanagpur, CNI, Rt. Rev. Sushil Tudu of NELC and Rev. Emmanuel Chitrakar, Pakur District Superintendent of the Bengal Regional Conference of Methodist Church in India, were among other dignitaries present during the Dhorom Sabha. Rev. Francis Hansdak and Rev. Pradip Hansdak shared responsibility in smooth functioning of the entire programme.

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Congratulations to Office Bearers of Church of North India (CNI) Synod.

The Synod of the Church of North India (CNI) met during September 30 to October 3, 2017. One of the major decisions taken on 3rd October  was to elect a new Moderator, Deputy Moderator and Hony. Treasurer. After successful elections, the names of the team of Office Bearers of CNI Synod are as below:

  1. The Most Rev. Dr. P. C. Singh, Moderator.
  2. The Rt. Revd. Dr. Probal Kanto Dutta, Deputy Moderator.
  3. Mr. Alwan Masih, General Secretary.
  4. Mr. Jayant Agarwal, Hony. Treasurer.

(Source: Mr. Alwan Masih, General Secretary of CNI).

The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) congratulates the team of Office Bearers of CNI and joins the Church in praying for the team’s leadership and wishing them every blessing for a fruitful ministry.

With the wider ministry of NCCI’s  President, the Most Rev. Dr. P. C. Singh, as Moderator of CNI, we look forward with joy and anticipation to the benefits of his ecumenical vision and his leadership in the church and society. May God continue to bless him and the other members of this team to accomplish much for the reign of God on earth!

Colonel Chelliah Mony, Territorial Commander of India Central Territory of The Salvation Army, passes away.

Colonel Chelliah Mony, Territorial Commander India Central Territory of The Salvation Army, was promoted to Glory on 25 September, 2017.

Chelliah Mony entered training from Osaravilai Corps in the India South Eastern Territory as a cadet of the Overcomers Session, and was commissioned on 13 May 1976. Also in May 1976 he married Mallika Mony, who was a cadet in the Disciples of Jesus Session. Lieutenant Chelliah Mony was then serving as Corps Officer of the Kolencoidu Corps.

After Cadet Mallika completed her training, they served as Corps Officers in the India South Eastern Territory before they were both appointed to the Training College in July 1981. With this came the promotion to the rank of captain for Chelliah Mony. The Captain also attended the Brengle Institute in this year.

In 1983 the Monys were appointed first to Thuckalay Division and then to Vallyoor Division, where Captain Chelliah Mony served as Divisional Youth Officer. In 1987 they were appointed to Cape South Division. Again, Captain Chelliah served as Divisional Youth Officer.

Following attendance at the International College for Officers in 1988, Captain Chelliah Mony was appointed to THQ, India South Eastern Territory as Youth Secretary. Further appointments at THQ followed in 1997 when Major Mony was appointed to Human Resources Development Secretary and in the following year, Social Secretary.

A return to the Cape South Division as Divisional Commander came in May 2003. In June 2009 Major Chelliah Mony was appointed back to THQ, as Social and Education Secretary and the following year as Secretary for Programme Administration.

Transfer to the India South Western Territory in July 2012 saw Lieut-Colonel Chelliah Mony appointed as Chief Secretary of that territory. In June 2014 further international service followed with a transfer to the India Central Territory as Territorial Commander, with a promotion to the rank of colonel. It is from this appointment that Colonel Chelliah Mony was promoted to Glory.

We salute the Colonel for his many years of faithful service to God and to The Salvation Army. Our thoughts and prayers remain with his wife, Colonel Mallika Mony and with their children, Yesumarline Mony, Yalin Rancy Mony, Darline Santhini Mony and Alwin Devarasu Mony.

The funeral for Colonel Mony was held on 26 September 2017 at Booth Tucker Memorial Church Corps Hall (Nagercoil), conducted by Colonel Edwin Masih.

Colonel Mallika Mony may be contacted at:-
82 Nungambaggam High Road
Chennai – 600 034. India.
Phone: 09962172849
e-mail: Mallika_Mony@ict.salvationarmy.org   or ICT_Leadership@ict.salvationarmy.org

Source: The Salvation Army, India National Secretariat.

Colonel Mony attended meetings of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) several times. His ecumenical outlook and genuine concern for the people proved to be a blessing for many. He served with exemplary passion for the Glory of God.

NCCI joins with The Salvation Army in praying for God to comfort the family. Colonel Mony’s  faithful service and strong leadership will always be remembered. His work will continue to light the way for seekers and future leaders.

NCCI NEWS

Rt. Rev. Dr. Samuel Amritham passes away

Rt. Rev. Dr. Samuel Amritham, a great ecumenical figure from India, passed away on September 26, 2017 in his hometown Parassala (Kerala, India) at the age of 85.

After completing his bachelor’s degree in Divinity, he was appointed as pastor in the London Mission Pastorate Church, Parassala (now named the Abbs Memorial Church after founder and LMS Missionary Rev. John Abbs). He was instrumental in the construction of the new Church building. His efforts behind the installation of the electric bell, the electric cluster lights, and the lightning arrester are appreciable.

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Observance of “Black Day” on August 10, 2017

National Council of Churches in India -Dalit and Tribal/Adivasi Concerns along with many member churches, theological institutions and various organisations proactively participated in the observance of ‘Black Day’ on 10th August 2017. The infamous Presidential  Order that was signed on 10th August 1950 by the then President of India stated, “No person who professes a  religion other than Hinduism shall be deemed to be a member of the scheduled caste.” This Order was later amended to include Sikhs (1956) and Buddhists (1990) in the Scheduled Caste fold. It is ironical that the Government is turning deaf ears even when twelve state Governments along with union territories and political parties have endorsed the proposal to delete  paragraph-3 of the Presidential Order 1950 in order to ensure equality and justice for Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims in India.

Therefore on 10th August 2017, people protested against the continual negligence of the government to the cry for the rights of Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims in the country. At different places protest rallies, meetings, demonstrations, candle vigils, special prayers, submission of  memorandums and other appropriate programmes were organised to express solidarity with the oppressed Christians and Muslims of Scheduled Caste origin.

Observance of  Black Day at Bishop’s College, Kolkata

“Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians are citizens of India! ” was one of the slogans heard on  A.J.C. Bose Road in front of Bishop’s College, Kolkata. Black Day was observed by the theological students and faculty of  Bishop’s College, Kolkata, in keeping with its tradition and conviction of being a voice for the voiceless. Rev. Dr. Sunil Caleb (Principal of the college) briefed  the community about the significance of the observance of  Black Day. He categorically emphasized the church’s participation in the struggles of the Dalits. He provided a historical overview of the infamous Presidential Order of 1950 that excludes Christian and Muslim Dalits from the Scheduled Castes list.

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Celebration of Tribal and Adivasi Sunday 2017

Celebration of Tribal and Adivasi Sunday has become an important feature in the calendar of Indian Churches and Ecumenical movements. Over the years Tribal and Adivasi Sunday has been celebrated in many parts of our country in sensitizing  local congregations on Tribal and Adivasi Concerns. Thanks to the churches, dioceses, parishes and institutions for their encouraging partnership in celebrating this special day on the first and the following Sundays of August. The theme for this year’s Tribal and Adivasi Sunday was “Solidarity in Christ: Bearing One Another’s Burdens” (cf. Galatians 6:2). Few reports and pictures received from member churches and institutions are presented here.

Celebration at All Saints Cathedral CNI, Nagpur

On the 6th August 2017, the All Saints Cathedral celebrated the Tribal and Adivasi Sunday. Rev. John George the Priest in charge led the service as per the order of worship provided by NCCI. The message was brought by Mr. Mathingmi Hongchui, Intern of Dalit and Tribal/Adivasi (DATA) Concerns, NCCI. The speaker  drew attention to the problems faced by Tribal and Adivasi communities since antiquity. Prayer alone is not enough in today’s context; it is imperative  to speak up for the voiceless and ensure justice for those who are poor and needy, which is the need of the hour. The message was concluded with a quote of John Stott, “To be a burden-bearer is a great ministry. It is something that every Christian should and can do. It is a natural consequence of walking by the Spirit. It fulfills the law of Christ.”

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Statement of United Christian Forum of North East India (UCFNEI) on the portrayal of Jesus as “demon”.

19th June, 2017.

The United Christian Forum of North East India (UCFNEI) takes serious objection to the portrayal of Jesus as “demon” in the Class 9 Hindi language text book published by the Gujarat State School Textbook Board (GSSTB). The 16th Chapter of the book entitled “Bharatiya Sanskriti me Guru-Shishya Sambandh” on page number 69 reads: “Is sambandh me „haivaan Issa‟ ka ek kathan sada smaraniya hai” (In this context, a statement by ‘demon Jesus’ is always memorable). These words in the text book have shocked and deeply hurt the sentiments of Christian Community and of all people who respect the religious beliefs of all the communities in the secular State. One fails to understand the wisdom behind such a derogatory depiction of Jesus, who is revered by Christians in India and all over the world, as their Saviour and by many others like Mahatma Gandhi as a religious leader. The UCFNEI notes with utmost pain such caricaturing of Jesus.

Apart from hurting the sentiments of the Christian Community, the said chapter grossly misrepresents the person of Jesus and provides erroneous information to children. The GSSTB, which should have taken trouble to provide correct historical information, has erred in executing its duty. One gets a feeling that it is a deliberate attempt to malign a minority group. This statement comes not from a fringe fundamentalist group but from an official body of the Government of Gujarat. We are shocked to see an official body of the State taking such a stand.

The UCFNEI strongly objects to such an attempt of the GSSTB and demands that the text book be immediately withdrawn. It also demands an apology from the GSSTB and from the Government of Gujarat to the Christian Community.

 

SD/-

FR. G.P. AMALRAJ
Deputy Secretary
North East India Regional Bishop Conference
On behalf of
THE MOST REV. BISHOP THOMAS PULLOPALLIL
President

SD/-

REV. R. LALNUNZIRA
Secretary
& Secretary
North East India Christian Council

SD/-

REV. DR. SOLOMON RONGPI
Vice President
& General Secretary
Council of Baptist Churches in North East India

SD/-

REV. ROLIANTHANG LALSIM
Joint Secretary
& Administrative Secretary
Presbyterian Church of India

UNITED CHRISTIAN FORUM NORTH EAST INDIA

Statement of UCFNEI on Jesus as Demon. pdf