Rt. Rev. Geevarghese Mar Athanasius Suffragan Metropolitan passes away.

Late Rt. Rev. Geevarghese Mar Athanasius Suffragan Metropolitan (Pic. source: marthoma.in)

The Mar Thoma Church deeply mourns the unexpected passing away of Suffragan Metropolitan Rt. Rev. Geevarghese Mar Athanasius Suffragan Metropolitan Thirumeni at P.V.S. Memorial Hospital, Ernakulam at 4:40 AM on 18-4-2018.. Thirumeni is fondly remembered for His soul stirring oration marked with Christian maturity and vast knowledge in human relations. Thirumeni who is keen in keeping relationships systematically was instrumental in materializing many humanitarian projects for the upliftment of the poor and needy. As Thirumeni completes His earthly sojourn, Church praises Her Lord for the outstanding life and witness of Thirumeni.

Born on 26th April 1944 as the son of Late Sri. C.I. Idicula and Late Smt. Achiyamma of Nedumpram Christos Mar Thoma Parish Chirayilkandathil C.I. George completed High School education from TMT High School Neerattupuram. After obtaining BSc Degree from Mar Thoma College, Thiruvalla he was called upon to serve the Church as a priest and got BD Degree from Leonard Theological College, Jabalpur in 1969.

He was ordained Semmas on 3rd May 1969 and Kassesa on 14th June 1969. He served thereafter Palakkad, Olavakkod, Karimba, Nelliyambathy, Attappadi, Kozhinjampara, Kuzhalmannam, Mumbai, Dadar, Toronto, Venmoney Sehion, Kottayam Jerusalem, Madras Chetpet, Edayaranmula, Laka Senthom, Kurichimuttom and various other Parishes illustriously. While in Canada he did higher studies in Wycliffe College, Toronto (1975-76). He was selected as Bishop while serving in Edayaranmula parish. He was consecrated as Ramban on 4th November 1989 at the Kottarakkara Mar Thoma Convention ground along with Rev. Dr. George Jacob (Geevarghese Mar Theodosius Episcopa and Rev. Euyakim I. Cheeran (Euyakim Mar Coorilos Episcopa) and as Episcopa with the name Geevarghese Mar Athanasius on 9th December 1989 at Thiruvalla SCS ground. He was assigned to be the head of Mumbai – Delhi Diocese. He served as head of Kottayam-Kochi Diocese from 1993 November to September 2001 and from 2001 October continues to head Ranni – Nilackal Diocese. In 2015 October 2nd, Tirumeni was installed as the Suffragan Metropolitan of the Church.

(Source: Website of The Mar Thoma Church | marthoma.in)

The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) joins the Mar Thoma Syrian Church in mourning the great loss of this great leader, visionary, ecumenist, scholar and shepherd. Thirumeni served faithfully and selflessly for the benefit of the Church and society at large, both in India and abroad. His dedicated and mature leadership will be missed. We thank God for his life and ministry, and hope that the excellence of his work will continue to inspire coming generations of leaders to serve with undying passion and commitment.

An Open Letter from Bishop Most Revd Thomas K. Oommen (Moderator, Church of South India) to the Fellow Citizens of India.

ABSTRACT

  • As an Indian Citizen and the Head of the Second Largest Church in India, with more than 4.5 Million members, most of them being dalits, Adivasis, poor farmers and fisherfolks, I hereby share the fear my people have under the rule of a Government that has become a nightmare to the poor and the minorities in India.
  • It is true and sad fact that the current Government that follows the Hindutva supremacist ideology seems to have consciously discounted what is stated in the Preamble of our Indian Constitution that declares liberty, equality, and fraternity as its ideals and assures Social, Economic and Political Justice to the citizens of India.
  • The Government proves to be pro-corporate and unkind to the poor by waiving off loans of rich people and corporate while not waiving of the loans of the poor farmers, not giving Minimum Support Price (MSP) to them, not addressing the issues of economic distress, joblessness, price rise by forcefully implementing policies like ‘Demonetization’ and GST. In fact, corruption and scams/scandals have become a hallmark of this Government.
  • The Church of South India demands that the Government at the centre ensures the democratic and secular fabric of India to be safeguarded instead of promoting their Hindutva agenda for which they demolish Churches and Mosques, vandalizes religious statues and symbols, persecutes Christians and Muslims, change school textbooks, insert dogmatic and pseudo-scientific religious content, ban films, books, festivals of minorities claiming that they to “offend” the Hindu nationalist sentiments.
  • The Church of South India not only stands in solidarity with the Dalits fighting for justice and equality and agitating against alleged “dilution” of the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989, but also condemns all atrocities against the Dalits, that tortures, rapes and brutal murders by the Hindutva extremist forces.
  • Church of South India also strongly demands that recommendations of the Ranganath Mishra Commission and the Sachar Committee for reservation to Dalits of Christian and Muslim minority communities be implemented.
  • On this day on April 06, 1930, at the end of the ‘Salt March’, Mahatma Gandhi raised a lump of mud and salt and declared, “With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire”. Today, on April 06, 2018, I urge my fellow citizens in India to unite together and shake the foundations of another empire being built by the corporate fascists.

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Most Rev. Dr. P. C. Singh, The new President for ECLOF India.

Ecumenical Church Loan Fund of India (ECLOF India) is happy to announce that Most Rev. Dr. P.C. Singh, President of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) and Moderator of the Church of North India (CNI), has been elected to serve as the President of ECLOF India. He was installed as President, on 3rd March 2018, at the Board of Directors’ meeting held at Chennai.

Most Rev. Dr. P C. Singh, Bishop of the Jabalpur Diocese of the Church of North India, is a well-known Ecumenical leader. He is President of the prestigious Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society (CISRS); Executive Committee Member of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) and holds other responsible posts in many organisations across India.

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CMAI | Healing Ministry Week | February 11 – 18, 2018.

Christian Medical Association of India (CMAI) is celebrating the Healing Ministry Week along with the National Council of Churches in India, Catholic Health Association of India and the Commission for Healthcare Apostolate of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India. The broader partnership has enabled many more congregations to celebrate the healing ministry week.

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Sunday School Supplement titled “Healing My World”

Christian Medical Association of India (CMAI) has developed a Sunday School Supplement titled “Healing My World” for children between the ages of 8-12. As you know, children are the most vulnerable to physical, mental and spiritual harm in the current environment around them, be it changing family relations, friends or technology.

With inputs from medical and theological experts, this book has interactive and practical methods to equip children on being more self-aware and to be well-prepared to face the world they are in.

This book has topics such as hygiene, nutrition, exercise, understanding mental health, recognizing differently-abled, practising healthy relationships and coping with disaster. Healing My World is a supplementary textbook that could be taught by parents at home or could be incorporated into the day-to-day lessons at Sunday Schools.

 

Price: Rs 150

For copies, write to cmaiblr@cmai.org.

The Office will send you the invoice for which you may send your cheque or DD to CMAI office in Bangalore.

 

General Secretary

 Dr Bimal Charles

CMAI, New Delhi

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!