Indian Constitution Day

Sunday, 26th November 2017 is turning out to be a  very special day. On this Sunday the Church of North India (CNI) in particular will be celebrating CNI Formation Day. Many churches will also be observing it as a day of prayer for the persecuted church. Still others will be observing it as Disability Advocacy Sunday (NCCI special observance). So also some would be celebrating it as India Constitution Day. The Indian Constitution was adopted on 26th November 1949.

Kindly find below the link to download an Order of Worship which has been drafted by Rev. Dr. Satish C. Gyan, a renowned Theologian, Former General Secretary, Student Christian Movement of India (SCMI); and Former Director/General Secretary, Raipur Churches Development & Relief Committee (RCDRC).

English: INDIAN CONSTITUTION DAY – Order of Worship – 26.11.2017

Hindi: संविधान दिवस – आराधना विधि २६.११.२०१७

Churches’ Week of Action on Food – 2017

(October  11 – 17, 2017)

The Churches Week of Action on Food is a Global Campaign for Food Justice initiated by the World Council of Churches – Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance and the National Council of Churches in India is part of this campaign for years. This week (11 -17 October), highlights the UN days of Gild Child (11), Disaster Reduction (13), Rural Women (15) World Food day (16) and Eradication of Poverty 17).

The theme for World Food Day, this year (2017) is “Change the Future of Migration: Invest in Food Security and Rural Development”. It has been chosen to highlight the role of civil societies and faith communities in improving food security and contributing to the eradication of hunger by addressing climate change with the Gospel Values of Justice, Love and Peace.

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Prophetic role of Church leaders in the midst of injustices: A Biblical insight.

Should Church Leaders keep silent when they see injustices being done in the society? Should Church Leaders speak out against all the wrongs that they see happening in the country? Should Church Leaders submit meekly to the Government and its Laws even when they very well know that the Political Rulers are not following the noble principles and good values enshrined in the Constitution of the country?

Very often Christians turn to biblical texts which seem to instruct Christians to be submissive to socio-political authorities. One such text is I Pet.2: 13-14.

For the Lord’s sake accept the authority of every human institution, whether of the emperor as supreme, or of governors, as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right. (NRSV)

Where the NRSV says rather mildly “accept the authority of every human institution”, the RSV puts it strongly as “Be subject to every human institution.” It is biblical texts, such as this one, which have been interpreted to mean that Christian individuals and Churches must passively submit to the decrees of the ruling government or any other political, social, and religious authority. Such an interpretation does not encourage or exhort Church Leaders to play a prophetic role in society.

Did Peter really intend to assert that Christians should be submissive to every authority at all times? Read more

Tribal and Adivasi Sunday 2017

Respected Ecumenical Leaders,

Warm greetings from NCCI-Dalit and Tribal/ Adivasi Concerns!

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 the local congregation on Tribal and Adivasi Concerns. Thanks to the enormous support we have received from across the churches, dioceses, parishes and institutions in celebrating this special Sunday.

The theme for this year’s Tribal and Adivasi Sunday is “Solidarity in Christ: Bearing One Another’s Burdens” (cf. Galatians 6:2).We take this opportunity to invite you to celebrate Tribal and Adivasi Sunday on 6th August 2017 in your church/local parish/institution in a creative way. However, if you already have some programme on 6th August 2017, you may think of celebrating this Special day on later Sundays. Herewith we are sending you hard copies of posters and a special order of worship for the day. You may take the freedom to use the entire worship order and translate it in your vernacular language or adapt parts of it.

We would appreciate if you send a brief report along with a few photographs of the celebration to the undersigned. Let us join to celebrate Tribal and Adivasi Sunday on 6th August 2017.

Thanking you in anticipation.

With regards,

In Christ,

Pradip Bansrior
Executive Secretary
Dalit and Tribal/ Adivasi Concerns
National Council of Churches in India.

 

Download Order of Worship: NCCI Tribal and Adivasi Sunday 2017 pdf

(http://ncci1914.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/NCCI-Tribal-Adivasi-Sunday-2017-pdf.pdf)

An Ecumenical Call to join and Pray – “Global Day of Prayer to End Famine”

National Council of Churches in India – Unity and Mission

and

Ecumenical Commission on Drought and Water Management (ECODAWM)

join

World Council of Churches – Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (WCC – EAA) and

All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC)

 in extending an Invitation to

All Churches, Christian Organisations and All Faith Communities to participate in the

Global Day of Prayer to End Famine (May 21, 2017).

To

The Church Leaders, Heads of the Institutions and

Leaders of all Faith Communities

Respected and Revered Church Leaders, Heads of the Institutions and All Faith Leaders,

Greetings of Peace!

“For I was hungry and you gave me food,  I was thirsty and you gave me to drink,

I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” (Matthew 25:35).

Most of the Earth Communities including human communities of today  face drought and famine, more than at any time in modern history. Famine has been declared in South Sudan. Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen are on the brink of famine and drought, and  some of the Indian States are facing a similar situation.

Globally, more than 20 million people are at risk of starvation, while millions more suffer from drought and food shortages. In this desperate situation children suffer most and become increasingly vulnerable. The UN is calling this the largest humanitarian crisis since 1945.  There is great danger that on its current course, the global response to this crisis will be hugely inadequate and will lead to unimaginable suffering and death, which is eminently avoidable. Hence, Church as a community that cares for others, have a responsibility and prophetic role in calling to mobilizing their members, the wider society and governments, and making a difference during this unprecedented period of suffering.

At this juncture of crisis, the World Council of Churches – Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance  (WCC – EAA) joins the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC)  in inviting the entire global Christian faith communities and ecclesial confessions to participate in  the ‘Global Day of Prayer to End Famine’ on the May 21st 2017.  with a special focus on the African continent. Thousands of churches, church related organisations and faith communities and their net-works in hundreds of countries are joining this global campaign considering its timely importance and need.

As we all are aware, India is not free of  such vulnerability. Agriculture is slowly dying. Everywhere we witness   water scarcity and in some places hunger deaths. In many parts of India, farmers commit suicide due to unprecedented drought,

Therefore, the National Council of  Churches in India (Unity and Mission), and Ecumenical Commission on Drought and Water Management join together in encouraging all Indian Churches to participate in the Global Day of Prayer to End Famine, and pray for India also along with offering prayers for Africa.

We sincerely request you to  encourage all your local congregations and grass-root communities to join  this prayer campaign on the 21st May 2017, to pray during our Sunday holy Masses, Worships and Services, beseeching God’s pardon for  human sin against the earth communities and seeking God’s providential grace to end famine and give life.

Nations from the North, South, East and West  are urged to embark on this Prayer Journey. It is a journey that is not about us, but about a world in desperate need of God’s compassionate love. It is a call to respond to God’s invitation in 2 Chronicles 7:14 to humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways. May God hear our prayers, forgive our sin and heal our land.

Come let us join the ‘Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace’ with faith and prayer that  bring blessings to all the earth communities.  May our collective repentance, prayer and timely intervention assure and ensure  ‘zero hunger deaths’.

With kind regards and prayers,

Dr. William Stanley

ECODAWM

Rev. R. Christopher Rajkumar

NCCI – Unity and Mission

Rt. Rev Dr. P C Singh

President – NCCI

Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad

General Secretary – NCCI

Note:

The WCC worship and prayer resources are available in https://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/events/global-day-of-prayer-to-end-famine.

If you wish to share your experiences, please share with us at <mission@ncci1914.com>

Easter Message from General Secretary of NCCI – “Who will roll away the Stone? Any Easter Hope?”

The crucifixion and burial of Jesus in the tomb was not merely an individual tragedy. It symbolized something much deeper. His death and entombment marked the end of the hope of the Jews of his time to be delivered out of the Roman bondage and of the vision of Messianic rule.

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth (Isa.11:1-4).

The travellers on the road to Emmaus express this utter disappointment when they lamented, “But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since this happened.”(Lk.24:21) The tomb-stone had dashed the hopes of the people for the coming of the reign of God. Even today people in India have been waiting expectantly for “Achhe Din!” Listen to a report from Abhinav Rajput and Prawesh Lama in Hindustan Times, updated on February 6, 2017:

Rocking the youngest of his five children in his arms, street vendor Daata Ram watches his wife tend to two sick cows whose milk once supplemented their meagre income. The 66-year-old’s family of seven survives on what he now makes by selling small quantities of puffed rice in Pandra Sikanpur, a one-street, hardscrabble town of 5,000 in Uttar Pradesh. “I took a loan of Rs 30,000 to buy those cows but I think they are no good now,” says Ram, who uses a fourth of his monthly earnings of Rs5000-6000 to repay the local moneylender.

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A “Good Friday” reflection

‘Happy Good Friday to you’, greeted my learned Hindu friend, one Good Friday, though I was puzzled about the prefix ‘Happy’. I thanked my friend and we departed.

This unusual greeting set me thinking about my own faith and the faith of my friends living in a religious pluralistic society like ours.  From my Hindu friend’s point of view any religious observance is basically both Good and Happy.  More so, because, Friday of the Holy Week is universally known as ‘Good Friday’.  The numerous Greetings like ‘Happy Diwali’, ‘Happy Id’, ‘Happy Christmas’, ‘Happy Dushera’, etc are exchanged in India.  While it does denote secular outlook and religious tolerance it also shows that individuals lack a true understanding of each other’s faith. One’s faith is regarded as a purely personal matter and is to be observed on certain designated occasions.  This was true prior to the coming of Jesus Christ who revolutionized the world view of Religion, Faith and The life of people.

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NCCI Celebrating Dalit Liberation Sunday

 DLS posterObservance of the NCCI Dalit Liberation Sunday is an annual and significant feature in the NCCI Calendar and we are back to you to remind that as every year we will be observing the Dalit Liberation Sunday with the theme “Climate, Caste, and Care for the Earth” on the 13th November 2015. We have come up with a suggested worship order which could be used wholly or in parts to make the worship more meaningful. Kindly find it in attached file. As it is the season of Advent, if your church calendar is filled, this Sunday may be observed in any other Sunday as well.

Download prayer and worship order 

Dont Look Away – Act Against Violence on Women and Child Abuse!

Invitation: 
Break The Silence!!!  Reflect Faith in Action
 
activismAll India Council of Christian Women (AICCW), Women’s wing of National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) invites the fellow-pilgrims of Justice and Peace to engage in 16 Days of Activism against Violence on Women and Child Abuse.
From 25 November (UN declared, 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.
 As the world commomerates these 16 days of activism, All India Council of Christian Women invites member churches of NCCI, women’s fellowships of member churches, organizations/communities, institutions to engage in advocacy to promote 365 Days of Zero Tolerance to Gender Based Violence.  Make it Happen Now!! – a Campaign of AICCW-NCCI, to build inclusive communities of Justice and Peace.

Click here to download the PDF.

NCCI Tribal and Adivasi Sunday 2015

“Tribals and Adivasis: Custodians of 
God-given land and its ecosystems”
Tribal-Adivasi Sunday will be observed on 9th August 2015.  The NCCI encourages you to celebrate Tribal-Adivasi Sunday as an important expression of our affirmation of and dedication to the gospel: the gospel is for all including Tribals and Adivasis. Many of us, who do not consider ourselves as Tribals/Adivasis, tend to overlook or neglect the importance of indigenous people in the vision and mission of God the creator. Those of us who belong to indigenous communities take our status for granted and therefore do not affirm our special position in God’s plans and purposes. Hence, NCCI appeals to all churches to give the observance of Tribal-Adivasi Sunday its due importance.
The theme for this year is “Tribals and Adivasis: Custodians of God-given Land and its Ecosystems.” This is in tune with the theme of UN’s International Day of Indigenous People, which is “Indigenous Peoples as Custodians of the Land and its Ecosystems.”
The term “custodian of land and ecosystems” immediately brings to our mind the image of Adam and Eve as custodians of God’s Garden of Eden. Indeed Adam and Eve were indigenous people integrally related to land and all creation. In fact for most indigenous people, land, along with the ecosystem it supports, is the mark of their identity. When lands are submerged because of our development projects, indigenous people experience a vacuum, an emptiness, indeed ‘death’, because their very being and identity is taken away from them. When lands with their forests, rivers, indeed all flora and fauna, are destroyed to make way for concrete jungles and industries, the livelihood of the indigenous people (which is integrally related to their land and eco-system) is also taken away. Most of them are not suited to work in “unnatural” industries and hi-tech systems. They therefore face another ‘death.
Today we are becoming increasingly concerned about global warming and the destruction of eco-systems. Scientists are beginning to talk about the onset of the sixth wave of mass extinction on the earth. When the care of mother earth is an emergency mandate, who best could help us to nurture, preserve and protect mother earth but the indigenous people who have lived in harmonious responsible relationships with nature! “The earth is the lord’s and the fullness thereof” says the psalmist. Paul in his epistle to the Romans observes that “all creation has been subjected to futility” . This is because of human greed and their anti-ecological development economies, sciences and technologies. Indeed “creation is groaning for the revealing of the children of God.” Indigenous people are one expression of this revelation as custodians of God-given land and its eco-systems.
Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad
General Secretary,
National Council of Churches in India.