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
Here is an update on the Kerala Flood Relief operations of Association of Theologically Trained Women of India (ATTWI) which is a constituent member of National Council of Churches in India (NCCI). This email was sent to NCCI General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad by Rev. Elizabeth Joseph, Treasurer of ATTWI (Email received: Sep. 30, 2018).
Greetings in Jesus name,
As you know very well in Kerala, due to south heavy rainfall continuously the measureless flood is very worst in affecting the state.
The houses, church buildings are swamp.
People were shifted to some safe place but they lost their houses and house hold things.
In this context Grace centre and ATTWI provided emergency relief materials such as blankets, children dresses, food materials, rice oil, milk powder nutritious food for children, napkins, medicine, and financial helps to Idikki district area Kumili, Vellaramkunnu, Vellakkadavu, Dymock, Wallardie, Pambanar, Pallikunnu, Glenmary, Bonami, Gramby River belt of Peryar.
We request your prayer support towards the needy people of Kerala…
Information about Kerala Flood Relief Operations of Association of Theologically Trained Women of India (ATTWI), a constituent member of National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), as received:
The recent floods in Kerala, as we all know, caused colossal damage. during the floods, people were shifted to some safe place but they lost their houses and house hold things.
In this context Grace centre and Association of Theologically Trained Women of India (ATTWI) provided emergency relief materials such as blankets, children dresses, food materials ,rice oil ,milk powder nutritious food for children ,napkins, medicine, and financial helps to Idikki district area
ATTWI requests your prayer support towards the needy people of Kerala….
Rev. Elizabeth Joseph.
Matters of Public Concern addressed by the General Body of the National Council of Churches in India in its meeting in Chennai on 29th August 2018
- FLOODS IN KERALA AND IN PARTS OF KARNATAKA AND TAMIL NADU
The National Council of Churches in India expresses its deep pain and distress over the loss of hundreds of lives due to the massive floods, overflowing rivers and dams, and a series of gigantic landslides which have also displaced tens of thousands of people, causing colossal destruction of their belongings, consequently leading to immeasurable misery and hardship. Not only more than four hundred precious lives have been lost, but also cattle and other livestock have perished. The affected people are subject to suffer from various diseases such as cholera, typhoid and other health hazards. Irreplaceable damage has been caused to the eco-balance of the region.
The NCCI affirms its solidarity with the suffering people and all creation of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamilnadu.
The NCCI appreciates the invaluable disaster relief support rendered by its member Churches and organizations. At the same time it appeals to all the constituent members to continue to provide help in the arduous process of relief and rehabilitation, which lies ahead.
- TEN YEARS OF “KANDHAMAL”
The NCCI expresses its deep concern and anguish with regard to the continued suffering of Christian survivors of the Kandhamal massacre even after 10 years of its happening. The carnage was one of the worst of its kind against Christians in the past 100 years. Despite the fact, that in the process of inquiry, many officials have testified that the allegations against Christians are false, the local Christian community still continues to struggle. Many people are still languishing in prison. The rightful compensation on relief and rehabilitation from government is so slow that people are losing hope in their own government.
Right wing fundamental forces are becoming more and more aggressive over the past five years. The NCCI strongly condemns the rather slow, indeed disinterested, action of the concerned authorities in Odisha, and urges the government to pay the announced compensation to the victims, speed up the rehabilitation process, and release the innocent people languishing in prison. Justice delayed is justice denied.
- CALL TO RESPONSIBLE CITIZENSHIP
The NCCI urges all Indian Christian citizens to carry out their responsibilities in the country. This concern is urgent because of certain undesirable trends in the country which are on the increase since the past five years. The so called liberalization and development policies and strategies of the government (while apparently benefiting the middles class along with the rich and the millionaires), are constricting, oppressing and exploiting the poor, particularly dalits and tribals/adivasis. The patriarchal and consumerist culture of our society is seriously, indeed cruelly victimizing women and children. Right wing fundamentalism is allied with globalizing systems, thereby quenching the spirit of democratic secularism which our Indian Constitution affirms. Religious minorities are being hounded. Whether it is our FCRAs, governance of educational institutions, operation of our medical and social services, our freedom to worship and give witness to the gospel, or our food and dress culture, they are all subject to the constricting laws of the ruling authorities and the vigilantism and impunity of fundamentalist forces. Not only religious minorities but citizens in general are subject to scrutiny. Dissent and criticism are not tolerated; persons are being arrested, being branded as anti-national.
We are also witnessing the political atmosphere getting charged with assembly elections in some states and the country-wide General Elections in 2019 drawing near. It is the bounden duty of the government to ensure peace and free and fair elections. At the same time the NCCI urges its member Churches and organizations to unite in creating awareness among the people about the importance of making responsible use of our right of political franchise. Voting is our right which would help our country to be back on the rails of true democracy. Christians are therefore urged to be proactive in the participation of the elections.
This is an update from a Constituent member body of NCCI, Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) on their relief work for Kerala floods. Received the following by email from Joseph P. Sahayam, Additional Emergency Officer (HQ), CASA.
Greetings from CASA!
As you are aware the Monsoon Floods in Kerala has created havoc in 13 of the 14 districts in Kerala. CASA has been responding since the first flooding in July and continuing the intervention in the Second wave of floods with many of the Church Partners.
I am herewith sharing the updates on our intervention and the same is appended below.
|Sl.No||Partner Church / Agency||Programme Cost (INR)||Area||Type of Intervention||Total Number|
|1||CARD (Christian Agency for Rural Development)||8,55,600.00||Kottayam, Allapuzha and Pathanamthitta (Peringara GP, Edathua GP, Nedumudy GP, Thalavady GP, Ramankery GP, Veliyanadu GP, Muttar GP, Payipad GP, Payipad GP, Thiruvalla)||Dry Ration||1775|
(CSI Malabar Diocese)
Koilery Area – Mavanthavadi Taluk,
Moolakani Area, Sultan Battery Municipality
|3||CSI Madhya Kerala Diocese||10,00,00.00||Kottayam, Allapuzha and Pathanamthitta
(Perumthuruthy, tTamaral, Merpal. Chathenkery, Adichikad)
|4||CSI East Kerala Diocese||5,00,000||Idukki and Ernakulam||Dray Ration / NFI||600|
|5||Malankara Orthodox Church||5,00,000||Wayand and Kozhikode||Dray Ration / NFI||500|
|Total||37,56,000||Wayand, Allapuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Kozhikode||4585|
Apart from this CASA is also directly intervening in Wayanad and Idukki providing 1200 Dry Ration Kit, Tarpaulin, Hygiene Kit and Support for 150 House Repair and 1100 Shelter and Non Food Items in Idukki. CASA staff are Stationed in the above mentioned districts.
Please continue to remember in prayer the relief operations in Kerala undertaken by CASA and other constituent bodies of NCCI.
Former Moderator of Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church (NELC), Most. Rev. Shiblal Soren passed away on August 12, 2018. He had been unwell for some time. Please remember the bereaved family, his wife and son, in your prayers for God’s comfort and peace.
He represented NELC on NCCI’s Executive Committee and General Body during the quadrennial 2008 – 2012. We remember with gratitude and thanks to God, his leadership and faithful ministry.
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.
- 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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