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.
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.
Rev. Sunil Raj Philip, CSI Communications.
Report of Church Leaders Seminar On Transparency, Accountability and Responsibility (TAR)
November 28-29, 2017 |Dumka, Santal Parganas, Jharkhand
Organised by: National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), Christian Service Agency (CSA) and Santalia Council of Churches (SCC)
DAY I, SESSION I
The TAR Conference was initiated by the Grace of the Lord, with a session of Devotion, led jointly by Revd Francis Hansdak’ and Revd Roshan Hansdak’.
The Keynote Address to the Conference was also delivered by Revd Roshan Hansdak’.
Then Revd Caesar David deliberated upon “the Historical Necessity of Strengthening Good Practices in Our Churches and Organisations”. He emphasised upon the necessity of stringent upkeep of Ethics and Values in these challenging times, when a focused invigilatory approach is being adopted by the Government, and the FCRA Compliant Bank A/cs. of many Organisations are being closed due to detection of irregularities. He explained, to upkeep Ethics and Values, our Churches and CBOs need to do no new things, as these are the same set of Christian Values of Honesty, Love, Kindness and Integrity, we are supposed to adhere in all of our Activities. This of course doesn’t mean that the Church and its affiliate CBOs have been lax in upkeep of Ethics and Values, but merely is indicative of the Grey Areas of Ethics, which is open to opportunistic interpretations to suit the situation at hand. As an example he cited the rampant but inappropriate use of pirated proprietary softwares in our Churches, instead of Freewares and Sharewares.
There is also a shyness on the part of us in acknowledging corruption in our Churches. But denying the existence of corruption is doing disservice to our Churches in actuality. Contrary to the popular perception that, corruption comprises solely of monetary malpractices, Revd Caesar explained, there are various types of corruption involving Power Abuses, Illegalities, Handling of Donations, Procurement Acceleration, Sexual Abuses and Favours, Manipulations and Collusions etc. which erodes the Values, stems the Church growth, perpetuates inefficiencies, and lessens the faith upon the Church. All these factors ultimately compounds towards a weak Church. In contrast, adherence to the Global indicators of Ethics, Freedom and Transparency leads to a Sustainable and Strengthened Church.
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.
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.
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:
- The Most Rev. Dr. P. C. Singh, Moderator.
- The Rt. Revd. Dr. Probal Kanto Dutta, Deputy Moderator.
- Mr. Alwan Masih, General Secretary.
- 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!
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.
FR. G.P. AMALRAJ
REV. R. LALNUNZIRA
REV. DR. SOLOMON RONGPI
REV. ROLIANTHANG LALSIM
UNITED CHRISTIAN FORUM NORTH EAST INDIA
Mar Thoma Church is eagerly waiting for April 27th 2017 which is a historical day for the Church. Our Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan is entering into the 100th year. Thirumeni is an exceptional personality in the demographics of Church by serving as an Evangelist, Semsano, Kasseesa, Ramban, Episcopa, Suffragan Metropolitan, Officiating Metropolitan, 20th Metropolitan and Valiya Metropolitan.
The Birth Centenary Celebrations of the Valiya Thirumeni is scheduled to be conducted on Thursday, the 27th April 2017 at Sabha Head Quarters at Thiruvalla. This Birthday Celebration is also the culmination of all the Birth Centenary Celebrations conducted by the different Dioceses of the Mar Thoma Church.
The Birth Centenary celebration will begin by the Holy Communion and Thanksgiving service at 8:30 AM at St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church Thiruvalla. His Grace the Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan will celebrate the Holy Communion service.
STATEMENT OF THE FINDINGS OF
THE ONE DAY SEMINAR ORGANIZED BY
THE NORTH EAST INDIA CHRISTIAN COUNCIL
“CHURCH UNITY, SOCIAL CONCERNS AND RELIGIOUS HARMONY”
AT THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF INDIA, KHATLA, AIZAWL, MIZORAM SYNOD, APRIL 19, 2017.
We, the ninety two participants, representing various Churches and Christian Organisations under the umbrella of NEICC, in the one day seminar organized by the NEICC on April 19, 2017, deliberated on the theme of the seminar through five paper presentations, viz,
- “Problems and prospects of Church Unity”, presented by Rev. Dr. R. Zolawma
- “The Role of Theological Education in Church Unity”, presented by Rev. Dr. Kethozelhou Keyho
- “Gender Inclusive participation in the Church’s Ministry”, presented by Mrs. Gloria Patricia Pohsna
- “Church’s Role in Social Concern”, presented by Mr L. Meru
- “Religious Harmony”, presented by Rev. Dr. B.J. Syiemlieh
Letter from The Synod of The Church of North India: Request for Churches and Congregations to pray for the Supreme Court hearing on the 20th of April to uphold the rights of minorities as per the Constitution of India.
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