Theme: ‘Embracing People with Disabilities: Upholding Their Dignity’.
Greetings from NCCI-IDEA!
The Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment of National Council of Churches in India (NCCI-IDEA) along with the Church of North India-Nagpur Diocese observed CCA-Asia Sunday on the theme, “Embracing People with Disabilities: Upholding Their Dignity” on 20th May 2018 at All Saints Cathedral, Nagpur. This cathedral, which is more than 100 years old, observed Asia Sunday in solidarity with Persons with Disabilities. This initiative of Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) paved the way to encourage Churches in Asia to renew their commitment towards embracing people with disabilities and to uphold their dignity in accompanying them and mainstreaming their concerns.
All Saints Cathedral and its premises were done up to create awareness and sensitize the worshippers with posters and wheelchairs, emphasizing that the church should take the initiative to be more disabled-friendly. The Cathedral for the very first time in its more than 100 years of their faith journey witnessed on the occasion of Asia Sunday a preacher with disabilities, Mrs. Cynthia Shinde, Coordinator of NCCI-IDEA, preaching to the congregation and exhorting them to be Disabled-Friendly. The worship was conducted on the Asia Sunday Theme. Rev. John George, Presbyter, welcomed NCCI –IDEA and called on Dr. Rev. Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary of NCCI and President of IDEA to introduce Christian Conference of Asia and the theme of Asia Sunday. He also introduced the ministerial journey of IDEA, the forum of NCCI.
The Biblical Reflection started with three dramatic voices: one of a person on wheelchair who said, “I cannot come into the Church because my wheelchair cannot climb the stairs of the church or the raised alter for communion” ; the second of a parent who said, “My child who cannot hear and speak is not able to follow the worship or the preaching because there is no sign interpreter, and so I cannot leave my child alone at home and come to church”; and, the third voice declared, “I’m a person with visual impairment, I don’t mind coming to church but there is no Braille Bible or Song Book for me to follow the worship. I don’t want to be a mere passive worshipper.”