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Report of National Ecumenical Youth Assembly (NEYA) – 2018 and Youth Manifesto

Date: 7th  – 9th November, 2018

Venue: Mar Thoma Youth Center, Adoor, Kerala

India stands on the verge of being the youngest nation in the world in a few years. In such a time as this, it becomes imperative that we demand civic, ecclesial and ecumenical space(s) for the youth to connect, create and change. National Council of India (NCCI) – Youth Concerns serves as a space for young people of all sections of life in society to express, experience and explore the multi-dimensional features of Ecumenism and Ecumenical Movement and to analyse the role of youth in strengthening the Ecumenical Movement. Giving a young face to the Ecumenical Movement is the prerequisite in the formation of the Youth Concerns.One of the prominent endeavors of NCCI – Youth Concerns in its attempt to augment the sense of accountability among the youths, is its quadrennial youth assembly entitled National Ecumenical Youth Assembly widely known through the acronym NEYA.

NEYA – 2018, organized by NCCI – Youth Concerns from 7 – 9 November 2018 was hosted by the Mar Thoma Youth Center, Adoor, Kerala. The theme of NEYA – 2018 was Fostering Responsible Citizenry”. The quadrennial assembly bore witness to around 140 delegates from different church traditions. The programme commenced with a beautiful worship led by Mar ThomaYuvajana Sakhyam (Youth wing of Mar Thoma Church) with the Reflection being shared by Rev. Merin Mathew, a Priest of the Mar Thoma Church. The inaugural programme comprised of the Welcome by the Local host, Rev. John Matthew C – General Secretary of Mar ThomaYuvajana Sakhyam; Welcome address by Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad – General Secretary NCCI; Introduction to the theme of NEYA by Mr. Jianthaolung Gonmei – Executive Secretary, NCCI – Youth Concerns; Greetings from Mr. Inbaraj Jeyakumar, General Secretary, SCMI and Rev. K. G. Joseph, Sabha Secretary, Mar Thoma Sabha.

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Report on School of Ecumenical Leadership Formation for Indian Youth (SELFIY) 15 Days Seminar

 

As her commitment towards building ecumenism, the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) through Youth Concerns has produced various young ecumenical leaders in both national and international levels over few decades. In continuing the vision of witnessing in forming young ecumenical leaders, the School of Ecumenical Leadership Formation for Indian Youth (SELFIY) was organized by the Youth Concerns of NCCI from 11th – 25th October 2018 at the NCCI Campus, Nagpur. The programme aimed at enhancing the prophetic Indian young minds so that the Indian Church and society at large may bear witness to ecumenism in a much more organic and tangible way. This year we focused on youth members from North and Central India. The proceeding SELFIY will emphasis on the young people from South and North East India.

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A Report on Three Months Computer Application Training Program at NCCI Campus

National Council of Churches in India

NCCI Communications | NCCI Youth

Computer Application Training Program

28th January 2018 – 30th April 2018

Venue- NCCI Campus, Nagpur

The biggest challenge that young people living below poverty line (BPL) face in their day to day life is the difficulty of accessing employment opportunities.

Though some of them are educated, they fail to get  jobs due to lack of many necessary skills. One  such necessary skill  is  digital skills, which are needed in this era of computer assisted applications. To address this concern,  Rev. Caesar David, Executive Secretary – National Council of Churches in India Communications (NCCI-Com) and Mr. Jianthaolung Gonmei, Executive Secretary- Youth Concerns (NCCI-YC) started a Digital Literacy Modular Course of three months for Capacity Enhancement of disadvantaged youth. The aim of this project was to provide the benefits of computer based education and skills training to  students from socially and economically backward areas of Nagpur city, and to equip them for work with computers thereby being able to do better in their life.

The list of students is given below-

 Priyanka Arun Nanhe

 Nandini Umesh Wasnik

 Priyanka Umesh Wasnik

 Somiksha Dilip Gawande

 Sumesh S. Rawte

The pilot project which started with 5 students on January 28, 2018  and which concluded on  April 30, 2018 was conducted  in the  NCCI premises at Nagpur. All the students were from economically weak backgrounds, living in slum localities.

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PROMOTING GOOD CITIZENRY: BUILDING SECULARISM – A Report

The National Council of India (NCCI) – Youth Concerns in collaboration with the Church of South India (CSI) organised a two-day programme on the theme “Promoting Good Citizenry: Building Secularism” on 4-5 May 2018 at the CSI Synod Center, Chennai, focusing on the rise of intolerance,  promotion of individual responsibility, and building secularism in the country especially among the youth.

Mr. Liju Kuriokose, Youth Vice President, NCCI delivered the welcome address. In his address, he expressed disappointment that the world is getting conservative and exclusive; however youth have the capacity to rise above the situation and to challenge the world to strive for change. Youth need to be prophetic which is beyond foretelling; rather they should be engaged in forth-telling, reforming the situation and being responsible to the future generations to come.

Rev. Dr. D. Rathnakara Sadananda, General Secretary, CSI and the Vice President, NCCI, brought the keynote address on the main theme “Promoting Good Citizenry: Building Secularism”. Questioning the notion of India as a nation where minorities live under the threat of majority and where the country is under a monolithic majority, he asserted that India is a nation of minorities. Whereas people look at secularism as a threat to Christianity in the West, there is a  distinctive positive understanding of secularism in India. Referring to the concept of Sarva Dharma Sambhav (a Hindu concept  which asserts  that all Dharmas (truths) are equal to or harmonious with each other.), he observed that Hinduism – basically a caste-based religion, is now being promoted by right wing elements as an all-embracing religion. Therefore  Dr. Sadananda asserted that Christians have to be vigilant and should be ready  to become a community of hope for all. The theology of prayer is not a prayer to God alone but a prayer with commitment to action. He reaffirmed that the Christian community needs to rethink its being. The Church should never become the majority; it is called to be a minority, to be the salt of the earth. Church should join the choirs of life, a choir that empowers and enriches. He concluded with a challenge to the young people to become the choir that makes a choir of minority.

Rev. Asir Ebenezer, Director, CSI-SEVA, deliberated on the theme “Rise of Intolerance: A Threat to Indian Secularism – Socio-Political Perspectives.” He admitted that a citizen can be of any religion; however the state should be a-religious, being equidistant from all religions and instead focus on all its citizens. Secularism is fundamentally  proactive and progressive, encouraging people not only to tolerate one another but also to live in love and friendship. Rev. Ebenezer added that intolerance is non-juxtaposed to secularism, and it distorts the values and principles of the constitution. Concurrently, a minority community cannot practice selective secularism and secular sectarianism. Intolerance should be checked when churches are engaged in the proclamation of the gospel. Power to fight for secularism comes from our status as rightful citizens under the constitution, and not as having a minority status. Therefore he urged the young people to fight for secularism from the Indian citizenship platform.

Dr. Christopher S. Baskeran, Associate Director – Church Relations & Interfaith Engagement, World Vision India, reflected on the notion of justice and social transformation under the topic “Justice and Social Transformation – Marginalised Perspectives.” Drawing inspiration from Plato’s Republic (c. 380 BCE), he talked about  justice as the quality of being fair and reasonable; theory and practice of administering fairness; and justice as being drawn from law. Dr. Baskeran maintained that social transformation implies a fundamental change in society. In conclusion he asserted that the marginalised sections of the society should be acknowledged and should be given transformative justice (which is biblical), a justice of redemption and restoration, what would  bear witness to  social transformation.

Rev. Solomon Paul, Youth Director, CSI, led a  Bible Study from Matthew 25:14-30 (Parable of Talents) highlighting  the capitalistic approach,   the unequal distribution of wealth, and the exercise of power and authority over the poor.

The programme concluded with a vote of thanks and a prayer by Mr. Jianthaolung Gonmei, Executive Secretary, NCCI-Youth Concerns and Fr. John C Matthew respectively.

Unity Octave 2018 Ecumenical Youth Music Concert

As part of the Unity Octave, the National Council of Churches in India organized an Ecumenical Youth Music Concert on 18th January (Thursday) 2018, at Sristhi Lawn, NCCI Campus, Nagpur, on the theme “Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power (Ex. 15:6).” The main focus of the concert was to enlarge ecumenical rapport and togetherness among the Christians, especially Youth, spreading the message of peace and unity through music in the midst of the rising atmosphere of turmoil and intolerance in our society.

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Report of Regional Seminar on Transparency, Accountability and Responsibility (Dumka | Nov. 28 – 29, 2017)

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.

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CCA invites applications to serve as stewards at the Asia Mission Conference in Myanmar.

Stewards of the 14th General Assembly of the CCA in Jakarta, Indonesia — May 2015.

 

The Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) invites applications from young Christians belonging to CCA member churches and ecumenical councils in Asia to serve as stewards for the Asia Mission Conference (AMC) to be held in Yangon, Myanmar from 11 to 17 October 2017.

The stewards program will last for 10 days, including three days of ecumenical formation training and pre-AMC orientation; with arrival on 8 October and departure on 17 October 2017.

An opportunity to serve as a steward in a major Asian ecumenical event with historical significance is a unique experience. It will help to develop a sense of togetherness, working in a multicultural context, interacting with a wide range of participants of the AMC – church and ecumenical leaders from around the world, theologians, missiologists, social activists and interfaith scholars.

The deadline for receiving applications is 10 July 2017. Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 30 years old.

The AMC will be a major ecumenical event with the participation of 400 representatives of churches, ecumenical councils and related organisations in Asia, Europe, North America and other continents. The theme of the AMC is ‘Journeying Together: Prophetic Witness to the Truth and Light, in Asia’. The Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the CCA also will be held during the AMC, on Sunday 15 October 2017.

Fifty stewards, 20 international and 30 local stewards will be selected to work together with the CCA staff and the local host committees to assume various responsibilities during the AMC, and in participating in the two historic events of the CCA – the AMC and CCA’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The Diamond Jubilee of the CCA will be commemorated on Sunday, 15 October 2017 in a grand event in the presence of a gathering of 5000 selected invitees, including the 400 participants of the AMC and international guests.

To download the application form for the Stewards Programme, please visit the CCA website. Kindly send the form to CCA.

 

(Source: CCA News | http://cca.org.hk/home/news-and-events/cca-invites-applications-to-serve-as-stewards-at-the-asia-mission-conference-in-myanmar)

Young Ambassadors of Peace in Asia (YAPA) 2017 (Chiang Mai, Thailand)

The 2nd Young Ambassadors of Peace in Asia (YAPA) 2017, a week-long training programme, was organised by the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) from 28th May to 3rd June at Payap University at Chiang Mai, Thailand.

YAPA training programme sought to facilitate the role of young people as ambassadors of change in peacebuilding processes, and to build a network of young peacebuilders in Asia bridging the missing links in promoting peace in society. The training programme consisted of interactive sessions on non-violence and peace with justice through theological foundations of peace from various religious perspectives, skill development to peace implementation programmes at the grassroots level. The programme further buoyed up the young people to be peace makers not among humans alone but within the whole creation commencing from one’s own inner self.

25 young participants from various Asian countries – Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand – with representatives from the Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim communities who are committed to promoting interfaith collaboration in peacebuilding and conflict resolution participated in the programme.

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NCCI Youth Concerns-SCMI organise three-days Youth Regional Programme

The daily phenomenon of changes in the world is a challenge for students to cope with as they engage in the process of their education along within the changing scenario. In most educational institutions, the method is teacher centred, based upon the  given curriculum and the demarcated syllabi of courses to be covered within the stipulated time in the four walled classroom. There is hardly any space for student interaction and discussion of the subject and their expediences in society. There is a need for students to have fellowship in learning together with practical exposure, so that they can  share, exchange,  experience and learn with each other, thereby enabling themselves to find out their potential and capabilities mental and physical and relate the same to the contextual challenges in society. Keeping these poignant thoughts in mind, a three-days Regional programme was initiated by Student Christian Movement in India (SCMI) in collaboration with National Council of Churches in India (NCCI)–Youth Concerns  from 22nd – 24th  May 2017 in the NCCI Campus, with the aim of building relationships of learning together, thereby being moulded and committed to engage in different areas and fields so that they become channels of hope for society. 

Thirteen fervent students attended this programme. Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary of National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) inaugurated the three-days programme.  He challenged the students by exposing the socio-economic realities of India and its politics, talked about India being the ‘youngest country’ in the coming years and relating it with the challenges of job opportunities, and reconstruction of India. The inaugural was followed by three important sessions. Mr. Rajesh Jadav, Coordinator of Vidarbha Centre for Labour Concerns (VCLC), talked about   globalization and the development of industrialization and its impact (positive and negative), political corruption and caste system, youth power – the role of young people that are involved in industrialization as the agent of change, and the realities of MNCs (Multinational Corporations) exploitation of  labour and land. Mr. Moses Gaur, Programme Coordinator of Evangelical Social Action Forum (ESAF) talked about personal development in the fast growing world, leadership development and socio-political influences among the working class especially among the youth. Ms. Moumita Biswas, Executive Secretary of Women Concerns, NCCI talked about gender justice and equality, discrimination of sex and gender in various social environments–families, society, religion and politics, sexual function and its social stigmas.

In addition to the above three sessions, there were sessions for interaction and  debate. The concluding session was initiated by Mr. Jianthaolung Gonmei, Executive Secretary of Youth Concerns, NCCI, Ms. Wapangyingla Ao, Intern, NCCI, and Mr. Vinod Shemron, Intern, NCCI. The participants also got an opportunity to practically get involved in cleaning the environment during early morning sessions in the NCCI campus.

Manipur Situation: Appeal letters to Prime Minister and National Commission for Minorities, India.


 

Manipur situation appeal from NCCI_Page_1

Manipur situation appeal from NCCI_Page_2

Manipur situation appeal from NCCI_Page_3


TEXT OF APPEAL LETTERS TO

  • SHRI NARENDRA MODI, PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA; and
  • SHRI NASEEM AHMAD, CHAIRPERSON, NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR MINORITIES, INDIA.

 

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