Planning Meeting for ‘500 Years of Reformation Anniversary’ – NCCI, CNI Synod and EKD

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The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), Church of North India (CNI) Synod and Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD)  called  the 1st planning meeting for ‘500 years of Reformation Anniversary’ in Delhi on 21st October 2016 at CNI Bhavan.

dsc02746The Most Rev. P.K. Samantaroy, Moderator, CNI presided over the meeting. Rev. Dr. Paul Swarup, CNI reflected on the history of Reformation, Martin Luther’s role and its relevance in today’s world. Rev. Markus Lesinski, EKD, deliberated over 12 points on the impacts and challenges of the Global Reformation Celebration. Over 22 people from various churches and Christian organizations  attended the meeting.

In order to discuss further plans for the celebrations, the next meeting will be held  on 21st November 2016 .

Samuel Jayakumar
Commission on Policy, Governance and Public Witness, NCCI

21st September 2016 – International Prayer Day for Peace (An invitation to “Do” and “Practice” Peace)

21st September 2016 – International Prayer Day for Peace

(An invitation to “Do” and “Practice” Peace)

“Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace”(United Nations)

ipdp-imageEach year, the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21st September. The General Assembly of the United Nations has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals to inculcate the culture of Peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

The World Council of Churches calls Churches and all the faith and peace loving communities to observe the International Day of Prayer for Peace. Observances of the peace prayer day began in 2004 during a meeting between the then WCC General Secretary Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and coincides with the UN International Day of Peace.

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Chattisgarh Christian Council condemns vandalism and assault on church members in Kachana, India.

IMG-20160309-WA0005Chhattisgarh Christian Council (CCC), regional Christian Council of the National Council of Churches in India,  strongly Condemns the Vandalisation of Church and assault on Believers Chhattisgarh Church and subsequent assault on the church members in Kachana near Raipur city. The attack happened around 11 am on March 6, 2016 allegedly by members of Bajrang Dal. The Pastor Ankush Bareyekar approached the Vidhan Sabha thana where the police after a long delay registered the FIR.

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World Day of Prayer 4th March 2016

Theme: Receive Children, Receive Me

Country Focus : Cuba
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World Day of Prayer (WDP) is a global, ecumenical movement of Christian women joined together to observe a common day of prayer each year on the first Friday of March. The Motto of WDP is “Informed Prayer & Prayerful Action” signifies that prayer and action are inseparable. It is a movement initiated and carried out by women in more than 170 countries and regions. WDP brings together women of various races, cultures, and traditions in closer fellowship, understanding, and action throughout the year. Each year a different theme is chosen and the resource material and liturgy is prepared by WDP Committee of a particular country. Therefore, WDP gives scope to women all over the world to pray for that particular country. Christian women through this prayer movement raise funds to support projects and programs and initiatives of women for justice and peace through WDP International Committee.

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End Human Trafficking and Sexual Slavery: Priority Mission Focus of All India Council of Christian Women

A Nationaphotol Consultation on Ecumenical Advocacy to End Human Trafficking and Sexual Slavery was organized  by All India Council of  Christian Women ( AICCW)  in Partnership with  Lutheran World Service India Trust on   10th January 2016 in Kolkata. 25 leaders from different faith based organizations and Churches working to end Human Trafficking or justice and peace issues participated in this consultation . Strengthening networking, ecumenical advocacy, capacity building, ending impunity, supporting survivors and their children, alleviating poverty, and intercepting/ending Human Trafficking and Sexual Slavery are  priority foci of   AlCCW.

A part of this consultation involved dialogue with women, men and youth local leaders from adopted communities of Lutheran World Service India Trust who are mainly migrant, domestic workers and daily wage laborers. “Our aim was not only just to strategize to end human trafficking but also to hear the voices of people on the periphery who are more vulnerable and  at risk. It was important for us to hear from them their stories  challenges and vulnerability and how they combat and intercept human trafficking. Our aim was to link Leaders from faith based organizations and church leaders and women’s fellowships to support, rehabilitate and heal survivors also” states Ms Moumita Biswas, Executive Secretary of AICCW.

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NCCI thanks God for the life and witness of Rt. Rev. Dr. Zacharias Mar Theophilus

Bp Zacharias Mar TheophilusRt. Rev. Dr. Zacharias Mar Theophilus, Suffragan Metropolitan of the Kerala-based Mar Thoma Syrian Church, passed away on 27th December 2015 after suffering a brain haemorrhage.
Born on August 29, 1938, as Oommen Koruthu, he was ordained as deacon on May 7, 1966; as a priest on July 9 that year, and consecrated as Bishop in May 1980. He was installed as Suffragan Metropolitan on July 3, 2004.

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Rev. Dr. Bastiaan Wielenga, a renowned Indian Liberation theologian and Biblical scholar moves on… (1936 – 2015)

Bas WielengaRev. Dr. Bastiaan Wielenga,  a German missionary who opted for Indian citizenship, and a globally renowned Indian Liberation theologian of our times passed away on 23rd Dec 2015.  Among several commitments, he served the Ecumenical Christian Centre,  the Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society, and Tamilnadu Theological Seminary, where he played a major role in founding the’ Centre for Social Analysis’, and from where he retired as a Professor of Biblical Studies.

Dr. Bastiaan Wielenga’s contributions towards articulation of contextual theologies, particularly Theology of the Poor and Indian Liberation Theology, through the Centre for Social Analysis and  Tamilnadu Theological Seminary in particular and the Senate of Serampore College at large, are indeed remarkable.

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NCCI Christmas celebration in Delhi

ccd0The celebration of ‘Christmas joy through carols’ was arranged by National Council of Churches in India and North West India Council of Churches (NWICC) on 5th December 2015 at Free Church (CNI), Sansad Marg . Mr. Justice Vikramajit Sen, Supreme Court of India, was the Chief Guest of the event. He emphasized that as a Christian Community we should contribute to Nation Building.

The service started with a prayer by Rev. Suresh Kumar, Presbyter-in–Charge, Free Church, followed by the welcome address by Bishop Collin C. Theodore, Secretary NWICC. The felicitation was done by Bishop Subodh C. Mondal, the President of NWICC. The gathering was delighted by carols and scripture reading. Around 10 choirs from different churches (Protestant, Catholic, orthodox and Northeast) sang carols in different languages.
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Chennai situation: Updates from Arcot Lutheran Church

This is an e-mail received by the office of the General Secretary of National Council of Churches in India from Arcot Lutheran Church (ALC) updating us of the situation in Chennai and the continuing need for support in relief and rehabilitation efforts undertaken by NCCI’s constitutional members.

Greetings to you from the Arcot Lutheran church.

Thanks for your kind mail dated Dec 8, 2015 and we are very happily noted the contents with a deep sense of thankfulness.

We take this opportunity to express our deep sense of gratitude for taking time to inform all the NCCI member churches about the devastation happened in Tamilnadu especially in the Arcot Lutheran Church areas of three districts namely Cuddalore, Villupuram and Tiruvannamalai.
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Relief and Rehabilitation work in Chennai by Church of South India (CSI)

This is an email received from Rev. Dr. D. R. Sadananda, General Secretary of Church of South India (CSI) updating us about the calamitous situation in Chennai and the response of CSI, through its Diaconal Ministry CSI-SEVA that has been coordinating with the Dioceses in carrying out relief operations in flood affected areas. We solicit your prayers and support for the Chennai situation.

Dear Dr. Roger Gaikwad,

Greetings from the CSI Synod Secretariat!

Thank you very much for your email expressing NCCI’s solidarity with those affected by the Chennai floods. You aware that Chennai and different parts of Tamilnadu are still reeling under flooding caused by breached tanks and release of water from tanks and dams. This is considered to be due to effects of climate change and underlines our immediate and urgent commitment to climate justice.
csireliefworkThe situation is unprecedented and has caught the population and administration unaware. But for a responsive neighbourhood that rose up to the occasion, the distress would have been many folds more. Social media was used as a great force multiplier in the process. The local churches have responded immediately. The Church and School/ Institution premises in many places have accommodated people. Local congregations in the affected and neighbouring areas have been distributing food packets, blankets and drinking water.
Thank you for your readiness to stand in solidarity with the people who have suffered a great loss because of the floods in Chennai. Thank you for the prayers, for the words of encouragement and comfort. The CSI-SEVA (Diaconal Ministry) has been co-ordinating with our Dioceses and is carrying out the need assessment in the flood affected areas.

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