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National Council of Churches in India condemns bombings in Sri Lanka

The leadership and the members of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) send their prayers and solidarity to the people of Sri Lanka during the time of deep crisis.

The NCCI strongly condemns the inhuman bombing that occurred this morning. NCCI joins the international community in expressing solidarity with the people and government of Sri Lanka, the Church in Sri Lanka and all the faithful.

The situation arising out of this dastardly attack pose serious challenge to the idea and value of humanity, peace, mutual cooperation, fraternity and love. It is our prayer that all people of Sri Lanka will once again rise to the occasion and defeat the forces that seek to push the clock back.

We pray for justice to be affirmed and peace ensured for all peoples. May God’s peace rule the hearts and minds of the bereaved.

Rev. Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary,
National Council of Churches in India.

Let’s start all over again . . .

Death, Decay, Disenchantment, Disfranchise, Disease, Destruction are all that fills the air.  The print media is no exception. These are dimensions of a world that seems to be falling apart. At least in one of the synoptic gospels the writers remind the women who sought Jesus at the tomb, that they were searching the risen among the dead. A reminder to us today to once again renew our faith that death shall not hold sway over the forces of life, and life will prevail. This is a message that we need to preach to us especially this Easter and repeatedly thereafter – that the forces of death will not cow us down.

More importantly this Easter should remind us that ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee’. The Greek rendering shows the urgency and the eagerness to start it all over again – that which in the first place led him to the cross. It is time now for the Christian community in India and the world over to return to ‘Galilee’ and start it all over again – to remember again our commitment to make the fringes, the ends of the earth, the redefined centre(s); a redefined centres that ring down hegemonic power expressions be it religious represented in Jesus time by the Jewish temple or the political power that patronised such divisive religious hegemony that had puritan overtones and their economic accompanists.

May this be our prayer this Easter that as Christian faith communities everywhere, together with peoples of all faith expressions and ideological persuasions, we will renew our commitment to go again in the path of embracing the cross, affirming the rights and dignity of the victims of religious, economic, ethnic, political expressions of hegemony; and together speak the truth to ‘power’.

Rev. Asir Ebenezer

General Secretary – NCCI

National Council of Churches in India condemns killings in New Zealand; affirms solidarity with Muslims

National Council of Churches (NCCI) in India is saddened by the hate-filled terror attack at Christchurch in New Zealand. We extend our solidarity to the families of the victims and we stand with friends of the Islamic faith who are affected largely by the trauma of the attack. Let God enable all the affected ones to experience the eternal peace.

The shooting at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch and the Masjid in Linwood is a visible expression of growing intolerance worldwide towards migrants and Muslims. The right-wing fanaticism related to economy, ethnicity and nationalism complicates the situation. Hostility towards ‘others’, precipitated in violence has led to the annihilation of ‘others.’ These kinds of massacres which involve singling out a group of people and labelling them as ‘people to be
hated’ are against the human race. It is time to for those who believe in justice and peace to come out and condemn any such actions wherever it may be in the world.

This is an eye opener to everyone that the seeds of hate can grow to any extent, shedding the blood of many innocents. It is time now to take a pledge together, to have zero tolerance towards hate mongering of any form, be it through news channels, social media or hate speeches.

National Council of Churches in India believe in dialogue and peaceful coexistence of all. We support the efforts of New Zealand Government to maintain peace and harmony among the communities. May God grant us the understanding that we are meant to live with all peoples in peace.

Rev. Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary, NCCI

Call for applications to the post of NCCI Executive Secretary – Women Concerns Ministry

Copy of the advertisement of the NCCI calling for applications to the post of NCCI Executive Secretary – Women Concerns can be download here…

Please encourage suitable candidates to apply for the same.

Thanking you,

Sincerely,

Rev. Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary, NCCI

The Most Rev. Dr. P. C. Singh elected President of Bible Society of India

Most Rev. Dr. P.C. Singh, President of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), the Moderator of the Church of North India (CNI) is elected to serve as the President of The Bible Society of India. He was installed as President, on 31st January 2019, at Bangalore during the meeting of the 27th Triennial Central Council of the Bible Society of India. Dr. Mrs. Leela Bose was elected as Vice President and Rev. Premkumar Soans as the Treasurer of Bible Society of India.

Most Rev. Dr. P C. Singh, Bishop of the Jabalpur Diocese of the Church of North India, is a well-known Ecumenical leader. He is President of the prestigious Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society (CISRS), Ecumenical Church Loan Fund of India(ECLOF); Executive Committee Member of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) and holds other responsible posts in many organizations across India. He has taken over charge from Rev. Dr. P.N.S. Chandra Bose.

The National Council of Churches in India wishes its President The Most Rev. Dr. P. C. Singh, Dr. Mrs. Leela Bose, Rev. Premkumar Soans and Rev. Dr. M. Mani Chacko (General Secretary, BSI) the very best and God’s blessings as they guide the Bible Society of India for the next Triennium.

Rev. Asir Ebenezer

General Secretary, NCCI

NCCI Republic Day Message 2019: Let us Arise and build . . .

We have been a unique republic. It is with great joy and a sense of satisfaction that we look forward to another year, and many more, organising ourselves as a people – different and diverse, rich in heritage and righteous in spirit, sincerely hoping that we will sustain the legacy of this great nation for generations to come. Read more …

Rev. Asir Ebenezer

General Secretary

National Council of Churches in India

Secretary,

Christian Service Agency

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2019 (Unity Octave)

Every year Christians across the world gather in prayer for growth in unity. We do this in a world where corruption, greed and injustice bring about inequality and division. Ours is a united prayer in a fractured world: this is powerful. However, as individual Christians and communities, we are often complicit with injustice, and yet we are called together to form a united witness for justice and to be a means of Christ’s healing grace for the brokenness of the world.

The theme for the 2019 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, “Justice and only justice you shall pursue”  is taken from the book of Deuteronomy 16:18-20.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2019 has been prepared by Christians from Indonesia. With a population of 265 million, 86% of whom are reckoned to be Muslim, Indonesia is well known as having the largest Muslim population of any country. However, about 10% of Indonesians are Christian from various traditions. In terms of both population and the vast extension of the country Indonesia is the biggest nation in South East Asia. It has more than 17,000 islands, 1,340 different ethnic groups and over 740 local languages and yet is united in its plurality by one national language Bahasa Indonesia. The articulations on the prayer themes have however been adapted to the Indian context by the NCCI Secretariat.

Churches all over the globe are called to work together to heal the wounds in the body of Christ. At the same time, need to discern God’s hand at work in bringing about reform, healing and liberation. In other words, churches should be together and work where God is.

Download the Week of Prayer 2019 for Christian Unity

 

Passing the Baton: Revd. Asir Ebenezer takes charge of NCCI as the General Secretary 

The installation of Rev. Asir Ebenezer as the new the General Secretary  took place on 3 January 2019. The program began with a worship service in which the Office bearers of NCCI,  members of Working Committee, Finance Committee, Executive Secretaries and Staff were present. The President  handed over a copy of The Holy Bible and Constitution of NCCI to the new General Secretary. Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad the outgoing General Secretary handed over the charge. Rev. Asir Ebenezer was felicitated by the Church dignitaries who  graced the occasion.   After the installation service Rev. Asir Ebenezer was led to the General Secretary’s room where he was seated in the general secretary’s chair.  Rt. Rev. Dr. J. George Stephen, Bishop of Madras Diocese consecrated him in prayer .

Rev. Asir Ebenezer is an ordained minister of the Church of South India (CSI). He has been in ministry since 1992 and has served in various positions in national and global ecumenical forums.

Prior to this, he was serving as Director of Social Empowerment: Vision in Action (CSI_SEVA)  at the CSI Synod. He had earlier served the NCCI in various positions, including Officiating General Secretary of NCCI in betweeb 2004 and 2010. A well-known figure in ecumenical circles, theologian, community-enabler and finance expert, the multiple competencies of Rev. Asir Ebenezer will go a long way to strengthen the council.

The office Bearers, Secretaries,  and the Staff of the NCCI welcome Rev. Asir Ebenezer and  wish him well in his new responsibility.

The Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad moves to another area of work relating to Theological Education. The NCCI acknowledges his contribution to NCCI and wishes him well for his new endeavor.

To Everything Turn, Turn, Turn

December 31, 2018

To

All the Constituent Members of NCCI
Dear Ecumenical Fraternity,
Greetings in Christ from the NCCI Secretariat!
As 2018 comes to a close, 2019 dawns on us with 365 days of challenges and  opportunities, changes and hopes. In such a context, the NCCI will be blessed with a new General Secretary in the person of Rev. Asir Ebenezer. As he takes on this responsibility, he brings to it several years of experience as a church minister, ecumenist, and societal change maker, along with his multi-faceted talents, particularly his administrative acumen and incisive leadership.
I have had the privilege of serving the NCCI for eight years (December 2010- December 2018). It has been a time of challenges and opportunities working together with all the Secretaries, Staff, and Interns, as well as with the NCCI Office Bearers, Executive Committee and General Body Members and all other committee members and the people of God at large.  During my time  we have focused our ministries on the themes of the three quadrenniums: “Together in Mission: Empowering Local Congregations” (2008-2012)”The Gospel in a Groaning World”(2012-2016) and “Towards Just and Inclusive Communities” (2016 -2020). We have also celebrated the centenary of the NCCI in 2014 on the theme”Towards Integral Mission and Grass-roots Ecumenism.”
I am grateful to all of you for enabling me to serve as a steward in this ecumenical journey of NCCI. Above all, I am grateful to God, within whom we live and move and have our being, as we endeavor to give expression to and experience the Nazareth Manifesto of Jesus (Luke 4:18-19).
Roger Gaikwad
Rev. Asir Ebenezer