Faridabad prelate given rousing welcome *Report of National Study Conference on Grassroot Ecumenism

March 8, 2012 by  
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faridabad_prelateHaryana, March 8, 2012: He wants people to have daily family prayers so that their homes become the cradle of love and faith.

Archbishop-elect Kuriakose Bharanikulangra of Faridabad says his top priority would be to prepare the younger generation to create “a good society.”

The prelate was given a warm welcome last evening when he arrived Delhi from Kochi.

Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio and Auxiliary Bishop Franco Mulakal of Delhi latin diocese, besides priests, nuns and lay leaders, received him at the airport.

Later the former Vatican diplomat attended a reception at St. Augustine’s Church in Karol Bagh, a downtown area, where he announced his plans to give the young “a sound religious foundation” to help their faith formations.

The new prelate, whose jurisdiction spreads over most of northern India, urged Catholics to strengthen the family to give “witnesses” to their faith. “Bear witness to Christ and spread your faith to your children,” he asked the parents.

He wants people to have daily family prayers so that their homes become the cradle of love and faith.

Later speaking to ucanindia.in, the archbishop said the new diocese would strive to foster “good relations” between his Church and the Latin. He also said the new diocese would share the infrastructure and institutions with the Latin Church.

Inter-rite rivalry has dogged the Indian Church since the 1960s, with most Latin-rite bishops opposing moves to establish SMC dioceses outside of the Oriental Church’s base in Kerala.

Archbishop Bharanikulangra said the new diocese would stress laity participation in the Church and promote gender equality by giving women equal representation.

– jessy joseph

Report of National Study Conference on Grassroot Ecumenism


National Study Conference on Grassroot EcumenismTamil Nadu, March 07, 2012: The National Council of Churches in India through its Commission on Unity, Mission and Evangelism, the Centenary Celebration Committee and the Tamilnadu Theological Seminary organized a National Study Conference on “Grass Root Ecumenism in India Today.” at the Rural Theological Institute of the Tamilnadu Theological Seminary, Madurai on 26-29 February2012. Forty-five persons including representatives of different church traditions, mission organizations and theological students from all over India participated in this conference.

The Consultation started with Praise and Worship led by the Rev. Dr. Royappan and TTS students at RTI hall. Rev. Dr. J. Dorairaj, TTS and I coordinated the Inaugural function. The Key note address was delivered by the Vice President of NCCI, Rev. Dr. P.B.M. Basaimwoit. Rev. Dr. Mohanraj K. Peter, Vice Principal of TTS gave the welcome address and  the introduction of the program and welcome participants on behalf of NCCI was done by me.  Dr. Hrangthan Chhungi, Executive Secretary Commission on Tribal and Adivasis participated in the program by delivering a sermon and moderating a sessions.

On 27th February 29012 the day was started with Praise and Worship led by TTS students and a Bible study was led by the Rev. Dr. Jeyachitra, professor of NT, TTS. This was followed by a sharing of ministry reports by all representatives and participants.  A Statement Committee was formed with Rt. Rev. Yakub Soreng of GELC as the Convener. There were representatives from Mar Thoma, CSI, CNI, Mennonite Brethren Church, Pentecostal, BCM, CBCNEI, PCI, GELC, ALC, NMSI, BSI, SCMI, ECI, Pentecostal Church, TELC, APCC, MCC, and Kerela Christian Council of Churches.  After the sharing of information, four groups were divided for discussions.  After lunch the Panel Presentations were by the Rev. Dr. David Rajendran, Professor of Social Analysis and the Rev. Dr. Margareth Kalaiselvi, Professor of Communication and Women Studies on the topics “Grass Root Ecumenism from Social Analyst’s Perspective” and “Grass Root Ecumenism and Communication” respectively.  Questions were raised and we had meaningful discussions on both the topics.  This was followed by a Cultural Dance performed by the BD and M. Th students of TTS which was very meaningful and entertaining. The day’s program ended with the preliminary meeting of the Statement Committee from 5-6.30pm.

28th February 2012 began with Praise and Worship led by the TTS Students and Bible study let by the Rev. Dr. John Samuel, Professor of OT. He had given a profound Bible study how ecumenism began and interpreted in the history of Israel from the book of Deuteronomy and other OT books.  He said if ecumenism is properly interpreted there is hope but if not understood properly then it can lead to destruction or curse.  The next session was moderated by Dr. Hrangthan Chhungi. It was followed by Group Discussion reports and statement Committee. After a brief discussion Group Discussion took place from 11:00am-13:00pm. After the Lunch we had reports from the group discussions and hearing of report from the Statement Committee.  After a brief discussion and addition, the Statement Committee was asked to sit again from 1600-1600hrs. The day’s program came to an end with an indigenous grass root worship let by the TTS students with a Holy Communion served. Dr. Hrangthan Chhungi gave the homily on Love of Friendship.

On On 29th February 2012, the session began with Praise and Worship led by the TTS students and Bible Study was led by the Rev. G.D.V. Prasad, BSI.  On this final day where the road map and way forward to carry out ecumenism forward was seriously discussed. The draft statement was read again and approved after a long discussion and deliberations. Rev. Dr. PBM Basaiawmoit expressed thanks and appreciation to the Convener of the Statement Committee, Rt. Rev. Yakub Soreng, GELC and all the members for their hard work and patience.

The Valedictory service order was voluntarily prepared by Dr. Nirmala, Treasurer, APCC. The Most Rt. Rev. Dr. Mar Irenaios, Chairperson of the Commission gave the valedictory message. Vote of thanks was given by me on behalf of NCCI and Rev. Dr. Royappan on behalf of the host TTS.

I thank Dr. Gnanavaram, Principal, the Coordinators Dr. J. Dorairaj and Dr. Royappan, all the teachers, students and staffs of TTS for hosting the program and RTI personnel, those involved in making the program a successful one. I am also thankful to the Most Rev. Bishop Mar Irenaios, Chairperson of the Commission on Unity, Mission & Evangelism, NCCI for his kind presence and constant support. I must also thank the Rev. Christopher Rajkumar for his encouragements and guidance in organizing this conference. Last but not the least; I thank the Rev. Dr. PBM Bassaiawmoit for his valuable advice and guidance.

– solomon rongpi

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