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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Letter from General Secretary of National Council of Churches in Nepal, Rev. Dr. K. B. Rokaya

The following is the text of an email received by Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary of National Council of Churches in India, from Rev. Dr. K. B. Rokaya, General Secretary of National Council of Churches in Nepal.

This letter is in response to Rev. Dr. Roger's mail to him expressing our concern over the Earthquake situation and assuring the people of Nepal of our prayers and support.




From: Jesus is Lord <xxxxxxxxx@xxxxx.com>
Date: Tue, Apr 28, 2015 at 5:06 PM
Subject: Re: Solidarity
To: Gaikwad Roger <xxxxxxxxx@xxxxx.com>



Dear brothers and sisters,

Thank you for your prayer for Nepal. We are all safe. Only today people have started moving out, still living in tents. So far total death almost 5000, still many deaths anticipated as bodies are being recovered. One Church in Kathmandu collapsed killing at least 26 during Saturday worship service. News of Churches destroyed elsewhere coming up. Still too early to say exactly how much damage to Churches and deaths of Christians.

For now just keep praying. Still uncertainty and fear prevails.

Rokaya

Dr. K. B. Rokaya
General Secretary.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

"Save the Life of Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso". End human trafficking! Appeal from NCCI - AICCW.


STOP EXECUTION!!! 


Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso (Pic: www.thestar.com)

All India Council of Christian Women (AICCW), Women's Wing of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) has sent an appeal to the Respected President of Indonesia Joko Widodo to save the life of Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso.

The 30-year-old Filipina is on death row in Indonesia. This Filipino woman, convicted of alleged drug trafficking, has been transferred to a detention center on Indonesia’s Nusakambangan Island, where she awaits execution by firing squad on 28th April 2015, Tuesday.

Veleso was subject to sexual abuse and ‘almost raped’ as she says by her employer when she was working as domestic worker in Dubai and she came to Philippines. When she was looking for job again she was tricked by her neighbour/family friend and her boyfriend.
 

Monday, 27 April 2015

Nepal earthquake situation needs your prayers and help


The Earthquake situation in Nepal and parts of India has claimed more than 3700 lives at the latest count, and several thousands of casualties are continuing to be dealt with. The figures could rise higher depending on the condition of vulnerable mountain villages that rescue workers are still struggling to reach two days after the disaster. The aftershocks occurring after the earthquake, of which there have been more than 20, continue to inflict damage on buildings already weakened by previous activity and endanger the lives of many more.

The quake, worst in last 81 years, is proving to be a huge challenge to rescue and relief operations. However, help has come from all sides and emergency operations are underway. Even Christian organizations like Lutheran World Relief, Christian Aid, Dan Church Aid, and Mennonite Central Committee are actively engaged in relief work

This calamity brings us closer to each other as cohabitants of God’s earth, undivided by borders, religions and languages. Let us pray for and support the relief and rehabilitation efforts being made. Let us uphold in prayers our sisters and brothers affected by the earthquake, asking God, the Caring One, to bless us with Divine Peace, Comfort and Hope amidst the humanly disconsolate state of affairs we are witnessing and experiencing.

It is at such times that we can give substance to the values of humanity and love that we profess and hold dear.

NCCI

Appeal for upholding secular and pluralistic credentials of India. PCI Memorandum

On Wednesday April 22, 2015 a group of Church Leaders (Presbyterian Church of India, Catholics & a few others) met Mr. Amit Shah, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National President, and submitted their respective memoranda.

The PCI memorandum contained three points, viz. (1) for PM Modi to state in Parliament what he stated at the Syro-Malabar Church meeting; (2) for the Government not to enact a law banning religious conversion; (3) for not bringing a law to ban cow slaughter.

Please see below the Presbyterian Church of India (PCI) memorandum submitted to Mr. Amit Shah, National President of Bharatiya Janata Party.


PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF INDIA

SHILLONG ::: MEGHALAYA




22 April, 2015.

Mr. Amit Shah,
National President,
Bharatiya Janata Party,
Camp: Shillong.

Subject: Request for upholding secular and pluralistic credentials of India.

Sir,

Welcome to North East India! Welcome to Shillong!

First of all, thank you for this opportunity to meet you on your maiden visit to the North East and to Shillong, the Scotland of the East which is also the national headquarters of the Presbyterian Church of India which population is 1.4 million and established 174 years ago with the first congregation being Nongsawlia Presbyterian Church at Sohra (Cherrapunjee), the famed tourist destination of Meghalaya with its cascading waterfalls, world renowned caves and from where one can have a panoramic view of the plains of Bangladesh.


Friday, 24 April 2015

100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Asian Churches in Solidarity.

April 24, 2015

Today marks the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. At this moment in history, when the world pauses to remember the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, we as Asian Churches share with concern and prayers the pain and sorrow of our brothers and sisters of the Armenian Apostolic Church, as they remember with pain the 'injustices forced on their ancestors.'



As sent by Ms. Susan Jacob from CCA Communications, please see the letter of solidarity sent to HH Aram I, Holy See of the Armenian Apostolic Church and Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian, by Rev. Dr. Henritte Hutabarat Lebang and a letter to the CCA members, in this regard.



Letter to CCA members

 24 April 2015

 To
Heads of CCA Member Churches and Councils Members of the General Committee and PACs


Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day 


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, 

The Armenian churches will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on 24th April 2015. It is with solidarity that we stand with them in sorrow and comfort, in hope and faith, courage and strength, at this moment in history. The Armenian Apostolic Church in Iran has been a member of the Christian Conference of Asia for the past 5 years. 

In honor of this historic event, the Armenian Church, on Thursday 23 April 2015, conferred sainthood on about 1.5 million Armenians massacred by Ottoman forces a century ago, in what is believed to be the biggest canonization service in history. The ceremony outside Armenia's main cathedral, Echmiadzin, close to the capital Yerevan, ended at 7:15 pm local time, or 19:15 according to the 24-hour clock, to symbolize the year when the massacres started during World War I. The church says the aim of the ceremony was to proclaim the martyrdom of those killed for their faith and homeland. After the ceremony, bells tolled in Armenian churches around the world followed by a minute of silence. On Friday, commemorations will mark the 100th anniversary of the killings. 


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Press Release from North-West India Council of Churches (NWICC)

PRESS RELEASE

The Council of the North West India Council of Churches (NWICC) met on 15th April, 2015 at  Mar Thoma Centre in Delhi.  The main agenda of the meeting was revitalizing the North West India Council of Churches (NWICC) and its activities. Bishops, Head of Churches, Official Representatives of Church bodies, Organizations of NWICC  gathered in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and together we reflected on how to become effective witnesses of God’s grace and love in our situation and to serve humanity (as servants of God). 


  • We endorse that all humans are created in the Image of God and Churches and all their agencies are called to be responsible to work with specific mandate for the betterment of humanity as well as God’s creations.

North West India Council of Churches elects its new leadership


To promote grass-roots ecumenism, the Regional Christian Councils need to be
strengthened locally. A vibrant Christian Council is the need of the hour for Church unity in India.  North West India Council of Churches (NWICC), in the last six months had various meeting to revitalize the regional council.  The adhoc -committee called for the ordinary Council meeting, which was held on 15th April, 2015 at Mar Thoma Centre, New Delhi. 

The Council was well represented by the member Churches, Christian Institutions and ecumenical bodies. The devotion was led by Bishop Collin Theodore on “Mystery of Resurrection” and stressed that Resurrection should be experienced every day by believing in the ‘Risen God’. 

Bishop Subodh C. Mondal, Chairman of adhoc-committee, in his presidential address brought to the notice of Church leaders that India is a great nation with rich and diverse cultures, religions, languages and ethnicities. However, it  is threatened by  majoritarian supremacy. People are still awaiting "acche din" (good days) for all. He also highlighted the threatening scenario which minority communities are facing now. He called upon NWICC to play a significant role in providing a platform to all churches and Christian organizations to come together and address the situation unitedly. 

Monday, 20 April 2015

Indian Theological Educators and Church Leaders Delegation to China. A Report

 The Church and Christian Theological Education in Contemporary China:
An Edifying Visit of Delegation of Indian Theological Educators and Church Leaders

Indian Delegation at Holy Trinity Church, Shanghai

With CCCTSPM colleagues

In 1987 a Chinese delegation led by Bishop K.H. Ting visited churches and Christian organizations in India. Twenty-five years later, another Chinese delegation consisting of 6 members led by Rev. Dr. Chen Yilu, visited India from August 17 to 27, 2013. This visit was facilitated by the Foundation for Theological Education in Southeast Asia (FTESEA) having Rev. Dr. H.S. Wilson as its Executive Director. The delegation visited Kolkata, Serampore, Delhi, Agra, and Bangalore. The members of the delegation considered it to be a very meaningful trip as they got to visit theological colleges, churches and church organizations, thereby gaining an insight about India, in particular about the life and ministries of the Church in India, along with some of its cultural expressions. A bond of friendship was thus established between the Chinese friends and Indian church leaders and theologians. This paved the way for a reciprocal visit of Indian theological educators (represented by the Board of Senate of Serampore College) and church leaders (represented by the National Council of Churches in India) to China from November 13 to 22, 2014.This programme was again facilitated by FTESEA through Rev. Dr. H. S. Wilson...


Thursday, 16 April 2015

NCCI Commission on Youth E-bulletin

UTH  TURN…CONNECT CREATE CHANGE” an e-bulletin from the Commission on Youth.

Let's connect-create-change… It’s “Uth Turn” (youth turn) our turn, you, me, all of us connecting, walking hand in hand, creating a bond strong,  changing into an instrument of love. Let us spread God’s word, His love, bringing relief and peace, building a nation of love, of humanity and peace.



NCCI SMS NEWS ALERT SYSTEM LAUNCHED

That the mobile phone as a modern communication tool has overtaken other gadgets is a fact that had been expected for a while now. In terms of numbers, ease of access, reach and speed, the mobile applications we have now, and the humble, unassuming, but powerful SMS (Short Message Service) are second to none. With the communication paradigms changing from a one-way flow to an interactive one, from people actively seeking out data on websites to receiving data in the convenience of their own virtual spaces (the space of a 5-inch screen, if you like), and the occasional updates to instant ones, mobile technology has emerged as, arguably, the Swiss army knife (multiple functions aspect) of communications.

Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary of NCCI launches
NCCI SMS news alert system (Photo courtesy: Rev. Sunil Raj Philip)

NCCI Commission on Communications and Relations has, for some time now, promoted the use of available communication tools towards greater efficiency and impact. To further enhance NCCI Communications NCCI SMS NEWS ALERT SYSTEM was launched on April 13, 2015 by the General Secretary of NCCI, Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad in Nagpur. It is hoped that this program component will serve to effectively use the benefits of mobile connectivity and telecommunication technology towards greater speed and efficiency in our work. Rev. Dr. Roger expressed his wish for this service to not only enhance communication as a systems process but also lead to better connection with people.


If you would like to receive alerts and updates from NCCI by SMS on your phone, please register your mobile number (for India only) on the form by clicking HERE (http://www.123contactform.com/form-1380209/NCCI-News-Update-Registration).



 CLICK HERE TO REGISTER YOUR MOBILE NUMBER FOR NCCI NEWS ALERT SMS

_________________________________________
Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad
General Secretary, NCCI

Rev. Dr. Samuel Meshack
Chairperson, Program Commission on Communications and Relations, NCCI

Rev. Caesar J. David
Executive Secretary, Commission on Communications and Relations, NCCI

Monday, 6 April 2015

Donating Blood to Remember Jesus on Good Friday


Many Churches and Christian Institutions in observed Blood Donation Camps to mark the Good Friday meaningful on the call extended by the Commission on Justice, Peace and Creation - NCCI. As reported over 10 camps held in many places in Maharashtra, Manipur, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Chattisghargh.

Good Friday is an important day for every Christian who believes that, Jesus who died on the Cross and shed blood to give life for all. 

In Nagpur, the Christian Youth have worked with the Nagpur Medical College in donating their blood requesting them to be shared with the poor and needy who cannot afford to buy blood for their treatment.  Dr. Nitin and his team from Nagpur Medical College  assisted in the camp.


Thursday, 2 April 2015

Reflection for Good Friday and Easter by NCCI General Secretary

The Hour of Shame – The Hour of Glory



The Gospel according to John presents to us several images about the death of Jesus. One of them is the expression, “being lifted up.” In John 3:14-15 Jesus says, “And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” In fact Jesus repeats this thought two more times in the gospel according to John: “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am he, and that I do nothing of my own, but I speak these things as the Father instructed me.”(John 8: 28); “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth will draw all people to myself.”(John 12:32).


 This figure of speech has behind it the imagery of the bronze serpent being lifted up by Moses on a pole  so that it would become a means of life for all who were bitten by snakes in the wilderness and looked up to the bronze serpent (Num.21:9). A snake, a thing looked down upon, was to become a channel of blessing. Similarly the cross, which was a symbol of disgrace, was to become a sign of salvation for all creation. The Roman form of crucifixion was not employed in the Old Testament by the Jewish people, as they saw crucifixion as one of the most horrible, cursed forms of death: “When someone is convicted of a crime punishable by death and is executed, and you hang him on a tree, his corpse must not remain all night upon the tree . . . for anyone hung on a tree is under God’s curse” (Deut.21: 22-23). In New Testament Bible times, the Romans used this tortuous method of execution as a means of exerting authority and control over the population. Yes, this cross, the symbol of shame was to become the pro-active sign of salvation, and therefore of God’s glory.

Today’s world tends to define glory in terms of success, achievements, accomplishments, wealth, possessions, fame, etc.

WCC Celebrates the life and witness of Rev. Dr. Philip Potter

WCC Celebrates the life and witness of Rev. Dr. Philip Potter
World Council of Churches - News

31 March 2015


A special tribute was paid by the World Council of Churches (WCC) to the Rev. Dr Philip Potter, the third general secretary of the WCC, who served in that office from 1972 to 1984. A global ecumenical leader known for accompanying churches around the world in their struggles for unity, justice and peace, Potter died on 31 March at the age of 93 in L├╝beck, Germany.

Born in Roseau, Dominica, in the West Indies on 19 August 1921, Potter began his ecumenical involvement as part of the student Christian movement in the Caribbean. He was a youth representative to the first two assemblies of the WCC at Amsterdam (1948) and Evanston (1954).


Wednesday, 1 April 2015

For Dalits, Tribals and Adivasis, Easter is an opportunity to revive their hope in a new heaven and new earth....

For Dalits, Tribals and Adivasis in India:

Easter is...

An opportunity to revive their hope in a new heaven and new earth....
A time to see the curtain of division and discrimination tore apart....
An attempt of re-formation of human relations as Mother Mary and John had at the cross....
A reminder of the need of endurance and persistence to counter casteism....
An indicator that the possible and certain persecutions they have to undergo....
And a pointer to the fact that if they do not shout aloud, the stones will shout....

Let us have an Easter of resistance to casteism!


Let us celebrate Easter in solidarity with Dalit, Tribals and Adivasis!

Rev. Sunil Raj Philip,
Executive Secretary, Commission on Dalits,
Executive Secretary- in- charge, Commission on Tribals & Adivasis,
National Council of Churches in India.
revsunilrajphilip@gmail.com
Cell: +91 8275045182 


Painting by REV JOHN PRADEEP, who is currently serving as pastor in Telengana, after finishing his theological studies in the United Theological College in Bangalore.