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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

NCCI mourns the loss of the great leader Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam Oct. 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015
(Pic: media.thenewindianexpress.com)

The passing away of India’s most beloved and iconic leader, ex-president Dr. A. P. J Abdul Kalam on July 27, 2015, has cast a pall of grief over the whole country and even beyond its borders. 


He won the awe and delight of India’s masses because of his profound futuristic contribution to the country and indeed our planet. He was popularly known as the “Missile Man of India”, a reference to his role in shaping India’s missile program during his tenures at India’s space and defense-research agencies respectively from the 1960s to the 1990s. He was also a key player in India’s emergence as a nuclear power. As time.com notes, Few Indian leaders in the 21st century enjoyed the kind of popular support experienced by Kalam, evidenced by the near-unanimous backing of his election as India’s 11th President in 2002 among all the parties across India’s fractious political spectrum, as well as the overwhelming outpouring of grief at his death. (http://time.com/3974357/apj-abdul-kalam-death-tributes-condolences). He was awarded the Padma Bhushan and Bharat Ratna for his achievements.

Although a modest and unassuming man, Dr. Kalam captured the imagination of the country’s youth encouraging them to confidently forge ahead to pursue their dreams. He instilled patriotism and ideas of secularism in the hearts of people that united everyone in the values of humanity and greater benefit transcending region, religion, language and culture. This secularism in praxis is truly remarkable and exemplary.

As the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) joins in mourning the loss of this great leader, a hope is expressed that Dr. Abdul Kalam would continue to be an inspiration and model for the awakening of people to the values of integrity, true joy and peace.


Bishop Dr. Taranath Sagar
President, NCCI

Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad
General Secretary, NCCI

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Asia Bibi's death sentence suspended by Pakistan Supreme Court


Asia Bibi - charged under Pakistan's blasphemy law

Dear brothers, sisters & Friends,

Greetings from NCC- Pakistan!

The good news that Asia Bibi who is in jail from the last 6/7 years and was charged under Blasphemy law. Her case was heard by the Supreme Court of Pakistan to-day, 22nd July, 2015.
The Supreme Court in its preliminary orders suspended the death penalty which was awarded by the session Court and subsequently upheld by the High Court, under Blasphemy Law.

This order of the Supreme Court paved the way for her complete acquittal from the Blasphemy charge.

Now she could be released on bail but due to sensitivity of the issue it was advised that she should remain in jail for security reasons and wait for the final judgment of the Supreme Court.
 

(Source: Email received from Mr. Victor Azariah, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in Pakistan)

NCCI Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment

Consultation on 'Towards Inclusive Society: From Disability Perspective



The National Council of Churches in India's (NCCI) Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment (IDEA) joined with the Engage Disability Network (EDN) and Christian Service Agency (CSA) to organize a consultation on 'Towards Inclusive Society: From Disability Perspective" at NCCI Campus on 21st July 2015.

30 participants including persons with disabilities, activists, social workers, pastors, academicians, educators, counselors and students participated in this consultation.

The consultation aimed to come-up with a few collective action plans to work at the grass-root communities to become inclusive by not considering the PWDs as burden or sending them to hostels and homes or make them socially isolated by our attitudes and behaviors including use of derogatory and abusive languages that stigmatize and discriminate the PWDs.

Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, the General Secretary – NCCI, in his presidential address informed that the NCCI has developed a work place policy  where there will be 'zero discrimination' on the basis of physical fitness, caste, creed, gender and generation in working environment of NCCI. He also suggested that, all the organizations and churches and other religious institutions must have such policies that promotes inclusiveness.

Rev. Amin Kalwale, Pastor at All Saints Cathedral, Nagpur, presented a paper on 'Inclusive Church'. He mentioned that the churches and other faith communities have to be sensitive towards people with special needs and they have to become disable-friendly by  constructing ramps and such.  Also he suggested to develop and produce liturgies and publications considering the PWDs in Braille and other such means of communication.

Ms. Ashrita Bhelwa, an educationalist from St. Ursula Girls High School, Nagpur, informed the participants that, every human has right to schooling including the children with disabilities. She suggested that every school  and educational institution has to be inclusive  not only having and developing disabled-friendly infrastructure but also admitting children from all types of disabilities with all  necessary systems including appointing a teacher who could  communicate using sign language while the other teacher is teaching the same subject in the classroom.  She pointed out such measures would definitely motivate the younger generations to become inclusive in their living environments and in the future also.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

NCCI Tribal and Adivasi Sunday 2015

"Tribals and Adivasis: Custodians of 
God-given land and its ecosystems"

Tribal-Adivasi Sunday will be observed on 9th August 2015. (click here to download the worship order) The NCCI encourages you to celebrate Tribal-Adivasi Sunday as an important expression of our affirmation of and dedication to the gospel: the gospel is for all including Tribals and Adivasis. Many of us, who do not consider ourselves as Tribals/Adivasis, tend to overlook or neglect the importance of indigenous people in the vision and mission of God the creator. Those of us who belong to indigenous communities take our status for granted and therefore do not affirm our special position in God’s plans and purposes. Hence, NCCI appeals to all churches to give the observance of Tribal-Adivasi Sunday its due importance. 

The theme for this year is "Tribals and Adivasis: Custodians of God-given Land and its Ecosystems." This is in tune with the theme of UN’s International Day of Indigenous People, which is “Indigenous Peoples as Custodians of the Land and its Ecosystems.” 


Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Hope in the midst of violence

Chhattisgarh Council of Churches unites churches, Mahila Mandals and organizations to protest and resist atrocities on Women from Minority Christian Community

Rev Dr Atul Arthur Secretary of Regional Council of Churches in Chattisgarh with leaders from Churches and women’s fellowship placing the memorandum to government officials seeking Justice 
Atrocities on Christians are increasing at an alarming rate in India. Worst victims of such atrocities are women and missionaries at the grassroots who have dedicated their lives to serve the community, the poor and the downtrodden. On 19th June, a nun was gang-raped by men in masks in ‘Christo Sahay Health Center’ where she was serving as nurse in Raipur the capital of Chhattisgarh state. ‘Strategized Rape’ is used as a weapon to create fear, shame and humiliate the Christian community which is a minority community in India.

The All India Council of Christian Women and National Council of Churches in India gave a clarion call to women’s fellowship of member Churches and leaders of Chhattisgarh Christian Council (CCC) to respond to end this culture of rape and atrocities of Christian missionaries in India. 


Thursday, 2 July 2015

Indian Volunteers for Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)

 Dear Ecumenical Colleagues,

Greetings in Christ from NCCI!

We are inviting applications for the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) for the year 2015. The EAPPI is an international initiative of World Council Churches (WCC) under the Palestine - Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF). The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) brings internationals to the West Bank to experience life under occupation. Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) provide protective presence to vulnerable communities, monitor and report human rights abuses and support Palestinians and Israelis working together for peace. EAs serve in small international teams in one location (or ‘placement’) living in a shared apartment with their colleagues.

More than 20 countries are sending EAs to operate in one of these 7 placements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem where they live and work alongside local people who are non-violently resisting the occupation. When they return home, EAs campaign for a just and peaceful resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict through an end to the occupation, respect for international law and implementation of UN resolutions.

We are recruiting for 2 EAs from India to serve in Israel and the occupied Palestine territories (I-oPt) for 3 months in 2015 for the group of 58 (September, 2015 – December, 2015) or 59 (December, 2015 – March, 2016).

Download forms:
(1) Advertisement
(2) Overview of the EAPPI programme
(3) Role Description
(4) Application Form

I request you to kindly give publicity to the programme among your churches/constituent bodies and encourage people to apply for the same by 25th July, 2015.

For further enquiry contact Mr. Samuel Jayakumar, Executive Secretary, NCCI commission on Policy, Governance and Public Witness (samncci@gmail.com, nccidel@nccindia.in).

Sincerely,

Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad,
General Secretary, NCCI.


Instructions to fill the application form
  1. Download the Application form to your computer
  2. Fill it completely
  3. Save the document
  4. Email it as attachment to nccidel@nccindia.in