The Pre-Lenten retreat for the clergy of Telangana Dioceses namely, Dioceses of Medak, Dornakal and Karimnagar is held from 1-2 February 2018 at CSI Wesley Church, Clock Tower, Secunderabad. Around 450 pastors from three dioceses have gathered together for a time of fellowship, meditation and preparation for the holy season of Lent. The retreat was hosted by CSI Medak diocese and the theme of the retreat was “Following Jesus.”
The retreat was inaugurated by Rt. Rev. Dr. Vadapalli Prasada Rao, the Deputy Moderator of Church of South India and the Bishop in Dornakal. In the keynote address he encouraged the pastors to follow the humility of Jesus and be contextual in ministry. He emphasized the importance of pastoral care in the present-day context. He also warned about the threat of commercialization of religion and spirituality today. The second session on the theme was led by Rt. Rev. Dr. Reuben Mark, Bishop-In-Karimnagar. He focused on three aspects such as Denying oneself, Bearing the cross and Following the cross by following the master Jesus. Bishop remarked that this gathering of clergy form three dioceses in the region signifies the “borderless church” that CSI is envisioning. Rev. Mrs. V. Sunanda Prasada Rao and Rev. Mrs. Priscilla Rueben the Women’s Fellowship Presidents of Dornakal and Karimnagar have shared their greetings and encouraged the participants to follow Jesus in their daily life. The officers of the three Dioceses too shared their greetings.
On the second day, the sessions began with the Holy Communion service led by the Deputy moderator and the sermon was delivered by the Rev. K. James Cecil Victor, Director of the Department of Pastoral Concerns, CSI Synod. Rev. Cecil spoke about self-evaluation that would help one to re-discover the real self. The third session was led by Rt. Rev. Dr. A. C. Solomon Raj, Bishop-In-Medak. He emphasized on the principles of following Jesus from a practical as well as theological point of view. The concluding session was led Rev. K. James Cecil Victor on the theme, enumerating various events in the life of Jesus that invite the followers to imitate him. The Deputy Moderator concluded the retreat with his remarks and prayer. The participants were given mementos by the CSI Wesley Church, Clock Tower. The retreat gave an opportunity for the clergy to prepare themselves for the Lenten season. They have expressed their joy and gratitude to the bishops for their leadership and guidance.
Rev. Dr. T. Bhasker
Vice Chairman, Medak Diocese