As CSI’s commemoration of Reformation 500, and CSI 70, the Church of South India is organizing seven consultations on Rethinking Ecclesia under the theme “Being and becoming Christ communities – towards a borderless Church”. The theme will be discussed from a) Biblical perspective, b) Theological and Ethical perspective, c) Liturgical and Missiological perspective, d) Prophetic diaconal perspective, e) Empowerment and Educational perspective, f) Healing and Reconciliation perspective, g) National Ecumenical perspective and h) Global Ecumenical perspective.
The sixth of these 8 Consultations was held on 30th and 31st of August 2018 at CSI Centre, Chennai and exclusively looked into the theme "Rethinking Ecclesia: Being and Becoming Christ Communities towards a Borderless Church" from Health Healing & Harmony Perspective. This consultation brought together Medical Doctors, Theologians in the field of Religions, Practitioners in the field of pastoral care and counselling and research scholars from CSI for a comprehensive reflection and discussion.
This consultation attempted to reflect on the Health of body (from the perspective of medical science) Healing of the mind (from the perspectives of psychology) and Harmony between communities in society (from the perspective of Inter-religious dialogue and praxis)
Pertinent questions on how does the healing of mind, body and communities enable border crossing? How are the expansion of human knowledge, cross cultural learnings, and strategic alliances in the field of psychology, medical science and Inter-faith dialogue creating new alternative ideas and communities? How does the church, through its ‘Health and Healing for all’ policy, realise the construct of borderless communities? How has the church in its mission of healing enterprise already become borderless? Were addressed by eminent scholars from the respective fields.
The Moderator of the Church of South India Most. Rev. Thomas K Oommen, in his inaugural remarks highlighted the role of Christian mission pioneering the ministry of health and healing in India. He said that today unfortunately the Church has lost this vision and urged the church to reclaim the lost space in the field of health healing & harmony. He inaugurated the consultation and thanked the gathering for taking time to contribute to the life and mission of the church through their reflections.
The General Secretary of CSI Rev. Dr. Sadananda in his key note address remarked from the context of heavy floods and damage of lives in kerala and Karnataka that healing is very essential to restore lives, relationship and communities at large. He urged the gathering to look at healing and harmony as a process and the goal to be achieved.
His talk was an in-depth word study of three words in Greek from the bible; ‘Salvation, Therapy and Peace’ which gives us various dimensions and perspectives of healing and harmony from the scriptures. He explicated the importance of restoration rebuilding and resolution as an initiative of God through Jesus Christ in and through the Emmanuel experience who created a space for healing between communities and within oneself. He spoke from the John’s gospel on how the four healings were borderless and always restored the person back to the community in creating a new space for peace. He spoke about the relationship between the created order and creator which is interconnected and intrinsic for the value and dignity of life. Finally his address concluded that sickness, injustice and oppression itself are borders and enabling people to be released out of that in terms of creating space and abiding in that creational relationship is border-crossing.
The two days of the consultation witnessed scholarly papers and presentations on main theme. The list of resource persons and the title of their papers are as follows:
Healing sans Borders: Dr. Sunil Chandy
Eucharist at the center with undefined borders: theological reflections of a hospital chaplain Harmony between communities in society inter-religious perspective: Dr. Arul Dhas, Rev. Dr. Samuel Pakiam
Health and Healing - Our Responsibility, Response & Resilience: Dr. Sujith Chandy
Politicisation of Religion and its Challenges to Religious Harmony: Rev. Dr. Justin Moses
Healing of Mind in Today’s Context towards a borderless Church" A Historical and Theological Appraisal: Dr. Samuel Jeyakumar
Towards borderless medical mission: Dr. Sheila Noone
Towards an Alternative Archetype of Dalits' Psyche: A Therapeutic Ecclesiastical Response from Jungian Analytical Psychology: Rev. Dr. Israel David
Indian Secularism and Religious Tolerance: Challenges and Possibilities in Interfaith Harmony and Crossing boarders: Rev. Oliver Densingh
Rethinking the Healing of Mind in Today's Context towards a borderless Church: Dr. Thayalini Thiagaraja
Pastoral Counseling Intervention in Healing of Mind: Areas of Concerns and Training: Rev. Giftus Joshua
Building A Spiritually Mature and An Emotionally Strong Church: Dr. Samson Gandhi
Health and Healing as a Journey Towards Wholeness: Becoming Communities of Mutual Healing, Growth and Harmony: Mr. James Wesley
Rethinking healing of mind-the role of ecclesia as being and becoming borderless church: pastoral care and counselling perspective: Rev. Sharath Sowseelya
Church in Mothering Healing Relationships: Insights from Attachment Theories: Mr. Livingstone Arputharaj
A Psycho-Theological understanding of 'Atonement' and it's relevance to the Healing of Mind in today's context towards a Borderless Church: Rev. John Nischal
Rethinking the mission of building Harmony and Peace in Today's Context towards a borderless Church: Rev. Baila Chennakesavalu