Chennai: The Department of Mission and Evangelism (DME) of the Church of South India (CSI) Synod, organized a two- day Women Missionary Conference (WMC-2019) at CSI Synod Centre, Chennai, on 7th and 8th February 2019. The conference was conducted based on the theme “Equipping Women Missionaries towards building Christ Communities as well as enhancing capacities of Women Missionaries to become part of Missional congregation”. The Rev. Dr. Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, General Secretary, CSI Synod, inaugurated the Women Conference-2019 and delivered a keynote address based on Mathew 13: 11. He emphasized that “small is beautiful and small is significant and profound”. He further added that “we need to search for simple things around us where we could able to perceive an empowering presence of God”. Based on the 1 Kings: 18, he pointed out that the secrets of heaven lie in looking on to simple things and without rebuilding and reforming spirituality, nothing is impossible. Furthermore, he made a comparison between the farmer and the missionary where a farmer who needs to sow seeds needs to remove the rocks before sowing. Likewise, missionaries must transform the evil structures to build a community of Christ on good ground. In this regard, women have a major role to play, he emphasized.
The conference solemnly commenced with a worship service led by the SEVA Department of CSI Synod. Rev. K. James Cecil Victor, Director for Pastoral Aid Department, elaborately presented a reflection based on Acts 16:16. In his reflection, Rev. James Cecil Victor stressed on the fact that missionaries should learn to wait upon God and further he added that we all are God’s agents to bring transformation to the living context.
The meeting was presided over by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Christdoss, Chairman for DME, CSI Synod. During the Presidential Address, the Bishop encouraged the delegates to learn together and learn from each other and commit ourselves to God for the realization of the kingdom of God. Rev. Maxcin John, Synod DME Director, provided an introductory remark in which he stressed that mission story is not ‘his-story’ alone, rather, ‘her-story-too’.
“We are all in a process of building new heaven and earth in which women have the crucial role to play”, pointed out by Rev. Deborah Premraj during her session on “Role of Women in Building Christ Communities: Biblical Perspectives”. She exemplified the remarkable role of women based on the story of a Levite and his beautiful concubine described in Judges 19: 1-30. The concubine was abused for the merriment of men and finally, she was brutally assassinated. But the concubine’s pain was redeemed when the child who grew in Mary’s womb and later, he was torn into pieces upon the cross. Jesus life was always for the afflicted, affected and neglected. It is the role of women missionaries to participate in the transforming as well as transcending mission of Jesus Christ, she added.
Mrs. Jessica Richard, the Programme Coordinator for the SEVA Department, conducted a session based on “Towards Women’s Potentials and Possibilities”. She encouraged the delegates to act and work for the social transformation through the creative action and approach of their own life. Furthermore, she has explained about the project of “WOMEN- DARE”, which is the project to promote the Dalit Adivasi rural entrepreneurs in the context of empire and corporate world. She challenged everyone to be part of the network of Women DARE in which all could be contributing their potentials and possibilities for the missional engagements.
On the final day of the conference was began with a reflection given by Rev. Dr. Praveen Perumalla, EMS-Liaison Officer, based on Luke 8:1-3. He reminded that we should be a transforming agent and, we should propagate the message of love, mercy and forgiveness through our life. The Morning liturgy was prepared and led by the SEVA Department, CSI Synod.
Following the morning service, Rev. Sunil Raj Philip, Director for Department of Communication and Adivasi-Dalit, has conducted a session based on “CSI at a glance”. In this session, Rev. Sunil Raj Philip explained about the life and work of CSI and presented about the various departmental activities through a video presentation.
Adv. Adhilakshmy Logamurthy, Advocate and Legal Consultant in Chennai, led a session based on “Towards Women safety: Legal Implications”. In this session, she explained about the context of various kind of violence against the women and educated the delegates regarding the lawful provisions for the women’s safety, fundamental rights of women and the ways to attain them. She further highlighted about the judicial process and proceedings towards the women safety.
“Do not change the messages, but change the methods”, pointed out Miss. Nancy Walter (Junior Lecturer, Nursing, CMC, Vellore) during her session based on “be -healthy: Towards women empowerment”. She has successfully educated the delegates about all kinds of common deceases that could possibly occur in every female. She encouraged the participants to act as an agent of prevention and cure and empowering women and children to be healthy in their living context. She further stressed that along with prayer, we should direct all those who are struggling with health issues to the right people in the right time for the more recuperative engagements.
Adv. Robert C. Bruce conveyed a felicitation during the closing ceremony and encouraged all to engage more and more in missional activities for the betterment of all.
“Keep it simple! Keep it small! Small is powerful and simple is profound” said Rev. Dr. Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda while he was delivering the concluding remarks. He further wished that let every woman bring grater change in society. Thus, the WMC-2019 concluded meaningfully and constructively.
A memorial sapling was planted as part of the WMC-2019 and organized a Chennai City exposure visits through the historical places which helped the delegates to get a glimpse of the history of the ancient missions and its engagements.
One hundred and twenty Women Missionaries attended the WMC-2019. The participants consisted of Medical Professionals, Educational Professionals, Legal Experts, Women Workers, Bible Women, Women Missionaries and Evangelists. WMC-2019 was a creative venue for equipping women missionaries and enhancing their capacities to become more missional in nature.
Rev. Maxcin John,
Director, Department of Mission and Evangelism,
WMC-2019: Day 1 Pictures
WMC-2019: Day 2 Pictures