Chennai: Department of Mission and Evangelism, CSI Synod and the Board for Mission and Evangelism, East Kerala Diocese have organized one-day Mission Conference on 30th July 2019 at CSI Christ Cathedral, Melukavu in East Kerala Diocese. The theme for the conference was “enhancing capacities of congregations to become missional congregations”. Rt.Rev.V.S. Francis, Bishop in East Kerala Diocese has inaugurated the conference in the presence of Rt.Rev.Dr. K.G. Daniel (Former Bishop in EKD) and Rev. Christopher Vijayan (NMSI General Secretary).
“Mission and Evangelism are our priorities”, said Bishop V.S.Francis during the inaugural speech. He further stated that for the church, everything is mission. All members of the church must be conscious about the responsibility to participate in the mission of God. Through our words and deeds, we have to propagate good news to others. It is the need of the hour to identify new missionaries and evangelists those who have commitment and dedication for the ministry, Bishop added.
“Witnessing Jesus Christ through our life is mission and evangelism”, said Bishop K.G. Daniel during the opening speech. Bishop further stated that we need to learn the history of the church. Moreover, we have to celebrate the legacy of mission left by our former missionariesand we should transform our today’s missional engagements as missional legacies for tomorrow so that our younger generations will carry on the same. The Resource of mission is the word of God and we must witness the word of God through our day to day life (Luke 24: 45-48). Through mission and evangelism, we should propagate the gospel of salvation to all and lead the people to the repentance and transformation, Bishop added.
“Mission and Evangelism will flourish as much as possible whereas we could able to reach the grassroots in maximum level”, said Rev. Christopher Vijayan, General Secretary, National Missionary Society of India (NMSI). He further stated that it’s the need of the hour to reach the smallest congregations to transform them as the partakers in the mission and evangelism. We need to capacitate each congregation to become missional. CSI is the missional Church. Mission is the breath of CSI. With mission, church will be a movement, otherwise, monument. It’s the need of the hour to underline and highlight the reality of the “priesthood of all believers”. Therefore, we should take the initiatives to enhance the capacities of congregations to become missional congregations. Mission is not mere emotional, but doing and practice. Let others to see something through our life. Moreover, we should build confidence in congregations to participate in the mission. The credibility and the integrity of the life is an important matter for the mission. We should keep simplicity in our missional engagements. Furthermore, we should foster ‘brotherhood and sisterhood’ in our attitudes and approaches towards the mission and evangelism activities. The notion of ‘friendship’ must be the basic attitude. Ultimately, mission is something about ‘SEVA’ -service to others in love and compassion, he added.
“Gospel of Jesus Christ brings transformation in the holistic ways”, said Dr. Josemon George (Lay Secretary, East Kerala Diocese) during his session based on “Mission as Healing”. He further stated that healing was the important matter in the ministry of Jesus Christ. It is the responsibility of all to participate in the ministry of healing in possible ways. We should work together for the social, mental, spiritual and physical health of everybody without any discriminations. It is an inclusive missional engagement by which we could able to reach everybody in love and compassion of Jesus Christ. Through the healing ministry, we could able to cherish inter-personal relationship, reach and enrich our fellow-beings, and promote inclusive mentality. It is the ministry without any religious and caste barriers. Through house visits, hospital visits, sick visits, prayers, counselling, and other possible involvement in the first-aid and pre-hospital care, all members of the congregations could able to participate in the healing mission, he added.
” Annihilation of sin is the mission” said Rev.P.C.Mathewkutty, Treasurer in EKD during the Panel discussion on the mission and evangelism. He further stated that it will repair the broken relationship and transform everybody into fellowship in the presence of God. Our offering to God must be our sincere engagements in the mission of God and we should be ready to work with Jesus Christ to build the kingdom of God, he added.
“Women are highly potential and they have important role in the mission of God” said Mrs. Salomy Daniel while she was talking in the panel discussion. All women must be the channel of peace and justice wherever they are living and thus, everybody could participate in the mission of God. We should try our best level to transform our individual life and family life, then societal life, she added.
“Various associations of the Church like Sunday School, Youth, Women’s Fellowship, Choir, Men’s Fellowship, Prayer Groups, and Fellowship groups must be promoted and encourage the members of the congregation to participate in the various activities of the associations” said Mr. K.J. Jose during the panel discussions. We could able to promote qualitative leadership for the future through various activities of such associations, he added.
“Prayer life, witnessing through the credibility of life, meditation of the word of God, creative preaching and teaching must be the face value of each missionaries”, said Mr. Paul George, Delhi Missionary during the panel discussion. Only through the life-witnessing, we could able to propagate the gospel of Jesus Christ, he added.
The Conference was presided over by Rev.Johny Joseph, Vicar in Cathedral. “We need laborious missionaries for the mission and evangelism those who are ever ready to preach the crucified and resurrected Christ”, he stated during the presidential address.
The One-day Missionary conference was well -organized by the Board for Mission and Evangelism, East Kerala Diocese. Synod Mission Department is grateful to all of them, especially Bishop V.S. Francis, Rev.P.C.Mathewkutty( Treasurer), Rev.Biju Joseph( Clergy Secretary), Dr. Josemon George( Lay Secretary), Rev.A.EEappen( Mission Director), Rev.JamesP.Mammen( Board Secretary), Rev.Anish P.J.( Mission Coordinator), and the Carmel Mission Gospel Team, all pastors, church workers, Missionaries, Evangelists, and others members from the congregations for their active leadership, involvements, and participation in the conference. Mr.ThomasChazhikadan( Member of Parliament, Kottayam) also has participated in the conference and conveyed his greetings.
In conclusion, conference was the opportunity to come together and encourage each other, learn and listen from each other in doing mission. More specifically, the conference really boosts the passion for the mission.
Director, Department of Mission and Evangelism,