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) Global Ecumenical perspective.
The second of the 7 Consultations was held on 30th & 31st January 2018 at CSI Centre, Chennai and exclusively looked into the theme "Rethinking Ecclesia: Being and Becoming Christ Communities towards a Borderless Church" from the theological and ethical perspective. This consultation brought together 25 CSI theologians and ethicists for a comprehensive reflection and discussion on sub-themes such as:
a) Sacraments: as defining borders or a call to be a borderless mission
b) Baptism and the Borderless Church
c) Eucharist and the Borderless Church
d)Uniqueness of Christ and the Borderless Church
f) Christian Identity and the Borderless Church
e) Minority/ Marginality and the Borderless Church.
Rev. Dr. D. Rathnakara Sadananda, the General Secretary of CSI delivered the Inaugural addressed by presenting a paper titled, ‘From Mission Compounds to Borderless Church’ he spoke on how, the early Missionaries associated with the Basel Mission tradition moved beyond their set priorities in mission making it borderless through their writings and service to the people. He also urged the theological fraternity that through their theological and ethical reflections they are going to enlighten the church thus giving the Church a theological direction in these changing times.
Theological practitioners and those involved in research presented their views on the various theological and ethical issues pertaining to the life and ministry of the church engaging in a fruitful discussion. New ideas and possibilities were sought after only to make the theology of the Church more stronger and relevant from a borderless church perspective.
During the close of this important consultation, The Moderator of the Church of South India, Most Rev. Thomas K Oommen graced the occasion and gave his greetings. He urged the theological fraternity to assess the needs of the church and engage in the faithful task of interpreting God and Church Doctrines to liberate the weak and the oppressed. He also emphasised the fact that the Church and the theological arena needs to listen and dialogue with one another to reduce the lacuna which exists between the seminary and the sanctuary. He spoke on the importance of Eucharist which still instills hope for the broken communities and is able to liberate people from various bondages. The Consultation came to a close with the prayer and blessings of the Moderator.
This exercise to contemplate, deliberate and contribute on Rethinking Ecclesia proved a fruitful time in creating a fellowship of CSI theologians and ethicists in recommitting their call for the cause of the Church.