“Mission as the transformative actions towards an abundant life for all”, was the boom of Church of South India (CSI) Tamil Regional Missionary conference held on 24th and 25th July 2018 at the NMSI Asram, Tirupattur. It was started with a Bible Study led by Rev. DSC Menon (Mission Director, Vellore Diocese) based on Luke 4: 16-21. “Mission is all about to be with most vulnerable in the community to enhance their capacities for transformation. It was the Jesus’ Model of Mission”, Rev. Menon highlighted in his Bible Study.
In the introductory remarks, Rev. Maxcin John, Synod Mission and Evangelism Director, reminded the delegates that “we are called out and send out community. It’s not our privilege but all about our responsibility and accountability to all people without any reservations”. He further added that "We are the servant of God to carry on the Mission rooted in Christ. W need to be filled with service mentality".
The conference was inaugurated by the Rt. Rev. Timothy Ravinder, who is the Bishop in Coimbatore Diocese and Moderator’s Commissary in Vellore Diocese. “We need to kindle the divine spark within us and we have to move ahead for the well-being of all”, Bishop emphasized in his inaugural Address. It is not to just start only, but to accomplish is an important matter. Mission and Evangelism must be the priority of the Church than all other affairs. "We need to be proud of our Missionaries those who are serving as pioneers", Bishop added.
“We should have a dare to learn to unlearn and then relearn in doing mission contextually”, said Ms. Vedhakani (TTS-Madhurai), while she was delivering the keynote address based on “Equipping Missionaries towards Building Christ Communities: Mission from the Margin- A New Testament perspective”. “Without considering the agonies and pains of the underprivileged, mission may not be meaningful. Furthermore, radical transformation of all must be the thrust of the Mission. This was the example par excellence given by Jesus Christ”, Vedhakani said.
“Mission is constant and compassionate accompaniment with most vulnerable for the radical transformation. Integrity and credibility of the church must be the strategy and medium in doing mission”, Rev. Christopher Vijayan, NMSI General Secretary, pointed out while he was conducting a session based on “Equipping Missionaries towards Building Christ Communities: Transforming Actions towards grassroot- Mission strategies”. “We need to honor all in a pluralistic context and it will be meaningful to witness faith and conviction through our day to day life activities rather than mere superficial words”, Rev. Christopher Vijayan added.
“Mission should be the engagements and intervention with the struggles of people”, Rev. Solan Chellaiah(Missionary Madurai-Ramnad Diocese) stated in his Bible study based on Mathew 25: 31-46. “We need to be conscious about the final judgement. It is our bounden duty to be with lost, last and least and it must be the passion for the Mission”, Rev. Solan said.
“Mission is all about the life -giving action towards the abundant life to all”, said Rev. Asir Ebenezer during his session based on “Equipping Missionaries towards building Christ Communities in pluri-faith Context and Action Plans towards Mission from the margin”. Broadly speaking, Church of South India having 43 lakhs Missionaries which means all members. Therefore, it is the need of the hour to enhance the capacities of the congregation to become Missional Congregation, Rev. Asir emphasized. We should discern the signs of the ages, and accordingly, we have to equip and enhance all through our action- oriented life witness for the peace, justice and reconciliation”, Rev. Asir added.
“Unless and until Missionaries are transformed into the humility as well as simplicity of Jesus Christ, all kind of mission works will be superficial and just mere a show off”, said The Rt. Rev. J. J. Christdoss, Bishop in Tirunelveli Diocese and Chairman for Synod Mission and Evangelism Department, during his closing remarks. Missionaries should be cherished the service mentality to all which was the role model given by Jesus Christ. Selfless service should be rendered to the community with sacrificial as well as dedicated mentality, Bishop added.
Rev. Paul Dayanandham (Mission Director, Madras Diocese), Rev. Raja Manickiam (Mission Director, Trichy-Tanjore Diocese), Rev. D. S. C. Menon (Mission Director, Vellore Diocese) and Rev. David Suresh (Mission Director, Coimbatore Diocese) have conveyed their greetings to the conference. Moreover, Rev. Dr. Isac Kadiravelu (Vice-President, Vellore Diocese), Rev. Pushpanandhan (Bursar, Mattathur Hospital), Rev. Meshack Varman (Director Communication Department, Vellore), Rev. Anandan Ahimas (Director, Rural Ministry, Vellore), Rev. Stanly Christopher (Director, English Medium), Rev. Bhakatha Thyagaraja (Vellore) and Rev. Aruldoss (Vellore) have blessed the conference with their presence.
In addition to the resource persons and visitors, eighty delegates have attended the conference from respective Dioceses of Tamil Region such as Madras, Coimbatore, Vellore, Trichy-Tanjore, Madurai-Ramnad, Thoothukudy-Nazareth, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari. NMSI provided ample facilities and support for the conference. Rev. D. S. C. Menon arranged music team and compliments for the delegates. Synod Mission Department is grateful to Rev. Christopher Vijayan and Rev. D. S. C. Menon for their wholehearted support and cooperation. There were cultural performances by delegates and everybody creatively participated.
Tamil Regional Missionary Conference was the venue to learn to unlearn and relearn in doing mission. It enormously helped to learn and listen together in Missional context. It was an opportunity to boost the fellowship as well as create networks for missional engagements in the days to come.
Rev. Maxcin John,
Director for Mission and Evangelism,