Chennai: Gramiya Thiruvizha was an event jointly organized by CSI Synod Mission and Evangelism Department and CSI Vellore Diocese Mission Board along with Youth Work and Ecological Concerns Departments of Vellore Diocese on 11th May 2019, at Senur Village in Vellore District. In this event, people were gathered from the adjacent villages and the event become the venue for health and legal awareness among village people, to preserve Rural Art and Culture and to promote religious harmony.
Gramiya Thiruvizha started in the morning at 7:30 am under the guidance and leadership of Rev. H. Sharma Nithyanandam, the Chairperson of the Board for Mission and Evangelism; he then in interview with Faith TV Representative, shared the need for organizing Gramiya Thiruvizha i.e. Rural Festive Celebration. This whole event was covered by Faith TV Representatives- Mr & Mrs Alfred Anbarasan and was telecasted in Faith TV.
Subsequently, Rev. Fr. Thangaraj, Rev. Maxcin John, CSI Synod Mission Department Director, Rev. Christopher Vijayan, NMSI General Secretary, Rev. D. S. C. Menon, Director, Board for Mission and Evangelism, VDC shared their views on Gramiya Thiruvizha. Rev. Noyel Christopher, Director, Board for Youth Work, VDC , Rev. Sam Raj Kumar, Chairperson, Board for Youth Work, VDC, Rev. Paul Robert Kennedy, Director, Department of Ecological Concerns, VDC, Rev. Benny Michael, VDC, Rev. Arul Doss, ECI, Rev. Manuvel, Anglican and members from different Pastorates of VDC, Headmasters, Correspondents, Teachers and Social activists have gathered at Viruthampet Murthy Memorial Statue. Faith TV Representatives have shot the entire procession from Viruthampet to Christhuvin Thotam(cemetery), the procession started with ’Parai Isai Muzhakam’ performed by St. Thomas Church Cultural team, Karivedu, around 200 people have joined in the procession by holding placards with slogans written on it such as “Give Blood Save Life, Women are the light of the house, Education is must, Cleanliness is next to Godliness, Save Earth, Prevention is better than Cure, Educate Girl Child,” Some held wooden crosses, and went in procession till Christhuvin Thotam. In Christhuvin Thotam, saplings were planted by the Rt. Rev. J. J. Christudoss, Bishop in Tirunelveli, Rev. Maxcin John, Director, CSI Mission Department and Rev. Christopher Vijayan, NMSI General Secretary.
After sapling planting, all the members were assembled at Mandhaiveli, an open- air ground arranged with pandhal, which is at the centre of the Senur village. This programme was presided over by Rev. Dr. H. Sharma Nithyanandam, the Chairperson of Mission Board, VDC. Opening prayer was done by Rev. Abraham Asai Thambi, Chaplain, VDC. Rev. D. S. C. Menon gave the welcome address, which was then followed by greetings from Rev. Dr. Isaac Kadirvelu, Vice President of VDC where he stressed the importance of Rural Life and Art. Mr.Gnana Sigamani, Coordinator, Mission Board, VDC read the scripture reading Luke 11: 5-13; Rt. Rev. J. J. Christudoss, Bishop delivered God's word, where he highlighted that one need to be cautious so that light within oneself must not become dark (Luke 11: 35).
Later, Rev. Christopher Vijayan, NMSI General Secretary addressed the gathering and shared about the need of Mission work. After which, Rev. Maxcin John, Director, CSI Synod Mission Department, addressed the gathering and said that God is God of Love, Compassion and Mercy. Hindus and Muslims are our brothers. Everyone must stand for religious harmony and any kind of religious fundamentalism must not be supported. As God is love, one must love everyone, there must be no discrimination. He then gave altar call to renew and to rededicate oneself to become missionary of love and compassion for God's people. Rev. Sampath Sadanandam, Secretary of VDC offered the closing prayer and pronounced Benediction, and it was followed by fellowship lunch at the same premises.
Afternoon session was presided over by Rev. D. S. C. Menon, Director, Mission Board, VDC and this session was started with word of prayer by Mr. Dr. Kabilan, Govt. Medical Officer, Walajapet and Greetings was given by Mr. Rufus Manickadoss, Former Principal, Voorhees. Patimandram (Debate) was on the interesting topic: Who excel in spiritual and family life – Women or Men? This debate was moderated by Kanchi Kiruba and participants were: Jeyamalar, (Teacher – BRC Head); Hepsi, (HOD Biochemistry, DJM College), and Kayalvizhi, (Professor, BCA Depart. Voorhees), these three were of the view that Women are the ones who excel in Spiritual and Family life, whereas the participants of the opponent team: Francis (P. G. Assistant Tamil Depart., Voorhees); Johnson (Physical Director, Voorhees) and Amen Raj (HOD BCA Depart. Voorhees) strongly argued that men are the ones who excel in both spiritual and family life. Debate took an interesting place in the hearts of the members who gathered there due to the Moderator of Debate, Mr. Kanchi Kiruba, who with his humour and mimicry attracted the crowd gathered there. Both the teams gave their best with examples citing both from the Holy Bible and life and ministry of great missionaries, whereas Women’s team said “Women are the light of the house" but Men's team argued that “Women are the wounds but not the light". After listening to views of both the teams, the Moderator gave his judgement and said that Women are the ones who excel both in spiritual and family life along with men. It is the need of the hour to stand together for the common well-being of all and to declare the solidarity to the most vulnerable. We need to encourage gender equity and to discourage any form of gender discriminations.
After Debate, Magic show was performed under the leadership of Rev. Jeeva Rathnam, ALC. This Gramiya Thiruvizha event came to end with word of prayer and Benediction by Rev. Maxcin John, Director, CSI Synod.
On the whole, this event was a successful one. All glory be to God alone. Rev. D. S. C. Menon gave the vote of thanks saying Gratitude is the best Attitude and he rendered his heartfelt thanks to all those who have supported, participated in this Gramiya Thiruvizha. Thanks to Rt. Rev. Timothy Ravinder, Moderator's Commissary, Officers of VDC, all Presbyters, and church members. He rendered his special thanks to Rt. Rev. J. J. Christudoss, Bishop; Rev. Maxcin John, Director, CSI Synod; Rev. Christopher Vijayan, NMSI; Participants of Patimandram teams and its Moderator Mr. Kanchi Kiruba, Magical team, Mr. J. Prabhu Rajkumar for arranging Cultural team Karivedu, Missionaries, Officers of C.S.I. Senur Pastorate, all Headmasters, Correspondents, Teachers and all who have been part of this great event. He has extended heartfelt thanks to Faith TV Representatives Mr.& Mrs. Anbarasan for their support through media and also CMC Vellore for their support for blood donation and medical camp during the program.
On the whole, around 500 people have been part of this event, moreover , this event was an eye- opener as it created awareness and helped to realize the importance of Rural art and Culture, moreover all who were gathered there need to agree that Old is Gold, that Olden days were the Golden days. This event gave a call to preserve our Rural art and culture and to be of one mind and one spirit. Furthermore, this event helped to make public awareness regarding Christian Mission and its characters of inclusivity, border lessness, sustainability, social transformation and also it also promoted community health awareness, legal awareness such as basic human rights and religious freedom.
Synod Department would like to acknowledge the systematic and meaningful way of coordination and organization for the program rendered by the Board of Mission and Evangelism, CSI Vellore Diocese under the leadership of Rev. Dr. H. Sharma Nithyanandam (Chairman) and Rev. DSC Menon (Mission Director) along with other board members and the missionaries.
Rev. Maxcin John (Director for the Mission and Evangelism, CSI Synod)
& Rev. DSC Menon (Mission Director, Vellore Diocese)