The department has organised two days activity workshop for Christian Educators at CSI Synod Centre, Chennai. There were about 35 participants from Telugu, Kanada and Tamil regions have attended. The Chairperson of the department the Rt. Rev. Timothy Ravinder was inaugurated the workshop. The General Secretary Adv. C Fernandes Rathina Raja, Hon. Treasurer Prof. Dr. Vimal Sukumar and directors of various departments felicitates the programme by their presence. Mr. Jacob Swaminathan of SKILL FACTORY, a skill enhancement trainer from Bangalore was the resource person for this workshop.
The first day of the workshop began with the devotion and Rev. Sunil Raj Philip, Director of Communication Department was shared God’s message. He highlighted the hindrances caused towards children and the need to reform the challenges for the betterment of the children.
The Chairperson of the department the Rt. Rev. Timothy Ravinder says in his address, “Christian educators: When we look at the second word “educators”, we see the vitality of adaptable educators and adaptable teachers. If there is no adaptation and change, we would become redundant. Hence, activity workshop for Christian educators works not just with the head/body or soul, but with all in unison. Hence this workshop has the potential to be a game changer for Christian education especially among children.
General Secretary Adv. C Fernandes Rathina Raja, encouraged the participants and said that,
“It was encouraging to see all of you doing such innovative work in this workshop. It is important to help the children learn about what worship is. Hence, take back these ideas and help motivate the children to take part in Church activities. Best wishes to you all and I had a good experience in watching your activities.”
Orientation was given by Mr. Jacob Swaminathan and introduced the ways in which activities can be used to help engage children to learn better. Instructed the participants to learn with energy, curiosity and teamwork. He then introduced the 5 different types of activities; namely 1. Games (competitive, psychometric activity), 2. Simulations (with a disclaimer), 3. Brain teasers, 4. Role play and 5. Case studies (Putting one’s self in another’s shoe). Also, all activities should be positive in nature and should have simple and easy steps using minimum resources.
In the second day, in the devotion time Rev. Princeton Ben, Director of Pastoral concerns shared His message was based on Matthew 25:14 “Truly I tell you just as you did to one of the least of these, who are members of my family, you did it to me. “ His message made us dwell on what we have done to the least of these and as Christian educators, we have to give a broader perspective and ability to serve the lesser, to our children.
Hon. Treasurer Prof. Dr. Vimal Sukumar was shared his views with the participants that the Christian educators should be cautious, because if children feel activities are not for the glory of God, it might backfire. He further insisted that we should take necessary activities to prepare the children for God.
Teams were segregated and given topics from the department’s resource book. A demonstration of an activity was given using volunteers from the participants and then the participants were asked to start forming the activities. By the end of the workshop, around 200 activities were formed. The aim of this workshop is to publish a book containing minimum 200 activities for various topics in the Bible which can be useful for all the teachers in all the Diocese’s. The participants felt that the workshop was very useful and will definitely help the educators to reach out to the children better and that they are looking forward to the book which will be published.
Rev. Christopher Dharmaraj