Exposure Visit of Pastors from Mizoram Presbyterian Church to CSI
As part of Exposure visit cum refresher course, 10 pastors from the Mizoram Presbyterian Church (PCI) have visited the headquarters of CSI from 10-20 August 2018. The Department of Pastoral Concerns has coordinated the entire program with the guidance of the General Secretary Rev. Dr. Sadananda. After an orientation to the CSI, its ministries and the itinerary for 10 days’ visit, the participants were divided into two groups and sent to the Dornakal Diocese and the South Kerala Diocese for three days. The Rt. Rev. Dr. Vadapally Prasada Rao, Bishop in Dornakal and the Deputy Moderator, CSI received them with great joy and extended his fullest cooperation. The participants were given an opportunity to witness and preach in the worship service in and around Khammam. Later they were taken to the Diocesan institutions serving the Dalit and Tribal children. Visit to Palvancha and Kothagudem Churches was an exciting visit since they could visit the Coal Mines too. The team had an opportunity to share the word of God in the One Day Retreat for the Diocesan Evangelists. Presentation on the missional engagements and initiatives of Mizoram Church, particularly the Handful of Rice project was quite inspiring for the evangelists. The Rt. Rev. Dharmaraj Rasalam, Bishop in South Kerala received the Pastors warmly and extended cordiality and hospitality. On Sunday the Mizo pastors were given an opportunity to worship with the local congregations and preach the word of God and share their commitment to the ministry. Later they were taken to the Karakonam Medical College, CSI Institute of Legal Studies, Children’s home and other special ministries of the Diocese. The visitors have recalled that the visit to the Sea was an unforgettable experience for them.
On their arrival from the Dioceses, they had an opportunity to visit the Diocese of Madras and some of the special ministries. Rt. Rev. Dr. George Stephen, the Bishop I Madras and the Officers of the Diocese have briefed about the formation of the Diocese and various special ministries such as Mathamma Project that helps the children of Temple Prostitutes with education and health; Urban Rural Mission that transforms barren lands into fertile lands; Mission to the seafarers, Mission among the Transgenders, Institute for Lay Training and so on. After that they were taken to CSI Ewarts Women’s Christian College, Mahimai Illam and Abundant Home in Chengalpet which caters to the poorer section of the society.
On the last day, the Directors of the Synod explicated the projects and campaigns of CSI. Rev. Dr. D. R. Sadananda, explained to them the challenges Church address through varied programs and projects, especially through creating an ideological shift in the church with the concept of borderless church. Rev. N. G. Mathew, Director of Lay Training in Madras Diocese shared some of the challenges we face in pastoral ministry in this pat of the land and how churches make efforts to address them with discernment and commitment. The visitors have expressed their sincere gratitude to the officers of Church of South India for hosting an inspiring and thought-provoking exposure visit to them. In the feedback session, they have mentioned that the visit was an eye-opener to them on many counts. “We have realized the areas that we need to still improve or even begin to be relevant to the times. CSI is far ahead in ministry and mission. There is a lot more to learn from you” was the remark by Rev. Lalhmachhuna, the leader of the group.
Rev. K. James Cecil Victor
Director, Pastoral Concerns