Thought for the day
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
- Matthew 7:7-8
A historic and landmark gathering of church leaders from five global Christian World Communions, the Roman Catholic, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Methodist Council, the Anglican Communion and the World Communion of Reformed Churches . which took place at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, United States from 26 to 28 March, issued a statement recommitting themselves to communicating the biblical message of salvation in new ways to contemporary society. We wish to make more visible our common witness, in worship and service, on our journey together towards visible unity, walking together, praying together and working together.
Originally signed by leaders of the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) has since been broadened to include the World Methodist Council, the Anglican Communion and the World Communion of Reformed Churches, all of which agree on the core message of salvation in and through Christ. and looked toward a future realizing a deeper communion towards the full visible unity of the church and to make manifest the growth in the communion which we have already been experiencing.
In a concluding statement, participants highlighted the way in which the JDDJ process led to the overcoming of centuries-old controversies. They also noted how its method of differentiating consensus, which allows for core agreement while maintaining different confessional expressions, can be used to deal with past, present and future obstacles relating to both doctrinal and ethical questions. In a broken, violent and fearful world, it is urgent that the church bears witness to the possibility of unity and reconciliation and manifest the courage to stand together in works of proclamation, justice and compassion. The participating communions pledged to be united in common witness to the God of life so that churches can embrace difference and disagreements without allowing them to divide.
The participants affirmed that the gathering represents in a new way a global koinonia of communions as a common witness to the liberating power of God’s grace. God’s saving work touches all of creation and all people so that unity and justice are inseparable. The JDDJ has formed the basis of a new orientation to one another. Global Christian Communions should no longer begin from the place of division, but of unity. They should no longer look for what is lacking in one another but rather look for the distinctive gifts that each brings for the spiritual edification and sanctification of all.
The participants agreed to establish a steering committee “to take forward the momentum generated by our meeting through promoting and monitoring the process of developing relationships among the adherents of JDDJ.”
There are also plans to develop a range of catechetical tools and resources, in various forms, written and visual, including a dedicated common webpage, to be used in all aspects of church life and theological education.
Rev. Dr D. Rathnakara Sadananda participated in the gathering representing the World Communion of Reformed Churches.
(The Consultation Statement is given here in pdf format.)
It is with the great sense of grief we inform the demise of the Rt. Rev. Dr. Allu Rajarathnam, the former Bishop of the Dornakal Diocese of the Church of South India, today (01.04.2019) at Hyderabad. He was consecrated as the Bishop of Dornakal Diocese on the 30th May 1997 and retired on 11th April 2006.
Bishop Rajarathnam was born to Allu Gnanaiah and Deva Karunamma on 11th April 1941 at Dornakal. He completed H.S.C. from Dornakal Diocesan High School, Dornakal in 1959, and was trained to be a teacher at Jeevan Niketan, Kamareddy 1959 – 1961, worked as Teacher at Mission School, Madiripurlam in Khammam District (19861-1963)
The bishop dedicated his life for the full-time Lord’s ministry as Parents offered him as firstborn in the family and IMST missionaries encouraged and sponsored for theological training in Andhra Union Theological College, Dornakal which later merged into Andhra Christian Theological College, Rajahmundry (1963 – 1966) and obtained L.Th., B.Th., B.D., from Serampore University and M.A., from Osmania University.
After completing the theological course, he was ordained as a Deacon in the year 1966 and Presbyter during 1968 and worked for 31 years both in urban and rural Pastorates in the Diocese.
He served as Chairman for CSI Synod Department of Christian Education and also Synod Mission and Evangelism. The NCCI appointed him as President for All India Sunday Schools during 2001. He also served as the Chairman of Andhra Christian Theological College – Hyderabad.
He visited Netherlands, Holy Land, United Kingdom, Rome, Paris and Vienna – Austria and also attended Lambeth Conference in the United Kingdom.
The Bishop is survived by his wife Ms. Elizabeth Mercy Augustina, and daughter Ms. Mary who is married Joseph Rajanikanth.
Funeral service will take place at 9.00 am on Tuesday (02.04.2019) at Epiphany Cathedral in Dornakal.
~CSI Synod Communications
Executive Secretary (Women Concerns Ministry)
1. Educational Qualification
· Should have a recognized Post/Graduate Degree along with a basic theological degree.
· Minimum of 5 years of experience in Women’s ministry in churches.
· Should have command over English. Knowledge of one Indian language, other than that of the mother tongue, is preferable.
• Should be within 30-40 years age.
• Applications should be endorsed by the Head of the NCCI Member Church to which the applicant belongs.
The candidate should be able to join with immediate effect if selected. The appointment shall be made for a term of 5 years. Those interested may apply to:
The General Secretary
National Council of Churches in India Christian Council Campus
Near Maharashtra State
Biodiversity Board, NCCI Road,
Post Box # 205, Civil Lines, Nagpur-440 001, Maharashtra, INDIA Tel: +91-712-2531312, 2561464
Shortlisted candidates will be called for an interview.
The last date for receiving the application by post/courier is 10th April 2019
(An advance scanned copy of the application and supporting documents can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rev. Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary, NCCI
Rt. Rev. W. V. Karl, the former Bishop of the Church of South India in the Karnataka Northern Diocese, was passed away today (8th March 2019) in Bangalore. The bishop, who was blessed to celebrate the centennial of his birthday on the 11th July 2015 was born to Mr. Victor Karl and Sarah who were the first fruits of Badaga converts in Ketti in Nilgiri hills. Bishop Karl finished his S.S.L.C. public examination in 1932 and joined St. Joseph's College in Bangalore to pursue his degree in Humanities. He joined the United Theological College in 1940 and started his Pastoral Ministry in Bangalore in the year 1945. He served the India Sunday School Union as the field secretary during 1953-1958. His area of work covered almost the entire Southern Peninsula of India from Bombay in the West to Vishakapatnam in the East and Madurai and Ramnad Diocese in South.
After his successful tenure with I.S.S.U he resumed his pastoral work with St. Bartholomew church in Mysore and St. Luke's Church, Bangalore from 1959-1963. It was in St. Luke's Church Rev. Karl as an innovative presbyter started the membership register which never existed and regularized and systematised the church funds through a bank account. Under his leadership, the church also celebrated the Silver Jubilee with great enthusiasm.
In the year 1963 Methodist Mission Society in London extended an invitation to Rev. Karl and Mrs. Lily Karl to visit churches and stay in England for a year. After returning to India he was posted in Wesley English Church from June 1964 April 1965 during which he was also the Bishop's Commissary in the absence of Bishop N.C. Sargant.
Bangalore became an industrial city with many public sector units by that time. This attracted a lot of people from neighbouring states to come and settle down in this city. This phenomenon gave the church a new impetus to start Bangalore City Mission Work for which Rev. Karl became the Director of the City Mission from 1965-1969. Being a multi-lingual person Bishop Karl catered to the spiritual needs of people from many regional backgrounds. In 1969 he took charge of Haines Road, Wesley Church and in December 1970 received the news of appointment as the first Bishop in Karnataka Northern Diocese.
His consecration as Bishop of Karnataka Northern Diocese was held on April 25th 1971 at Holy Name Cathedral, Hubli. As the first Bishop of Karnataka Northern Diocese Rt. Rev. W. V. Karl had to know the leaders and the congregations in all four area councils, set up a new office and do everything to help K.N.D. to start functioning as other CSI Dioceses. He started his episcopal ministry trusting in God Almighty. The approval of the diocesan constitution by the council held in October 1971 was the first step towards the unity and feeling of oneness in the minds of people in all four areas of the diocese. A temporary diocesan office was set up in 1970 for the administerial functioning of the diocese. Higher Education scholarships for college students also started under the able leadership of Bishop Karl. Bishop's House was built and completed in 1974 and retreat and lay-training centre for the Karnataka Northern Diocese was built in All Saint's Church. After the dedication of the retreat and lay training centre, there were just 3 months left for Bishop's Karl retirement. When he took charge of the diocese in 1971 only a temporary diocesan office was functioning in the mission bungalow at Hubli. There was no Bishop's House, no well organised diocesan office, no Bishop's car for travel and no diocesan constitution of the KND. He served the diocese faithfully and was able to do all that was necessary to make it function as a CSI Diocese. During the 9 years of his service, he had not availed any annual leave of even one month. The diocese arranged a farewell meeting on 11th July 1980. Bishop Karl was a servant in God's Mission filled with commitment and sacrifice.
Most Rev. Thomas K. Oommen; the Moderator of the Church of South India Synod, Rt. Rev. Dr. V. Prasada Rao; the Deputy Moderator, Rev. Dr. Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda; the General Secretary, and Adv. Robert Bruce; the Hon. Treasurer expressed the condolences to the children and the family on the demise of Bishop Karl, who was a tall leader of the Church of South India.
The funeral will take place tomorrow (9.3.2019) at the St. Andrew’s Church in Bangalore.
~ CSI Synod CommunicationsBack
A Lenten Retreat was organised for the Directors and staff of the Church of South India (CSI) Synod Secretariat at the ICSA Centre in Manappakkam, Chennai on the Ash Wednesday. Rev. Dr. Daniel Rathnakara; the General Secretary of CSI led the Holy Communion Service. Rev. Premraj, Presbyter of CSI Madras Diocese, who is currently serving in the CSI Yesu Inbar Alayam, was the guest speaker who delivered the sermon in the Holy Communion Service and led two sessions in the retreat in the forenoon and afternoon.
Rev. Dr. Praveen Perumalla; CSI- EMS Liasion Officer, Rev. James Cecil Victor; the Director of the Pastoral Concerns Department, Rev. Sunil Raj Philip; Director, Dept of Communications and Rev. Solomon Paul; the Director of the Dept of Youth chaired various sessions in the retreat.Back
To help the CSI Synod to communicate the image of the Church, her mission, life and witness using effective means of communication and also to equip the congregations to communicate God's message and love relevant to our times.
To facilitate communication centres/cells in all the dioceses, share resources and expertise.
To help the CSI Synod in the documentation of events, projects and programmes and provide communication assistance to the CSI Synod in the publication of magazines, bulletins, diaries and calendars.
To organize programmes sensitizing the community on social and ecological issues using latest and relevant media.
To establish and facilitate media relations with the secular media.
To operate Church's main websites:
Seminars/conferences on information and communication technology, development communication, traditional and alternative communication.
Courses on communication for clergy and the laity for the effective proclamation of Gospel.
Workshops/Seminars for lyricists, musicians, artists, writers, and cartoonists.
Summer music courses in the Synod level and short music courses in the local levels.
Making and providing video documentaries on various issues pertaining to projects, development activities and life of the church.
CSI Life - The official magazine of the CSI.
Publication of the diary, calendar, and devotional study materials.