Becoming Migrant Friendly Congregation
The CSI Department of Mission and Evangelism organized a consultation on Becoming Migrant Friendly Congregation on the theme “Knitting Neighbourhood” from 20th to 22nd April 2016 at CSI Centre, Chennai. This program was sponsored by EMS (Evangelical Mission in Solidarity). 40 members as Presbyters, Teachers, Evangelists and lay leaders of the Tamil dioceses participated in this program. This consultation was inaugurated by Rev. Dr. Royce Manoj, Liaison Officer of CSI EMS Desk. Rev. S. Christopher Vijayan, Director Mission and Evangelism CSI Synod welcomed the participants and introduced the concept and purpose of this consultation. Rev. J.W. Ebenezer Kirubakaran, Presbyter CSI Madras Diocese; Rev. Dr. Samuel Rajadurai, Presbyter Trichy Tanjore Diocese; Dr. Bernard Swami, Loyola College Chennai; Rev. Solomon Paul, Director CSI Youth concerns were the special speakers in this consultation. Rev. D.C Premraj, Presbyter Madras Diocese and Rev. S. Christopher Vijayan led the Bible study sessions.
In this conference the interventional sharing motivated the participants to stretch-out their solidarity to the migrants who lives next to them as neighbours.
Mr. Stephenson and Mrs. Anita, Missionaries Mission to Migrants program in Madras Diocese and Dr. L.A. Benhur and Mrs. Vinitha, program Coordinators of the Mission to Migrants program CSI St. Andrew’s Church Melrosapuram Madras Diocese shared their interventional experiences. We invited Mr. Moorthy and Tamil Selvan, migrants lives in Chennai to share their challenges and the impacts of our missional engagements among migrants.
On 22nd afternoon the closing session was presided by the Most Rev. Dr. G. Dyvasirvadam, Moderator Church of South India who delivered the closing address and blessed the campaign to develop Migrant Friendly Congregation. The Bishop in Madras Diocese Rt. Rev. J. George Stephen released the poster to motivate our Churches to Become Migrant Friendly Congregation. The Rev. Dr. D. Ratnakara Sadananda, General Secretary CSI shared his greetings and introduced the theme “Knitting Neighbourhood”. Rt. Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, Deputy Moderator CSI offered closing prayers and Moderator pronounced benediction”. The Directors of the Synod departments participated in the closing session and extended their solidarity. Mr. Raj Patel, CMS Asia London; Rev. Dr. Paul Burt, Regional Director of Mission to Seafarers and Mr. Ben Bailey, In charge of MTS New initiatives, London participated in this closing session which was enriching the event. Rev. S. Christopher Vijayan extended vote of thanks to all the participants and leaders of the CSI and overseas partners.
This consultation appeals every local Church to Become Migrant Friendly Congregation and to associate with the migrants to affirm fullness of life. The participants were motivated to see migrants with new eyes and they affirmed their solidarity to transform the life of migrants living in their doorsteps as neighbours. This consultation suggested to the participants to enhance the capacities of the local Congregation and Dioceses to identify some of the major challenges and to explore new possibilities to provide Employment, Health Care, Shelter homes and Advocacy programs to migrants.
Rev. S. Christopher Vijayan
Mission & Evangelism, CSI Synod