The Pastors Conference, which was held in Chennai for the past three days, attended by 700 pastors from the 24 dioceses of the Church of South India, came to a close and the pastors return to their dioceses with a renewed commitment and dedication to the ministry.
The final day commenced with the morning worship service, which was led by Rt. Rev. Ravikumar J. Niranjan. Rev. Dr. Chilkuri Vasantha Rao led the bible study on the theme of the conference, Pilgrim Journey Towards Forgiveness and Reconciliation”. He Placed the challenge to the pastors to practice/ demonstrate the act of forgiveness beyond preaching.
Rev. Dr. John Samuel Ponnuraj presented a paper after the worship service on “Forgiveness and Violence in the Name of Religion”. The session was moderated by Rt. Rev. K. G. Daniel. Rev. Dr. John encouraged the pastors to to serve and practice forgiveness in the pluralistic society in the midst of extreme ‘isms’, which lead to hostility in the name of religions.
The regional sessions were followed by the seminar paper. Pastors have taken part in the discussions in the regional groups on the theme “Our Public Witness and Networking in the Ministry”.
The closing session of the conference was chaired by Rt. Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, the Deputy Moderator and the Chairperson of the Department of Synod Pastoral Concerns. The Deputy Moderator reminded the gathering that the Church of South India is God’s gift to India. Its existence and growth is not only important to the members of the Church but also to the entire society of India. We, as the church, have the responsibility to continue to play the vital role to change the lives of the people and we need to pray for the church and uphold the church through our constant efforts in our ministry.
Most Rev. G. Dyvasirvadam, the Moderator of CSI, told in his closing remarks that in the midst of trials and tribulations CSI was able to be formed in 70 years ago and the work of God still continues through His ministers who are working as part of an Indian church. He expressed his heartfelt joy for the Bishops’ tireless and enthusiastic ministry. He drew the attention of the pastors to the fact that they are the role models for the 4.5 million members of the church. If the pastors have the commitment, it is very easy to practice what we preach.
Rev. James Cecil Victor, the Director of the Department of the Synod Pastoral Concerns, expressed the vote of thanks. The conference came to a close by the prayer and the benediction by the Moderator.
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