Lenten retreat for the clergy of Karnataka Southern Diocese was held on 22-23 February 2017 at Shanthi Nilaya, Balamatta, Mangalore. The theme of the retreat was Cross: A call to Repentance and Reconciliation. Rt. Rev. Mohan Manoraj, the Bishop in Karnataka Southern Diocese led a preparatory session at 9:30 am with a brief message on following the model of Christ in sufferings. The retreat was inaugurated by Rev. Dr. Ratnakara Sadananda, the General Secretary of CSI. In his Key Note Address, he recalled Martin Luther’s efforts for reformation, based on scriptures. He explained Sola Scriptura (scripture alone), Sola Gracia (Grace alone) and Sola Fide (Faith alone) by interweaving with Psalm 80:1-19.
The first Session was led by Rev. K. James Cecil Victor, the Director, Pastoral Concerns, Synod on the retreat theme. He reiterated that without repentance there is no reconciliation and renewal. While repentance is the sign of inward humility, it also leads to a reformed life. In the post lunch session, an interactive session was facilitated by Bishop Mohan Manoraj and Rev. Dr. Sadananda on the challenges and issues faced in the Diocese and the possible way forward. Pastors raised many questions pertaining to the administration, discipline of the church, finance management and so on. Bishop Mohan and Dr. Sadananda responded to the questions and motivated the pastors to be united for an effective ministry in the Diocese. The first day’s sessions came to an end with the prayers by Rev. Icon Palanna and benediction by the Bishop.
The second day started with the Holy Communion Service held at CSI Shanthi Cathedral, Balmatta. Rev. Sr. Sujatha, the Vice President of the Diocese shared the word of God and Celebrated the Holy Communion. The third session of the retreat was led by Rev. Dr. Dexter Maben, the New Testament Professor at UTC, Bangalore. He dealt the theme with an emphasis on A) Walking for Repentance, B) Walking for Resistance and C) Walking for Reconciliation. He encouraged discussion on those points to elicit more insights in to the subject. The post lunch session was by the Most Rev. Thomas K Oommen, the Moderator CSI who emphasized on the ‘Carbon Fast’. He gave a clarion call to reduce the carbon emissions to safe guard our planet earth. “The Eco-Spirituality is the need of the hour” Said, the Moderator.
The clergy were engaged in a group discussion based on two prominent questions 1. What are the significant challenges in the Pastoral Ministry and way forward 2. What is the scope of Pastoral Ministry in today’s scope. Some of the challenges identified and discussed were 1. Social Media 2. Family issues 3. Financial problems 4. Doctrinal Problems, 5. Legal issues and so on.
The Diocese has felicitated the Moderator Most. Rev. Thomas K Oommen, Dr. Mrs. Suzan Thomas, Women’s Fellowship President, CSI and Rev. Dr. D.R. Sadananda, the General Secretary CSI for being newly elected to lead the church during the triennium 2017-2020. Dr. Mrs. Monica Sadananda too was honoured and they all shared greetings. The Retreat ended with the Vote of thanks proposed by Rev. Icon Palanna and the benediction by the Moderator.
Rev. K. James Cecil Victor
Director, Pastoral Concerns