The synod department of Christian Education welcomed 60 Christian educators and Sunday school teachers from Dornakal diocese for a three-days’ training program at CSI Synod Centre, Chennai from 21st to 23rd May, 2018. The synod department of Christian Education organized this training program, named “Christian Education Pedagogies for Missional Congregations” sponsored by CWM, Singapore.
The training program started with Rev. James Cecil Victor, director, synod department of Pastoral Concerns narrating the basic principles of Christian education pedagogies that are relevant to promote missional congregations and Sunday schools. Rev. Dr. Rohan Gideon, Assistant Professor of Theology, United Theological College, Bangalore, conducted a short workshop on reading and interpreting the Bible from children’s perspectives. This has challenged the participants to recall and relive their childhood aspirations when they read and interpreted the Bible as children. A thorough analysis of prejudices behind the adult reading of the Bible exposed the need to do an intentional reading of the Bible from the viewpoints of children. The participants prepared Bible lessons by re-reading the select Bible passages from the lived experiences of children. They demonstrated through innovative methods of teaching re-creating classrooms and transforming the whole approach to the Bible narratives. This session has enabled teachers to come out of their adult biases in reading and interpreting the Bible and to focus on identifying children’s experiences in the Bible passages and the contemporary context of living.
Mr. Syraskumar, a Counselling trainer lead through a moving session on the need to understand children’s emotional and psychological needs in Sunday Schools. They trained the participants to understand basic principles of counselling and applying them appropriately in Sunday school education. Many participants expressed the urgency of learning counselling skills to meet out to the pressing issues faced by children. Rev. Dr. Jayachitra L, the director of the department of Christian Education, and Ms. Suhasini Cecil elaborated on the various kinds of violations of child rights in the society and church and trained the participants to strive towards ensuring safe learning environment in churches.
Rev. Dr. D. R. Sadananda, the General Secretary of CSI gave an inspiring message in the closing session highlighting the tremendous scope of instilling Christian values in children for the growth of the church in the Indian scenario. He challenged them to go back to their respective congregations to function as the ambassadors of Synod Christian Education goals of capacity building for teachers of Christian education and training children towards wholistic Christian education.
Rev. Dr. Jayachitra Lalitha,
Director, Department of Christian Education,