Young Theologians Consultation - 2018
Young Theologians Consultation is held at the CSI Synod Centre, Chennai from 20-21 June 2018. About 80 recent theological graduates belonging to CSI Dioceses have come together to reflect on the possibilities and challenges for Transforming Ministries. The Department of Pastoral Concerns has initiated this program to give insights and orientation to these recent graduates at the beginning of their ministry. Rt. Rev. Dr. Vadapalli Prasada Rao, Bishop in Dornakal & Deputy Moderator of CSI has inaugurated the program with an encouraging inaugural address where he emphasised on the humility, obedience and commitment as the hallmarks of ministry. Later Rev. Dr. D. R. Sadananda, the General Secretary, CSI delivered the Key Note Address. He motivated the young theologians to take the theology of people seriously to be contextual and relevant. He called the participants to lead the liturgy of life and accompany people by ‘knowledge inclusion’. Most Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, the moderator, CSI blessed the young theologians by his exhortation and prayers. “You are called for pastoral and prophetic ministry. You are called to be the agents of transformation” said, the Moderator.
Rev. Maxcin John presented the Mission Priorities of CSI and reminded them that they are a medium to propagate the gospel and participate in the mission of God. Rev. Jaya Chitra presented the vision, aims and objectives of Christian Education Department and the concept of Child-Friendly Churches that is child-centred, missional, gender sensitive, casteless, eco- friendly, rights-based and zero tolerance to sexual abuse. Rev. Sunil Raj Philp spoke on Communication for Change and enlightened the participants on the role of communication in bringing about perceived transformation. Rev. James Cecil Victor dwelt on Worship and Liturgy for Transformation. He shared the salient features of worship and liturgy and the missional components that have the potential to bring about perspectival change in the worshippers. Rev. Asir Ebenezer challenged the participants to analyse their call and commitment to serve God and people. Rev. Solomon Paul shared thoughts on Ministry among Youth. He encouraged the young theologians to engage with youth by accepting the different, comforting the abused, respecting their opinion, mentoring their vision and inspiring their lives. Rev. Paul Francis led a Bible Study on transforming the minds, transforming the contexts and transforming lives, based on Mk 5:1-20. Rev. Dr. John Samuel spoke on the Ministry of Reconciliation and Conflict Resolution. “Peacemakers are highly respected in this conflict-ridden world. So, be the peacemakers” said, Dr. Samuel.
The participants had an opportunity to discuss their expectations, vision for the Church. All of them with one voice have expressed that they wish to see a casteless, corruption-free and egalitarian church and society. “As I just started my pastoral ministry the information and ideas that I to approach the congregations were helpful,” said, Samuel Selva Kumar. “It was an opportunity to re-think what we have learnt in our seminaries. We were encouraged to withstand the challenges in ministry” said, one participant. The consultation concluded with the prayer of dedication and the feedback session where the participants appreciated the initiative of the Department of Pastoral Concerns and given suggestion to make it more effective.
Rev. K. James Cecil Victor
Director, Synod Pastoral Concerns