Church of North India (CNI)-1970

The Church of North India is part of the One Holy,Catholic and Apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, which He is building up out of persons of all generations and races.

The Union

The series of consultations, with a view to Church Union in North India, began in 1929. Eventually on the “basis of negotiations” prepared by a series of Round Table Conferences a plan of Church union  drawn up. A negotiating committee was constituted in 1951 by the Church bodies concerned – which were the Unwasited Church of Northern India, the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon, the Methodist Church in Southern Asia and the Council of the Baptist Churches in Northern India. In 1957, the Church of the Brethren and the Disciples of Christ also joined in the negotiations. The plan reached its fourth and final edition in 1965 and, on that basis, the Church Union in North India was inaugurated on 29 November, 1970 in Nagpur. However, at the last moment, the Methodist Church in Southern Asia Decided not to join the union.

The concern for unity of the Church grew out of a zeal for the mission of the Church, because a divided Church could not bear witness to the one Gospel and the one Lord in a country like India with diverse religions, languages, races and cultures. Through the process of negotiations and prayerful seeking of the guidance of Holy Spirit unity was achieved in the understanding and practice of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, the three-fold ministry of Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons and in the organisational structures of Pastorates, Dioceses and the Synod, Episcopacy was received and accepted as both constitutional and historic. Provision has been made for diverse liturgical practices and understandings of the divine revelation, provided that these do not violate the basic Faith and Order of the Church or disrupt the unity and fellowship within the Church. [CNI]

The CNI Department of Communications

* There is a need for a focal point for information and the CNI Communication department is that focal point.

* The department orients and updates its members when the world is becoming a global village.

* The department coordinates the existing communication operations in such a way that their purposes are better achieved by organizing training programs conducting workshops, training of trainers etc. to ensure a better and more programs the department is trying to improve the interpersonal and group communication skills among the clergy and laity.

* The department’s priority is to establish networking with all the Dioceses so that we are all involved with each other in our work and ministry for the glory of Almighty God.

* The biggest responsibility that lies with the communication department today is to assist the Church in fulfilling its role as the messenger of God communication. This department is chiefly concerned with creating and encouraging dialogue in the context of the Church both internal and external.

*Since the Church is missionary in nature the promotion of mission awareness also falls within this scope. The important aspect of external communication is to look beyond local Church and the consequent responsibility of each local Church towards local Churches elsewhere in the world.
  

ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE (2003)

The organ of the whole Church, comprising all Dioceses, is the Synod, which is the supreme, supervisory, legislative and executive body of the Church and final authority in all matters pertaining to the Church.

 
Pastorate  Elect
Represntative
Diocesan Council Elect           Rpresntative Synod

  

The Synod Elects :

o Office Bearers
o Executive Committee
o Standing Committees
o Boards
o Commissions
o Synodical Youth  Fellowship (YF)
o Representatives to various      Christian Bodies including WCC, ACC, CCA, WARC, CWM etc.

Synod Secretariat Includes :

o General Secretary’s Office
o Treasurer’s Office
o Communication Department
o CNI Trust Association
o Stewardship
o Commission on Mission
o CNI Ministry to Children
o Youth Department
o Warden’s Office

And is responsible for a working relationship with …
o Overseas Partners in Mission Committee (CNI-PMC)
o Union Negotiations with the Methodist Church in India (MCI)
o The Joint Council of  The Church of North India
o The Church of South India The Mar Thoma Church (CNI-CSI-MTC)
o CNI Derbyshire Partnership Programme
o CNI-Nepal Partnership

SYNODICAL BOARDS, COMMISSIONS & COMMITTEES

Literature & Mass Communication Committee
Synodical Youth Fellowship Committee
Stewardship Committee
Personnel Committee
Law & Procedure Committee
Finance Committee
Committee of Reference on Faith & Order
Theological Commission
Liturgical Commission
Commission on Religion & Life
Commission on Mission
Synodical Board of Higher Education
Synodical Board of Secondary Education
Synodical Board of Technical & Vocational Education
Synodical Board of Social Services
Synodical Board of Health Services
Synodical Board of Agriculture & Economic Development
CNI Trust Association
CNI Ministry to Children

CNI

 

LIST OF THEOLOGICAL COLLEGES

Name Place Sponsoring Body

Affiliated to Serampore

1. Allahabad Bible Seminary Allahabad ECI & OMS International
2. Bishop’s College Calcutta CNI
3. Gossner Theological College Ranchi Gossner Evangelical
Lutheran Church in Chota Nagpur & Assam
4. Gujrat United School of Theology CNI Gujarat Diocese
5. Leonard Theological College Jabalpur MCI, CNI, Mar Thoma
6. Orissa Christian Theological College Gopalpur
CNI, Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church Utkal Christian Council, Baptist Church

7. Santal Theological College Benagaria Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church
8. Satyaniketan Dharmvigyan Mahavidyalaya Allahabad CNI
9. Serampore College Serampore Council of Serampore College
10. Union Biblical Seminary Pune UBS Association (International)
11. United Theological Seminary of Maharashtra Pune CNI & MCI

Other Colleges

12. Calcutta Bible College Calcutta
13. North India Theological College Bareillly
14. Presbyterian Theological Seminary Deheradun

Roman Catholic Seminaries

15. Bhopal Regional Theologate Sehora
16. Khrista Premalaya Theologate Sehora
17. Morning Star Regional Seminary Barrackpore
18. Salesian College Darjeeling
19. St Albert’s College Ranchi
20. St Joseph’s Regional Seminary Allahabad
21. St Pius College Mumbai
22. Vidyajyoti College of Theology New Delhi

The North India Church Review Board or the Editors

EDITORIAL BOARD
2007
1. The Rev. Enos Das Pradhan -Editor-In-Chief
2. Mrs. Vidhu Chakravarty
3. Dr.Shailendra Awale
4. Dr. Christopher Raj
5. The Rev. Ashish Amos
6. Father Monodeep Daniel
7. Ms. Amelia Andrews
8. Mr. N. K. Biswas
9. Mr. L. B. Rai
10. The Rev. Dr. Habil James Massey
11. Mr. Harold Williams
12. Ms. Sushma Ramaswami – Managing Editor

THE COMMUNION OF CHURCHES IN INDIA 

Status-2003

Formed in 1978, The Communion of Churches in India is a visible expression, in common action, to the unity that these three Churches already have, because of their being in full communion with one another, their common acceptance of the Scriptures and the Creeds, and their mutual acceptance of one another’s Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry.

Presidium :
The Most Rev. Z.James Terom, CNI
The Most Rev. K.J. Samuel, CSI
The Most Rev. Philipose Mar Chrysostom, MTC

Secretary : The Rev. Dr. Abraham P. Athyal
Treasurer : Mr. P.M. John
The Joint Council has three Commissions :
Commission on Socio-Political Issues
Commission on Worship and Mission
Theological Commission

Joint Council Office :
The Rev. Dr. Abraham P. Athyal
Athyal House
R.S.P.O
Tiruvalla-684111
Kerala, INDIA

Priorities For The First Decade of The 21st Century

Status 2003

1- Rejuvenating Pastoral Ministry :

(a) To rediscover the identity and unity of CNI.

(b) To build worshipping communities with adequate pastoral care.

(c) To mobilize resources for support of Presbyters in the dioceses.

(d) To develop alternate form of ministry.

2. Evangelism within and without for costly discipleship :

(a) Spiritual revival within worshipping communities.

(b) Embodying and exhibiting exemplary life-style.

(c) To become a missionary congregation.

3. Re-structuring the structure :

(a) To recapitulate and implement the voice of people expressed through different Commissions, Boards for re-visioning episcopacy, revising Constitution and decentralizing administration.

(b) Ensuring transparency and accountability in all levels.

4. Ministry of Service :

To help the marginalized communities for access to service : education, social and health care through different wings and institutions of CNI Synod and the Dioceses.

5. Solidarity with subaltern :

To express our solidarity in concrete acts with the subaltern : Women, Children, Differently able, Elderly, Tribal and Dalits.

6. Healing Communities :

To create healing communities through inter-faith and intra-faith initiative for common action.

7. Equipping God’s People for Participatory Learning Process :

(a) To reaffirm and reformulate theological education for ministerial formation.

(b) To train the laity for ministry of witness and service.

(c) To facilitate ongoing in-service training.

BRIEF NEWS 

Bible Study Series:  Towards a Transformed and Transforming Community-2005

These thematic Bible studies were part of preparation for the 12th Synod Gathering of Church of North India held at Ranchi during 16th to 21st October 2005.  Rev. Dr. Somen Das, a noted Theologian has put theology integrated with practical experiences into this book so as make the reader understand what it means to be a transformed and transforming community

Towards a Transformed and Transforming Community

The theme for the 12th Synod Gathering of Church of North India held during 16th to 21st October 2005 at Ranchi.  In order to prepare the cross sections of congregations for a perceptive and meaningful participation, a process to understand and internalize the theme in individual and congregational lives was started much earlier when a Consultation on the theme was organized at CNI Programme Office, Nagpur in the first week of February 2005. 

INTRODUCES QUOTA FOR DALIT CHRISTIANS

YEAR-2006

The St. Stephen’s College of Delhi University, a pride of Church of North India , has decided to increase the overall quota for the Christian students to 40 percent by introducing another 10 percent reservation for Dalit Christians.

Announcing this, Principal of the College Rev. Walson Thampu said that 40 percent of the seats in the college will be reserved for Christian students and 25 percent of this will be kept aside for Dalit Christians. Additionally, 10 percent of the total 400 seats at the college will now be reserved for Dalit Christians as per the new reservation rules that will be implemented from the forthcoming academic session. He further added that, “A bulk of the Christians in North India belongs to the Dalit Community and they can now take full advantage of our new reservation formula.” The cut-off percentage for the Christian Dalits students will be as low as 60 percent.

The college already has 15 percent reservation of seats for the students of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, disabled and children of defense personnel killed in war and 5 percent seats reserved under the Sports Quota.

CNI WELCOMES RANGANATH MISHRA COMMISSION REPORTS ON DALIT CHRISTIANS & DALIT MUSLIMS

YEAR 2007

The Church of North India, a virtually Dalit church, has unreservedly welcomed the Reports of The National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities (NCRLM) headed by the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, Justice Ranganath Mishra, submitted to the Government of India in May 2007.

 The NCRLM report has recommended that Caste system is a unique social phenomenon specific to the Indian Society and it continues to impact social and economic lives of every faith community including the Dalits who converted Islam or Christianity.  Accordingly, the caste based discriminations experienced by the Dalit Christians and Muslims were similar in nature to that of Scheduled Castes practicing Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism.  Also recommended that Scheduled Caste status be de-linked from religion and the Scheduled Caste net be made religion-neutral as in the case of the Scheduled Tribes.  The Commission has strongly recommended that Para 3rd of the Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order of 1950, which has discriminated Dalits unduly, be deleted by appropriate action to grant equal rights to Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims.

Welcoming the report General Secretary of Church of North India has appealed to the Synodical and Diocesan Boards/Committees/Commissions of CNI to write to the Prime Minister of India Dr. Man Mohan Singh and the UPA Chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi to act on the recommendations of NCRLM by enacting appropriate legislation granting equal rights to Dalit Christians as Scheduled Castes.

Diocesan Youth Fellowship Council vows to proclaim “Lord is our Banner”

The Durgapur Diocesan Youth Fellowship Council was held on 31 August 2007 with 52 youth members from different pastorates at the St. Michael’s School auditorium, Durgapur . Mr. Daniel Thomas, Diocesan Secretary; Revd. N. C. Tudu, Diocesan Treasurer; Mr. Kamakhya Biswas, Secretary, DDYF; Revd. Swapan Dorman, President, DDYF; and Mr. Sudipta Singh , Programme Director, CNI Synod, graced the occasion.

Rev. Swapan Dorman referred to the healing of woman with hunch (Lk. 13: 10-17) to remind the youths of Jesus Christ’s humility to the sick and the suffering humanity and urged them to follow our Lord’s footprints. Mr. Daniel Thomas and Revd. N. C. Tudu acknowledged the contribution of Bishop, Rt. Revd. Dr. Probal Kanto Dutta toward reviving the youth fellowship of the Diocese which, only four years age, seemed to have lost zeal and spirit.

Rev. Sumanta Naru read selected chapters from the Bible to inspire the youths to become faithful and dedicated to Jesus Christ and to proclaim “Lord is my banner” while marching forward to rebuild a new society. Mr. Sudipta Singh impressed the youths with his lucid style and eloquent expression of a story that urged them to recognize their inherent spirit and think high toward shaping their destiny.

Church Leaders Demand Stop to Repression by Military in Burma2007  

Leaders of churches and Christian institutions in Delhi have called on the Christians around the world and the church organisations at global, continental and national levels to create awareness regarding the repression and brutalities by the Military Junta in Burma , and demanded that the international community exert pressure on the dictatorial Burmese government to restore democracy and human rights.  

The gathering of Christian leaders at the CNI Bhawan, New Delhi on Thursday 18th October 2007 heard the Burmese leaders in exile narrate details of the misrule by the successive military governments since 1962, and suspension of the political rights as well as the universal human rights of the people.

Dr. Tint Swe, MP of National League for Democracy elected in 1990, said that in absence of a constitutional framework to govern the country, the military has crushed the democratic aspirations of the people, plundered the natural resources, and the social and human development requirements of the people have been ignored and put on the back burner.

Ms. Thin Thin Aung of Women’s league of Burma said that the leaders of Karen, Mong, Shan, Kachin, Arakan and Chin minorities in exile have been meeting in Thailand to draft state and national Constitution providing a federal government structure.  Ms. Aung urged the people and the government of India to exert pressure on the Military Junta for a dialogue with the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi for early restoration of democracy in Burma .

The representatives of the Chin, Kachin and Arakan minorities highlighted the discrimination experienced under the polity of ethnic cleansing adopted by the military to achieve Burmanisation of the population.

The meeting constituted an ecumenical core group to mobilise participation of Christian laity, clergy and programme beneficiaries of Christian institutions and organisations in Delhi in series of activities as candle light vigils, sit-ins, demonstrations, rallies, exhibitions, campus meetings, etc to demand action by the Indian government and the international  community to stop brutalities on Burmese people by the Military Junta.

The meeting was jointly organised by the Synod of the Church of North India and the Commission on Polity and National Governance of the National Council of Churches in  India.  

CNI Refuses Iftaar Party Invitation of President of India-2008

17 September, New Delhi: To express solidarity with the suffering Christians in Orissa, Karnataka, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh and the inaction of Governments to curb the violence perpetrated against the minorities communities in India, General Secretary of the Church of North India turned down the invitation sent to him by Her Excellency Mrs. Pratibha Patil, the Honorable President of India to the Iftaar Party being organized by her on 19th September 2008 at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.

In his letter sent to the President on 16th September 2008, the secretary of CNI wrote “I regret to intimate to your office that I have decided not to join you in the Iftaar Party expressing my solidarity with thousands of Christians who are suffering and are being killed. When thousands of my fellow brothers and sisters are homeless, traumatized, terrified and hungry, how can I celebrate Iftaar Party with you?” .

In the meantime, the President has cancelled the Iftar Party that was scheduled on 19th September 2008 due to recent Bomb Blasts in New Delhi which killed 30 and left nearly 80 people severely injured. The Church wish the reasons of cancellation included the killing of Christians in different part of India which has taken the death to 40 making thousands of Christians homeless.

6th Diocesan Annual Youth Festival, 2010

The Diocesan Youth Festival is the biggest youth event for all the young people of the Diocese of Amritsar. This year the much awaited Youth Festival was held at Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir from 2nd to 5th June 2010on the theme of ‘KEEP WALKING’.

 

The Church of North India will be completing 40 years of united journey in November 2010. To commemorate this we are shortly opening Bishop Eric Nasir Memorial Archive in the CNI Bhavan-CNI 

 

OFFICE BEARERS OF CNI SYNOD-2009 

MODERATOR                                 The Most Rev. Purely Lyngdoh
                                                      Bishop, Diocese of North East India

DEPUTY MODERATOR                   The Rt. Rev. Dr. P. P. Marandi
                                                      Bishop, Diocese of Patna 

GENERAL SECRETARY                   The Rev. Dr. Enos Das Pradhan 

TREASURER                                   Mr. Kalyan Peterson  

SYNODICAL BOARDS, COMMISSIONS AND COMMITTEES -2009

Commission on Religion & Life :

President         :  The Rt. Rev. B. R. Tiwade
Secretary         :  The Rev. Mrs. Anita Templeton 

CNI Trust Association:

President         :  The Most Rev. Purely Lyngdoh
Secretary         :  The Rev. Dr. Enos Das Pradhan 

Commission on Mission :

President         :  The Rt. Rev. S. P. Lall
Secretary         :  The Rev. Ayub Daniel 

Committee of Reference of Faith & Order :

President         :  The Most Rev. Purely Lyngdoh
Secretary         :  The Rev. Dr. Enos Das Pradhan 

Christian Life, Mission and Evangelism Committee :

President         :  The Rt. Rev. Paul Dupare
Secretary         :  Mr. P. K. Zacharia 

Finance Committee :

President         :  Ms. Jyotsna Rani Patro
Secretary         :  Ex-officio Secretary, Treasurer, CNI Synod 

Literature & Mass Communication Committee :

President         :  The Rt. Rev. D. Samson Das
Secretary         :  Ms. Sushma Ramswami 

Liturgical Commission :

President         :  The Rt. Rev. V. B. Sathe
Secretary         :  Father Monodeep Daniel 

Law & Procedure Committee :

President         :  The Rt. Rev. Dr. P. P. Marandih
Secretary         :  Mr. B. D. Das 

Personnel Committee :

President         :  The Most Rev. Purely Lyngdoh
Secretary         :  The Rev. Dr. Enos Das Pradhan 

Synodical Board of Social Services :

President         :  The Rt. Rev. P. K. Samantaroy
Secretary         :  Dr. Shailendra Awale 

Synodical Board of Health Services :

President         :  The Rt. Rev. Probal K. Dutta
Secretary         :  Dr. Samuel Kishan 

Stewardship Committee :

President         :  The Rt. Rev. B. K. Nayak
Secretary         :  The Rev. Warris Masih, Stewardship Director, Ex-officio Secretary 

Theological Commission :

President         :  The Rt. Rev. Naresh Ambala
Secretary         :  The Rev. Dr. Paul Swarup 

Synodical Youth Fellowship Committee:

President         :  Mr. Shitij Cyril Jacob
Secretary         :  Mr. Nikhil Arsud 

Synodical Women Fellowship for Christian Service:

President         :  Ms. Prabhjot Primerose Masih
Secretary         :  Ms. Minakshi Das

Committee of Management :  Ministry with Children:

President         :  The Most Rev. Purely Lyngdoh
Secretary         :  The Rev. Dr. Enos Das Pradhan 

Committee of Management :  Human Potential Development Programme:

President         :  The Most Rev. Purely Lyngdoh
Secretary         :  The Rev. Dr. Enos Das Pradhan 


THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION (CNI)

Church needs Holistic Theological Education The need for a holistic theological education has been stated in clear terms
in the ‘Faith and Order of the Church’ (CNI Constitution 2006)in these words:

“The training of candidates destined for the Ministry of Presbyter shall be normally include a period of not less than 3 years at a recognized Theological Institution. Such training shall be closely linked with the work of the Church and shall include practice and pastoral work, preaching and conduct of worship” (page 29).

The Faith and Order of the Church also spells out ‘the work of the Church’ as a whole in the following words.

“ The Church is a ‘royal priesthood’ of believers, all its members have their share in the commission and authority of the whole Church … To the whole Church and to every member of it belong the duty and the privilege of spreading the good news of the Kingdom of God and the message of salvation through Jesus Christ” (page 20). [Rev. Dr. (habil) James Massey-The North India Church Review May, 2011]

LIST OF THE SENATE AFFILIATED COLLEGES-2009

Sr. No. NAME PLACE

1. ANDHRA CHRISTIAN THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE LOWER TANK BUND ROAD, GANDHINAGAR P.O. HYDERABAD – 500 080. ANDHRA PRADESH, INDIA
2. AIZAWL THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE POST BOX NO. 167 AIZAWL – 796 001. MIZORAM, INDIA.
3. ALLAHABAD BIBLE SEMINARY 60/64, STANLEY ROAD ALLAHABAD-211 002. UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA.
4. ACADEMY OF INTEGRATED CHRISTIAN STUDIES BAPTIST HOUSE, UPPER KHATLA, AIZAWL – 896 001. MIZORAM, INDIA.
5. BISHOP’S COLLEGE 224, ACHARYA JAGADISH CHANDRA BOSE ROAD KOLKATA – 700 017 WEST BENGAL, INDIA.
6. BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE T. CHIKRI, PFUTSERO – 797 107 NAGALAND, INDIA.
7. CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY K. P. ROAD, DISTT. K. K. NAGERCOIL-629 001 TAMILNADU, INDIA.
8. CLARK THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE AOLIJEN MOKOKCHUNG-796 601 NAGALAND, INDIA.
9. EASTERN THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE P.O. RAJABARI JORHAT – 785 014 ASSAM, INDIA.
10. FAITH THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY POST BOX 1 PATHANAMTHITTA DISTT. MANAKALA, ADUR-691 551 KERALA. INDIA.
11. FEDERATED FACULTY FOR RESEARCH IN RELIGION AND CULTURE C/O. ORTHODOX THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY P. B. NO. 98 P.O. KOTTAYAM-686 001 KERALA, INDIA.
12. GOSPEL FOR ASIA BIBLICAL SEMINARY POST BOX : 8 KUTTAPUZHA P.O. TIRUVALLA-689 103 KERALA, INDIA.
13. GOSSNER THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE MAIN ROAD RANCHI-834 001. JHARKHAND, INDIA.
14. GUJARAT UNITED SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY I.P. MISSION COMPOUND
(NEAR GUJARAT COLLEGE)
P.O. ELLIS BRIDGE, AHMEDABAD – 380006,
GUJARAT, INDIA.
15. GURUKUL LUTHERAN THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE 94, PURASAWALKAM HIGH ROAD P.O. KILPAUK CHENNAI-600 010 TAMILNADU, INDIA.
16. INDIAN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY 22, COLLEGE ROAD ITS NAGA, AVADI CHENNAI-600 062, INDIA.
17. JOHN ROBERTS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY MAWKLOT UPPER SHILLONG P.O. NONGLYER SHILLONG-793 009 MEGHALAYA, INDIA.
18. KERALA UNITED THEOLOGY SEMINARY KANNAMMOOLA P.O. MEDICAL COLLEGE THIRUVANANTHAPURAM-695 011 KERALA, INDIA.
19. KARANATAKA THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE KACES HOSTEL CAMPUS BALMATTA, MANGALORE-575 001 KARNATAKA, INDIA.
20. LEONARD THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE P.O. BOX NO. 36 JABALPUR-482 001. MADHYA PRADESH, INDIA.
21. METHODIST BIBLE SEMINARY STATION ROAD DISTT. KHEDA VASAD-388 306 GUJARAT, INDIA.
22. MADRAS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY & COLLEGE 13-14 WADDELLS ROAD KILPAUK-6600 010 CHENNAI, TAMILNADU, INDIA.
23. MALANKARA SYRIAN ORTHODOX THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY UDAYAGIRI, P.O. VETTICKAL MULANTHURUTHY-682 314 DISTT. EMAKULAM, KERALA, INDIA.
24. MANIPUR THEOLGOCIAL COLLEGE M.B.C. CENTRE P.O. IMPHAL – 795 -1 MANIPUR, INDIA.
25. MAR THOMA EPISCOPAL JUBILEE INSTITUTE EVANGELISM P.O. BOX 10 MANJADI POST OFFICE TIRUVALLA – 689 105 KERLA, INDIA.
26. MAR THOMA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY P.B. NO. 287 KOTTAYAM-686 001 KERALA, INDIA.
27. MENNONITE BRETHREN CENTENARY BIBLE COLLEGE DISTT. RANGA REDDY SHAMSHABAD-509 218 ANDHARA PRADESH, INDIA.
28. NEW THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE SAHASTRADHARA ROAD P.O. KULHAN DEHRA DUN-248 001 UTTARANCHAL, INDIA.
29. NORTH INDIAN INSTITUTE OF POST GRADUATE THEOLOGICAL STUDIES (NIIPGTS) C/O. BISHOP’S COLLEGE 224, A.J.C. BOSE ROAD KOLKATA-700 017 WEST BENGAL, INDIA.
30. ORISSA CHRISTIAN THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE SUNNY VALE GOPALPUR-ON-SEA DT. GANJAM-761 002 ORISSA. INDIA.
31. ORTHODOX THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY POST BOX NO. 98 KOTTAYAM-686 001 KERALA, INDIA.
32. SANTAL THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE BENAGARIA MISSION P.O. BENAGARIA DISTT. DUMKA-816 013 JHARKHAND, INDIA.
33. SERAMPORE COLLEGE P.O. SERAMPORE DIST. HOOGHLY-712 201 WEST BENGAL, INDIA.
34. SOUTHERN ASIA CHRISTIAN COLLEGE POST BAG 755 5, COLLEGE PARK MANOMANI AMMAL ROAD KILPAUK P.O. CHENNAI – 600 010 TAMILNADU, INDIA.
35. ST. ANDREWS THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE 54/1 BARABAGH MIRPUR – 2 DHAKA-1216 BANGLADESH.
36. THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE OF LANKA NANDANA UYANA PILIMATALAWA SRI LANKA.
37. TAMILNADU THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY ARASARADI, P.O. ELLIS NAGAR MADURAI-625 010 TAMILNADU, INDIA.
38. TRINITY THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE POST BOX 168 THAHEKHU DIMAPUR-797 112 NAGALAND, INDIA.
39. TRULOCK THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY CHURCH ROAD POST BOX 52 IMPHAL-795 001 MANIPUR, INDIA.
40. UNION BIBLICAL SEMINARY POST BOX 1425 BIBVEWADI PUNE – 411 037 MAHARASHRA, INDIA.
41. UNITED THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE 63, MILLER’S ROAD BENSON TOWN POST BOX 4613 BANGALORE-560 046 KRNATAKA, INDIA.
42. UNITED THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY OF MAHARASTHRA 1/A, PRINCE OF WALES DRIVE PUNE-411 001 MAHARASHRA, INDIA.

CNI MISSION PARTNERS

  • Communion of Churches, India
www.communionofchurches-india.org
  • The Presbyterian Church of USA
www.pcusa.org
  • The United Reformed Church              
www.urc.org.uk
  • The Anglican Church of Canada        
www.anglican.ca
  • The Church of Brethren     
www.brethren.org
  • The Methodist Church 
www.methodistchurch.org.uk 
  • The United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel
www.uspg.org.uk
  • The Church of Scotland         
www.churchofscotland.org.uk
  • The Presbyterian Church of Ireland                   
www.presbyterianireland.org
  • The Church Mission Society             
www.cms-uk.org
  • The Episcopal Relief and Development    
www.er-d.org
  • The United Church of Christ, USA
www.ucc.org
  • The Council for World Mission
www.cwmission.org.uk

Model Sermon

Date: 11th April 2010

First Sunday after Easter

Theme: Joy and Peace, power and new life are ours through the Resurrection of Christ John 20:19-31

Possible focus

How does the resurrection of Jesus gain meaning in todays world which is characterised by divisive dynamics. What model of ministry does Jesus present to us? How does the model of Jesus inspire us in our context? How can we understand the sending of disciples in todays context?

Background of the Text

This post-resurrection appearance of Jesus strengthens the disciples’ faith. As the disciples feared Jewish authorities they had gathered in a secure room. They feared that as Jewish authorities had crucified their rabbi, so they might come after them as well. This appearance of Jesus was miraculous as he passed through close doors and walls. By this appearance, Jesus kept his promise to the disciples that they would see him after his departure and their hearts would rejoice (V: 20; 16:16). Jesus gave the Peace as he had formerly promised His disciples His peace (14:27; 16:33). Hence he was imparting rather than just wishing peace on them. This becomes clear as Jesus repeats the benediction two more times (vv. 21, 26).

Jesus showed the disciples His hands and their wounds to convince them that it was really He. Second blessing of Jesus in V:21, implied that Jesus was sending His disciples on a mission just as His Father had sent Him on a mission (cf. 17:18). The emphasis here is on the sending and the authoritative person doing the sending. Therefore Jesus was presenting His mission as a model for His disciples’ mission. As Jesus was sent into the world to take away the sin and bring into communion, so are the Disciples. The appearance of Jesus has twofold significance. Firstly, it validated Jesus’ bodily resurrection and secondly, it provided the setting for the commissioning of disciples.

Thomas happens to be the last witness to the resurrected Jesus in Johns Gospel. Thomas had no doubts that Jesus had died, but he refused to believe the disciples that he was alive, until and unless he sees a physical proof of it. He insisted on touching Jesus, and specifically His crucifixion wounds, not just seeing them. No one else in the New Testament made demands like these before for believing. He only believed when Jesus satisfied his demands. The belief of Thomas presents Christ as the risen Lord, victorious over sin, sorrow, doubt, and death.

Key Verses

Vs. 30 & 31. Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name. These verses are one of the most significant in this Gospel as they present to us the whole purpose of the why this Gospel was written. John wrote his Gospel to explicate that those who believe on Jesus without seeing Him in the flesh are acceptable to God and will enjoy eternal life. It also attests the fact that here Johns intention were evangelistic. John wanted the readers to grasp that Jesus was God incarnate and offers life in its fullness.


Sermon Directions

In a world that is divided on the basis of caste, colour and creed how we can experience joy, peace, power and new life through Christ. We live in a complicated world, where the mighty prospers and the poor suffers. The so-called inhuman systems of the world have resulted in oppression of the poor. The society keeps searching for identity based of divisive and de-humanizing grounds. In such a conflicting context how does the resurrection of Christ inspire us for a better co-existence? Three things from the text become clear.

Joy and Peace.

The traits of joy and peace are very important; everyone in the world desires to have them in their life. Here in the text the disciples are far away from both these traits as they are scared, worried and confused. The fear of Jewish authorities has pushed them in a room. The sphere of disciples was to be the whole world but now it�s limited to a room. Here the walls of the room represent the structures that hold us from reaching out.
We sometimes build walls around ourselves because it comforts us. Jesus miraculous appearance to the disciples and their sending out was to show them that joy and peace are to be found in the world. Jesus model of ministry was characterised by serving the needy and the oppressed. Hence in serving the needy we find Joy and peace.

Power

Everyone in the world desires to have power. The one with maximum powers is considered to be the strongest. Power for Jesus was something different or opposite all together from the world view. Jesus imparting peace and sending the disciples proves that Jesus was making them powerful. Their power was to be characterised by serving the whole world. This was a humbling power because it made the disciples realize the authoritative side of Jesus and the urgent need for service. The talents that we posses are our powers. Let us use our powers in struggling on the behalf of the needy in the society.

New Life

In the following text new life is provided by Jesus to the disciples. It is a life that has no place for fear but rather service. Our working based on the model of Jesus Christ will help us to inaugurate a social order where all are considered equal. In this new life we are asked to shatter all the divisive boundaries around us. The New life in Jesus is ever-inspiring and ever-motivating in bringing peace, harmony and justice in this world.

Prayer Points

  • Pray for Churches and individuals who are engaged in mission work.
  • Pray for contextual understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 


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