The Department of Ecological concerns of CSI synod organised a two-days workshop on Green Parables from 24th to 25th August 2016 at CSI Synod Centre, Chennai. Rev. Dr. D. R. Sadnanda, the General Secretary of CSI Synod, inaugurated the workshop. He explained that “Parable is a language that Jesus used to make people think. It helped people for a self-discovery and started a process of transformation. Why did people come to Jesus? It was because Jesus was a story teller. He was a 'parable man'. The parable is a powerful language. Language that caused us to know ourselves. We imitate Jesus for a process of self-discovery. It is a challenge to change. Jesus' parables brought transformation. People asked questions. Questions created a peoples' movement. The parables you write may create a movement. A movement to understand the worth of the creation and also the worth of the creator. Let the parables you write inspire people to join the movement for a green Earth.”
Rev. James Cecil Victor, director of Pastoral Concerns and Rev. Sunil Raj Philip, director of Communications, offered felicitations. Rev. Prof. Dr. John Samuel, Rev. Prof. Dr. Chilkuri Vasanth Rao, Rev. Prof. Merwin Shinoj Boas and Rev. Joseph Samuel presented papers. The participants were grouped into eleven groups to retell biblical parables. Thirty-three parables were prepared by the participants and it was assessed by the resource persons. Sixty Clergy and twenty lecturers attended the workshop. Green parables will come out as a book during the month of December 2016.
Prof. Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackad, Hon. Director, Department of Ecological
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The Department of Ecological Concerns of CSI Synod published three books on Earth Bibles Sermons in the English Language. In order to reach grass roots level, the department decided to publish the Earth Bible sermons in Telugu, Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam. A workshop for this was organised on 26th August 2016 at CSI Synod Centre. Rev. Dr. D. R. Sadananda inaugurated the workshop. Rev. James Cecil Victor, Director of Pastoral Concerns and Rev.Sunil Raj Philip, Director of Communications, offered felicitations. Rev. Prof. Dr. John Samuel was the resource person for the Tamil workshop; Rev. Prof. Dr. Chilkuri Vasanth Rao for the Telugu workshop; Rev.Prof. Merwin Shinoj Boas for the Malayalam workshop and Rev. Ravi Joseph for the Kannada workshop.
Theme and biblical portions were allotted to each participant. Ninety Clergy participated
in the workshop.
Prof. Dr.Mathew Koshy Punnackad,
Hon. Director, Department of Ecological concern,
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The Three-day celebrations of World Environment Day (WED) 2016 of the Church of South
India (CSI) from 3rd to 5th June 2016 at CSI Synod Centre, Chennai, which was organised
jointly by the Departments of Ecology, Youth and SEVA of CSI Synod, took innovative and
unique decisions to implement the following projects in their Dioceses. 120 members
participated and agreed to monitor or implement the decisions taken during the three-day
1. CSI Synod in collaboration with Centre for Science and Environment will help the Schools in 23 Dioceses scattered over five states in South India to become 'Green Schools'. The aim for 2016-2017 is 1000 schools. The Green School programme moves beyond theories and concentrates solely on action. It is an environmental education programme directed to sensitise students to the environment through thought-provoking activities. It will improve the educational standard of the School. Study and teaching will become more interesting. The academic results of the Schools will also improve. In a way, it will improve the quality and standard of the School in a holistic manner.
2. As Water scarcity is a serious problem in all the states, we request the state governments to take up rainwater harvesting seriously with immediate effect. People in many places of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh (AP), Karnataka and Tamilnadu are starving for water. Due to the scarcity of water, many farmers lost their crops and many were compelled to commit suicide. Diversion of Pennarriver in AP resulted in water scarcity in other areas. Water is God’s gift to all creations. Hence, it is nobody’s monopoly. Water from Mullaperiyar Dam in Kerala is God’s gift to the people of Kerala and Tamilnadu. Any effort to tackle the issue amicably will be highly appreciated. The Church of South India strongly supports the proposal of Kerala Chief Minister to settle the issue amicably. The CSI synod requests all the dioceses to start as many rainwater harvesting units as possible in their area.
3. The CSI objects any move to obstruct the flow of water, river water diversion, inundation of forest lands and the displacement of Adivasis in the name of development by constructing dams. Rivers are the dynamic face of the landscape, God's gift to the world, nourishing life in abundance, like the veins of the human body. Hence, the Church of South India strongly condemns any move from any sector to construct a dam in Athirappally in Kerala. A river is an organism and its rights can never be ignored.
4. The CSI requests all the Dioceses to implement Waste Mangement programmes in their Dioceses.
5. The CSI requests all the Dioceses to promote renewable energy in the institutions of the Diocese
6. The CSI requests each diocese to plant as many as saplings possible before December. Each Diocese should plant at least 10,000 saplings.
The Director of Ecological Concerns assured the gathering that the Department of Ecological concerns will monitor the implementation of the projects and will extend maximum help for the implementation.
The Most Rev. Dr. G. Dyvasirvadam, Moderator of CSI, inaugurated the three days workshop on 3rd June at CSI Synod Centre. The Rt. Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, Deputy Moderator of CSI, and Rev. Dr. D. R. Sadananda, General Secretary of CSI, graced the function with their esteemed presence. Mr. C. R. Neelakantan delivered the keynote address. Ms. Ranjitha Menon and Mr. Malcome presented the Green School Projects. On the second day, Rev. Asir Ebenezer and Rev. J. Solomon Paul gave leadership for the workshop. Rev.Sunil Raj Philip, director of Communication Department, offered felicitations. On the third day, Environmental Day worship with Holy Communion service was conducted. Bishop Thomas K. Oommen was the preacher and Celebrant. Bishop Thomas K. Oommen presided over the Public meeting held after the Worship Service. Mr. Chnadrabhushan, Deputy Director of Centre for Science and Environment, delivered the WED message. Rev. Dr. D. R. Sadananda, Rev. Asir Ebeneser, Rev. J. Solomon Paul and Dr. Mathew Koshy addressed the gathering.
Prof. Dr.Mathew Koshy Punnackadu,
Hon.Director, Department of Ecological Concerns
Rev. Dr. D. Rathanakara Sadananda, General Secretary of CSI Synod, released the third
volume of Earth Bible Sermons edited by Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackad during the public
function held in connection with the World Environment Day celebration on 5th June 2016
at CSI Synod Centre, Chennai. Rev.Rathnakar Sadananda said: “The Earth Bible Sermons
follow the well-conceptualised and articulated hermeneutical approach that the Earth
Bible project offered to read the Bible from earth's perspective. They are: The
Principle of Intrinsic Worth; the Principle of Interconnectedness; the Principle of
Voice; the Principle of Purpose; the Principle of Mutual Custodianship; the Principle of
Resistance; the Principle of Incarnation; and the Principle of Promise. By doing so, the
Earth Bible Sermons serve the purpose of bringing global theological discussions to
congregational pulpits of the villages”.
Rt. Rev. Thomas K Oommen presided over the function. Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackad, Hon. Director of Ecological Concerns of CSI Synod, thanked the gathering.
Prof. Dr.Mathew Koshy Punnackadu, Hon.Director, Department of Ecological Concerns
As part of the World Environment Day Celebration, the Women’s Fellowship of the South Kerala Diocese of the Church of South India has conceptualised a programme, named “Holistic Sustainable Development through Women”, to be implemented in all the 700 churches and institutions and more than 3.5 lakhs homesteads. The uniqueness of the programme is that it is women centric, that is instrumental for women to achieve Holistic sustainable Development.
The project has been launched in a grand function on 6th June2016 in connection with the World Environment Day Celebrations.
a. Special liturgy prepared by the Synod Ecological Concern Department was used in all the 700 churches on 5 June 2016 for Sunday Worship.
b. Women’s Fellowship members planted fruit plants, Jack, Mango and Rambutan in the 700 Church premises on 5th June 2016, and committed that the future care of these trees will be taken care by the Women’s Fellowship Members.
c. Awareness classes on Energy Conservation, Water Management, Organic Cultivation, Waste Management and Sustainable life style were conducted on 5th June 2016. More than 800 ladies participated.
d. The public function in connection with the launching of the project was inaugurated by Sri. M.S. Vijayanand IAS, Chief Secretary, Kerala State.
e. Rt. Rev. A. Dharmaraj Rasalam, Bishop in South Kerala Diocese of CSI, the State Chief Forest Conservator, Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnacakdu (Director of CSI Synod Ecological Concerns), Office Bearers of Diocese, the Advisor for Ecology to the Common Wealth, the Director of Water Management Board, and the Director of State Agriculture Department addressed the public meeting.
f. The Partners of the Project are Kerala Forest Department, Kerala State Horticulture Mission, Kerala Bio-Diversity Board, and Kerala Agricultural University.
Mrs. Shirly Rasalam, the President of the Women’s Fellowship (WF) leads the Programme assisted by Dr. Kavitha Sreenivasan, the Secretary of WF. The project is designed by Dr. Ravi, Advisor to Common Wealth and Dr. S. Devanesan, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture Kerala Agriculture University.
Dr. Kavitha Sreenivasan, Secretary Women’s Fellowship SKD
Most Rev. Dr. G.Dyvasirvadam, the Moderator of the Church of South India (CSI)
inaugurated the three-day long World Environment Day celebration by CSI at the CSI Synod
centre in Chennai on 3rd June2016. Rt.Rev.Thomas K Oommen, the Deputy Moderator of CSI,
and Rev. Dr. D. R. Sadananda graced the function with their honourable presence. Mr.
C.R.Neelakantan, a noted environmental activist, delivered the keynote address.
Ms.Ranjitha Menon and Mr.Malcom from Centre for Science and Environment presented the
Green School project. Dr.Mathew Koshy Punnackadu, Director of CSI Synod Ecological
Concerns said that one thousand schools of CSI will become green Schools within one
The celebration will be concluded on Sunday. Departments of Ecology, SEVA and Youth are jointly organising the programme.·Updated 2 seconds ago·Taken at CSI Synod Centre.
The Green School programme is visualised as a school guided by the principles of environmental sustainability, said Rt. Rev. Thomas K. Oommen , Deputy Moderator of CSI while inaugurating the Green School programme of CSI synod in collaboration with CSE. He continued: The Green School should create a conducive environment to fully utilise all resources and opportunities inside and outside the school to sensitise teachers and students for environmental sustainability through active involvement of the community. This requires action-oriented curriculum and syllabi that would proceed from acquiring knowledge to feeling concerned to developing environment friendly habits from an early age.
Bishop Thomas K Oommen blessed a sapling of Asoka tree (Saraca asoca) and given to Mr. T. J Mathew IAS (Rtd), the school Manager of CSI MKD . The School Manager in turn gave the sapling to Head Mistress of CMS High School, Mundakayam for planting on their campus. Prof. Dr.A.P.Thomas, Director of Advanced Centre for Environmental Studies and Sustainable Development of Mahatma Gandhi University delivered the keynote address. Mr. Varghese C. Thomas (Malayala Manorama Daily) shared his experiences as an Environmental Journalist. Dr.Mathew Koshy Punnackad, the Hon. Director of CSI Synod Department of Ecological Concerns chaired the session. Rev. Jiji Joseph, Regional Convener welcomed the gathering. Sixty three persons (Principal/HM/Manager) participated from six dioceses of Kerala .
Prof. Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackad
Hon. Director, Department of Ecological Concerns
Attention of Managers/Principals/HM of all CSI Schools
The CSI Synod requests all the Schools under CSI Management from Standard V to XII, aided and unaided sector to join the Green School project initiated by the CSI. Green School Project is a student centered teaching methodology which makes the teaching and learning more interesting. Through Green School Project (GSP) , students are doing a green audit in the School which will help students in studying Maths, Science, Communication skills and General knowledge. The CSI Department of Ecological Concerns has signed MoU with Centre for Science and Environment , New Delhi (CSE) for helping CSI to make 1000 schools of CSI as Green Schools. We have got a good opportunity to improve the standard of CSI Schools using the curriculum given by CSE and we have no financial commitments. The School teachers have to follow the instructions given by the CSE . By this collaboration, CSI expect the following outcome provided the teachers actively follow their instructions: Teaching and learning will become an interesting experience, the calibre of the students will improve, results of the school will improve, students will get good exposure, Innovative projects of the school will be noticed all over the world.
Kindly visit www.greenschoolsprogramme.org and register your school for a green audit at the earliest. CSI Synod will honour CSI Schools actively participating in Green School Audit of CSE with Green School awards. Department of Ecological Concerns cordially invites the correspondents, Managers, Principals/HM of CSI schools for a one day conference on 27th August 2016 at CSI Synod Centre. CSE Green School Programme coordinators will explain the details of the programme. Kindly contact : email: email@example.com mobile 09847275754, in case anybody requires clarification.
The Church of South India (CSI) Synod Department of Ecological Concerns organised a three- days workshopto study the Earth Bible 1, edited by Rev. Norman C. Habel, Published by Sheffield academic Press, England, for the Clergy from 25thto 27thFebruary 2016 at CSI Synod Centre, Chennai. Rev.Dr. D. R.Sadananda (General Secretary of CSI) inaugurated the workshop. Rev. Dr. John Samuel (Professor Tamilnadu Theological Seminary,Maduari), Rev.Dr.V.J.John (Professor of New Testament, Bishops College, Calcutta)andRev. Dr.Shinoj Bovas (Professor of Theology, United Theological College, Bangalore) were the resource persons for this programme.
Thirty-five clergy from various dioceses of the Church of South India attended the programme.
Prof.Dr.Mathew Koshy Punnackadu
Hon. Director, Department of Ecological Concerns
The third Earth Bible sermon workshop was held at Arogyavaram Medical Centre in Rayalseema Diocese from 24th to 25th September 2015. Bishop B.D.Prasad Rao inaugurated the workshop. Thirty five Clergy participated in the workshop and presented papers on Earth Story in Wisdom traditions. Twenty three Clergy were new to the workshop. Most of the deliberations in the workshop were new to many Clergy. As per one Clergy ‘ Coming from a theological background it was a new stream of thought to know more about the various ecological issues of in various parts of South India. It was also shocking that still the church and the society is yet to realize the real danger which is to come in the near future’. During the second day the participants presented their ecological sermons . Rev.Dr. Chilkuri Vasanta Rao, chief resource person evaluated the presentations of the Clergy. The team under the leadership the Medical director Dr. B. Wesley provided excellent hospitality. Rev. Prasada rao, Presbyter of Madanappally CSI church, gave a big reception for the delegates on 24th evening in their Church. The department of Ecological Concerns would like to express our heartfelt thanks to Bishop B.D.Prasad Rao and the office bearers of Rayalseema diocese for hosting the conference at Arogyvaram
The department of Ecological concerns of CSI Synod organised a five day eco-trip to Sri Lanka. Thirty six CSI members participated in the eco tour. We were hosted by the Jaffna diocese of CSI in Srilanka. Bishop Daniel Thiagaraja, Bishop of Jaffna and the office bearers gave us excellent hospitality.The ethnic background of Srilanka is Sinhalese 74.9%, Sri Lankan Tamil 11.2%, Sri Lankan Moors 9.2%, Indian Tamil 4.2%, other 0.5%. Religious wise population is Buddhist (official) 69.1%, Hindu 7.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Christian 6.2%, other (not specified) 10.0%.
The first Sinhalese arrived in Sri Lanka late in the 6th century B.C., probably from northern India. Buddhism was introduced in about the mid-third century B.C., and a great civilization developed at the cities of Anuradhapura (kingdom from circa 200 B.C. to circa A.D. 1000) and Polonnaruwa (from about 1070 to 1200). In the 14th century, a south Indian dynasty established a Tamil kingdom in northern Sri Lanka. The Potuguese controlled the coastal areas of the island in the 16th century and the Dutch in the 17th century. The island was ceded to the British in 1796, became a crown colony in 1802, and was formally united under British rule by 1815. As Ceylon, it became independent in 1948; its name was changed to Sri Lanka in 1972. The Tamil people reached Sri Lanka during the colony rule to work in Plantations. The Tamil people were not given equal status with the Sinhala People. Hence tensions between the Sinhalese majority and Tamil separatists erupted into war in 1983. After two decades of fighting, the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) formalized a cease-fire in February 2002 with Norway brokering peace negotiations. Violence between the LTTE and government forces intensified in 2006, but the government regained control of the Eastern Province in 2007 and by May 2009, the remnants of the LTTE had been defeated. Since the end of the conflict, the government has enacted an ambitious program of economic development projects, many of which are financed by loans from the Government of China. In addition to efforts at reconstructing its economy, the government has resettled more than 95% of those civilians displaced during the final phase of the conflict and released the vast majority of former LTTE combatants captured by Government Security Forces. At the same time, there has been little progress on more contentious and politically difficult issues such as reaching a political settlement with Tamil elected representatives and holding accountable those alleged to have been involved in human rights violations and other abuses during the conflict. The members of Jaffna CSI and the Church buildings are affected by the war. In order to express the solidarity of CSI synod a group of 36 people various dioceses visited Jaffna Diocese from `14th to 18th October 2015.
The participants of eco tour Sri Lanka visited various places in Jaffna and saw the churches affected in the war and also the people affected in the war. While the South is highly developed the North is underdeveloped. Agriculture is the only source of income of the people. The people are afraid to engage in agriculture as they could not trace out the mines under the ground. The price of agricultural products is going down. The vegetation in the North has been destroyed due to bombing. Church buildings and the buildings where people took shelter have been completely destroyed due to bombing. The educational background of the people of Northern Sri Lanka is also low. The majority of the youth quitted educational institutions and joined the war groups against the Military. We talked with the people who worked with the LTTE. The ego of Tamilians was greatly wounded. The well to do Tamilians migrated to developed countries. Now Sinhalese people and Military are purchasing the lands of Tamil people which have adversely affected the communal identity of the Tamilians. At present, the Members of the Jaffna CSI Church are poor Tamilians who are affected by the impacts of war. As Bishop Daniel Thiagarajah is maintaining a diplomatic relation with the ruling President and Prime Minister, he could protect the interests of Tamil people to a certain extent. Bishop Daniel Thiagarajah declared his ministry in two words- Reconciliation and Healing the wounds. A reconciliation between Tamil and Sinhala people is necessary for the future. The minds of the Tamil people are wounded. Healing the wounds of the affected are necessary. In another diplomatic move he extended the ministry to the Sinhala People also. Before the war Bishop Daniel Thiagarajah was the Bishop of Tamil People only. Now he has 7 seven Sinhala speaking Churches and Sinhala pastors. Now he has become the Bishop of a National Church.
Bishopamma is also doing a marvellous job in the rebuilding of the community. She has been working among the people who are under trauma, widows who have lost husbands during the war, amputees, taking care of war affected Children and skill development programmes. She, being the Director of the Centre for Holistic Healing, has given training for 72 staff to carry on this work. Without much resources Bishop and Bishopamma are doing marvellous work to build up the confidence in the people and building up a self sustaining community.
The eco tour group members were impressed by the work the Bishop and Bishopamma are doing in Jaffna. The members collected one lakh Sri Lankan rupees and donated to the Bishop as a token of our appreciation of the marvellous work they are doing in Sri Lanka. On behalf of the Department of Ecological Concens, I would like to thank Bishop Daniel Thiagarajah for the hospitality and the opportunity provided by him during our visit to Jaffna.