A historical NCCI Quadrennial Assembly Concluded with New Hope & Promises

TIRUNELVELI,Tamil Nadu (Feb.14): Getting the spirit of ecumenism seep down to the grassroot level of congregations, giving immediate support to dalits, adivasis, women and other weaker sections, sensitizing society to the sin of untouchability and standing along with these oppressed in their struggle for liberation are among the priorities of the newly elected president of the National Council of the Churches of India. .

Dr Jayapaul David, bishop of the Tirunelveli diocese, who was elected president of the NCCI at its 25th Quadrennial assembly, the apex body of 29 protestant and orthodox churches in the country, was speaking to Christian Today on February 13.

Asked about all the efforts to bring about unity among various religions, he said: "We are living in one world traveling all the time round the Sun. We can't jump out of this world; as human beings, we cannot say that we should live separating ourselves from plants and animals. This is our common pilgrimage with all creation."

"If you disregard others it has no meaning. All are interdependent. They may belong to different cultures, languages, ethnic identities and backgrounds. Like in a meal you have different dishes adding taste and flavour. Variety and differences enrich the whole. This must be so with communities and nations."

Earlier the executive secretary of the NCCI, Rev Dr Packiam Samuel, has said the church today considered all non-Christians as "fellow pilgrims" and not as pagans as before. "This is one of the most welcome transformation the church has undergone over the years, " he added.

Dr. Samuel, who is also the host coordinator of the assembly, was briefing press persons on its theme, "Towards Truth and Peace Celebrating our common pilgrimage' at the Sarah Tucker college Auditorium, on the eve of the session.

The commitment of the church in national polity is one of the serious issues to be discussed during the assembly. "We want to create an awareness among the Christian community that they should never fail to exercise their franchise. The issue relating to
The Assembly was hosted by the CSI, Tirunelveli diocese, under the leadership of Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. S Jeyapaul David. An opening worship service was held immediately after the procession.

A special commemorative cover to mark the XXV quadrennial Assembly of NCCI, which celebrates its 90th anniversary of its ecumenical journey, was released by Post Master General, Central Region, Hilda Abraham. The first cover was received by H G Geevarghese Mar Corillos, outgoing president of the NCCI.

Former NCCI presidents, Rev Dr K Rajaratnam and Rev Dr S K Parmar, Rev Richard Howell of the EFI, Dr Mani Jacob, vice chancellor of Allahabad Agricultural University, Dr. Ms. Mercy Henry, Principal of STC, Rev Dr Ipe Joseph, general secretary, Rev Barnabas, Frederick Samuel, Stephen Lionel, Simpson Sigamani, Stephen Selvin Raj were among others who participated in the function. Leaders from the Church Mission Society, Christian Conference of Asia, National Council of Churches in Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh were present also.