Good News for Creation and Ecological justice, be placed at the top of the agenda
Eco Bishops, Africa
Don't pray for rain, the Bishop responded to the call of another Bishop requesting the prayer of the congregation for rain. The Bishop continued, Dear Bishop, don't pray for rain. We have cleared all the forests enhancing the process of desertification. Let us plant some saplings and compensate the present damage and pray for rain. Bishop Zac from Uganda explained the incident while he was taking the morning devotion in the Eco Bishops Conference organised by the Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN) steering committee from 18th to 23rd September at the Good shepherd retreat Centre, Hartbeespoort, South Africa. On the second day Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya, Anglican Bishop Swaziland and the Chair of ACEN, mentioned that through Eucharist we are in full communion with God, People and Nature. The Celebrant is blessing the fruit of the work of the people on this earth, the bread and the wine and serving to the believers. The earth is sacred. On third day's devotion, Bishop Chad Gandiya, Anglican Bishop of Zimbabwe mentioned that why can't we use the biblical Version John 3.16, For God so loved me, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. The disciple John wrote it clear that Jesus came to this world not to save individuals but to save all the creation. In Romans we are reading the salvation is for all the creations. Eighteen Anglican Bishops from various countries in Africa, Clergy and laypersons representing different Anglican groups attended the four-day consultation of Eco Bishops.
Dr Mathew Koshy Punnackadu, Hon. Director of the Department of Ecological Concerns of the Church of South India explained the eco activities of the CSI Synod. Rev.Dr.Rachel Mash, ACSA Enviro Convener introduced CSI as the active Eco Church in the Anglican Communion. As CSI produced so many books on Eco Bible Studies, the Hon. Director presented a model eco Biblical interpretation. God created everything in His own rhythm. He took six days for creation. The seventh day – rest. There is a rhythm in creation. Human beings disturbed the rhythm of God. If you want to see the rhythm of God, you have to observe nature closely. In order to understand the rhythm of nature, Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness( a wild and uncultivated region, as of forest).Jesus could resist the temptations as he has understood the rhythm of nature. The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone.' Jesus knows the rhythm of Nature. When the seed finds a fertile land having water it sprouts. After a particular period, it produces grains. Ripe grains harvested, ground and made into a powder to make bread. The journey of seed to bread is through a systematic process with a rhythm. Forty days stay of Jesus in the wilderness helped him to study the rhythm of nature. Hence Jesus was not ready to disturb the rhythm of nature which God has given. Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone." Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test." The answer of Jesus can be paraphrased in a different way. I made the universe and I know its rhythm. Any living being falling from a height may collapse. That is the rhythm of nature. Hence do not test your God. The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendour, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only." It can be paraphrased like this, I have created each and everything in the universe with an intrinsic value and purpose. You or any corporates or any multinational companies have no right over this nature. Its owner is God. Hence worship your God. Luther saw the whole creation of God as something which exists for the benefit of humans. Karl Barth advocated a similar theology. Barth is very explicit that salvation history begins with the incarnation of Jesus Christ, but not from the creation. Everything is created solely for the sake of the realization of God's covenant with humanity in Jesus Christ. Bultmann held a similar position. God is not to be perceived in the phenomena of nature, but He is known and experienced in the `cave of the heart', in the inner personal experience. Such theology places creation in a secondary position. Serious attention was not given to the creation theology as they did not face an ecological crisis as we face today. Christianity does have a theology of creation. The presence of God makes this earth sacred. That is why God entered into a covenant relationship with all creatures. We believe in God because God as the Creator is present and continues to work with the land, river and sea to give life and hope. We have been taught theology which is giving importance to Life after Death. Give importance to life before death also. The world we live in is also important. Where there is no water, there is no good news. When there is a flood, it is a bad news.
The four days Eco Bishops concluded with strong resolutions and time-bound programmes. In Theological education they decided to hold eco-theology trainings at all levels (clergy, laity, guilds, youth), popularise available ecological resources, include ecology in theological education curricula, include ecology in liturgies, organise refresher courses/conferences in ecology, make budget provision for ecological activities in our Dioceses and encouraging such provision in our Provinces.
Other resolutions are regarding Youth activities, Sustainability and partnerships. Youth: initiating and increasing environmental consciousness and awareness among children and youth, empowering children and youth to initiate or take part in tree planting and re-planting programmes and to desist from contributing to pollution, enhancing the capacity of school teachers, confirmation teachers, youth workers and children in ecological matters, creating an African Youth Eco-Movement and encouraging budget provision for youth engagement in ecological justice.
Sustainability: planting indigenous and environmentally friendly species and removing alien vegetation which degrades the environment, exploring ways to restore degraded land and enable natural regeneration, using church land productively, for example, for solar energy, and increasing green cover and bio-diversity, establishing waste management projects, including collection and productive use of waste, promoting organic, climate-smart, agriculture, engaging proactively with urban planning systems with a view to addressing degraded human habitation, and advocating for the provision of clean water, sanitation and accessibility, ensuring that our church buildings and property provide an eco-model for the community, stop using single-use plastics on our church properties.
Partnerships: promoting the establishment of environmental desks in every diocese, encouraging the inclusion of environmental issues on diocesan websites, sharing challenges and successes, initiating resource mobilisation strategies to promote ecological justice, promoting active networking on environmental issues through twinning with other dioceses and Provinces, and encouraging exchange programmes in order to learn from one another.
The statement concluded with a request to the Anglican Communion. Requested Dioceses, Provinces, Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), and Lambeth 2020, that Good News for the creation and ecological justice be placed at the top of the agenda. All of us are interested in this and all are part of the problem, whether in the north, south, east or west. Our Communion provides an opportunity for global witness and resources to tackle this global challenge together.
Prof. Dr.Mathew Koshy Punnackad
Member, Anglican Communion Environmental Network Steering Committee
The CSI Synod Department of Ecological Concerns organized the training for the teachers on Green School Programme at Vellore Diocese on 12th September 2018 at St.Johns Church Hall, Vellore Fort. The programme began with the meditation of Rev. Jared Arul Jebareuben. Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackad ,Hon.Director of Ecological Concerns and Prof.Dr.Philip Robinson took classes. They explained the significance of GSP and motivated teachers to join the GSP audit. Prof. Dr. Philip Robinson explained the GSP project in Tamil language. Rev. Samraj Kumar, Rev. Christopher David, Rev. Jared Arul Jebareuben, Rev. Ravichandran, Dr. Nirmal Margaret , Rev. Abraham Asaithambi (Chairman, Southern Area), Rev. C. Manimaran( Chairperson, Diocesan Eco Department), Rev. Stanley Christopher, and Rev. Paul Robert Kennedy (Director, Department of Ecological concerns, VDC) rendered active leadership to make the programme a grand success. One hundred teachers participated in the training programme and agreed to join the GSP Audit.
Participants appreciated the training in GSP and they expressed it during the evaluation. Some of their comments are given below: “It was a wonderful programme for me. Children are the nation builders. Through GSP my students who belong to the remote villages will get an awareness to save trees and protect the land. Surely I will avoid throw away plastic materials. It was the best programme I have ever attended. Praise to God.” Mrs. J Mary Vinothini (M.D Crane Middle School, Tindivanam). “Today's program was very useful. I learned something different about the environment. Hereafter I will change my school and its surroundings into a green land” Ms. J Beulah Matry Shyla ( M.D Ele. School, Valayathur). “The two classes held today were very interesting. We learned more about the nature. Hereafter I'll try to make my school as a green school and ask the students to protect the nature” Mr. D Joseph Christopher (M.D Primary School, Peraperi). “I really enjoyed and learned so many things from this program. Now I'm aware of global warming, natural resources and the necessity to protect the nature. For the next generation we have to safeguard and protect nature. Thanks to CSI Synod for giving us a good awareness about our environment” Ms. P Shanthi (CSI Girls Higher Sec. School, Tirupattur) “I will make the children to do all you have told about and make my school into a green school with the help of students. I will ask my students to avoid taking junk food. With the help of students we will clean our classes, houses and wherever we are going. Ask them to educate people” Ms. S Devasanthini (Honnegar Ashram G.H.S, Sarpenmedu). “Praise the Lord. Today's training was good. Already we have registered in GSP audit but in today's meeting I have understood what is my role and how I can do it for the students and for tomorrow's generation. Thank you for arranging such a wonderful meeting.” Ms. S Mary (CSI Public School, Pulikuttai). “ After this training I found that there are so many tasks I've to implement in my school. I have to do something for this nature. I have to change myself first and I want to be be a role model for my students. Hereafter I'll never disturb any living things” Mrs. M Aparna Josephene (M D Primaryt School, Velam). “I have learnt many good things from Director sir's speech. It is very interesting and studied many things about the eco system. Surely I'll share it with my students and family members” Ms. S Hannah Roseline (M D middle School, Melpadi). “This program was wonderful and challenging. We have been encouraged and motivated by the speeches using power point presentations. I will make my school a green school” (Mrs. S Rebecca Shanthy ,Walter Scudder Nursery & Primary School, Tindivanam) . “The program was very useful for us. We will observe the guidelines and make our students &schools, green” (Ms. V Jayalakshmi ,M D School, Kunnathur)
Prof.Dr.Mathew Koshy Punnackad
Hon.Director, CSI Synod Department of Ecological Concerns
The CSI Synod Department of Ecological Concerns and the Henry Martin Institute, Hyderabad jointly organized a consultation to study the ecological Concerns in different religions. One of the serious problems we are facing today is Climate Change due to Global warming. UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in its report assessing the impacts of climate change on human health, settlements and natural resources released on March 31, 2014 made it clear that: “Coming years will see more extreme weather events (floods, cyclones, cloud bursts, unseasonal excessive rains and drought etc) in most parts of the globe. Maldives, China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will be among the most affected countries in Asia”. All religions believe that the Earth and everything in it belongs to God. Our call is to participate in the mission of God, toward the realization of the promise of the fullness of life. Hence the consultation was organized from 27th to 29th August 2018 at HMI to study the eco-concerns of the faith communities.
Rev.Dr.Packiam Samuel, the Director of HMI delivered the keynote address on 27th during the inaugural function.. Dr.Mathew Koshy Punnackad, Hon.director of Ecological concerns of CSI Synod presided over the function. Eco concerns in different religions were presented by experts. Rev. Dr.John Samuel (Principal Gurukul Theological Seminary, Chennai) presented the eco concerns in Christianity, Prof. CSR Prabhu (Presently Advisor,KL Universitiy and also Director, Research KMIT, Hyderabad) in Hinduism, Dr. Raminder Kaur ( Medical Doctor, Indian Railways in Sikhism), Mr. Maniklal Kasturchand Jabac (Jain Priest) in Jainism, Mr. Waheed Multani, (Lecturer at HMI) in Islam . The following persons led the panel discussions in the last session. Maulana Abdul Kareem, (Islam) Arabic Lecturer, Pamhor Thumra, (Primal Religion) Jr. Lecturer and Ms. Sribala Mylavarapu (Hinduism), Programme Officer - Academic Extension.
Thirty five participants from different dioceses participated in the consultation. Some of the evaluations of some of the participants are given below. “This is one of the best programmes which I attended. I gained much more knowledge about the eco concerns in other religions” (Rev.Solomon Raj , Dornakal). “I was enlightened when the speakers presented the faith practices in different religions” (Rev, Jiji N Stewart, South Kerala). “Interfaith consultation was really an eye opener for me. Going back with a new spirit and commitment” ( Rev John Samuel Thoothukudy Nazareth) “Gave greater insights to correlate ecological concerns in other religious faiths”(Rev.Devanand Subuddi, Rayalseema) “I have learned many things from other religions. I will respect all religions” (Ms. Nancy Vinoliya, Madras). “Consultation helped me to learn ecological concerns in Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Christianity. I shall use the insights I got in my writings. My salute to HMI” (Rev.Sukumar babu, Rayalseema),”First time I am hearing the faith practices in other religions” (Rev.Thomas Prasad Rao, Rayalseema). “I will respect people belonging to different religions. All are Children of almighty God. The dialogue strengthened me to glorify God”. (Rev.P Bright Franklin, Trichy Tanjore). The participants expressed the desire to study in depth each of the religions. All the participants and the CSI Synod are grateful to Rev.Dr. Packaim Samuel, Director, HMI and Ms.Sribala, Programme officer for providing a wonderful and unique opportunity to study eco concerns in other religions and for their excellent hospitality.
Prof.Dr.Mathew Koshy Punnackad
Honorary Director, CSI Synod Department of Ecological Concerns
The Green School training Program for the teachers of KanyakumariDiocese was held on 4th September 2018 at Women’s Christian College, Nagercoil. Rev.Stanly Jones, administrative secretary presided over the inaugural function. Col. Immanuel , Treasurer of the diocese, Rev.Vincent Robert, Rev.Wilson and the Principal of WCC addressed the gathering. Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackad , director of Ecological Concerns explained the significance of GSP and motivated teachers to join the GSP audit. All the teachers agreed to join the GSP Audit.
Prof.Dr.Mathew Koshy Punnackad
Hon.Director, CSI Synod Department of Ecological Concerns
Consultation on ‘Impacts of Climate Change': Statement
The Ecological Concerns Department of the Church of South India Synod organised a one- day consultation on the ‘Impacts of Climate Change', against the backdrop of the devastating floods took place in Kerala. Eminent persons from various walks of life presented their views in this workshop, which was held at the CSI EDEN Eco-Spirituality Centre, Othera, on 1st September 2018. The team has come up with a statement, which raises pertinent points on climate change and pointing to the immediate measures we have to take in the wake of the floods in Kerala. The statement is given below:
As Vandana Siva observes, “Globalisation is justified for growth. For this, nature's gifts and people's commons are transformed into commodities, be it seed, food and water. Everything is a marketable commodity, everything is for sale.” The world today is facing growing and new challenges and risks to human progress and environmental sustainability with direct impacts on development. Disasters, unsustainable production and consumption patterns, degradation of natural resources and climate change pose risks to realized and unrealized development potential; including both chronic (e.g. drought, water shortages) and acute (e.g. extreme weather, wildfire) disasters. Increasing loss of forests, land degradation and the decline in freshwater quality and quantity undermine the already fragile livelihoods of women and men, especially the poor.
One of the serious problems we are facing today is Climate Change due to Global warming. UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in its report assessing the impacts of climate change on human health, settlements and natural resources released on March 31, 2014 made it clear that: "Coming years will see more extreme weather events (floods, cyclones, cloudbursts, unseasonal excessive rains and drought etc) in most parts of the globe. Maldives, China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will be among the most affected countries in Asia". We are experiencing the effects of climate change in South India. Chennai Floods in 2015, Okhi in 2017 and the floods in Kerala in 2018 are some of them. The phenomenon of Global Warming and environmental degradation due to emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which results in an alarming increase of temperatures and thus causing inordinate changes in the climatic conditions, affects all creatures.
The changes in the atmospheric conditions include rise and fall in the temperatures, floods and droughts, cyclones and typhoons, forest fire, the rise of sea levels, monsoonal imbalances, scarcity of water - both for irrigation and domestic use etc. Also, this leads to socio-economic, cultural, political disorders that include displacement, migration, food insecurity, farmer suicides, the extinction of plant and animal species, loss of biodiversity and alienation of the poor and marginalized from their own niche and resources. Further, Climate Change leads to serious and adverse effects on the health of human beings. While there are several new and rare diseases appearing, many of the existing diseases seem to be aggravating. In fact, the victims of the process of Climate Change are invariably the Women, Children, Dalits, Adivasis/Tribals, Farmers, and Fishers whose life and livelihood depend on the bounties of nature.
In Kerala, called as ‘God's own Country', where agriculture seems to have become agri-business, madness of building is killing our rivers and river beds, BT Crops seem to be destroying the native biodiversity and killing farmers, trapping them in debt, what one sees is (in)human war against Earth and the One who has created the Earth and all in it. On the one hand, the drastic reduction in rainfall pushes our state that relies heavily on electricity generated from hydro projects into the worst power crisis of recent times. On the other hand, monsoon in Kerala has become synonymous with flooded schools, lack of potable water, and agricultural collapse Heavy Monsoon this year has flooded the whole of Kerala. Many have lost houses, property, agriculture and livestock. The death toll has been very high. Landslides have destroyed many houses and shattered many dreams. Most of the low lying areas are still under water. Transportation, electricity, telecommunication are affected. Unabated rains have caused massive damage to the very economy of Kerala.
In such a time, that the goodness of God’s creation and His/Her covenant with the creation that “as long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” is threatened, it becomes an imperative that the Church affirms that Climate Justice ministries form an integral part of the mission of the church. It is in response to this call that the CSI Synod Department of Ecological Concerns organizes ‘A Consultation on Impacts of Climate Change’ at the CSI Eco spirituality Centre, Othera, Kerala, South India on September 01, 2018.
The Consultation emphasizes that there is a conscious correlation between Climate Change and Climate Justice. For the whole creation is groaning with pain. God's covenant was not only with Noah but with all living creatures of the Earth. This needs to be restored, failing which there will always be natural calamities that would be beyond the control of humans and their inability to protect themselves from the catastrophe. Further misuse and/or abuse of God's creation will lead to fatal consequences. As a Church, called to continue the redemptive mission of God, it is necessary to explore the connections between the care of creation and the redemption of all creation. We need to critically evaluate, if through our predominantly anthropocentric lens, we have shaped a theology that has given space to humanities relentless use of natural resources as disposable and good only for profit regardless of the consequences.
The Church of South India Synod expresses thanks to Dr. T.V.Sajeev (Principal Scientist, KFRI), Dr.K Soman (Centre for Earth Science Studies), Mr. Sreedhar (Director, Thanal), Ms. Sreedevi Pillai (Malayala Manorama TV), Mr. Varghese C Thomas (Malayala Manorama), Most Revd Thomas K. Oommen (Church of South India), Rt. Rev. Thomas Mar Timotheos (Marthoma Marthoma Syrian Church), His Grace Joseph Mar Dionosis Metropolitan (Orthodox church), members from various churches and NGO’s who have been helpful in organizing and executing this Consultation.
We, the participants of the ‘CONSULTATION ON IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE’ affirm that
We have no other hope but in God. We pray that God would shower His grace and mercy upon the people in Kerala and save our state. At the same time, we need to repent for our ecological sins that have worsened the impact of the rain. It is not just the humans but the birds, animals, trees and the whole of nature is groaning. We all, irrespective of the differences should stand united and engaged in the rescue and rehabilitation process. We are thankful to the Government, Police and Military and all those who were involved in the rescue operations should be applauded and the Church of South India extends complete support and prayers. All educational institutions, churches and parish halls were availed to be used as 'sanctuaries' for the affected. God is our ultimate shelter, refuge and sanctuary. As a Church, let us all kneel and pray for our people who are affected by the recent flood and let us also pray for the government and non-government agencies involved in the relief and rehabilitation operations.
The Earth and everything in it belongs to God and the creation lies at the heart of God. Our call is to participate in the mission of God, toward the realization of the promise of the fullness of life offered by Jesus. This also calls us to respond to the misguided notions of growth and development, driven by the structural greed of a microscopic minority, manifested in big development projects, which results in various ecological crises, particularly Climate Change. In the context, where the life and livelihood of the whole community of creation especially the vulnerable and the subaltern communities, is put to the question, let us commit ourselves to fight against this Climate Injustice, and thus foster the message of life, justice and peace.
Prof. Dr.Mathew Koshy Punnackad
Hon. Director, CSI Synod Department of Ecological Concerns
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org mobile: 9847275754
“We need to redefine spirituality to accommodate Ecological concerns", Bishop George Stephen exhorted while inaugurating the 'Green School Training Programme' for the teachers of Madras diocese of the Church of South India (CSI), organized by CSI Synod Department of Ecological concerns."We are preparing people for the life after death without considering the life before death. If we do not have good quality water, air and vegetables, our life is at stake. Our spirituality should have an Ecological Concern. Hence the teachers should impart the message of sustainability to the students", the Bishop added. Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackadu (Hon. Director of Synod Ecological Concerns) presented the concepts of the Green School programme. Mr. Jacob Swaminathan, through the soft skills, motivated the teachers. Mr. Rijo T. Eipe, the Programme Facilitator, coordinated the event. Mr. Samuel Corneliose (Treasurer of Madras Diocese), Rev. Joseph Premkumar (Director, Eco vision, Madras Diocese) Mr. Arulnathan (Diocesan Educational officer) and Rev. D. Paul Williams (Vice-President of the Diocese) offered felicitation speeches.
The teachers expressed high appreciation on the one-day training. Some of the evaluations are given below. According to Mrs. Vivilina Angeline Shalom (C.S.I. Anderson day Girls H.S.S.), “The Green School Program was really very informative. It has helped me to show concern over the environment and understand that how we need to act to conserve it. We really understood that how insecure we have been and not to continue this act and will take immediate measures in all possible ways to make this earth a better place to live”. Mrs. D Davis Prince Rajakumar (C.S. I. Ewart Mat. Hr. Sec. School, Anna Nagar): “I am really impressed by the speeches of Dr. Mathew Koshy & Mr. Jacob Swaminathan. I was not serious about the world environment but now I came to know about the ecology & I'm eager to do this green school program in our school”. Ms. J Nirmala (C.S.I. Bishop Newbigin College of Education): “The sessions were very useful for all the teachers. I took one decision here after I won't use plastic in my home & try to make awareness among people & students. I will utilize my opportunities”. Mrs. Sumitha Vinodhine (St. Thomas H.S.S., St. Thomas Mount): “The hare and tortoise story told by Dr. Mathew Koshy impressed me a lot and the importance to teamwork. So teamwork is essential for the success of this program. The information about the earth and resources were muchuseful. Surely I'll preserve our resources”. Ms. S. Christy Glory (C.S.I. Bain Hr. Sec. School, Kodungaiyur): “Even though I am a biology teacher, today only I came to know the significance of mangrove forests”. Mrs. Beulah Esther (C.S.I. Kellett H.S.S. Chennai): “Very useful, impressive, informative sessions both in the morning and evening. Innovative, creative thinking and implications were laid down”. Mr. S. Prabhu Doss (C.S.I. Gowdie H.S.S., Tiruvallur): “The first session was taken by Dr. Mathew Koshy and he explained six eco-justice principles. It was very useful for us and we will follow the principles in our school. Mr. Jacob Swaminathan gave some tips about the environment and he conducted some skill games based on environment. It was very useful for us. Ms. J. Joyce Christinal (C.S.I. Goodlet Hr. Sec School, Shilinghur): “Lecture given by Dr. Mathew Koshy was bible based and it was thought-provoking”. Ms. D. Mary Rosalin (C.S.I. Bain school, Kilpauk): “This program was very useful. Though we know most of the points, but Dr. Mathew Koshy explained it in a very orderly way. Once again, he helped us to remember the toxic effects caused by the chemicals and plastics. He taught us how to protect our environment”. Ms. P. Linda Justin (C.S.I. Ewarts Global School, Purusaivakkam): “Thank you for providing a good session on the Green School Program and making the day very interesting. In the morning session, the explanation about the environment, principles and the story gave us many valid information to be followed in day to day life”. Ms Georgina Paul (C.S.I. Ewart Women Christian College, Melrosapuram): “Both the lectures were mind opening and very informative. Biblical aspects were thought-provoking. The game conducted during the second session showed the importance of teamwork and the role played by each individual. We hope and plan to register in the Green School Programme”. Ms. Latha Premkumar (Jessie Mosses H.S.S. Annanagar): “All the six eco-principles were thoughtful and meaningful ones, which has helped me to understand the purpose of the creation. I recommend this kind of meeting in every school to create awareness among the students. Ms. E Kalai Selvi (C.S.I. Ewart School, Chennai): “Really it was very useful for us, I got more information about the environment, plastics, recycle, reuse and reduce the plastics. Mr. Jawahar Masilamani (C.S.I. Bishop Corrie H.S.S. Chennai): “I understood many important aspects on environment and we will implement this through the Green School Program. Mr. M. Fredrick Francis (C.S.I St. Columbus H.S.S. Chengalpattu): “This green school program training impressed me very much. This programme has taken me to a new level of understanding “.
Prof. Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackad,
Honorary Director of CSI Synod Ecological Concerns
Eco-health orientation programme was held from 17th to 18th July at Church of South India (CSI) Synod Centre, Chennai. Dr. D.Narsimhan, (Environmentalist, former Professor MCC), Dr. Ranjit Daniels (Trustee, Care Earth), Dr. Jayasree Vencatesan (Managing Trustee, Care Earth), Dr.Pauline Deborah (Women's Christian College, Chennai), Dr. Sujith John Chandy (Professor CMC, Vellore) Mr. Satya Sivaraman (Journalist, ReAct) and Dr. Philip Mathew (Pushpagiri Medical College, Thiruvalla) took classes on various topics connected to Health. Fifty delegates from various dioceses of CSI participated in the programme. Rev. Dr. Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, the General Secretary of CSI Synod, addressed the gathering on the second day of the conference.During the evaluation, the participants expressed their satisfaction in organizing this unique programme. “I am a medical student. I enjoyed the class and it was beneficial to me. This programme gave more new information and also refreshed the old ones. Thisprogramme encouraged us to interact with our surroundings. Nowadays all our natural resources are becoming extinct. The Bible says that 'what we sow is what we reap.' All human beings must wake up for our future generation." Ms. Bency Johnson from the Kollam-Kottarakara Diocese opined that "The group discussion was very useful. Thank Ecological department for this wonderful opportunityBency." Mrs. Melba fromCoimbatore Diocese expressed her gratitude saying that "The information, which was given by Dr.Narasimhan and Dr.Ranjith Daniels about ecology and environment were very helpful to me. Dr. Jayasree explained ecology, sustainable development through cartoons. Dr. Pauline Deborrah explained extinct birds and other creatures. Dr.Sujith John Chandy explained about bacteria & viruses difference and now I understand the differences between antibiotic and antimicrobial differences.Highly useful and informative sessions." Other responses are also given below: "This was the first time the Department of Ecological Concerns brought a new venture on the eco-orientation programme on health. A perfect understanding of technology and plastics which are affecting our health. Informative basic for the beginners to understand. Dr. Jayasree was very pragmatic in her presentation in the tri partial relations between NGO and beneficiaries. It was reallya unique and an essential workshop for the pastors & church workers. Thank for the Department for a good start. Resource persons have given a good orientation of eco-health." (Rev. K. Devanandh, Rayalaseema). "All the lectures were good. it made us think deeply and decide that each one of us must care for the earth and protect the God-given gift. More impact was by Jayasree's lecture and enjoyed Dr. Pauline's powerpoint presentation with the biblical references. I thank Dr. Mathew Koshy for his motivational talks. Good food,accommodation and arrangements." (Ms. Glory Latha David, Principal, Matriculation HSS, Coimbatore)
Prof. Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackadu
Hon. Director of Ecological Concerns,
The CSI Synod Department of Ecological Concerns organized a Green School training Programme for the teachers of Madurai Ramnad Diocese on 11th July 2018 at American College, Madurai. The Bishop M Joseph, Bishoppamma and the Hon,Director planted saplings on the campus of the College in presence of the officers of Diocese and the Principal of the College. The Rt.Rev. M. Joseph, Chairman of CSI Synod Ecological Concerns Committee presided over the training programme. Mrs Leela Manohari ( Bishop Amma CSI DMR) delivered the keynote address. Rev.Dr. A. Yakkobu(Deputy Chairman CSI DMR),Rev A. David Jebaraj- Clergy Secretary CSI DMR), Adv.C.Fernandas Rathina Raja (Lay Secretary CSI DMR), Er T.John Mahendran (Treasurer CSI DMR), Mr Edwin Chelliah (Registrar CSI DMR), Prof Dr Davamani Christopher (Principal The American College Madurai), Prof Dr G J Abraham (Vice Principal The American College Madurai) and Prof Dr Mrs Helan Monica Rathinakumar ( Bursar The American College Madurai) offered felicitations. Prof.Dr.Mathew Koshy Punnackad, Hon.director of ecological Concerns presented the significance of the Green School Programme. Prof. Philip Robinson elaborated the details of the CSE Green School Programme.110 teachers participated in the one day training programme. Rev. J Rajan, Eco director of Madurai Ramnad Diocese, Mr. Mosses Packaiaraj, GSP coordinator, Mr. Jumbro Prince synod Ecology member and Rejo T Eipe, GSP facilitator of CSI Synod gave leadership in organizing the programme.
Prof.Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackad
Hon.director of CSI Synod Department of Ecological Concerns
The CSI Synod Department of Ecological Concerns organized a one day Green retreat for the Clergy of Madurai Ramnad Diocese on 10th July 2018 at the American College, Madurai. The Rt.Rev. M. Joseph, Chairman of CSI Synod Ecological Concerns Committee presided over the Green retreat. Felicitations were offered by Rev.Dr. A. Yakkobu(Deputy Chairman CSI DMR), Rev A. David Jebaraj (Clergy Secretary CSI DMR), Adv.C.Fernandas Rathina Raja (Lay Secretary CSI DMR), Er T.John Mahendran (Treasurer CSI DMR), Mr Edwin Chelliah (Registrar CSI DMR), Prof Dr Davamani Christopher (Principal, The American College Madurai), Prof Dr G J Abraham (Vice Principal The American College Madurai) and Prof Dr Mrs Helan Monica Rathinakumar ( Bursar The American College Madurai). Prof.Dr.Mathew Koshy Punnackad, Hon.director of ecological Concerns took the two sessions. 130 Clergy participated in the one day programme. The Bishop, Hon,Director and the officers of the diocese planted saplings on the campus of the College. The Clergy actively participated in the interactive eco bible study programme. Bishop M Joseph attended the programme throughout.Rev. J Rajan, Eco director of Madurai Ramnad Diocese, Mr. Mosses Packaiaraj, GSP coordinator, Mr. Jumbro Prince synod Ecology member and Rejo T Eipe, GSP facilitator of CSI Synod gave leadership in organizing the programme.
Prof.Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackad
Hon.director of CSI Synod Department of Ecological Concerns
The Ecological Concerns Department of the Church of South India brought out a new brochure which gives the details of the current activities as well as the vision of the department.
You can download the brochure from the following link:
Vision of the CSI Synod Ecological Concerns