It was a pleasant surprise to the audience of the Inaugural function of the Ecological activities of Kollam Kottarakara Diocese for the year 2018-19, when the Bishop of the Diocese, Rt. Rev. Dr. Oommen George, announced Rupees One Lakh (for the best Green Parish of the Kollam Kottarakara diocese. He made this announcement on a personal capacity in the function held at the LMS Hospital, Kundara, which is now considered as a motivating act that will have positive repercussions. In order to promote Eco- activities of the Diocese, Bishop announced that the Churches have to follow the Green Protocol of CSI and cultivate the barren lands of the Diocese. Eco-activities should come from the faith perspective and nurture all types of life-systems from a spiritual angle, Bishop said. Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackad, Director of Ecological Concerns delivered the keynote address. Dr. Elizabeth John Zachariah; Synod Executive member, Rev. I Baby; Secretary of diocesan Ecological Committee, Rev. David Habel; Pastoral Board Secretary, Mr.George and Mr. Bennet offered felicitations. Clergy and the lay people from different parts of the diocese attended the function.
Kerala Regional Green Clergy Fellowship was held on 12th and 13th at International Bible Museum Peringkoor, Trivandrum. The inaugural meeting was presided over by the Rt. Rev. K.G.Daniel, Bishop of East Kerala Diocese. The Most Rev.Thomas K.Oommen, Moderator of CSI inaugurated the Green Clergy Fellowship. Rev.Dr. John Samuel Ponnuswamy presented three papers on eco perspectives from Old Testament. Rev. Dr. Shinoj Bovas presented two papers on eco theological perspectives. Rev. Joseph Samuel presented eco perspectives from New Testament. Eighty-two Clergy participated the Green Clergy Fellowship representing Malabar, Cochin, East Kerala, Madhya Kerala, Kollam Kottarakara, and South Kerala dioceses of CSI. The Rt.Rev.Oommen George, Bishop of Kollam Kottarakara delivered the concluding address.
Dr.Mathew Koshy Punnackad,
Hon. Director, Department of Ecology,
"Building palatial houses and unnecessary huge buildings are against the will of God", statedProf. P. J. Kurian, Hon. Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha in his inaugural speech delivered during theEnvironment Day Celebrations 2018, which was organised by the Ecological Concerns Department of the Church of South India (CSI) Synod at the Synod Centre in Chennai on 5th June 2018.
You can watch the speech in the video here.
"I think the time has come to act [on environmentalissues]. Preaching must move to
practice. And I that is what the Green School Programme all about...", said Ms. Sunita
Narainm Director of Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi, who is an eminent
environmentalist. She was giving thegives the Key Note Address in the World Environment
Celebrations organised by the Church of South India (CSI) Synod Ecological Concerns
You may please watch the video of the Key Note Address in the following link:
Most Rev. Thomas K Oommen, the Moderator of CSI Synod, in his presidential address in the World Environment Day Celebrations by the CSI Synod,mentioned that the corporates and the developed world are responsible for the eighty per cent of pollution of this earth. He condemned the brutal killing of innocent people who had been protesting against gas leaks and bad effluents of Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudy.
You can watch the video of the Presidential Address here:
"When polluters throw away non-biodegradable waste to the backyard of someone, it has
been the front yard of yours", said Ms. Sunita Narain while delivering the keynote
address at the World Environment Day Celebration by the Church of South India (CSI)
Synod at the Synod Centre in Chennai. "In many places, the poor people affected by the
environmental degradation are resisting the dumping of waste into their front yard. If
you want to do things differently, give voice to the poor and the victims of the
ecological degradation", Ms. Narain exhorted.
The World Environment Day celebrations began at the CSI Synod Centre, Chennai, with the Prayer offered by Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. J. George Stephen. Prof. Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackad, Honorary Director of CSI Synod Department of Ecological Concerns, welcomed the distinguished guests and the participants. Most Rev. Thomas K Oommen, the Moderator of CSI Synod, in his presidential address, mentioned that the corporates and the developed world are responsible for the eighty per cent of pollution of this earth. He condemned the brutal killing of innocent people who had been protesting against gas leaks and bad effluents of Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudy. Prof. P.J. Kurien, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, expressed his deep appreciation for the eco-conservation programmes of the CSI. He said that the CSI is the only Church in India which has been working consistently with an ecological concern for the last twenty-five years. Ms. Sunita Narain, Director General of Centre for Science and Environment, mentioned that the plastic is a non-biodegradable material which is polluting the whole nature. As tiny particles of plastic is in drinking water, it is entering into the human body too.
The Moderator of CSI Synod presented the World Environmental Day Award of CSI Synod to Ms. Sunita Narain.
The Moderator released the CSI Green School Programme handbook. The Rt. Rev. M. Joseph, Chairman, CSI SECC, released the book on the Success stories of Green School Programme. The Rt. Rev. George Stephen, Bishop in CSI Madras Diocese, released the logo of International Eco conference 2018. Prof. P. J. Kurian distributed GSP awards to thirty-three Schools of CSI in South India and distinguished Green School coordinators Mr. Deepak George and Mr. Mosses Packiaraj. Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. M. Joseph distributed the Photography Competition awards. Adv. Robert Bruce, Hon. Treasurer, CSI Synod, graced the function with his valuable presence. The Most Rev. Thomas K Oommen, Moderator of CSI, honoured Prof. P. J Kurien with a memento for his valuable contribution as a parliamentarian. The Moderator also honoured Mr. Anish K. Mathew for completing his term successfully as the Green School Facilitator. Rev. E. B. S. Nath proposed the Vote of Thanks. With the Benediction of the Moderator, the celebration came to a close at 12.30pm.
Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackadu
Hon. Director, Department of Ecological Concerns,
The Church of South India is celebrating the second Sunday of June 2018 as Ecological Sunday under the auspices of the Ecological Concerns Department of the CSI Synod. The Sermon is prepared byby Rev.Viji Varghese Eapen, former director of CSI Synod Department of Ecological Concerns. This English sermon and the translations in Telugu (Rev. Ramulu Immanuel) Tamil (Prof. Philip Robinson), Malayalam (Rev. Viji Varghese Eapen), Kannada (Rev. Ravi Joseph) are attached here.
The Dioceses/churches/institutions are requested to kindly use this sermon on the Ecological Sunday.
Prof. Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackadu,
CSI Synod Ecological Concerns Department.
1) C.E.Z.M LOWER PRIMARY SCHOOL TRIPUNITHURA
2) C.M.S HIGHER SECONDARY SCHOOL THRISSUR
3) C.M.S LOWER PRIMARY SCHOOL KANIYAMPAL
4) C.M.S LOWER PRIMARY SCHOOL URAKAM
5) C.M.S LOWER PRIMARY SCHOOL MANNUTHY
6) C.M.S LOWER PRIMARY SCHOOL IRINJALAKUDA
7) C.M.S P G SCHOOL KUNNAMKULAM
8) C.M.S.HIGH SCHOOL THRISSUR
9) C.M.S.L.P.SCHOOL AKAMPADAM AKAMPADAM
10) C.M.S.L.P.SCHOOL THRISSUR THRISSUR- 1
11) ST FRANCIS CHURCH LOWER PRIMARY SCHOOL, FORT KOCHI
1) CAPRON HALL HR. SEC. SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, PUTTUTHOPPU ROAD, Madurai
2) CHANDLER MATRICULATION HIGHER SECONDARY SCHOOL, Madurai
3) CSI GIRLS HIGHER SECONDARY SCHOOL, PASUMALAI Madurai
4) CSI SCHOOL FOR THE MENTALLY RETARDED ELWIN CENTRE, Virudhunagar
5) DUDLEY HIGHER SECONDARY SCHOOL AMC ROAD Dindigul
6) Noyes Mat. Hr. Sec. School PT Rajan Road, Narimedu, Madurai
7) ST.ANDREW’S GIRLS’ HR. ESC. SCHOOL, Ramanathapuram
CSI AIDED PRIMARY SCHOOL THURUBAKA VILLAGE, BHADRACHALAM
MADHYA KERALA DIOCESE
1) BISHOP HODGES HIGHER SECONDARY SCHOOL, MAVELIKARA (2016 and 2017 awards)
2) C M S HIGH SCHOOL PALLOM(2016 and 2017 awards)
3) CMS HIGH SCHOOL, MUNDAKAYAM MUNDAKAYAM
4) BAKER MEMORIAL GIRLS HIGHER SECONDARY BAKER HILLS, KOTTAYAM
C.S.I MATRICULATION HIGHER SECONDARY SCHOOL, COIMBATORE
ST. HILDA'S SCHOOL, OOTTY (2016 and 2017 awards)
CSI GIRLS MAT HR SEC SCHOOL, SAMA NAGAR, VELLORE (2016 and 2017 awards)
CSI Synod Department of Ecological Concerns
Climate Change - Photographic Award Competition
CSI Synod will give Awards to the following photographers for their photos on the impact of Climate Change in India
1. BIJULAL M D,
NEST, CHANI, KANJIRAMKULAM P, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, KERALA.
MOB.NO:+91 9447732132, EMAIL ID:firstname.lastname@example.org
2. MOSES PACKIARAJ. A,
23, ZUMBROPURAM, 2ND STREET, MADURAI . 625002
CELL: 9994720207, email@example.com
3.RENOSH JOHN REGI,
KOLLAVANAL HOUSE MALLAPPALLY WEST POST MALLAPPALLY.PATHANAMTHITTA,
4. RIJO ROBERT,
VIYOOKKARAN HOUSE, PLOT NO 50, PUSHPA VIHAR, NADATHARA PO, THRISSUR 6807751,
5. SHISHIR GEORGE KURIAN, THOTTATHIL SHARON VIEW, THIRUMOOLAPURAM P.O., THOLLASSERY, THIRUVALLA. 689115, 7907401640 OR 7736415477
6. MICHAEL BEN JOHNSON
7. VINOD GEROSWIN PATTATH,
CSI ST.JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH, ALUVA KERALA\
(Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 984727575 for more details)
The Clergy from various dioceses of the CSI assembled at Kodaikanal from 7th to 9th March 2018 for a three day Eco-lent meditations on God’s Creations. The study and meditations were based on six eco justice principles. The universe, Earth, and all its components have intrinsic worth/value. Earth is a community of inter-connected living things that are mutually dependent on each other for life and survival. Earth is a living entity capable of raising its voice in celebration and against injustice. The universe, Earth and all its components are a part of a dynamic cosmic design within which each piece has a place in the overall design. Earth is a balanced and diverse domain where responsible custodians can function as partners with, rather than rulers over, Earth to sustain its balance and a diverse Earth community. Earth and its components not only suffer from human injustices but actively resist them in the struggle for justice. The Department of Ecological Concerns of the CSI Synod has been trying to study these principles in an Indian Context. God created everything in this universe and found that it was good. Human beings are only one among the other creations of God. The creation can sustain itself without human beings, but human beings cannot sustain themselves without the creation. All the speakers emphasized that our anthropogenic activities violate the rights of flora and fauna of the earth. As the CSI is committed to protect the integrity of the creation, the CSI do believe that the Green protocol should be reflected in life and ministry of the Church. The participants agreed that the Church should respond prophetically or lament like Jeremiah when people exploit natural resources and consequently crucify God’s creation, the flora and the fauna. The clergy of CSI expressed their solidarity with the groaning creation, eagerly waiting for redemption. God, the Creator, designed the universe as interdependent and as a living organism and therefore her redemption is possible only by preserving (in some cases, retrieving) her dynamic and harmonious balance.
After three days of deliberations and meditations the clergy assembled for campfire in front of Kenly bungalow, an announcement came from the caretaker. “Don’t stand in front of the bungalow. A group of Bisons are on the campus in an angry mood”. All the clergy rushed into the bungalow fearing the bison. The group of Bisons were standing in front of the Bungalow. Everything came to a standstill. The care taker burst crackers to send them away. Normally, when they burst crackers it will return to the forest. But this time they remained there, inspite of the noise of the crackers. We cancelled our campfire and went to bed. The next morning when we opened the door, they were still standing there to meet us. Bison generally attack human beings if anybody disturbed their movement. The group of bisons looked at the Clergy as though trying to communicate something. The three days meditations on God’s creations enabled us to read their mind.
“You are talking about the groaning creations. You have to understand how justice has been denied to us by you people. Kodaikanal, means "The Gift of the Forest”. It was a thick shola forest till 1845. The American Christian missionaries and British bureaucrats entered these forests in 1845, to escape from the high temperatures and tropical diseases of the plains. In the 20th century a few elite Indians came to realise the value of this enchanting hill station and started relocating here. They destroyed indigenous plants and planted exotic plants like Eucalyptus and Acacia. Now it is a concrete jungle where our movements and food are restricted. You people have invaded our land which God has allotted to us. You destroyed our habitat and our climate. So how can you preach eco justice in my habitat when my species are struggling for existence. Dear Clergy, we are an endangered species. We have been listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1986. Kindly allow us to live in our land. When you occupy our land, deny food and shelter we may be forced to come to your living space. Without any compassion you call us wild animals and kill us. Have mercy on us ”.
Silence reigned for a while. After 12 hours of passive silent Satyagraha in front of Kenly Bungalow, the group of Bisons left the campus. Then we turned to the Bible. After Job has been allowed to suffer terribly and then received visits from his friends whose words were of little comfort, God finally answered Job out of the whirlwind. God does not call on Job to repent but instead gives a wonderful account of many aspects of both the physical and biological sides of creation. There is no shortage of biodiversity here, the hawk soaring, the eagle nesting and feeding her young, the mountain goats and deer calving, lions, ravens, the ostrich abandoning her eggs, and the wild ass roaming the mountains. Behemoth, a water creature, perhaps the hippopotamus and Leviathan the crocodile. This is God’s view of his creation, and its biodiversity is obviously very important. The descriptions of animal behaviour and of the wonders of the heavens did lead Job to repentance. The Bison opened the eyes of the participants to understand the message from God during the Eco lent meditation. Ecological activities form an integral part of the pastoral ministry of the Church. Christians cannot be indifferent to deforestation, global warming, pollution, natural resource depletion, species extinctions, and habitat destruction, all of which threaten life on our planet. Because so many of these threats are driven by greed, we must also actively seek to create more compassionate and sustainable economies that support the well-being of all God’s creations.
The three days meditations were facilitated by Bishop M. Joseph(Chairman of CSI synod Ecological Committee), Rev.Dr.Shinoj Melvin Boas, Rev. E B S Nath, Rev. M.S.Jebastin Michelraj, Prof.Dr.Selwin Samuel, Rev.Sujith Kumar, Rev.James Cecil Victor and Prof.Dr.Mathew Koshy Punnackad. The Department of Ecological Concerns conducted the Eco Lent programme with the active cooperation of Rev. James Cecil Victor, director of Pastoral Concerns. Bishop M. Joseph honoured the participants with mementoes. During evaluation all the clergy appreciated the all the leaders for their meticulous presentations and for organizing an innovative programme useful to the Clergy during the lent season.
Prof. Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackad
Hon.Director of Department of Ecological Concerns,
#GPGD 12 Points: Green Protocol for ‘Green Discipleship’
The Church of South India (hereafter CSI), the only Church in India which has mentioned Ecology as a mission in its Constitution and in its Mission statement, emphasizes the message that Christians have a duty to protect God’s creation. In the life and ministry of the Church, the CSI would like to promote sustainable development practices and to build power for change. Hence, the CSI Synod publishes the ‘# GPGD 12 Points: Green Protocol for Green Discipleship - A Guideline of 12 Points for the CSI Dioceses to develop Green Congregations’. We hope and pray that all the parishes in the CSI would abide by this Green Protocol and would thus effectively participate in the ‘Green-Discipleship’ of our Church.
As the CSI is committed to protect the integrity of the creation, we do believe that the Green protocol should reflect in the life and ministry of the Church. We do believe that the Church should respond prophetically or lament like Jeremiah when people exploit natural resources and consequently crucifying God’s creation, the flora and the fauna. The CSI expresses her solidarity with our groaning creation, eagerly waiting for redemption. God the Creator designed the universe as interdependent and as a living organism and therefore her redemption is possible only by preserving (in some cases, retrieving) her dynamic and harmonious balance.
# GPGD1: Eco-friendly Development according to the Church of South India
The CSI supports any development that fulfils the requirement of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs. The CSI does believe that the present development paradigm promoted by the ‘developed’ countries is responsible for the global ecological crisis, and thus ‘Climate Injustice’. We demand the ‘developed’ countries to change their present development paradigm which exploit the fossil fuels resulting in the Climate change.
# GPGD2: Energy Conservation
# GPGD 3: Water Conservation
# GPGD 4: Do not throw away Plastic
# GPGD 5: Planting Sapling
# GPGD 6: Eco-friendly Constructions
# GPGD 7: Eco-friendly Fellowship Lunch, Dinner & Tea
# GPGD 8: Waste Management
# GPGD 9: Eco-friendly Functions
# GPGD 10: Life affirming Farming
# GPGD 11: Eco-friendly Transportation
# GPGD 12: ‘Green’ Printing