Wednesday, February 01, 2006

CSI East Kerala Diocese a New Mission Paradigm
Born in the lap of hills and valleys on April 3, 1983 as the 21st diocese of C S I ;
East Kerala Diocese is singularly significant in many respects. With head quarters in Melukavumattom,the diocese comprises the whole of Idukki and Eastern parts of Ernakulam and Kottayam districts.
Uniqueness of the Diocese.
1) Historical :
A mission field of Church Missionary Society started functioning from 1848. Rev. Henry Baker Jr. came as the first
missionary. He is now remembered as “The Appostle of the Hills”. History tells:people from Melukavu met Rev.Henry Baker at Kottayam and said, “You must know we know nothing right. Will you teach us or not? We die like beasts and are buried like dogs! Ought you to neglect us? Cholara and fever carried off members of our family”. Hence Henry Baker decided to move eastward and mission work started in 1848.The believers were persecuted by King’s servants. W.S.Hunt write,” They were made to stand in water up to their necks, kept in stocks for days, chillies rubbed in their eyes, heads tied in bags filled with large black ants and red wood ants”. And yet when let loose they learned the Gospal from the missionaries again. Unlike any other society we are a distinct mass- “ A people who grabbed the Gospel from Missionaries”

2) Cultural :

Liberation as Christian Mission Objective has become true by Baker’s mission in hills and is still continued by the Diocese.Henry Baker began his work at a time when untouchability and pollution by sight existed and human beings were bought and sold as slaves and caste distinctions prevailed. Inspired by Divine love Baker spent his whole life among these people, established Worship places and schools as shelters for the perishing and dying lot. These efforts were the pioneering attempts for the upliftment of lower castes from a state of servitude and shame. Hence freedom to learn, freedom to enter the premises of law courts freedom to own property in ones own name, freedom to worship-all became realities. The new members of the diocese are mostly first generation believers who hail from Tribal and Dalit backgrounds, Tamil plantation labourers and other communities. The Diocese is blessed with the linguistic diversity of Malayalam and Tamil. The Diocese is thus a home of diverse cultural entities.
3) Geographical:

The entire diocesan area consists of mountains, peaks, valleys, rivers, decidious and evergreen forests where many tribes find their abode. It is blessed with scenic beauty that attracts tourists from all over the world. Main attractions in the Diocese: Thekkady Wild life sanctuary, Thattekkadu bird sanctuary, Hill Stations like Munnar, Devikulam, Peerumedu, Shaggy Mountain slopes like Illikkakalu, Chellar Coil, Elaveezha Poonchira, waterfalls like Thomman Kuthu, & Marmala Aruvi , Dams like Idukki(The biggest Arch dam in Asia)
Kallarkutty, Bhoothathan Kettu ,Malankara- fall within the geographical limits of the Diocese. Abundant with gifts of nature, the Diocese is very often prone to natural calamities like drought and land slides as well.
Ultimate Goal and Objectives:

Holistic Mission for liberating the poor, ignorant and the marginalized: a vision for responsible stewardship of God’s creation.To make the Diocese a liberative force and a model for other Churches.
The Diocese was established with the three fold objectives- Evangelisation, Development and Pastoral care.
Priorities of the diocese:

To continue the efforts of liberation started by the Missioners.
To bring the marginalized poor in unreached areas to the light of theGospal.
To identify new Mission Fields, people in bondage and evolve a new model for evangilisation with dew respect to other religions in India’s multifaith society.
The Diocese has number of mission fields.The Delhi Mission is a great transforming force in the capital city with it’s work in the slums.
Our Development objective is Holistic.
To promote spiritual, social , cultural and economic development of weaker, neglected and displaced sections in the society.
To create social awareness among the people for self reliance, self respect,sensitization and capacity building.
To create local leadership for collective action in the developent of the community.
To ensure that the poor are not denied basic human rights and Social Justice.

Pastoral care:
Because of the hilly nature of the Diocese the local congregrations are scattered over the hills and valleys.Therefore people were neglected in previous times. So effective Pastoral Ministry was very essential for strengthening the local congregrations spiritually,socially and economically.
Mission Strategy And Activities:

Within this 23 years many new Churches established and new Mission Fields opened. Delhi Slum Mission is Diocese’s vision for Mission. The Diocese has a line of dedicated and dynamic leaders and various organizations to keep the Church vibrant and responsive to society.

Leaders of the Diocese:
Bishop : Most Rev.Dr K.J.Samuel .DD
Treasurer : Rev.Simon P.George, MA; BD; M.Th
Clergy Secretary : Rev.E.J.Daniel ,BA;BD
Lay Secretary: Prof.Dr.Abraham , MA; Ph.D
Registrar : Shri . V.G.George

Organisations in the Diocese:
Women’s Fellowship
Organises women empowerment programmes in the diocese and local parishes.W.Forum runs a center for computer education and skill training center and Tabeedha stores in Melukavumattom.
Mrs.Aleyamma Samuel, Sr.Mary Joseph and Mrs.Annamma Joseph give leadership.
Youth Movement
Diocesan Youth Movement plays a key role in realizing the mission objectives of the diocese.If the ministry is both preaching and practicing. Awareness building among youth,community development programmes in times of crisis, shelter for the poor are the key activities.Baily offset press is a Diocesan programme to empower the youth. Rev K S Scaria,as the General Secretary who gave leadership for the movement for the last 7 yrs,gave a new vision and definite direction for the movement. Now Gen.Secretary Rev P C Mathewkutty, Vice President Mr. Sunil Jose , Jegu Sam ,Miss Preety K Sam, Rajesh P Micheal , Dr. Sam V. John are in its leaderships at various levels.

Sunday School
The Sunday School organises Christian Education Programmers in the diocese through Vacation Bible School, Junior ministry assossiation&Bible rally,gives leadership for Sundayschool cariculam preparation. Rev.P.J.Joseph serve as Gen.Secretary.

Choristers Assossiation
Diocesan choir makes worship participatary, attractive and helps spreading Good news effectively among the people. Now we have a Dept of Sacred Music to present music scientifically and train local parishes in Music. Rev .K.D.Sam, Joseph Wilson,James P Samuel,& Johnson Daniel leads.

Renewal Crusade

Diocese is in the praying hands of its praying members’ Renewal Crusade’ Organise spritual retreats on every 2nd Saturday, fasting prayer on every week and give leadership for diocesan spiritual convention annually. Rev P M Augusty, Rev E J Joseph,
Mr.M M Georgekutty, Mr. M J Johnson and Adv.K.J.George leads the ministry.

Mission’s Department
Organises mission and evangelism activities in the Diocese,give training for church workers and missionaries.All the mission fields in the Diocese are looked after by Mission Dept.The Delhi Mission is a great transforming force in the capital city with it’s work in the slums.
Rev. P.T.George is Mission Dept director. Rev. V S Francis acts as Mission Board Secretary and Rev. Justin Mony is mission programme co-ordinator.

Community Development Programmes

E K Diocese has a vast network of community programmes with the support of B.D.M,CASA, K N H, SACCC and Compassion. The synod Departments like BDM, Mission and Evangelism, PAD, Youth, Communication, Christian Education, Dalit and Adivasi concerns through their Directors have immensely supported the Diocese in it’s various activities. Shri.George Manakkadan’s leadership in the Diocese as Programme Co Ordinator is commendable.
Major Activities:

H R D Centre, for training and updating the pastors, church workers, missionaries, lay men youth, women and children.
Educational programmes, for Primary, Secondary and College Education. Henry Baker College for Post Graduate studies, the only college of the Diocese is to be upgraded qualitatively and infrastructurally.
Technical Education provided through C S I. I T C Muttom, which is also a resource center for community development programmes in the Diocese.
Baily Offset Press is a Youth Empowerment programme of the Diocese and provides publications facility for the Diocese.
Rural health programmes are initiated through Chelachuvadu Mission Hospital and it’s sub centers under the leadership Medical Board Secretary Dr. Sam Christy Mammen and a team of doctors from East Kerala Diocese.
Diocesan Social Board undertakes a variety of programmes with support from C S I .B D M and various agencies to address the basic and imminent needs of the poor.
They are: Community Development Projects in various regions, Medical Care, Relief works during landslides and flood, Water supply schemes, child development programmes, response to the plight of tea plantation workers-Relief and educational support for children, who are affected by the closure of tea factories. Villages’ infra structural development through construction of roads and community halls, hostels for students from marginalized and broken families, and technical education skill training for unemployed youth in the diocesan territory.
Polio Home is the crown of the diocese, rehabilitating more than hundred handicapped children is a great blessing and solace to many poor families from different places.

Diocese’s Growth at a Glance : (Formation in 1983)

Growth of Local Churches in the Diocese in 22 years.
1983 2005
Churches 105 237
Mission fields Nil 51
Priests 19 85
Church workers 15 63
Missionaries Nil 53
Ordained sisters Nil 3

The guidance support encouragement and the commendable service we received in the past 2 decades from so many friends and agencies from within the country and from abroad has been a vital factor in realising our goals. Our major partners in our activity has been the partner churches in Germany. With out the help of partners our mission would have remained unaccomplished at all levels. We are much encouraged to see that people from four corners of earth are praying for our diocese.
The Lamp lit on the hills leads thousands from darkness to marvelous light. To quote the words of Bono, “Whenever you see darkness there is an extra ordinary opportunity for light to burn brighter”. Of course God has called East Kerala Diocese as an extra ordinary light to shine brighter as a beacon for others, for generations to come.
We praise and thank God Almighty for leading us in abundant life to this day.


Prof.Dr.Abraham Daniel,
Secretary, East Kerala- CSI & Liaison Officer Overseas Partnership.


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