[Anglican Communion News Service] A symbolic sapling has been planted by the moderator of the Church of South India (CSI) during a gathering of 1,300 missionaries, missionary pastors, mission-field-in-charge persons and leaders of the diocesan mission boards for a three-day mission festival.
The Most Rev. Govada Dyvasirvadam planted the sapling in a pot containing soil brought from all the church’s different mission fields and it was then watered with water similarly drawn from across the area, as a sign of the church’s “oneness.”
The three-day mission festival, under the heading “Building Christ Communities” was the first such event in the history of the CSI and “constituted a significant event for learning and sharing,” the church said in a statement.
In an address, Dyvasirvadam thanked the missionaries for their achievements in church planting, education, health care and solidarity with the poor and oppressed in remote areas. He also acknowledged the contribution of earlier missionaries who came to India from different parts of the world with the evangelistic spirit to share the good news.
In addition to worship and study, the festival included practical workshops on issues as diverse as communications and health care.
“The first session helped the missionaries to understand the need of using present day media … in the evangelistic activities,” the diocese said. “The second session helped the missionaries to understand ways of preventing diseases and to help others with first aid medical system during the critical times.”
The mission festival “created confidence among the missionaries to transform the marginalized communities through their missional engagements,” the Rev. S. Christopher Vijayan, director of mission and evangelism in the CSI, said. “The missionaries were encouraged to build relationships between the dioceses and mission fields for joint action.
“This festival inspired the dioceses and missionaries for the international mission activities [and] gave recognition to missionaries and their works in the grassroots.”