By: Alwan Masih, General Secretary
The Synod of the Church of North India
In a historical moment, the Church of North India and the Presbyterian Church in Korea signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on March 11, 2016 in CNI Bhavan, New Delhi. On behalf of the Church of North India Synod, the MoU was signed by The Most Revd. Pradip Kumar Samantaroy, Moderator, and Mr. Alwan Masih, General Secretary. On behalf of the Presbyterian Church in Korea, the MoU was signed by Rev. Dr. Young Nam Chai, Moderator, The Presbyterian Church in Korea and Rev. Chang-bae Byun, Executive Secretary of Ecumenical Relations and Planning, The Presbyterian Church of Korea.
This historical journey to work in partnership began in July 2011, when Mr. Alwan Masih, General Secretary, CNI Synod was invited by the PCK. Mr Alwan Masih, was taken to Busan, Khoze Island and Seoul, where he met the General Secretary, PCK and the other leadership of the Church and shared with them the unity, witness and service of CNI. Back home, he reported the same to the CNI EC. The CNI EC authorized the General Secretary to further the prospect of partnership. At the 15th Ordinary Meeting of the CNI Synod held in Nainital, representatives of PCK were invited.
In entering into partnership between the two major Churches in the two important Asian countries of India and Korea – the Church of North India (CNI) and the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK), it is acknowledged that the partnership is basically the calling of all who believe in Christ to serve God in unity, in God’s mission of holy love to the whole world and all living beings. In the 21st century, we are entering an era of unprecedented crises on many levels to affirm the reality of the people’s context of despair, despondency, depravity, disease, death and decay. The deliberation, through it all, finally brings witnesses to the power of the resurrection in the churches’ resilience to the oppressive forces, structures and action.
This partnership springs from communion with the God of life, and is confirmed in witness of healing and reconciliation for churches and peoples in a holistic way that our mission must emulate: preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God, caring for the poor and the oppressed, and laboring for a world of increasing disparity between the rich and the poor, between the powerful and the powerless. Our mission must be based on authentic partnership and respectful relationships that ensure that no person is treated as the object of mission but all are recognized persons of dignity, created in the image of God and therefore subjects in God’s mission.
Mr. AlwanMasih, General Secretary, CNI Synod informed that the following will be key areas of Partnership in Mission between CNI and PCK:
- Theological Training
- Ministry in Education
- Sustainable Development
- Exchange Programmes
- Prayer for Peace
While welcoming the PCK Moderator, The Revd. Dr. Young Nam Chai and his team, The Most Revd. Pradip Kumar Samantaroy, said, ‘there was a time when the partnership amongst churches was between South and North. Since long there has been a talk about South to South partnership. Today is the day that the South – South Partnership has come in reality. He further said, that it is significant in the light of the global situation. It is the need of the hour that this partnership come together.” Moderator Samantaroy, suggested that while committing the partnership apart from the above issues, both the churches can have fasting and prayers. We can also have Bible Studies which will enable us to understand our spiritual needs. This partnership has endless possibilities. Moderator Samantaroy, said that it is a wider family. To avoid any Sacramental issues, it would be good to keep each other informed about our activities. Also the PCK Missionaries in India working under KORIND, should send in their activity report quarterly to both the churches enabling them to be aware of the work carried on.
While congratulating the CNI Leadership in coming forward for this partnership the PCK Moderator, The Revd. Dr. Young Nam Chai, said “God leads evangelism throughout the world. In USA and Europe churches are experiencing new challenges. Through this partnership, God has opened a way to show His love to all the people. Through our unity we are glorifying God. It is the time for us to thank God for making us realize the need for this MoU. Church is the body of Christ, and he has emphasized on unity. The body is complete only when all its parts communicate. I am assured and confident that God brought us together to be witness in this world. Each one of us is blessed with something good and if we share that goodness it will surely bring fruits to our mission.
The MoU was signed in the presence of the representatives from PCK and CNI.