Jaffna Diocese Welcomes New Bishop of Trichy-Tanjore Diocese of CSI

Rev. Dr. D. Chandrasekaran takes over as the Sixth bishop of the Trichy-Tanjore Diocese of the Church of South India. The Moderator of Church of South India, Most Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, consecrated the Revd. Dr. D. Chandrasekaran as the bishop of the Trichy-Tanjore Diocese of the Church of South India on 28 th of May 2018 at St. Luke’s Church, Bishop Heber College in Trichy. He is the sixth Bishop of the Diocese. Bishop M. Joseph, Bishop of Diocese of Madurai Ramnad delivered the consecration sermon. People from various walks of life, the missionaries, and heads of institutions, representatives from theological colleges, members of the neighboring dioceses, and leaders and members of other denominations witnessed the consecration service.

Dr Chandrasekaran is married to K. Rosalind and both are blessed with two sons. The new bishop takes up this important calling after a dedicated ministry in the diocese for 32 years. Heis known for his pioneering missionary work in Pachamalai Tribal Mission, Salem District. He has his doctorate from the Tamil University, Thanjavur.

The New bishop stated that “his primary ambition would be to safeguard all properties under the diocese and transforming CSI Mission hospital in Trichy to a Multi specialty hospital with quality healthcare that could be affordable to the marginalized community.

D. T . NILES REMEMBERED AT THE ECUMENICAL SERVICE IN JAFFNA

D. T. NILES REMEMBERED AT THE ECUMENICAL SERVICE IN JAFFNA

Dr. D. T. Niles, s. d.

Dr. Daniel Thambyrajah Niles (DT Niles), whose 48th death anniversary falls on the 17th of July 2018, was remembered on Sunday, the 15th July 2018 at the monthly ecumenical gathering and worship held at St. Peter’s Methodist Church, Jaffna. Dr. D. T. Niles was a prominent preacher and scholar who was a prominent figure in the Christian world. He was also an influential author who has held important positions in the EACC, WCC, NCC etc. Dr. D. T. Niles died in Vellore and is buried there.

Jaffna Christian Union (JCU) organizes monthly ecumenical services in the member churches in rotation on every third Sunday of the month.  The Rev. Dr K.J. Arularajah, Superintendent Minister of the Methodist Church in Jaffna conducted the worship with the participation of the ministers of other denominations.  While the Reverend Parimala Selvan of the Anglican Church led the congregation in the act of confession, the Rev. Ms. Irene Shalini Antonyrajah of the CSI read the lesson for the day.  The service began with a ‘Thevaram’ beautifully sung by Roy Rajendra, and Mr Vithiananthanesan, Vice President of the JCU led the intercessions.

The Bishop of the Church of South India in the Jaffna Diocese, Rt. Rev. Dr. Daniel Selvaratnam Thiagarajah who was baptized in the same church by Dr. D. T. Niles in December 1955 was invited to preach the sermon at the event. The sermon was based on a passage Dr. Niles used almost closer to his death, Isaiah 51.1-2, “Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness, you that seek the Lord.  Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and the quarry from which you were dug.  Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, but I blessed him and made him many.”  That day Dr. Niles preached on “who we are” and “where we come from”.The sermon reminisced the words of Dr. Niles about the need for the fellowship of church in Christ across time and space, and God’s faithfulness from generation to generation.  Christ is the rock from which all of us are hewn and the story of his death and resurrection is the quarry from which all are dug.  One will lose one’s bearings if that person forgets this.

The Bishop brought to memory the foundational formation of DT’s character of theology, prayers and preaching.  When DT lost his mother when he was only a year old his grandmother took care of him.  She was very much closer to Hinduism and Saiva piety.  Hence his grandmother’s impact was a main source for his formation.  DT always focused his thinking on the human response to the divine initiative, a truth his grandmother learned from Saiva devotional tradition.  The second influence on DT was his paternal grandmother, Mary Joshua (wife of Daniel Poor Niles) about whom DT said, “Because I lost my mother when I was a year old, she filled that place also in my life and my recollections of her are always happy ones.”  Naturally the third and important force behind DT’s making was the Christian understanding of God and the Gospel.

DT, on the one hand, fostered ecumenism in the local level by being a driving force for the movements like SCM, YMCA, YWCA, CWF and EISD, he was much sought for in the ecumenical level at the East Asia Christian Conference (EACC), World Student Christian Fellowship (WSCF) and the World Council of Churches (WCC) on the other hand.  D.T. Niles was the only person who either delivered a sermon or made a speech at three WCC Assemblies: First in Amsterdam(1948), second in Evanston, USA (1954) and fourth assembly in Uppsala, Sweden (1968).

DT’s close association with great theologians like Karl Barth and Emil Brunner and the ecumenical giants like John R. Mott, JH Oldham and Dr Willem Visser’t Hooft made him what he was.  This was evident, the bishop added, in the book titled “Brothers of the Faith” by Bishop Stephen Neil who mentioned DT among the list of other important names such as John R. Mott, Archbishop William Temple, Pope John XXIII as leaders of the ecumenical movement in the 20th century.  The bishop said that DT’s two important initiatives cannot be forgotten, the first being the organization of All Ceylon Christian Conferences (from which came first was the Uduvil Conference) and the second being the unity of the Protestant Churches in Sri Lanka (the Scheme of Union).

Bishop Thiagarajah ended his tribute cum sermon by quoting Hebrews 12.1-3 and challenging the congregation that all should venture leave behind every sin and weight that cling to all so closely to move forward since all are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses among whom DT is numbered.

 

The Rev. T.H. Vasanthakumar, President of Jaffna Christian Union proposed the vote of thanks and the service came to an end with the prayer offered and the benediction pronounced by Bishop Daniel Thiagarajah.  St. Peter’s Methodist Church entertained all to a fellowship tea.

 

Somehow, near him, it was easier to believe in God, the father of Jesus Christ;

Somehow, with him, it always seemed worthwhile to tackle the impossible task;

Somehow, in his presence, prayer & forgiveness & faith were more tangible than the things of the earth.”   – Alan Brash of EACC at DT’s funeral in Vellore

Click the link below to watch the full sermon of Bishop Daniel Thiagarajah’s remembering Dr D.T. Niles on his 48th death anniversary.

26th CHURCH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD TAMIL CHURCH, CSI-TORONTO.

The Good Shepherd Tamil Church (C.S.I – Toronto) is pleased to invite you for the 26th Church Anniversary which will be held on Sunday, the 22nd July 2018 at 3.00PM at the Good Shepherd Tamil Church located at 3638 Lawrence Ave East, Scarborough.
Rev. Leslie Ravichandra will be the guest speaker for the event.
Please convey the message to your friends/relatives in Toronto, Canada, and please remember us in your prayers.
For further information, please contact
Rev. Yogan Mather (goodshepherdtamilchurch@yahoo.ca)

Prize Giving at Uduvil Girls’ College

Keeping alive the traditions of excellence and awarding the high academic achievers, Uduvil Girls’ College held its Annual Prize Giving on Thursday, 5th July, 2018 at the aesthetically decorated Jubilee Hall. The programme commenced with the procession, led by the college band. The event was presided over by of the Bishop the Rt. Rev. Dr Daniel S. Thiagarajah.  The secretary of the Board of Directors the Rev. T.H. Vasanthakumar offered the opening prayer.  The Consul General of India, Jaffna esteemed Shri Shankar Balachandran graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.The Chief Guest, the Bishop cum Chairperson, the Manager Dr Thayalini Thiagarajah and the Principal Mrs. Patricia Suneetha Jebaratnam were garlanded in a traditional way following a welcome dance by the Junior School children.

The Bishop in his welcome address while congratulating all the students for what they have contributed to the education program at the College stated that he was happy that Uduvil Girls College gave them a supportive environment for learning and personal development.  He also rejoiced that the children had a dedicated team of teachers and administrators ably led by the Principal and her executive group.“On behalf of the Board and all of our students, let me extend heartfelt thanks for the creative, compassionate and dedicated teachers who have given so much of themselves to the College this past year,” he added further.

In welcoming the chief guest, the bishop said that Hon. Shankar Balachandran is a brilliant scholar, an eminent educationist and a renowned administrator.  As such it was the privilege for UGC, an institution that marches into 195th year of existence, to receive him as chief guest.

Mrs. Patricia Suneetha Jebaratnam, Principal of Uduvil Girl’s College reading the Principal’s Report.

The Bishop welcomed the principal to present her report stated that this was the first prize giving report the principal was going to present.  The principal, in her report, sketched the academic as well as extra-curricular achievements of the college during the past year and concluded it by emphasizing the importance of education that helps students in their character building.

The Chief Guest who was happy to have been a part of the historical educational institution UGC emphasized the importance of education for the character building of students.  He also mentioned

about various scholarships and exposure programmes available to students and staff.  He also distributed special awards and memorial prizes to the students.

Mrs. Athisayam Hunt and Mrs. Evangeline Yogamani Alagaratnam, two loyal old students of UGC who have come from Canada and USA respectively helped in the distribution of prizes to the rest.

Children’s singing “Heal the World” (Michel Jackson’s song), Oratory Prepared by Miss. Santhuja Kirubaharan and the action song by Miss. Saheena Chujatharan added flavor to the function.

The grand spectacle came to a close with the Vote of Thanks by the Head Prefect  Miss. Saruka Thirulingam, followed by the pronouncement of benediction by the bishop and the singing of the College Song.

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school” – Albert Einstein