Pastoral Report: 2017-2018 Tamil Methodist Church-Nigdi, MRC., MCI.
Respected Chairman Rev. Dr. S. Retnamony and dear members of the Pastorate Conference, Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. While having come over for the Pastorate conference, It’s my delight to present the Pastoral Report before you, for the period of 2017-2018 and I do it with a intense sense of recognising the faithfulness of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who has foreordained us before the foundations of the universe.
Herewith I attempt to depict deeply the ministry of the Church, that would enable us plan and to formulate for the future, while spearheading towards the 25th year celebration.What Richard Branson said, would be perfectly real in a futuristic scenario of revitalization Initiatives.“Every success story is a tale of constant adaptation, revision, and change.”
I. An overview of the Church: It’s rather a dynamic, progressive faith community, looking for opportunity to serve the Lord and the society in a more vibrant manner day by day. The congregation is of the size of 80 families, with a total of about 200 people, including the children. Seventy families are regular subscribing ones and remaining are either singles or non-members. Predominantly the families are from educated and moderately placed , as middle class income group. Most of the families play an active role in the ministry of the church and very few are inactive.
The congregation takes a lead in all the activities of the co-ordination committee apart from meticulously supporting the church in its internal and external activities. Concern for targeted developments in and through technology, time to time maintenance of the building, renovation etc, there is acceleration of a mission centeredness, whereby every one is given opportunity to participate in what so ever little way they could. The VBS, mission station church building projects, the prayer center, support of missionaries and support of hostel children are some of the milestone mission focuses.
II. Worship Service: The worship service is the main activity of the church and we worship the “Living God” in truth and spirit. As the Psalmist says “This is the day that the Lord has made and we rejoice and be glad in it” is a day of celebration and rejoicing together in the Lord. Every Sunday after Sunday, in worship, in the presence of fellow worshipers, we realize the true presence of God and feel “all for one and one for all” as we are in one accord. With worship as the utmost priority of the church ministry, every element of the service such as the song choices, prayers, Scripture readings, preaching, and other elements portray the theme of the day. The Sunday worship services is a two hours service. It commences at 8.00 AM and culminates at 10.00 AM. The regular attendance is 150 to 200 people including children. This year we have installed an overhead projector, by which the songs and readings are displayed and it adds to the fragrance of the worship helping the worshipers to be more participate in the service.
III. Holy Communion Service: We solemnly observe the Holy Communion service, with the view that the bread and wine are signs or symbols of something spiritual, Christ himself given as a sacrifice for our salvation. They are therefore the bread of heaven and the cup of salvation. We celebrate the Holy Communion the first day of the month as well as on the second Sunday. It is observed with due sanctity and participated by 20 -35 people on the first day service and 110-130 people on the second Sundays.
IV. Pastoral Visits and Cottage prayer meetings: Pastoral visit is one of the simplest and most important tools of Church ministry, visiting and praying with the families. Regular pastoral visits are carried out three to five times a year. The offerings received whereof are deposited in the church accounts. We also visit the sick and needy at Hospitals or homes. We the Pastors are trying to be available to people particularly in adverse situations and pray with them. I appreciate Rev. Raju Paulthurai for being helpful in this very particularly.
We also conduct regular cottage prayer meetings on Fridays at 7 P.M. The attendance is variable between 40-70 people attend the meetings. The offerings given by the families are given to the Church. Occasionally special prayer meetings are also held on other week days as per convenience.
V. Organizations: 1. Sunday school: The Sunday school is held on Sundays, after the worship service. About forty children attend the Sunday school regularly under the leadership of Mrs. Silja Rickson serving as the S.S Superintendent. We have six classes according to the age group and six teachers are teaching them. The world Sunday school Sunday was observed on 4th November 2017. Sunday school Sundays was observed on 04th February 2018. I appreciate the Sunday School Superintendent and all the teachers. A Sunday school retreat was observed on the 15th of August 2017 for all children and teens.
2. Women Society of Christian Service: The WSCS is doing excellently well under the leadership of Mrs. Prema Mark. They have numerous activities. They give focus to the social works along with spiritual activities. They meet every Sunday for a brief time of prayer, Bible study and sharing. Their role during festive season is greatly appreciable. The WSCS Sunday was observed on 27-08-2017 and Mrs. Presilla Raju was the guest speaker.
3. Methodist Youth Fellowship: The Methodist Youth Fellowship is divided into two groups, namely the senior and junior youth groups. The senior one is guided by Mrs. Yasmitha Kenneth and the junior one is by Mrs. Veena Manuel. They meet after the worship service for a time of prayer, singing, carrier counselling, Bible study etc. I am thankful to both the advisers.
4. Methodist Men: The Methodist Men’s Fellowship meets once a month under the leadership of Mr. Balan Jebaraj for a time of devotion, prayer and sharing. The Methodist Men Sunday was observed on 23 July 2017. Mrs. Prema mark was the guest speaker. Their role during the sale of work, harvest festival etc are laudable. We appreciate the president Mr. Balan Jebaraj and all others who are involved in this ministry.
VI. Church Finance: The church finances are managed by the treasurer Mr. Jeba Pilaiand the finance committee under the leadership of Mr. Bhaskar B. My sincere appreciations are due to all of them. Please refer to the treasurer’s report for details. The total income for the year was Rs. 35,53,028. Pastor’ s Salary was Rs. 7,56,704/-, Mission support was Rs. 3,57, 893/- and church & Conference expenses are Rs. 20,02,964/- I also would like to report here that due to unavailability of PAN number (KYC) the bank accounts been in-operative since January 2018. The unstoppable expenditures have been carried out by liquid cash. Hope this will be resolved at the earliest.
VII. Church Membership: The Church membership is ever on the increase. Presently we have a total of one hundred and thirty two communicant members. Thanks to Mrs. Jemima Johnson for keeping the records up-to-date. The confirmation service is likely to take place in the month of December 2018 and 20 people are being prepared towards the same. We have 166 communicant members. Three new families have joined during the year and three families have left. Seven people have been baptised during the year. Two senior members of the Church, Mr. Mahimai Dhass and Mr. Sekar Pandian went to be with the Lord.
VIII. Crowning Scholarship: To encourage our children in studies we have started a scholarship in the above mentioned name. This year Rs. 3000/- was given to all six children who had cleared board examinations, 10th and 12th respectively.
IX. Church Choir: The Church choir plays vital role in the church ministry. We appreciate the choir for their active participation in the Church worship services. Special appreciation to Mr. Pravin for playing the organ. Choir Sunday was observed on the 10th march 2018. This year the Choir members have been given special gown, which they wear during the festive season. Appreciations to Mr. Suresh Peter for leading the choir team.
X. Bible Quiz: To encourage reading and meditating on the Bible, we had organized Bible quiz for the entire church dividing them in to groups. All the participants were encouraged with gifts. I am thankful to Mr. Franklin, the chairperson of the Mission and Evangelism Committee and the members for organizing the same. We also had Bible quiz organized by India Campus Crusade for Christ and Bible quiz on during the family Sunday celebration at Nasrapur.
XI. Home Mission and BRC Missionary Support: We make due provision to clear the Home Mission apportionment in the budget as guided by the Conference and it is duly paid also. We also provide full support to a missionary through Methodist Missionary Movement. The Home Mission Sunday was observed on 13/08/2017 and the offering was given to the conference.
XII. Licensed Lay preachers: We have six licensed lay preachers who are holding good positions in the secular world and at the same time are humble and sincere in the Church matters. They are gifted with good, preaching and counselling skills. They are available according to my request. They are used in both churches.
XIII. Assistant Pastor: I am thankful to Rev. Raju Paulthurai, the associate Pastor, who has been appointed in place of Rev. Rajamani. He is a great help in preparation of the church services, house visitations and in all our activities. He joins us on the first day of the month and special occasions. Other days he conducts the service at Bhavdan.
XIV. Bhavdan prayer Point: The Bhavdan worship centre was inaugurated on the 22nd of October 2016 with seven families. We are worshiping at the Chapel of Ryan International School, Bhavdan. I am thankful to the School management for making the place available to us free of any charge. Currently we have eight families worshiping over there. We have an income of about 15000 rupees monthly.
X. Mission support: As a mission-oriented congregation we give priority to reaching of the unreached. Since 2015 we are supporting a full time Missionary Mr. Jeevar Joshua through the Friends Missionary Prayer Band by giving Rs. 10500/- monthly. Please remember them in your prayers as they pass through a difficult time from the Hindutva groups. They are also blessed with girl a child this week. We are also supporting Mr. Paul, since 2016 April, a Missionary through GEMS providing 7500/- rupees monthly and presently have decided to enhance it to pay the full salary. We are also supporting a fulltime missionary through Methodist Missionary Movement, providing 7500 rupees monthly. Apart from these three missionaries, we have also started supporting two children from NavajeevanSeva Mandal.
XI. New Church building in partnership with Visuavani: This year we have undertaken a church building project at Devangave at Udgir through Visuavani. The total cost of the project and other incurred expenses was 9 lakhs. The groundbreaking ceremony was done on 23rd March 2017 and the completion of the project was done on 8th of July 2017.
XII. Notable Dates/Events: We have observed most of the special Sundays as listed in the Methodist Diary. A few of them are reported here for reference. 1. Sundays for Missionary organizations: Having mission focuses as priority of the ministry, we have devoted the following Sundays for Missionary organizations. a. Kriya Mission Sunday - 16/07/2017 b. Gems Sunday 20/08/2017 On this day Mr. Paul Bance and his wife Preety were dedicated for missionary work. c. Faith life evangelical ministry : 21/01/2018 Union Biblical Seminary Sunday on 15/04/2018 2. Sales of Work: Two sales of works were organized during the year. We had one in Nigdi on 14/08/2017 and one at Bhavdan in February. 3. Family Retreat: The family retreat was observed on the 10th September 2017 at Nasrapur. Rev. Gideon Kumar was the guest speaker. 4. Laity Sunday: We observed Laity Sunday on 18th October 2017. 5. Vocational Bible School: This year VBS was organized during Divali vocation from 15th of October to 21st of October. I appreciate Mrs. Emerald Gnanamuthu and her team. 7. Church day Convention: The Church day conventions were organized in December 2017from 8th to 10thSasthriar Sara Martin and Prof. Martin Prasadam brought the message. 8. Church day Celebration: The 24thChurch day thanksgiving services was observed on 10th December. The service was observed as Holy Communion thanks giving services. Fellowship dinner was served after the worship service. 9. One-Day Income: On the New Year day members offered their one-day income as thanks offering to the Lord. The income received was 125,190/- 10. Passion week Service: we had the passion week meetings from 26th of March to 28th of march. The guest speaker was Prof. Mohandhas.
Once again I praise God His sustaining grace, which is all the more sufficient. I sincerely appreciate the Church Secretary Mr. Rickson Benjamin, The Treasurer Mr. T. Jebapillai, and all the Pastorate Committee/Conference members for their understanding, support and encouragement. I am grateful to our beloved Bishop Dr. Anil Kumar Servand for his trust and confidence on me. I am thankful to Rev. Dr. S. Retnamony, the D. S of Talegaon District for his support and understanding. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Rom.15;3
by Rev. C. Selvin Ph.D Pastor in-charge
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