BSI Bimonthly E-NEWSLETTER July 2023

Scripture Engagement

Scripture engagement is an interaction with the biblical text in a way that provides sufficient opportunity for the text to speak for itself by the power of the Holy Spirit, enabling readers and listeners to hear the voice of God and discover for themselves the uniqueness of the Bible and claim Jesus Christ is making upon the readers and his followers.
Bible engagement is also a process whereby people are connected with the Bible such that they have meaningful encounters with Jesus Christ and their lives are progressively transformed in Him. Bible engagement is the process of taking in and living out God’s Word for the purpose of knowing him better and experiencing him more.

I extend my gratitude to God for enabling me to attend the Scripture Engagement Forum in Da Nang City of Vietnam from 9th May – 11th May 2023. My heartfelt thanks to our General Secretary for giving me this opportunity to learn a few of the very essential steps & strategies of Scripture engagement from this Forum.

It was a very important forum to rethink the strategies of Scripture Engagement that the British and Foreign Bible Society have designed for the members of the United Bible Societies. The discussions held in this Forum surely help us to strategically plan for a better outcome in our BSI ministry in the days to come. Huge thanks to our General Secretary for taking the initiative to develop Auxiliaries as well as appreciating his attempt to equip and update the Secretaries with the various Seminars and training that would help us to work very efficiently in our respective mission fields.

Rev Soma Bhatkar
Sr. Auxiliary Secretary, Ranchi Auxiliary

 Thanksgiving and Farewell for Mr. E. Ashith, Senior Director – Production Department, BSI

On June 30th, 2023 at 4:00 pm, the Central office staff of BSI gathered together in William Carey Centre, Hall Road Office to express our heartfelt gratitude and bid farewell to a good leader, Mr. E. Ashith, Senior Director of the Production Department. After an astounding 40 years of dedicated service to BSI, Mr. Ashith will embark on a new chapter in his life. This occasion not only allows us to celebrate his exceptional career but also enables us to acknowledge the immense impact he has made on BSI. Beyond his professional achievements, Mr. Ashith’s warm and approachable demeanor has endeared him to colleagues across all levels of the organization. It was wonderful to have his family members in our midst.

On behalf of the BSI family, Rev Dr. Kavito G. Zhimo, the General Secretary presented Mr. E. Ashith with a shawl, gift, and memento. Mr. Paul Stephen and Mr George Samuel gave a wonderful tribute to him. Also, a special gift was given to him by Rev Sudhahara Raju on behalf of the Staff Welfare Association of Central Office Staff.  The BSI choir rendered a beautiful farewell song.  The programme was beautifully led by Mr Pradeep Kumar Suna. Mrs. Gladys Loganathan offered a word of prayer for Mr. E. Ashit and Rev Dr. Along Jamir closed the programme with prayer and benediction.

Indian Christian Day:

The Bible Society of India (BSI) celebrated the Indian Christian Day on July 3, 2023, in commemoration of the Apostle Thomas, who arrived in Kerala, India, in the first half of the first century AD. The theme for this year’s observance was “Celebrate the Impact of Christian Education in the Development of Modern India.” Special prayers were offered across the country to honor the significant contributions of Christianity to India’s progress in the field of Education, Medical Sciences, Health and Family Welfare, Politics, Development, etc.

The Bible Society of India Andhra Pradesh Auxiliary organized a conference to mark this day by inviting partners and supporters at St. Paul’s CSI Church in Visakhapatnam. The Keynote address was delivered by Rev. K. John Vikram, Auxiliary Secretary. While Prof. Rev. K. Ranjith Kumar spoke on the History of St. Thomas in India and the background of the celebration of Indian Christian Day, Rev. Srikanth James addressed the current challenges of the church in India in the light of violence in Manipur. Nearly one hundred people were present including BSI branch officials, church leaders, and ministers. 

Rev Brajendra Kumar Kauri, Secretary of the Odisha Auxiliary led the meditation and reflected on the theme in their Morning Worship. Special prayers were held throughout the nation, acknowledging the arrival of Apostle Thomas and his influence on the Christian community in India. 

Summer Bible Camps of the Ranchi Auxiliary:

Months of May and June have been very busy months for the Bible ministry. Ranchi Auxiliary is deeply involved in many children, youth, and women’s activities like Vocational Bible School, Day with the Bible, and Summer Bible camps in different Churches. Free distribution of Bibles to deserving people and connecting them to the Bible ministry done through a celebration of Bible Sundays, Leaders meet & Bible exhibition is joyful with fulfilling activities. The Auxiliary Secretary had the privilege to speak to more than 1000 young boys and girls and women who took part in the various Summer Bible camps and seminars organized by CNI and NWGEL Church. Ranchi Auxiliary had the opportunity to bring the people closer to the Scripture through messages, testimony & stories and reach people through various Scripture engagement programs.

Partnership Ministry with Action Ministry:

It was a Summer Children’s Bible Quiz Competition organised by Action Ministry (A Ministry of Global Action) in partnership with the Bible Society of India, Associate Auxiliary Andaman and Nicobar Islands at Dollygunj, Port Blair on 10th June 2023. Due to heavy rain some of the expected members could not participate.  After the ice-breaking session, Mr. Lipok Jamir, Regional Coordinator of the Action Ministry conducted a very interactive Bible quiz.  The children were divided into six groups according to their age. Finally, there was a prize distribution of Bibles then closed the programme with prayer and benediction offered by Rev. Joseph Raj. As a matter of fact, it was such a joyful moment for the children when the Children’s Bible was given to them as a prize. They are so grateful to the ministry of the Bible Society of India and have assured us of their prayer and support. As one of the parents exclaimed, saying “The Bible Society is doing marvelous work and their work is and will always remain remarkable.” We sincerely thank the CPRRMD for providing Children’s Project Bible free of cost.

 News from Kerala Auxiliary:

New Branch formation: BSI Thamarassery-Puthuppady Branch, Kozhikode

BSI Thamarassery-Puthuppady Branch in Kozhikode Region formed as the 148th branch in Kerala Auxiliary at Ebenezer MarThoma Church, Puthuppady on 24th June 2023.

Rev Aneesh Raju (Vicar, Thamarassery St.Peter’s MarThoma Church & Puthuppady Ebenezer MarThoma Church) presided the meeting. The Auxiliary Secretary gave the Inaugural Address. Clergies, Pastors, Regional Co-ordinator Mrs. Viola Kuruvilla, branch leaders, and members graced the occasion. The following persons were elected as the Branch Office bearers: Rev Aneesh Raju, President; Mr. Thomas P Mathew, Secretary; Mr. Babu AK, Treasurer. And a good number of members from various churches including youth & women representatives elected as Committee members. We appreciate the hard work and support of Co-ordinators Mrs. Viola Kuruvilla, Mr. Roy Cheeran, Mr. Prince Thomas, Mr. Elson Paul, and all the local clergies and pastors for making the new branch formation a great blessing.

Mary Jones Fellowship Women’s Conference, Valakom

BSI Valakom (Kottarakara) Branch – Mary Jones fellowship women’s conference, activity inauguration and committee formation held at St. Thomas MarThoma Church, Pullemcode on 4th June 2023 at 3.30 pm. The Meeting was presided by the Branch President, Rev Georgie Varghese. The Auxiliary Secretary, Rev. Jacob Antony Koodathinkal inaugurated the programme and Sister Minitha Thampan gave the Key Note Address. We really appreciate the Branch Secretary, Mr. KG Thomas and all other leaders for the great co-ordination. We praise God & thank all the branch members for the activities of the recently formed Valakom Branch are exemplary.

Hearty Congratulation! Mr. Febin Jose Thomas (254th rank, UPSC)

 We praise God & extend our appreciation to Mr. Febin Jose Thomas, (the first prize winner in the “BSI Kerala Auxiliary, Y. Mathew Memorial Elocution Competition – 2015”) who is now laureled with another major achievement, 254th rank in the prestigious UPSC Civil Service Examination. Febin is the son of Mr. Jose Thomas & Mrs. Latha, Jose Bhavan, Pidavoor, Pathanapuram (a mechanical engineer from NIT, Calicut). May the Word of God continue to be a lamp to his feet and a light to his path. We pray & wish him all success in the future too.

Sowing Circle