News Letter

United Candlelight and Annual Thanksgiving Service

With 177 Candles lit in the Bible House lawns, which was beautifully illuminated, marked the 177 years the journey of Allahabad Auxiliary on 4th December, 2022. The much awaited United Candlelight and Annual Thanksgiving Service was organized at Bible House lawns. Allahabad churches look forward to this event as it starts the Christmas celebrations. Since last year we have clubbed it with the Annual Thanksgiving Service. Rev. Edmond,Auxiliary Committee Member from Barielly, offered the opening prayer followed by the congregational Christmas carol and a word of welcome by the Auxiliary Secretary. Prof. Sumita Parmar, President, Allahabad Auxiliary, brought the Presidential greetings, she said that during the past year many of us have grappled with some serious problems specially posed by the Covid-19 and may have even lost their loved ones, and it was challenging year for many of us. She further encouraged the gathering to continue to be part of the BSI movement.

Annual Report for the year 2021-2022 was released by the Auxiliary Officers, Bishop Jagdhari Masih offered the prayer. 15 choirs of various Church denominations and institutions presented spirit filled Christmas carols for the glory of God. In between the presentations Rev. Chittranjan Polson briefed the congregation about the work and ministry of BSI. He also presented his report and the gathering appreciated it with applause.

Former Auxiliary President and educationist Dr. Grace Zaman relased the “Biblos” a bi-monthly news letter in Hindi. Dn. Dr. Ajai Dass offered the prayer. The Auxiliary Secretary briefed about the need and content of this initiative. The “Biblos” 1st edition, on the theme “Creation/ Christmas/ Beginning, is a concise history of Bible Society and the Auxiliary, pictorial report of the events, message of Christmas, i.e. “Christmas is Creator becoming Christ”, Bible quiz, and appeal for participation. Adv. Arun Saunders, Treasurer, Allahabd Auxiliary, in his closing remarks expressed his appreciation for all the participants and staff . The program came to a close with the congregation singing the carol, “Silent night..” with the lit candles in their hands as reminder to be the light in the darkness.

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Christmas Carols in Odisha Auxiliary on December 22, 2022:

The Odisha Auxiliary had a wonderful Christmas Carol service on December 22, 2023 after 2 consecutive years due pandemic restrictions. The pastors, leaders, prayer partners, some donors and the family members of the staff could join the service. Rev. Sam Somalingam, Pastor, Church of God, Cuttack was the speaker for that day. There were different performances by the women from Women Prayer Fellowship, our staff & some of their children. Special time of prayer was held for those who are sick and who are facing different kinds of problems in their life along with a prayer for our nation. The programme ended with a cup of coffee & cake. 

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BSI Dimapur Auxiliary Staff Christmas Celebrations with Family and Volunteers:

The BSI Dimapur Auxiliary staff and volunteers along with their family members celebrated pre-Christmas on 20th December 2022 at Bible House, Dimapur. Rev. Atshen Yimkhiun, Secretary, BSI Kuda Branch was the Guest Speaker. He spoke on the theme “Immanuel (God with us).” He shared that God was with us, is with us and will be with us. He is here with us in our every situation helping us to overcome difficulties in our daily life. He is with us in our ministries. Not only that but He is in us and we will be reigning with Him forever. He challenged members to receive Christ into our hearts as we celebrate Christmas and work more for God’s Kingdom cause.

The programme was chaired by Mrs. Christina Kachari and Mr. Joyson Thangal led the opening prayer. Welcome Speech was delivered by Mr. Marwati. Special songs were presented by staff and Mr. Lhokishe Shohe. Mr. Nathan Angami read the Word of God. Mr. Ganhang Aran pronounced benediction. The celebration concluded with Christmas dinner.

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The Minister for Minority Welfare of the Government of Andhra Pradesh celebrated Christmas with AP Auxiliary Secretary:

The Minister for Minority Welfare of the Government of Andhra Pradesh celebrated Christmas in the premises of District Collector’s Office in Guntur on 21st Dec. The AP Auxiliary Secretary Rev. K. John Vikram shared the Christmas message and presented BSI calendars to the guests of honour. The BSI AP Auxiliary staff actively participation in the event. 

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BSI Central Office Christmas Carol Service on December 20, 2022:

The year 2022 ended with a joyful note for the staff of the Central Office with Christmas celebration in physical after two consecutive years of virtual celebration through zoom due to Covid19 pandemic restrictions. This celebration was held under the theme “Unique Christmas” while thanking God and God’s unique ways of leading us through the year 2022. We had Rev. A.C. Benjamin, National Director, FEBA India as the Guest Speaker, and Rev. Rammawipuia and his wife Mrs. Lalruotmoi as Special Guest for the programme. Rev. Rammawipuia, Pastor of Bangalore Mizo Presbyterian Church brought greetings to the gathering, also prayed the concluding prayer and announced the benediction and Mrs. Lalruotmoi rendered a beautiful Christmas Carol “O Holy Night”. Staff from different offices such as WCC, Hall Road, Warehouse, Karnataka Auxiliary and Book Room, and the Logos, each rendered special Christmas song in different Indian languages. The programme ended with a joyful song “Feliz Navidad” followed by distribution of snacks and photo session.  

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Farewell and Thanksgiving to Mrs. Joyce Pallat, Senior Office Assistant, Publishing and Marketing Department, BSI on December 20, 2022:

On her retirement, we bid farewell to Mrs. Joyce Pallat and we thank God for her faithful service rendered to the ministry of BSI for 19 years with commitment and joy. The BSI Logos Office team rendered special farewell song for Mrs. Joyce. Mr. Paul Stephen, Director, Publishing and Marketing Department in his farewell and felicitation speech spoke about Mrs Joyce Pallat’s great commitment in her works with much appreciation and admiration. Mrs. Joyce is a woman of strong faith, who can be relied on for the multiple tasks in her hands. She is the stronghold of her family even amidst crises situations, she stood firm with boldness and faith in God. Her husband,  daughter and son-in-law were with us on her farewell day. Rev Dr. M. Mani Chacko, the General Secretary, BSI handed Mrs. Joyce with the BSI farewell gift, citation and memento along with a shawl.

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EPIPHANY: A Call To Take A Different Route In The New Year

A new year always brings a sense of hope.  The previous year with all its tragedies, problems, disappointments, failures, and sadness is now behind us, and a clean slate lies ahead.

The old has passed away; the new has come. With whistles and horns and parties, and probably more to eat and drink than we should have, we ushered in the New Year. Yet, beneath the gaiety and laughter, there’s a gnawing feeling – it’s all still the same; nothing’s really changed.  If anything, passing from the season of lights and glitter and carols to the season of dark, cold, bleak midwinter, only makes the emptiness worse, the depression deeper.

For sure there has been plenty in the news to make anyone depressed.  Reality seems to crush hope at every turn: the threat of another wave of Covid, crushing economic disparities in this country, the pernicious scourge of racism, the increase of global warming, homelessness in our own neighbourhood, the plague of illicit drugs, etc.

Also, many of us are feeling personal pains or anxieties this New Year.  Some of us are wrestling with important decisions regarding a primary relationship or a task to be done; some know first-hand the powerful effects of disabling disease or worry about health issues in the upcoming months; some have had to deal recently with a major loss; some wonder if we can make it in the coming year without the presence of one who meant so much; some of us are feeling very lonely, in spite of people all around us; some of us fear growing older, or fear what the future may hold; some wonder if dreams will ever be realized, or whether the new year will be even more frustrating and filled with feelings of futility than the last.  Many of us are feeling pain or anxiety this New Year. 

When we feel this way, the temptation is to stay with the familiar and the comfortable, to crawl back into bed and pull up the covers, or to sneak into the manger with Jesus, where it’s warm, safe, and secure.  The temptation is to stay where we are – in the dark crevices of depression or defeat, of fear or foreboding, in the deep ruts of sameness, boredom, or lethargy.

But Epiphany with its emphasis on a light shining in the darkness, reminds us that life continues, that revelation and growth and new beginnings loom on the horizon, that new roads appear up ahead, new roads that will take us, if we choose to let them, into new adventures, new challenges, new opportunities to be the persons God wants us to be.  Epiphany reminds us that life continues, even as one-year ends and another begins.

The Magi also called the Wise Men or the Three Kings, who bring their gifts to the Christ Child, illustrate this movement.  But first, a brief word about who these Magi were.  They probably were astrologers from the East, perhaps from Persia or Babylon, present day Iran and Iraq.  They believed that human destiny was written in the stars, and though they were learned men of their day, we would consider many of their notions superstitious today. However, it seems that they believed that human events were influenced by a power beyond this world.

Tradition says there were three of them; the Bible doesn’t say how many.  In the Middle Ages they were given names: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar.They are nameless in the Bible.The story in Matthew is about kings and wise men, but these are people in addition to the Magi.  The kings are Herod, a ruthless tyrant who stops at nothing to achieve his goals; and Jesus, a vulnerable and helpless baby, who becomes known as the King of Kings, a baby who grows up to be a ruler whose power is hidden in humility. The wise men are the chief priests and scribes, well-versed in the scriptures, who are called in by Herod to tell him where this so-called king of the Jews was to be born.

The Magi from the East are inquisitive, adventurous, obedient to their calling, and seek no honour for themselves.  They humble themselves before the Christ Child and offer sacrificial gifts of great value.  In short, they fit the image of servants more than royalty or those with superior wisdom, and thus, are exemplary role models for us.  But it’s what they do at the end of the story that is of particular interest.  Matthew says they are warned in a dream not to return to Herod.  In the Bible, dreams are an important conduit for God to communicate with people. 

The Magi, after they have offered their gifts, realize the danger in returning to Herod, and leave “for their own country by another road.”  They don’t hang around to bask in the beauty of the babe.  They don’t stay where it’s comfortable and secure.  They set out from there by another road, a new road, a different road than the one they’d been travelling upon.  They move on in their journey of life, and so must we.  For us, the manger is only one stopping place on our journey of faith.  And while the tranquillity of the manger may move us deeply, it should never transfix us.  The rest of Christ’s journey, and our journey, remains to be travelled.

As we embark on this New Year, embodied so well in the spirit of Epiphany and the reality of life moving on, a fair question for us to ask is, “how can we move on?”  The answer may be found in the refrain from an old church camp song I’ll bet many of you remember: “Rise and Shine.” Isaiah tells the people of Israel to “Arise, shine; for your light has come…(Isaiah 60:1)”  They no longer have to live in darkness – nor do we.  Rise and shine, get up, begin again – there is more to come!  There are new roads to travel upon in this New Year.  But there are also powerful forces working against this directive.  Apathy, lack of confidence, our physical or mental state, extreme caution or timidity – all these tend to hold us back.  Worse than any of these is fear –disabling, crippling, and immobilizing fear.

God has promised to uphold us no matter what – believe this promise!  God has promised to grant us victory over all our spiritual enemies – believe this promise!  God has promised to grant us full and free forgiveness of our sins through and because of Jesus Christ, our new born Saviour – believe this promise!  Don’t creep upon these promises as though they were too fragile to hold you up.  Stand upon them, confident that God is as good as God’s word, and that our living, loving Lord will deliver them as promised.  So, in this New Year, let’s get up and get going.  Let us rise and shine, knowing that it is God’s light that empowers the light within us.

This sounds like a great New Year’s resolution, doesn’t it?  But it won’t be complete until we finish the old camp song’s refrain, and “give God the glory.”  We do this by living thankful lives, thanking God for the blessings we’ve received, and by sharing the Good News with others.  We do this individually and together as the church.  The mission of the church, as Paul implies to the Ephesians, is to reflect the light of Christ, to point to Christ’s work in the world, to declare Christ’s redemption, to reveal the mystery, to make known God’s wisdom, but perhaps most important, to mirror and imitate Christ’s love and deeds of mercy.  And this is our individual mission as well.

Each of us has a new road ahead of us in the New Year.  It’s another road, a different road than any we’ve travelled on before.  As we step off down that road, not knowing what we may find, not knowing exactly where we’re going, we can be comforted in knowing that for sure, the light goes with us, leading us, guiding us, showing us the way.  God will be with us on our journeys down that new road ahead.  Even now God is calling to each of us, whoever we are, whatever our circumstance, calling us to continue the journey, giving God our praise, and sharing the Good News with others along the way.

Two great leaders of our times come to my mind who took a different route in their life’s journey than the ones we travel normally- that of peace instead of violence and reconciliation instead of alienation.They are Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church.

Archbishop of Canterbury Most Reverend Justin Welby visited Jallianwala Bagh, the site of British colonial era massacre which took place on 13 April 1919, and said it was a “deeply humbling” experience and provoked “feelings of profound shame”. The massacre took place at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar during the Baisakhi festival in April 1919 when the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer opened fire at a crowd staging a pro-independence demonstration, leaving scores of people dead.

Pope Francis took part in events to commemorate the anniversary of the Protestant Reformation during his trip to Sweden. The Pope appealed to Catholics and Lutherans to “mend” history and look with honesty at the past, “recognising error and seeking forgiveness”. By tradition, on 31 October 1517 the German theologian Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of a church. The papal visit kicks off a year of events to mark the quincentenary. Pope Francis and Lutheran leaders presided over an ecumenical prayer service in Lund cathedral in southern Sweden on Monday. The leader of the Roman Catholic Church praised the Reformation for helping to give greater centrality to scripture in the church’s life. Luther’s pamphlet attacked excesses and abuses within the church, and his actions and writings were hugely significant in the schism which developed in Western Christianity, which became known as the Reformation.

A New Year’s Eve poem I came across concludes with these words: “With courage we face the future, with warm memory we sing the old year out.  With hope in our hearts and voices we face the sunrise of God’s new dawn.”  So, let’s sing the new year in by singing together the refrain of that old song:

“Rise, and shine, and give God the glory, glory,

Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory,

Rise and shine and  give God the glory, glory, Children of the Lord.”

May hope dwell in our hearts and voices, and May that sunrise, the light of Christ, shine brightly on each of us as we journey on the new road we’ll be travelling upon in this New Year.  Amen.

Rev. Dr. M. Mani Chacko

General Secretary
Bible Society of India

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The BSI Youth Christmas Tree, Jabalpur Auxiliary:

The BSI, Youth Committee organized “Christmas Tree” at Hawabagh Methodist Church, Jabalpur on 19th Dec 2022. Mr. Shamon Waghmare, BSI Staff, led the service. Mr. Shitij. C . Jacob, BSI Youth Advisor, led the opening prayer. 100 Youth from different Churches in Jabalpur participated in the programme. Praise & Worship was led by the Youth Choir of Hawabagh Church, Jabalpur. Mr. Jaikanth Shah, Youth President of Disciple Church read the Word of God from “Matthew Ch. 2 : 1 to 11. The Christmas message was delivered by Rev. Daniel Nath, Auxiliary Secretary of Jabalpur. Ms. Sharon Divine member of BSI, Youth Committee said words of gratitude to our Lord Almighty and to the BSI, Jabalpur Auxiliary for organizing the “Christmas Tree” for the Youth of Jabalpur. She extended her gratitude to the Youth for their presence and to their Pastors for encouraging their Youth to participate actively in this program. Ms. Teresa Rodrigues, BSI Staff said a closing prayer followed by the Lord’s Prayer and Benediction pronounced by the Auxiliary Secretary Rev. Daniel Nath. Few games for the Youth was organized by Mr. Geet Tati & Mrs. Anglica. The programme concluded with fellowship dinner.

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BSI E-NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2023

EPIPHANY: A Call To Take A Different Route In The New Year

A new year always brings a sense of hope.  The previous year with all its tragedies, problems, disappointments, failures, and sadness is now behind us, and a clean slate lies ahead…..

Rev. Dr. M. Mani Chacko
General Secretary

Christmas Discount Sale at Bible House in Guntur:

From December 9 to 14, 2022, the BSI AP Auxiliary organised Christmas Discount Sale in various strategic places such as:- Bible House in Guntur, Bible Bhavan in Visakhapatnam, GDM Hebron Church in Peravali and at CSI Noble Missionary Church in Machilipatnam. Many people appreciated and benefitted a lot to have copies of Bibles of various editions and prints.

BSI AP Auxiliary Staff Family Christmas:

BSI AP Auxiliary Staff Family Christmas was celebrated on 19th December 2022 at Bible House in Guntur. Blessed to have our General Secretary Rev. Dr. M. Mani Chacko as Chief Guest who shared the Christmas message. 

AP Auxiliary – Gannavaram Branch, Elamanchili Branch, Chodavaram Branch and Narsipatnam Branch have organised Christmas programs in their branches. 

 

The BSI Youth Christmas Tree, Jabalpur Auxiliary:

 

he BSI, Youth Committee organized “Christmas Tree” at Hawabagh Methodist Church, Jabalpur on 19th Dec 2022. Mr. Shamon Waghmare, BSI Staff, led the service…….

Farewell and Thanksgiving to Mrs. Joyce Pallat, Senior Office Assistant, Publishing and Marketing Department, BSI on December 20, 2022:

On her retirement, we bid farewell to Mrs. Joyce Pallat and we thank God for her faithful service rendered to the ministry of BSI for 19 years with commitment and joy……

 

BSI Central Office Christmas Carol Service

on December 20, 2022:

The year 2022 ended with a joyful note for the staff of the Central Office with Christmas celebration in physical after two consecutive years of virtual celebration through zoom due to Covid19 pandemic restrictions….

 

The Minister for Minority Welfare of the Government of Andhra Pradesh celebrated Christmas with AP Auxiliary Secretary:

The Minister for Minority Welfare of the Government of Andhra Pradesh celebrated Christmas….

 

BSI Dimapur Auxiliary Staff Christmas Celebrations with

Family and Volunteers:

The BSI Dimapur Auxiliary staff and volunteers along with their family members celebrated pre-Christmas on 20th December 2022 at Bible House, Dimapur….

Christmas Carols in Odisha Auxiliary on December 22, 2022:

The Odisha Auxiliary had a wonderful Christmas Carol service on December 22, 2023 after 2 consecutive years due pandemic restrictions……

United Candlelight and Annual Thanksgiving Service

With 177 Candles lit in the Bible House lawns, which was beautifully illuminated, marked the 177 years the journey of Allahabad Auxiliary on 4th December, 2022…..

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BSI E-NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2022

Psalm 103:  Thanking God in our Lives

As the Advent Season of the year is just around the corner, Christians across the globe are started observing Thanksgiving prayers. There are so many reasons to thank God for God’s sustaining mercies and blessings in our lives as individuals, families, churches, communities and nations. The book of Psalms is one of the most beautiful collections of thanksgiving songs we could reflect upon…….

Dr. Hrangthan Chhungi,

AD – Church, Public Relations and Resource Mobilisation

Celebration of Reformation Day

Like any other year, the Bible Society of India commemorated Reformation Day on October 31, 2022 in all our offices at the Central and in all 17 Auxiliaries across India. This year, the BSI celebrated this day by adapting a special Order of Worship prepared by the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) on the theme “Witnessing to the God of Life”. Reflection was done from the chosen text for the day –  Psalm 104 : 24, 27-30 and Romans 8: 18 – 25…..

BSI Kerala Auxiliary news

Kozhencherry Branch : Golden Jubilee Celebration Closing Session

The closing session of the Golden Jubilee celebration of Kozhencherry Branch was held on 26 October ‘22 at St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church, Kozhencherry. The event was blessed by the esteemed presence of Bishops, Clergies, Pastors and other leaders of various churches. The meeting was presided by the Branch President Rev. Thomas Mathew, Vicar, St. Thomas Mar Thoma  Church, Kozhencherry. Rt. Rev. Dr. Abraham Mar Paulos Episcopa, Central Council Member, BSI & Kerala Auxiliary Committee member delivered the inaugural address…..

Activities of the Gujarat Auxiliary

Golden Jubillee Celebration of the Uttarsanda Branch, Gujarat Auxiliary

On September 16, the Uttarsanda Branch had completed 50 years and they had arranged Thanksgiving Service and called Church leaders of the surrounding areas. The BSI Auxiliary President and Secretary and few staff members attended the service. We had a very meaningful time of meeting with church leaders, friends of BSI and donors who happily and willingly donated for the BSI ministry….

Four Students of United Theological College – Bangalore, successfully completed their 25 Days of ​Intensive Field Education with the Bible Society of India

The Bible Society of India for the second time hosted four Students of UTC namely Mr. Samuel Sunith R. (BD 4), Mr. S. Ebinesar Christopher Moses (BD 3), Mr. Bruce K. Thangkhal (BD 2),​ and Mr. Vigil Wilson (from the ​Young Men’s ​​Christian ​​Association – YMCA​) for their 25 Days Intensive Field Education from October 10 to November 3, 2022. Together with all the ​staff of ​BSI​ under the leadership of the General Secretary, Rev. Dr. M. Mani Chacko, the UTC students had a very educative exposure in terms of Office Administration, Field Exposure with Scripture Engagement, ​Bible Archives, ​Financial Management, Property Management, Bible Translation Process, Media Engagement, Information and Technological scales, Production of Scripture and Engagement with the Printing Press and  Marketing Strategy of the ​ministry of the Bible​Society of India….

Prayer Concerns for the Bible Society of India

Pray for the Audio Bible recording currently in progress in the Sourashtra language. The Sourashtrians are settled in the state of  Tamilnadu and Gujarat.

Pray for the Audio Bible distribution for 500 elderly and visually impaired people during this Christmas season. May they find the joy of Christmas through the gift of the Audio Bibles to them.

Pray for challenges of printing Scriptures due to shortage of raw material supplies so that the people in need of Scripture may not experience Bible poverty.

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