The National Christian Council of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) and its member churches commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) in a solemn function of thanksgiving service held in Colombo on 1 December 2017.
Organised by the NCC Sri Lanka, the thanksgiving service was held at the Christian Reformed Church at the Galle Road, Colombo, incidentally being one of the oldest churches in Sri Lanka.
The Thanksgiving and Holy Communion service was attended by about 250 representatives of various member churches of NCCSL and led by the heads of churches and heads of Christian organizations in Sri Lanka.
The National Christian Council of Sri Lanka felicitated leaders who have made a significant contribution to the ecumenical movement such as Ms. Chithra H Fernando, Rev. Duleep R Fernando, Rev. Elmo P Fernando, Rt. Rev. Kenneth M J Fernando, Mr. Dickie Juriansz, Mr. Alagan S. Kadirgamar, Fr. Sydney Knight, Ms. Audrey Rebera, Mr. Israel Paulraj, Mr. Vijaya W Vidyasagara, Ven.C E Godwin Weerasuriya, Dr. Narmasena Wickramasinghe and CCA General Secretary Dr. Mathews George Chunakara.
While extending the greetings during the service, the General Secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia Dr. Mathews George Chunakara recollected the historical contributions of Sri Lankan churches to the Asian ecumenical movement especially since the founding of the East Asia Christian Conference (EACC), the forerunner of CCA.
Dr. Mathews George Chunakara added that although EACC was officially founded at the Prapat Conference of Asian Church leaders in 1957, the original idea of the formation of EACC was the contribution of Asian church leaders such as D. T. Niles of Sri Lanka at the 1949 Bangkok conference.
Bishop Kenneth Fernando, a former president of CCA delivered the homily during the service and he emphasized the need for strengthening the unity and witness of Asian churches.
Bishop Dhiloraj Canagasabey, president of the NCCSL, Rev. Ebenezer Joseph, General Secretary of NCCSL, Rev. Stanley Nelson President of the Christian Reformed Church, Rev. Saman Perera, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church, Colonel Yousaf Masih and Colonel Rebecca Yousaf are the Territorial Commander of the Salvation Army, Rev. Priyantha Wijegoonawardene , General Secretary of the Bible Society and Rev. Dr. Jayasiri Peiris, Principal of the Lanka Theological Seminary led the thanksgiving service.
A seminar on the Asia Mission Statement adopted at the Asia Mission Conference of CCA was held at the NCCSL headquarters in the morning of 1 December in which representatives of Sri Lankan churches, as well as theological students and educators of various theological institutions, attended.
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