CCA extends congratulatory greetings on the occasion of the episcopal consecration in Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church

Programme Review and Programme Direction

Two key deliberative sessions during the 15th CCA General Assembly are the Programme Review and Programme Direction sessions.

The Programme Review and Programme Direction sessions will both be conducted in three groups relating to the CCA’s programme areas, namely, (i) General Secretariat (GS), (ii) Mission in Unity and Contextual Theology (MU) and Ecumenical Leadership Formation and Spirituality (EF); and (iii) Building Peace and Moving Beyond Conflicts (BP) and Prophetic Diakonia (PD).

Assembly participants will have the option to join one of three groups for both the Programme Review and Programme Direction sessions. For the sake of coherence, the assigned group will remain the same for both sessions.

General Secretariat

The General Secretariat oversees the coordination of programmatic, administrative, and financial activities of the organization. The GS comprises various departments such as church and ecumenical relations, relations with ecumenical partners, finance, administration, and communications, which provide crucial support and services for the implementation of programs and contribute to the overall functioning of the CCA.

Programmes: Relations with member churches and councils, ecumenical partners; advocacy at the United Nations; ecumenical responses to emerging issues in solidarity; income development and finance; and communications.

Mission in Unity and Contextual Theology (MU) and Ecumenical Leadership Formation and Spirituality (EF)

Under the MU programme area, the CCA accompanies Asian churches to strengthen their mission and witness in multi-religious contexts, revitalise and nurture church unity and the Asian ecumenical movement, and develop contextual theological foundations.

Programmes: Asian Movement for Christian Unity (AMCU); Congress of Asian Theologians (CATS); Asian women doing theology in the context of wider ecumenism; contextualisation of theology in Asia and ecumenical theological education.

The EF programme area focuses on nurturing and developing ecumenical leaders in Asia. The programme aims to enhance spiritual formation and theological understanding, enabling people to actively engage in ecumenical dialogue and collaboration.

Programmes: Ecumenical Enablers’ Training in Asia (EETA); Asian Ecumenical Institute (AEI); Youth and Women Leadership Development; Ecumenical Spirituality and Nurturing of Contextual Liturgical Traditions; Asia Sunday

Building Peace and Moving Beyond Conflicts (BP) and Prophetic Diakonia and Advocacy (PD)

The BP programme area is dedicated to promoting peace, justice, and reconciliation in Asia’s diverse contexts. Through training, advocacy, and dialogue, the programme addresses the root causes of conflicts, empowers communities, and fosters sustainable peacebuilding initiatives.

Programmes: Pastoral Solidarity Visits; Churches in Action for Moving Beyond Conflict and Resolution; Young Ambassadors of Peace in Asia (YAPA); Ecumenical Women’s Action Against Violence (EWAAV); Eco-Justice for Sustainable Peace in the Oikos.

The PD programme area focuses on promoting justice, human rights, and social transformation in Asia. Through advocacy, capacity-building, and raising awareness, the programme addresses systemic injustice, empowers marginalised communities, and advocates for prophetic actions and meaningful change.

Programmes: Human Rights advocacy; Migration, Statelessness, and Trafficking in Persons; Asian Ecumenical Disability Advocacy Network; Asian Advocacy Network on the Dignity and Rights of Children (AANDRoC); Ecumenical Solidarity Accompaniment and Diakonia in Asia (ESADA); Health and Healing; Good Governance; Action Together to Combat HIV and AIDS in Asia (ATCHAA).

No preference updated.

    Newly consecrated bishops of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church bless the congregation during the Episcopal Consecration Service held at Tiruvalla in India on 2 December 2023. From right to left His Grace Zacharias Mar Aprem, His Grace Joseph Mar Ivanios, His Grace Mathews Mar Seraphim

    Thiruvalla, India: The Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church has consecrated three priests who were selected for the bishopric and raised to the episcopal rank at a solemn ceremony on 2 December 2023, at the headquarters of the church in Thiruvalla, Kerala, India.

    His Beatitude Dr Theodosius Mar Thoma, the supreme head of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church was the chief celebrant.

    The three new bishops are His Grace Zacharias Mar Aprem Episcopa, His Grace Dr Joseph Mar Ivanios Episcopa, and His Grace Mathews Mar Seraphim Episcopa.

    The consecration of the three new bishops took place this morning. The previous such consecration took place 12 years ago.

    The Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, with over one million members, is a founding member of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA).

    In a congratulatory message, the General Secretary of the CCA Dr Mathews George Chunakara stated, “It is with profound thanks to God Almighty that the CCA extends greetings and congratulations to the newly consecrated bishops and all faithful of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church on this blessed occasion.”

    “The Asian ecumenical family spread across this vast continent rejoices with all members of the Mar Thoma Church, in all its numerous parishes all over India and across the globe, and the sister churches in India, as you have come today to witness the celebration of this divine occasion of the consecration of three new bishops for the church.”

    The CCA General Secretary’s message also noted that it is a “matter of great joy” that each of the three bishops consecrated possesses “rich experiences in pastoral care, missional involvement at the grassroots, academic proficiency, theological acumen, and deep understanding of the rich liturgical and monastic traditions and practices, as well as deep ecumenical commitments”.

    “As these three newly consecrated bishops take up their new roles, we pray that God’s empowering love, care, and blessings will continue to surround them in their episcopal ministry towards people and communities scattered in different congregations of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church in various parts of the world,” said Dr Mathews George Chunakara.

    The full text of the CCA’s congratulatory message to the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church can be found below.