Affiliates & Network
Affiliates & Network
TheNational Council of Churches in India is the Ecumenical Forum of the Protestant and Orthodox Churches in India. The Council was established in 1914 as the National Missionary Council. In 1923, the Council constituted itself as the National Christian Council of India, Burma and Ceylon. The Councils of Burma and Sri Lanka separated, and in 1979 the Council transformed itself into what is known as the National Council of Churches in India. It is an Inter-confessional autonomous Council and an ecumenical expression constantly initiating, promoting and coordinating various forms of ministries of Witness and Service in the wider community and society. The Council also serves as a common platform for thought and action and as such it brings together the Churches and other Christian organisations for mutual consultation, assistance and action in all matters related to the life and witness of the Churches in India. The NCCI is committed to the Gospel values of Justice, Unity & Peace.
The NCCI is made up of 30 Member Churches, 17 Regional Christian Councils, 17 All India Organisations and 7 Related Agencies. It represents about 14 million people in India. Ever since it’s inception in the year 1914, the Council and its constituent members are actively engaged in the work of spiritual upliftment, nation building and social transformation. It is an inter- confessional autonomous Council which embraces, promotes and coordinates various kinds of activities for responsible life and witness, for upholding human dignity, for ecological and economic justice, for transparency and accountability, and for equity and harmony, through its constituent members and in partnership with civil society, NGOs, People’s Movements and well wishers at local, national and international levels.
The member churches and the regional councils are the primary members of the council. The Assembly which is the supreme body meets every four years. The Executive Committee meets annually to oversee the work of the Council and also appoints the Working Committee which meets twice in a year to guide and monitor its activities.
The NCCI logo symbolises the Church with doors open and lighted by an Indian lamp placed in the national flower, Lotus, inviting all people of God into the ecumenical fellowship
The NCC Review is the first ecumenical journal of India and official organ of NCCI published eleven times a year.
From the beginning of the 19th century, when the missionary movement got going in full vigour and vitality, cooperation among Missions and missionaries was emphasised since their aim was winning the ‘lost souls’. William Carey, who in 1793 came to India as a missionary of the British Baptist Missionary Society, felt the need for cooperation and fellowship among missionaries working in different parts of the world and so proposed as early as 1806 for a world level meeting of missionaries to share with their fellow-missionaries their experiences in the mission field such as their agonies, failures, successes, stumbling blocks and the like, as well as to ask for prayer support, so that a sense of oneness could be developed. He even suggested a location for such a meeting, viz. The Cape of Good Hope, on the tip of South Africa and the probable year for it to be 1810 or 1812. But his proposal at the time was considered as a ‘wild dream’. It took one hundred years to organize a world-level missionary conference with a purpose proposed by William Carey. That such a proposal emanated from a missionary in India is considered as a significant contribution of India to the Ecumenical Movement.
The British East India Company which was a colonial ruler in the Bengal, Madras and Bombay Presidencies began to permit missionaries from the British Isles to officially engage in missionary activities in its territories from 1813. Those missionaries began to come together unofficially mainly for fellowship and prayer. The first such meeting took place in 1825 in Bombay. It was copied by the missionaries based in Calcutta and Madras in 1830; they came to be referred to as city-level missionary meetings. Such gatherings led to periodic regional gatherings, such as Bengal Missionary Conference, South India Missionary Conference etc., and from 1872 to All India Decennial Missionary Conferences. Though these were unofficial, yet they fostered a feeling of oneness in Christ and in God’s Mission. As a result, feelings were expressed to have a national body (meaning an All India forum) to give more impetus and thrust to their missionary activities as well as to tackle problems forced on them. The impetus we can say for the National Missionary Council came from South India Missionary Conference held in 1900 at Madras where a drastic change was made in the composition of participants, in its convening and even in its agenda. It became a role-model for future missionary conferences not only in India but also in other countries. The 1910 Edinburgh (Scotland) World Missionary Conference too followed the 1900 Madras model. That too can be considered as an ecumenical contribution of India.
The 1910 Edinburgh World Missionary conference proposed the formation of national – level missionary councils (NMC) affiliated to and with the International Missionary Council (IMC) which the 1910 Edinburgh Conference had unanimously decided to form, and Dr.John R.Mott, the President of the IMC was requested to tour around the world with that said purpose. He came to India in 1912 and held consultation and conferences in different parts of India. The one at Calcutta known as the Calcutta 1912 Missionaries Conference was held from 18-21 December 1912 in the Hall of the Asiatic Society. After Dr.John R.Mott addressed it, a decision was made to form a national body, to be known as ‘the National Missionary Council’. The delegates numbering 58 were from all parts of India and represented practically all the missionary societies then working in India. It recorded with conviction that ‘whenever capable and spiritually minded men and women are discovered Churches and Missions should make a real and unmistakable advance in placing Indians on a footing of complete equality in status and responsibility with Europeans, and thus open for them the highest and most responsible positions in every department of missionary activity. The work of foreign missionary Societies be gradually transferred, as opportunities offer, to the Indian Church, and suitable plans and modifications of existing organisations should be adopted whenever necessary’. The said Calcutta meeting began a discussion on Church Union too. In the matter of missionary cooperation it took several important steps. It framed the basis upon which the Provincial Missionary Councils and the National Council could be formed. The Calcutta Conference decided that the main objects of the National Council should be to coordinate the activities of the local councils and deal with matters that affected the entire mission field which come under the IMC; its functions should be solely consultative and advisory and not legislative or mandatory; it was to be composed of two persons from each of the provincial Councils and a number of co-opted members. The Calcutta Conference set up an Interim Committee having the Anglican Metropolitan G.A.Lefroy as Convener and Herbert Anderson, a Baptist Missionary as Secretary to give final shape to the constitution and matters related to the National and Provincial Councils. The Interim Committee had 30 members including Ms.Bose, S.K.Datta, S.C.Mukerji and K.T.Paul.
The Interim Committee took more than a year to complete its task. It enabled the constitution of Provincial Councils which were eight in number, namely, Bihar, Bengal-Orissa, Bombay, Punjab, Mid-India, Upper Provinces, Madras and Burma. They were suggested to elect their representatives to the National Council. Then it scrutinized the Constitution of the National Council. It proposed the National Council to be affiliated with the IMC. Thus the stage was set for the founding meeting of the NMC.
Evangelization of the World in this Generation! This slogan captures the zeal and the perspective of the Christian mission bodies of the 19th and early 20th centuries as they came to India and other parts of Asia and Africa to bear witness to and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. However this enthusiasm and commitment was tempered by challenges and difficulties in the mission fields. There was the need to share experiences and learnings. There was the need to have fellowship. There was the need to cooperate in missionary endeavours. All these concerns eventually led to the formation of the National Missionary Council (NMC) in 1914.
One of the significant achievements of the NMC was the Statement on Comity which “laid down specific rules for arbitration and conciliation, territorial arrangements, transfer of mission workers, etc. But above all, it emphasized that Comity basically consisted in cooperative efforts for the common purpose, the evangelization of India.” However as the name suggests, it was a council of missions and not of churches.
Self-Rule is our Birthright! We want freedom! Such were the slogans which gave stronger expression to the desire and movement for freedom from colonial rule during the first half of the 20th century. Therefore there was much thinking among Christians about shifting the focus from foreign missions to Indian churches. J.H. Oldham, in a booklet entitled, The World and the Gospel (published in 1916) had said, “The aim of the foreign missionary work is to plant the Church of Christ in every part of the non-Christian world as a means to its evangelisation.” Something of the spirit of that discussion was captured when the NMC was renamed as “National Christian Council (NCC) of India, Burma and Ceylon” in 1923.
The NCC was established on the basis ‘that the only bodies entitled to determine the policy of the Churches and Missions are the Churches and Missions themselves’. Regarding membership it was made a constitutional rule that half the members in both the National and the Provincial Councils should be nationals. After Independence, in 1956 the Council adopted a new constitution in which, regarding membership, it was stated, “ Only organised Church Bodies are entitled to direct representation in the Council. Missions not yet integrated with a Church Body in India, may become associate members.” The period of transition from mission to church which started in 1923 thus came to its completion.
In the early decades after Indian independence, the main emphasis of the NCC India was not on the expansion, but on the up-building of the Church, and so the Council engaged in a number of activities having the intention of contributing to the final goal: a self-supporting, self-governing and self-propagating Church. The major activities of the Council were: Adult Education; Christian Literature; Christian Higher Education; Theological Education; Evangelism; Relief; Social Service projects; Christian Home; Youth Council; Audio-Visual Communication; Welfare of the Handicapped; Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society; cooperation among churches; and representing the non-Roman Churches with the Government.
Jesus Christ is not only Saviour and Lord, but also our Liberator! During the late1960's and 1970's this kind of a slogan articulated the frustration of the Christians in Latin America, Asia and Africa, who saw that though most of their countries were free of the foreign yoke, the political-economic and socio-cultural structures in the country were still enslaving. They discovered Jesus afresh as the liberator, bring in the reign of God (Lk.4:18-19).
Between 1965 and 1977, the Council made serious attempts to reorganize itself such as divesting of responsibility to Service Agencies which were too dependent on outside initiative, giving autonomy to its departments, decentralisation of office and secretariat to bring them nearer to the churches, activisation of the Regional Christian Councils, etc. However the question still remained: Was the Council playing an effective role in the life of the churches and the Indian society?
The Council appointed an Evaluation Commission in the mid-seventies (the time when political Emergency was declared in the country) drawn from its own constituent members. The Evaluation Commission asked the fundamental question whether the NCCI has a rationale for its continued existence, and if so, what and in what form. The Commission was convinced that the Church in India could not do without the NCCI. In discussing the nature of the Council, the Commission proposed that the Council should be seen as a covenant relation among the Churches of India engaged together in a common mission and moving towards a goal.
It was in the context of this perspective that it was suggested that the name of the Council be changed from National Christian Council of India to National Council of Churches in India. This change of name would help the Council to break away from the momentum of the NCCI’s past in the missionary era when it was oriented to Churches outside and dependent on their spiritual initiative and financial aid. In defining the “Churches in India” the Commission proposed that (1) the new National Council of Churches should give a decisive central place to the Churches as officially organised according to their own conceptions of polity; (2) that at the same time, the Council should open itself to those movements and organizations which promote the Church’s mission and ecumenism in India at various levels and which are prepared to give in their own structure clear expression to their decision to work “in association with the Council” and be oriented to the Churches e.g., Regional Christian Councils, autonomous ecumenical agencies engaged in special fields and frontier movements.
Thus as a follow-up to the evaluation Commission’s report, the NCCI came to called the National Council of Churches in India in 1979.
The Gospel in a Groaning World! This is the theme of the 27th Quadrennial Assembly of the NCCI which met during April 25-28, 2012. The situation in India has become quite complex since the last 30 years. Fundamentalism and communalism have been on the rise, thereby causing much tensions and even violence in the Indian pluralistic society. Globalization has been impacting the economy causing an ever increasing divide between “Shining India” and “Suffering Bharat”. Dalits, Indigenous Peoples, Maoists, and the like are all engaged in struggles for justice. Ecological exploitation of the natural resources of the country is proving to be hazardous. At the same time, the Church in India is faced with the rise of charismatic movements, new church groups, mushrooming Bible schools and theological colleges, as well as the emphasis on confessionalism rather than ecumenism.
The National Council of Churches in India represents about 14 million Christians drawn from Reformed and Orthodox Church Traditions, (consisting of 30 Member Churches , 7 Related Agencies , 17 Regional Christian Councils , 17 All India Organisations , and 3 Autonomous Bodies ) and the contemporary challenges and opportunities which the NCCI faces today. Along with its constituent members the NCCI continues to minister to the Church and Society through its Commissions (Unity, Mission and Evangelism; Justice, Peace and Creation; Policy, Governance and Public Witness; Dalits; Tribals/Adivasis; Youth; and Communications and Relations)
Prior to the 27th Quadrennial Assembly of the NCCI in April 2012, important Pre-Assemblies are being conducted by NCCI Commissions along with other partners:
Towards Integral Mission and Grassroot Ecumenism! This is the slogan for the centenary celebration of the NCCI in 2014. Implied in this theme is the concern for wider and deeper ecumenism, for justice, peace, love and growth, for the realization of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and for the vibrant integration of humans and all creation with God, the author and fulfiller of life.
1. Providing fellowship and a common forum for dialogue and for fostering common concerns among the Churches in India .
2. Promoting Church Unity as a basic requirement for the life and work of the Church in India and as an essential step for restoring in wholeness of the human community.
3. Interpreting and communicating the Mission of the Church, relating it to every aspect of life.
4. Engaging in and enhancing the educational, social welfare, relief and health service by the Churches.
5. Representing the Churches before the public, the Government and other national and international agencies.
6. Initiating and promoting action in the area of the socio-political needs of the poor including those of the Christian community in India .
7. Consulting and coordinating with the World Council of Churches and other International and national ecumenical organizations.
STRAGEGIC PLAN 2014 – 2020
In 2014, as NCCI celebrates its centenary, the world is very different from the one at its inception. There is a radical reordering of international relationships, with the economic contours being totally rewritten. The world has just moved back from the brink of economic collapse, and is not out of the woods yet. Colonialism has gone, but exceptionalism still rules in international relations. Triumphalism has acquired religious overtones, as also the several ‘wars’ on terror, drugs, crime and even international trade. The planet-wide climate crisis exacerbates these tensions, rather than ensure a common effort against certain destruction. Globally we are staring at a leadership crisis of apocalyptic proportions.
The euphoria of ecumenism has matured into institutions of common communion, though the momentum has slowed. The role of the church, and religion itself, in international and personal relationships is being questioned as never before. Though inter-religious dialogues have been institutionalised, there is as yet no credible platform for such dialogue, and the discredited clash of civilisations has several adherents in high places. The advances in human rights has found uneven expression within the institutional church, with ordination of women and sexual minorities yet to be initiated, let alone institutionalised, in several denominations. The disconnect between stated position of the church and their lives have seen declining church attendance across the world.
India mirrors this transition in several ways. Exceptionalism in international relations is mirrored by impunity within the country of dominant groups and sections. The demographic transition to a younger, more aspirational India has higher expectations in terms of governance and standards—in personal and public life. The maturing of the media as a public voice, the citizens movement for probity in public life, for security of the person especially women, the rule of law is finding more and more space for expression. There is the simultaneous cultural assertion that sometimes accentuates regressive practices such as caste and gender based discrimination. Polarisation on regional, communal and political lines has left the country with no credible leaders. The venality of the political class and the avarice of the corporate class have hollowed out institutions leading to a vacuum that is being filled by demagogues.
Today’s India faces challenges of growing poverty, migration, displacement, ecological degradation, climate change, high rates of crimes, corruption, ultra-rightwing fundamentalism, rightwing ideologies such as cultural nationalism, moral policing, rebel and resistant ideologies, communalism, attacks on minorities, caste, race and gender based violence, and the dangers connected with the IT boom. On the other hand governments are moving from a welfare state model to a market-led model, resulting in increased privatization of education and health care, withdrawal of subsidies and welfare programmes for the poor, and rise in the cost of living. The people who are kept on the margins of society are the worst sufferers: the poor, women, children, Dalits, Adivasis, Persons Living with Disabilities (PWDs), PLWH, LGBTQs, migrants, refugees, religious and linguistic minorities.
The role of the NCCI
The NCCI has given expression to its life and work in the context of the historical developments in the country. India has gone through several changes and challenges since its independence. The 1950s and 60s were characterized by India declaring itself as a republic, with its concerns for nation building, implementation of five year plans, etc. Churches too were committed to nation building. The seventies witnessed the imposition of the Emergency. The churches had to play a responsible role. The NCCI was transformed into a Council of Churches. The struggles of development caught up with country during the 1980s, while movements for justice and liberation for the poor, for women, for Dalits and tribals/Adivasis also began to take shape. Since the 1990s India has opted for a new economic policy leading to globalization. The information technology revolution also started changing the Indian context. At the same time India witnessed the intensification of fundamentalism and communalism, as well as growing power and impact of regional political parties and coalition politics.
The church is called on to provide savant leadership in this context, ensuring inclusion, equity, and justice to all sections of society. The church needs to work in a multi-cultural environment, in which there is decreasing respect for institutions and higher standards of behaviour and delivery. There are no holy cows, and the church must be bold enough to question and humble enough to be questioned. Such a response requires the church to be in solidarity with the excluded, a difficult task in the best of times, but difficult when diversity is seen as a threat and difference is labelled terrorist.
At the same time the Church is riddled with internal problems such as divisions among churches, mushrooming of church groups and theological institutions, prosperity theologies, effective and responsible administration of educational institutions, hospitals, etc., expressions of fundamentalism and communalism, increasing confessionalism at the cost of ecumenism, etc. The Church in India is therefore struggling to understand her identity, role and witness in such a context.
The Strategic Planning Process
The General Body of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), which met on 6-7 August 2012 in Nagpur, discussed priorities of the NCCI for the new quadrennial (2012-2016) and the question ‘How should NCCI function in the context of the socio-economic, cultural, political, scientific-technological, religious (including Christian ecclesial) challenges of the 21st century?’ In view of the fast approaching Centenary of the NCCI in 2014, it mandated the Secretariat to initiate a Light Assessment of the life and work of the NCCI Secretariat and to engage in a Strategic Planning Process (SPP) for the future ministries of the NCCI, including the structure of the NCCI and its governance.
The General Body appointed a four member Advisory Group (Rev. Dr. Chandran Paul Martin as Convener, Dr. Sushant Agrawal, Ms. Pearly Jos, and Rev. Raj Bharath Patta) to guide and facilitate the NCCI Secretariat in getting the assessment and strategic planning process done.
The Executive Secretaries were actively engaged under the guidance and support of the Advisory Group. Edwin, an external consultant was engaged to help in getting the work done professionally.
Scope of the SPP
The SPP was conducted between December 2013 and July 2014. Its primary focus was the life and work of the NCCI including its governance, perspectives, programmes, administration and finance and resources. It included a light assessment covering internal and external stakeholders of NCCI and those who had engaged with the NCCI over time. It would provide directions and guidelines for the period 2013-2020.
The objectives of the SPP were to
The light assessment
A light assessment of the status of NCCI and its preferred direction was done as part of the SPP during January and February 2013. The questionnaire was sent to 491 institutions and organisations, including all the constituent members, of whom 64 (13%) replied. 31 of the 71 constituent members (40%) replied to the questionnaire.
The light assessment found that there is a lack of ‘one big idea’ or mission, and there is a lot of level conflict. The level conflict spills over into the expectations too. The expectations from NCCI are diverse, making it virtually impossible for NCCI to fulfil these expectations. NCCI is expected to be everywhere, do everything—right from the grassroots to national and international levels. In management terms, this diversity of expectations makes NCCI as it is now designed to fail.
The key areas of concern expressed by the constituents are: (a) Distancing: Identification of the constituents (and those who were sent the questionnaire) has considerably decreased. There seems to be some distance that has built up. (b) Discrimination and social justice: There are concerns of caste and social justice within the churches, and persistent active prevalence of discrimination within the church and NCCI. (c) Internal accountability: Though there were statements and public pronouncements about transparency and accountability, there is a deficit in internal practice, both within NCCI and the constituents. (d) Leadership: NCCI and the church in India have conceded leadership in several arenas, even where they were considered ‘natural leaders’ in the past. (e) The engagement of NCCI with different levels (grassroots to national) and constituencies (members to government and Indian society at large) is more episodic and event based, rather than a process—despite NCCI designing processes. (f) Communication needs to be improved, both within NCCI and its constituents and with the larger society and the government for NCCI to be the face of the Christian community to the nation and the outside world.
In the strategic plan period, the expectations of NCCI are (a) Focus on being a platform for mutual learning, coordination and joint action. (b) Assume the mantle of the national body of all the churches in India. This includes being the face of the Christian community to the nation, state and society and being the focal point of the Christian community in India. (c) Be active in promoting human rights, theological leadership and advocacy. (d) Conduct more training programmes, and a more active advocacy.
The key benefit of being part of NCCI were the programmes conducted, with ecumenical, multi-faith, and international interactions coming second. The work on human sexuality and HIV were the most appreciated, along with the theological conversations.
The key area that needs attention was governance. It needs serious and urgent attention at the NCCI and constituent levels. Communication is another area that needs urgent attention, both internal and external (to the government). The influence of caste and class and the lack of vision were also identified as important issues. Other areas that could do with more attention are strengthening the secretariat and joint programmes (fellowship and sharing as well as joint action). The gap between NCCI and its members was identified as the key factor keeping NCCI from realising its potential. There was a strong desire to have a more inclusive NCCI, but how to do it remained ambiguous.
The key challenges identified by the respondents centred around the volatile external environment characterised by the market economy, growing fundamentalism, good governance and social justice. Unity among denominations, ecumenism and social justice were the next most important areas that would be challenging in the years ahead.
In the strategic plan period, NCCI is expected to focus on being a platform for mutual learning, coordination and joint action. The second area of focus would is being the national body of all the churches in India. This includes being the face of the Christian community to the nation, state and society and being the focal point of the Christian community in India. The NCCI is expected to have an active role in promoting human rights, theological leadership and advocacy. Constituents expect more training programmes and more active advocacy, and would not mind supporting more staff for the same.
Presentation to Executive Committee and Working Committee
The findings of the Light Assessment were presented to the executive committee on 7 and 8 March 2013, from which the delegates drew out the vision and mission and the strategic objectives for the period 2013-2020. These were presented in detail to the Working Committee on 2 May 2013, which included an objective by objective detailing of principles, methodology, stakeholders and expected output. The vision and mission statements were also presented and refined at the meeting.
Oikumene, Witness, Service in Practice
Strategic plan of The National Council of Churches in India 2014--2020
1 Who We Are
The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) is an ecumenical community comprising about 14 million members from 30 Protestant and Orthodox Churches, 17 Regional Christian Councils and 24 other Church related, ecumenical bodies rooted in the Gospel as revealed in the person, life and work of Jesus Christ.2 Vision
NCCI envisions just and inclusive communities which enable the full realisation of the human potential individually and collectively, and live together in harmony, justice and peace.
NCCI is called to facilitate and strengthen ecumenical bonds of unity among the churches, as a visible expression of being members of the one body of Christ. Through such ecumenical togetherness, it is committed to serve all of creation by giving expression to the various implications of the gospel. Through such unity and service, NCCI continues to bear witness to Jesus, the gospel and the movement for the realisation of the ‘reign of God’.
NCCI is thus called to bear witness in the Indian society and the world, sharing a common task with all of creation, participating in efforts towards realising societies based on principles of justice and inclusion.
The mission of NCCI is to participate in efforts towards realising just and inclusive communities through collaborative programmes with the churches at local, national and international levels, people’s movements, grassroots communities, community based organisations, faith communities, and governments.
Affirming solidarity with the social, economic and political initiatives of the communities such as Dalit, tribal, women, children, youth, migrants, persons with disabilities, different sexual orientations, religious and linguistic minorities, and PLWHA who have been historically disadvantaged and excluded, NCCI will facilitate and accompany the churches through joint action simultaneously reforming church and society.
4 Core Values
Equality, dignity, justice, love, peace, inclusion, transparency and accountability, are the core values of NCCI, and they will be practiced in all dimensions of our life together. NCCI commits itself to a church of the poor and for the poor.
NCCI acknowledges the complementarities of cultures, and affirms the uniqueness of all faiths, ideologies, traditions and beliefs that respect all people and do not discriminate.
5 Strategic Objectives
To actualise the vision and mission in the period 2014—2020 NCCI will have four strategic objectives (SOs). These four strategic objectives embody and express the essence of the gospel.
SO 1: Unity: Be a common platform for wider Christian communities.
It is in the pursuit of and commitment to this vision that the churches are called to play a responsible role being united together (Jn.17:21) loving one another (cf. Jn.15:12), facing all the challenges that may come in their way (Jn.15:18-27).
SO 2: Witness: Facilitate expressions of wider ecumenism.
The vision of God’s involvement is one of all embracing ecumenism in which there is no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female (cf. Gal.3:28), where there is an innumerable multitude of people from every nation, tribe, and culture (cf. Rev. 7:9), indeed all of creation experiencing fulfilment (cf. Rom. 8:21).
SO 3: Service: Promote just and inclusive communities with good governance.
Jesus Christ started his ministry laying emphasis on the reign of God (Mk.1:14-15), calling upon people to direct their views and ways of life to the purposes of God in all of creation, as exemplified in the Nazareth Manifesto (Lk.4:18-19).
SO 4: Practice: Actualizing a just and inclusive church for all.
Thus churches are required to so structure and administer themselves that they serve as bearers of the gospel of justice, love, fellowship, peace, and fulfilling life (cf.Phil.2:1-8).
6 Our pledge
The period 2014-2020 is one where the challenges and opportunities of the church in India are historic. The capacity, tools and resources to make poverty history and transition to an equitable, just society exist. NCCI pledges to demonstrate through witness and practice that Oikumene is indeed possible, and likewise inspire others to actively join in this effort.