CCA extends congratulations to Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB) on golden jubilee

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).

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    Chiang Mai, Thailand: The General Secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) Dr Mathews George Chunakara extended greetings and congratulations to the Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB) on the occasion of its golden jubilee celebration held on Saturday, 27 April 2024.

    On the historic golden jubilee celebration of CCDB, the CCA General Secretary, in a message to CCDB, said that the golden jubilee celebration was an occasion to commemorate the five-decade-long journey of churches in Bangladesh, and give thanks and praise to God Almighty who enabled the churches and ecumenical fraternity in Bangladesh and other parts of the world to be instruments of His witnesses in Bangladeshi society where Christians live as a microscopic minority.

    In his message, Dr Mathews George Chunakara recollected the genesis and metamorphosis of today’s CCDB. After the 1971 Bangladesh War of Liberation and subsequent suffering, the World Council of Churches initiated the Bangladesh Ecumenical Relief and Rehabilitation Services (BERRS), on the request of the leaders of churches in Bangladesh, in collaboration with other church and ecumenical partners around the world. The BERRS was subsequently transformed as a national Christian development agency and as an auxiliary of the National Council of Churches in Bangladesh (NCCB), into its present structure as the CCDB.

    A pioneering initiative of the CCDB is the “people’s participatory process in poverty reduction and sustainable development,” which has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the country.

    Recollecting his longstanding association with the CCDB, Dr Mathews George Chunakara commended CCDB, which has developed as a professional ecumenical development agency in Bangladesh, as “one of the best and most unique models of implementation of ecumenical diakonia,” and the services and support extended to “multitudes of all God’s people irrespective of their religion or faith.”

    In his capacity as the Asia Secretary of the World Council of Churches, Dr Mathews George Chunakara coordinated the CCDB Round Table, an ecumenical resource sharing platform facilitated by the WCC, for ten years, from 2000-2010.

    “May God Almighty continue to bless CCDB as an instrument that works for all God’s people and may it demonstrate its leadership in the spirit of stewardship and good governance while being engaged in its ongoing mission and witness,” concluded the special message of congratulations to the CCDB by the CCA General Secretary.

    The full text of the congratulatory message can be found below. Message from CCA to CCDB Golden Jubilee April 2024