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Church to celebrate ecology department’s silver jubilee 

Chennai: The Church of South India will be celebrating the silver jubilee of its Department of Ecological Concerns (DEC) on World Earth Day on April 22.

According to Mathew Koshy Punnackadu, DEC director, the silver jubilee will be celebrated as a thanksgiving service-cum-public meeting at the CSI Synod Centre in Chennai on Saturday.

The thanksgiving service will be celebrated at 7 a.m. and Bishop Thomas K.Oommen, CSI moderator, will be chief celebrant, The Hindu reported.

Former Union Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh, who had taken a firm stand in favour of the Gadgil Committee and against GM crops, will be the guest of honour at the public meeting at 10 am.

The CSI moderator will preside over the meeting.

Dr. Punnackadu said the DEC would also launch its major eco-conservation and awareness projects for the coming decade.

Bishop Vadappally Prasad Rao, CSI Deputy Moderator; Bishop D.R.Sadananda, general secretary; Robert Bruce, treasurer; Bishop George Stephen of the Madras diocese, and Bishop M.Joseph of the Madurai diocese, will address the function.

Dr. Punnackadu said the CSI was the only church in India which had mentioned ecology as a mission in its constitution and in the mission statement.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Alliance for Religions and Conservation have honoured the ecological contributions and long-term commitment of the Church in protecting the life on earth by conferring an award in November, 2009, making CSI the only Church in India to receive a UNDP award, he said.

Green diocese, green parish and green school/college awards, farmers’ conferences, green school programmes, eco-missionaries’ training camps, national and international conferences, green clergy fellowship, green teachers fellowship etc., are some of the major DEC projects on the anvil, says Dr. Punnackadu.

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