The 36th Session of the Synod Council meeting of the Church of South India (CSI Synod) began a day after a welcome ceremony where presbyters of Valparai District Church Council danced along with the beating of country drums (Thappu). Held at the Bishop Heber College, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, hosted by CSI Trichy-Tanjore Diocese on January 11, the theme was “Towards a Koinonia of Love and Equality”. The synod meeting commenced after the procession led by the Moderator and Deputy Moderator, and preaching by Rev Detlev Knoche, Director of Centre for Ecumenism of Protestant Churches in Hessen and Nassau & Kurhessen-Waldeck, who emphasised service to God and to fellowmen.

After Rt Rev Dr D. Chandrasekaran, Bishop, Trichy Tanjore Diocese, welcomed the delegates, the Synod session proceeded with official reports, announcements, confirmation of minutes and reading of obituaries to honour the departed. One such report was by the CSI General Secretary, who presented the scope of work, projects, income, international relations and systemic changes in the past triennium.

Elections were conducted, with Most Rev. A. Dharmaraj Rasalam elected as the new CSI Moderator, Rt Rev Reuben Mark as Deputy Moderator, Adv C. Fernandas Rathina Raja as General Secretary, and Prof Dr Vimal Sukumar as Hon. Treasurer. The newly-elected officers for the next triennium 2020-2023 assumed office after a worship service and public reception at CSI Synod Centre in Chennai, where they lit the traditional lamp in the middle of a flower arrangement near CSI’s mission statement.