The consultation of Asian Academy was held on 2-7 Nov 2014 at COB Retreat and Conference Centre, Savar, Dhaka. Church of Bangladesh hosted this program on behalf of Asian Academy. Theme of the consultation was: “Redefining Mission in Asia”. The speakers on the given theme was: Rev: Dr. Reinzie Perera- Director of ATA, Dr. M P Joseph-Dean of ATA, and Rachel Parry- Us/USPG London. In relation to this theme, there are five issues were discussed such as: Economical Crisis, Ecological Crisis, Interfaith Relation, Women and Church, and Wider Ecumenical Vision and Mission in Asia. There are about 50 participants, resource persons and theologians attended in that consultation of different Churches and Institutions from three continents i.e. Asian, Europe and African countries.
Consultation was begun with the celebration of Holy Communion on 4th Nov 2014. It was led by Rev John Probhudan Hira, preacher was Rev: Hemen Halder and solemnized by Rt. Rev: Paul S Sarker. Others participated in form of readings, prayers and choir. Participation of diverse linguistic and cultural theologians of different parts of the world and praying in their own mother tongue made this worship really lively and exceptional one. Chef Guest of the inaugural ceremony of this consultation was Bishop Paul S Sarker- Moderator of Church of Bangladesh.
On that day two issues were discussed: Economics and Agriculture. First session was led by eminent economist Prof. M M Akash, Dhaka University and moderated by Dr M P Joseph. Prof. Akash spoke on: “A Critical analysis of the global economics structures, including the dominance of the global market and its impact on rural communities”. It was led by Rev: Dr. Praveen Probhu, Church of South India. Dr. Probhu spoke on: “The Struggles of the rural Agrarian communities in India and the challenges of the Churches.”
The second day of the consultation on 5th Nov 2014 started by Bible Study. It was led by Rev: Martin Adhikary, Principal of CCTB, Savar. This day also discussed on two issues: Women in the Church and Environmental and Ecological crisis. Mrs. Suchitra Behera spoke on: “Women and Church: Towards the need for a redefining”. And Md. Samsuddoha (Participatory Research and Development Initiative, Bangladesh) had a very nice power presentation on: “Environment and Ecological Crisis-A critical analysis”. There were panel discussions after the power presentation. This session was chaired by Rev Philip Biswas-COB and it was presented by Mr. Paul N Das-Director CMCY, Dr. Steve Muneja-Secretary Burunty University, Mr. Michael A Roy-Director CBSDP.
Third day, on 6th Nov 2014 began with Bible Study which was led by Dr. Steve Muneza (Burundy, Africa). This session chaired by Rev Biliam Sarder-COB.
There were also two issues at the last day of the consultation: Wider Ecumenical Vision and Inter-religious Relationship. On the given theme: “Ecumenical Vision of Mission in Asia-A critical review’’ led by Mr. Augustine Dipok Karmoker-Treasurer CCA, Rev: David A Das-Secretary NCCB, and Br. Giom-Taize Community Mymensingh which was chaired by Rev: Simon Biswas (Methodist Church).
The theme for second session was: “Inter-religious Relation-A critical analysis”. It was chaired by Rev: Hemen Halder and the main speaker on this given theme was Prof. Sukomol Borua- Pali & Buddhist Studies of Dhaka University and Chairman of Interfaith Harmony. After the presentation, the Panel Presenters from different countries on this crucial issue was Dr. Reinzie Perera from Sri Lanka, Rev Haui Than from Myanmar, Rev: David A Das from NCC Bangladesh, Rev: Dr. Praveen Prabhu from CSI India. This session was moderated by Dr M P Joseph.
And then there was closing ceremony. Everyone from different countries, churches and institution addressed, evaluated and given their own views for future aspiration.
After the closing ceremony, Rev: Martin Hira Mondal-COB and Br. Giom of Taize led the beautiful and meaningful closing worship. Everybody took oath with the candle light and closed with the blessing of Bishop Paul S Sarker (Moderator-COB) for future journey together in this endeavor.
Rev: John Probhudan Hira
Convener- Organizing Committee