Wednesday, December 7, 2022

2-day NBCC sesquicentennial celebration concludes


Curtains came down on the two-day sesquicentennial celebration (150 years of Christianity) organised by Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) Sunday evening. Several thousand people, including delegates from within and outside India, attended the two-day celebrations.
At the concluding session, the congregation adopted a 10-point resolution, passed by way of raising of hands. The resolution was read out by Sesquicentennial celebration and resolution committee convener Rev Rümatho Nyusou.
Earlier, during the morning devotional service, Baptist World Alliance (BWA) general secretary Rev Dr Elijah Brown addressed the congregation on the theme “His Story: Transforming Communities.”
Terming the celebration to commemorate 150 years anniversary of Christianity in Naga soil as historic, he said Naga Baptists had been a vibrant part of the world family whose testimonials and legacy of faithfulness had impacted many. Calling upon the Naga Baptists to raise generations of missionaries, he also urged the gathering to seek community transformation that was based on reconciliation.
“We are to live as reconciled reconcilers who do not hold only to tribal identity in comfortable preferences… Our love in Jesus should be lived out in a way that blesses every member of our community especially those who are suffering,” he said.
In her message “His Story: Our Hope and Our Future”, Oriental Theological College professor emeritus Alongla P Aier reminded the gathering that it was because of “His story”, the people were brought together irrespective of tribes, caste and colour. She prayed that the blessings of the celebrations would go down for many more years. “He has united us all Nagas that cannot be broken,” she asserted.
Stressing that story telling was one of the most powerful means to influence, teach and inspire, she said 150 years ago “our forefathers and mothers heard God’s story, the greatest story of all times”, to which they responded, for which they did not remain the same as their lives and destiny were changed forever.
She recalled that the first nine Nagas who became the first followers of Jesus Christ had left their village Deka Haimong led by an Assamese evangelist Godhula Brown and his wife Lucy, after the couple had arrived at Sivasagar in Assam. There, the nine Nagas were taken to Dikhu river and baptised by Dr EW Clark on November 11, 1872, she added.
Later, as they gathered around the communion table to partake their first communion, she recalled how the nine men cried out of great joy and said “Ajak tesangwa dang lir” in Ao dialect, meaning Everything is just light.
Alongla remarked that it was appropriate that Nagas celebrated 150 years of Christianity to join these nine men in their spirit and cry out in worship and thank God for shining His light in their land.
She urged the gathering not to forget that it was God’s story that had brought all of them together to this celebration. “This story has forged connection and united us Nagas from so many tribes and communities in a common bond that cannot be broken,” she asserted.
She called upon Nagas to usher in the light of Christ to their work places, homes, markets, political arenas and the church. “If we want to survive as people of God and as a nation that honours God and glorifies Him, we must become the light right from our homes,” she emphasised.
In his message, Church of Christ, Thailand associate general secretary Rev Prawate Kid-arn congratulated NBCC for celebrating 150 years of Christianity in Naga soil and acknowledged it for continuing to send missionaries across the world, including Thailand, to spread the Gospel.
He advocated putting the Gospel at the centre of the mission to make the world God’s own for peace.
He said he was delighted to celebrate the occasion and learn about the mission and vision of the church in Nagaland in the past 150 years, adding he was reminded of God’s guidance, faithfulness and continuing presence.
Planning committee co-chairman Rev Dr Rachulie Vihienuo delivered the words of appreciation. He thanked all committee members, churches, participants and delegates from across Nagaland, outside and from the overseas
On the occasion, volunteers held flags of different associations under NBCC as the Symphony Academy of Music led the closing act with the song “How Great Thou Art”.
Former NBCC general secretary Rev Dr Phuveyi Dozo led the congregation in the “commitment prayer” for NBCC officials and executive secretaries of all the associations.
Sumi Baptist Akukuhou Küqhakulu led the prelude of praise, welcome and call to worship was proposed by NBCC vice-president Dr A Niholi Sema. Presentations by Sesquicentennial Celebration Choir, Nagaland Police Choir, while Jesse K Yeptho secretary department of Christian education WSBAK and president Kohima Baptist Women’s union Thingpio N. Lam read the scriptures.

Must Read