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Condolence on the death of Bishop Taranath Sugar

Condolence from the General Secretary of the WCC on the death of Bishop Taranath Sugnanam Sagar, the Senior Bishop of the Methodist Church in India

22 October 2015

Dear Mrs Sagar and family, members of the Methodist Church in India, and National Council of Churches of India,

It is with great sadness that we have received the shocking news of the sudden death of Bishop Taranath Sugnanam Sagar, the Senior Bishop of the Methodist Church in India and current World Council of Churches central committee member.

Bishop Sagar was one of the prominent ecumenical leaders from India, who not only provided leadership to the Methodist Church in India, first as its general secretary and later as the presiding bishop of the Methodist Bishop Conference in India, but also to national and global ecumenical bodies. He was the President of National Council of Churches (NCCI) for two consecutive terms. He was also recently elected to the executive committee of the Christian Conference of Asia in its assembly in Indonesia in 2015. He was also the president of the Asian Methodist Bishops Conference. At the World Council of Churches, Bishop Sagar played a significant role in providing leadership particularly in the central committee, first being elected at the Porto Alegre Assembly in Brazil in 2006. He gave particular leadership as a strong member of the working group on governance, helping to revise the WCC constitution and rules.

On a personal note, I particularly remember his strong presence and the excellent hospitality he extended to me when I had the opportunity to participate in the 27th quadrennial assembly of NCCI in Bangalore in 2012. At that time, Bishop Sagar and the leadership of NCCI asked that I reflect on Romans 8:22-24. The words of that epistle written to the church in Rome speak now to us even at this difficult time, “For in hope, we are saved.”

Bishop Sagar was one of the church leaders who was strongly rooted at the local level and yet had a strong global presence which carried much influence. Not only churches in India and Asia but also Christians around the world will miss this dynamic ecumenical leader. On behalf of the global fellowship of the World Council of Churches, I offer my deepest condolence to the bereaved family of Bishop Sagar, the Methodist Church in India and to the NCCI for this great loss.

We seek God’s blessing upon his wife, Mrs Padma Sagar, daughter, Sharan, and son, Sunnadh that they may find comfort and strength to bear this profound loss.

We all grieve Bishop Sagar’s sudden passing; but, we do take comfort in the faith in the crucified and risen Christ. We remember Bishop Sagar as a friend and brother with great commitment to his tasks as a church leader and contributor to the one ecumenical movement. The WCC prays that his memory will inspire many and his legacy will continue.

 

Yours in the hope of Christ,

 

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit

General Secretary

World Council of Churches