capacity building programme of JEL Church, India

Capacity building programme of JEL Church, India


Organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC), Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the United Evangelical Lutheran Church in India, the event aimed to build capacity and orient pastors as well as lay leaders of the Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church on ecumenism and the ecumenical movement. Speakers worked to empower congregation members on contemporary socio-economic and political realities and to create awareness around issues of the sustainable development goals, with special emphasis on water and sanitation from the point of view of protecting human rights.

Dinesh Suna, coordinator of the WCC Ecumenical Water Network addressed the WASH challenges of the world with special reference to the Koraput region.  Recognizing the fact that many churches of JELC do not have the infrastructure to support WASH facilities, “it is high time that the churches of JELC should give priority to this basic need of the congregations to have WASH facilities within the church premises for their dignity and wellbeing”, said Suna. He further added, “I am delighted  to be instrumental in organizing a full-fledged WCC event, for the first time and this partnership with JELC will continue in the future.”

Pastors in particular received training on how contextual theology can help raise awareness on water, sanitation, and hygiene. The newly elected bishop of JELC, Rt. Rev. Bidhan Kumar Nayak spoke about the significance of future partnerships with WCC. As the host of the capacity-building event, he stated, “We are grateful to WCC for their effort in empowering our pastors and congregation members in areas of ecumenism and WASH-related issues.”

A special focus, observed in conjunction with Thursdays in Black, was also on promoting gender justice and womens empowerment and denouncing violence against women. Rev. Nicole Ashwood, program executive of WCC, urged the JELC to observe “Thursdays in Black” across the church. She reminded the participants of the increasing sexual violence against women in India and expressed grave concern about addressing gender-based violence and the need for safe spaces for women at JELC.


Evangelical Lutheran Church (JELC)