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CHRISTIAN EMPHASIS PROGRAMME

PARIS BASIS

"THE YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION SEEKS TO UNITE THOSE YOUNG MEN WHO REGARD JESUS CHRIST AS THEIR GOD AND SAVIOUR ACCORDING TO THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, DESIRE TO BE HIS DISCIPLES IN THEIR DOCTRINE, IN THEIR LIFE, AND TO ASSOCIATE THEIR EFFORTS FOR THE EXTESION OF HIS KINGDOM AMONGST YOUNG MEN".

The Paris Basis being the basis of the movement, YMCA religious activities have been the main thrust of the association through its Christian Emphasis programmes and activities such as World Week of Prayer, Easter Pageant "The Mighty Acts of God", Weekly Devotions, Conventions, Conferences, Prayer Breakfast Meetings, Interfaith dialogues, Seminars, Symposiums and Christmas and Easter celebrations.

Before Independence, programmes like World Week of Prayer & World Fellowship and regular devotional meetings, mainly due to the type of membership we had, were the regular religious activities at the old hostel. Protestants, Roman Catholics and people from other faiths regularly joined in the weekly devotional meetings, with singing of hymns, confessions, prayer and listening to the devotional talks led by residents or special speakers such as Dr Stanley Jones, Dr Forestor Paton, Dr Jesu Dasan, Dr Lucas, Dr Wildar ,Lt. Col. Weller etc.

After Independence, the supreme importance of the religious emphasis was more visible as programmes were well planned and organized in a much bigger way. In November 1948 on the first day of World Week of Prayer which was held at the Free Church, the prayer meeting was led by none other than Rajkumari Amrit Kaur. The message was broadcasted by All India Radio. Besides, as a follow-up of the devotional meetings conducted by Dr E Stanley Jones, a group met on weekly basis to discuss Dr Jones' book "Abundant Life" in December 1948.

The devotional lectures on the theme the 'Influence of Jesus' were delivered by Dr Melville T Kennedy. Dr Sherwood Edy, well-known international speaker / evangelist and writer, delivered a series of lectures on the life of Jesus in March 1948.

By 1949-50 due to its religious emphasis programmes, New Delhi YMCA became the city's center for religious activities through its fellowship meetings, annual week of prayer, a monthly service of singing which was held after dinner on the last Sunday of every month. The weekly prayer meetings for the staff were well attended by people from all faiths. An active members' conference was held at the Quaker Centre in October for a lively discussion on the religious objectives of the Association.

DELHI CHORAL SOCIETY

In the early 50s, Delhi Choral Society was formed by the New Delhi YMCA which was responsible for Christmas Carol service during the Christmas season. The popular cantata "The Crucifixion" by Sir John Stainer, was sung by the Delhi Choral Society on Mondays and Thursdays during lent period.

In 1957 the YMCA carol singing organized by Dr O T J Zacharias was broadcasted by All India Radio on 26 and 31 December. In the same year 18 religious films were screened at the New Delhi YMCA, Mehrauli Church and at the St. Stephen's Church. After that, religious films were screened every month at the YMCA.

The YMCA choral group also visited the Prime Minister, Pt. Nehru's house for carol singing and to raise funds for Jhugistan Community work. The Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and Mrs Indira Gandhi made a valuable contribution towards YMCAs Jhugistan Community Work at Lodi Road.

EASTER PAGEANT

In 1965, an unique programme was created by the New Delhi YMCA with the help of Caravs staging the life and teachings of Lord Jesus Christ. The Easter Pageant "The Mighty Acts of God" an impressive spectacle of lights, sound and action produced with the help of tapes of texts and excerpts on the life of Jesus, colour slides and special locations on roof tops, spiral staircase, balconies, terrace, lily-pond of the Tourist Hostel. The pageant was enacted by both Christians and people from other faiths. The narration of the pageant was done by the late Mr Melville De Mellow, Mr Prakash Meer Chandani and Mr Gill Galloway. Script was written by Mr Prem E Paul and Mr N R Macwan, YMCA Secretaries. The Pageant "The Mighty Acts of God" a 90 minute presentation includes the story of the creation of the universe, the birth, the crucifixion and ascension of Christ. It is staged annually during the Passion Week.

FESTIVAL OF CHOIRS

The annual feature and ever popular festival of choirs is the most sought after event during the Christmas season. The programme introduced in 1971, comprises a variety of traditional and contemporary carols. Mrs Indira Gandhi, Mr Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, Mr Sanjeeva Reddy and Mr B D Jatti are some eminent people who have witnessed the Annual Saga of carol singing and scintillating Christian music presented by leading Delhi choirs representing Christian institutions and churches.

ECUMENICAL CHILDREN'S CONFERENCE

The Ecumenical Children's Conference aims to create an awareness of the wonderful teachings in The Holy Bible to children belonging to a cross section of the society in the city. The mission of ECC was to reach mainly the underprivileged children who haven't even seen or touched The Bible The first year of ECC was intnessed by 1500 children attending the Conference. The ECC is a unique Conference design with Child Delegates and has a value-added 5-day curriculum including environment and civic awareness, recreational and cultural inputs.

Today, the religious emphasis of the Association is projected through programmes such as Festival of Choirs, Christmas Concert, Christmas Tree Party, Easter Pageant, Ecumenical Children's Conference, Prayer Breakfast Meetings, Weekly Prayer Meetings, Conventions, Conferences, Inter-Faith Dialogues and World Week of Prayer.

New Delhi YMCA
Jai Singh Road, New Delhi- 110 001
http://www.newdelhiymca.in | Email : ymcand@del3.vsnl.net.in
Phone : 23343379, 23361915 ext 145 | Fax : 23746035/32

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