ISKCON Congregational Development  Ministry

ANNUAL MINISTRY REPORT 2015

Achievements

Education and Training

Seminars and Activities

Gaura Purnima Seminars 2015

(Delivered in Sridhama Mayapur)

by Advaitachandra prabhu and Kalasuddha d.d.

  • Why Only Indians? Universal principles of community building applied in Texas with multi-racial audiences
  • Outreach Workshop: The Cultivation Ladder for nurturing Westerners & Indians alike

by Manorama das (ISKCON Youth Minister) and Mukunda Rico (Alachua - Youth)

  • Young and Willing? Principles and Tools of Youth Engagement in Krsna Consciousness

by Mahatma das (ACBSP)

  • Sacred Union: The Art of Relationships by Sri Radhe d.d.

by Sri Radha Govinda Dasi

  • Pre.Ma. The Pre-marital program for building successful relationships

Activities by the Ministers on Training, Supervision and Research

Activities by Co-Minister H.H. Jatapataka Swami

  • Annual strategic-planning meeting with CDM central office and managers to promote congregational training
  • Regular Bi-monthly meetings with all CDM staff
  • Providing direction and support towards partnership with ISKCON Youth ministry
  • Developed a new Award & Recognition (medallions) system for congregational preachers around the world.
  • Initiated a research on Children’s programs amongst successful congregations, aiming at producing a generic model to encourage more participation of ISKCON congregations and support Krsna Consciousness engagement for children.
  • Further research and development on different Bhakti Vriksha models.
  • Providing direction in implementing innovative approaches to congregational outreach.
  • Supervision of CDM’s overall annual operation (financial, research, training and promotion).
  • Direction on CDM’s presentations and involvement in 2016 ISKCON Leaders Sanga (ILS).
  • Yearly review of Congregational programs, resources and branding of CDM.
  • Personally visiting areas under his GBC-jurisdiction and supervising local congregational activities
  • Holding Nama hatta planning sessions for expansion and leadership training in Sridhama Mayapur.

Activities by the Co-minister Kaunteya das

  • Designed and delivered (through videos) a seven-lesson online course entitled “Community Development”
  • Delivered a four-day course at the ISKCON LEADS program in ISKCON Tirupati; to about thirty Indian leaders and potential leaders from various parts of the country.
  • Besides offering individual consultations, he gave formal presentations on congregational development in:
  • Rome, Italy
  • Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha Temple, Chowpatty, Mumbai
  • ISKCON Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi

Activities by Seva Svarupa Das (General Manager) and Iksvaku Das (Outreach Coordinator)

  • Overall supervision and coordination of CDM’s central office in Mayapur
  • Networking with leaders worldwide for promoting support regarding Congregational Development
  • Recruiting and training new staff in the different areas of the ministry’s operation
  • Fundraising for the Ministry’s overhead expenses
  • Production, publication and distribution of CDM’s Journal
  • Supervision of CDM’s publications printing (English and Bengali)
  • Promotion of CDM’s initiatives through social media (web, facebook, youtube, etc)
  • Initiating a series of CDM videos production
  • Coordinating CDM’s participation in 2016 ILS in partnership with GBC SPN’s Outreach Committee
  • Coordination and support of upcoming courses on Premarital training and Vaisnava Life counseling
  • Presentations in temples/centers for implementation of Congregational outreach program (Gita Program, etc).
  • In India
  • Chennai
  • Narasaraopet
  • Tirupati
  • Guntur
  • Rajahmundry
  • Skudai
  • Sri Rangam
  • Thurayur
  • Vijayawada
  • Southeast Asia
  • Bangkok (Thailand)
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia

Activities by Bhakti-vriksha Senior Coaches (Vijay Venugopal das and Prema Padmini devi dasi)

  • Festival of Bhakti-vriksa in Nizny novograd and Ekaterinburg, Russia.
  • Conducted leadership training seminars and workshops for taking leaders to the next level of care, devotee development, preaching and planning.
  • Russia (January 2016) Winter festivals of Bhakti-vriksha in Omsk: attended by devotees from all over Russia. Seminars on building strong Vaishnava communities through the Bhakti-vriksha program and training for different levels of leaders.
  • Moscow meeting with devotees spread all over Moscow for strengthening, and expanding the community.
  • Doha, Qatar- July 2015. Seminars on implementing the higher levels of the Bhakti-vriksha system to achieve a big target by 2016 for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada.
  • Guruvayoor, Kerala, July 2015 Leadership seminar to north Kerala leaders. Plans for taking the Bhakti-vriksha preaching to higher levels and strategic planning, and cooperation among the leaders.

London, UK:

  • Leadership training seminars and workshops for sectors in different parts of the city. Topics covered were on deeper levels of sadhana, study, devotee, care, counseling, preaching, delegation, planning and cooperation.
  • Attended UK Bhakti-vriksha convention organized at Birmingham where GBCS, Temple presidents and sannyasi also attended. Presented a seminar on Bhakti-vriksha- its contribution to the Temple and the community.

Bangladesh:

  • Went on a spiritual tour with around 150 devotees from Oman to major cities and holy places of Bangladesh to give association.

Aravade,  Maharashtra:

  • Delivered leadership seminars to all the Bhakti-vriksha and Nama Hatta leaders in Aravade and adjoining places on topics like Caring for devotees, improving devotees’ sadhana, practical application of Krsna conscious principles in devotees’ lives, mood of Bhakti-vriksha, counseling, preaching, planning, delegating and cooperating.

Oman:

  • During their National holidays, for 4 full days, we had workshops for 300 leaders on developing leadership qualities, caring for devotees, Communication skills, training devotees in good sadhana, reading and practical application of Krsna Conscious principles, developing the right mood, preaching, counseling, delegating and community development.

Bangalore:

  • Ongoing seminars at SNGM Temple Congregational leaders on brink going Bhakti-vriksha to a higher level of performance as well as skills required to achieve this.  Topics ranged from Bhakti-vriksha_ Best practices to increasing their enthusiasm levels and cooperative spirit through workshops on improving Sadhana study and practical application of Krsna Consciousness, Counseling etc.

List of seminars on Skype 3 conducted for different places:

  • Ongoing weekly seminars on training of BV leaders, developing Outreach programs and Strategic planning to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia leaders.
  • Ongoing weekly seminars for Bhakti-vriksha leaders in Guru a on for cultivating new leaders.
  • Questions and answers on Skype as a follow up to the Doha devotees after conducting seminars for them at their Yatra on Leadership training and Community development.

Activities of Sri Radha Govinda Dasi

  • Development of the Bhakti Marriage Course
  • Research on the current situation of marriages both in India and connected to different leaders around the world and got their inputs on the challenges about pre-marital training etc through interviews.
  • Research and survey on current situation of marriages and assessment of the need for pre-marital training. 
  • Research on the causes of divorces, ways in which affect communities and how to prevent them.

Activities by Bhakti-vriksha Coaches (Advaitachandra Das and Kalasudha Devi Dasi)

  • Weekend Congregation Development Workshop in Singapore - February 2015.
  • Developed 32 Edifications for Beginners and compiled it in a book and a cd format.
  • Developed and conducted Bhakti Yoga Workshops in three levels over three weekends. 
  • First Level - Discover Bhakti Yoga
  • Second Level - Realize Bhakti Yoga
  • Third Level - Experience Bhakti Yoga
  • Conducted the Bhakti Yoga Workshops in Houston 
  • Conducted the Bhakti Yoga Workshops in Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.
  • Developed and conduct “Bhakti 101” - a workshop that imparts practical Krsna Consciousness like how to and significance of wearing Tilaka, dhoti, saree, These workshops are conducted at the temple twice a month on Sundays.
  • Scheduled for a Congregation Development Weekend Workshop at Dallas, ISKCON Silicon Valley (San Jose) and Philadelphia in early 2016.
  • Started 3 new Bhakti-vriksha programs in Houston - one for Indians in the Gujarati language, and two more as multiplications of existing groups. Now there are a total of 17 Bhakti-vriksha programs in Houston -out of which, 3 are for non Indians - (2 English and 1 Spanish)

Activities of Damodara Dhananjaya Das (Congregational Educator Facilitator)

  • Guided the Nama-hatta department of ISKCON Vrindavan for conducting Bhakta training program such as Bhakti-vriksha and Nama-hatta, in developing congregational management methods as in the Bhakti-vriksha Manual, conducting children programs and in implementing various outreach tools to generate more fertile contacts.
  • Trained devotees to conduct Children Programs in and around Vrindavan.
  • Delivered various training sessions to the preachers at Meerut (UP) and Jalandhar (Punjab) (on an average 30-40 in each) and created a structure for easy management of their groups.
  • Scheduled to provide training program in Pune for promoting Bhakti-vriksha preaching for elders and children.

Activities by Aravinda Krsna Das (UK)

  • Delivered seminars/workshops on various aspects of KC, Japa Marathon and Vyuha program – Every 2 to 3 months there will be around 25 seminars/workshops, 20 Japa Marathons & 4 Vyuha programs
  • Provide on a weekly basis many hours of counseling & training sessions for leaders and committed members to help them being fixed in their services and preaching. These training covered the topics of devotee care, training and creating leaders.
  • As of now an estimate of 400 devotees were generated through BV in UK (this doesn’t include the other branches of new BV devotees generated in all other yatras outside UK started by BV UK devotees who left UK)

Programs & Partnership

Tribal Preaching

“ISKCON Tribal Care Initiative” is an initiative of the International society for Krsna Consciousness (ISKCON) to care for the tribal people in India. At this initial stage the initiative will focus on Northeast and East India states.

ISKCON Tribal Care will extend care in five different areas:

  • Spiritual care
  • Emotional care
  • Educational care
  • Healthcare
  • Social care

Bhakti-vrikshas

The CDM is closely working with its network of Bhakti-vriksha leaders to develop further the benefit that BV is providing to ISKCON. Not only the number of devotees and the grooming of new leaders and preachers, but also the congregational support to local and international projects are some of the many benefits of this program. Since 2014, a working committee was created to promote the streamlining of methods and practices of BV around the world.

Currently different leaders are delivering training and developing new material or reviewing existing ones for increasing the efficiency of the outreach through BV. The Ministry is actively working on increasing the training of more leaders and making the availability of resources more wide to ISKCON devotees. Translating several of these resources into other major languages is also a priority for our central office.

CDM Youth Service

  • The CDM office increased its staff with more youth from ISKCON Mayapur to assist in the promotion of Youth Engagement in ISKCON.
  • Promoted youth awareness through Youth Newsletter and social media
  • Created promotional videos to encourage youth engagement
  • Created an international Youth Network with over 20 youth leaders and groups from around the world.
  • Furthering the research for creating a standard Youth Program Package (Manual, Power Point Presentations, etc.)
  • Partnered with ISKCON Youth Ministry to organize the first Youth Leadership Sanga (YLS) in Mayapur in February 2016
  • Supported ISKCON Youth Ministry with their presentation for ILS 2016

Damodara Program

  • The CDM central office promoted the celebration of Damodara by encouraging teams of devotees to go home-to-home implementing the program in their localities. We used our social media outlets, mass mails to offer devotee the “Damodara Kit” with all the materials required.
  • Production of a new promotional video for Kartik 2015
  • Collected reports from every continent regarding the celebration of Damodara in the fashion of outreach *Note: By the regular reports received on this program, it is evident that the implementation of the Damodara program has aided ISKCON temples and congregations in their Outreach. It is reported that the Yatras in the Middle East significantly increase their numbers of contacts during the month of Kartika. The Malaysian devotees have made this event practically the equivalent of Christmas celebrations in many Western countries reaching out to over a hundred thousand people.

Purusottama Month

  • The CDM Promoted the Purusottama month during which we encouraged devotees to increase their devotional service based on Srila Prabhupada’s standard program. Devotees around the world responded positively reaching out amongst their congregations in the same mode as with the Damodara month. The Ministry also produced a promotional material explaining the history of the given auspicious month and the way to celebrate it.

Nama-Hatta

  • Nama-hatta has reached out to 15,951,000 people. These people have been attending classes, kirtans, bhajans, dramas, honoring prasada, chanting and some are even buying books.
  • 6,200 devotees took training courses in Bhakti Steps (Siksa levels).

ISKCON Prison Ministry (IPM)

iskconprisonministry@gmail.com
 352-575-0458
 www.iskconprisonministry.org

This year the IPM has increased its distribution of Srila Prabhupada’s books and devotional paraphernalia to prison inmates, totaling a number of 5,461 books and Back to Godhead magazines.

It also obtained sponsoring of books from the Los Angeles temple (sponsored thirty-eight Srimad-Bhagavatam sets), and the Silicon Valley temple (sponsored eleven Caitanya-caritamrita sets) for prison libraries.

  • Prabhupada’s Books total: 3,375
  • Books by other devotee authors: 212
  • Tapes: 16
  • CDs: 564
  • DVDs: 31
  • MP3s: 30
  • Japa Mala Sets: 198
  • Neck Beads: 228
  • Incense packs: 30

GRAND TOTAL of all Books and BTGs in 2016: 5,461

Publications

  • Free to Preach (Re-print)
  • The Book of Icebreakers (2nd Enlarged Edition)
  • Bhakti-vriksha Modules (Hindi)
  • Bhakti-vriksha Modules (Bengali)

CDM books for Kindle on Amazon.com

  • The Sector Leader
  • Free to Preach
  • The Bhakti-vriksha Leader
  • The Third Partner (English / Spanish)
  • The Bhakti-vriksha Manual second edition
  • Sri Godruma Kalpatavi
  • The Nectar of Congregational Preaching
  • A Vaishnava in Every Neighborhood
  • Counselling in Bhakti-vriksha

Materials in progress

  • Reprint The Bhakti-vriksha Manual 2nd edition in Bengali
  • Newsletters (Family and Youth Focus)
  • Generic Fund Raising Brochure
  • Online Bhakti-vriksha servant leader course with online certification
  • Home program manual and videos
  • Vaisnava Life Counseling training course: To support the sustainability of healthy congregations in ISKCON, the Congregational Development Ministry (CDM) is developing a training course to equip devotees in providing formal support to other devotees in our communities. The course, named “Vaisnava Life Counseling” offers practical tools aiming at our ISKCON society being better assisted in the growth and care of its members. This seminar promotes the implementation of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and generic principles of support and counselling. An explanation of its scope and purpose will be presented during the next ISKCON Leaders Sanga (ILS) in February 2016 in Sridhama Mayapur.
  • Bhakti Marriages online course: Creatively crafted courses to train and equip devotees towards their journey of marriage. There are three levels for this course:
  • 1.”On the Shore” – for individuals helping them choose the right mate,
  • 2. “Setting Sails” – for engaged couples,
  • 3. “Sailing on the same ship”- Marital training for couples to grow and progress together.
  • The pre-marital and Marital training programs engage unmarried and married devotees to learn, explore and discover more about themselves, their priorities, expectations about married life and imbibe the values that Srila Prabhupada gave to make a successful journey in their marriage.

Upcoming Materials

  • Children programs manual
  • Family development (Series of journals and guidelines for grihasthas)
  • Communication skills and conflict resolution Booklet
  • Parenting
  • Youth engagement manual
  • Congregational Assessment
  • Principles of Counseling
  • Congregational Care
  • Culture of Outreach

Website/E-mail

Website

The website has been upgraded and articles are being posted on daily basis. www.iskconcongregation.com

Youtube channel

We have 150 videos with a total of 18, 224 views.

Facebook pages

We have 4 facebooks pages: ISKCON Congregation, Congregational Development Ministry, Iskcon Bhakti-vriksha and CDM Youth Service.

At present, we have a total of 20,110 likes and an average of 1500 people views on our posts on regular basis.

Communication (Email: cdmofficeiskcon@gmail.com)

  • Maintain correspondence with temple authorities and active preachers to create an awareness of our resources in an attempt to support their efforts.
  • Facilitates a communication channel between the temples and preaching centers around the world to share successful experiences and application of our resources.
  • Collecting congregational-preaching scores from temples and congregations to ascertain trends in congregational development in ISKCON and to acknowledge outstanding achievements.
  • Requesting nominations from GBC members for devotees who have made an exceptional contribution to Congregational development.
  • Sending out our e-newsletters on regular basis to keep devotees updated on the activities taking place at the Ministry and on the congregational activities occurring around the world.
  • Management of database nearing 7000 contacts

Communications

We are receiving receive information of the ongoing activities from 27 different countries and are in regular contact with 72 people who are involved with congregational preaching.

However, not all the temples are responding respond to our repeated requests for information about their programs nor let us let us know how we can support them.

In order to meet the needs of our society, it is important for us to receive information about the progress of congregational development in each area. In many temples there is nobody responsible for congregational development and it is not considered a priority.

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