Report 2019

ANNUAL MINISTRY REPORT 2019

Executive Summary

We, at the ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry (CDM), dedicate our endeavours and achievements as a humble offering to Srila Prabhupada and the Vaisnavas. As congregations in ISKCON grow, the CDM also needs to expand its scope and resources to manage the increasing needs of our expanding movement in this area of service.

The CDM, with its headquarters in Sridham Mayapur, coordinates its services to different yatras around the world. The Ministry develops programs and resources in the areas of outreach, cultivation and care. It also has established partnerships with other ministries and it is regularly supporting initiatives in the area of Children, Youth services and Prison preaching. The programs of Bhakti-vriksha; the Damodara Outreach and Nama-hatta are the most successful of all, reaching out and engaging thousands and up to millions of people. Due to the current advantage of easy access to technology and online communications, the CDM aims at establishing a stronger presence in social media outlets with the purpose of expanding its network, and increasing the distribution of resources and training.

Education and Training

            Training Courses

  • Gita for Everyone (Outreach and Training)
  • ISKCON Disciple Course
  • Bhakti Marriage
  • Vaisnava Life Counseling
  • Bhakti Vriksha Training

Publications

  • Sri Godruma Kalpatavi (Bengali)

            Children’s activity book series

  • “Becoming Your Devotee: Part 1. Learn – Bhakti – Fun”

Material to be released this year

  • Vaisnava Life Counseling Magazine

Over a dozen CDM publications available on Amazon in ebook format

Website/Email

          CDM correspondence    cdmofficeiskcon@gmail.com

CDM Homepage         iskconcongregation.com

New Damodara App     https://damodartracker.firebaseapp.com/

Prison Ministry          iskconprisonministry@gmail.com / www.iskconprisonministry.org

Partnership with JPS Archives

  • Support regarding video production.

Partnership with Mayapur TV

  • Weekly broadcast for congregational training.

Co-minister H. H. Jayapataka Swami

  • Regular meetings with CDM coordinators to promote congregational training and expansion of services: Emphasis on online training and furthering the congregational preachers network to facilitate training and support.
  • New developments for children resources (Activities’ new book and training course).
  • Receives quarterly reports from CDM management.
  • Regularly offers recognition (system of annual awards: medallions and certificates) to congregational preachers around the world.
  • Promotion of different Bhakti-vriksha models tailored for Eastern and Western audiences.
  • Supervision of CDM’s overall annual operation (financial, research, training and promotion) and innovation of congregational programs.
  • Direction on CDM’s presentations and involvement in 2020 ISKCON Leaders Sanga (ILS).
  • Personally visiting areas under his GBC-jurisdiction and supervising local congregational development.
  • Established Nama-hatta Media office in Mayapur for online promotion and expansion (in Bengali / eventually in English). This office will provide a census and information of the Nama-hatta development in West Bengal, Orissa and Bihar.

Co-minister Kaunteya das

  • Took the training The Digital Preacher (www.thedigitalpreacher.com), a “30-day Challenge” to learn effective presence and outreach in social media.
  • This Internet updating involved upgrading/acquiring his video-recording capabilities, writing and posting articles on social media, making interviews, etc.
  • Activated his Facebook profile, reaching 5000 friends (the maximum allowed)
  • Started the page “Community Building Secrets” in English
  • Started the page “Kaunteya das – Italia” in Italian

Kaunteya das visited and delivered workshops/seminars and/or lectures/programs in 10 countries over 4 continents:

  • Brazil: Campina Grande (accompanied by Latin American Devotees) and Vraja-dhama
  • Croatia: Zagreb
  • Hungary: New Vraja-dhama & Budapest
  • India: Mayapur, Pune (accompanied by European devotees) & Tirupati
  • Italy: Villa Vrindavana, Prabhupadadesh, Villaggio Hare Krsna, Rome, Nepi, Florence, Genoa, Turin, Piacenza, Bologna, Volterra & Ponsacco.
  • Kazakhstan: Almaty (accompanied by devotees from Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan)
  • Slovenia: Ljubljana
  • Switzerland: Zurich, Geneva, Saint Gallen&\’Langenthal
  • UAE: “Avatari Desh”
  • USA: New Vrindavana (accompanied by American and Canadian devotees), Washington DC, Irvine, Laguna Beach, San Diego, Sacramento, Folsom, Denver, Detroit, Farmington Hills, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Ypsilanti, Gainesville, Orlando, Alachua &DeLand

General Manager Seva Svarupa Das

  • Regular congregational training in Latin-America (Spanish language) in Monterrey, Mexico DF –CDM promotional presentations in USA (Alachua, Dallas, etc.)
  • Supervision of operations at the CDM central office / Sridham Mayapur
  • Fundraising and networking for CDM
  • Coordination of the Damodara Outreach Program worldwide
  • Presentations on congregational development in Sylhet (Bangladesh) and Middle East: Damodara Desh, Avatari Desh, Gauranga Desh, Damodara Desh and Syam Desh

ISKCON Prison Ministry (IPM)

  • The IPM distributed an average of over three thousands of Srila Prabhupada’s books, Back to Godhead magazines; dozens of CDs, Dvds, MP3s, japas and neck beads to inmates in prisons.

Iksvaku Das (Outreach Coordinator)

  • Training on the outreach program: “Gita for Everyone in Chennai, Penang (Malaysia), Delhi (Rohini temple and Punjabi Baugh), Dhaka (Bangladesh) and a weekly broadcast from Mayapur TV once a week.
  • Delivered “Conflict Resolution” and “Practical Application of the Gita” seminars in various centres of Northern Malaysia.
  • Presentations at Youth congregation in Radha Parthasarathi Temple (Delhi).
  • Delivery of “Vaisnava Life Counselling” course at the Uttara and central Dhaka temples, Bangladesh.   
  • Coordination of CDM Journal publication on Vaisnava Counseling.
  • Supervision of regular Youth-sanga in Mayapur.
  • This course aims at supporting healthy congregations in ISKCON, by equipping devotees in the practice of providing formal care and assistance to other devotees in our communities.
  • Congregational training in Perth, Australia.
  • Online (Youtube) presentations on Outreach (English and Spanish).
  • Supervision of CDM presence in social media; Facebook, web, Instagram, YouTube, etc.

Prema Padmini dd (Bhakti Vriksha Coach)

  • Leadership training for Bhakti Vriksha leaders in:
    • Toronto, Canada
    • Baltimore, USA
    • Surat
    • Africa- Ghana and Nigeria
    • Bihar- Haridaspur
    • Bihar – Sivan
    • For leaders from different states of India- at Udaipur Rajasthan
    • For Russian leaders both at their summer and winter festivals and ongoing -on line
    • Bengaluru: Ongoing training and empowering of different leaders of our Yatra
    • Chennai- 2 visits

Nityananda Ashraya Das (Bhakti Vriksha Coach – TP ISKCON Bahardurgarh)

Bahadurgarh, Haryana

  • 22 Bhakti Vriksha Opened in year 2019-20 which include:
  • 12 Bhakti Vriksha for Congregation
  • 4 Bhakti Vriksha for Youth Devotees
  • 2 Gopal Garden School Opened
  • 3 New places explored where regular weekly programs are conducted like Mundaka, Sampla and Jhajjar
  • 2 Leaders Class
  • 4 Retreats conducted at different locations for cultivating the above groups.
  • Regular weekly Harinaam on streets.
  • Prasadam Distribution to thousands of people everyday.
  • 1 Grand Rath Yatra and Boat Festival apart from regular festivals in temple.
  • 10000 Bhagavad Gita Distributed in year 2019-20

To generate more Bhakti Vriksha leaders for growing supportive Congregations in Temples, Several Training Programs are conducted in the following areas:

  • Mira Road, Mumbai
  • Jaipur, Rajasthan
  • Bhilwada, Rajasthan
  • Vapi, Gujrat
  • Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
  • Govindpuram, Uttar Pradesh
  • Najafgarh, Delhi
  • Gurugram, Haryana
  • Kathwada, Gujrat
  • Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh
  • Patna, Bihar
  • Mayapur (2 Times) Leaders from all around the world
  • Rohtak, Haryana
  • Panipat, Haryana

CDM General Operations

VideoProduction

  • Development of an increased online presence on our Youtube channel iskconcongregation
  • Participation of various senior Srila Prabhupada disciples to help us create high quality spiritual content on our channel.
  • To promote Srila Prabhupadas Marathon, we published 9 videos featuring senior devotees to emphasize book distribution.
  • To promote the Gita Mela month, we produced 4 videos featuring our educational outreach program “Gita for Everyone”.
  • We regularly prepare online courses and live videos under the topics of outreach, cultivation and care.
  • We have filmed over 50 videos glorifying numerous spiritual topics, 25 of which have been uploaded to our Youtube channel iskcon congregation.
  • Our videos are being promoted weekly on our website and Facebook pages. The links are sent to our subscribers and followers, reaching more than 4000 people through mass mail.
  • Due to our increased online exposure we have increased our sales and registrations to our ISKCON Disciple and Bhakti Marriage courses.

Powerpoint Creation and Facebook Uploads

  • Due to a more consistent upload schedule to our Facebook page, “ISKCON Congregation” the number of likes, followers and shares have increased, granting our page broader exposure.
  • New articles and images for the “Vaisnava Life Counselling” journal were collected and a new logo was created.
  • A PowerPoint for our new project “Maha-Mantra 108” was developed.
  • Facebook page “ISKCON CDM Youth Service” and our Instagram account “@iskcon.cdm” are enhanced.
  • The “Vaisnava Life Counseling” booklet was created to assist participants in the understanding of the topics presented in the course.
  • A guidelines-manual for our “Gita For Everyone” has been developed.

Webpage Development

  • Posting of regular articles promoting CDM programs, and resources.
  • Mass mailing to 4500 subscribers pertaining to CDM courses, events, and books.
  • CDM webpage Traffic = 13011, Webpage sales = $862.

Communications

  • Production of a quarterly newsletter for the “Vaisnava Life Counseling” (VLC) course.
  •  An monthly e-newsletter is sent to our database (over 4000 active devotees). This coincides with ISKCON festivals and celebrations, which correlate with certain CDM programs, courses and materials.
  • We send an exclusive monthly “thank -you” letter to our subscribers.
  • A yearly schedule for 2020 has been created to facilitate the coordination of various services conducted by the CDM (video production, social media, sales and promotions).

Children Services Department (Gourangi Gandharvika dd.)

  • Creation of a Facebook page “ISKCON Congregation – Children Services”; Instagram page “iskcon_children_cdm”, and website to promote these services to the congregation.

Social Media

  • There are 5 Facebook pages dedicated to CDM:
  • ISKCON Congregation page {English} – 15,292 followers
  • ISKCON CDM Youth Service– 1406 followers
  • ISKCON Congregation Children’s Services- 588 followers
  • Congregacion ISKCON {Spanish}- 633 followers
  • Bhakti Vriksha Sudamerica {Spanish}
  • One live video weekly – through Mayapur TV. {Gita for Everyone – By Iksvaku Prabhu}
  • Covering various areas related to practice and preaching for congregations.

Programs and Seminars

Damodara:

Damodara Outreach Program 2019{DOP}

  • A total of 3’910,832 lamps were reportedly offered to Lord Damodara worldwide. 
  • 24 Countries with 162 cities participated.
  • 212 Yatras sent their scores
  • 145  Leaders / Coordinators participated in DOP

ISKCON Leadership Sanga (ILS) 2020

The CDM was invited to participate in this year’s ILS, with the following seminars:

  • Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Congregational Model of Expansion – Nama-hatta; the Multi-Level Marketing of the Holy Name. (Presenter: HH Jayapataka Swami)
  • Vaisnava Life Counseling – A Practical Framework of Support for ISKCON individuals and congregations (Iksvaku dasa)
  • Growing supportive Temple Congregations through Bhakti Vrikshas (Nityananda Asraya Pr. TP of Bahadurgarh, Haryana).
  • Next Generation Council – Developing an International Culture of Empowerment for ISKCON Youth (Presenter: Deva Madhava Prabhu –ISKCON Ypsilanti [Michigan, USA] Director and Youth leader)

The CDM will have a booth (4 stalls) displaying our programs, courses and resources. Participants to our presentations will receive a pack with our brochures and handouts on the given topics.

CDM Bhakti Steps Program

                        Completed initiatives for 2019:

  • Vision and mission statement.
  • Applications Standardized and ready for download in CDM Website
  • Sample Certificates shared to Philippines, Malaysia & Andhra Pradesh
  • Online Database under testing phase to arrive at region wise statistics
  • Certificate Distribution took place in Croydon London, Damodaradesh & Shyamadesh

Initiatives for 2020 and beyond:

  • To launch in Balramadesh; Mathuradesh; Gaurangadesh
  • Follow-up and further implement in Shyamadesh & Damodaradesh
  • Translation of Bhakti Step Applications & Sample Certificates in other languages
  • Testing accuracy of CDM Database Reports
  • Promotion Materials viz, Badges, Postures, Models, Flyers etc.

CDM Gaura Purnima Seminars

  • 7 seminars given by various speakers during Gaura Purnima festival; 28th February-20th March 2019.

Tribal Preaching program

  • An initiative led by HH Bhakti Purusottama Swami that focuses on the emotional, educational and health needs of tribal people located in Northeast and East Indian States.

Bhakti Vriksha program

  • CDM is actively working in providing the training of leaders and making resources (in various languages) widely available to increase the number of devotees and the congregational support to local and international projects within our movement.

CDM Youth program

  • Producing a youth manual and a regular newsletter promoting Youth services.
  • Developing resources (Manual, PowerPoint Presentations, etc.) and training workshops to encourage the creation of youth programs for a worldwide audience of ISKCON leaders and youth.

Nama-hatta preaching program

  • Nama-hatta has reached out to over 15’000,000 people in their last 30 years of preaching. These numbers include people who have attended classes, kirtans, bhajans, dramas, honoring prasada, chanting and purchased books.
  • Currently there are 98,332 total Nama-hatta devotees, 24,583 Sradha Kuthir (devotional homes), 3,446 Nama-hatta Sangha (groups) and 103,996 books distributed (year 2019).
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