Thanks to Marshall Fernando and the Ecumenical Institute, for study and dialogue, which he leads the manner in which he collected Bishop Lakshman Wickremasinghe’s papers and published them in 2009, this book contains speeches by the Methodist Minister and the Prophet of our times, the Rev. Somasiri Kumaradas Perera.
Marshall Fernando has dedicated his work in memory of Ruvinie Srimalika Perera, the life partner of the subject of this book who sadly left us during Holy Week 2011.
Marshall Fernando has done the introduction in which he states the ethos and the context of the book. Colombo’s recently resigned Anglican Bishop Duleep de Chickera has written the foreword. Bishop Duleep, in his piece refers to the subject of this book, his ministry, the man and the text and he focuses on inter religious dialogue, peace and justice and the Church of tomorrow and the conclusion with a personal word of gratitude to his principal when he had his ordination formation at the Ecumenical Seminary in Pilimatalawa.
The book contains speeches made by the Rev. Perera on inter-faith relations, the Church and its mission, education and development, human rights and social justice. The last chapter contains the Rev. Perera’s address at the Christian Conference of Asia Assembly and a brief biography.
The book has been published at a very timely hour in the history of the Church in Sri Lanka for the Church needs to remind itself of the need to work with all faiths, no faiths and ideologies. In addition, the Church needs to revisit its concept of mission and therefore its role in education and development and certainly human rights and social justice.
The biographical note is very significant for in Asia whose who is important to read one or listen to one. The Rev. Perera’s CCA address is important because at a critical point in the history of the CCA with that body divided soon after the 1985 Assembly in Seoul, the Rev. Perera was invited to be ‘the third umpire’ which role he played remarkably well. This book is necessary reading for every Sri Lankan disciple of Christ since the Rev. Perera in the line of Prophets of the Church has to ‘be read, marked and inwardly digested’.