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Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. Proverbs 27.1

St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Ghaziabad

St. thomas O.C., GZB

The parish has 157 subscribing members and around 450 people attend the Holy Qurbana regularly. Holy Eucharist is celebrated on all Sundays and other Feast days at the church and on last Friday of every month at Indirapuram, St. Thomas Chapel. Intercessory prayers are held on every Friday. Sunday school has strength of around 108 students and various other spiritual organizations such as MGOCSM (30), Youth Movement (45), Martha Mariam Samajam (35) and Diaspora (15) are functioning effectively. There are 6 prayer groups and they meet every week in different areas. The parish runs two CBSE affiliated schools, St. Thomas School, Sahibabad Nursery to Class 10th comprising of 1517 students & 88 staff members and St. Thomas School, Indirapuram Nursery to Class 12th comprising of 2753 students & 170 staff members. Both the schools are striving ahead in providing quality education. The year was notable on many fronts. The foundation stone for the third school of the Church and its society was laid at IndraprasthaYojna, Loni Road, Ghaziabad on 21st February 2015 by the Diocesan Metropolitan. As a part of the humanitarian endeavors of the Church St. Thomas Clinic was inaugurated by H.G. Dr. Abraham Mar Seraphim on the perunal day. A NCR Eastern Region Lenten Convention was organised for the first time at the St. Thomas School Indirapuram. The Church also hosted the 5thDr.Paulose Mar Gregorios Ever Rolling Elocution Competition, Sunday School Diocesan Level Cultural Competition, and the MGOCSM LOGOS 2015 three day conference. The year also witnessed the Pearl jubilee of St. Thomas School, Sahibabad. Hope School-Free School an endeavor to provide free education to the underprivileged and the marginalised children was conceptualised in this year and has gained reputation already. The church has taken up different charity activities, such as ‘Annadanam’ for rickshaw pullers and migrant labourers, build houses for needy Orthodox Church members under Mar Philoxenos housing project and Catholicate centenary housing project, and adoption of Kaushalia Village. The church provides various financial aids to different parishes and Shantigram mission project. The parish also assisted in many scholarships, fees concessions for economically weaker and Minority students, blanket distribution for the poor, marriage assistance for the needy. Financial help for construction of Churches and other Social Centres, Seminaries, Prerna School for Differently abled, Nagpur and Aanchal School.

Vicar
Rev. Fr. SajiYohannan N.J.
SA- 1, Sophia Aptts.
Abhaykhand-IV, Indirapuram
UP-201014
9810397795
sajiachen@gmail.com

Assistant Vicar
Rev. Fr. Saju Thomas
9971766102
frsajuthomas@gmail.com
Treasurer
Mr. K.G. Joseph
9818268324
Secretary
Mr. T. A.  Joseph
9810120133

Metropolitan's Message

In an age of instant communications and social sites it is a necessity to maintain a website to offer requisite information and guidance to the Church members and others. While the website has been in existence from the time of the late Metropolitan Job Mar Philoxenos, it has been revamped and updated to offer the…

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Thought for the Month

By all accounts (narrated only in the Synoptic Gospels) the birth of Jesus is an event revealed only to a select group of people. When we put together the birth narratives we will find that those who are recipients of this birth are the poor shepherds and the Wise Men in addition to St. Joseph and St. Mary. As such it must be seen as an event that received scant attention and by and large the general public is exempt from this revelation. This is one of the reasons that the Eastern Orthodox Churches prefer to celebrate the appearance of Jesus at His baptism (Epiphany) rather than the Christmas. For, at His baptism the declaration of Jesus’ identity was clearly made public.

Why only this restricted announcement? Even with the angelic hosts announcing the event only the shepherds become aware of the significance of the child born in a stable in Bethlehem; St. Luke does not indicate that anyone else became aware of this announcement. We also have to ask why only the Wise Men in St. Matthew’s gospel? Were there no other persons who qualified for this revelation? The answer to these questions lie in the fact that these two categories of people alone met the condition who found favour with God as the angels pronounced. The shepherds were poor in spirit, which meant that their economic and social situations left them with no other support other than God. They could not avail of the subverting influence of gold or silver or political and social clout to gain a privileged positions. Their only hope was in God alone. Similarly the Wise Men sought to meet the great God who would alter the destiny of humankind and nations. They were not mesmerised by the glow of the star or of the lure of worldly wisdom. They sought the One God, and that One God alone. It is probably for these reasons that they alone were able to perceive the greatness of Jesus’ humble birth.

As we celebrate the Christmas with its joy and revelry it would be appropriate to ask ourselves if we own the necessary characteristics displayed by these two groups. Is our life based on God alone or does God come as a footnote to our power and prestige? What is it that we seek after during this Christmas season? Another fat bonus that swells our accumulated financial resources or the many gifts that provide us with fleeting joy? Let us be aware of the fact that even though the first coming of Jesus was announced to a restricted few, His Second Coming will be universally visible. And when we are called to account before our Lord and King, certainly to characteristics He will seek in us will be our complete faith in Him alone and that we have surrendered ourselves totally, body, mind and soul to Him. We have to also keep in mind the fact that at that juncture we will not have the option of either rejecting or accepting Jesus Christ.

For a moment let us imagine the scene around the crib. The birth of Jesus had the additional benefit of integrating all of creation. In addition to the Holy Family there are the angels, the Wise Men, the shepherds and the cattle. While such a scene is not found represented in the gospels it is nonetheless a familiar Christmas card picture. It certainly carries a message. Do our celebrations and services serve to unite all creation or are we isolated in commemorating the birth of Christ within our own preferred circles. The integration of all creation is an intrinsic part of the theology of the Eastern Church, yet another reason why it prefers the celebration of the baptism of Jesus as opposed to the Christmas. However, in this season of Christmas let us try to include all within the circle of our joy and happiness. Let us announce the divine birth to all so that all creation can join in the joyful celebration of our God becoming human so that we could become transformed into His likeness.

I wish you all a blessed Christmas and a joyful New Year!

Mar Demetrios