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‘Let’s obey our parents’ is theme of Muscat Mar Gregorios Maha Edavaka OVBS


MUSCAT: The annual ritual of the Muscat Mar Gregorios Maha Edavaka’s Orthodox Vacation Bible School (OVBS) began after Christmas from December 26, Monday.

Around 220 senior and junior children who are students of Sunday School are taking part in the week-long classes.

Fr Isaac B Prakash, former secretary MGOCSM, is the chief guest for this year. He will be taking classes on the theme: Children, Obey Your Parents (Ephesians 6:1)

Maha Edavaka Vicar Fr James Geevarghese and new Assistant Vicar Fr Binu John Thomas are leading various sessions for the students actively.

Earlier sessions on meditation were co-ordinated and led by Fr Varghese George and Varkey Cherian.

As part of the extra-curricular activity, a picnic has been arranged for the students on January 6, Friday, immediately after the Holy Eucharist.

Earlier, on the inaugural day, Fr Isaac along with Fr James and helped by tiny tots lighted the traditional lamp to signal beginning of the classes. Mathew Abraham, Hon Trustee, also spoke on the occasion.

A five-member committee of OVBS co-ordinators in John Thomas Vadakedom, Reji Philip, T J Joseph, O Thomas and Lally George are overseeing the smooth conduct of the classes.

The classes are being held from 8 am to 1 pm with transportation being arranged by the church to drop the children back home.

A colourful valedictory with rally and variety entertainment will be held on January 5, 2012, Thursday to mark its closure.

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Muscat Mar Gregorios Maha Edvaka marks Xmas carol service with joy, gusto

Muscat Mar Gregorios Maha Edvaka marks Xmas carol service with joy, gusto
Xmas message: ‘Help cope with people’s sorrow, till they die’

MUSCAT : A few years back before Mother Teresa passed away, the Roman Catholic nun, was asked by journalists what her inspiration in life was. Help cope with peoples’ sorrow till they die, was her curt reply. This was the theme of the Christmas message delivered by Dr.Yuhannon Mar Chrisostomos, Metropolitan of Niranam Diocese at his inaugural address during the Christmas carol service of the Muscat Mar Gregorios Orthodox Maha Edavaka on December 23.

The Metropolitan further said God identified with the lost and the least and urged all partake in this effort to identify with God.

In his last presidential address as Vicar of Muscat Maha Edavaka, Fr James Gee Varghese spoke about Christmas being the time for forgiveness, tolerance, love, peace, sacrifice, gentleness and humility and urged all to follow these principles.

Fr Isaac B Prakash, former secretary MGOCSM, in his inspiring message to the faithful called up them to take part in the celebrations wholeheartedly. Fr Isaac eulogized the role played by Mother Mary during the birth of Jesus and compared this to family as an university with mother’s leading the role similar to a Chancellor.

The rich collection of Nadan songs with the rhythms of drums in traditional style of Christmas carols, together with Bible reading and joyful message of the birth of Christ Jesus lent the night of Christmas-eve a great feeling laced with message from the Santa Claus.

The evening was marked with some scintillating performance by Sunday School students on tableau and Nadan carols by MGOCYM.

Yet again MGOCYM staged a truly entertaining skit titled Aa Manushyan Nee Thanne directed by Mathew K A Kattoor and Laly George. John Thomas (Santhosh) excelled in the lead role as King David with able support from co-artistes Biju Mathew as Uriah, Joji Samuel as Prophet Nathan, Anila Salbi as spouse of Uriah, Richu Varghese, Sunil Eapen Mammen and Vinay George Chacko as soldiers.

The junior and senior choir chorused songs with really brought up the yuletide spirit.

Other equally interesting programmes included X’mas theme concert by Ajin and Alen, the brother-duo on violin and piano and the tableau by the Sunday School students.

New Assistant Vicar Fr Binu John Thomas performed a devotional solo Sneha Swaroopa Avadarshanam.. There was also Bible reading by Sunday School students.

Earlier, Mathew Abraham, Hon Trustee, gave his welcome address and the evening began with prayer by Fr Binu John.

The two-hour programme was rounded off with a vote of thanks by Biju Parumala, Secretary and benediction by Fr Varghese George.

Pictures

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Christmas Message by Metropolitan Pulikkottil Dr. Geevarghese Mar Yulios

Christmas Message by Metropolitan Pulikkottil Dr. Geevarghese Mar Yulios
An Indian Orthodox TV Production

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Articles Devotional

Holy Nativity Greetings from His Holiness

In the blessed name of the Tri-une God, Self-existent,
Beginningless and Endless, Perfect in Being, (Glory be to Him)
Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose II Catholicos of the East and
Malankara Metropolitan enthroned on the Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas

Blessings to our beloved Vicars of the parishes, Priests of the locality, Kaikkarans of the parishes and all members of the Church!

Dearly beloved,

Once again we are blessed with a season of Nativity. Christmas reminds us our vocation to our Savior’s childhood. This reminder but gives us significant responsibilities. We cannot lead a life as we please, but we ought to make ourselves analogous to the will of God. Staying in the premises of our lives, the challenges that we face are diverse and those may often tend to break us; but this higher sense of vocation that we have been called to be His child should in every way give us the impetus to go forward. Yes, this great event had made us His ‘heir’. Let the Feast which revealed to us that there is space in the heart of Jesus Christ for all creatures, make us more spiritual. Let us dedicate ourselves in holiness to prepare a manger in our hearts so as to equip ourselves to face the challenges of the age in the power of the Holy Spirit.

May this Christmas not be a commercial event for us but this may bring each one of us the sense of our vocation. May the peace of this season continue to sustain and reflect in you to be carried over to a very blessed New Year. We wish and pray that the Almighty grant you all a Christmas of spiritual renewal and joy and a blissful New Year.

May the Grace and Blessings of the God Almighty abide with you forever. May the prayers of the Mother of our God, the Holy Virgin Mary, St. Thomas the Apostle of India, our Holy Fathers Mar Gregorios, Mar Dionysius and all the Holy Saints be a stronghold for us. Amen.

Baselios Marthoma Paulose II
From Catholicate Aramana
Devalokam, Kottayam, Kerala, India
On December 05, 2011.

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Articles We Believe Youth And Faith

Reflections on the Holy Nativity of Our Lord

“The Virgin has Begotten the Wonderful; Let us go and Behold Him” Reflections on the Nativity of Christ

Introduction

When the Creator saw that man, who He had made with His own hands, perish, He was so moved that, “He bowed the heavens and came down”. The Feast of Nativity is the reconciliation of heaven and earth. The birth of Christ has united those on high and those below. Today God has come down to earth, and man ascends to heaven. Today the invisible God, manifests himself in flesh for the sake of His creation. Let our souls and lips cry out – Christ is Born, Glorify Him! Today the Creator has come down into the full reality of His creation.

The Feast of Nativity is a time of joy and celebration – of much giving – but we need to ask ourselves, what is the true meaning of the Feast? If we look around, Christmas in the world today is heavily commercialized, and how much do we as Orthodox Christians contribute to the cheapening of this great Feast? Today, Christmas is about everything but Christ. To a lot of us, the Feast is just an opportunity to have a jolly good time with mulled wine and sumptuous food. It is important for us to step away from the noise and hear the real significance of this Feast. In the words of Isaiah the glorious Prophet: “… to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called ‘Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’” (Isaiah 9: 6).

The words of the popular Christmas carol echo a great truth, “O holy night! The stars are brightly shining, it is the night of our dear Savior’s birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ‘Til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth… It was not until the coming of the Son of God, that man/the soul realized his/its true worth, meaning and significance. The mystery of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ speaks to us of something so deep and impossible, today God who fashions everything, cries and breathes the breath, which at first He gave to man, now as a babe. The coming together of God and man is at the heart of this great mystery, this great Feast. The Fathers of the Church say, “In the glory of the Incarnation, the divine and the worldly are suddenly, triumphantly, united and transformed.” This Feast is an opportunity for every believer to behold the Wonderful, and be struck with awe because, “today the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, rests in a cave.”

The Feast of God’s Embracing Love: Christmas is a time of coming to terms with God’s all embracing and redemptive love for us, in spite of all our failures and betrayals. When we journey to Bethlehem, this redemptive love becomes so visible. The truth is not only that God became man, not just that the eternally begotten second Person of the Holy Trinity took flesh, but in the manger lies not only God, but also ME. God took my nature for Himself, this is the all embracing and redemptive love. A love that is so beyond description, where me, who am but clay, we, who are but dust are made perfect in Christ.

The Feast of the Greatest Mission: Today is the day of the greatest mission the world has ever seen. In the New Testament you will not find the word “mission” but there are numerous references to God sending his Son, and Jesus sending us. The Nativity Feast proclaims the act of the Father sending His only begotten into the world. The Father does not send Jesus Christ into the world simply to speak, but He sends Jesus Christ to share the life of His people. He sends Christ to give His life for His people, and to give new life to the whole world. Christ shares in the sufferings, the struggles, the hopes and the joys of the people around Him and the Gospels bear witness to that on numerous occasions. We too are sent to give our love and our compassion. St. Paul says that Jesus is sent into the world to “destroy the power of death, and to bring everlasting life to light”. And so we are sent in order to challenge the power of death, and to bring life. Our mission is always more than words – our mission is the sharing of life – life that transforms another life.

The Feast of the Greatest Surprise: The greatest thing about Christmas morning is the surprises of the gifts wrapped and placed under the tree. As Charles Swindoll so beautifully put it, “Surprises are woven through the very fabric of all our lives. They await each one of us at unexpected and unpredictable junctures.” This Feast is an amazing surprise in that God himself decided to become man. “God comes to us, gives Himself to us, and not only in deed and action. Our very nature is taken up into His, and to our mortal frame is imparted a portion of the divine life.”
The Feast of God Descending into Our Reality: The Incarnation is about God becoming man, God descending into the world, but more so He descends into the deeper reality of our hearts – our life. The reality of our weakness. Christ becomes the very center of our life, the source of our energy in the world and the purpose of our life in this world. The sin of Adam banished him from Paradise and today that exile is banished and man is set free and Christ unites in His Person what is fallen in man and what is perfect in His. Today Eden is opened and the fullness of salvation is made manifest: “salvation enters the world, and the curse is destroyed.”

The Feast that Refuses to Compel Us: God has given Himself away so completely that we meet Him in poverty and weakness, with no splendor or glory. The whole of creation “lives by a love that refuses to bully us or force us or compel us, it is the love of the cradle and the cross.” Christ is the “the fire in the equations” that sustain everything. We live in a world where power is everything, in fact we are so obsessed with power that as Christians we have failed to see the two most vivid images of love – that of the helpless babe in the manger and the dying man on the cross. God empties Himself in the manger and the cross. He gives away all that He is to restore mankind. We live in Him, from Him, and through Him. God never held back His love, instead extended it unconditionally to man. “The eternal God, utterly unknowable, unfathomable, incomprehensible in His innermost being, deigned to enter into the sphere of our daily life, to assume the burdens and suffering of people like ourselves, He did so for one purpose only: to rescue us from the consequences of our sinful rebellion against the Author of Life, and to raise us up from death and corruption.” St. Athanasius puts is so well when he says, “He became what we are, so that we might become what He is.” The eternal Son of God “took flesh” and “became man” so that we might participate now and forever in all the joy and all the glory of His divine Life. Bethlehem points us to Jerusalem, there is no manger without the Cross and Resurrection – all the services in the Orthodox Christian tradition points to the salvific sacrifice of Christ and the glorious Resurrection.

Conclusion

St. Ephrem the Syrian writes, “The Lord of David and Son of David hid His glory in swaddling clothes. His swaddling clothes gave a robe of glory to human beings.” The Son of God is a gift to mankind, and He take up residence in the world. “This dwelling in the midst of Creation, as a part of it, makes God the Son close to, and available to, the surrounding creatures in a way that was not possible before. The presence of the Son here is a “personal” one that involves Him as a complete whole.” Exchanging gifts has become a universal Christmas tradition. I leave you with a question – “What is the best Christmas gift you can give another person?” For what God has given to us, what do we have to give back to Him and to His world?
I personally think the best gift we can give another person is ourselves. I am sure that I will not win many friends by such a statement, what I mean is love and genuine relationship. “The best gift is the gift of self, because in giving oneself, one is giving everything else.” This is what Christ Himself did. In His Incarnation, He gives Himself. He is Immanuel – God With Us. The real meaning of Christmas is to have Christ born in us, indwelling in our hearts.

The Nativity of Jesus Christ is a “crossing of paths” where God meets humanity and in love transforms the fallen human condition. The love of God lays in a manger in the House of Bread (Bethlehem), to feed humanity that hungers for love. It is the birth of that love into our world that we celebrate today. Christ becomes the very center of our life, our faith and our existence. The babe in the manger becomes the light of the world, even when the world is in shambles, for in Christ the Divine and the human cross paths. “No matter where we are in life, no matter in what condition we find ourselves, no matter how far we might stray away, or how unfaithful we are, God, the supreme lover, will pursue us in love for eternity!” God’s love never stops shining on us, and never stops searching for us.

“On this day when the Rich One was made poor for our sake, let the rich man also make the poor man a sharer at his table. On this day a gift came out to us without our asking for it; let us then give alms to those who cry out and beg from us. This is the day when the high gate opened to us for our prayers; let us also open the gates to the seekers who have stayed but sought [forgiveness].”

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

References
Troparion from Canticle 1 of the Matins Canon for the Nativity.
Fr. Matthew Steenberg, “He Bowed the Heavens and Came Down”, in http://www.monachos.net/content/liturgics/liturgical-reflections/101.
Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, Divine Intimacy, Volume 3, (Ignatius Press, 1987), p. 292.
Charles Swindoll, The Finishing Touch: Becoming God’s Masterpiece, (Word Publishing, 1994), p. 268.
Witness Lee, God’s New Testament Economy, (Living Stream Ministry, 1996), p. 63.
Fr. Thomas Hopko, Winter Pascha: Readings for the Christmas-Epiphany Season, (SVS Press, 1984), p. 89.
Archbishop Rowan Williams, Christmas Sermon, December 2004, http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/000950.html.
Kitty Ferguson, The Fire in the Equations: Science, Religion and the Search for God, (W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1997).
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Glorious Christianity, (Crossway, 2004), p. 105.
Very Rev. john Breck, “Celebrating Christ’s Nativity” in http://legacy.oca.org/CHRIST-life-print.asp?ID=121, December, 2006.
The Incarnation of the Word by St Athanasius. Trans. by Rev. A. Robertson; Modernized, abridged and introduced by Stephen Tomkins. Edited and prepared for the web by Dan Graves.
Paul Russell, “The Image of the Infant Jesus in Ephrem the Syrian”, in Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies, Vol. 5, No. 1, January 2002, http://syrcom.cua.edu/Hugoye/Vol5No1/HV5N1Russell.html#S4.
Bill Steigerwald, “Christ, Christmas and Capitalism” in Front Page Magazine, December, 2006, http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=889
Fr. George Morelli, “Christmas and Its Significance” in Christianity Today, http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles5/MorelliChristmas.php.
Rev. Bill Adams, “The Original Love Story” in http://www.rockies.net/~spirit/sermons/b-ch00-adams.php.
Hymns on the Nativity 1. Translation in Ephrem the Syrian Hymns, translated and introduced by Kathleen E. McVey New York: Paulist Press 1989. Syriac text at Des Heiligen Ephraem des Syrers Hymnen de Nativitate (Epiphania), herausgegeben von Edmund Beck Louvain: 1959 CSCO 186.

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An Angelic Herald


Luke 2:10: And the Angel said unto them “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great Joy, which shall be to all people.

Another Season of Christmas is fast approaching along with all the rigmaroles of the season: frenzied shopping, gift wrapping, guest listing and the anxiety to get the season completed without regret and remorse.

This Season is anxiously awaited by the whole country to check the telltale signs of economic recovery and to usher in the next economic expansion.

The few days after Thanksgiving till Christmas marks the shopping season for the whole year when most merchandise is purchased, consumed and discarded. The aftermath of the season is most often: increased debt and doubt about the declining relationship with kith and kin resulting in decreased mental health. To most people the season is a nightmare to begin with and a perennial problem that cannot be unburdened. Why Such desperation and frustration over the birth of Jesus- heralded by Angles to Mary, then to Joseph and to the shepherds- as “good tidings of great Joy” to all the people of the world? How this epoch making event-much awaited, prophesized-descend into this current state of decay? A brief look into this event is much warranted and merits attention at this season when millions of people in this affluent society- often proclaimed as the greatest ever in the history of mankind-goes hungry and penniless gnawing at the fabric of the society? Where is the notion of the savior when every greenback loudly proclaims the motto “in God we trust” and rejoices at the marvel of its currency and savors the goods and services it offers while paying mere lip service to the almighty savior.

A historical perspective of Christmas is well neigh impossible and mostly fraught with imperfections or inconsistencies as the bible offers no such clue to the celebration. The Christians themselves celebrate this Holy day in two different months- December and January- establishing the fact that the date was set later by decree rather than history. Early Mesopotamians-two thousand years before Christ- had celebrations to welcome the winter Solstice. The Scandinavians celebrated winter solstice in the month of December to usher in the ‘dawn of light’ in their life after months of darkness. The Birth of Jesus was celebrated in the Christian conclaves since 98 A.D. The Bishop of Rome, in 157 A.D celebrated the birth of Christ and in 380 A.D. the Bishop Julius Chose December 25th as the day of “cristes maesse’-Christ’s Mass which became Christmas.

The Birth of Jesus as the savior-savior for all mankind-not for Jews alone was well narrated in the Bible starting with Genesis. Genesis 49: 10: The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. The deathbed scenario of Jacob prophesizing the Kingdom of God- Sceptre appearing in Judea in the House of Judah-son of Jacob is worth mentioning. Numbers 24:17; I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. The Books of prophets are mired in the prophecies of the birth of the savior that gave a messianic fervor to the Jews and to surpass and surmount every persecution and subjugation with longing and hope. Numbers 18;8 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. Prophet Isaiah “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us- narrates the birth of Jesus in such exacting detail. All prophetic books offer similar visions of the savior-savior for the whole mankind.

Matthew 1;21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. The Name Jesus is Greek for the Hebrew name “Joshua’ or Jeshua a name first appears in Numbers 13;16; These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Oshea the son of Nun Jehoshua. Moses thus changes the name of Hosea to Joshua. The name Joshua is a compilation of two names- YHWH- Jehovah and Hebrew ‘ Yesha’ meaning saved or delivered. In another form it is ‘to cry for help”. So the name Joshua means “ Jehovah is help” “or the deliverer or the savior. By a simple act of changing name Moses changed the Mosaic laws-ten commandments- to the law of Joshua- the law of Love offered for their salvation from privations, deprivations and destruction.

The angels appeared to Zacharias- the father of John the Baptist and delivered the message which he was seeking for ages Luke 1’13, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. Zacharias was doubtful and questioned the word of the Almighty-a priest inside the sanctum sanctorum- gave a penalty as he was ‘dumbfounded’ by the news became dumb for the entire period of Elisabeth’s pregnancy. A message that is worth pondering- who carry the holy vest of God and adorn the vestibule of the almighty God. The Angelic message again offers the same message to Mary, Luke 1:30; And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. In announcing the birth of savior to the shepherds Luke 2;10; And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. In these three angelic messages “Fear Not” is the theme. The nation of Israel was subjugated by foreign rule and lived in fear- a nation in fear. The fear was palpable; the yoke that subjugated the body doused the inner spirit and spread doom and gloom. Hope and salvation was anathema to the people- the people in darkness. They saw the light- the message of peace.

The current state of gloom and the prevailing notion of a country in decline sow seeds of discontent that permeates every fabric of the society. The people are looking for sign-any sign of hope- in a society where self-rules and trumps kindness and brotherhood. The Christmas season thus brings false joy by means of amassing materials – objects of desire. Consumerisms replaces Christianity as the new religion and greed its new currency. Objectification and fixation on materials of wealth has brought the faithful and the not so faithful to question the shifting paradigms of worship that accommodates the demands of the wealthy in ever increasing measure. Money is the new deity replacing Christ the savior from the manger of love- a Love that transcends time and proclaims the innocence of Child as the harbinger of a new dawn. The dawn that ushers in the rays of hope-the good tiding of Joy- that can dispel the darkness from the lives of humanity and bring eternal peace. The shopping frenzy boosts up dopamine levels and provide a heightened sense of joy- a joy that wears away easily and often seeks for more and more. Thus this perpetual need for boosting the self-image is an addiction that affects the same part of the brain as in any other addiction. This culture of replacing the baby Jesus, born in a manger, covered in swaddling clothes, and witnessed by the shepherds and the sheep and adored by the angels is the theme of Christmas. “Fear Not” as the message delivered by the Angel to the world in darkness- the Angelic herald is the same message that must transcend our hearts to receive the sheer simple pure and everlasting Joy of Christmas -that is the Angelic Herald for this nation in darkness.

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Fr Binu John Thomas; new Assistant Vicar of Muscat Mar Gregorios


MUSCAT : Fr Binu John Thomas, is the new Assistant Vicar for Mar Gregorios Orthodox Maha Edavaka, Muscat.

Ahmedabad Diocese Metropolitan, Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, appointed Fr Binu John recently and issued a Kalpana to this effect. Accordingly, Fr Binu John has taken charge as the Assistant Vicar of Muscat Mar Gregorios Orthodox Maha Edavaka from November, 2011 onwards.

The young Assistant Vicar belonging to the 2002 batch brings with him ample experience having served as Vicar, St Mary’s Orthodox Church, Khajrana, Indore, from 2009 April before moving over to Muscat. Fr Binu John had also served as Vicar of St Paul’s Orthodox Church, Jagda, in Rourkela, Orissa and Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church in Bilaspur.

He is also presently the Ahmedabad Diocesan Council member whose tenure will expire by March 2012.

Fr Binu John is qualified with a post graduate in Sociology from Karnatak University and also a counseling course in Clinical Pastoral Education from CMC, Vellore.

Other roles held by him include Shruthi School of Music in-charge under the previous Calcutta Diocese and as Principal of St Mary’s School, Indore.
Rachel John is his spouse and they have two sons in Reuben Thomas John and Nathan Paul John.

St Mathews Orthodox Church, Kozhencherry is his home parish under Thumpamon Diocese.

Contact at
GSM +968-99454377
E:frbinujohnthomas23@rediffmail.com

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Nativity Video by St. Thomas Orthodox Church of Dallas, TX

St. Thomas Orthodox Church Dallas, TX, hosted this year’s Kerala Ecumeical Christian Fellowship (KECF) United Christmas Carol (UCC).
–Shinoy George

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Features News Uk And Europe

Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios visits Austria, Germany for X’mas, New Year

Europe visit, a boost to ecumenical ties
To lead Christmas service at St Gregorios Orthodox Church, Bielefeld
German alma mater to honour Metropolitan on Dec 27

BERLIN : Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Metropolitan, Ahmedabad Diocese, is presently visiting Austria and the Federal Republic of Germany for ringing in Christmas (Yeldo) and New Year festivity.

The European countries are all decked up to celebrate Nativity season and merge with the joyous season of Yule tide spirit.

The 20-day visit which began from December 13 ends by New Year.

For the Festival of the Nativity of our Lord, Dr Mar Yulios will lead the Christmas service at the St Gregorios Orthodox Church, Bielefeld. Bielefeld is an independent independent city in the Ostwestfalen-Lippe Region in the north-east of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

After this, Dr Mar Yulios moves to Cologne Bonn, for services on December 26.

On December 23, Friday, a reception is being planned at the head-quarters of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) at Hanover. Twenty-two Lutheran, Reformed and United regional churches (Landeskirchen) form the Evangelical Church in Germany.

Another reception is being arranged at Frederic-Alexander University, Erlangen from where the Metropolitan obtained his post doctoral research on December 27. The reception will be fitting enough for the young Metropolitan who is heading a Diocese from a major community in India and the University can pride itself of the achievement of its former student.

This will be the third visit of Dr Mar Yulios to Deutschland after a gap of 6 years having earlier completed
his research study from the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen in 2004.

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) is one of the largest universities in Germany.
The Metropolitan’s earlier visit was in 2005 for attending a conference and though there had been invites to European countries, this had to be postponed due to pressing schedules back home.

On December 18, Sunday, the Metropolitan led the Holy Eucharist at the St Thomas Orthodox Church, Vienna.

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Year-long Silver Jubilee celebrations of Makodia Mission end

Villagers participate in Hindi convention led by Fr Joby Peter
MP Forest Minister okays Rs 2 lakh grant to build road to Makodia
Various other charitable works for the poor announced

ITARSI, Madhya Pradesh: Makodia Mission was the pet, dream project of LL Dr Stephanos Mar Theodosius, first Metropolitan of Calcutta Diocese. It was due to the singular efforts of this missionary giant that Makodia Mission completed 25 years of service.

The year-long Silver Jubilee celebrations of the Makodia Mission ended in a colourful manner last week.

On 11th December 11, 2011, after the Holy Eucharist by Dr Joseph Mar Dionysius Metropolitan, Calcutta Diocese, a public meeting was held.

Sartaj Singh, Hon’ble Forest Minister of Madhya Pradesh, who inaugurated the meeting, declared a grant of Rs 2 lakh to build the 2-km road to Makodia. As part of the charity measure, about 50 sewing machines were distributed among the villagers. Rs 25,000 medical aid was given to a patient and other charitable works were also announced.

Prem Shankar Varma, President Electronic Board (MP), Santhosh Parik, BJP District President, Bhuvaj Gupta Tahsildar and other dignitaries were present in the meeting.

Earlier, on December 10 evening, Dr Joseph Mar Dionysius led the evening prayers followed by the Hindi convention by Fr Joby Peter, Vicar of St Mary’s Orthodox Church, Bokaro in which about 450 villagers participated in the convention.

About 2,000 people from the nearby villages were provided lunch as part of Love Feast.
Calcutta Diocese Village Mission Project was started by LL Dr Mar Theodosius in 1986 with a mission to cater the needs of the marginalised people of Makodia and surrounding villages.

News sent in : Fr.P.S.Varghese