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Fr. T. J. Joshua – The Great Evangelist , Theologian And Orator

fr-t-j-joshua-sermon

PHILADELPHIA: A Under the joint auspices of the Orthodox churches in the city of brotherly love – Philadelphia – its 11th Gospel convention was held in 3 days at the St. Thomas Orthodox Church Auditorium.

The convention was particularly noteworthy for two reasons, this year. Most important was the presence of Fr. T. J. Joshua and the other was being able to convene such a convention in Orthodox Church own facility – the magnificent and huge Church complex acquired by St. Thomas Church.

Sensing the mood of the 1000 plus faithful gathered in the two days speaks the importance of a joint Orthodox Gospel convention. The participants listened the majestic and heart piercing voice of our great orator Fr.T.J.Joshua . “It was a revival and refreshing for those heard this servant of God at least once in the past and it was new experience for those never heard him, mainly the children” many reflected.

Fr.Joshua captivated the listeners in pin drop silence with his theological insights put as simple as to be able to comprehend by the young and old, the little learned and the learned and Malayalam speaking and English speaking audience. Fr.Joshua spoke about the importance of seeking the Feet, Hands and the Face of our Lord and ultimately to surrender the self before Him.

A To be at the feet of our Lord, to look at the nail print of our Lord and at the face of Lord. To regain the lost humility of our people, at the feet of Jesus, recount the suffering of our Lord looking the nail pierced arms and seek the protection of the hands those created the universe and seek the joy of the face of our lord,- reminded Fr.Joshua

The 3 days oration led the faithful in a pilgrimage. The physical inflictions that Fr.T.J. Joshua had to go through was a new awareness for most of the attendees. And yet the the deep understanding of the great plans of our Lord to sustain this great evangelist though the sufferings speaks to everyone a lot.

“Pray for this great son of Malankara Sabha for good health and long life. We cant’ wait for another opportunity to listen to this great voice of God through Joshua Achen” many praised the Lord and said..

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Diocese News News Northeast America

Southern Regional Family Conference In Texas In August

lakecamp

NEW YORK: Preparations are well under way for the Southern Regional Family Conference of the American Diocese of Malankara Orthodox Church. This Conference will be held at “Saint Vattasseril Dionysius Nagar” at The Lake Tomahawak Baptist Encampment, Livingston , Texas from August 4 – August 7, 2005.

Fr. T. J. Joshua (Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam) and Prof. Steve Mathews (Florida) will be the key note speakers of the Conference. Diocesan bishops, priests, and professionals hailing from different disciplines will be the leaders of this Conference.

Religious, social, economic and family issues will be included in the topics for discussions. The venue of this conference is two hours drive away from Houston area and around 3 hours drive away from Dallas area. Lake Tomahawk area abounds in natural beauty which is adjacent to the largest Indian reservation in the Southern United States.

There will be plenty of opportunities for water sports including fishing, canoeing, paddle boating, water slides, rock climbing, rope walking etc., all professionally supervised. Additionally, attendees will enjoy well lit basket ball and volley ball courts and vast areas of green fields to play. Cost of the conference is kept at a very low price to enable maximum participation. ranging from $85.00 (bunk) – $110 (suite) total cost per person, for three nights of stay, food, ground fees and every thing else. Plenty of food and refreshments will be on hand.

“Two sessions of entertainment evenings will provide an excellent opportunity for talent shows from participating parishes. A well organized Committee is working very hard for the success of the conference” said Joshua George, General Secretary for the Southern Regional Family Conference to Indian Orthodox Herald.

For Registration and further information, please contact your area church representatives or Joshua George (281) 773 7988 or (281)343 5099. Registration deadline is July 3rd , 2005.

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Diocese News News Northeast America

Be A Living Example To Your Children: Metropolitan Mar Barnabas

mar-barnabas-sermon

NEW YORK: Metropolitan Mathews Mar Barnabas encouraged young women of the American Diocese to make their lives a living example to their children and to be sincere in their own lives. His Grace urged to use Pope Shenoda of the Coptic Church as an example in their lives. Pope Shenoda has said that he never gives a speech or address and neither volunteers his advice as his motto is “let people follow what I do.” Mar Barnabas was making his presidential address at the Annual Conference of the Young Women Samajam of the American Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church which took place on Saturday June 18, 2005 at St. George Orthodox Church, Staten Island. The theme of this year’s conference was “Parent’s involvement in children’s freedom.” Metropolitan added: as a parent, your aim should be to mold your children in the way of Jesus and to bring everyone closer to God. One also has the right to involve in his or her child’s life, even if it is forced involvement. His Grace also noted that while everyone is selfish or self-centered to some extent, parents should teach their children to be self-forgetting through love.

The keynote speaker for this conference Fr. M.K.Kuriakose began his speech with a quote from the introduction of the book “Freedom by Authority,” by Late H.G. Dr. Paulose Mar Gregorios, in which Dr. Paulose Gregorios stated that while everyone is in the quest for freedom, no one is willing to obey each other. In Genesis, we read that man is created in the image of God, thus, we must be like God in our lives as we are images of God. He pointed out that while God has the real freedom because He is the Creator of the universe, we are also given the same freedom. The difference is that we abused our freedom in the Garden of Eden, and became unlike God, but, God never misused His freedom. it also stated that the only way to give freedom is to bring the people towards Christ through the Holy Communion.

Fr. Kuriakose used the example of a typical child’s development to convey our search for freedom in our lives. When a baby is born, its initial search for freedom begins with its eyes, as it searches around wildly for familiar objects and faces, and this same baby soon starts to explore its surroundings through its sense of touch and finally begins to turn over and crawl. Soon, this baby starts to take very small steps and until, one day, he or she is walking and running and is unstoppable in its search of freedom to explore everything and anything in its sight. Achen gave another interesting example when he remarked that we wouldn’t have many of the luxuries we have today if certain people didn’t defy their critics and follow through with their own search for their freedom. In the early 1900’s, the Wright Brothers worked very hard and produced the first airplane, and today, millions of people around the world take this luxury for granted, as we all have flown in the jumbo jets of today carrying almost 600 people around the globe. Could we have enjoyed this luxury had it not been for the exploration of their limits of freedom by the Wright Brothers? We all have studied about the first man to climb Everest, or the first man on the moon, etc., but how many of us are willing to allow our children to explore their inner dreams if they convey to us that their dream is to climb the world’s tallest mountain or to fly into space?

Fr. Kuriakose also said that the most important thing is for parents to know their children well. Parents are the ones who know a child best because “one who sleeps with you knows your night fever.” Communication and an open mind are the key methods to knowing your child better. “Parents must understand their children by giving them ample freedom to enhance their personalities,” Parents must impose discipline as well for it says in Proverbs 23:13, “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.” Proverbs 10:13 advises parents that “a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding.” Parents must surely restrict certain things and explain these restrictions to their children. Fr .Kuriakose also insisted that parents should not sound hateful in their reprimands as children do not hold grudges. A parent shouldn’t stop talking to their child, even if it is for a short time, because of something the child did. Parents must also make an effort to monitor their children and try to meet their friends whom they spend their time with outside of the home.

After the speeches, there was a group discussion session in which the attendees were split into three groups and were asked to discuss the topic further and converse about the problems or hurdles they have faced in their lives concerning the topic at hand. Everyone agreed that parents must take an extra effort to give love, affection, time, and appreciation to the children and be open-minded in their dealing with their children by understanding that the child is not living in the same country or time in which the parent lived. Parents must learn to trust their children, but, also be logical in giving freedom. Limits should be set, as punishment should be enforced when these limits are broken and these punishments are carried out. Prayer life should also be encouraged in their lives through family prayer at home.

Fr. Ninan T. Easo, Fr. Dr. C. C. Mathews, Fr. John Thomas, and Cor Episcopos Paulose Adai also attended the Conference. The meeting was well attended by many young women from the tri-state area. Following registration and breakfast, the Conference began with a prayer song by Dr. Bindhu K. Lalu and Bible Reading by Sherin Mariam Joy. Fr. Philip C. Abraham, the vicar of the host parish, gave a condolence speech in memory of Mr. K.K. Abraham the twin-brother of H.G. Mathews Mar Barnabas. A moment of silence was observed in his memory and in remembrance of Miss Soby Mathew of Chicago. The Business Meeting was conducted by Very Rev. Fr. Paulose Adai Cor Episcopa, the Vice President of the Martha Mariam Samajam. Felicitations were given by Fr. Dr. C. C. Mathews, Fr. John Thomas, and Liziamma Kuruvilla. A bible quiz, organized by Tilly Varughese, was conducted and three winners were awarded trophies at the end of the Conference. There was also a raffle drawing in which four lucky attendees were selected to receive prizes. A 50/50 raffle was also conducted to help the unprivileged women of Kerala, by using the money from donations from the attendees towards the purchase of sewing machines. The Conference was blessed with the melodious songs sung by the choir of the host parish.

The welcome speech was given by Mrs. Shyny Raju, the coordinator of the Young Women Samajam at St. George, Staten Island, and the vote of thanks was given by Mrs. Soffy Wilson, the Diocesan coordinator of the Annual Conference of the Young Women Samajam.

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Diocese News News Northeast America

American Diocese To Raise $2,50,000 As Tsunami Relief

tsunami“It was shocking to hear the Tsunami disaster and its aftermath in South Asian countries. The unexpected calamities of nature are always incomprehensible. As an initial contribution we are making a donation of $5000 from our personal resources”” said Mar Nicholovos.

Immediately after returning from the parishes they had their Christmas Services, the Metropolitans of the American Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Church, decided to announce the collection of a ‘Tsunami Relief fund’ by the diocese.

“All of us are aware of the devastating tidal wave that hit the coasts of many of the Asian and African nations killing more than one hundred thousand people. The reports point that many of these nations without proper infrastructure and financial resources are struggling to deal with the effects of the disaster.

We find that it is our Christian obligation to help the needy in whatever way we can. We are setting up a Disaster Relief Fund to provide help to the people who have been affected by the Tsunami Natural Disaster.

We exhort all of you to contribute whole-heartedly for the cause, collect as much money as possible, and send it to the American Diocese as early as possible so that we can provide assistance to the needy”, informed the Metropolitans of the American diocese jointly vide Kalpana No. CK.35/2004 on Dec.30, 2004.

“We are expecting $2,50,000 from all of the parishes from American diocese for this noble cause. Hope everyone will rise to the occasion to contribute liberally and wholeheartedly” said H.G. Mar Zachariahs Nicholovos to Indian Orthodox Herald.

“One of our young priests, Fr. John Joshby Thomas was preparing for Holy Qurbana on 26th morning when Tsunami struck. He along with the people had to flee to the forest and to a hilly place to save their lives and they stayed on the hill for three full days before they were evacuated on Wednesday, 29 Dec. They were literally starving on the hill! .Now they are back in Port Blair”, said the Madras diocesan Metropolitan Dr. Yakob Mar Irenaios in Madras.