Message from The Vicar
Rev. Sam Thomas
Dearly beloved in Christ,
Greetings to you all in the name of Risen Christ!
“Jesus appeared to his disciples on the evening of that first day of the week, when the
disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came
and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you! After he said this, he showed them
his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.” (John 20:19,
Dears, we conclude our Lenten pilgrimage to Easter. Easter is the central foundation of the
Christian faith. In the death and resurrection of Jesus we find hope, light and eternity.
Easter is a day of victory of goodness over evil and darkness. Different streams of the
darkness are increasing day by day in and around us. It is a fact that war, displacement,
violence, poverty, debt, religious and communal polarization for political gain, and religious
and racial and ethnic differences are on the rise today. In the midst of all this, only the love
and patience shown by Christ and the willingness to sacrifice oneself for others can lead
the world to the light of goodness.
There is no Easter without Good Friday. One of the most striking elements of all the
Gospel writers is that Jesus is still wounded even after His resurrection. The crucifixion
wounds do not heal. They remain open, eternally. The resurrected body of Christ remains
marked by his earthly suffering, forever. His wounds are the marks that point the
resurrected Christ continuously searching for the salvation of human souls. The great
prophet Isaiah prophesied the same long before that “By His wounds we are healed.”
Easter clearly tells us that Christians are messengers of the good news; the life, the
mission, the death and resurrection of Jesus. Paul reminded the believers in Ephesus that
the same power that raised Christ from the dead is the power available to us who believe.
It is a power that enables us to live a life of joy, victory and to act with courage and
compassion in relation to others. Let us all believe in the risen Christ and the power given
to us through our belief. I pray the resurrection experience be an everlasting motivating
power for our Christian life.
We are in the beginning of a new financial year. I welcome and extend my prayerful
wishes to the newly elected office bearers. Also, I thank the office bearers “22-23” for all
the contributions they have given for the spiritual and material growth of our Parish.
May the risen Christ be with all of us, guide us and bless us.
With prayerful regards.
Sam Thomas Achen.
01st April, 2023
Vicar’s Message - For the Quarter July - Sept 2020
Dear members of the Parish,
Happy to interact with you, again, through our newsletter. We will be communicating through e-newsletter till such time as the lockdown restrictions are eased.
Let’s thank God for the wonderful ways in which we were led in the last quarter.
The time we are passing through is very stressful, sad and chaotic because of the pandemic. Each day brings heart breaking stories connected to COVID 19. The world as a whole is facing financial crisis, psychological issues, etc. The trauma that the migrant labourers went through was shocking. People who went for treatment, work and studies are still held up in different places! Let us pray for the invention of the best medicine/vaccine to eradicate the virus for ever from the face of the Earth.
AMPHAN – the devastating super cyclone caused major destructions, mainly, in West Bengal and Bangladesh. 20th June 2020 – we can’t forget the terrifying moments it has created. The damages caused by the cyclone still need to be repaired. The post-cyclone needs that arose in our Jaggadal Mission centre were well taken care of by Anish Achen, the evangelists and the caretakers. The timely help of Rs. 2 lakhs from our beloved Metropolitan, His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma, was indeed a great support for the repairs of damages that occurred due to the cyclone in the mission centre.
The tension existing on the borders of our country is another major threat the nation is facing. We lost the precious lives of our soldiers in the fight. Let us pray for the peace of their families. Also, let the nations involved in the issue reach an agreement to avoid any further conflicts.
The social distancing norms and the spread of the virus force us to continue our worship services and organisation meetings online. We started the arrangements of services using online facility, from the first Sunday of May 2020. The prayerful participation of our members in all these meetings from different parts of the world, gives a new spirit of togetherness. Our former Vicars are giving the message in the prayer meeting on Sunday evenings. It is a good time to meet our beloved Achens and their families. Thus, the virtual meetings and services are making our spiritual journey more energetic and vibrant! All organisation meetings are also well attended by the members.
Please pray and participate in the Parish activities.
Wish you all grace and happiness of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
In His ministry,
30th June, 2020
Message on 21-06-2020 - Online Divine Service
Date: 21. June, 2020
Bible Portion: St. John.4:16-26
Theme: Worship – Celebration of the faith of the People of God.
(ആരാധന:ദൈവജനത്തിന്റെ വിശ്വാസത്തിന്റെ ആഘോഷം)
The Fourth Gospel progresses its narration by presenting encounters between Jesus and many people. The characters maintain their uniqueness but the reader finds many shades.
R.Alan Culpepper, in his book, ’Anatomy of the Fourth Gospel’ writes about the encounters of Jesus with different characters in St. John’s Gospel as, “the prism which breaks up the pure light of Jesus’ remote epiphany into colours the readers can see.”
The characters in the narrations have a representative or symbolic nature.
Eg: Nichodemus represents the Jewish seekers who want to follow Jesus without disclosing it publically. Also, Samaritan woman represents the people of Judah who were confused about true worship because of the mixed religious culture prevailed in their nation.
Based on the theme, let us focus on two main aspects of the text:
1.Worship becomes celebration of faith, when our personal life gets transformed:
The conversation between Jesus and the woman started with the theme of WATER and it moves on to a new dimension. In Vs.16.Jesus told to bring her husband to drink the water that gives ‘Eternal Life’. Then we see, her life story unfolds to various issues. The words of Jesus gave her the trust in God and thus, the meaning of life.
Our worship is the blessed moment, when we are willing to unfold the dark/hidden/blind areas of life. When we prepare ourselves to drink the WATER that promises ETERNAL LIFE, our worship becomes celebration of faith.
2.Worship becomes celebration of faith, when our distorted religious outlooks get corrected:
The words of the woman represent not only the faith practices of her family but also her nation. Samaria was the dwelling place of people from different religious cultures. They worshiped unknown powers and followed superstitious beliefs.
Jesus corrected her immature religious understandings. Thus, she becomes a missionary to her community. Before any other disciples of Jesus, she invited others, “Come and See” Vs.29. Thus, she becomes the first Apostle of Jesus.
Beloved Lord, we come before you to worship in truth and spirit. Give us the willingness to correct ourselves and invite others to experience the blessedness of life that is transformed by Christ. Amen.
Vicar’s Message - For the Quarter April - June 2020
Beloved Members of the Parish,
Greetings to you all, in the matchless name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
” I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,—
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings—
I know why the caged bird sings!”
These lines are from the third stanza of “Sympathy” by the Afro-American poet/writer Paul Laurence Dunbar (June 27, 1872 – February 9, 1906).
We live in a world wherein bondages of different kinds surround us and often threaten to overwhelm us. Let the 50 days of Great Lent help us to receive and reflect the new power to overcome bondages that Christ gives. Hope the services and prayers will empower us for the transformation. Thus, with a new vision and with freedom, let us move together to the hope of a new heaven and a new earth which helps communities to break out of their cages and grow in Divine freedom.
We got the opportunity to join together for the Unity Sunday service with the CSI Parish on 19th January, 2020 and that was a real blessing. The Annual Parish Picnic was conducted at our Jagaddal Mission Centre on 26th January, 2020. It was a day of fun and fellowship. Our Annual Fete was conducted at the beautiful lawns of the Bishop’s College. Special thanks and appreciation to the conveners and all others who helped to make both the gatherings the most memorable events of the quarter.
The General Body met on 23rd February, 2020 and elected members for various positions. My heartfelt wishes to the newly elected members. May the Almighty strengthen them in carrying out their responsibilities with complete dedication and devotion.
The Great Lent of 50 days started on 26th February, 2020. The Suvisesha Nidhi collection has been completed. Sincere thanks to one and all for the timely participation in the endeavour to fulfill the financial requirements of the parish by supporting various projects in the last financial year.
We are on the threshold of the first quarter of the new financial year 2020-21. Passion week services are scheduled to be held from 6th to 12th April, 2020. Arrangements for separate times for prayer and meditation have been made. Your wholehearted support – financial, physical and spiritual-is solicited for making the arrangements of the Great Lent services successful.
Let us start the new financial year with the resolution to have proper planning and prayers. Also arrangement is to be made for holding the Annual General Body meeting in May 2020 to finalise the formalities related to the last financial year.
Please pray and participate in the Parish activities.
Wish you all grace and happiness through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In His ministry,
31st March 2020