From the Vicar's Desk...
10212 Fountaingate Drive
Stafford, TX 77477
My dear Immanuel Family,
Greetings to all in the name of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
Blessed New Year in the name of the Almighty from whom all blessings come.
We are in the dawn of 2020. Even though we had ups and downs in the past year, we experienced the power and presence of God. Let us thank God for His immeasurable blessings.
Apostle Paul says “throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” (Eph: 4: 22-24). Let us make new resolutions in our life and make new beginnings.
Church is commemorating the life of St. Stephen on January 08th. Stephen was one of the first seven deacons who was ordained by the apostles. During the time that he was alive, Christians were being regularly persecuted for their beliefs. The people expressed outright hatred about Stephen, and as a result, they continually lied about him to the public. This directly caused his martyrdom. He is considered to be the first martyr and his death is said to have been witnessed by Christ Himself while he looked down from heaven.
Personally, I believe Stephen is a martyr, because he lived for his faith in Jesus. And nothing, not even death, would separate him from that faith and that love.
Stephen was willing to be a servant. The 6th chapter of Acts tells us that Stephen was chosen as one of seven people to be servants in the Christian faith... literally, ministers ordained by prayer and the touch of the Apostles to provide for the needs of the widows and orphans and needy people among those earliest Christians who were not being fed and cared for by the infant church. It was Stephen’s first job to see to it that all who were in need were noticed, fed, clothed, and loved.
He spoke the truth of Jesus Christ as he understood it, to anyone, anytime.
He chose the way of forgiveness. Stephen, in his final moments of life, asked forgiveness for those who were taking his life, and in doing so, he again spoke truth and grace about the Lord he loved and served.
After all, “martyr” is a word translated to mean “witness”, in our case, witnesses to the love of God revealed in Jesus.
St. Stephen’s life is a challenge for us. Let us lead a life like the first deacon and martyr of the church St. Stephen.
I thank our Good Lord for His Grace that was bestowed upon us during our House to House Carol and Christmas Carol service this year. The able Leadership of the coordinator, our Vice president Mr. Thomas O Keerikattu, Mr. Manosh Thomas, Mr. Mohan John Thomas, the Area Representatives, Sunday School teachers and Students and all those who worked hard for the success of our Christmas program are highly commendable. I wholeheartedly thank the Executive committee of
2019. Let me acknowledge the dedicated work done by Mr. Thomas O Keerikatu, Mr. Jose George, Mr. T.V. Mathew, Mr. Thomas Mathen, Mr. Sam Mathew and Mr. Alan John, Prayer Group Representatives and all the officers of the organizations.
Silver Jubilee edition of the parish directory is now in our hands. Putting together the materials in a directory in a short time is a great task. Under the able leadership of the convener Mr. Thomas Mathen along with Mr. Thomas P. John, Mr. John G. Mathai, Mr. Mathew P. Varghese, Mrs. Aksa Alex, Mrs. Sarah Cherian, Mr. Biju T. Mathew, Mr. Johnson Varughese and John Varughese.
Let me Congratulate and welcome the newly elected office bearers, and organization’s officers and prayer group representatives. May God give wisdom to discern and read the signs of the time.
Wishing you every blessings from above for a blessed New Year
Servant in Christ,
Anu Achen & Saji Achen
Rev. Abraham Varghese (Anu Achen)
Vicar, Immanuel Mar Thoma Church, Houston