From the Vicar's Desk...
10212 Fountaingate Drive
Stafford, TX 77477
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Greetings to you all in the name of the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth receives its true name (Eph.4:13)
I do take the pleasure and privilege of greeting you all through these lines. Trust and pray that this letter finds you all in good health and spirit. As you are aware, we are in the Jubilee year, and I do request your continued support and prayer for our Jubilee programs.
We do observe October 1st Sunday as the MT Voluntary Evangelists’ Sunday, Second Sunday as Youth Sunday third Sunday as Young Family Sunday and fourth Sunday as Family Sunday & Parish Day.
MTVEA has started with a great vision and motto given by Abraham Mar Thoma, “ every Marthomite is an evangelist.” Keeping that in mind, our Edavaka Mission is now started supporting the Udamelpet Mission field in Tamil Nadu, India. I thank all those who are supporting this mission activity of our church. Last month we could organize a retreat at Pine Cove. More than 100 people attended that conference, and it was a blessed one. I appreciate all those who worked hard for the success of the conference.
Youth Fellowship and Yuvajana sakhyam are focused on providing spiritual nourishment and training to the younger generation. These organizations encourage our youths to participate in the different mission initiatives of the church. The Mar Thoma Yuvajana Sakhyam aims to equip the youth to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We are proud of our Yuvajana Sakhyam, especially for their leadership in the church activities and their concern for the lesser privileged ones in society. I feel more younger generation should take leadership roles in our YF and Yuvajana Sakhyam activities.
Family is an institution constituted by God. Family is the basic unit of the human community. God brings together a man and a woman to become husband and wife in the institution of marriage. The family is the miniature of the Kingdom of God. It is a ‘little church’. The marriage is the sign and sacrament of the kingdom of God. The relation with the family is covenant based. It is joining the community of generation formation. Our family should be bound and guided by Love and Value as the Bible teaches us. Parents should be in a position to exercise moral authority over their children. We need to put a deliberate effort to be guided by the values that Bible teaches us. For that, we need regular family prayer. Our families are facing more challenges than ever from the values of the world. To face that, we must find time for Praying together, playing together and dining together to keep the family in fellowship and unity.
October 26 Saturday we are set apart for our “Immanuel Family Meet” (Kudumba sangamam). I urge everyone in my Immanuel family to find time to be part of that meeting. Kindly invite all our children also to be part of our family meet. The program start with the thanksgiving service at our church at 3.00 PM. I humbly request everyone’s prayerful participation.
Immanuel family is observing Oct.26 as our Parish day. On that day, 25 of our children receiving Holy Communion for the first time. In the Mar Thoma Church, we follow the tradition of admitting candidates to the Holy Qurbana not soon after baptism, but after teaching them about church and matters of faith. In the Eastern tradition, Confirmation is done as part of the Baptismal service, and the candidates may be allowed to partake in the Holy Qurbana. The Mar Thoma is not following that practice. Just as St. Paul exhorts the members of the Church in Corinth we allow the candidates to participate in the Qurbana with more preparation (1 Cor. 11:28-30).This is an outcome of the Reformation in the Malankara Church. We desire that this act of participating in the Qurbana should be a deliberate act which involves a public declaration of their commitment to the Lord of the church, Jesus Christ. We systematically arranged the First Communion classes, and we prepared the children to participate in Holy Communion actively.
Our Metropolitan, Most. Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan Tirumeni and our Diocesan Episcopa Rt. Rev.Dr. Isaac Mar Philoxenos Tirumeni is visiting our Parish during our silver jubilee celebrations. I respectfully welcome our spiritual heads to our Parish.
I humbly request your continued prayerful support for our ministry.
May the Almighty God bless us all.
With prayerful regards,
Servant in Christ,
Anu Achen & Saji Achen
Rev. Abraham Varghese (AnuAchen)
Vicar, Immanuel Mar Thoma Church, Houston