The Indian Orthodox Church is also known as Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, a Church founded by St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, who came to India in A.D. 52. St. Gregorios Church London is the first parish church of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in the United Kingdom. and it is the mother church of all other parishes and congregations in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. Our mission is to the people of Indian origin in the British Isles, and though we are completely Orthodox in our faith and practice, we remain Indian in our ethos and in our appreciation of the Orthodox heritage. The Malanakara Orthodox Church, as part of the Oriental Orthodox family of Churches, is in communion with the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the Eritrean Orthodox Church.But we also warmly welcome all who wish to worship and learn with us, whatever their culture.
- There will not be service at Blackfriars on Sunday 20th July
- Photo gallery is updated with latest church event pictures. View photos
Malaysian Passenger Airliner Crash
This week the world has witnessed another mishap. The Malaysian Passenger Airliner MH 17 crashed down in Ukraine near Russian Border claiming 298 lives. This incident really shocks. For Malaysia, this is the second big loss in a few months. It has been reported that this Boeing 777 has been shot down. There will be more high level inquests and enquiries. Reports say a number of military flights have been shot down in the same area in few weeks.
Humans make everything, and humans destroy everything. Humans invent medicines and life support equipment, humans invent weapons for destruction as well. When this destruction will come to an end ? What a world we live in ? Let us offer our prayers and support to the families and to the country. Let us be with them. Let us try our best to sow love and peace everywhere possible.
The news about Israel agreeing to UN call for ceasefire with Hamas in Gaza Strip for delivering human aid in the area brought some hope. This was due from Friday onwards. But now both parties have moved away from the call for peace and started announcing severe ground defence, military operations and retaliations. The cry of innocents should not be gone unheard. Whatever be the political issues in various parts where unrest and killings prevail, the victims are mostly children and unorganized civilians. The news and visuals from around the world cause palpitations, shocks and trauma in our hearts. I wonder why this do not make any change in the hearts of leaders who organise everything ?
May I suggest: can we promote love and peace everywhere using social networking ? It doesn't need to be one sided. We are not for any politics. But we could appeal the world to stop violence and practice love. I really feel that whatever bad, destructive and blood shed things happening around the world are the reflections of human minds. Humans carry more deadly weapons within themselves. There are more killings happen in hearts every day. We curse and swear our brothers,sisters and neighbours every day. We plot, gossip, create network, appoint spies and search for ways to annihilate our own blood brothers and sisters without feeling any guilt. We think only about the comfort and well being of ourselves. Too much of 'Self-Talk ' and 'Self Esteem' could make individuals and communities go blind to create virtual thrones and urge to ascend and place ourselves on it. This happens wherever humans live and work as individuals ; home, workplace, public space, faith gatherings .. etc. The same mentality reflected when a community, tribe or state claim more rights and superiority over the rest. Then onwards everyone try their best to keep the status by hook or by crook. Still we, the human race would say, we do everything for God and for good of the whole world. All extremists might claim that they are right. Wars and fights never brought any solutions in history. No war made any one a real victor. Hatred, aggressiveness, plotting, acts of destruction and strategies for self establishment will never make the world suitable to live. Reconciliation, work for peace and expressions of love and acceptance would heal all the wounds. Let us invoke the Spirit of God to intervene and transform the world.
Sunday 20 July : 6th Sunday after Pentecost
Please find the scriptural readings for this Sunday
Exodus 30:34-38, Psalm 20, Isaiah 14:22-27
Acts 1:15-20, I Corinthians 8:1-6
St Mathew 15:32-39
The Gospel text narrates Jesus feeding the multitude with seven loaves of bread and a few little fish. This narration could not be a mistake made by St Mathew as the miracle of feeding the five thousand has been documented by himself in 14:13-21. We could assume that Jesus did this miracle more than once and Gospel writers chose one or two for narrating the life of The Lord.
- Vs 32: " I have compassion on the multitude..." The tender care of The Lord is revealed. Nobody asked Him for a filling. He realised the situation and initiated the feeding. Our Lord is compassionate. His compassion can transform our life situations beyond human imagination.
- " I do not want to send them away hungry,lest they faint on the way." He has that care to avoid a situation where His children would fall fainted. This reveals the love of our Lord who anticipate everything and initiate actions to avoid any harm to His people.
- There was a situation for Christ to act. He had compassion towards the multitude who have been with Him for three days. Time spent together with The Lord counts a lot. We tend to complain the time factor involved in worship and prayer. But ultimately it could save life. As we see in the text the absolute dependence and trust of the people caused mercy flowing from Him. There might be many situations which would make us fall. Without our knowledge, He do everything in advance and we get our life spared many times. It is quite human to be ignorant about God's actions in life. But if we allow Holy Spirit to reveal mysteries, then we will realise how carefully our Lord kept us all these years !
Vs 34- "How many loaves do you have ?" He is asking about our talents and resources. If five or seven loaves can feed thousands, imagine the potential we carry ! The one who offered the loaves lost nothing. He/She enjoyed a delicious filling, witnessed a miracle, became a tool for God's saving act and deeply satisfied by seeing the joy of everyone ! This is Christian life !
If humans as individuals or as communities offer their resources to be shared by everyone, how small or big it be, there won't be any hunger, poverty, malnutrition, absence of shelter or fear of insecurity. We could think globally and act locally.
We complain more than attempting to become a tool in the hands of God. We have talents, but we hesitate to offer. No miracles will happen if we don't contribute anything. Never look around to see who will be the beneficiaries and if they are not in line with us never hold back the acts of compassion. See only God, feel only Him, think only about His will, understand that whatever we have are given by Him and share His compassion and love. Miracles will happen in our lives and in the lives of others !
This week church celebrates the feasts of :
1) St Elijah, the great prophet
2) St Kuriakose and St Ulity ( Infant martyr and his mother )
There will be Intercessory prayer on Sunday. Let us seek shelter through their prayers and intercession.
General Meeting on Sunday
H G Dr Mathews Mar Thimothios Metropolitan, our Diocesan Bishop , will be conducting the Holy Liturgy at Brockley. There will be a General Meeting of all our members after the Qurbana chaired by our Thirumeni. I request all our members to come to Brockley to attend the service and the meeting.
There won't be service this Sunday at St Andrew, Blackfriars.
Farewell to Bobby Achan
As announced earlier, Bobby Achan will be transferred to Bristol Parish with effect from 01 August. Achan has been serving the London parish for a long period of time. It will be apt to offer him a dignified farewell. This Sunday, as there will be all members coming for Qurbana and Thirumeni will be there, it will be best opportunity to express our gratitude. May I request all our members to join the meeting after the Holy Qurbana. Let us wish him the best for the new parish assignment ! We thank him for all the pastoral support given to us.
Senior Citizens & Young Couples Meeting
There will be a joint meeting of Senior Citizens and Young Couples on this Sunday after the General Meeting. I request all the Senior Members and Young Couples to participate. Thirumeni will be chairing the meeting.
May I announce the sad parting of Rev Fr Renju Mathew Vaidyan, Vicar of St Simon Desthuneo Church, Manjakkala. It Is very shocking that he has left at the age of 33 leaving behind his beloved wife Rincy and two small girl children Kripa and Mahima. Achan has been serving parishes in the Diocese of Kollam . The funeral service had conducted on Wednesday 16 July at Thevalakkara Marth Mariam Church.
The family now need good support to overcome the shock. May God send His Spirit to strengthen everyone.May we all pray for the family members and for the departed soul. Hope he will join the Heavenly Court to continue intercession and prayer for everyone. May God comfort all.
We have made decisions in the AGBM on the following projects:
1) Parish Library- We need to set up a Parish Library. Dr C K Cherian ( Balu ) has been entrusted with the responsibility to coordinate and supervise.
2) Local Charity Programme , Assistance to Children with Autism, Organ Donation -
Dr K Georgekutty has been entrusted as the coordinator. We have already started the Eye Donation Project. We aim to have all our members registered.
3) Food Bank - Mr Philip Abraham has been assigned with this project.
4) Translation and Publishing of 'Sabha Pithakkanmar' written by Dr Samuel Chandanappally - Dr George Varghese ( Babu ) has been assigned with the responsibility. This Sunday we would initiate the project by receiving the first donation from K A Mathew ( Achankunju). May I request all our members to assist this project which would be a good treasure for our children and for the Church in general.
Saturday 19 July ( Tomorrow ) will be the Day of Church Cleaning. I request all our members to come to Brockley. We would begin at 09:30 am. Come and let us make it a wonderful day !
Diocesan Council will meet at Brockley on Saturday 19 July at 04:00 pm.
Diocesan General Body
Diocesan General Body Meeting will be held at All Saints Stoneycroft Parish Church, Broadgreen Road, Liverpool, L13 5SH on Saturday 26 July at 01:00 pm. All the elected members and special invitees are requested to attend the meeting.
Family Conference 2014
The Registration Form had been sent three weeks ago to all our members. Please download, print, furnish and send to the Diocesan office.
The Indian Orthodox Family Conference UK 2014 will be convened at Queen Ethelburga's Thorpe Underwood Estate, York on Friday, Saturday and Sunday 22,23,24 August 2014. Theme for this Conference will be " Nurturing Family Life:Mystery and Mastery of Orthodox Spirituality". Registration fee will be £100/ adult, £80/ youth, £ 60/ child. H G Abraham Mar Seraphim ( Metropolitan of Bangalore ), H G Yuhanon Mar Meletius ( Metropolitan of Trissur ) and Dr Mathews Mar Thimothios ( Metropolitan of UK, Europe, Africa ) will be the leaders. All the Priests of the Diocese will be at the Conference. On Sunday 25, there will be 'Orthodox Sangamam' to bring all families and members in the UK for the valedictory function. Please pray for the event and ensure the maximum participation. Please register now.
Please find the AOYC registration website. Its live at www.aoyc2014.com Please access the site and register now...
Diocesan Annual Orthodox Youth Camp 2014 will be convened at Queen Ethelburga's Thorpe Underwood Estate, York prior to the Family Conference. Resource persons will be the same of the Family Conference. Theme has been chosen as 'Orthodox Witness-A Journey Transcending Through Generations.' The Camp will start on Wednesday 20 August. Registration fee will be £ 150 for each delegate. Please note that this is for five days stay starting with AOYC completing with FC 2014 ! May I request all our Youth/MGOCSM members to make up your mind and do the registration at the earliest.
Please Pray For :
1) K V Kochitty - Father of Benny Varghese and father in law of Rajani Benny. He Suffered a cardiac attack and was in Intensive Care Unit. Now shifted to room and recovering. Benny has expressed gratitude to all our members for their prayer and support. Please keep on praying.
2) Mathew - Still on life support.
3) Abducted School Girls in Nigeria. It is very disappointing that there is no progress in redeeming them.
4) Pray for the people in all the regions affected by extremism, war, natural calamities and poverty.
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa ( BRICS Countries ) have made decision to start BRICS Development Bank to help underdeveloped countries. It's first President will be from India. This has been interpreted as a challenge to World Bank. Let us wish that this would be a project bring transformation to countries by boosting developmental programmes.
FIFA 2014 !!!
Congrats to Germany ! The world has seen both sides of the same coin. German supporters shouted out of joy and excitement while Argentinians were weeping and crying. In the same stadium we witnessed two sides of life ! For someone to win, someone has to be defeated. For someone to rejoice, someone has to shed tears. Not only sport, but the life itself is like that !
Yours in Christ
-19.07.2014 Rev. Fr. Thomas P John