History and Ministries of the Sevika Sanghom
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58(NIV)
The Mar Thoma Suvisesha Sevika Sanghom was inaugurated in 1919 during the Maramon Convention under the visionary leadership of Abraham Mar Thoma Suffragan Metropolitan. The meaning of the words Suvisesha Sevika (Malayalam) is “voluntary woman evangelist.” It is an association of women volunteer evangelists committed to the ministries of the church and particularly to the ministries to the women in and outside the church. Many women of the church who were inspired by the spirit of reformation and revival that happened in the church in the early decades of twentieth-century gave able leadership to the growth of the ministries of Sevika Sangham in varying ways. The special emphases of the Sevika Sangham ministries were the study of the Bible, the build-up of Christin fellowships, services to the poor and orphans, livelihood development of women and education of young girls. Sevika Sanghom from the very beginning had a Bible School, namely Vanitha Mandiram (means house of women), to train women as missionaries of the Church. It engaged in orphan care and other humanitarian and relief activities in the early decades of the 20th century itself. It runs a nursery teachers training school in Thiruvalla in India. Sevika Sanghom runs the Sthreejana Vikasana Samithi (SVS) for the skill and livelihood development of women. Hostels for girls from economically poor families, Hostels for working women are other ministries of the Sevika Sanghom.
Every woman of the Mar Thoma Church above the age of 18 years is a member of the Sevika Sanghom. Every Mar Thoma parish has a unit of Sevika Sanghom working in it to take care of the spiritual needs of the women in that parish.
Participation in the Diocesan, Regional and Center levels
The activities of the Sevika Sanghom are structured in the diocesan, regional and the center levels. Trinity Mar Thoma Sevika Sanghom participates in all these levels with great zeal and commitment. It belongs to the South West Region and Center B that includes parishes from Houston, Austin, and McAllen. The TMC Sevika Sanghom participates in all mission initiatives and conferences at all these levels.