Dearly beloved in Christ,
Greetings in Jesus’ name!
Let’s praise our heavenly Abba for all the blessings and protection we as a community have been experiencing in the past 8 turbulent months in our life. I’m happy to see most of us returning to life’s normal routines as before the COVID-19 time. I praise God for keeping all our children safe as they go to school in these days. We still need to be alert and go by the social distancing and hygiene guidelines recommended by the CDC and state government. Let’s also praise God Almighty for the blessed life of our Late Metropolitan Thirumeni, Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma. The 13 years of Thirumeni’s tenure as the Metropolitan is marked by the physical and spiritual growth the Church in many respects. Thirumeni’s leadership was very crucial in the growth of the church outside Kerala. His connections and contacts cutting across the religious, political, ecumenical, business and social spectrum of the society was greatly beneficial for the growth of the church. I request you to uphold respected Theodosius thirumeni in your prayers so that God Almighty may strengthen thirumeni to lead the church in a new era of its witness and mission to the world around.
We are planning to celebrate our Family Sunday on November 29 after the Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving is a beautiful tradition of being grateful to God for all the blessings that made us what we are as families, communities and a nation today. It remembers the contributions of all around us, however insignificant they may seem like, in making our life a blessing. Let us remember the magnanimity of the community that welcomed us and accommodated us into this land and its socio-economic spaces. All who are able to come to church on Family Sunday are requested to come as families and take part in the communion as families on family Sunday. We will also be making a list for all of us to visit another family virtually. Please mark your calendars to attend the Parish Convention from November 12-14 from 07.00 PM-08.30 PM.
I thank each and every member for abiding by the COVID protocol and making the in-person worship services as safe as possible. We are instructed by the metropolitan-in-charge thirumeni through a kalppana to dispense the bread on palms of the recipients and wine in cups. We are also planning to conduct the parish General Body towards the end of November and waiting for more concrete instructions to come from diocesan episcopa thirumeni. This years Christmas celebrations will also be conducted in hybrid platforms. Some of us may be able to attend it on in-person platforms and others may have to use the online platforms to participate. The diocesan assembly that is postponed indefinitely is rescheduled for December 12, 2020 from 10.00 AM at the Carmel Mar Thoma Center Atlanta. On December 12 and 13 we will have our diocesan convention livestreamed from the Carmel Center in Atlanta. Our parish’s assembly members, who plan to attend it need to book your tickets for the same. I also urge you to participate in the presidential election by casting vote to the candidate of your choice. Our participation in the political processes of the nation is very much imperative at a time like this.
I thank you for your generous contributions to the church and ministries like “Light to Life” and “Evangelists’ Christmas Gift.” Half of the funds ($ 20,000.00) that we mobilized through the Harvest Festival was disbursed to many mission activities in India. The other half will be utilized to support mission activities and humanitarian projects in United States. We are in the process of identifying those mission and humanitarian activities.
Let me thank you all for your sincere prayers for us achens. May the good Lord continue to bless us all!
Jacob Thomas achen
October 29, 2020