Dearly beloved in Christ,
Let me at the outset wish you a blessed and happy New Year!
A very special year has just passed us by. It is not fair to judge it by our subjective experiences as a bad year as the implications of the happenings of last year for the future of humanity is yet to be revealed. This year has reminded us that human beings cannot take the events on this earth for granted. Everything is not in our control; there are things that are beyond our control and even our feeble understanding. The greatest scientist of our century Albert Einstein once wrote, “Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature, and you will find that behind all the discernible laws and connections there remains something subtle, intangible, and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in fact, religious.” This time has once again proved in a very clear and vivid manner the truth that without God humanity cannot have a future. We should always be people who search for God behind the curtain of material affluence.
I praise God for the way God Almighty has protected our families and church community in the past year. We could conduct all the ministries except the physical gatherings in virtual platforms. A lot of volunteers toiled really hard to make these things happen. Thanks to the blessing of God on us in the form of communication technologies. The office bearers and executive committee has done a good job by being in touch with families. Church members responded faithfully by participating in all the ministries with their time and talents. The contributions of the Church Choir, the AV Ministry Team and the Sunday School were marvelous, as they continuously innovated ways and means to make their presence and leadership relevant for our times. I thank all the organizational secretaries for effectively scheduling and initiating ministries that catered to different age groups of the parish. Our services did not limit within the walls of the church as we attempted to reach out to the hungry, the prisoners and victims of various forms of violence. We could also support the mission of the church in India in unprecedentedly better ways. The newly constituted mission board of the church met many times to brainstorm on ways to actively participate in the mission activities of church.
I think, in the new year our focus should be more on ensuring the participation of young families in our ministries. We need to revive the young families fellowship at any cost. The Mar Thoma Sevika Sanghom is taking the initiative to introduce Young Women’s Fellowship in all parishes this year. We need youngsters to come and take leadership in these avenues of church’s ministry. This month we celebrate the ecumenical Sunday and reflect on the Christian participation in nation building. Christ is described by Bonhoeffer as a man for others. God by God’s nature is oriented to God’s dear world. Church is called to embody this other oriented-ness in our existence and witness. We are called to be the salt and light of the world.
The vaccines are getting available for the public in these days. I urge all to avail the benefit of the vaccines to join humanity’s fight against this strange disease. Let us also continue our prayers to God to heal our world.
I wish you a deeply hopeful faith journey for all of you in the New Year! Let us live courageously as the children of God in God’s world!
Yours in Christ,
January 3, 2021