March 1, 2002 ARCHIVE
Vol:2 Issue:5

By Yuhanon Mor Meletius Metropolitan 

H.G.Yuhanon Mor Meletius
Diocesan Metropolitan of Trissur  Diocese of Malankara Orthodox Church.

Apostle Paul exhorts his readers in Rom. 12:21 that they should not be overcome by evil, rather they should overcome evil by good. This is a very common advice any ethical person would give to others. But when we go to the specifics of the advice we are tempted to reduce evil to certain set of things which may not have much of a relevance to our day to day life. We have a long list of good and bad things available in the commandments of the Church and in the confession preparation prayers.

The problem is that even they do not represent many of the concerns we have today. More over, economic and social evils are totally avoided in those lists. This is where we should explore once again about the kind of evil that exists in our society today. It is not easy to list all of them in a brief note like this. My attempt is just to mention a few of them.

Most serious form of evil is slavery. Hence God and good are to be experienced in the effort for liberation. The question of liberation has been distorted and misinterpreted in the Church and so much watering has occurred. When we talk about liberation the first thing we say would be liberation from sin. Then we reduce the relevance of the term sin to a few things the Church has given. We have limited it to just what is called "spiritual liberation" or "internal salvation". I am not saying that those things are not at all important. Rather we have to widen the horizon to other evil tendencies seen in our society. What is needed is become more specific and concrete in naming the evil tendencies in our society and then talk about God's liberative work in those areas.

God was first experienced by Israel as a liberator. He is said to have liberated them from political bondage in Egypt (Deut. 26:6,8). When Jesus started to proclaim his Gospel he also presented himself as a liberator in the form that is described in the book of Isaiah (Isa. 61:1; cf. Lk. 4:18). There the liberation is from socio-political evil powers. This is evident from the last part of the verse where it is said that he was to proclaim the Jubilee year of Yahweh. Proclamation of it is only in the context of socio-political justice.

This liberation is to happen in all the areas of human life along with the life of the rest of the creation. For humans it has to occur first in the area of understanding. Many of us like to be told what we should be doing in a particular situation. It is easy to be a slave because you do not have to think and do not have to take the responsibility of what you are doing. But it is a challenge to start thinking of self and others and about situations and what one should be doing about a particular situation. God has provided humans with this ability. But we see people flocking behind their leaders blindly and repeating slogans meaning of which they never care to understand, but do so simply because their leaders have said that. Much of the fundamentalism in politics and religion would vanish if people would start using their head that God has graciously granted them filled with useful stuff. Peter was so afraid when the boat was tossed due to rough weather while he was travelling with Jesus in the Sea of Galilee. He cried out to Jesus asking for help. Jesus asked him "Peter, don't you have faith". Here faith is primarily a relationship and secondly an ability to analyze the situation on the basis of that relationship so that he would know what his response should be. We should be liberated from lack of understanding and ability to judge.

Another area where we should be liberated is the area of equality. Our society is a hierarchical structured society. Women and children are many times set in a lower grade than of men. Take for example our Church. If we look to the Sunday Service attendance, we see women in majority. This will be the case with any other religious activity in the Church. But when it comes to the question of their participation in the decision-making bodies such as General Body meeting and Managing Committee their participation is not made use of. This is a clear example of discrimination against women.
In many churches young people are also sidelined by senior people. This is quite contrary to the principle of justice we see in Jesus Christ's attitude. We are most of the time short of accepting the identity and individuality of children too. Adults make decisions for children claiming that they are better informed and have better knowledge about things. But many times they do not care to ask of the dreams and aspirations of their kids. This is a clear example of slavery from which we need to be liberated. 

Many of us have problem in accepting new converts especially from those basic communities as equal partners in salvation. We are not ready to give them equal privilege and position to them. We forget the fact that Jesus always accepted people of Galilee and other gentile parts of Palestine equal and some tome better in status to his own people in Judah. We are enslaved by the traditionally handed down pattern of classification in the society. We are being enslaved by social evil.

Another area of evil in the society is that of financial transaction. We have developed a notion that we can acquire wealth by any means no matter how many people we are hurting in our attempt. We have wrongly interpreted the advice of Jesus to use the opportunity wisely. When there is economic crisis in the society we open money-lending business, which demand high rate interest as high as even 100 percent. We do not care how the economy of the country is going to be affected by that and how we are using the financial crisis of a person to bring unjust money in to our pocket. This is a clear form of economic evil that has to be overcome by us. 

Many times our projects and plans of development in our Churches are not examples of good works. We spend millions of rupees on church buildings and parish hall construction. Most of the time the money spent on them comes from average working people in Gulf countries and in North America. We spend the money with no sense of public accountability and Christian principles. Most of the time we put up ugly structures spending millions. Later it becomes a burden to members of the congregation that they do not have the resource even to paint the building once in a decade. Much of the money given through offertory goes either for construction projects or maintenance of the existing building. We do not see people living in the neighborhood without even a decent house for them to spend the night. This is another example of we being overcome by economic evil in the community.

Many times the church makes laws and ordinances with out any regard of the people who are affected by such legislation. We also do not care for individual needs of people. We make square boxes and try to fit people in them without regard for their problems and concerns. This is true in the case of inter denominational marriages. People are not at fault for being a member of a particular denomination. But when it comes to the question of marrying a person of another denomination, which also believes in the same God, the authorities have problem in letting it happen. There are instances of the whole family being excommunicated by the authorities for a member of the family getting married to a person of another denomination. We are placing, as Jesus once said, heavy burdens on believers.

I can go on like this quoting examples of evil tendencies existing in our society and churches. The sad reality is that none of these is counted as a sin or evil in the sight of most of the church authorities. It is time that we sit down and think again about the terms evil and sin. Our traditional understanding of them may not be enough under the changed situation. We need to continuously analyze the socio-politico-religious life of people and try to see what is evil and what is good in a given situation so that we can avoid we being influenced by evil.

I send my sincere greetings to all the subscribers of "Light of Life". May God bless you and keep you safe and sound.
Yuhanon Mor Meletius Metropolitan, Thrissur Diocese

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By Thomas Koshy - Nuclear Scientist - Washington, USA
Performance Expectation:
"What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with the Lord." (Micah 6:8)

"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." (Luke 12:48) Here is the demand for proportional performance.

"Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life." (Revelation 2:10) A diligent adherence to the will of the Father is expected till the very end.

In the parable of talents, the one who got five talents made five more, the one who got two made two-more for the master, but the statements of recognition for achieving five and for two were identical words. The performance expectation was fully met in both cases. (Mathew 25:14-30). The performance expectation was not based on human standards but it was based on a individual gift and its proportional output.

A landowner went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He hired a few in the third hour (9:00 a.m.) a few in the sixth hour (noon), a few at the ninth hour (3:00 p.m.) And eleventh hour (5:00 p.m.). (Mathew 20: 1-16) They were paid one flat wage for full day, half day, three hrs. or an hour of work. The reward was quite disproportionate to the duration of work. The promised reward was given for faithful work from the time of call. Unfair labor practice according to our standards but it is God's judgment for responding to His call for the full period from the time of call.

The thief on the cross was a believer for the shortest duration. In those brief moments he admitted his wrongdoing and confessed (we are getting what we deserve), testified (This man has done nothing wrong), faithfully believed to be in the Kingdom of God (remember me when you come into your Kingdom), and he was rewarded paradise on the same day. (Luke 23:39-43) A few hours of service and guaranteed paradise! Here is another example of disproportionate/abundant reward for the faithful response to the call for the total duration available to him.

The Godly rewards in this life are given to many without meeting strict eligibility requirements. "He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (Mathew 5:45b) The modern medicines, health care facilities, comforts and conveniences from technology etc., some of which visibly resulted from Godly inspiration, is dispensed to even those who choose to remain ungodly. Undeserved rewards!

"When he, the Spirit of Truth (Holy Spirit), comes, he will guide you into all truth. .... That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine (Jesus') and make it known to you (us)." (John 16:13,15b) "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13) The gift of Holy Sprit counsels and God gives strength to adhere to the ordained path.

Cases In Point:
The Master leaves you in charge and expects diligence in your duties till the end. We could boast about great performances of the past but there is no credit based on your past performance if we have failed in the pursuit of seeking God's will. (Mathew 24:45-51)

"Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, Did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me you evil doers'." (Mathew 7:22-23). Here is a denial to the past performance to earn present credit. The basis for this denial is stated in vs 21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." "Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life." (Revelation 2:10) A diligent adherence to the will of the Father is expected till the end.

Ponder On ....
In the story of talents, the person who got one talent chose to hide it in the ground, the laziest action that he could do. The Master's expectation was a proportional return of probably another one talent. Reacting to the laziness, the master stated that it would have pleased him at least with a nominal interest from the bankers. (Mathew 25:27) We prefer proportional and prompt rewards especially in the material gifts for this world. God's rewards in this world may sometimes appear to be insignificant but it is always an abundant reward considering the long-term benefits of this world and the next.

What proportions of our gifts are expended for the extension of His Kingdom? What would be God's assessment if we are called for the evaluation today ?

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By Rev.P.K.Zachariah
Bethel Marthoma Church Philadelphia, USA)

It is important to look into the lives of those who were blessed by the Lord. But it is all the more important and valuable to study people who became a blessing to others. It is wonderful to be blessed, but it is better to be a blessing - Blessed and be a blessing to others. Abraham was one like that. The Lord really blessed Abraham. The Lord blessed him in many areas of his life. But the important thing is that he was a blessing to many people.

But who was Abraham? The Bible says he was an ordinary man. He was neither a renowned writer nor a poet. He was an ordinary man - but he was readily available. When Lord called Abraham, he was 75 years old. Secondly, his wife was barren. If somebody to be chosen for a royal lineage, Abraham may not be the right choice - a man without a child and with no special degree. He was just an ordinary man. But God chose him. God in his own sovereign chose Abraham. Abraham bought glory to God and blessing s to others.

Let us look at the call of Abraham. Genesis Chapter 11 and 12, you will find that Abraham had a definite call. When Stephen was preaching to Jewish crowd (Acts: 7:2) "The God of Glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harlan." So Abraham's call was definite. He never doubted it. God revealed Himself to Abraham. God calls men in different ways. But there are some underlying principles. We read in the scriptures that Abraham was given a definite vision. The Glory of God appeared to Abraham. I don't know how it appeared to Abraham, whether it was a spectacular vision or not. But I presume, God by The Holy Spirit opened the heart and mind of Abraham to see the God. Until God opens our mind, we never get a call. Sermons or any persuasion are good, but they can not call you. I may be able to drive you emotionally to lead you to guilt complex and out of this guilt complex, you may take a decision. But this is not a call. A call is when the Holy Spirit opens your inner mind. That is why until and unless the Sprit moves you in your heart no one will get a definite call.

What is involved in a call? There are four very specific commands involved in God's call to Abraham.

Firstly, (Genesis 12:1) " The Lord had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land that I will show you." 'To Leave' is the first command. Though it looks strange, this is the first ingredient of any call - to a blessing. We always pray for blessing call. All those who are called by the Lord are called to live a separated life. "Come and follow me". This is what Jesus even call now. It means leaving the idols and false Gods for serving the living God. Even in the call of salvation, it involves separation and leaving. For Abraham, it meant three areas where he had to leave; your country, your people, and your father's household. We don't want to listen or hear the word 'Leaving'. But God's command is to leave. Live in our own country, where we grew up, is more comfortable to live in.

Secondly, in the father's household is where we find security. When we are in our hometown, we feel more secure. But God told Abraham leave your country. First, it means leave your comforts. Secondly leave your securities. And leave where you feel confident. This is what involved in a call. We don't like to leave what is fine and precious. But to leave means to trust in God's wisdom. We are very calculative people. Some of you probably have calculated for next 10 years. I am not saying that you should not plan, I am going to such and such places, I am getting married that year etc.etc. We are very good in calculations, But God wants us to rely in His Wisdom. Do you know his understanding? Trust in God's Wisdom, trust in God's Securities. We think, the things we count precious will keep us secure such as parents, our children, our church, and our own group of people. We find securities there. Have you thought really about it. Everything can vanish away in no time. The money, the loved ones, they all can go. Only what is secured is what is fine in God's hands. Put your trust in him and learn to live in fellowship with God. Hudson Taylor a spiritual giant, have you wondered about that, because he was willing to leave his securities. William Carey, he was willing to go to India in spite of people's objections. It is impossible to develop your own spiritual maturities in your own comforts. That is why God wants us to leave. Jesus asked Simon Peter, John the Apostle and Mathew the tax collector "Follow me". It means leaving. Are you willing to do that. Leaving is only important for maturity., it is important for discipleship. You can never be a disciple with out leaving. In Mathew Chapter 16:24, Jesus said, "if any man come to me, he must give up the thing they want. They must be even willing to give their lives to follow me." Do you want to be his disciples? The basic commandment is to leave. We don't want to leave many attachments to us. There are certain comfort zone that we do not like to give up. Jesus said," You cannot be my disciple until you leave".

Thirdly, leaving is important for sanctification. In 2nd Corinthians 6:17 , it reads, "Leave those people and be separate, says the Lord. Touch nothing that is unclean, and I will accept you". Does it mean live like a hermit, leave your home and live in tents. No! Go to the corner and leave away from the world. I say No! Jesus said," I send you in the world.". It means to have a different attitude to the world. Leaving also means, handing over the control. Following the Lord does not mean that , you have to live in poverty , leaving without family. God blesses you with family but you have to give control of the family to God. Who controls your life? A rich young man came to the Lord. He asked Lord a question. "Lord what shall I do to be saved. To eternal life." Jesus said, "Sell all what you have and follow me." The Bible says, he went off sorrowfully, because he loved his possessions." When you walk away from Lord, you are walking into sorrow. Somebody who is attached to things, people, relationships, God is asking you to leave and walk away. Some of you will have to walk away from certain relation ships. Many many times, God is speaking to you. God is ready to bless you. But will ask you to leave certain relationships. Are you willing give control to God.? Lord, I have no will of my own, not my will, Lord, but thy will. God wants you to sign a blank sheet of paper, would you kindly sign? God called Abraham, leave your country …land I will show you. Abraham never saw the land. Abraham sat and signed the paper and said, "Lord I have signed this paper" and God wrote all the plans for Abraham. Can you do that? Abraham said, "Lord I don't know where , I don't know how I don't know why, but I am going to obey you Lord." Will you surrender your life to God? Until you surrender your life , you can never serve the Lord.

The second command in the call is (Genesis 12:1), "The Lord said to Abram," leave your country, your relatives, and your father's family. And got to the land I will show you." I want to put it obedience. It calls for absolute obedience. Constant and consistent obedience is a requirement for God's blessings. Most of us know the plans of God. God has already talked to you, you know what God wants you to do and you say I will not do it. God says Go! Are you willing to obey? Trust and obey. There is no other way , young friends , If God is shown to you what to do, there is no alternative route. It is costly to obey, remember that it is costlier to disobey. When you obey the Lord, you have to pay the price. Abraham did it, Abraham paid for it. He had to pay the price. For every disobedience. One time, he went to Egypt. Without asking God and was a put to shame and sorrow. Let me ask one question "Are you playing hide and seek with Lord? Looking back in my life, I can shout and say, Hallelujah and praise the Lord from the depth of my heart, because the Lord has helped me to take the decision to serve the Lord. It was very costly. I have trusted the Lord and have decided to obey Lord. Friends, it is costly , it is not that easy.

The third commandment in the call is seen in Genesis Chapter 17:1. Walk before me Abraham. You know God's call is not to go away from the world, but to live in this world as a shining example. It calls for a constant cleansing , constant obedience. Looking into the life of Abraham, he had to say no to certain riches. He had to say no to certain positions and continuously to live as a man of God. That is the life that God wants you and me to live. When people look at us. When you are singing , you are super spiritual people, but do you have a consistent testimony , where you live.?

The third commandment is to walk. Without a life style pleasing to the Lord, we can never be a blessing. Well, we are pleasing people and pleasing ourselves, are we pleasing the Lord? Can the Lord say about you , "here is my son in whom I well pleased". The fourth commandment is sacrifice. You can see that in Genesis Chapter 22:1-2 that without bleeding we can not bless others, we don't want to give up anything sacrifices. Before God could bless you with an overflowing blessing - he will always test you. God Called Abraham and told him to bring your only son. The blessing I gave you to put him on the altar. If someone asked Abraham, what is your great possession in your life, without doubt he will say "My son Isaac". God said, put him on the altar. Without going through this valley, you can never be a blessing. If you are never called upon to give up anything in your life, I have a serious doubt on your calling. When God calls someone he calls he calls you to sacrifice. Abraham had to trust God, he had to submit to God and them Abraham had to Obey. Abraham had to travel three days, the painful three days. We can imagine the pain. The greatest pain came , when Isaac asked Abraham a question ,"Daddy where is the Lamb". Probably , Abraham told Isaac like this " Isaac my son, the altar is ready, wood is arranged, Son God told me that you are going to be lamb. I must obey God. Son, I must obey God. Do you know what Abraham was saying I trust you God. He was singing the Choruses, I love you Lord and he submitted. That is the test, are you willing to give up the most precious thing? Leave your plans and get out of your comfortable home. God is asking to do it. If you do it, you can erect an altar. You know what my prayer is. I remember with tears , the day I knelt down and said," Here I am Lord and send". It was a tearful day, but it was a blessed day. God will bless you but it involves a call, leaving, walking and sacrificing.

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By Fr. Mathew C.Chacko Sts. Basilios-Gregorios Orthodox Church, Central Jersey, USA

"Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak, O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled." [Psalm 6:2]

I was shocked to realize that I broke my left humerus-[the long bone of the upper arm or forelimb extending from the shoulder to the elbow] when I slipped and fell that Sunday morning. That being the Sunday after the Annunciation to Zechariah, his imposed silence for nine plus months came to my attention and I thought I would be silent without the ability to serve the Divine Liturgy for a considerable period. Of course the Emergency Room orthopedic doctor told me that I needed to put my whole arm in a cast for twelve weeks. I asked myself, "How I am going to use the twelve "silent weeks" God has given me.

Some see negative happenings in some one's life, especially in other peoples' lives, as punishment from God. While "reward and punishment" is a way of seeing, interpreting and dealing with life situations, I don't believe that God does punish anyone with a vengeance. It is beyond my understanding that God will punish a priest or his people when they eagerly and earnestly gather for worship on a Sunday morning. Another member of the Church had a slight fall the same day in the same place. I was concerned, however, how to capitalize on these events for the spiritual growth for myself and my people. Accidents do happen to all - to saints and sinners, -- and that is what we are.

All my priorities have been changed with the fall. My main focus became the healing and the full use of my left hand once again. Once the "Open Reduction" operation by an efficient, God-fearing doctor took care of the fixing of the breakage, I was on the road to recovery. There is pain but each day brought me more and healing. It is almost a month at this writing since the fall. My physical therapist tells me that by mid April, I should be able to have the full use of the left hand. I have completed sixty nine years of my life without any serious illness, of course with the exception of a childhood serious illness at the age eight

How did the congregation--the Church--dealt with the situation? The Sunday that I fell, every one who came to Church had Morning Prayers together and had fellowship. They thought about the following Sundays until I could be back, to meet for Worship without Holy Qurbana, because no priest was available. Fr Kurian Daniel, a visiting priest and a relative, graciously offered to serve the Liturgy for this congregation on Saturday mornings or Sunday evening up to January 12th. Since the timing offered was not suitable for most people, they preferred to stay with Sunday morning prayers.

The third Sunday, December 23rd, they decided not to meet, but wanted to have the Christmas Service on Christmas Eve if possible with me present in whatever possible shape and form. I also was not sure, how that evening would be. T our joy, God enabled me to conduct the prayers, Christmas Services and the Holy Qurbana on Christmas Eve. Thanks to God! I continue to serve the Liturgy every Sunday since.

What have I learned from this? Several things.

For one thing, I realized how vulnerable I was. I never thought I would fall down like this and break my arm. Having worked in a Geriatric facility for a long time, I have visited several old and young people with fractures of hip, arms, legs, etc. I never thought I would experience some thing like this ever. Now I know my own vulnerability.

I learned how you feel when you have a broken bone. Your inability to do activities of daily living with some one's help, your helplessness and the resulting frustration. Hopefully your learn to appreciate your dear ones who are there to help you. All these put you in a very different perspective and can make you a more humble and thankful person. I thank my wife, my children, their spouses and my grand children for their loving care at this difficult time. I appreciate the love and care of the members of the Saints Basilios-Gregorios Orthodox Community of Central Jersey. They expressed this in various ways. I also appreciate and express my thanks to Barnabas thirumeny and several priests and friends who took the time to call me, visit me and sending me get well cards, etc. I pray to Almighty God to reward them for their kindness

Looking at it from another angle, I thank God for this significant, but minimum damage to my body. It would have been worse if I broke my right arm instead of the left. I type this article with my right hand. Breaking a leg would have been far worse. If I hit my head against the pavement, it would have been another story. To the joy of doctor, there was no nerve damage through the fall and the surgery. How could I express my thanks to my God who held me in His arms, while I fell flat on my left humerus.
Our God is a loving God who protects us always. Since this sin-infested world is full of dangers, His loving arms will surround us even when we fall, if we trust in Him. Anything could have happened through this fall. But God protected me. I am grateful to Him.
"I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth - praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord. [Psalm 40:1-3]

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By Br.Paul Ciniraj Mohamed
Malankara Sabha Missionary, Devalokam, Kottayam)

There once was a man who had nothing for his family to eat. He had an old shotgun and three bullets. So, he decided that he would go out and kill Something for dinner.

As he went down the road, he saw a rabbit and he shot at the rabbit and missed it. Then he saw a squirrel and fired a shot at the squirrel and missed it. As he went further, he saw a wild turkey in the tree and he had only one bullet, but a voice came to him and said, "Pray first, aim high and stay focused."

However, at the same time, he saw a deer, which was a better kill. He brought the gun down and aimed at the deer.

But, then he saw a rattle snake between his legs about to bite him-so he naturally brought the gun down further to shoot the rattle snake. Still, the voice said again to him, "I said 'pray, aim high and stay focused."

So, the man decided to listen to the voice. He prayed, then aimed the gun high up in the tree and shot the wild turkey.The bullet bounced off the turkey and killed the deer. The handle fell off the gun and hit the snake in the head and killed it. And, when the gun had gone off, it knocked him into a pond. When he stood to around, he had fish in all his pockets, a dead deer and turkey to eat.

The snake (Satan) was dead simply because the man listened to God.

Bottom line: Pray first before you do anything, aim and shoot high in your goals, and stay focused on God.
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Tele.0712 531 312, 561 464, Fax 0712 520554 Telegram.'AIKYA' NAGPUR.
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New Delhi OfficeTel & Fax; 011 - 589 1263,

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General Secretary to National Council of Churches Rev.Fr. Ipe Joseph had visited the Maramon Convention at Kozhenchery, Kerala and during his visit our correspondent had a meeting with him at NCCI stall of Maramon. Rev.Fr.Ipe Joseph explained regarding council and its activities. He said there was a meeting of Council at Nagpur on 13, 14 of December 2001and all council members took a decision to work together in future also. The youth should take initiation to contribute a violence free society.

 A round table meeting was held at Charalkunnu, Kerala where President of NCCI H.G.Geevarghese Mar Coorilose (Orthodox Church Centre, Bombay) also participated along with different Church Members.The Council have decided to work in a co operation basis and should act for Communal harmony to the society. A violence free society should be our motive, and eradicating violence from the society council should work whole-heartedly.

Fr. Ipe Joseph said the charity concept now changed as sharing, means the poor and weaker to be taken and their sufferings to be shared along with meeting out their necessities. He said the key of the 21st century is "Enhancing life" John 10; 10"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly".

He said the Council is having at present 29 Churches as its members. Also the Council works in close relationship and partnership with the Roman Catholic Church in India, and Ecumenically the Council is an integral part of the World Council of Churches, Christian Conference of Asia and South Asia Council of Churches. The Council monitors the Human Rights situation in the country especially as it related to Minorities and network with similar organisations nationally and internationally. It co ordinates the activities of the churches inNorth East India and networks with the activities of other Member Churches and constituencies of NCCI,and peace building in North East India is special agenda.


NCCI is the National Ecumenical Forum of India.The Council was established in 1914 as the National Missionary Council of India and affiliated to the International Missionary Council.In course of time it became an organization of wider ecumenical importance as other All India Christians Agencies came into fellowship. In 1923 the Council constituted itself as the National Christian Council of India, Burma and Ceylon.Later, the Councils of Burma and Sri Lanka separated from it. In 1979 the Council transformed itself into the National Council of Churches in India. 


Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church, Arcot Lutheran Church, Bengal - Orissa - Bihar Baptis Convention, Chaldean Syrian Church of the East, Church of North India Convention of Baptist, Churches of the Nothern Circars, Churches of South India, Council of Baptist Churches in North East India, Council of Baptist Churches in Northern India, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Madhya Pradesh, Good Samaritan Evangelical Lutheran Church, Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chhotanagpur and Assam, Hindustani Covenant Church, India Evangelical Lutheran Church, Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church, Malabar Independent Syrian Church, Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Mar Thoma Syrian Church Mennonite Brethren Church, Mennonite Church in India, Methodist Church in India, Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church, Presbyterian Church of India,Salvation Army, Samavesam of Telugu Baptist Churches, South Andhra Lutheran Church, Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church, The National Organization of the New Apostolic Church


Andhra Pradesh Council of Churches, Bengal Christian Council, Bihar Council of Churches, Chattisgarth Council of Churches, Gujarat Council of Churches, Jharkhand Council of Churches, Karnataka Council of Churches, Kerala Council of Churches, Madhya Pradesh Council of Churches, Maharashtra Council of Churches, North East India Christian Council, North West India Christian Council, North West India Frontier Council of Churches, Santalia Council of Churches, Tamil Nadu Christian Council, Uktal Christian Council,Uttar Pradesh Council of Churches


All India Association for Christian Higher Education, Bible Society of India, Christian Association for Radio and Audio Visual Services, Christian Union of India, Ecumenical Council for Drought Action and Water Management, Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, Inter Church Service Association, Leprosy Mission, Lott Carey Baptist Mission in India, National Council of YMCAs of India, National Missionary Society of India, Student Christian Movement if India, United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India, Young Women's Christian Association of India


All India Sunday School Association, Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society, Christian Literature Society, Christian Medical Association of India, Church's Auxiliary for Social Action, Ecumenical Church Loan Fund - India, Henry martin Institute; International Centre for Reserch, Inter - Faith Relations and Reconciliation



Enables the Churches to seek new expressions of unity in the context of India's diversities of culture, language, class, caste and religion, and encourages intra - religious and inter - religious dialogue.


Encourages joint action for social involvement and enables the churches to understand their prophetic ministry better in the face of contemporary challenges and initiates and promotes action to change the quality of life of the poor in India


Formulates Christian public opinion on social, political and ethico - religious issues of the day and acts as the voice of the Church against injustice, marginalisation and oppression of minorities, dalits, children and women.


Co - ordinates the work of church women ecumenically and plays an advocacy role for the full and creative participation and leadership of women in the life of the Church.


Networks the youth activities of the Churches and engages in empowerment of young women and men through training and capacity building for effective participation in Church and Society.


Engages in print media, electronic media, and unconventional models of Communication such as folk dance, street plays, indigenous music and other ways of cultural expression and inter - church and inter - organisational exchange of information resources.


Involves in social analysis and provides the philoshaphy,.theology and priorities of development to member churches and related constituencies through advocacy,aliance and networking.Empowering of local congregations through Worship,Proclamation,Nuture and Diakonia is the focus.


Builds up critical and political consciousness among the oppressed and promotes people's movements which are involved in building up a society based on justice, peace and liberty.


Engages in the ministry of Dalits who are marginalized from the mainstream of the Church and society and networks with other Dalit organisations


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Bible Word to by heart:

Cast Your Burden upon God
He will deliver you from it.

Psalms 55:52)

Father of Believers

An Old Testament Story

So we have seen that Abraham with his family, his father and his nephew Lot started his journey from the city of Ur to the Place God promised him. Just watch that there was no communication like EMail, Phone not even a Post Man that time. So he never knew about the place where he was going. Also there was no conveyance like car, plane or not even a Bullock Cart. He had to walk all the way or use Camel for the journey. He never questioned God. He blindly believed him and obeyed him. Abraham was well settled in Ur and he had a lot of Sheep, Cattle, Farm Houses, Servants, Relatives etc. But He renounced everything to obey the Commands of God.

The land what God promised to Abraham was not so near. Also imgine that the journey is through the desert and heat during the day is so high and unbearable. They had to travel many days. So they made tents to stay in between during the night. They had to prepare their food in the wilderness. Abraham was not knowing where exactly he was going! All he knew was that God promised to show him where to go, and he believed God. He was sure God would show him the way to a promised land. And God did it.

The tiring journey went on and on, day after day and week after week. They came to a place called Haran. Haran was in a country called Mesopotamia; now this country is called Iraq.Some very important thing happened when they reached Haran. A very sad incident for Abraham. Abraham's father died there. His father was very old and he could not bear the struggles during this journey. But Abrham did not get dicouraged. They started their journey further, and finally they reached the land which God had promised to Abraham.

By this time you might have noted that Abraham and Sarah were alone. They did not have child. But there was a promise from God that he will have a son and his Children will be inumerous like the stars in the sky and the sand on the sea shore.
This promise was given to Abrhaham some time back. Even though this promise of God was not fullfilled so far, Abraham did not get disappoined. He became more strong in faith. He believed that God can not say lie, God can not give false promise. It is the question of time. So God got his own time to act.

(To be continued in the next issue)

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Published Fortnightly