CHRISTIAN NEWS MAGAZINE FOR KERALA MALAYALEE CHRISTIANS FROM INDIA AROUND THE WORLD
DECEMBER 2010 FELICITATION
VOL:09 ISSUE:12
FELICITATION

TEN YEARS OF EXCELLENCE [ICON]
INDIAN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN NETWORK

By EDITOR DR. RAJAN MATHEW, PHILADELPHIA, USA


Indian Christian Orthodox Network (ICON) is a network for the members of the Indian Orthodox Church (Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Kerala) and its well wishers who are scattered around the globe. Though the ICON group is not initiated or sponsored by the Holy Church, by its merits of its own, it became an icon and reflection of the believers of the Church. Creating and staging an electronic platform for interaction, sharing of ideas and thoughts and even giving free air for fit of temper, the forum keep growing in the size as a large group with around 10000 members into its fold, contributing towards sapient, contemplative and spiritual drill amongst the members of the Church.

The contemporary year 2010 is a special year for ICON as it is celebrating the 10th year of its inception. I take delight in writing a congratulatory message on the 10th anniversary of the founding of ICON Electronic Media communication. Toiled hard to lay a strong foundation for the propagation of the emotional and intellectual thoughts of a large group of people through a modern way of doing through electronic media, ICON configured itself into a major forum for a spiritual sharing and reflection. Patiently and quietly for the last ten years the ICON could publish and distribute the mind and thinking of large cross-section of a known community. That way it is a great achievement that ICON could set a new trend of the reading and exposition habit of orthodox community from Kerala.

The forum had not only contributed a conclave for hot or cold discussions on relevant topics, but also it could promptly deliver divine messages, news & information, education on faith & tradition, matrimonial, obituary etc. etc. It could very well contribute to promote the discipline of reading and keeping the people current, and paradoxically, ICON became a part of the life of a large group of Indian Orthodox Christians spread around the world. ICON could cultivate a personal and to some extend a family literary culture to open and read messages and to discuss matters of common interest on a day-to-day basis. In the last one decade, it has won a special place for itself in the minds and hearts of the associated readers especially Indian Orthodox Christians in Diaspora.

ICON Yahoo Group is designed to communicate with all bonafide brothers and sisters of Indian Orthodox Fraternity, On Line. The object of its fraternity is to promote good fellowship, to encourage free exposition of thoughts, and to inspire with traditional orthodox faith and to foster the life of living in Christ with true faith traditions.

From small beginnings with outfit of a discussion forum, ICON has grown into an organization which could truly be said to have had a significant impact on the spread of the thought wave and free media of communication within a community who have a same wavelength in the mind-set, traditional attribute and emotional up rise.

My friendly contacts and personal encounters with the pioneer Moderators of ICON, Mr. Abraham Chirackal and Mr. Oommen Kappil had revealed convincing enthusiastic lofty goals, what for the ICON stands for. As per their manifesto, their professional footing with a great vision and perseverance could create a positive presence felt in the "CYBER WORLD", predominantly, to one theme, the cherished Christian friendship. The ICON has now reached a milestone. Thus it could be said that the ICON is the fruit of the lay missionary endeavor. Their success today reflects their good choices through the past ten years, and let this 10th anniversary inspire their past Ten Years of Excellence. Really the pioneer moderators performed this global task with a Godly wisdom and visionary spirit.

ICON had been always courteous to encourage and support all spiritual ventures in personal and institutional capacity, and LOL too is obliged and bow our head before ICON for all the encouragement and support given during the past nine years of humble electronic mission of Light of Life.

Though a small percentage of the total membership contribute messages, it always represented a significant cross section of a broad abounding fragment of the entirety. However I noticed some discussions became quite vibrant on melodramatic topics even with articulation from a larger group of silent readers as in the case of CRF for which around 100 messages were contributed. It is admirably worth noting that Georgy Thomas could add a discernible tinge of elegance of a media investigation in the forum by critically analyzing some abstract topics.

Recent esteemed messages from H.H. Basalios Marthoma Paulose II and Mammen Mathew, Chief Editor of Manorama, immediately after their assumption to a new position / capacity, reveal a great change in the outfit of ICON that it is now elevated and honored to the level of a world podium to address a large global audience.

Now, the ICON took a leap forward in its outreach by entering into a charitable service, a movement devoted mainly to serve the needy at a time when help is needed, supporting poor parishes, extending medical and educational help for the needy, etc. It should be the virtuous and just concern of all the members, by a little or by a large, to support ICON Charities in their splendid endeavor.

The Internet has opened up a great opportunity to bridge the geographical divide and ICON took the prompt advantage of the same to create the concept of a Global Village and keep in touch with its all inhabitants. As Yahoo Group does not impose a limit to mailing list, it is able to do this probably to accommodate the entire orthodox families worldwide.

It needs special words of appreciation to its Moderators as ICON had architectured the group with a great sense of fore thoughts to send the grouped messages instead of individual Emails. I came across many groups which died of its own or hacked and misused due to the lack of proper and efficient moderation. ICON had set its standards to face the great caution of vulnerability by its efficient moderation as electronic media can go haywire as messages cannot be recognized by signatures.

Hereby, I express my sincere appreciation and thanks for all the Moderators and contributors of ICON. The job that is being done by the Moderators, dedicating their time and energy for this noble task, is highly laudable and I pray to God to keep it going ever stronger. For their excellence through a decade, I think ICON deserves a rousing and hearty 'Three Cheers'. I congratulate all involved with ICON on this auspicious occasion. The foresight of the founders could well be appreciated. I wish the ICON a continuing wholesome, assuaging and conciliatory influence on a large group of people and let it continue to inspire everyone who has been involved with ICON.

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