First Service in New Church

The first H. Qurbana at the new Church bought by St. James Syrian Orthodox Church of Los Angles, a mission of the Malankara Orthodox Church under my episcopal care as per the decision of the H. Episcopal Synod of Malankara Orthodox Church, and by the order of H.H. the Catholicos, was conducted on 4th of December, 2011. The remodelling of the new Church is yet to be completed. However, for my convenience the first service was conducted in the adjacent hall. Very Rev. Cor-episcopo Dr. Joseph Tarzi (vicar) also participated in the con-celebration.

I congratulated the congregation for finding a Church of their own to worship in the path of the ancient fathers of the Church and to hand it over to the coming generations. I also assured the continued support of Malankara Church for the spiritual development of the congregation. With reference to the reading of the Gospel passage for the Sunday of the birth of John the Baptist, I said our responsibility in this world is to understand the will of God and to accomplish it in our lives under any challenge that may arise from world around. When John was to be named, relatives and friends of Zechariah suggested the name Zechariah. But Elizabeth, who was aware of God’s will, did not yield to that, but asked to name him as John. We may wonder how did she know of the will of God which was only revealed to Zechariah who was since then mute and could not speak. This is where the mutual understanding of husband and wife come in to concrete test. Words are not needed to share ideas between husband and wife if there is true union between husband and wife. They can look at each other and understand each other. That is the result of mutual love, trust and understanding. Language may some times become hindrance to effective communication. It was Elizabeth’s refusal to the suggestions of the people that made them ask for the opinion of Zechariah. He also did not listen to the people when there was already the word of God. Thus the will of God was fulfilled in John. Otherwise, John would never have become John. So the patents’ response to the will of God regarding each child becomes the identity and personality of the child.

It was the will of God that people should stand firm when questions of justice, peace and love were raised in the Syriac Orthodox Community in Burbank. Some times, it is quite unfortunate that these questions come from the responsible people in the community itself as happened in the case of John. But those who really know the will of God have to disregard that and go ahead with responding to the plan God sets. So I appreciate your faithfulness and commitment to the cause of justice and truth. No one may have thought that this was possible with you. People may have thought you will fast disintegrate and will be forgotten. But God had plans with you just as he had with John. When people saw the things happening at the time of the naming of John, they wondered, “What this child shall become”. That is an exploration in to the plan of God without any prejudice or preconception. Now after you have accomplished this, after having a mute talked, people who were against you and suggested that you change your name and your ways of upholding truth and justice, would wonder “what this congregation shall become”? Let God help you enquire in to the mind of God and find out His purpose to grow in spirit and understanding. More and more people will come to you, because today you have shown that you are a people following the path of God. I am happy that the H. Synod of Malankara entrusted with me this mission. While  appreciating the able leadership Cor-episcopo Dr. Tarzi has been giving to the congregation I said, it was for that reason I wanted him to co-celebrate with me during the first ever service in the new Church.

In reply Cor-episcopo Very Rev. Dr. Tarzi thanked the parishioners for their support in making this possible and also expressed the congregation’s gratitude to Malankara Orthodox Church and to me for the spiritual guidance and support. He hoped that this relationship will grow and be strengthened further. The consecration of the Church will be some time in May 2012, The main sanctuary will be ready for worship by the end of the year.

Few Pictures from the day:

Pictures Show

1. Opening of the Worship

2. The Choir

3. Very Rev. Dr. Joseph Tarzi Cor-episcopo con-celebrating

4. Part of the congregation 1

5. Part of the congregation 2

6. Cor-episcopo Diptychs

7. Offertory being taken

8. Kids’ corner

9. Sermon

10. Sermon 2

11. Depart now in peace

12. Congregation 3

13. Congregation 4

14. Depart now in peace 2

15. The Church still few things more to be done

16. The Church in the valley of Sunland

17. The Vicar, Very Rev. Cor-episcopo Joseph Tarzi

18. Dinner after the service

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. elizabethjoy237
    Dec 05, 2012 @ 09:09:27

    Dear Thirumeni
    Beautiful sermon and I can never thank God enough for God’s way of communication with human beings across ages. Nothing is indeed a barrier when God communicates with people. I am so grateful to God. I am commenting after a year but I mean it from the bottom of my heart. This Church, especially this Holy Qurbana speaks volumes of God’s love.
    Love and prayers


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: