Talk at Acolyte Training

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This video contains my talk at the training of the Acolytes of Thrissur diocese conducted on August 24th 2016 at Unity Chapel of Orthodox Bishop’s House Mannuthy. There are four points in the talk. One, one of the good things about the Western culture is that they have a systematic way of doing things. We need to learn that cultural element in every thing we do in our life and particularly in worship. There is nothing in worship that it can be done this way or that way, only the proper organized way. Two, the purpose of history which is to learn from history; three, why Uzza died when he tried to support the Ark of Covenant while it was taken by King David to his city and when the cart carrying the Ark was about to turn aside (2 Sam. 6:6, 7); and four, why Simon who supported the cross of Jesus did not die (Matt. 27:32; Mk. 15:21; Lk. 23:26)? My reply to the last two questions was, Uzza was trying to protect the Ark which is the symbol of the presence of God. God doesn’t need any support or promotion by humans. But He needs humans to support the cross which is the symbol of the message of God’s love and salvation toward His creation. This is what Simon was asked to support. He was asked to participate in God’s plan to save His creation and not God himself. God doesn’t need any advocate, rather He needs people to support his cause. These points are related to the first, the purpose of history. The lesson from these two historical events will tell us that we need to support and spread the Good News of the cross and not support the identity or existence of God Himself which is God’s job to do. Our job is to be the witness to the message of the cross.

We conduct this training programme twice a year. Each acolyte is to attend at least one training programme every year for him to be eligible to be in the Alter continuously. We also have published a hand book with every single detail of the duties of an acolyte in the Alter. This handbook was translated in to English by St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church, Toronto. Malayalam book can be had from diocesan office and soft copy of English version can be had from the metropolitan.

Women in Orthodox Church


Gregorian Mirror Journal has published another of my articles in its April – June issue. This is an abridged version of the report I presented to the Holy Episcopal Synod in 2012 regarding women’s voting right in the Church. The Church made constitutional amendment to allow women to vote in parish assembly. The Holy Episcopal Synod in its August 2016 meeting has recommended that women need further to be permitted to vote in diocesan assembly too on a request made by me. Hope the Rule Committee will make necessary constitutional amendment.

My Respectful Homage to Bishop Raphael Chinath

1.jpgMy Respectful Homage to Bishop Raphael Chinath, retired bishop of Bhubaneswar in Odisha who passed away yesterday. I met him in early 2009 when I visited the sites of Kandhamal violence initiated by RSS-Sangh Parivar volunteers against Dalit Christians. This was part of a study program conducted by the Council for World Mission with which I was associated with for some time presenting papers on child communion and Dalit issues. All along my tour I heard the name of this Catholic Bishop from Thrissur who worked with the people in that area both to re-establish the community and also to fight against the religious fundamentalist forces. I saw this an unusual attitude from a bishop and thought of visiting him. Our Orthodox parish vicar in Bhubaneswar got an appointment with him and we met him at his residence. He was in pants and shirt with just a crucifix chain hanging from his neck. I saw a simple person who can identify with common folks. No wonder he was able to involve himself in the suffering of the people. I salute him and his love for the people in distress and readiness to work for their liberation.
In Kandhamal violence some fifty thousand people had to find shelter in the nearby forest as their houses, some five hundred of them, were burnt or destroyed and some hundred people were killed by Sankh Parivar. Nuns were raped, priests were made to walk naked in streets with naked nuns and police kept silent when all these were happening.
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 Scene from Kandkamal.JPG

My Presentation at UTC Pre Council Meeting

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This was my presentation at the Pre-Council meeting of United Theological College Association, Bangalore on 10th August 2016


My Article in the Book Published by UTC


My Article entitled “Biblical Understanding of the Great Commission” is published by UTC in the book “The Great Commission in Context: Being Together with God’s Creation”, Edited by Rev. Dr. Santhosh S Kumar, Professor of Communications Department at UTC. The article was originally presented as a paper at the United Theological College Alumni Association Refresher Program held on October 27-29, 2015. The pages with my article can not be given here for copyright reason. You can see the text in The article was edited by Mrs. Elizabeth Joy. I thank, UTC, Rev. Dr. Santhosh S Kumar and Mrs. Elizabeth Joy on this.