The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Welcome to Ebenezer
Mar Thoma Church
Service every Sunday at 9:30 AM
It is with deep regret we hereby inform you of the demise of Mr. T. A. Varghese (65 years). He is the uncle (Uppappan) of our Achen, Rev. Abraham Oommen. Please keep Achen and his family here and in India in your prayers.
Evening prayer scheduled for Saturday 01-31-15 is canceled due to inclement weather conditions.
Dearly Beloved, A good lent make space for hope by leading us afresh into encounter with the holiness of God. Human beings are made to live in relationship - Relationship with God, human beings and relationship with the whole creation. Here God calls us to respond His call positively. Listen what He wants to say and pay attention and to make straight the way. Listening is a difficult process in life. In Lent we open the way of Hope that the world may see - We believe that Lent is a form of self - improvement. In a way it is right. But Lent is no mere individualistic, narcissistic and inward - looking self help festival. A good Lent must over flow in generosity. It is one of the signs. Takeout the bumps in the road, the bumps in the road we need to smooth out for the Lord to come. Relationships that have been neglected and there fore are full of clutter that needs removing?
Broken relationships may be easily mendable, little irritations or it may be that we need, in a good Lent, to take the first step to clearing away a major landslide. The practical ways are openness, transparency and treat each person and situation differently. Repair the relationship with the community. Zacchaeus , a tax collector received by Jesus makes a new relationship and he sorts himself out with God . His household will have been turned in to a place of hospitality rather than exhaustion. The discipline of a good Lent is to find again how we welcome the stranger, how we practice hospitality, how we listen. It is the eternal experience of the Church that God’s word to us comes in surprising ways and from unusual, and very often in our eyes unimportant people.
The interaction of Church and Society is the foundation of a good Lent and a good Lent the foundation of a just society. Not a Lent of abstinence, but a Lent of listening to our vocation, to rejoicing with those for whom things are going well, to suffering with those left behind. A listening Lent is one of robust disagreement not bland assurance, but disagreement with a moral vision and destination. A good Lent starts with in us. It moves through those most closely around us - In practice, let us see whether together, we can not make a discipline of listening better; and perhaps in Churches gathering once or twice during Lent for a period of prayer, of silence, of confession, of dealing with bad relationships and of sharing a meal together. There we will find Jesus Christ. There the road will be made smoother. A GOOD LENT MAKES SPACE FOR THE PRESENCE OF GOD IN ALL.
MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL
Lovingly, Sujan Achen
Dearly Beloved In Christ,
God’s word is unpredictable in its power. The Gospel speaks of a seed which once sown grows by itself, even as the farmer sleeps. The church has to accept this unruly freedom of the word, which accomplishes what it wills in ways that surpass our calculations and ways of thinking. The joy of the gospel is for all the people; no one can be excluded. That is what the angel proclaimed the good news to the shepherds. The Book Of Revelation speaks of an eternal Gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth to every nation and tongue and tribe and people (Rev:14:6).
The church is herself a missionary disciple, she needs to grow in her interpretation of the revealed word and in her understanding of truth. At the same time, today’s vast and rapid cultural changes demand that we constantly seek ways of expressing unchanging truths in a language which brings out their abiding newness. The deposits of the faith is one thing - the way it is expressed is another. “Let us never forget that the expression of truth can take different forms”. So try to understand the truth. A small step, in the midst of great human limitations. Can be more pleasing to God than a life which appears outwardly in order but moves through the day without confronting great difficulties.
The church is called to be the house of the Father, with doors always wide open. We are in an age of knowledge and information, which has led to new and often anonymous kinds of power. The joy of living frequently fades, lack of respect for others and violence are on the rise and inequality is increasingly evident. A number of diseases are spreading- The hearts of many people are gripped by fear and desperation, even in the So- called rich countries.
We need to distinguish clearly what might be a fruit of the kingdom from what runs counter to God’s plan. This involves not only recognition and discerning spirits, but also and this is decisive- choosing - movements of the spirit of God and rejecting those of the spirit of evil.
MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL
Dearly Beloved In Christ, The suffering of this world is inescapable. In our suffering we cry out to God and seek His love. As Christians we call out and challenge him when he seems not to answer. The psalmist does the same. Humility saves human in Gods eyes, while pride is a loser. The heart of a humble person is open. It accepts correction and trust in God. The heart of the proud person is the exact opposite. It is arrogant, closed, knows no shame. It is impervious to God’s voice. People’s of God posses the three characteristics of humility, poverty and the trust in the lord. Those who do not accept correction, they do not trust in the lord. They will be contemned these people cannot receive salvation. They are closed to salvation.
Poverty is a privileged gift that opens the door to the mystery of God. People who were not interested in the truth, who sought only their own interests and went where the wind blow. You should go this way, you should go that way, and they were weathervanes, all of them! All of them! Without consistency. A heart without consistency, so they negotiated everything, they negotiated interior freedom, they negotiated the faith, negotiated their country everything except appearances. To such people, getting the best out of every situation was the important thing. They were opportunities. They profited from the situations.
The observant people very secure in their habits. It’s true but only in appearance. They were strong, but on the outside. They were in a cast the heart was very weak, they don’t know what they believed. And because of this, their life the outer part of their life was completely regulated but the heart and a skin that was plastered over, strong, harsh, Jesus on the other hand teaches us that Christian should have a strong heart, a firm heart, a heart built on the rock that is Christ, and then in the way it goes out it goes out with prudence. “ In this case, I do this: but it is the way of going out but: the heart is not negotiable, the rock is not negotiable. The rock is Christ. It is not negotiable. Jesus never negotiates, his heart of the son of the father, but he was so open to the people seeking paths to help them. But this can’t be done our discipline, our doctrine say this can’t be done! They say. Why do your disciples eat grain in the fields, when they travel on the day of the Sabbath?. It can’t be done! They were so rigid in their discipline. “No the discipline can’t be touched it’s sacred. Jesus denounces hypocrisy and opportunism.
Humility saves human in God’s eyes, while pride is a loser.
WISH YOU A HAPPY BLESSED NEW YEAR.
Do not forget that in life, nothing remains unchanged and everything evolves through transformation. You must learn how to evaluate every situation with the correct amount of modesty. If you are living a moment of success, re-dimension your enthusiasm; If on the other hand you are waiting for a development be patient; everything turns and re-news itself.
Youth Chaplain's Corner
…and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. (John. 10:16)
One of the great visions that Jesus wanted to explain to His disciples is one Lord and one sheep. The oneness of Christians amidst of the diversities is the Lordship of Jesus. But many a time it became a force of division among Christians in the history. Even this was evident in the first century church where Paul asked the question ‘is Christ divided?’. When he was writing to the Ephesians Pau clearly explained what is the unity of Christians , “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all”. (Eph. 4. 4,5) But most of the oneness that Paul is trying to emphasise in these verses became forces of division in the church.
Jesus is telling us today that every Christian is part of His flock and He is the only Lord. Chapter 10 describes this unique relationship a shepherd has with sheep for the unity. The shepherd owns, knows and gives life to these flocks. This is an intimate and unique relationship that a shepherd is having with his sheep. All the sheep have the privilege to believe that there is someone who owns them, knows them and gives life in abundance and that is their shepherd. This intimate relationship should be the catalyst for our unity in Christ. We are one in Christ. John Chapter 10 also talks about the unique characteristics of the sheep who is part of this unity. They listen to the shepherd and will not listen to any other false shepherds because they recognise the voice of the shepherd. They know the shepherd and enter through the gate of Jesus for the salvation. They have no confusions on what they believe and who are the right prophets. Jesus clearly warns about the false teachers and heresies that can come on our way when we live in this world. If we don’t listen and know our shepherd then we will easily fall into the trap of division and hatred. Jesus said we will discern the false prophets by their fruits. So teachings and the fruits are to go hand in hand. The question is do we listen to our shepherd and shepherd alone? Do we know Him personally?
All the diversities that we have among Christianity should not be the forces of division and hatred among us but should a unifying force because we have only one Lord. But today it is sad to understand that a lot hatred and division is in the Christian community on what we believe and what we practice. The best answer to find a solution to these divisions is to listen to our shepherd and not be cheated by the false teachings. Let us know him personally then the diversities that we have is a blessing in our growing together. Let us enter through the gate of our Lord and He said ‘I am the gate’.
V. M. Mathew achen
Meet the office bearers
Rev Abraham Oommen
President & Vicar
English Lay Ministrant
Malayalam Lay Ministrant
Dr. Minnie John
Sunday School Superintendent
Edavaka Mission Representative
Sevika Sangham Representative
Yuvajana Sakhyam Secretary
Youth Fellowship Representative
C. S. Chacko
Diocesan (Assembly) Member
Executive Committee Member
The spiritual renewal in the Church, which was the offspring of reformation has created a yearning in believers to present the Gospel to others. It was realized that this could not be fully achieved by the services of a few full time evangelists. On the other hand every member of the Church should be a missionary filled with such joy and assurance of salvation as to be Christ’s witness to those who come into contact with him, irrespective of one’s profession in secular life.Believers interested in evangelistic and intercessory activities used to assemble periodically for prayer and fellowship. It was in the annual meeting of such a gathering in 1924, the present Mar Thoma Voluntary Evangelists’ Association was formed. Bishop Abraham Mar Thoma was the ardent supporter of this movement.The objective of this association is that every member of the Church should be a witness to Jesus Christ, whatever his or her occupation may be. Those who volunteer to be members of the Association meet together in each parish at least once a week for fellowship, intercessory prayer, Bible study and sharing experiences.The branch of the Mar Thoma Voluntary Evangelists Association in the Parish is called "Edavaka Mission".
The women in the Mar Thoma church also shared the spiritual power generated by the Reformation. The Mar Thoma Suvisesha Sevika Sangham the women’s wing, was inaugurated during the Maramon Convention in the year 1919, under the leadership of Abraham Mar Thoma Suffragan Metropolitan, who gave the Sangham continued support and inspiration. Every women of the Mar Thoma Church above the age of 18 years is a member of the Sevika Sangham. The Sevika Sangham has branches in all parishes of the Mar Thoma Church both in India and abroad. The Sevika Sangham at Ebenezer Mar Thoma Church is an extremely active and spirited group who play an extremely active role in the development and growth of our church.
In the Mar Thoma Church, Sunday Schools play a very significant role in the spiritual renewal and growth of young generation. The formal inauguration of the Sunday School Samajam took place at Maramon Convention in 1905. 'Come to Jesus and bring every child to Jesus' is the motto of our Sunday school. Since then the Sunday School organization has grown and changed but our motto still remains the same.Ebenezer Mar Thoma Church Sunday School is held every Sunday (with some exception) between September and June at 11:00am. It is comprised of an extremely dedicated team of teachers and an eager group of students who have led to its continued success year after year. Our students actively participate in Diocesan-led initiatives such as the National Diocesan Exam and VBS. In addition to bible study, our students also learn about church history and the growth of the Mar Thoma Church.
Youth Fellowship and Yuvagena Sakhyam
The Mar Thoma Yuvajana Sakhyam was organized with a view that all the young people in the Church should accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, and bear witness to His saving power. It was organized in 1933 by a resolution of the Sabha Prathinidhi Mandalam. Ebenezer Mar Thoma Church continues to honor this resolution with not only an active and thriving Yuvajana Sakhyam but also an extremely devoted Youth Fellowship group. Both groups work hand in hand to develop our youth as responsible young men and women who can face the challenges of life while upholding the faith and practices of the Mar Thoma Church and Christian values.
About Our Parish
Address: 406 King St Port Chester, NY 10573
Phone: (914) 413-9550
Sunday Worship: 9:30 AM
Sunday School: 11:00 AM
Ebenezer Mar Thoma Church, New York, established on 1987, Previously this parish was known as 'Congregation of Greater New York', one of the first Mar Thoma Congregation in USA , established on 1976.
His Grace, Late Rt. Rev .Dr. Alexander Mar Thoma Metropolitan renamed this Congregation as Ebenezer Mar Thoma Church and the worshipping location was Pelham Community Church, at Washington & High Brook Ave, Pelham, New York. There were seventy families regularly attended the worship service. Rev. George Varghese was our Vicar and Rt. Rev. Dr. Abraham Mar Paulose (Rev.Dr.K.U.Abraham) served as Asst.Vicar.
When we write the history of our church, we cannot ignore the period of 1996 – 2000, a new era of our North American Diocese and Ebenezer Mar Thoma church, the untold story of our sufferings and sacrifice. Even though we walked through the valley of the shadow of death, we were grateful to be the part of the history of Mar Thoma Sabha in North America. We were glad to have the historical judgment which enabled the Diocesan of North America to establish and expand their spiritual and social growth in North America.
We thank our late Metropolitan, His Grace Rt. Rev. Dr. Alexander Valiya Metropolitan, our first Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Rev. Dr. Zacharias Mar Theophilus Suffragan for their immense support and guidance
After 25 years, by the Grace of our Savior Jesus Christ, we have our own church and we have started service on our new parish on January 22nd 2012.
On March 31st 2012, His Grace Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan consecrated our church along with our Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Rev. Dr. Geevarghese Mar Theodosius Episcopa.