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 10 AM
Sunday School at 9:15 AM
Dearly beloved in Christ, Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy for all the people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour who is the Messiah” (Proverbs 14:26-27)
We are going to celebrate Christmas in coming days. Christmas is the day on which God took birth as a human being. On this day heaven and earth unite and it is the day of joy and gladness. It is a day of great joy. Christmas is a Happy day, which is relevant to all mankind. That day God who is invisible and infinite was born as a helpless babe. That day infancy became glorified and sublime.
The joy that comes from Christmas is spiritual. With Christ’s birth, an ever-cherished dream of humanity has been realized. The irony is that we do all this in the name of Jesus who had no place to be born, no place to lay his head. He had nothing and lived as a poor man. We forget this when we flow money to celebrate his birthday.
Two elegantly dressed ladies arrived at a five-star hotel and ordered food. As they were enjoying themselves a friend who passed by asked them: “What are you celebrating? One of them replied: It is my son’s second birthday”. “But where is he? Oh, I left him with my mother. He is very mischievous. He won’t let us eat in peace”. Yes! This is how we celebrate Christmas today. We do it without Jesus because he is such a “nuisance” when we celebrate Christmas in star hotels, spending huge amounts for food and liquor. The largest number of accidents take place on Christmas day because nobody is in his senses that day. They float in liquor. However, the joy that people have today is not the temporary moments of happiness people get when they lose themselves in drinks and licentious activities.
The angel proclaimed the news of his birth to the world thus: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people”(Luke 2:7). Christ came to drive away the powers of evil and to emancipate all people. This is the reason for joy but today we rejoice in his birth with the powers of evil and darkness. Another reason for joy is that Jesus who controls history enters history. It is no longer a God who is away, far in some remote place. He became flesh and lived amidst us. He is part of our experiences. The name Immanuel means God with us. He became human to become identified with all our experiences.
Jews had cherished such a longing and we find in the works of the prophets, the hopes and dreams of a Saviour, a king, a Messiah. The prophets and visionaries had prophesied the birth of Christ, far in advance the Jewish priests and other eminent men were waiting to see him. However, when he was born, it was two unexpected groups of people who were lucky enough to see him. They were of two classes and of different social status. They were the illiterate shepherds of Judea and the wise men of the East The illiterate shepherds were poor men unstained by the complexities of organized religion. These innocent people were the first to hear of the birth of Christ and the first to see infant Jesus. They are men who fulfill these words of Jesus. “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. They had no power of reason and intelligence to doubt what the angels said or to question the ‘irrationality’ of their proclamation. They took the words of angels at the face-value and acted accordingly. There are even today some who wish to have a vision of God. But they will not see him unless they remove the cobwebs in their hearts. It is the purity of the heart and not the outward performance of rites and rituals, that brings a vision of God.
The wise men of the east are believed to be the royal magi who were great scholars in astronomy. So far it has not been possible to know more about these men. A particular star gave them a hint of the birth of a ‘king. They set out pursuing the star to find the baby. In fact, for them it was a search for Truth. These wise men give us the message that the vision of God is possible for the seekers after Truth. The message of Christmas is Love. St. John reveals it “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life…” (Jn. 3:16) Jesus came to save us from the powers of evil and darkness. Isaac Newton was proud of his discoveries in the world of science. He made discovery in his personal life. “Jesus is a great Saviour and I am a sinner”. Christ emancipated us from sin. This is the spiritual joy that we must experience through Christmas. May the Lord God Almighty help us to reveal joy and love throughout this season and the new year ahead.
With prayers and Blessings, In God’s Ministry,
BIJI MATHEW ACHEN
Youth Chaplain's Corner
“Except the Lord build a house, they labor in vain that build it. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” - Psalms 127:1
Our efforts are useless unless we do our work the way God wants us to do it. In the about verse two importance aspects of human life are being addressed: establishing a house and who will protect us. This verse shows us the importance of God being the main component in each of these aspects of our lives.
Often we feel that by our own abilities, we have accomplished great things. We feel that by our abilities we have gain wealth and security. But the above verse shows that without God, everything that we have acquired and those things that we put our trust in is vain or useless.
It is the presence of God that gives us not only the security but also the peace that enables us to enjoy life. In Proverbs 17:1 it is written, “Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.” Having more is not always better. Having more does not mean that we will have more enjoyment. There are people who have a great deal of material wealth, but do not have peace or happiness.
Peace is not in the absence of trouble, but in the presence of God. When God is the foundation of your life, the foundation of your house, and the One you trust to watch over your life, then you will have peace.
Jesus Christ, told us that in this world, we will have problems. But we are to be confident because He has overcome the world. So we should build our lives and our homes the way God wants us to. We should trust God to watch over us. This will help give meaning to our lives and peace to our souls.
“I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” - Joshua 1:9 (NRSV)
Joshua was entrusted to lead the Israelites into the promise land without the leadership of Moses. As he recalled the challenges that he faced in the past, as he reflected on his own abilities, he probably felt that he was not capable of the task ahead of him. It was at this time that the word of the Lord came to him. The Lord’s words and the guarantee of the Lord’s presence enabled Joshua to go forward to accomplish what he had to do.
The reason that Joshua was not to be afraid or dismayed was because the Lord was going to be with him. This is similar to the experience of the disciples at the end of the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus told the disciple to go into the world and teach the people the word and will of God, making disciples of people from all nations. With the commission was the promise that “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
We as Christians are called to believe in God and do the tasks that God has called us to do. This New Year we will all face trails and difficulties, but remember that God is with us. Remember that God will empower us. Remember faith does not make things easy, faith makes things possible.
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” - Luke 2:14
The only way to really get peace in this world is to give Glory to God, the two are connected. The peace that this world needs and is searching for is a gift from God. It is believed that the famous French mathematician, philosopher, and physicist – Blaise Pascal said:
“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”
As we are celebrating this Christmas season, and as we are getting ready to enter a new year, let us meditate on the fact that the only thing that can fulfill us is God. It is by giving glory to God in everything that we do, that we will find peace in this world. There can be no part of our life that is separated from worshipping God.
We obtain peace when we understand our true purpose in this world. We were not created to glorify ourselves and take care of ourselves. We were created to Glorify God and to take care of each other.
Meet the office bearers
Rev Biji Mathew
President & Vicar
George P Varughese
Dr Susan Kurian
John C Mathai
English Lay Ministrant
Malayalam Lay Ministrant
Sunday School Superintendent
Edavaka Mission Representative
Sevika Sangham Representative
Yuvajana Sakhyam Representative
Youth Fellowship Representative
Diocesan (Assembly) 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: 10:00 AM
Sunday School: 09:15 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.
Rev. Sony Philip
Rev. Abraham Oommen
Rev. Benjamin George
Rev. Johnson C Jacob
Rev. Johnson Varghese
Rev. George Mathew
Rev. Dr. V. S. Varghese (Associate Vicar)
Rev. Thomas Easow
Rev. Thomas C Alexander
Rev. Dr. T. P. Abraham
Rev. Johnson Varghese
Rev. Dr. K. U. Abraham (Associate Vicar) (Rt. Rev. Dr. Abraham Mar Paulose)
Rev. G. Varghese