Dear Parish Members,
It gives me great pleasure to address you through our website. It has been almost 4 months since Betsy and I started our ministry here in this parish. As we find our feet around this place and parish we are grateful to our parish members who helped us to settle in.
I believe that God has endowed our parish with a great resource – its worshipping community. When we gather together in the name of our Lord, He is here in our midst. God’s presence is made real through God’s people. His presence is felt when we partake in the Holy Communion with reverence and a thirst for His presence. The Bible says, “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near”. (Isaiah 55:6). Let me take this opportunity to urge all of our parish members to be a regular participant in our parish worship. That will make our life, witness and work a blessing to the people around us. Strengthened by the words of the Gospel and inspired by the presence of Jesus, we can make God real to the people around us. The world around us is examining whether we have a witness. There are many around us who want to see if God can exist or work in today’s world. As Christians, our life and witness can be an answer to that.
As I address you, Kerala is just recovering from the worst floods that one could ever imagine. I understand that it has affected even our families though we are thousands of miles away from it. That’s because it has impacted our own brothers and sisters back in our hometown. We heard heart-rending stories of devastation. But what stands out in this time of crisis is that when a natural calamity showed us its worst, we humans showed our best. Kerala’s response at this time of crisis was exemplary. When all across India, political forces try to divide humans on the basis of religion, people of Kerala rose above their political, religious and caste differences and survived this calamity together. It was heartening to see people of different leanings work and stay together. The Government machinery, armed forces, voluntary organizations and people from all walks of life kicked into action. The fishermen of Kerala rose to become our heroes when they valiantly rescued thousands from places where even our armed forces couldn’t reach. They were just recovering from the devastation caused by Cyclone Ockhi. That did not dither them from going in search of the lost. Along with devastation this flood has brought many such lessons to be learnt. Humans can rise above their limitations. It is only our narrow mindsets, our enmities and our negative thinking that hold us down. I am happy that our parish members also got together and raised $10,186/- to help in the church’s efforts for relief and rehabilitation of flood victims.
Let us work and pray together, so that our Carmel Mar Thoma family may become a vibrant family of God that lives breathes the gospel through its life and witness.
Yours in Christ
Rev. Thomas John
25th August, 2018.