Youth Chaplin's

Dear Families of the Mar Thoma Church of New Jersey, Randolph,

Welcome to 2018. Let us praise the Holy Trinity for this great privilege. The past year was filled with varied experiences: good, difficult, bitter, expected, unexpected, pleasant, and/or indifferent. A new year calls for new decisions, and to turn a new chapter in our lives. The blessed Apostle Paul says in his second letter to Corinth, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2 Cor 5:17 NRSV)

As we move into 2018, I would like to share a few thoughts which I would like you to meditate and work on as individuals & families:

Remember the past, live in the present, and plan/hope for the future.

Jeremiah 6:16 (NRSV): “Thus says the LORD: Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, “We will not walk in it.” As human beings, we are focused on the here and now. The bible speaks about faith of generations. We are here not because of our own doing, but rather, God’s divine purpose, and the living & dynamic faith & rich traditions which have been passed on to us. While we look at our lives, we need to understand that we are not people of the present, but also of the past and future. Without building our spiritual roots in the present, how can there be a future? Let us not be the weak or broken link of faith, but rather a strong link of faith for the coming generations.

Focus on resolutions & Christ-centered living in the new year.

The new year always brings the need for resolutions. When we make any resolution with the Lord, it is meant to be kept and fulfilled. In the midst of our weaknesses/sins, or with the securities and resources the world offers, we can be tempted to drift away from His divine presence. 2018 is a call to respond to His invitation and return with a spirit of repentance & renewal. In essence, we need to reach a point where we can proclaim as Joshua did, by saying: “As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

On behalf of my family and myself, we wish you and your families a blessed & Christ-centered New Year! May the blessings of God the Father, Son, & Holy Spirit, be with us all.

Sincerely,

Dennis Achen (Youth Chaplain)

 

Dear Families of the Mar Thoma Church of New Jersey, Randolph, 

We have approached the final quarter of the year 2017. When looking back, we can remember the experiences we have had this year. Experiences of joy, sadness, confusion, anxiety. Some experiences were expected or unexpected. But we can take refuge and comfort that our Lord is the Lord of our lives and experiences. The Psalmist says: “The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)

Dear Families of the Mar Thoma Church of New Jersey, Randolph,

In current events, we are aware of the happenings in Asia/Middle East, Africa, Europe, and here in the homeland. Various terrorists’ attacks and acts of violence are a violation to God’s creation and are against the sanctity of human life. Taking the life of human beings is an act against God, our Creator. These harmful acts against humanity have gripped us with fear. The complications of the political arena on all sides have resulted in a polarized environment, fear-tinged rhetoric, and an indignant milieu. This fear has translated into mistrust and anger towards the ‘other.’ The ‘human face’ of humanity has been disrupted.

Dear Families of The Mar Thoma Church of New Jersey

We are soon approaching passion week, where we remember & meditate on the suffering on our Lord, and His journey to the cross. For the past month, the church has exhorted the faithful to spend time in fasting, almsgiving, prayer, and service, in the struggle for spiritual renewal. The theologian Walter Brueggemann opines lent as “a way other than our own.” 

Dear Families of the Mar Thoma Church of NJ, Randolph,

Welcome to 2017. By the grace of God, we have entered a new year. When considering the experiences and events during the past year, things have been eventful. Our lives and our surrounding have progressed, but have also transformed in ways unexpected. The Apostle Paul says, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth…” (Col. 3:2). We have been created in the image and likeness of God, to reflect His glory. But as we have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, we have diverted from His plan and purpose for us in our lives. As we are in 2017, I propose the following 3 R’s for our spiritual growth.

Jesus said “You are the Light of the World”. Every believer and member of the Mar Thoma Church should take up the responsibility to lighten others and hence our motto – Lighted to Lighten.

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