That they all may be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me (John 17: 21). Dearly Beloved in Christ, Greetings in the matchless name of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
I am indeed happy and privileged to meet you all through the September issue of our Parish Messenger as the new presbyter in charge. First of all, let me thank the Church Committee members and parishioners for the hearty welcome and fond hospitality provided for me from the time of arrival.
The month of September is very much important in the history of the Church of South India. On 27 September 1947, a month after India achieved its independence, the plan of God and miracle happened in the Indian Church history. The four major traditions of the Church were brought together in the CSI: Anglican, Congregational, Presbyterian and Methodist. The Church of South India, the second largest Church in India and also the largest Protestant denomination in the country is a distinguishable symbol of unity; called to be a witnessing community through our words and deeds.
The four major traditions had several difficulties in coming together as one church. There was a fear within everyone in loosing their identity against the other. In order to overcome the fear and the paradigm for the visible symbol of being one church could be drawn from the prayer of Jesus Christ. The united church is a growing church.
The CSI Motto “that they all may be one”, point towards the call of oneness. This oneness is possible only if we are open minded to respect each other, their religion, their language and culture in all dimensions. The militant evangelism, and the exclusive attitude, etc… are against the call of oneness. Jesus Christ loved every one. Mathew 5: 46 reminds us “For if you love those who love you what reward do you have?… And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others?… Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly father is perfect”.
Let us show the world that the CSI recognizes the diversity of the other, appreciates the values and concerns of the other and this church is continuing its mission by caring for the other. Let us uphold the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Hope you all have reached back safely after holidays. Wishing you all a blessed and fruitful academic year. Let this month come to you with lot of blessings. Thank God for the good life we presently enjoy but don’t allow God’s current blessing to distract us from praying (Mike wittmer).
God Bless you All
Yours in Christ
Rev. Levin Koshy Mallasseril