ecumenicaljourneyuk2012

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World Refugee Day – 20th June

 

WRDToday we observe World Refugee Day to bring awareness about the growing crises due to rapidly increasing refugees in different parts of our World.  It is deeply painful to see that people of the land are forced out to face inhuman situations that make their lives fo different – Difficult, Dangerous and Dehumanising.


Recently, on 30th April, Rev Fr John P Thomas, the Secretary of the MOSC – UK Diocese and I attended the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI)  Conference at Swansea, Wales. I was petrified yet amazed at the heart rending story of Abuna Elias Chacour. He made the entire group feel shattered for what our brothers and sisters in Palestine experience as refugees in their own land having been tricked in a moment!  Yet the faith stories and struggles to love and live with all people in this land is a huge eye opener.  He is a living legend that can spread the message of LOVE to the ends of the world.  His story vividly presents the innovations of a Palestinian Israeli who lives, advocates and campaigns for Peace and Reconciliation.  We were blessed to have him as the key resource person.  I would greatly recommend the book that he has authored with Mary E Jensen titled, ‘WE BELONG TO THE LAND’.

I am also glad to report at this time that His Grace Angaelos a General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church   in the United Kingdom, the church of Egypt (founded by St Mark the Apostle  around 55 AD and the largest Christian denomination in the Middle East), was elected as the new Moderator of the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) on 30th April at Swansea.  The MOSC (IOC) – UK Diocese Ecumenical Relations Desk Congratulates His Grace and looks forward to a fruitful leadership.  We pray that under His Grace’s Laadership, we will be able to address the issues in relation to refugees to a considerable extent.

A memorable moment with HG Angaelos and Abuna Elias Chacour (retired Archbishop of the Melkite Catholic Church) who were a great INSPIRATION as Models for Peace & Reconciliation

A memorable moment with HG Angaelos and Abuna Elias Chacour (retired Archbishop of the Melkite Catholic Church) who were a great INSPIRATION as Models for Peace & Reconciliation

World Refugee Day reminds us that 51.2 million people have been forcefully displaced at the end of 2013.  It is very shocking . Aljazeera has 3 stories to make us more aware of the crises and you can read them at the following link if you wish to:

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/06/world-refugee-day-three-stories-struggle-201461410741569382.html

You can also read more about the new humanitarian crises that mark the 2014 World Refugee Day in the following link:

https://www.wfp.org/news/news-release/new-humanitarian-crises-mark-year%E2%80%99s-world-refugee-day

In a world where we hear, talk and dream of Human Rights, there is so much more to be realised that we can reflect all these in places where they are greatly abused.  How can we make a difference to this evil as Churches, Communities and Nations?

EJ

20th June 2014

 

An Amazing Mother

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An amazing video clip. Thanks to whoever captured it and to all who shared it. The goose and the goslings enable us to cross the boundaries of our language, region, colour, caste, race, faith, region etc. to see the goodness and appreciate it. See the number of shares in two weeks time and the spectrum of people who have shared it. Don’t miss it, watch it and be inspired…. Read the following if you wish to after watching the video clip. Share your reflections too to inspire many more.

 

She does not loose count of her young ones
She does not give up on the weak and least
She does definitely love them tons and tons
Waits patiently to lead them, teach and feast

Isn’t God like this for us in our life reality?
Having shown us the path of spirituality
Waiting for us with hope, very patiently
Trusting us that we’ll reach diligently?

No matter what path we take but focus on
No matter how many times we fall down
Keep trying, move forward we’ll be gone
To be with God from any village or town

EJ
9th June 2014


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Knowing our faith and Celebrating WED this year

WEDimages wed logo

As we celebrate the World Environment Day today, let us ask ourselves how we can celebrate it all through the year in very small and simple ways.  The UN theme for this year is ‘Raise your voice, not the sea level’.  It focusses on climate change.  This calls each one of us to act in very small ways in our own homes and local contexts to make the world better for people far away in smaller Islands living with the fear of loosing their islands and their lives.  For details about what you can do to help small Islands please refer to this link:

http://www.unep.org/wed/about/#.U5Avx4UmHKc

I would like to share the following poster which I like so much and translate what it says to the best that I can. It says that everyday each one of us use oxygen equivalent to 3 cylinders to live. Each cylinder costs INR 700/.  The cost per day per person will be INR 2100/ adding up to INR 766500 annually.   We get all this Oxygen free from the trees.  However, we cut down trees and destroy them, make paper out of it and publish posters with it saying, ‘SAVE TREES’!

If we wish to address issues related to climate changing, we need to save trees, forests and all the life in the forests. We also need to be conscious of how we use water, electricity (yes including this didgital media to campaign for this!), and all other natural resources.  Unless we save the trees, forests, waters, and protect the atmosphere taking small decisions in our daily lives, we will not be able to realise this year’s theme ‘Raise your voice, not the sea level’.

 

Save tree poster...

 

In order to connect our social action and spiritual responsibility to translate our faith into action I would like to add the following.  To a question about the Priest praying for ‘the salvation of the whole creation’ in the Orthodox Liturgy, HG Yuhanon Meletius answers as follows.  I am sharing this post from our Thirumeni’s wp.com site with the following link for further reading if you wish to:

http://yuhanonmilitos.wordpress.com/about/?replytocom=353#respond

A slightly edited version is shared below for your reflection and action where ecospirituality has been part of our faith, worship for ages and ofcourse it needs to become part of our action too in our every day lives.   Wishing you a very Happy World Environment Day 2014!

EJ

 

Dear Thirumeni

Hope you are keeping fine by the grace of God. As always, can you please clear my doubt.

During our Holy Qurbana, the priest prays for the salvation of the whole creation (sarva srishtiyudeyum mochanam). What is meant here – Is it the whole of the mankind OR the entire nature – including men, animals and plants.

In this connection another question – do the animals and plants have souls ?

Regards

…..

RESPONSE

Dear …
Hope you and your dear ones are doing fine by the grace of God.
I am sorry I could not reply sooner. I had to attend to too many things during the past two weeks.
Any way to answer your question, we may have to deal with the issue of salvation. What is salvation? There are people who talk about salvation as some thing to do with ‘after death experience’. Again there are people who talk about salvation of the soul as if there are several unrelated faculties in God’s creation. Further there are people who talk about salvation as some thing applicable only to humans. These interpretations do not do justice to the issue.
Salvation is setting things in the right place. Look at the creation story and read further the story of fall of humankind. Before the fall of humankind there was a perfect relationship between God, humans and nature. See the phrases used in that part of the Bible. Every thing in creation was related. However, with the fall of humankind, humans went away from God, one human was against another, nature was against humankind. The whole relationship was destroyed.

Every thing created by God is primarily related to God and then to one another including humans. This relationship keeps every thing in a saved situation. Once this relationship is broken, salvation is impossible for any element in creation.
God’s work in Jesus Christ was to reestablish this broken relationship. So salvation is to be understood as getting back to the original kind of relationship. Here the whole creation is to be involved.
Look at our situation now. Humans do not look for the will of God, humans are fighting between themselves for no serious reason, nature is showing its fury on us. This causes suffering and death. This has to be changed. A change in nature can challenge our life. A tree can cause pain to our life, a fruit can destroy our life. Look at the change of weather patterns now. It does not respect our dreams and wishes. We do not respect the dreams and wishes of God. Every thing is in a broken world trying to make life safe and peaceful. This has to be set right. This is salvation.
Way back in history, even before the western theologians and philosophers ever thought about ecology and sustenance of this earth and its resources, before any organization to save endangered species, who started programmes to speak against global warming our Church father thought of them and made those concerns expressed in our liturgy. That is the richness of our liturgy. It is a pity that we do not understand and teach them.
Humans cannot be saved if weather patterns are not favorable which will affect agriculture, crop and other livelihood activities. This is why ” sarva srishtiyudeyum mochanam” is voiced in our liturgy.
Regards and prayers
Thirumeni

 

DSC06394

Wishing you a very happy World Environment Day!

EJ

 

 


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A Tribute to Late Lamented HH Baselius Marthoma Didymus I

God’s overarching Grace and your Undergirding Prayers

Nature's beauty

Your Holiness, Go now in peace

Rest in God’s eternal embrace

That God’s overarching grace

Will never let your joy cease

 

Pray for us that we’ll continue

In the path you’ve led & shown

That we as a Church will renew

The Faith in which we’ve grown

 

May your prayers for us undergird

Our path and be a strong fold

That we may soar up like a bird

In faith reach heights untold.

 

We thank God for your great life

Your patience to face all strife

Your continued humble search

To serve God through our Church

- Elizabeth Joy

 

didimos_bava

His Holiness Baselius Marthoma Didymus I entered eternal rest yesterday, 26th May 2014.

Photos: Courtesy Dr Seena Abraham and MTV


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Transgenders at traffic signal educating people

traffic signal

Although some Indians claim often that Transgenders in India are a privileged group considered to bring blessings, it was true in history long back only.  Now they are an excluded community that is often mocked at and a majority of them are forced to earn their living by begging. We cannot and should not forget that they are also created in God’s image just as we are. I am happy to share with you the following video clip where I see them doing something creative and are  seen with people as they stop at signal points.  They are a community that needs to be made inclusive in the normal life of humanity.  I am glad to see them do this than the usual begging and being treated harsh. We need to change to bring about a CHANGE.

http://www.storypick.com/group-eunuchs-traffic-signal-something-amazing-must-never-forget/

15th April is observed as Transgenders Day in Tamilnadu.  The good news must reach them too.  God’s spirit drove Philip to share goodnews about Christ.  It is our duty and responsibility to include them in ways that they feel comfortable with others.

EJ

 

 


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Vote responsibly in the 2014 Elections to the EU

every_vote_counts

A plea to all who believe in justice and peace for all people, crossing borders of class caste, race, religion and region to vote responsibly in the forthcoming elections to the EU. Although the following is addressed to Christians in particular, I am sure it will not appeal to all Christians who do not value justice and peace but will make sense to people of all faiths and no faith if they believe in the welfare of humanity as a whole crossing all barriers.  So make sure you vote on 22nd May here in UK and make a difference with your responsible participation.

EJ

https://dub123.mail.live.com/mail/ViewOfficePreview.aspx?messageid=mgT-UWk93V4xGL7QAhWtc9DA2&folderid=flinbox&attindex=0&cp=-1&attdepth=0&n=75796430

 


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Our Prayers for the Nigerian Students

Kidnapped Nigerian Students

O God, be merciful and kind

To the students in captivity

Lead captors that they find

A way to stop their hostility

 

Let your presence be there

Let them know that you care

Let Abubakar feel it’s unfair

And put a stop to this nightmare

 

We pray for those men now

That the genuine human love

Spring from their hearts to fail

The desire of these girls ‘for sale’

 

We pray for mothers with tears

Overshadowed with great fears

We pray for the girls for safety

And for their health and security

 

We pray that these walls crumble

Walls that support any hostility

That make girls, women tremble

Let it not pass on to our posterity.

AMEN.

Elizabeth Joy

6th May 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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