Maramon (Kerala), Feb 9 : Asia’s biggest Christian convention got underway here Sunday with Philipose Mar Chrysostum, senior metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Church, leading the opening worship.
The 119th edition of the week-long meet, called Maramon Convention and organised by the Mar Thoma Evangelistic Association, got underway on the river bed of Pampa here.
Maramon is on the banks of the Pampa river, about 20 km from Thiruvalla. The convention takes place on the river bed under a sprawling temporary shed, made of coconut leaves, which will seat about a lakh of people.
The Mar Thoma community has nearly a million believers and for any devout Mar Thomaite, a visit to the convention is a must. Christians from other denominations also attend the congregation.
Each day will have three separate sessions for women and men and a series of prayer and devotional music sessions.
A large number of Kerala politicians also attend the convention. With Lok Sabha polls around the corner, a huge influx of politicians is expected this year.
Union Minister Sashi Tharoor, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P.J.Kurien (who belongs to the Mar Thoma church) and state Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph were present at the inaugural session.
The 119th Maramon Convention, the annual Christian religious retreat, began with a call to pray for the stability and well being of the nation.
Inaugurating the week-long annual religious retreat, Joseph Mar Thoma, Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar, called upon believers to tread the path of peace and justice in order to lead a blessed life.
The Metropolitan said it was a pity that competition for power and position had become the bane of society. He said believers should uphold the spirit of reformation.
Preparations for 119th Maramon Convention meet begin
The Mar Thoma Evangelistic Association (MTEA) attached to Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar, has launched preparations for Maramon Convention, a week-long annual spiritual retreat, to be held on the riverbed of Pampa at Maramon near Kozhencherry. Billed as Asia’s largest annual Christian congregation, the Maramon convention will be held from February 9 to 16.
Thomas Mar Themotheus Metropolitan, MTEA president, inaugurated the work on the large thatched shed (pandal) on the Pampa riverbed, traditional venue of the century-old convention, on Friday. Joseph Mar Thoma, Metropolitan, led the opening prayer.
Fr. Abraham P. Oommen, MTEA general secretary; P.P. Achenkunju, treasurer; K.K. Royson, Sajan Veloor, Binu V. Eapen, Aji Karimkuttickal, managing committee members; and Malethu Saraladevi, former MLA, were among those who attended the function. The pandal is expected to accommodate as many as one lakh people.
The Mar Thoma Metropolitan will inaugurate the meet on February 9. Philipose Mar Chrysostum, senior Metropolitan, will lead the opening worship, MTEA leaders said.
The 118th Maramon Convention will conclude in Maramon at 4 pm on February 17. Rev Andile M Mbete, of South Africa, will speak at 2.30 pm. Mar Thoma Church Metropolitan Joseph Mar Thoma will deliver the concluding message at 3 pm.
Earlier, at 10.30 am, Metropolitan Joseph Mar Thoma will inaugurate the 125th anniversary of the Mar Thoma Evangelistic Association.
Association president Thomas Mar Timotheos will preside over the function.
Geevarghese Mar Athanasius will speak after the inaugural function at 11.30 am.
By Express News Service – KOZHENCHERY
17th February 2013
The week-long Maramon Convention is the meeting place of believers and it helps bring people closer, Thomas Mar Thethose, Metropolitan of the Mumbai diocese of the Mar Thoma Church, has said.
The Metropolitan was delivering a discourse at the Maramon Convention at on the riverbed of Pampa at Maramon near Kozhencherry on Monday.
He compared modern man’s life to an ‘author editing his own work,’ which would not be appropriate. Instead, a true believer should leave the ‘editing job’ to the divine will. The flaws in his life could only be corrected thus, he added.
Believers should understand the pleasure and joy in sacrificing something for the wellbeing of others, Mar Thethose said.
Rev. Andile M. Mebte from South Africa; and Rev. Philip Moun Stephen from the United Kingdom delivered discourses at 2 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. on Monday.
Philipose Mar Chrysostum, senior Metropolitan of Mar Thomas Church, Mathews Mar Makarios, and Gregorios Mar Stephanose will deliver discourses at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Cardinal Baselius Mar Cleemis Catholicos of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church and bishops of various other churches will address the ecumenical meet to be held on Wednesday.
Believers must pray for the wellbeing of the whole world and let the will of God prevail in its fullness, Philipose Mar Chrysostum, senior Metropolitan of Mar Thoma Church, has said.
“God’s goodness unfolds before our eyes like a flower opens itself to the sun. Everything in the world is mutually dependent and the whole is dependent upon God,” he said, while delivering the keynote address on the second day of the Maramon Convention on the riverbed of the Pampa at Maramon near Kozhencherry on Tuesday.
Most Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan said every human being should actively take part in God’s work on earth. A true follower of Jesus Christ should help the needy.
“We understand God by what He has done. Maramon Convention gives the message that a good man consciously looks for ways to benefit others,” he said.
Mar Chrysostum said the Church which was bound to give light to the world lacked the light.
He said at the convention believers must work in unison with their family and the Church for the welfare of those who were denied even the basic needs in life.
Mathews Mar Makarios and Gregorios Mar Stephanose delivered the keynote address at 2 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Cardinal Baselius Mar Cleemis Catholicos of the Syro Malankara Catholic Church and bishops of various other Churches would address the ecumenical meet on Wednesday forenoon.
Bishop Thomas K. Oommen will address the awareness meet against social evils in the afternoon.
The Mar Thoma Metropolitan will formally inaugurate the 125th anniversary celebrations of the Mar Thoma Evangelistic Association (MTEA) at a function to be held at the convention venue on Saturday.
Mar Thoma Metropolitan Joseph Mar Thoma will deliver the valedictory message on Sunday afternoon.
Unity of Churches is a necessity for serving society with goodness, Cardinal Mar Baselius Cleemis Catholicos, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, has said.
The Cardinal was delivering the keynote address at the Ecumenical Meet held in connection with the 118th Maramon Convention at its traditional venue on the riverbed of Pampa at Maramon, near Kozhencherry, on Wednesday. The Church would witness revelation in word and deed. How one conceived of the nature of the Church would involve how one related the Church to the world. The world was the good gift of God. God purposely created the world, declared it good, and continues to preserve it.
This goodness included a solemn charge for humans, as bearers of the image of God, to care for the natural world and to care for each other, he said.
Also at the meet
Joseph Mar Thoma, Metropolitan of Mar Thoma Church, presided over the meet. Rev. Walter Altman, World Council of Churches moderator and evangelist from Brazil, delivered the message.
Philipose Mar Chrysostum, senior Metropolitan; Archbishop Kuriakose Mar Savarios of the Knanaya Church, Mar Aprem Metropolitan; Joshua Mar Ignathios, Kuriakose Mar Gregorios; Bishop Sam Mathew and Bishop Thomas Samuel of the Church of South India, K.P.Yohannan Metropolitan of the Believers Church, Zachariaas Mar Theophilus Saffragan Metropolitan, Issac Mar Peelexinos, Thomas Mar Themotheos, Yuyakim Mar Koorilos, Joseph Mar Barnabas, Geevarghese Mar Theodoseus, Abraham Mar Paulose, Mathews Mar Makarios, Thomas Mar Thethose, Gregorios Mar Stephanos, Cyriac Thomas, National Minority Commission member; and Joseph M. Puthuserry, former MLA, were among those who attended the meet.
Bishop Thomas K. Oommen of the Church of South India delivered the keynote address at the ‘meet against social evils’ held in the afternoon.
Rev. Walter Altman delivered the discourse at the evening session.
Cardinal Baselius Mar Cleemis Catholicos has released a Malayalam book on Philipose Mar Chrysostum, senior Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Church, titledChrysostum Methrapoleethayude Lokam(World of Chrysostum Metropolitan), written by Mathew Koshy Punnackadu.
The book release was at a function held at Maramon, near Kozhencherry, on Wednesday. The Cardinal handed over the first copy to National Minority Commission member Cyriac Thomas. Former Agriculture Minister Mullakkara Ratnakaran, inaugurated the function. Bishop Sam Mathew of the Church of South India presided. Mar Chrysostum; Saji Chacko, district panchayat member; and Thomas Jacob, Malayala Manorama editorial director, spoke.
The real Church is missionary in nature that shares the witness of Jesus Christ with others and responds constructively towards the problems facing the fellow beings, said Walter Altman, evangelist from Brazil.
Mr. Altman, who is also the moderator of the World Council of Churches, was delivering the keynote address at the forenoon session of the Maramon Convention at Maramon on Thursday.
He said it was always good to learn what was good in the world and the Church had learned a lot of good lessons from India too.
P. Joy Oommen, former Chief Secretary of Chattisgarh, delivered the keynote address at the youth meet held in the afternoon. Joseph Mar Barnabas Metropolitan presided.
Philip Moun Stephen, evangelist from United Kingdom, delivered the keynote address at the evening session.
The week-long religious meet will come to a close on Sunday. Joseph Mar Thoma, Metropolitan of Mar Thoma Church, will deliver the valedictory message at 2.30 p.m. on Sunday.
The Maramon Convention, widely regarded as Asia’s largest annual Christian gathering, concluded on Sunday, February 19, at Maramon near Kozhencherry, Kerala.
The 117th Maramon Convention saw tens of thousands of people in attendance, travelling from different corners of the country and around the world.
The week-long convention came to a close with the valedictory message delivered by Mar Thoma Metropolitan, Joseph Mar Thoma.
In his message, Joseph Mar Thoma challenged the mammoth crowd to keep firm faith and follow Christ’s teachings to confront wider problems within the family and society.
Addressing lack of spiritual and moral values can help tackle some of society’s vexing problems, such as crime, corruption and violence, he observed.
Organised by the Mar Thoma Evangelistic Association, the theme for this year’s convention was “Arise, let us be going”.
In addition to the Metropolitan, priests and bishops of the Mar Thoma Church, world renowned speakers addressed this year’s convention.
Biblical discourses were given by renowned speakers, such as Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana from South Africa, Rev Kang-San-Tan from Malaysia and Rev Martin Alphons from the United States.
Earlier, the opening session was attended by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Ministers P J Joseph and Adoor Prakash, among other politicians.
Launched in the year 1896, the ecumenical event is held annually by the Mar Thoma Evangelistic Association, which is the missionary wing of the Mar Thoma Church.
The week-long event brings some 200,000 Christians belonging to different church denominations. Prayer, singing, preaching and Bible study occupy the major part of the convention programme.
Distinguished speakers who addressed the convention in the past include Rev Thomas Walker, Sadhu Sunder Singh, Dr G Sherwood Eddy, Dr E Stanley Jones, John R. Mott, Dr Bob Pierce, Dr John Haggai and a host of others