We, the people of Philadelphia, have a great history of love and fraternal charity. Our Christmas celebration is above all, an expression of our mutual love and appreciation. Let us all try to bring Christ back into the midst of our culture, into our social life and political decision making. The world ravaged by terrorism and war needs peace, a peace which only Christ can give.
The Ecumenical Fellowship of Indian Churches in Philadelphia was established in 1987 with the interest of bringing all Malayalee Christian denominations under one umbrella. Our faith and ethics together with mutual love and affection holds the community together.
Christmas is the joyful recognition of the birth of Jesus, the savior of all mankind. It is an important and meaningful occasion to the Christian community. Throughout history, we know that the heavenly spirit has helped to shape the story of our Lord’s birth. Jesus was born in the city of Bethlehem in a stable surrounded by farm animals (St. Luke 2:7). Angels announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds and were the first to see the infant Jesus (St. Luke, 2:14). Our charity work brings God’s grace to our lives. It brings the love and compassion of our Lord to many people struggling with challenges of life. Through our many successful events such as conventions, retreat and prayers, we have helped hundreds of people to find their way back to the church. The future will require us to do more among the twenty one churches. We will work closely in this expanded role and continue our responsibility for the growth and expansion of the Ecumenical Fellowship of Indian Churches.
I am taking this opportunity to update you on several important issues related to this tremendous progress we have made with the Ecumenical Fellowship of Indian churches in Philadelphia and our ongoing effort to sustain and further advance our leadership role in the community. Our main goal is focused on the development of Indian Christian Community Center in Philadelphia. The ICCCP project as envisioned will take five to seven years for completion. In fact many of our initiatives have begun to have a positive impact on our end goals. We have experienced significant success as a result of our focused tireless effort in each of our events. To bring the community together, we have arranged various events such as Ecumenical Day, Ecumenical Convention, Women’s Retreat, Youth Convention and World Day Prayer. We have seen a steady increase in the growth of our ecumenical fellowship. This success is the result of our individual and collective effort and understanding of our needs and dedication. With continued support of our mission from various churches and clergies, we have accomplished an overall improved performance in this Christmas celebration. I am sincerely grateful for all of our accomplishments and I firmly believe that the achievements of such success could only have been done by the outstanding collaboration demonstrated by all of you.
Our efforts to each of these events are fully supported by the executive committee and the general body of Ecumenical Fellowship of Indian churches in Philadelphia. As a secretary, I have deep appreciation to this fellowship and of the challenges presented by each event. I want to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to all of you, the executive committee members, general body members and various churches and to all the respected clergies. Before concluding, let me express my tributes to the Chairman, Rev. M.E Shaji, Co-chairman Rev. Fr. V.M Shibu and Rev. Fr. M.K Kuriakose for their guidance and encouragement. I would also like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one a “Merry Christmas and a Happy Prosperous New Year”. May God bless you and keep you closer to Him, look after you, and keep you safe from harm.