My heart is full of gratitude for the manifold blessings I have encountered! St. Paul’s instruction, “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philip 4:4) echoes in my mind, during this Holy Season of Christmas. It has been a privilege to work with you as the chairman of the Ecumenical Fellowship of Indian Churches in Pennsylvania (EFICP) for a second term. I am deeply indebted to the clergy and faithful of the ecumenical community for their personal and ministerial support. The executive committee including our Beloved Achens, Mr. Abin Babu, Mr. Shaloo Punnoose, and chairs of various activities deserve to be acknowledged. Their dedication, hard work, and organizational contributions have tremendously helped our fellowship and made this year’s events memorable.
I gratefully remember some of our clergy members who have other roles this year after rendering great service to the fellowship during their ministry in Philadelphia area, including Rev. Fr. K.K. John, who has retired from active parish ministry. Amazingly, their dedication and support as team members, handling various leadership roles during their tenure, have significantly contributed to the growth of this fellowship. As last years’ co chairman Fr. K.K. John was of great assistance to me. May God bless both our retired and transferred clergy in their new area of ministry! At the same time I wholeheartedly welcome the newly added clergy members to EFICP. I am glad that their knowledge and talents are very well shared in our fellowship. This year we have intentionally reduced some of the activities and modified some of the programs to ensure more focus, increased participation, and better quality. Some examples are the growth of youth and clergy choirs, and great response to the newly introduced “Margam Kali”.
Ecumenism is the need of time, particularly as fundamentalism and liberalism extremely divide societies. In the midst of all, a peace loving community is obliged to be united in the building up of the Kingdom of God standing firmly on humanitarian grounds. This year our hearts go with the suffering brothers and sisters of Kerala due to the recent flood related disaster. Let us do our part to rebuild our home state Kerala. Thank you for your generosity and continued support.
Wishing you a Christmas filled with joy, benevolence and unity, and a New Year of prosperity and blessings!
Fr. Saji Mukkoot