P: May the grace, mercy and blessings of the Holy and Glorious Trinity, uncreated, self-existent, eternal, adorable and one in essence be with you all dearly beloved forever C: And also with you, O Holy and Glorious Trinity, have mercy upon us. (Taken from the Order of Worship for Holy Qurbana)
Dearly beloved sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus,
This month we are meditating on the “Third Blessing.” In the sacrament of Holy Qurbana, there are four blessing formulas. On each blessing the Celebrant turns to the congregation, raises his right hand, makes the sign of cross therewith, and says the word of blessings. The community in response says, “Be with you also. “All blessings come from God. The word ‘blessing means ‘favor’ or ‘grace.’ The Celebrant here confers God’s favor on the life of the faith community. The third blessing is ‘Trinitarian’ in nature. Let us try to understand the significance of the Third Blessing.
WE WORSHIP THE HOLY TRINITY Liturgy is our basic faith confession/proclamation of the doctrine. A close study of liturgy will enable us to understand the faith and beliefs of Mar Thoma Church. As the liturgical language is metaphorical and poetic in nature, the liturgy always points to ‘much beyond.’
Our worship is Trinitarian in nature. So our Liturgy is also centered on the belief in the Holy Trinity. The Doctrine of Holy Trinity is essential and truly Biblical. Though we belief in one true God, yet our understanding of God is “Three in one”: God manifested in Father, Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit (1 Cor.8:4-7; Jn 10:30; 2Cor.3:17). We worship three persons in the Godhead, yet one God (Eph.2.18; Mt.28:19; 2Cor.13.14; Jn.5:7; Rev.1:4-5). The worship that is not Trinitarian is not a Christian worship. The word Trinity points to ‘three in unity. ‘God the Father, God the only Begotten Son, and God the Holy Spirit are one in essence, though in personality they are distinct.
The Holy Trinity is three distinct, divine persons (hypostases), but they share one divine essence. They are uncreated, immaterial, and co-eternal. We worship God the Father, who is the maker of all things visible and invisible. We worship the resurrected ‘Jesus Christ’, who is the only begotten Son of God the Father, who incarnated into this world to take away the sins of humanity, and redeemed us through His death on the cross. And, we worship and glorify the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the God the Father, and who guides us in our life in Christ (Jn.15:26 14:16, 17). Trinity is mutual indwelling; but, all three reflect God’s nature.
THE HOLY TRINITY AS THE SOURCE OF ALL BLESSINGS We adore and worship the Holy Trinity – the source of all blessings, mercy, and grace. The Triune God was active in creation (Gen.1:1-3, Jn.1:1-3; Psa.33:6-9), and also in the redemptive act of God (Isa.48:16; 1Pet.1:2). So the triune God is the creator, sustainer, and the redeemer (Jn.3:16, Mt.3:16; Mk.1:9-10; Lk.3:22). Salvation is work of the triune God, and is made possible through the mercy of the triune God (2 Tim.1:19; Rom.5:1; 9:16). The Celebrant through this blessing ensures, or reaffirms, the presence and blessings from God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit in the life of the believers. The Holy Trinity, although distinct, is united in one divine essence. The trinity’s oneness is expressed in community and also in action (Mt.28:19; 1Jn.5:7). In the true sense of the word, it is difficult to separate one from other, as they are mutual indwelling and also co-existing. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are therefore uncompromisingly united (Jn.15:26; 16:7;6:38; Rom.1:3-4).
God the Father is both transcended and immanent. He is omnipresent and omnipotent. His creation reveals and reflects His glory and majesty. He is wholly present in the created order, and is active in His world. It is God’s love towards His world that compelled Him to send His Begotten Son to redeem it (Jn.3:16; 2 Cor.5:21), and also to give His ‘life giving’ and ‘truth leading’ Spirit to us (Eph1:3-11; Jn.7:37-39). God is near to us through His Spirit, and dwells in His people, guiding and helping them.
Jesus Christ is God the Son. He is the only begotten one of the Father. He is the divine grace to the world. He himself is the ‘blessing’ and the ‘mercy’ of God the Father for the world. It is Jesus Christ who reveals the true nature of God to the world. In Jesus we see God’s utmost love towards us. He is the Lamb of God taking away the sins of the entire world. He taught us what it means to worship God and how to be God’s true believers.
Holy Spirit is the gift of God the Father to the Church, revealing Jesus’ continuous presence with us in witnessing and carrying out its mission (Mt.28:19; Acts 1:8; 3:25; Gal.4:6; Eph.4:24; Rom8:28-30; Tit.3:5). It is the indwelling and the empowering spirit that comes from the Father (Rom.8:9; Mt.10:20; Jn.14:26; Lk.24:49). It is the life giving and the truth leading spirit (Jn.16:13-16; 17:26; Rom.5:5; Rev.22:17).
Each member of the Trinity is God, and so must be prayed to, adored, and glorified. And, as they co-exist, there is no hierarchy between them. It is from the Holy Trinity that all blessings, mercy, and grace come. But this blessing is upon those dearly beloved of God, who trust and worship him. Our worship is the reflection of our intimate love towards Him. So we worship the Triune God. Even the prayers and supplication are addressed to the Trinity. We pray to God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ in the Spirit of God. The benediction is also Trinitarian in nature. May the Triune God continue to bless and guide us.
May God keep us in His Warm and comforting Embrace. Rev. Shinoi Joseph Vicar
• Sunday School starts every Sunday at 9:00AM • Little Blessings Ministry (ages 3-7) will be held on all Malayalam service Sunday’s at 9:00AM • The Diocesan Exam will be on Sunday, May 1st • Senior Class Graduation will be held on Sunday, June 5th • Local Talent Festival will be held on Saturday, June 4th
o Details are listed below o Song recordings will be available the first week of May, on the North East Regional Sunday School Website o The bible quiz will be given on Sunday, June 12th
• Junior Senior Conference will be held from Thursday, July 7th – Sunday, July 10th at Ramapo College, NJ for children Grades 5 and up • We would like to thank the following students for volunteering and for their presentations during Sunday School Assembly in the month of March:
o 4/3/16 - Kindergarten – Jessie Chacko • Song by Abigayle Jacob, Abigail Jacob, Kayla Varghese and SairaKalathil • Story by Jairus Mathew • Memory Verse by Sahaya Thomas and Mathew Kurian • Prayer by Abigail Jacob
Weekly Bible Studyclasses will be held every Thursday at 7:30PM at the church
Edavaka Mission Activities
Thoma Voluntary Evangelist's Association was found by our late
Metropolitan Most Rev. Abraham Mar Thoma out of his strong conviction
that each Mar Thomite is an Evangelist. Evangelism
is the utmost mission of this Organization. The Parish level unit is
known as the Edavaka Mission and at the Long Island Mar Thoma Church,
New York, we give stress to the seven fold activities such as
Intercessory Prayer, Bible Study, Sharing of Experience, House Visit,
Visiting the Sick, Group Activities etc
Edavaka Mission regular
meetings are conducted every Thursday at 7.30 PM at the Church as well
as Members' houses with prior announcement at the Parish on Sundays.
Fasting Prayer meetings are conducted once every month at the members' houses either the last Saturdays or Thursdays depending upon members and Achen's
convenience with prior announcement at the Parish on Sundays.
Edavaka Mission also support various Mission projects such as sponsorship of students at St. Thomas School,
Visakhapatanam, India. Sponsoraship of an Evangelist in India. Medical
and financial aid to different individuals and families based on
requests received by Achen time to time. Edavaka Mission welcomes
donations from members for the above mentioned activities and
sponsorship. For details, please contact our Achen Rev. A. B. Binu, Mr.
Mammen Samuel or Achamma Jacob.
YOUTH FELLOWSHIP – ELEMENT 26 • Youth Fellowship meetings will be held on Friday, May 6th, 20th, and 27th at 7PM at the church. • Men’s and Women’s fellowship will be held on May 20th
YOUNG FAMILY FELLOWSHIP • Monthly meeting will be held on Sunday, May 22nd, at 4:00PM • North East Regional One Day Young Families Fellowship Retreat will be held on Saturday, May14th at Bethany Mar Thoma Church, 90 Old Orangeburg Road, Orangeburg, NY 10962 at 9:30am. • Theme: “Choices” based on Joshua 24:15 • Speaker(s): Dr. Binu Chacko and Sunitha Chacko • Registration: $30 per family
CHOIR • Malayalam and English Choir practices will be held either before or after service on their respective weeks.
• Cottage Prayer Meeting will be held Sunday, May29th, at 1:30PM at the residence of Mr. & Mrs. Thadathil Mathai, 1859 Casper Ave., East Meadow, NY 11554. • North East Regional Volleyball Tournament will be held on Saturday, May 28th at St. John’s University. All Sahkyam members are requested to participate.
• SAMSON AT SIGHT AND SOUND THEATERS! Show Time: Friday, Jul 29, 2016 at 2:45 PM
Experience this Bible story in jaw-dropping scale as it's brought to life by a world-class cast, spectacular special effects and live animals - on stage and in the aisles. It's an unforgettable, uplifting thrill ride that literally brings the house down!
• YUVAJANASAKHYAM RETREAT AT SANDY COVE MINISTRIES YuvajanaSakhyam will be coordinating a 3-Day retreat at Sandy Cove Retreat Center in Maryland from Thursday, August 18, 2016 to Sunday, August 21, 2016.
All LIMC members are welcome to join. Seats are limited.