The Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar traditionally believed to have been founded in the year AD52 by Saint Thomas (Mar Thoma), one of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ, and known by the name of the Apostle, defines itself as "Apostolic in origin, Universal in nature, Biblical in faith, Evangelical in principle, Ecumenical in outlook, Oriental in worship, Democratic in function, and Episcopal in character. With its headquarters at Thiruvalla in Kerala, the church has thirteen Dioceses with believers across the globe. The Chennai - Bangalore Diocese one among the thirteen dioceses of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar, also known as a missionary diocese is spread over the four states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana as well as the Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Pondicherry. It also includes Abu Dhabi and Al-Ain in UAE of the Arabian Gulf. Our diocese is divided into ten Centers and has seventy three parishes, fifty four chapels, sixty seven congregations and forty three mission Centers. The mission fields constitute half of the parishes in this diocese.
God Almighty has blessed us with a fruitful year of activity. We received good support from the parishioners and well-wishers for the successful implementation of our programs. Let us praise God for all the blessing that we received as a diocese. We remember the continuous and encouraging support of our dear Tirumeni Rt. Rev. Dr. Isaac Mar Philoxenos Episcopa. We do acknowledge the support of the Diocesan Council members for the term 2011-14 and the present Diocesan Council, the clergy, the evangelists and the laity for the blessed functioning of the diocese.
DIOCESAN COUNCIL MEETINGS
The Diocesan Council for 2014 - 2015 met four times in the report year to make and implement the following decisions:
• To construct the Mission House at Sangareddy Mission (Dedicated on 22nd April 2014.)
• To conduct the Diocesan Youth Conference at Mysore from 8th to 10th May 2014
• To sell the existing land at Davangere and purchase a suitable land for the student’s Ministry at Davangere.
• To make a documentary on the mission activities in the Karnataka Region with special emphasis on Devanahalli and KNS Mission.
• Consecration of new church buildings at Yekkopally and Thimmanayapetta on 20th & 21st July 2014
• Salary revision of Evangelist serving in Chennai – Bangalore Diocese.
• To form various LAC’s and Sub Committees.
• To observe 16th November 2014 as Diocesan Sunday.
• To lay the foundation stone of the Mar Thoma Cemetry Chapel at Minjur on 10th December 2014.
• To lay the foundation stone of the gents dormitory at the Mar Thoma Camp Centre, Beerasandra, Bangalore on 11th December 2014.
• To form the Chennai - Bangalore Diocesan Sunday School.
• To organize the Karnataka Evangelist Conference from 14th to 16th January 2015.
• To purchase a Tata Sumo for the Anpin Karam Project, Kuruvakalam.
• To disburse the funds collected from Abu Dhabi and Al Ain for KNS and Devanahalli Mission.
• To start a Medical & Accidental Insurance for Evangelist serving in Chennai - Bangalore Diocese and the Evangelist of MTEA serving in Karnataka
• To budget Rs.10,00,000/- for starting a school at Tushanabad, Port Blair, Andamans.
• To conduct the Diocesan Annual Clergy Conference from 10th – 12th March 2015.
• To purchase 40 cents of land at Yerraguntla in Mydakur Mission.
• To purchase land for Green Olives Project at Beerasandra in Bangalore
• To construct a new school building for St. John’s Mar Thoma English Medium School. (Dedicated on 15th April 2015)
The mission, educational, social and developmental activities are progressing well with proper initiatives and dedicated work of the Achens and Evangelists. The balawadies, hostels, tailoring institutes, self employment schemes, participatory development projects etc. are progressing well. Thanks for the prayers and generous contributions of our members.
The Diocese received the fruitful service of a team of 93 Achens (including eight retired Achens). Their commitment and service is really the strength for the ministry and mission of our diocese. We are blessed with the services of 187 evangelists (of whom 59 are from the Chennai- Bangalore Diocese) who stayed among the people and served in remote areas of our diocese.
Hostel facility is provided for boys and girls at Mydakur, Chickabalapur, Rayalpadu, Ankola, Sankeswar, Honavar, Sirsi, Devanahally, Sidlaghatta, Chintamani, Neeredmet, H B Halli and Pollachi. Kindly support one child by donating Rs. 1500/- per month and help the child to be a better person.
We have a total of 23 students’ centres in Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Raichur, Gulberga, Salem, Erode,Coimbatore, Manipal, Hubli, Mangalore, Belgaum, Pondicherry, Karaikal and Kolar. Our student chaplains are reaching out to the students in these areas. The youth centre of the Mar Thoma Yuvajana Sakhyam at Bangalore is an additional blessing. A worship/students centre is the dream of the students of Karaikal who come from far off places for their studies which is being materialized.
Mar Thoma Vidhya Sadanam – ‘Mar Philoxenos Student and Media Centre’ is being planned at Padur, Chennai with the objective to guide our youth to deepen their Christian faith and commitment and to channelize and equip the youth to make use of the modern media of communication for mission and evangelism among students, youth and underprivileged people. We request each member to donate generously for this cause.
By God’s grace we could give advance to purchase a land for ‘Green Olives’ - Senior Care Home in the outskirts of Bangalore adjacent to the Mar Thoma Camp Centre, Beerasandra. Taking care of the elders is the responsibility of the younger generation and the church. The Hospital Guidance and counselling centres at Vellore and Manipal are catering to the needs of a wide range of people irrespective of their caste, creed and colour who are coming to the Hospitals from different parts of the world. The second phase of the Hospital and Guidance Home at Vellore is nearing completion.
A rehabilitation centre for HIV/AIDS patients named ‘Anpin Karam’ is functioning at Kuruvakkalam which caters to around 250 patients. Fellowship meetings are held once in a month and health kits are distributed. These patients travel nearly 70 Kms to reach our centre seeking fellowship. You can join in helping these patients by contributing Rs.1000 for a patient. It is necessary that all parishes in the Diocese take local initiatives to conduct awareness programmes and join hands with Government and Non-Governmental organizations to fight out the disease and take care of the widows and children of the affected and infected families.
Every mission is accomplished only by the wholehearted prayer and support of its members. Kindly do your best in supporting the mission programmes of the Diocese.