DUBAI: The historical two day GCC Youth Conference, first of its kind in the 70 year history of the Youth Movement, held at the “Marthoma Mathews II Nagar” (St Thomas Orthodox Great Church, Dubai) came to an end on March 3 2006. It was a landmark in the history of the Malankara Orthodox Parishes in the Gulf and was attended by around 800 delegates from all over UAE as well as Bahrain, Muscat, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi and India.
Metropolitan Dr Yuhanon Mar Meletius , President of OCYM inaugurated the conference on 2nd March by lighting the traditional lamp. In his inaugural address His Grace said that the youth in the Gulf have been facing lot of challenges and the church has a responsibility to lead them in the proper path. He was also of the opinion that the lifestyle of the youth in the Gulf may appear to be colorful, but in actuality they face lot of difficulties. Fr Ninan Kuriakose (Vice President of OCYM) presided over the meeting. M/s. P. G. Mathew (Gen convener) , Thomas K Monachen (Secretary of Dubai Parish) K.T. George and Thomas Paul (Managing Committee Members) felicitated.
An ecumenical meeting was held where Metropolitan Dr.Yoohanon Mar Meletius gave the inaugural address. P.M. Jose (President of YMCA Sharjah) presided over the meeting. The Main address was delivered by Mrs Catherine Graham (MECC coordinator in UAE). She exhorted that youngsters should concentrate more on social justice and activities of the less privileged people. Rev Stephen Miller (Anglican Church), Raynah Briganzah (Catholic Youth Coordinator) spoke on the occasion. Babu Kurian welcomed the guests.
A special meeting in honour of the distinguished personalities of the church followed. Film Director Lalji was the chief guest. Fr. V.V. Kuriakose (Asst Vicar, Dubai church) presided over the meeting. Jose Kurian Puliyeril introduced ‘Indian Orthodox Herald’, the first E-paper of Malankara community by BMM Creations, Inc. George Abraham, one of the moderators of ICON explained about the success of ICON (Indian Christian Orthodox Network) with the help of a professionally devised power point presentation. M/S George Varghese, Georgekutty Mathakuzhiyil and Moncy were also honored. Jobins welcomed the guests.
On Friday, after Holy Qurbana, Metropolitan Mar Meletius spoke on the main theme, ” Pilgrimage To Truth”. His Grace said that to know what is truth is instrumental in achieving success in the life of a Christian.” In this complicated world, only those who are able to identify their aim, destination and the path will become successful”, His Grace added. G.C.C. business session was followed where secretaries/representatives from various units briefed the audience about activities of their respective units.
A unique segment where media personalities spoke on ” Media’s part in protecting religious Harmony”. P.V. Vivekanand, Chief Editor of Gulf Today served as the moderator. Issac John Pattaniparambil, business reporter of Khaleej Times and recipient of various awards, gave the keynote address. M/s Pradeep Pillai(Manorama-UAE), Basheer (Madhyamam) Ashraf (Chandrika) and Paul Manalil ( Malayala Manorama) spoke on the occasion. All of them opined that the reader also is equally responsible for the deviations in the press reports as many times reporters have to please the taste of the reader. Boban Thomas and James Samuel gave the welcome address and vote of thanks.
Paul Manalil presented a paper on Malankara Vision 2012 (100 years after the establishment of Catholicate in Malankara). He stressed the importance to have projects that help the next generation cling to the apostolic faith of the holy church. He suggested that the church leadership should prioritize activities and criticized those parishes that spend crores for church buildings. He also reiterated that the church should become a mission church.
In the discussion Forum, Open forum and debate that followed, Rev Fr. Saji Yohannan(Shj),Rev Fr. Koshy Thomas (Fujeirah), Rev Fr Paul Thomas (Al Ain) and Fr. Ninan Kuriakose (Vice President) actively participated.
A cultural program was staged later starting with a procession around the church with traditional band (Panchavadyam), thalappoli, flaots, margam kali etc. Dances, skits, drama and rendition of songs by Radio stars enthralled the audience.
Fr. P. K. Thomas welcomed the guests. John P George (OCYM Secretary) proposed vote of thanks.