Orthodoxin makaalanu naam
Krishtuvinte Senayanu naam
Ani aniyay poyidaam
Haleleuyah padi poyidaam…
THUS sang a motley crowd of children gathered in the early morning chill at the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church, Muscat.
These enthusiastic children were part of the Orthodox Vacation Bible School (OVBS) 2009 classes which held its 20th session from December 26, 2009 to January 1, 2010.
About 225 Orthodox children, guided by 25 Sunday School teachers, took part in the program under the theme God is near to all (Psalm 145:8)
Metropolitan Dr Joseph Mar Dionysius, the new bishop of Calcutta, hoisted the Malankara Orthodox flag near the chapel in the presence of Fr Babu Thomas, OBVS teacher from Sultan Bethery and Fr James Geevarghese, Vicar, Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church, Muscat.
The children found the Metropolitans pep talks and preaching useful and informative.
Metropolitan concentrated mainly on target or aim fixing and emphasized on his formula, Divinity = Humility + Nobility + Quality.
The children were divided into four groups namely juniors, seniors, beginners and intermediate. The classes were held from 8 am to 1 pm. The church authorities had made arrangements to ferry the children from their place of residence in private vans.
The sessions were divided into two with a break in between. The interactive sessions had workshops, theme learning, quiz, talents, practicing song and games.
Focus was also on meditation and prayer. OBVS songs mainly included prayer songs (sung at the beginning and end of the day), theme songs (related to the theme) and marching songs (sung after the prayer song while marching from the chapel to the church).
The teachers took great efforts to teach seven action songs from a CD brought from Kerala and displayed via a projector for the students to learn the action songs and its intricacies.
The children learnt songs in Malayalam, English, Tamil, Hindi and Syriac. There was even a maargam-kali style song sung usually during the Onam, the harvest festival.
On the last day, on New Years day, the valedictory saw the students taking out a colorful rally inside the church compound and chanting the OVBS slogans..
Colorful skits with action songs and plays marked the end of an eventful seven day Bible study program which the children richly enjoyed.