MUSCAT: The St Thomas Church in Oman, a joint venture of the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church (MGOC) and the Marthoma Church in Oman (MCO), is a shining example of ‘rare ecumenism’ in the entire Arabian Gulf region. It is probably one of its kind in the history of the eastern Christian churches that both share the same church for fellowship in a smooth and orderly manner.
Last month, Mar Thoma Church in Oman bid farewell to its popular vicar, Rev T P Mathew and family, who went back to India after completion of his 3-year tenure in the Sultanate of Oman from 2007 onwards.
At a warm send off function, Achen distributed a carefully written card with the following quote from the Bible and a short thank you note which reads as follows:
“Always be joyful, never stop praying, give thanks no matter what happens,
God wants you to thank him because you believe in Christ Jesus.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Rev. Mathew reminisced the formation of the new St Paul’s Mar Thoma Church in Ghala and how he was able to perform his job remarkably well both as a pastor and as an administrator.
A signed pamphlet by achen and distributed during the function lists some of the initiatives undertaken during his tenure as: Sunday school, Summer Sunday school, Counseling sessions, Regular Sunday worship, English Service, Lent observance, Special intercession, Evangelists support by prayer groups, Logos (parish bulletin), Koinonia, Cultural and Human Resources Forum, Senior Members Fellowship among others.
The letter also thanked the vicars and members of sister parishes for their fellowship.
The programme began with an opening song by the Marthoma Choir. The prayer was delivered by M J Kurien and welcome speech by Thomas Jacob, a Kaisthana Samithi Member of the Church. Rev Jacob Paul delivered the presidential address. A felicitation was given by Sam Varghese (Lay Vice President) and Valsamma Philip (Assembly Member).
Nothing that every departure is a sad event, Mathew achen in his farewell speech thanked all the people who helped him in his 3-year tenure. He also exhorted everyone to stand united in the faith and practice of Mar Thoma Church and the activities of the parish.
A memento was presented to Achen on the occasion by John Philip (Trustee Accounts). Mathew P Mathai (Trustee Finance) was the purse. Shajimon C Samuel, parish secretary, gave the vote of thanks.
The programme ended with prayer and benediction. The church choir chorused aptly Kaanum vare enee naam thammil… as a farewell song.
Achen’s contact details — Email: firstname.lastname@example.org