Tech-savvy Malankara Orthodox Metropolitans… Mar Nicholovos And Mar Eusebius Emerge Active Facebook Users

Written By: on Sep 18th, 2010 and filed under Columns, Features, Opinions.

His Grace’s favourite books are ‘’People’s History of United States’(Howard Zinn), ‘Karunayude Kathal’ (HH Dalai Lama), ‘Ageless Body and Timeless Mind’ (Dr Deepak Chopra). Music, reading, traveling are his past times and lists Istanbul as a favourite holiday spot.

A comment from a faithful on Dr Milithios: “your blogs are full of life and create a renewable energy in understanding the Gospels and the Syrian Orthodox faith together. His sermons are a sea of realistic approach to the common man’s life and Christ as well; a must to join for the Holy Qurbana with His Grace.”

Nicholovos has posted 566 photos, 10 vidoes and used the TripAdvisor to good effect. He has pinned 83 cities in 15 countries mentioning the cities visited all over the globe except Africa and Australia.

He has found Raj Patel’s book on ‘The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy’ eye opening and Guy Debord’s ‘The Society of the Spectacle’ (originally written in the 60s) still relevant. “Very thought provoking work,” he comments about Debord’s work.

He has also used mobile uploads and mention must be made of the huge chandelier at the new aramana which drew many likes among friends.

Videos include educative ones like the Catholica Mangala Gaanem and one on the teaching by HG Job Mar Philoxenos and another on Houston Leadership camp — Where will you be when amazing happens.

In the recent past, email ids of HGs Mar Severios and Yuhanon Milithios were hacked during their visits abroad. Hackers posted emails to their friends from the directory stating that they were in deep trouble and had to be helped financially since they had lost all their valuables.

Facebook and Twitter can be effectively used by our dioceses to educate the younger generation. The Youth Movement can take the lead in this direction. These sites are being widely used by the youngsters to convey messages and to be in touch. A forum can be created to discuss problems of the youth and other pressing issues pertaining to the community. All new dioceses formed recently must connect themselves to the virtual world and have them linked to microblogging sites. In a fast paced world, being online helps and those responsible should take the lead.

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6 Responses for “Tech-savvy Malankara Orthodox Metropolitans… Mar Nicholovos And Mar Eusebius Emerge Active Facebook Users”

  1. Dear John,
    I never visited their postings. My data was from IOH and MTV reports and my response was to those reports. Pardon my ignorance. My general research showed that they must be spending quite bit of time- about 10 hours or more p/d (statistically speaking) simply reaching out our youngsters. If it is simply a “social net work/cool guy” approach (from you example) then it is a different take. Mission is the “Missio- Dei” , that is God’s mission. Our calling is to extend that mission.. By the way, responsible and ethical use of technology with some set guidelines is a contextualization of ministry. However, you don’t give the secrets of HAARP technology to a toddler.

  2. Jacob K. says:

    John,

    I agree. Based on the article, I had incorrectly assumed that our Thirumeni’s were presenting our church in a positive light.

    It is not the tool (Facebook, Twitter) that matters. Content is what matters.

    Yes – we do have some very good, devout and highly educated priests (both young and old) who do the Lord’s work in the right way.

    May God continue to grant them wisdom and courage.

  3. John Mathew says:

    With all due respect, do you actually thing that:
    “Vacation now over … have to shed a few pounds … need to bring that glucose level to under 100″
    is the type of mature, experienced online comment that is going to attract the supposed “lost youth” of the diaspora back to the Church?

    I don’t think so. What I do think is that this kind of silliness is what will turn off more people from the Church when they realize that our leaders are not the type of “spiritual mentors” they want.

    In my opinion, the saving grace of the Malankara Church is the large minority of extremely competent, decent, devoted priests, not the supposedly tech-savvy bishops who tweet useless trivia.

    If you want a real example of technologically-savvy churches that do useful things, look at the Orthodox Church in America or the British Orthodox Church. They provide copious amounts of material that help to logically define what they are about, and leave it to those principles to attract people. That’s the way to do it, the Orthodox way.

    Can you imagine Parumala Mar Gregorios fooling around with the internet? Or let’s even look at lesser bishops like Mor Augen?

    No! Those fathers wrote books, started monasteries, translated ancient texts to make them accessible to the modern generation (of their time). They fostered Orthodoxy.

    The bishops we have now? Can they even touch the hem of our true fathers of old?

    Or is Orthodoxy about merely gaining new converts and followers via any mechanism? Then why stop at tweets and facebook, why not totally embrace the modern era and get on a reality TV show, or go on America’s Got Talent, or whatever?

    I doubt these bishops are presenting our Church in a positive light; if you want an example of that, you need only check out the OCA or the British Orthodox Church for examples of how it ought to be done.

    Thankfully, we have priests like Chos Episcopa Thottupuram putting out useful online journals like the “Voice of Orthodoxy” to counterbalance the immature Facebook junk.

  4. Jacob K. says:

    John,

    At least these Thirumenis are exposing positive aspects of our church on the world-wide web.

    But, what about some of our inexperienced Achens who haven’t learned the dangers of the new media and use Facebook and Twitter as teenagers!

    It is hilarious to read some of their postings.

  5. John Mathew says:

    What happened to the good old days when we were led by non-worldly monks, who one could refer to as a “spiritual father” without gagging?

    Now what do we have?

    Worldly vacuous politicians.

  6. Great. Evangelization in a digital age. It is a good tool as the social network is growing leaps and bounds- over 500 million people already in the list with 70% in the US. Other statistics shows that 78% of the Face book users falls below 35 years or younger. Average face book users has about 130 fans and they spend about 55 minutes a day browsing/interacting on face book. It seems that digital technology use by our bishops will help attract more youth back to the church since there is a growing concerns about our diaspora youngsters.

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