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Report on ‘Youth Ministries’ to Holy Synod calls for transformative relationship with Triune God

Report recognises role of youth for the future of Church
Calls on to serve diverse groups in a unique manner
To integrate these diverse groups into the daily life of parishes
Calls for inputs from MOSC members across the globe

KOTTAYAM : Abraham Mar Seraphim, Metropolitan, Bengaluru Diocese, has presented an important report to the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church which met on February 23, 2012 at Devalokam, Kottayam.

The report was submitted on behalf of a subcommittee formed in August 2011 to investigate the situation of the youth of our church in the outside Kerala region. This subcommittee also included the Metropolitans of the outside Kerala dioceses. The report is now being made public for due consideration and input of our people across the globe.

Metropolitans who were part of the Subcommittee included Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Joseph Mar Dionysius, Dr Yuhanon Mar Dioscoros, Dr Mathews Mar Themothios, Alexios Mar Eusebius, Dr Zachariah Mar Nicholovos, Dr Youhanon Mar Dimitriyos, Yacob Mar Elias, Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios and Dr Mar Seraphim himself.

In the report, the subcommittee recognises the importance of the Youth to the future of the Church. It also acknowledges the difficulties being faced towards catering to their needs in today’s society. To help begin to address this situation, the report advocates the need for clear vision, clear organisation and clear support from the Holy Synod.

Specifically, the report brought forth the following for discussion:
Firstly, we emphasize that the purpose of our ministry is to bring all our members into a transformative relationship with the Triune God, which causes us to live differently and makes us stand out as lights in the world

Secondly, that we recognise the diversity within our community outside of Kerala, particularly differences based on background.

Thirdly, that we serve each of these diverse groups uniquely, with specific spiritual organisations and spiritual leaders which includes both clergy and the lay people. This should be focused on their spiritual development, rather than forcing everyone to conform to one way or another.

Lastly, that we actively endeavour to integrate all these diverse groups into the daily life of our parishes.

The goal of following such simple, but focused, principles is to develop strong parishes outside of Kerala that are unified in the Holy Orthodox faith for generations to come, independent of immigration/emigration.

After a healthy discussion, the suggestions made in the report were unanimously accepted and supported by the Holy Episcopal Synod to be implemented as opportunities to do so arise.

Although some ideas were presented in this report, it was intended to be a starting point for a far greater discussion and action plan within our church to meet the needs of all our members, whatever their background may be, and integrate them all into the life of the Holy Church.

The report also requests to keep these issues in your prayer and meditation and to work together to fulfill our role in the Body of Christ, without separations due to language, culture, heredity, geography or social class.