# Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church makes path-breaking decision
# Appointment seen as another major step towards empowerment of women
#Dr Mar Thimothios says Mrs Elizabeth’s rich contributions will be a blessing to Indian Orthodox, global ecumenical bodies
# An exceptional leader, she is widely recognised as ‘role model’ in her Diocese
#To play an effective role for Indian Orthodox in diverse ecumenical bodies
#Supportive and enhanced functioning of the office of Diocesan Regional Secretary
BROCKLEY, London : Dr Mathews Mar Thimothios, Diocese Metropolitan of UK-Europe and Africa, has appointed Mrs Elizabeth Joy (Kochamma) as the new Deputy Secretary for Ecumenical Relations and Spiritual Organisations at the UK regional Level of the UK-Europe and Africa Diocese of Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church.
In a Bull No 29/GEN/2012 dated August 23, 2012, addressed to Mrs Elizabeth Joy, Dr Mar Thimothios notes that the past ecumenical exposures of Mrs Elizabeth will enable to make innovative changes and better functioning of the office of the Diocesan Regional Secretary.
As Deputy Secretary, the Kalpana notes, Mrs Elizabeth in her role will make ‘timely efforts’ in seeking effective roles to play for the church, in diverse ecumenical bodies within the UK wherein she will liaise with the respective priest-in-charge and keep track for the progress and programme of the organisation.
Dr Mar Thimothios hopes that with her rich experiences of working with many ecumenical organisations will foster ecumenical relations and enable our parishes in UK to be actively engaged in ecumenical witness that mutually enrich the relationship of our Church as well as those beyond the Malankara Orthodox Church.
Reacting to her appointment, Mrs Elizabeth says: “I am very proud that the Church has taken this step. We need to work hard and prove that women can be a blessing to the Church as we are given greater responsibilities. I hope and pray that many more women will be recognised for their skills and talents to take up positions like this in our Church. I am also glad that our Church is taking these initiatives in this century and hope and pray that I will be able to deliver my best.”
Mrs Elizabeth is proudly recognised as a ‘role model’ by people in her own Diocese and stands out remarkably as an exceptional leader.
Prior to her UK experience, Mrs Elizabeth served as the General Secretary of the Student Christian Movement of India (SCMI), the only woman in its 100-year history.
Mrs Elizabeth brings with her a wealth of experience and has served the Council for World Mission – a global community of Churches as the Executive Secretary for Mission Education for eight years. In this capacity she travelled around the world and liaised with many ecumenical organisations such as the World Council of Churches (WCC), Lutheran World Federation (LWF), World Alliance of Reformed Churches now known as WCRC – World Communion of Reformed Churches, World Student Christian Federation (WSCF), United Evangelical Mission, (UEM), Community of Protestant Churches in Mission (CEVAA), Caribbean and North American Council for Mission (CANACOM), Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA), Christian Aid (CA), World Alliance for Christian Communication (WACC), and a host of churches from diverse denominations.
Mrs Elizabeth’s work with the youth, children, building communities of women and men in mission and with the church leadership around the world will make her an ideal person to take up the role assigned to her.
Recently both North East American Diocese and the UK Diocese utilised her services for the Family Conference 2012 in New York by being part of the resource team.
She is the spouse of Fr Niravil George Joy, Vicar of St Thomas’ Indian Orthodox Church in Hemel Hempstead (consecrated recently) and the former Secretary of UK Diocese. They have two children in Sudarshan Thomas Joy and Deepthi Rachel Joy.
Mrs Elizabeth is currently working towards her PhD at King’s College, London on a part time basis and also teaches few courses there and heads a mission initiative called Meora World Mission.