February  2003

Dearly beloved in Christ,

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord.

The next Maramon Convention is scheduled to be held from Feb. 9-16, 2003. This historic spiritual feast which is considered to be one of the biggest Christian gatherings in the world, is arranged annually under the auspices of the Evangelistic Association of the Mar Thoma Church on the wide sand beds of river Pampa in Kerala .The convention began in 1895 in the context of the Reformation in the Malankara church to provide spiritual nourishment and for equipping people for God’s mission in the world. Since then it has become an annual event usually in the month of February .A spacious pandal which can accommodate over one lac people is put up and elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of the convention are made well ahead of time. This year, besides our Bishops we will have Bishop Dr. Dennis D. Dattan, Malaysia, Rev. Dr. Samuel Kamalesan, U.S.A, and Rev. Dr. Alfred Yo, Singapore, as the main speakers.

Some of the early speakers at the Convention were Dr. T. Walker, Sadhu Sunder Singh, Dr. Kagawa, Bishop Stephen Neil, Dr. Stanley Jones and others .In the messages there have always been altar calls and exhortations against social evils such as alcoholism, bribery, corruption, injustice, casteism   etc .In a caste-ridden society where ‘untouchability’ was prevalent, the sight of people belonging to different castes, communities and backgrounds sitting side by side under one common roof to discern the Word of God was a revolutionary scene in earlier times. Several social projects of the Mar Thoma church like  ‘bhoo- bhavan –dan’ (land and house for the houseless) had their origin at Maramon.

The purpose of the convention is the proclamation of the good news of the Kingdom of God as taught and lived by Christ .The convention also provides platforms for various activities like Youth forums, Counseling sessions etc. Afternoon sessions are usually set apart for special gatherings like Ecumenical meetings, Mission Conference, Anti-Alcoholic program etc. The order and discipline at the convention are always exemplary. A good portion of the proceeds by way of offerings is distributed to the different social projects of the church.

The question before us is whether a gathering like Maramon which offers an excellent opportunity to the church on the higher values of life, to combat and to reverse the forces of evil around us can be more effectively utilized. The need of the times is to recapture the zeal and vision of the founders of this unique event so that it becomes a powerhouse for genuine spiritual illumination, social awakening and deep commitment to Christ and His way of the Cross for the furtherance of the values of the Kingdom of God on earth.

 Let us specially pray for this year’s Convention.

 Yours in His ministry,

 Abraham Achen

Rev. Dr. K. A. Abraham Achen

Dr. K. A. Abraham Achen is from Anicad and Annis Kochamma is from Pullad. They have two children, daughter, Roshan, who is 20 and currently doing her BS in Psychology at Women’s Christian College in Madras. Achen and Kochammas’ Son Christie is 18, and is currently working towards an Engineering Degree in Kerala.

Achen is a very educated in God’s words and has also taught in Seminary. Achen has done his Bachelors in Divinity, Masters in Theology, and Doctorate in Theology from Serampore University in Calcutta. Kochamma has done her diploma in Christian Service at United Theological College in Bangalore.

Achen has served as Vicar for a number of churches including at Neyyatinkara in South Kerala, Bhilai in Madhya Pradesh, New Delhi, Maramon, Kutapuzha in Thiruvilla. Abraham Achen has served one term on the full time faculty of the Mar Thoma Seminary in Kottayam. Achen also served as manager of schools while at Maramon.

Achen also serves on the governing board of Bossey Ecumenical Institute, which is part of the WCC. Achen was a member of the Sabha Council for one term, then member of CSI-CNI joint council, member of Mar Thoma Theological Commission, and also member of Mar Thoma- Lutheran Dialogue Commission in India.

Achen is well known as a great Orator and dynamic Bible Teacher. Achen has led many sessions during clergy and organizational conferences. Achen has published two books featuring a series of Bible Studies, Pentecost, and Mission published by CSS Thiruvalla and has edited a book on Family published by the Niranam-Maramon Diocese.

email Achen at
kaabrahamachen@yahoo.com
 

 

Vicars of the Past Quarter Century
(including Vicars of the Mar Thoma Congregation of Greater New York)


Mar Thoma Congregation of Greater New York
Rev. Oommen Koruthu (Student Achen later elevated as 
Bishop Zacharias Mar Theophilus)
May 1975 — Aug. 1975
Rev. K. S. Mathew   (Student Achen) Sept. 1975 – Sept. 1977
Rev. Thomas P. George    (Student Achen) Sept. 1977 – Aug. 1979
(Late) Rev. M. V. Benjamin      Sept. 1979 – May 1981

St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church, New York
(Late) Rev. M. V. Benjamin Co-Chairman Ad-hoc Committee Church in formation     Oct. 1980 - Jan. 1981 
  Vicar                                        Jan. 1981 - May 1981
(Late) Rev. K. J. Philip Co-Chairman  Ad-hoc Committee Church in formation  Oct. 1980 - Jan. 1981
  Associate Vicar                      Jan. 1981 - Aug. 1981
Rev. N. M. Cherian Vicar of all Mar  Thoma Congregations in New York May 1981 - June 1983
Rev. Dr. T. Jacob Thomas      (Student Achen)  
  Assistant Vicar July 1981 - May 1983
  Vicar     June 1983 - Mar. 1985
Rev. George Varghese   Mar. 1985 - April 1989
Rev. Johnson Varghese          June 1989 - May 1992
Rev. Dr. T. P. Abraham      June 1992 - May 1995
Rev. P. M.  Thomas   May 1995 - April 1999
Rev. K. Y. Jacob             May 1999 - June 1999
Rev. Thomas P. Chandy      June 1999 – May 2002
Rev. Dr. K. A. Abraham        May 2002 - Present