Young Couples Felloship
            
    ANNUAL REPORT 2013 - 14

ORTHODOX COUPLES FELLOWSHIP

Annual Report for the Financial Year 2013 -14

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” – Joshua 24:15

Couples of this generation stand at a very unique and interesting time which challenges their moral and spiritual mindset, when they cope through their personal, family, career, financial and other aspects of their life. Understanding the importance and the need to support the married couples of our church, our Thirumeni; H.G.Dr. Yuhanon Mar Diascoros Metropolitan had started the Young Couples Fellowship in our diocese in July 2010 and in the early part of last year, our Thirumeni decided to re-christen this fellowship as the “Orthodox Couples Fellowship” to include both the young and senior couples of our diocese, as this would provide an ideal platform to come together, share and enrich their married lives.

The key objectives of this fellowship include:

  • To emphasize the importance of God being the nucleus in the lives of couples.
  • To act as an excellent support system to couples who are going through marital, financial, children or any other family related issues.
  • To enable the church to address the spiritual needs of this generation of couples in a common forum.
  • Leverage the talent of the youngsters and assist them to integrate with the church in an effective manner.

 

The fellowship will primarily target couples in the age group up to 50 years though; couples above this age group are also welcome to join the fellowship. It was also decided to conduct one regional level meeting to be organized twice every year wherein specialist speakers can be invited to lead the session. And at the unit levels, monthly meetings or at least once every quarter can be organized across various parishes.

On the administrative front, Rev. Fr. Aji Varghese was nominated as the Vice President and Mr. Thomas Simon was nominated as the Diocesan Secretary of this fellowship. Also, the “Leader couples” were nominated for leading the units at their respective parishes.

The fellowship is very nascent in its existence and it targets the busiest members of our church - the couples; who are multi-tasking many responsibilities such as stabilizing their careers, setting up their family, parenting children and their personal spiritual growth.

In spite of the busy schedules of the leaders, many of the units did organize various parish level meetings and I have enclosed few of these activities:

  • Monthly Meetings: Most of the units organized meetings at least once in 3- 4 months wherein the meeting starts with a hymn, bible reading and followed by a message by the vicar or a guest speaker from among the members. These meetings provide an ideal platform for the married couples to come together and get encouraged from sharing each other’s experiences.
  • Harvest festival and Cultural Events: Few of the units have actively got involved in organizing the church harvest festival and conduct events during the Onam celebration.
  • “Sandhya Namaskaram” during Lent Period: The Koyembedu unit which is one of the active units had organized “Sandhya Namaskaram” on every Sunday during the Lent Season, which was held at the homes of the fellowship members and this was such a blessing as this gave an amazing opportunity for the families to get to know each other.

St. Peter’s & St. Paul’s Orthodox Church, Koyembedu unit had organized a one day family conference “Christian Family – Heaven on Earth” at their church. The programme included a workshop and classes conducted by Rev.Fr. Johnson Kallittathil. It helped the participants to reassess and reinforce the Christian family values in today’s complex and challenging environment.

Orthodox Couples Fellowship started in Coimbatore: In September 2013, with the active support of the Rev. Fr. Anish Mathew, Vicar of St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral, Coimbatore, we started the Orthodox Couples Fellowship in the outside Chennai region. I had the privilege of sharing to the couples of Coimbatore on the need to start a couple’s fellowship in each of our churches. Also, I emphasised that the Church should equip itself to address the latent needs of this extremely important segment of our Church. The inaugural meet of the Couples fellowship was attended by around 30 couples. The vicar also stressed on the need to organise such meetings on a regular basis and the program concluded with a prayer by the Vicar.

St. George Orthodox Church, HVF Avadi: Under the dynamic leadership of Very Rev. Joseph J. Thaliaparampil Cor-Episcopa the orthodox couple’s fellowship was activated in HVF, Avadi in September 2013 with a meeting. After the Holy Qurbana, around 25 people attended the exclusive couple’s session. The vicar gave a speech on the relevance of having this fellowship in the church and during the session, the unit representative was also nominated. The session came to a close with a prayer.

I conclude this report by submitting our sincere thanks to our President Thirumeni, H.G. Dr. Yuhanon Mar Diascoros for his valuable leadership and vision for initiating such a wonderful and an important fellowship in our diocese.

I wish to place on record the valuable guidance and motivation by our Vice President Rev.Fr. Aji Varghese for helping us organize the various activities of the fellowship at the regional and also at the unit level. Also, we thank all the parish vicars for their encouragement without which this fellowship would not come this far. Finally, I thank all our unit level secretaries for their tireless efforts and enthusiasm for organizing and encouraging the young couples of each parish to engage and participate in this fellowship.

I thank God Almighty for His abundant blessings and guidance for enabling us to be used as His humble instruments for His Glory. I express my sincere submission and devotion to the Supreme Head of our Church H.H.Moran Mor Baselius Paulose II Catholica Bava and the members of Holy Synod.  I, also submit in prayers for the intercession of St. Mary the mother of God, St. Thomas the Apostle of India, all the Saints and Martyrs, especially for the intercession of St. Gregorios and St. Dionysius.

“Strong Couples lead to Strong Families. Strong Families lead to a Strong Church”.

Thomas Simon, Diocesan Secretary

Orthodox Couples Fellowship