REDEEMER ROUNDUP Redeemer Mar Thoma Church, New Jersey | April-June 2022
HE IS RISEN Vicars Message by: Rev. Jaisen A. Thomas
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus, Praise the Lord! It is my immense joy to introduce our very first quarterly newsletter. This is a humble attempt to help further our connection with each other in the growth of His church. I pray that this initiative would create a space for creative and contemplative expression alongside keeping all abreast of the ministries and mission of the church. I want to thank the 2022 Ministry Team and office bearers for encouraging this effort to further communication among the faith community. I also want to thank Ashley for organizing and publishing this work. “Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone - we find it with another”. This is one of my favorite quotes by Rev. Fr. Thomas Merton and it reminds us love is more than an emotion. It is both the guidepost and destination of our earthly journey and the gift to unite and discern the power of relationship. We are not meant to travel on this journey of life alone. Let us journey together, work with each other and build this family we call, Redeemer Mar Thoma Church. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”. This instruction of Jesus (St. Matthew 6:33) offers us direction in a world that is often wrought by confusion. There will always be distractions in our lives that tend to distort or sway us from the truth of His gospel and our true purpose. So, as it says in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”. As a church, this year we are focusing on ministries that advance Engagement, Education and Empowerment. Let us join hands and make every effort to earnestly work in building up the kingdom of God through our parish! May God bless this endeavor and us all! Prayers and Love, Your brother in Christ, Jaisen Achen 201.300.5206
Contents Vicars Message Sermon Series Information Worship Service Information Q1 Highlights Q2 Upcoming Events Ministry Spotlight Wellness Corner Inspiration Fun Facts About the Bible Book Review Birthdays Wedding Anniversaries Financial Donations 2022 Ministry Team
Sermon Series Information April: Rescued: God’s Redemptive Love WEEK 1: Redemptive Love, a work of restoration WEEK 2: Redemptive Love, a mark of true freedom. WEEK 3: Easter: Redemptive Love, the grace of abundant life. WEEK 4: Redemptive Love, renewal of godly community.
May: Transformed Life WEEK 1: Demands a renewed mind WEEK 2: Requires faithful service to God WEEK 3: Dynamic faith in Jesus Christ WEEK 4: A call to holiness WEEK 5: Character of godly love
June: Christian Witness WEEK 1: A work of the Holy Spirit WEEK 2: Understanding the role of a witness WEEK 3: Participating in the creative mission of God WEEK 4: Prophetic voice and work of the Church
Worship Service Information Sunday, April 3rd: ACTS Worship Christ Who Gives Hopeful Vision 1st Lesson: Micah 7: 7-20 2nd Lesson: Acts 9: 10-18 Epistle Reading: Colossians 1: 1-14 Gospel Reading: Mark 10: 46-52
Sunday, April 24th: Praise & Worship Service New Sunday – Jesus: Lord and God 1st Lesson: Genesis 28: 10-22 2nd Lesson: Acts 24: 10-21 Epistle Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18 Gospel Reading: John 20: 19-29
Sunday, April 10th: Holy Communion Service – Palm Sunday Hosanna – Lord Save Us 1st Lesson: Zechariah 9: 9-17 2nd Lesson: Romans 11: 16-36 Epistle Reading: Colossians 1: 14-23 Gospel Reading: Mark 11:1-18
Sunday, May 1st: - ACTS Worship Service Dignity of Labor and Divine Commissioning 1st Lesson: Judges 6: 11-24 2nd Lesson: Acts 18: 1-4 Epistle Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3: 6-15 Gospel Reading: John 21: 1-14
Sunday, April 17th: Holy Communion Service – Easter Sunday Celebration of Resurrection 1st Lesson: Isaiah 60: 12-21 2nd Lesson: 1 Corinthians 15: 42-58 Epistle Reading: 1 Corinthians 15: 20-28 Gospel Reading: Luke 24: 1-12
Sunday, May 8th: Holy Communion Service St. John the Apostle’s Day – The Church that has to bear Witness to the Resurrection 1st Lesson: 2 Kings 4: 27-37 2nd Lesson: Revelation 22: 16-21 Epistle Reading: 2 Corinthians 4: 7-15 Gospel Reading: John 21: 15-25
Worship Service Information cont. Sunday, May 15th: Holy Communion Service Journey with the Risen Christ 1st Lesson: 1 Kings 19: 1-13 2nd Lesson: Acts 8: 26-40 Epistle Reading: Ephesians 5: 1-10 Gospel Reading: Luke 24: 13-35
Sunday, June 12th: Holy Communion Service Trinity Sunday: Holy Trinity – Environment Sunday 1st Lesson: Genesis 1: 1-19 2nd Lesson: Romans 8: 18-27 Epistle Reading: 2 Corinthians 13: 11-14 Gospel Reading: John 1: 1-18
Sunday, May 22nd: Praise & Worship Service Lord Worthy of Praise 1st Lesson: Exodus 15: 1-18 2nd Lesson: Acts 16: 19-31 Epistle Reading: Philippians 2: 1-11 Gospel Reading: Luke 1: 46-56
Sunday, June 19th: Holy Communion Service Discipleship: Calling for Christ Experience 1st Lesson: 2 Kings 2: 1-5 2nd Lesson: Acts 1: 15-26 Epistle Reading: Galatians 1: 11-17 Gospel Reading: Mark 3: 13-19
Sunday, May 29th: 5th Sunday Praise & Worship Service The Church that has to be on Watch 1st Lesson: Ezekial 22: 23-31 2nd Lesson: Acts 1: 12-14 Epistle Reading: Ephesians 6: 10-20 Gospel Reading: John 6: 10-20
Sunday, June 26th: Praise & Worship Service People of God – Ministry and Model 1st Lesson: Isaiah 6: 1-8 2nd Lesson: 1 Peter 2: 1-10 Epistle Reading: Titus 2: 1-11 Gospel Reading: Matthew 28: 16-20
Sunday, June 5th: ACTS Worship Service The Feast of Pentecost: The Holy Spirit - The Gift” 1st Lesson: Joel 2: 28-32 2nd Lesson: Acts 2: 1-21 Epistle Reading: Galatians 5: 16-24 Gospel Reading: John 16: 6-16
Q1 Highlights 25th Diocesan Leadership Conference The Redeemer Mar Thoma Church hosted the 25th Diocesan Leadership Conference from Friday, January 7th to Saturday, January 8th. The conference was originally planned to be conducted in person, however due to the spike in Coronavirus cases, the conference was held virtually via the Gather Town platform. The theme of this year’s conference was “In His Service” based on Colossians 3: 23-24. The conference was inaugurated by our Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Rev. Dr. Isaac Mar Philoxenos and a special souvenir was released for this occasion. During the conference, talks were led by the Youth Chaplain Achens on Christian Hope, Science and Christianity, Ecclesiology, Christian Denominations, and the Christian Family. Sessions were also conducted on leadership and other relevant topics. Special thanks to our Conference Conveners, Roshan Varughese, Mark Pothen, Luke Pothen, and the Diocesan Leadership Conference Team. Special thanks also to everyone who financially supported the conference and upheld the conference in your prayers! General Body Meeting A meeting of the Redeemer MTC General Body was held on Sunday, March 27th. The meeting was chaired by our Vicar and President, Rev. Jaisen A. Thomas and began with a song, prayer, and brief devotion. During this meeting, the General Body passed the 2021 Annual Report, Accounts including over budgeted and non-budgeted items, balance sheet, and 2022 budget. In addition, the General Body elected seasonal program conveners for Easter (Mary Jacob and Susan Thomas), Thanksgiving (Sheena Abraham and Jason George), Christmas (Jessy John, Priyanka Joseph, and Aarthi Poikayil), and the Church Retreat (Binu Jacob and Sajan Joseph). Following the election, the General Body discussed the Diocesan Leadership Conference balance, building options, and potential investment options. Special thanks to the 2021 Ministry Team for preparing all the meeting material and all members who prayerfully participated in this meeting.
Q1 Highlights cont. 50 Days of Lenten Devotion In addition to the weekly Lent Prayers held every Wednesday at 7 PM at the church, daily Lenten devotionals were recorded and distributed via GroupMe, Facebook, and other channels. Special thanks to Mrs. Mary Jacob (Prabha) for organizing this effort, Mrs. Priyanka Joseph for formatting and posting on social media, and to everyone who took time to prepare and share a meaningful devotion!
Q2 Upcoming Events NEW Weekly Bible Study Starting Wednesday, April 20th, the Redeemer MTC will be conducting a weekly Bible Study open to the community from 7 – 8 PM ET at Christ Community Church. We will be going into the Book of Romans, so bring your Bible and come and join us! Sunday Morning Studies (SMS) Conducted every Sunday during the Sunday School classes in the basement fellowship hall. Currently on the Book of Revelation. Sermon Discussions Weekly sermon discussions on Sunday nights at 8 PM ET via Zoom. Please access the link via the Church Calendar on www.redeemermtc.org. Saturday Morning Prayer Call Weekly Saturday morning prayer call at 8 AM ET via Zoom. Please access the link via the Church Calendar on www.redeemermtc.org. Monthly Church Prayer Meetings Our next monthly church prayer meetings will be held of May 21st and June 18th at 5 PM ET. The venue for these meetings will be shared. Please save the date and join us for this time of prayer, devotion, and fellowship.
Ministry Spotlight Children’s Ministry Spring for our King! Inviting all children to join us for our Spring for our King event on Sunday, April 17th at 10 AM ET. It will be a blessed time of music, missions, crafts, and a Easter Egg hunt! Diocesan Exam The Sunday School Diocesan Exam will be conducted on Sunday, May 15th. All students from 5th to 10th grade are encouraged to participate. Please contact the Sunday School Superintendent, Mrs. Liza George for more information. Women’s Life Group Hiking trip at 7:30 AM on May 7th in Mahwah. Life Group meeting at 10 AM on June 25th. Please contact the Women’s Life Group Secretary, Mrs. Aarthi Poikayil for more details. Men’s Life Group Monthly meetings including Breakfast and Bible to be conducted. Please contact the Men’s Coordinator Denny John for more details.
Wellness Corner by: Rev. Jaisen A. Thomas
Anxiety, especially when it is excessive, can be paralyzing and spiral individuals into countless “what if” scenarios. For some, it can present as physical pain and significant emotional distress. Also, it may be difficult for those closest to understand your experience and appropriately support you. There may be a number of reasons why anxiety develops of persists and it may require some self-awareness and exploration. However, there are helpful ways to help alleviate some of the anxiety. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is an effective method that directs muscle tension and release that encourages a decrease in overall stress and anxiety. It is a very simple technique but, yields significant benefits. 1. Set aside about 15 minutes for this exercise and make sure there are no distractions. 2. Start by lying or sitting down. Relax your entire body. Take ten deep, slow breaths holding your breath for 8-10 seconds before you exhale. 3. Feet: Lift your toes upward. Hold for several seconds… let go. Pull your toes downward. Hold for several seconds… let go. 4. Lower Leg: tense your calf muscles, Hold for several seconds… let go. 5. Entire Leg: Move your knees toward each other. Hold for several seconds… let go. Squeeze your thigh muscles. Hold for several seconds… let go. 6. Hand: Clench your fist. Hold for several seconds… let go. 7. Entire Arm: Tense your arms. Hold for several seconds… let go. 8. Buttocks: Squeeze and squeeze by pulling your buttocks togther. Hold for several seconds… let go. 9. Stomach: Suck your stomach in, contracting abdominal area. Hold for several seconds… let go. 10. Chest: Take a deep breath and tighten your chest. Hold, then exhale and let go. 11. Neck and Shoulders: Raise your shoulders to your ears. Hold for several seconds… let go. 12. Lips: Purse lips together, tighten. Hold for several seconds… let go. 13. Mouth: Open your mouth wide, stretch your jaw. Hold for several seconds… let go. 14. Eyes: Clench your eyes tightly. Hold for several seconds… let go. 15. Forehead: Raise your eyebrows as far as you can. Hold for several seconds… let go. 16. Repeat a few more times. You should feel better! Stay Healthy, in body, mind and spirit! God loves you!
Inspiration In the world of college basketball, Dick Vitale, has been more than just another sports commentator. His energy, charm and iconic phrases such as, “awesome baby” has earned him a fan base that rivals even some professional athletes. However, he was forced to step away from the basketball in October of last year as he was diagnosed with lymphoma. It was devasting not only for him and his loved ones but, for the many who would tune to watch basketball hoping to hear his commentary. Vitale said, “Needless to say, that tore out my heart, but I must care more about my health than jump shots”. As he underwent treatment he was unexpectedly moved by a letter he received from one of his biggest fans, 18-year-old Charlie Osborn, who has Down Syndrome. The love he felt from this young man whom he had never seen deeply touched his heart and soul. In fact, Vitale immediately shared the letter over Twitter so the world could see and understand. It wasn’t just a letter; it was a prayer. The Prayer for Dick Vitale read: “Lord Jesus, Remain by his side as he continues to fight Cancer. Remain at peace with him. Bring him your sheltering wing and guide him to beat Cancer. I just ask you, Lord, to stay by his side and help him beat Cancer. I just want your servant to feel he is loved by all. Comfort him in times of trouble. With your help, let him be able to beat Cancer. For it is written, “Even though I walk through the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for you are with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Do not desert or abandon him. Tell him not to be afraid, tell him that you love him. Together, he can beat Cancer. Let him be a follower and a true example of your love, mercy, and kindness. Amen” (Vitale, 2022). Prayer is more than just words, it is faith meeting love! May our prayers be an exercise of our faith in God and not just an exercise for our mouths. Vitale, Dick. [@DickieV]. (2022, February). I have loved all the prayers and love I have received [Tweet]. https://twitter.com/ DickieV
Fun Facts About the Bible Fun Facts
by: Rev. Jaisen A. Thomas
• When Elisha realized that Jericho had bad water, he made it better by tossing in about a bowl full of salt water (2 Kings 2:21). • Once when the prophet Ezekiel was sitting in his house a big hand picked him up by the hair of his head and took him somewhere between heaven and earth (Ezekiel 8:3). • The Sabbath was measured from the evening of one day to the evening of the next day (Leviticus 23:32). • It didn’t rain in the Garden of Eden. Water came up from the ground to make things grow (Genesis 2:5-6).
Why do we do that? Why does the Lay Ministrant offer incense in front of the Celebrant during the Gospel reading in the Holy Qurbana service? The Lay Ministrant stands in that space between the Celebrant and the congregation in worship. In the Bible we read of how God called to Moses from within the cloud at Mount Sinai. The Israelites saw the glory of the Lord like a consuming fire and they could hear His voice. It is an image the describes the awesome power of His Word and the reverence that is due to God. As the celebrant reads from the Gospels the words of Jesus Christ, it is the recognition of the fullness of God in Jesus Christ and fulfillment of the Law. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the great “I AM” and it is His Word that we hear, obey and revere. This is a very meaningful part of the service that should direct our hearts and minds to Christ and the Holy Scripture. For additional reference, you may read Exodus 19-24.
Book Review Rehearsing Scripture
by: Tom Philip
As part of one of my courses, I came across an amazing preacher Dr. Anna Carter Florence. As I listened to her sermons and looked at her works, I came across “Rehearsing Scripture: Discovering God’s Word in Community”. Dr. Florence talks about her time in theater and how it sheds light on how she reads Scripture. Her insights have opened new doors to how I look at Scripture today. One of the key thoughts from the book is about reenacting scripture. She speaks about how we should focus on the verbs. My study of Scripture was often focused on the nouns, but Dr. Florence says that nouns distance us from what is going on because they are about a different time and space. We will often have trouble relating to these foreign concepts. Think of the following nouns: cherubim, cubits, shekels, Nephilim, Syrophoenicians, alabaster. It takes time to translate and then put ourselves in that time and place. Rather, Dr. Florence says that we need to focus on the verbs which require no translation from one culture to another. Think of the verbs that you come across in Scripture: worship, walk, fear, remember, love, washed, died. It doesn’t take any work and we can easily imagine ourselves in the story. Dr. Florence points out that we are often afraid of Scripture. We understand that it is holy and thus are reluctant to engage with it. Dr. Florence suggests that we play with Scripture. This includes reading it in community. More than reading, we need to act it out. This entails looking at the main characters and the verbs associated with them. For example, in Genesis 3:7, we read that the Adam and Eve “sewed fig leaves together”. One of her classes tried sewing fig leaves and quickly realized what a lost cause it was. How could have they thought that it would hide their nakedness, their shame? It would quickly wilt and fall apart. How often do we try to hide our shame with similarly feeble attempts? But we read later in verse 21 that God made them garments of animal skin. God took care of them and provided them something that would last. That was the first animal sacrifice that God did for humankind and the final sacrifice to cover all our sin and shame took place on the cross of Calvary. Our attempts are futile whereas God provides us a permanent answer. This is just one example how reenacting Scripture can provide new insights. I highly recommend “Rehearsing Scripture” and utilizing some of the techniques in your Bible Study. Rather than reading Scripture as a distant story, God invites us in so that we see how we are a part of His story.
Q2 REDEEMER Birthdays Thomas P. George
Q2 REDEEMER Anniversaries Jacob Binu & Sheena
John Thomas (Denny) & Laini
Samuel Joel & Nisha
Varghese Joel & Tebi
Thomas Vineeth & Sonia
John Roy & Deby
Oommen Thomas (Moni) & Susan Thomas
John Brian & Diana
Thomas Shawn & Monalisa
Poikayil Bilson & Aarthi June 18th
Elizabeth (Libby) Thomas
John (Jinu) Prince
George Mathew Jr
On behalf of the Redeemer Family, we wish a very Happy Birthday and Happy Wedding Anniversary to you! We pray for God’s continued blessings and guidance upon you in this new year and encourage you to come and participate in the birthday and wedding anniversary prayer during our next scheduled Holy Communion Service.
Financial Donations Thank you for your generous financial support of the church. All donations can be made online at www.redeemermtc.org or via a check given to our Trustees (Manoj Oommen and Bilson Poikayil).
As Redeemer Mar Thoma Church is a parish within the Diocese of North America & Europe of the Mar Thoma Church, we are requested to submit the following amounts to fund the Diocese and Church. In order to raise this amount, we suggest each MAR THOMA CHURCH member contribute $250 towards these expenses if you are willing and able to: WORSHIP | MISSION | OUTREACH | FELLOWSHIP
Nithya chilva Diocesan Fund Episcopal Travel Salary Adjustment Fund Diocesan Sunday Offertory Balawadi Suvisesha Nidhi Theological Students Training Regional Activity Committee Higher Education Scholarship Recessa Self-Denial
Church Expenses in Thiruvilla Diocesan Expenses Diocesan Bishop’s Travel Clergy Fund Diocesan Expenses redeemer mtc redeemermtc.org Schools in India Diocesan Mission Activities Seminary Students Expenses Regional Church Programs US Achen’s Higher Education Church in India Lent Donation to Redeemer MTC
$756 $1620 $324 $125 $1080 @redeemeRmtc $500 $648 $100 $500 $540 $190 TBD
We are a second generation Mar Thoma Church located in Northern NJ. We, as a community of believers, share in the burden of proclaiming the Gospel through Worship, Missions, Outreach, and Fellowship. We are a prayerful community as Prayer is deeply rooted in our worship and the visible source of power for our faith in action. We are a community of faithful Stewards, who have been given the responsibility of taking care of God’s creation. We reference the Holy Bible as inspired by God, inerrant, sufficient, and the final authority over our beliefs and actions. We were Inaugurated as a Congregation on October 1st, 2017 and are currently pastored by Rev. Jaisen A. Thomas at Christ Community Church in Waldwick, NJ.
2022 Ministry Team OUR MISSION
Vicar & President Rev. Jaisen Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org 201-300-5206 Vice-President Mr. Binu Jacob email@example.com 214-636-0078 Secretary Mr. Ashley George firstname.lastname@example.org 201-739-7829 To be the repository the divine doctrines revealed by Jesus Christ email@example.com and proclaimed by His Apostle. Treasurer Mr.ofJohn Oommen (Manoj) 201-618-5829 To maintain these doctrines in their purity. To promote spiritual life through the administration of sacraments and by the Accountant Mr.disciples BilsonofPoikayil firstname.lastname@example.org 973-261-3674 ministry of the WORD. To make all nations by the proclamation of the Gospel to all the world, and through the administration of Holy Baptism in the name of the True God. Lay Leader Mr. Reny Easaw email@example.com 201-747-4629 Lay Leader Mr. Thomas Oommen Jr. (Moni) firstname.lastname@example.org 516-510-7847 Diocesan Assembly Representative Mr. Jason George email@example.com 201-341-7309 Mandalam Representative Mr. Thomas Oommen Jr. (Moni) firstname.lastname@example.org 516-510-7847 ACTS Worship Coordinator Mrs. Mary Jacob (Prabha) email@example.com 862-324-0446 Children’s Ministry Mrs. Liza George firstname.lastname@example.org 267-231-0055 Men’s Life Group Dr. Thomas K. John (Denny) email@example.com 917-734-6862 Women’s Life Group Mrs. Aarthi Poikayil firstname.lastname@example.org 201-286-1170 Music Ministry Mr. Alexander Mathew email@example.com 845-269-1288 Prayer Ministry Mrs. Susan Philip firstname.lastname@example.org 201-240-8220 Prayer Ministry Mrs. Susan Thomas email@example.com 201-572-7530 Prayer Ministry Mrs. Jessy John firstname.lastname@example.org 201-844-3952 Prayer Ministry Mr. Mohan Pothen email@example.com 201-214-2635 Youth Fellowship Mr. Luke Pothen firstname.lastname@example.org 201-679-7416 Missions Mr. John Joseph (Sajan) email@example.com 201-914-9401 Technology Subcommittee Mr. Dennis Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org 551-265-0480 Hospitality Subcommittee Mrs. Priyanka Joseph email@example.com 973-997-6874 Building Subcommittee Mr. Rijo Oommen firstname.lastname@example.org 862-703-0998
Please visit redeemermtc.org for more information about our Sunday School, Worship Services, and other event details.
136 Wyckoff Ave. Waldwick, NJ 07463 | INFO@REDEEMERMTC.ORG