Road through a forest

Build up and not tear down

Vicar - Rev. Dr. John George

Let’s heed the call to build up not tear down

The second quarter of the year is marked by the observances of days calling attention to urgent degenerating aspects of the earth and its environment. This is universal in its appeal cutting across countries around the globe – Environment Day, Earth Day, Earth Hour, and so on. All of these observances point us to one central focus – This wondrous and magical creation of God Almighty is gifted to us humans to live and enjoy and inhabit. But sadly humanity is so depraved and blinded in its self satisfying pursuit that man failed to see the precious worth of this universe and we continue to plunder and pillage it in a multitude of ways through gross negligence, utter disregard for nature and wreck the delicate balance in the ecosystem. Selfish and lucrative dreams and aspirations of humans are erected on the devastating destruction and erosion of the environment, polluting it and contaminating it to a level where nature struggles to cohabit with humans.

Mathew Chap 6: Verses 25-30 serves as a strong reminder that when we have our Living Loving Father who constantly reminds us not to worry as HE knows our needs and HE will provide as only HE can. Why then do we lesser humans ruin this beautiful planet created by God for our life and living driven by a paranoia to satiate our selfish and self seeking needs?

God created us the highest form of life to live with other creatures in perfect harmony. But we ravage this beautiful earth to satiate our selfish needs and do incredible harm to the ecosystem endangering the very life and survival of so many of God’s creations. We have destroyed the beautiful scenic Eden that God created where He placed the first man and woman. We continue this assault on nature mercilessly on every front. And at this pace we will very soon destroy the eco balance God has created making this world dangerous for humans and other creatures to inhabit. This wreckage at the physical level has a parallel with the spiritual hollowness of man with the total erosion of goodness in humans.

Climate change, pandemics, droughts, floods, cyclones, tsunamis are all threats threateningly looming on the horizon waiting to wreck havoc in this universe.
Mother Earth beats her breast in anguish at the merciless onslaughts against her by humans.

Against this cruel and ruthless backdrop if we examine the Scripture it points us to the message that can be aptly summed up in three words: Re-imagine, Recreate and Restore.

We need to revisit the tranquil Eden – immersed in stillness, bathed in peace and vibrant with natural beauty. And to do this we first need to reconnect with God in an active and participative way. We cannot permit covetousness and lust for the things of this world to blind man as he walks the path of plunder and loot. Greed and arrogance must make way for more wholesome Christian values of charity, selflessness, love for fellow humans and a simple but genuine concern for man and nature. We must be responsible enough to leave a healthy and habitable environment for the coming generations as our legacy.

The church also has a green mission – a crusade to preserve, conserve and build up the environment in which we live so the generations coming after us will inherit an interdependent and eco-friendly world.

The message of the Gospel is scripted in nature – in the trees, clouds, stars, the lush greenery enveloping us.

We are custodians of this great and beautiful world and we are commissioned to preserve and conserve it for the future.

We need to exercise tremendous restraint and respect and accord great value to the things placed in this world by our creator and pledge to grow it and not destroy it.

May this message of repentance, restraint and repair echo in our hearts and minds calling us to rededicate ourselves as children of God to enhance, preserve and restore this wondrous creation of God and make it a thing of beauty to behold for posterity.

God bless you all.

Aby Achen

Empty Tomb

Easter – A Message of Hope

Vicar - Rev. Dr. John George

Easter is the harbinger of hope.

Wish you all a happy and hopeful Easter.

The world is going through a very torrid time. Tribulations and uncertainty stemming from Covid-19 has steam rolled thousands of lives sending them to their grave and cast many others under a horrific spell of spine-chilling fear and raw anxiety. Death reigns supreme as the victor of this feared epidemic. 

The Easter tidings of victory over death and its fear played out two thousand years ago when the tomb where Jesus was buried was found empty. This Incarnation of Jesus shows God’s greatest act of love in history and His resurrection demonstrates God’s supreme, ultimate and unchallenged triumph over death, sin and the grave. Easter brings us the gift of life.

World leaders, philosophers, multi-millionaires, religious leaders and researchers – everyone is a helpless victim of the fear of death. Jesus became a curse when he died on that cross that Good Friday. Through His resurrection Jesus has dispelled our burden of fear and its crippling stranglehold over life. Jesus Christ erased the fear of death through His death and resurrection. 

Death has lost its sting and the grave its victory. The quality of our life can no longer be threatened by anyone. Easter’s greatest lesson to humanity is that truth is victorious and in truth there lurks no shadow of death. Fear comes from darkness; Satan always uses this tool to manipulate the world. Resurrection is a continuing experience. Resurrection is a reality and is a gift of God to the world. 

Grace is the energy which imbues us with this resurrection experience in our day to day affairs. 

Resurrection from anger, selfishness, addictions, jealousy, evil thoughts, and a host of other negative factors is necessary in our lives. There can be many resurrections and easter experiences in one’s life. 

Our eternal journey after death begins from the last resurrection. Remember, resurrection is a perspective to gain victory over any pain and bondage.

Resurrection gives us the commission to be His witness. The born-again experience is mandatory to become His witness. God always leads us to a transformation just like the ones that transpired in the lives of Jacob to Israel and Saul to Paul.

The Risen Christ promises His living presence with us always. The empty cross and the empty tomb are the essence of our hope. Life without Easter would be a life without hope. Our faith journey starts from the empty tomb and the cross is a live experience and exercise that each of us must personally undergo. 

The Easter community is a hope-filled community that can look forward to a born-again experience. 

Beloved in Christ, wait for the next opportune time to resurrect in your life. 

Viktor Emil Frankl was an Australian neurologist and holocaust survivor. In his famous writing ‘A man’s search for meaning’, he portrays his meaningful Easter. All his relatives were killed by Hitler and he became lonely and went into severe depression. One day early in the morning he had tried to cut a nerve in a bid to commit suicide. As he opened the window as there wasn’t sufficient light in his room his eyes beheld the ground outside – a beautiful carpet of fresh flowers. Despite the drought season this sudden appearance of such a profusion of flowers from the nearest trees triggered a thought in his mind. He gave up his plan to commit suicide and wrote “that was the day of my resurrection-Easter”.

Our Risen Lord is our strength and power. May this year’s Easter empower our hearts with HOPE.

Yours in Jesus Christ



Hope in the midst of gloom

Vicar - Rev. Dr. John George

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” - Isaiah 9: 6

We have reached the end of 2020. It’s with mixed feelings that we look ahead to the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus. 

We have just been through a gruelling nine months with the threat of sickness and death lurking like dark clouds over our horizon due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And we are still blanketed in uncertainty and fear as we are in the last days of December, the Christmas month, unsure of what to expect and what it brings in its wake. 

But let us look at the silver lining amidst the dark clouds and we realise we have much to be thankful and grateful for. We have been kept safe and well under God’s sovereign protection. Our church has witnessed the installation of our 22nd Metropolitan, Most Rev Dr Theodosius Mar Thoma Metropolitan. After almost 8 months of lockdown our church is now open for worship with some restrictions in place. We have just concluded a very enlightened and insightful Parish Convention led by Rev Dr Mothy Varkey. And we look forward with immense joy to the celebration of Christmas with lilting carols and the spreading of good cheer. So much to be thankful for!

What is the Christmas message this year? In the light of what we have all witnessed in recent months we must learn to receive with gratitude what is given and more importantly learn to give with grace from what we have. God sent his son into this sin-stained world as an infant, born in a lowly manger, to live and die as our Saviour so that our sins could be washed in his precious blood and we can be made children of God. 

This is the most priceless gift man has ever received and let us endeavour to share this great gift we have received with those who have never heard the good tidings. Let us be perhaps the only Bible that some get to read and share in letter and spirit the love, joy, hope and peace of Christmas with them. 

Seeing our joy and hope which stems from the baby in the manger they should be seekers of this joy and hope. 

Christ’s life epitomised sterling qualities – to love, to care and share, to forgive and accept, to be honest and sincere, to always be encouraged to live right, a life well-pleasing to God at all times. 

Let each one of us this Christmas, pledge to share the Christmas story with at least one lost soul and fill their life with hope and joy. 

Let our love for the Lord change the world but we should never allow the world to change our love for God. 

I take this opportunity to wish each and every family of our Chembur church a blessed and hope-filled Christmas and a Christ-filled New Year. 

God bless you all.

Aby Achen

Vicar - Rev. Dr. John George

Message from the Vicar

Vicar - Rev. Dr. John George

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ !!

We warmly welcome all visitors to this website of Chembur Mar Thoma Church, one of the parishes of The Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, established by St. Thomas, one of the disciples of Jesus Christ in AD 52. We as parish share the doctrines, practices, and traditions of Mar Thoma Church since its inception in 1968. We are eastern, apostolic, episcopal, evangelical, reformed, missionary, ecumenical, democratic, global, and culturally indigenized. We affirm the Nicene Creed as the faith affirmation and believe in Trinity- the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – ‘threeyeka daivam’. The Liturgy of our church depicts the theological stand of Mar Thoma Church. 

We experience the living presence of Jesus Christ the Lord and liberator in sacraments and exercise spiritual disciplining and oneness with Him in Holy Qurbana. Open Bible and church traditions are followed as the basis of faith and practices. We are Christo-centric at the same time human-centered and earth-centered in worldview. Mar Thoma Church firmly upholds the teachings and doctrines of St. Paul, the builder and architect of the Christian Church. The Church fathers, clergies and laities are fondly remembered and revered. We believe that through them God has spoken to generations and moulded the Mar Thoma Church over the centuries. “Lighted to lighten”, the logo of Mar Thoma Church shows its centrifugal mission focus to the world with social and ecological thrust.

We are privileged to be part of the body of Christ and a blessed community of believers, in a journey of pilgrimage, committed to renewing ourselves and responsible to protect our environment and make our habitat a better place. We have well appropriated our faith in various outreach activities of the parish such as Mar Thoma School Maharashtra, Umeed – Cancer Care Centre, Shivaji Nagar Medical Dispensary and Parathwada congregation.

Beloved Parishioners, I urge you all to be faithful to God and proceed in your spiritual journey with Him amid affluence and intellectual advancement. Let’s experience our God who is so good in all the situations of life and witness Him wherever you are placed. Be vigilant in your apostolic call and commissioning to all humans and contemporary environmental issues. I wish and pray that this website of Mar Thoma Syrian Church, Chembur enables us to connect better and benefit from the information available. May our Good Lord bless us all.

Rev. Dr. John George