A SPOT-LIGHT ON Morth Mariam Vanitha Samajam Annual Conference – 2016
The 8th annual conference of MMVS was held at St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Atlanta from Oct. 7th to 9th. It was a great success from the first day of the conference itself. Attendance was not as great as we expected due to some unprecedented incidents and cancellations. But those who could make their way up to Atlanta enjoyed and were benefited. About 120 members from 17 churches took part in the conference.
Our Diocesan Metropolitan H.G Alexios Mar Eusebius blessed the occasion with his presence all three days. It started with the hoisting of the flag and a procession. With the lighting of the lamp, Thirumeni declared the commencement of the conference. The key –note speaker was Rev. Fr. Dr. Mathew Koshy and the theme was “Keep yourself in the love of God” (St. Jude 21) He highlighted that God has unconditional love for mankind and it is our duty to love Him back. Fr. Mathew Koshy’s second speech was about “Women’s role in maintaining health in the family.” The interaction was great due to the question - answer part at the end of the speech. Rev. Fr. P. C. George was another speaker and achen spoke on the topic “Eschatology – An Orthodox Perspective”. He explained how the protestant churches are looking forward for “Rapture” to occur and we as Orthodox Christians should believe that His second coming can happen at any time, since that time is known only to the Father Almighty. H. G. Alexios Mar Eusebius explained how we can become a blessing to others, taking examples of the life of Mother Theresa and Joseph from the Old Testament. He explained how we can meet and hear God in silence and peace, and what we have heard should be conveyed to others. Mrs. Ammini Daniel from St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Atlanta, spoke about how we can raise God-fearing children. She stressed the fact that only a god fearing mother can do that and each woman should prove herself an example to her children. She further brought to our attention that we should be always conscious about God’s presence and must frequently ask the question “Am I hurting Him or pleasing Him?” The health talk was given by Dr. Sheraj Jacob from St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, Atlanta. He spoke on “Colon Cancer, Heart Burn, and Bloating”. It was very informative and interesting and a lot of questions were asked by the members. This made the session very active and dynamic.
We had our business meeting in which annual and financial reports were read. Another highlight of the conference was the release of two books. One of the books was the English translation of “Annamayum Pastarum”(The translation was done by Gigi K. Simon & Santhamma Mathew) .The second book was “Pearls of MMVS” which is a collection of articles, short stories and poems that are written by members of our MMVS.
A short entertainment program was presented by the delegates. At the end of 2nd day, a vote of thanks was given by Rev. Fr. Binny Kuruvilla, Vice President of MMVS. By Sunday Mass, we concluded the conference with a short vote of thanks by Santhamma Mathew
Overall we enjoyed every moment of the conference. Excellent food was served on all the three days and all the delegates were accommodated in the houses of the members of the church. We were picked up from the airport at the right time and departures were also scheduled in a timely manner. The next year’s venue of the conference and the dates were fixed tentatively, the venue being St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, San Francisco, CA and the dates are Sept 29 and 30th 2017.
We could feel God’s guiding hand in the conference from the very beginning itself. We acknowledge His love and dedicate ourselves once again for His services. Our Thiumeni’s presence on all the three days of the conference made it all the more exuberant. His support and care for MMVS are always greatly appreciated.
General Secretary, MMVS.