About Prayer Fellowship
The Diocesan level Prayer Group has been constituted to monitor and streamline the spiritual growth through prayer and reading habits of congregations in different prayer groups functioning in the various parishes under the Diocese of South-West America. The objective of the group is to ascertain the inculcation of firm faith, love of the church and brotherhood and bring about the spiritual, material and educational upliftment of the people.
A fellowship unit can consist of 20-30 families and grown-up adults. Women and children of these families are encouraged to participate in these meetings. Once a week (preferably Sunday) the prayer meetings need to be conducted at a convenient time in different houses or in a common place of convenience.
Each unit has the vicar of the parish as the president and should have a secretary who should maintain the credit and debit account as well as the report. Once in three months, a common meeting as per the directions of the Vicar is to be convened with a general Secretary to oversee the conduct of the meeting.
- Conduct retreat conventions during the Lent period in each area of our diocese. Wherever possible, arrange separate sessions for adults, youths, and kids. This will bring more interactive and meaningful discussions when the topics and the crowd are related to the same age.
- Set apart some time to learn more about Orthodox Christian life and intercessions. We are in the process of creating a mobile missionary wing like ‘Sneha Sandesham’ concentrating on Orthodox faith and spirituality, relevance of silence in Christian life, importance of bearing the cross in Christian life, etc. We will be trying to channel this by spearheading it through our capable young deacons and seminarians.
Project in Progress
We are in the initial stages of starting a ‘Orthodox Christian fellowship For Care and Share’ to carry out the outreach concerns of our diocese and the Church. There are a lot of needy deserving people, who are surviving in pathetic conditions. This is painfully evident if we have visited Kerala and our mother country. There are a lot people who have a hard time surviving because of a lack of income due to illnesses, bad health and other genuine reasons. We can carry out this project by doing activities like:
- Giving a monthly income to unhealthy widows/families who are struggling a lot to raise their children
- Giving monthly mess fees to the poorest nursing students who do not qualify for bank loans for the same.
- Stretch out our helping hand to the poorest families in Kerala as a solace in their sickness, marriages of young ladies, building of houses, etc.
- Clergy and Spiritual organization leaders will make efforts to visit them every three months to care for them with prayer, love, and affection.
- Demonstrate Christian spirit by providing timely support to any emergency relief efforts for any disaster events, which may arise within our Diocese or anywhere else. The primary objective will be to provide assistance in whatever means to relieve the suffering of the needy. Our relief efforts will not be constrained by any geographical boundaries.
If we help deserving people, the mission can sustain itself and grow stronger. Our society is thankfully a society of helpers and givers. Orthodox believers can help their lesser fortunate brothers and sisters by setting apart a portion of their tithe to help the people in need. If each earning member in our diocese sets apart a minimum of $10 per month, this project can succeed and help others. The diocesan treasurer of prayer fellowship can collect the amount from parishes, which would have been collected monthly/yearly by the Secretary of the fellowship.
The amount can be distributed through our diocesan centers in Kerala or through the diocesan committees of the Orthodox Christian Youth Movement. The diocesan body can then distribute the amount to each parish committee or parish youth movement to give the amount to the deserving people.
In every occasion of money transaction, it is imperative that receipts and vouchers are used, thus creating a transparent flow of finances. Thus every parish committee or parish youth movement can find out how their donations help the deserving people.
For more information, please contact:
Rev. Fr. Rajesh John
Mr. Rajan Joseph (Dallas)
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