5th November 2017 : World Sunday School Day – The first Sunday of the Month of November is celebrated throughout the world as Sunday School Day. The Mar Thoma/ CSI/ CNI churches are celebrating Sunday, 5th November, 2017 as World Sunday School Day.
Robert Raikes (1735- 1811), an English Publisher, started the first Sunday School in the city of Gloucester in England in 1780. During the early days, reading, arithmetic and Bible was taught at the Sunday Schools.
In 1809, Church representatives of the Malankara Churches held a meeting at Kandanadu Church, near Ernakualam to arrange facilities to teach children in the Church about religion, prayers and sacraments. The India Sunday School Union was founded in 1876.The Mar Thoma Sunday School Samajam was established on 25 February 1905, at the Maramon Convention.
The Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church had a part to play in the historic visit of Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi to Israel. PM Modi presented PM Netanyahu replicas of 2 sets of relics from Kerala that are regarded as key artifacts in the long Jewish history in India. One of them was was made possible with the cooperation of Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church which was publicly acknowledged by the Prime Minister on Twitter.
They comprise two different sets of copper plates that are believed to have been inscribed in 9-10th century C.E. The first set of copper plates is a cherished relic for the Cochini Jews in India. It is regarded as a charter describing the grant of hereditary royal privileges and prerogatives by the Hindu King, Cheraman Perumal (often identified as Bhaskara Ravi Varma) to the Jewish leader Joseph Rabban. According to traditional Jewish accounts, Joseph Rabban was later crowned as the Prince of Shingli, a place in or equated with Cranganore.
Cranganore is where Jews enjoyed religious and cultural autonomy for centuries, before they moved to Cochin and other places in Malabar. Local Jews once placed in each coffin a handful of earth from Shingli/Cranganore that was remembered as a holy place & a “second Jerusalem”. The replica of these plates was made possible with the cooperation of the Paradesi Synagogue in Mattancherry, Kochi.
The second set of copper plates is believed to be the earliest documentation of the history of Jewish trade with India. These plates describe the grant of land and tax privileges by the local Hindu ruler to a church and oversight of trade in Kollam to West Asian and Indian trading associations. West Asian association included Muslims, Christians, Zoroastrians, as also a group of Jews who signed in Judeo-Persian and possibly also in Arabic and Pahlavi (Middle Persian). The plates bear their signatures that appear to have been cut into the plates by a local workman unfamiliar with the script. The replica of these plates was made possible with the cooperation of Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church in Thiruvalla, Kerala.
In addition, Prime Minister @narendramodi also presented PM @netanyahu a Torah scroll donated by the Paradesi Jewish community in Kerala. Handwritten over a hundred years ago, the scroll had been dedicated to the Paradesi Synagogue in Kochi that had been built in 1568. The Torah is enclosed on wooden staves in a wooden case adorned with silver sheets.
And a metal crown covered in gold sheets in floral ornament style, bearing motifs typical of lamps and decorations of South India.
World Sunday School Day: 6th November 2016 (Free Ebook – Robert Raikes and how we got the Sunday School)
6th November 2016 : World Sunday School Day – The first Sunday of the Month of November is celebrated throughout the world as Sunday School Day. The Mar Thoma/ CSI/ CNI churches are celebrating Sunday, 6th November, 2016 as World Sunday School Day.
On 23rd October 2016 (20th Sunday after Pentecost), Family Sunday is celebrated by the CSI church, CNI church and the Mar Thoma Syrian Church. The focus of the service is on the “Faith that has to be formulated in family life”.
Download this free pdf Ebook published in Malayalam in 1951 that is still relevant to today’s Christian life. This book can be used as a resource for your Family Sunday service. The link can be shared and used by church members, parishes and church organizations. It can be accessed on any smartphone, tablet or computer for free.
29 July 1955: Daniel Case – St.Thomas Evangelical Church of India separates from the Mar Thoma Syrian Church (with Rare Photos)
29 July, 1955: Mr. Daniel files suit against the Mar Thoma Metropolitan. On 29 July 1955, Mr. Nina Daniel, of Kurumthottikkal, Melukara Pathanamthitta District and three others filed a civil suit in the District Court of Kottayam against the then Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Church Most Rev. Juhanon Mar Thoma and six others. Mr. K.N. Daniel, was a lay leaders in the Mar Thoma Church, an eminent liturgiologist, theologian, an author of many books, and a prominent lawyer.
According to Mr. Daniel, the Metropolitan favoured and accepted the faith of the Jacobite Church and as such he had no right to enter any of the Mar Thoma Churches and that he should not be allowed to continue as the Supreme Head of the Church. This case is known as the ‘Daniel Case’. This litigation lasted for almost 10 years and the final judgment from the Supreme Court of India came on 7 Jan 1965. In all the three courts (the District Court, Kerala High Court and the Supreme Court) verdicts were against Mr. Daniel.
This case was an unfortunate event in the history of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church and resulted in the formation of the St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India on 26 January 1961. Twenty priests who had been ordained in the Mar Thoma Church joined and pledged allegiance to the new Church.
- First defendant Most Rev. Juhanon Mar Thoma Metropolitan was examined through the judicial commission in the Mar Thoma Seminary in Kottayam. His examination took 35 hours over seven days.
World Sunday School Day: 1st November 2015 (Free Ebook – Robert Raikes and how we got Sunday School)
1st November 2015 : World Sunday School Day – The first Sunday of the Month of November is celebrated throughout the world as Sunday School Day. The Mar Thoma/ CSI/ CNI churches are celebrating Sunday, 1st November, 2015 as World Sunday School Day.
World Sunday School Day: 1st November 2014 (Free Ebook – Robert Raikes and how we got Sunday School)
2nd November 2014 : World Sunday School Day – The first Sunday of the Month of November is celebrated throughout the world as Sunday School Day. The Mar Thoma/ CSI/ CNI churches are celebrating Sunday, 2nd November, 2014 as World Sunday School Day.
Rev. Lester John Hamilton and Mrs. Mary Hamilton
The Hamiltons (American Missionaries,) arrived in India in 1951 and were given only a brief period of language study before being plunged into the activities of the South India Bible Institute in Bangarapet, Kolar District, Karnataka. But they both continued to learn Kannada throughout their ministry in India, and found themselves quite at home with the language.
In 1952, Mrs. Mary Hamilton was requested to prepare materials for a model Vacation Bible School, and this was so well received that it has grown to become an annual event in many parts of India, and other countries in the world.
Now millions of children are attending VBS classes in different countries in different languages. Even though the Hamilton’s turned over the leadership of the VBS office into national hands, they continued to remain involved with it and gave their time and assistance until they left India in 1985.
Rev. and Mrs. Hamilton were teachers in the South India Biblical Seminary in Bangarapet, in Karnataka. They both were highly talented and have enriched the lives of many who came in contact with them. Their many and varied contributions to the ministries of South India Biblical Seminary and the Vacation Bible school movement will not be soon forgotten and we thank God for having brought them to serve in India.
24 March, 1820: Birth of Hymn writer Fanny Crosby. Frances Jane Crosby commonly known as Fanny Crosby, was an American lyricist best known for her Protestant Christian hymns. She was one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing over 8,000 hymns despite becoming blind after birth. She is also known for her preaching and speaking. During her lifetime Fanny Crosby was one of the best known women in the States.
To this day, the vast majority of American hymnals contain her work. Some of her best known songs include “Blessed Assurance” “Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home” “Praise Him, Praise Him” and “To God be the Glory”. Since some publishers were hesitant to have so many hymns by one person in their hymnals, Crosby used nearly 100 different pseudonyms during her career.
8 March, 1698: British missionary Thomas Bray and four laymen founded the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (S.P.C.K.) “to advance the honour of God and the good of mankind by promoting Christian knowledge both at home and in the other parts of the world by the best methods that should offer”. S.P.C.K. started its work in India in 1711 and is now one of the leading Christian publishing Houses in India. It is known in India as Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (ISPCK).
“Over the years, SPCK has distributed over 30 million books and has provided the means for translating the Book of Common Prayer into more than 200 languages. SPCK sent the first printing presses to India, opened the first British schools for poor children, gave equal education to girls, sent the first printed books to Australia, established libraries for clergy and missionaries in many countries, and published the first Braille books.” ~ www.spck.org.uk