The Malankara Orthodox Syrian ChurchMinistry of Human Empowerment
The Ministry of Human Empowerment (MOHE) of Malankara Orthodox Church launches VIPASSANA an emotional support centre with three pronged Program: 1) Emotional Support Helpline, 2) Suicide Prevention Program 3) Fellowship of the family members who suffered the trauma of a suicide in the family. The Helpline also envisages to help people who are under tremendous stress and emotional breakdown.
The Telephone Helpline which purports to console and empower people under emotional breakdown and loneliness will function 24x7. The calls coming to the Helpline centre will be handled by volunteers who are trained for the purpose. The callers will not be asked to divulge their name and address. The problems shared shall be kept strictly confidential. Students, youth and seniors citizens (anybody irrespective of their age, caste or religion) can be the beneficiaries of the helpline. The office of the Helpline shall be at MGOCSM Student Centre, College Road Kottayam.
The focus of the Helpline shall be the enrichment of Family life. It will organize various Awareness / Training Program in this line. It shall take up and continue various projects introduced by the Ministry of Human Empowerment of the Church. It will also organize various training /awareness programs for Suicide Prevention. The Helpline shall organize programs to console and embolden families in which suicide or unnatural death happened. Get together of such families, emotional sharing, counseling, retreats etc also shall be organized.
The Helpline shall be directly under the Ministry of Human Empowerment of the Church headed by H.G Dr Thomas Mar Athanasius and Rev. Fr. P.A Philip: Dr Varghese Punnoose (HOD, Psychiatry Department, Medical College,Kottayam) and Dr Siby Tharakan (former Associate Director ,ECC, Bangalore) have been appointed as the Secretary and Program Director respectively of the OMF and Emotional Support Helpline.
Those who wish to associate with the various projects of the Ministry of Human Empowerment may contact the central office.
The Malankara( Indian) Orthodox Church initiates to launch a new venture named Orthodox Medical Forum (OMF) under the flagship of The Ministry of Human Empowerment involving the professionals in the medical field like doctors, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists and other paramedical personnel who are members of the Orthodox Church.
Aims and Objectives
1) To create a data bank of all medical professionals of the Malankara Orthodox Church on a global level.
2) To form a social networking group of the OMF.
3) In the present scenario when the medical field is increasingly commercialized we need to organize orientation classes, retreats, seminars and discussions so as to equip the members for a meaningful Healing Ministry concomitant with the medical ethics, with enhanced dedication and selfless service.
4) The unprecedented shoot up in diseases and the number of patients in recent years compels us to form a panel of experts who can give medical advice on diagnosis and medical treatment.
5) To create stress management / counseling facilities for those facing physical, mental, emotional and situational problems in the medical profession.
6) To provide free or concessional medical facilities to economically weak patients.
7) To organize free medical checkups at labour camps and at centers of migrated labors to create awareness about health and hygiene.
8) To conduct awareness campaign or classes on health, nutrition and hygiene (Awareness classes on diseases such as AIDS, Ebola and other deadly diseases)
9) To provide free medicines to poor populace by creating a Medicine Bank.
10)To inform about job vacancies in different medical institutions to the members of OMF and other medical professionals.
11)Providing opportunities of service to the interested medical personnel for service in hospitals and medical ventures managed by the church.
12) To create a helpline for providing counseling and advices to people with suicide tendencies.
13)To avoid the pathetic situation where a patient suffers without proper and timely medical guidance.
Duties of each parish:
1) Kindly take a photo copy of the OMF form sent along with this brochure, distribute to the members working in the medical field and send back the filled up forms to this office.
2) As the follow up information shall be done mostly via email, please make sure that the correct mail address is mentioned on the OMF form.
3) Apart from 2-3 meetings in a year as per the instructions from central office, projects on a local basis can be taken up and worked out.
4) Those who are at presently working in the medical field, retired medical personnel and students who have completed their studies in the medical fields can also be the part of this forum.
Media, the fourth pillar of a democratic system has expanded its horizons beyond the common understanding.Media is not just confined to TVs and newspapers but has widened its spectrum to web and mobile applications.In a world of rapid economic booms and social crises it has become the responsibility of the Church to educate the society about a balanced use of Media in the life of commoners especially children and youths.As the use of mobile phone and computer assumes
gigantic proportions, the world witnesses a steep rise in the incidence of cyber addictions and mental disorders such as Nomo phobia where a person feels uneasy when abstains from the use of phone for a while. Children’s daily accessories like pencil, pen and papers have been replaced by mobile and tabs which often leads to cyber crimes, extensive logins to gaming world and pornographic websites.
Under this year’s flagship program the Church launches the project NERVAZHY to equip our families for the balanced and mature use of media in daily life. Electronic gadgets such as TV, mobile phone, computer, internet and interface such as Facebook, What App, Twitter, and LinkedIn etc. can be used in a constructive and progressive way. The objective of the project NERVAZHY is to show our families ‘the right way’ to use the media.
1) An extensive study of media’s power and the perils of its negative applications.
2) A roadmap to use media in a constructive way
3) To conduct seminars, classes, discussions, debates etc. by spiritual organizations such as Youth Movement,Martha Mariam Samajam, and MGOCSM in their respective parishes and dioceses.
4) To produce audio- visual programs on the theme.
5) To train and educate each family on the use of media.
Action Plan on the parish level
1) To read, learn, analyze and discuss the topics dealt in the Handbook and the study materials sent from the Central office of the Ministry of Human Empowerment at unit level and organize awareness building classes.
2) Invite Resource Persons who are trained / specialized in the field of media to take classes on the project NERVAZHY.
3) Organize classes and discussions in Sunday school, Youth Movement, Martha Mariam Samajam and prayer groups.
4) Conduct skit or street plays depicting negative as well as positive aspects of media.
5) Keeping NERVAZHY as the theme, organize competitions such as drawings, poster making, power point presentations, and audio- visual creations.
6) One day during 2015 shall be set apart when the whole Church abstains from the use of modern media demonstrating symbolically to reduce the excessive dependency on the media gadgets (Switch off all mobiles, TV, and computer on 3 April 2015- Good Friday).
7) Usage of mobile and photography during worship hours or Holy Qurbana should be strictly dissuaded. Connectivity is only with God during worship.
8) Collect mobile numbers of each member in the parish and send across Biblical or inspirational messages to them. Whats App can be used as an effective medium.
9) Matters and information related to the church can be sent to the members through mobile message,What App or emails to ensure greater and effective participation.
10) Install a banner in the church premises on this year’s project NERVAZHY.
11) Publish articles and essays on the uses and disadvantages of T.V, mobile, internet, computer etc and circulate in the church.
12) Stick notices like “Use of mobile phones strictlyprohibited” or “Please switch off your mobiles”.
The socio techno - economic life has affected and changed the definition of the word ‘family’. The changes in perspective and attitudinal factors among men and women have forced thinkers and writers to break the conventions in describing the marital problems. Family disintegration, divorce, re-marriage, children being orphaned and loss of spiritual and moral values are the ultimate results of this contemporary techno society. Non consensual component in a family life can lead a generation into darkness. Keeping the sacrosanct conjugal relations intact in the midst of growing challenges of the day and replenishing the spiritual vitality in families are the motives of this year’s theme THEY ARE ONE under the flagship of The Ministry of Human Empowerment.
To install a banner related to this year’s theme (project) which needs to be displayed for the whole year in the premises of the church and Diocesan centers. (For sample designs please refer to : www.mosc.in )
Organize a meeting of all spiritual organizations at the parish level (especially MGOCSM, Youth Movement and Martha Mariam Vanitha Samajam, Prayer Meetings) and decide the manner in which each spiritual group can contribute for the successful implementation of the project.
In order to create awareness/implementation of the project the people who have been trained at the central level, shall be invited by the parishes to take classes on the theme recommended.
On 16th November 2014 (Annunciation to Zechariah) shall be observed as Christian Couple’s Day (CCD).The parish can organize special programs for couples on this day.
The spiritual organization can bring out booklet, broucher or pamphlet at the unit level in order to create awareness.
An audio- visual (documentaries, films etc) material can be produced on this year’s theme.
Girls who have reached or crosses the age of 18, boys who have reached or crossed the age of 21should be send to the marital counseling courses conducted at the diocese level. (they don’t have to wait until engagement for the Pre-marital counseling)
In order to tackle all sorts of marital issues the diocese are requested to constitute a “Guidance Cell” and promote them to contact and reach the cell.
The gospel conventions organized at parish, zonal or diocese level should take at least one day to highlight this theme and arrange sermons on it.
One of the objectives of MOHE is to explore and enrich the human potential. There are number of brilliant students in our society who are deprived of quality education on account of their financial inability. The ICON Charities graciously lent a hand of support to the MOHE for the amelioration of such students. The MOHE partnering with ICON Charities has given educational awards and scholarships to 353 students of outstanding performance, spending about Rs 32 lacs. The MOHE put on record the imitable example of ICON Charities by contributing the whole money. His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, H.G Dr Yuhanon Mar Milithios, H.G Yuhanon Mar Polycarpos, H.G Mathews Mar Theodosius gave away the awards in Kottayam ,Thrissure,Angamali and Idduki respectively. The MOHE wishes to extend this support to more brilliant students in the days to come.
As per the decision of the Holy Episcopal Synod in February 2013, the Ministry of Human Empowerment (MOHE) was entrusted with the collection of data of all students of the Church who pursue their higher studies after class 10TH AND 12TH.The objective of this drive was to provide pastoral care for these students at the place/institution of their studies.
The data collection forms were send to all the parishes to furnish the details of the students. Though a sincere effort has been done in this direction, the response from the parishes was not very promising.
The status of women in India was inferior tothat of men in all realms of life. However, women are held in high encomium our Holyscriptures. Goddess Saraswati, Goddess Durga, Parvati& Goddess Kali are praised the scriptures.But the status of women de facto remains unchanged during the later and contemporary span of Indian history. In India, women were never given any right of liberty & equality. Their condition becomes even worse when they gave birth to girls. Men treated them in a humiliated manner. The atrocities against women are ever on the rise in a civilized society like India.
In order to change the pigmy thinking about the status of women the MOHE initiated an action plan to ensure the safety of women and empower them by providing self-defense classes, classes on the rights and privileges of women in India. The Ministry has brought out a scholarly hand bookapart from organizing street plays, debate, discussions on various levels.
MOHE is the first department to recommend to all the parishes of the Church to take a immediate steps to ensure the safety and care of the elderly. Globalization, liberalization and such other new trends have created a social scenario where elderly in our society are left in the lurch. The incapacitated parents have no other option except helping themselves. While the Church is hesitant to recommend the building up of Old Age Homes to face this situation, the MOHE promoted the concept of Geriatric and Palliative care through setting up of Palliveedu , a house adjacent to the parish church to provide day care for the elderly who are left alone in their respective homes.Such centers would invariably give a space for the elderly for mutual sharing , common meals and exhibiting their talents. On the other hand the young ones are given the awareness on the need for caring our elderly who tread the last paces of their voyage of life. A host of programs were organized to implement the project on the parish level. This concept not only changed people’s attitude towards helpless parents but also prompted many religious, non-governmental groups to join hands with the noble initiative.
This Three months project launched in October 2011 focused on the upbringing of our children in the moral Christian milieu. Children are the hope and promise of tomorrow. Appropriate Christian training has to be imparted in every family. The Ministry took an initiative to teach and guide the modern parents by way of seminars, talk and showcasing small documents on how to be good Christian parents and how to make their children morally and spiritually strong. During the campaign the department brought out a documentary named Home Workand also published a handbook supporting the theme of the year.
TheFamily that prays together stays together.The Ministry felt the need to nurture the family which is the sole base of an individual’s character formation and enhancement. The objective of the department was to accentuate the importance of family life and factors that strengthen family relations likemutual affection, trust and distribution of responsibilities. Good families are a sine qua non for a healthy society. All good qualities in us are inculcated by our family.These are not inborn but what we learned from our family system. In order to understand the importance of family in everybody’s life especially the inseparable bond between the husband and wife, the department produced a documentary titled Bhoomilyil Oru Swargam. The duration of the awareness campaign was one month (October 2009) which included seminars, workshops etc for the proper implementation of the project at the grass root level.
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