On Sunday, January 8, the Church Council of the St. Thomas Ecumenical Federation of North America sponsored the joint celebration of New Year and Christmas by the Malankara churches of New York at the Long Island Mar Thoma Church (Merrick, NY). About a dozen choirs of teenagers, youth, and adults presented English, Assyrian, and Malankayam songs.
His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan had been especially invited to the event as keynote speaker. Archbishop Anoushavan expressed his appreciation to the audience of about 1,000 people for following their secular traditions and said: “Like you, we Armenians are thousands of miles away from our homeland, but we don’t leave aside our faith, our traditions, our identity.” The Prelate exhorted the presents to turn God, the embodiment of Love revealed with the Holy Manger, into the focus of everyone’s daily life and overcome the stormy waves of life, becoming a guiding light for all those who are deprived of the Light of Life.
The Malankara Church belongs to the Oriental Orthodox Churches along with the Armenian, Coptic, Syrian, and Ethiopian churches. Apostle Thomas, who also crossed through Armenia, is considered the founder of the Christian church of India.