Saturday, September 9, 2017

A prayer for child like innocence

Allow us God to revisit our childhood and experience the innocence that made us children. May this weekend offer wonderful memories of how carefree and tension less we were as children. Dear God, may we for a little time forget deadlines, EMI's and work pressures and lie down on your inviting lap to close our eyes and feel comforted with your warmth and love. Help us Lord to truly unwind and release the pressures which have made us inhuman and angry. Speak to us Jesus and remind us of the virtue of being child like instead of always being adult, cold and ruthless. Join us and play with us Holy Spirit with the light, pleasing breeze that you are so that in the midst of all our problems we will trust your wisdom. May we dilute our problems with child modelled plans of relaxation and recharge ourselves with adventure and excitement from you God. Amen.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Prayer for the birthday of St. Mary

Dear God, as we celebrate the birthday of Mother Mary help us understand why you choose people for doing your work. Help us to accept your choice instead of always desiring what someone else has. Mother Mary was young, inexperienced, had no backing of the prevalent power structure and yet was chosen by God to bear his son. We understand now that she feared God but was fearless when it came to engaging with the injustice in society, her wisdom was much beyond her year's and she had love and compassion for people in the world. Help us today God to be fearless, to act beyond  our age when the need arises and to have love and compassion for the poor and needy. We pray for individuals in society who have been Mary like through their actions. Some of them have been attacked and done away with but never the less they live on like Mary. Help us Jesus to accept that we must be fearless in our life and not be scared of death. It is better to die with courage than to live with fear. May we intercede to Mary and become Mary in our life so that God selects us to be God's workers to bring about justice and peace in this world. Intercede for us Mother Mary, the fearless one selected by God. Amen.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Prayer to overcome wrongdoing

We commit ourselves God before you and offer ourselves for contemplation and correction. We look back at our life and seek your wisdom to understand and accept acts of hurt, misunderstanding, anger, hatred and high handedness that have come out of us. We seek forgiveness from you for every short coming and every insensitive remark or attitude that has slipped out from us. What has come out cannot be taken back but we can seek your forgiveness God to correct ourselves and learn to become better people. Help us to understand Jesus how we can look at the needs of people and give importance to them rather than to ourselves. Give us strength Holy Spirit to overcome our ego which is continuously tempting us to do evil and bad things. As we fold our hands God and pray, may it be a folding of our ego and our soul in commitment towards good and nice things. Amen.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Prayer for strength during grief

Give us we pray God the grace and understanding to grieve with those families who have lost a near and dear one. Show us the way to be with them, say words of comfort, be anything but judgemental, and offer our own stories of pain and grief as a means of empathetic friendship. Help us Jesus to offer hope like you did to Martha and Mary. We believe in you like they did and know that you are the resurrection and life. Those who believe in you will live even though they die. Lead us well Holy Spirit to pray for the departed that they rest in peace in paradise in the assuring presence of our fore fathers and fore mothers waiting with anticipation for the second coming of our Lord. May this hope lead us God to go to grieving homes with courage and strength to thank God for the life of those who move on to a better place while still being dear and valuable to their loved ones. Amen.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Prayer for Teacher's day

We thank you God for those who taught us and continue to teach us in schools and colleges and through conversations and messages. Our teachers inspired us, looked us in the eye and said we can do it, when people much closer had given up. We pray today for our teachers as they also need our prayers and good wishes. We take this day as all days to be thankful and respectful to what our teachers have done for us. We are guided by your life on earth Jesus to acknowledge the teachers who have taught us many things outside the class room and who stood for us when the world was against us. You made heroes out of ordinary disciples Jesus, and today we have become special because of your guidance and because of those who you chose to guide us. Thank you Holy Spirit for the spirit of commitment you have given to our teachers so that they taught us with very little and for even less but did it during sunshine and rain never for once giving up. Thank you Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Prayer during a festival

We thank you God for the opportunities to celebrate festivals with our brothers and sisters from different faiths. We hope that people live in harmony and use such opportunities to learn about one another and about our common histories. May the celebrations be a sharing of what we have and to make sure that no one lives in poverty and no one cries due to the lack of basic facilities.
As is said in Micah 4:3-5"...they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken it. For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever." Thereby God, may we use the opportunities that we get to celebrate, as times to feed the poor, visit the sick and elderly, meet friends and family and love everyone we know and come across. Amen.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Prayer at the beginning of the week

Loving God, there are many things to feel sorry for and get angry about. But there are several other things to feel happy and hopeful about. Help us at the beginning of the week to feel strong in hope and be fearless in our pursuit of happiness and peace. In our relationship with you God we understand that we should always be hopeful and any set back is only a learning to become stronger. Jesus, help us to identify our strengths and stick to them instead of plotting how to hide our weaknesses. We have been inspired by you to think that we need not be ashamed of our weaknesses because our strengths are far greater and stronger. Holy Spirit, we thank you for giving us the courage to believe in ourselves and survive in the midst of adversities and various forms of evil. Bless us Lord for a strong and happy week where the feeling of accomplishment will out shine everything else. Amen.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Prayer with intercession to St. Mary

Help us God to submit ourselves before you for great things. We are talented because we have been created by you but we haven't peaked yet and realised our dream because we haven't come under your shadow of grace. Mother Mary was a pious woman who was already spiritual and yet when she submitted herself to you God instead of society, she became inspirational and fearless to bear your son and became the leader of the early church. We intercede with our Mother Mary and seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit which will make us fearless to fight any and every injustice and realise every dream we have because it has God's blessings. May we also we pray be born of the Holy Spirit and become Jesus like to do the impossible. With deep and loving intercession of Mother Mary we pray. Amen.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Prayer of hope

We give thanks to you gracious God for small, big and unending mercies that you so graciously shower upon us. Help us to understand that you will never allow anything bad to happen to us because you love us unconditionally. May we look to you in prayer and love one another unconditionally because that is who we are and what we should do. We pray for tenderness, care, sacrifice and love to be part of our reportoire so that people may experience God when they talk to us and relate with us. Show us Jesus how you naturally slipped into the role of the son of God and served those on earth without expecting anything in return. Accompany us Holy Spirit because then we can only reflect you in all circumstances. We seek you God in all that we do. Amen.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Don't replace God with self styled God men


Mob violence based on blind belief on self proclaimed God men


St. Luke 11:9-20
Jesus is teaching his disciples about faith and the need to bring faith into practice by asking, searching and knocking. The society then and even now is in the habit of being human and one part of us is the part which asks, searches and knocks. But who do we ask, where do we search and when do we knock? In today’s world it is not that we have lost the ability to ask, search and knock but we are doing it in a way which is different from what Jesus is talking about.

We ask self-proclaimed Guru’s, God men and women, and wait to receive blessings from them instead of concentrating on God and what only God can give. Going to church is to receive guidance from God through God’s servant and not to see a person who has replaced God’s self! We are going to places and asking diviners and prophets about what we should do in life, which course we should take, what time we should start a business and where we can built a house. How can men and women be greater than God? Anything that we need can be answered by God and then why are we wasting time on people who can’t even save themselves?!

Jesus teaches us to ask God and not just to waste time with people who are misleading the public. Jesus was questioned by the Pharisees because he was eating into their supremacy and putting an end to the lies they were spreading by replacing God with their selves. The sanctity of worship places were being challenged by changing them from places of peace to places of violence where importance of money was increasing rather than the essence on the importance on God.

What is Jesus then trying to tell us? If a man who has called it a day at home will help his neighbor in being hospitable and if a father will provide for his children how much more will our Father in heaven do for us? We are bound to be sad if we keep our faith in men. Instead we should replace this with faith in God. If someone on earth will offer us help, God will do several times more for us and will do so without expecting anything in return because God will always help people as they are God’s own creation and God loves them (us). 

Jesus casts out a demon from a person who was mute. He then starts speaking. But some then said that Jesus did it because he was associated with the demons. Jesus challenges this and says that a kingdom cannot stand against itself. We must belong to God’s kingdom to be healed by God and be taken care of by God because we are God’s family. We do not need magic, tricks and hallucinations to be healed.

The passage teaches us to be with God and live a life of faith which asks, searches and knocks at the feet of God. Do not place your trust with man made God’s but with the God who can only do good, save human kind and usher in peace. Amen.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Independence day prayer


Thank you God for giving us the spirit of independence and for helping us come out of the yoke of slavery. We are thankful for the lives of those who sacrificed everything they had for the freedom of our country. We are fortunate to wake up and sleep every day in a free world and country. The Bible says "Now the Lord is the spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." We seek the Holy Spirit Lord so that we will live in freedom and so that whatever anyone does to take away our freedom will end in failure. We pray that the spirit of freedom that is offered to us by God will set every citizen of this country free to live with dignity, being free to make their own choices, eat what they want, pray where they want and speak what and when they want without infringing on the rights and freedom of others. In the name of the one who has set us free, Jesus Christ our freedom. Amen.








Picture courtesy www.abc.net.au

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Updated profile of FJK


Fr. Jerry Kurian is a priest of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church and an alumnus of the New Indian School, Kuwait, the Marthoma Residential School, Thiruvalla, S.B. College, Changanachery, UTC, Bangalore and GLTC, Chennai.  He is now the Director of Development and Youth of the Bangalore diocese of the Jacobite Syrian Church.

Jerry Kurian taught at the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Theological Seminary (MSOTS) for a period of five years before joining for his research and then taught in the United Theological College, Bangalore for six years.  He has many years of pastoral experience as well. He is a theological educator, public speaker, blogger, theatre enthusiast, preacher and leadership and life skills trainer.

His research interests include new media, the internet, public speaking, drama, film analysis, communication and mission, alternative media, alternative journalism, traditional media, social networking, blogs, communication and women's liberation and communication and climate change.

Fr. Jerry believes his calling is to teach and pastor towards an inclusive society where everyone will be a part of our spiritual expression and everyone will benefit from the liberative gospel of Jesus Christ. He believes Orthodox Christianity has many things to offer in the diverse ecumenical and religious environment of India. He affirms that proper Communication can lead to a just society.

He worked on the design and implementation of the UTC college web site @ http://utc.edu.in/  He also designed the UTC college blog @ http://www.utcbangalore.blogspot.in/ 


Publications, presentations and other work


Asia Communication Sunday worship order for the WACC Asia Communication Sunday booklet June, 2010
Presentation on ‘God’s providence and the youth in the church’ in Yercadu on July 24, 2010.
Meditations for Gurukul Daily Devotion 2011 submitted in October, 2010.
‘Rights of (Vulnerable) Children and the New Media: Challenges for the church in India’. Paper presented in the seminar on ‘Children and their rights: A Theological exploration’, Chennai on November 15-17, 2010.
‘Examining the claims of the Information Revolution: Social Revolution or Knowledge Capitalism’. Published in KCC magazine, November, 2010.
‘The woman and Jesus. A bible study on Luke 7: 36-50’. Presented for the NCCI workshop on ‘Daring to study scriptures publicly and sensually’ on 5-2-2011, Chennai. This was later published by NCCI.
‘The essence of Lent: Learning and struggling to bend our knees, mend our hearts, and lend our hands’. Published in CSI Life magazine, March, 2011.
 
Co-edited the WACC Asia Communication Sunday booklet June, 2011.
Poem/song on “Vulnerability in the midst of Climate Change”, p.8 in Asia Communication Sunday booklet, Communicating Climate Justice, WACC-AR, June 26, 2011.

Co-edited the Asia Communication Sunday booklet, 2011.
Bible study for the BTESSC-UTC workshop on “Online Training Techniques and Different Possibilities” on August 30, 2011.
“Media Ethics, the main line media and new (social) media: A case for alternative people’s journalism”- paper presented for the UTC alumni meeting in October, 2011.
Meditations for the Gurukul Daily Devotion, 2012, GLTC, Chennai, 2012, “Neighbourly Relations and Christian discipleship”, pp. 289-296.
Article on “Christ the Revolutionary” published in Assisi Magazine, February-March 2012, Vol.58, Issue 2, Assisi Ashram, Bharananganam, Kottayam, Kerala, pp. 20-22.
Presentation on “Bollywood and the Construction of Masculinities” in the WCC-SCMI gender training workshop on March 20, 2012 in UTC, Bangalore.

Article on “Alternative Media and Journalism as a framework for Communicating Peace” published in the Clark Journal Of Theology (Theological Reflections on Peace building), Vol. II. No. 1, January- June, 2012.
Article titled “The Church, Human Sexuality and Challenging the Unchallenged” in the Gurukul Journal of Theological Studies (Human Sexuality: Theological and Biblical Reflections), Vol XXIII, No. 2, June, 2012. This was published in December, 2012.
Presentation on “Forms of spirituality” to 50 ordained pastors from CSI Rayalaseema and Nandyal Dioceses on July 3, 2012 at Vishranthi Nilayam, Bangalore.
Presented a bible study on Genesis 4:3-9 titled “Am I the reason for the divide” (A bible study on the digital divide) for the SCMI Centenary Bible Study workshop on September 6-8, 2012. This was later published by the SCMI and released during its centenary celebrations.
UTC alumni refresher course presentation on “Lord Renew the Church: Begin From Me. Empowered by the Spirit of Renewal: People of God as the True Agents of Change. Internet as a catalyst for building an alternative community for church renewal” in October, 2012.
Class for youth of Mumbai diocese of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church on November 16, 17 and 18, 2012 on “Who and what am I for God”.
Took sessions on “Media and Leadership” and “Cyber ethos and internet de-addiction” for the Fest Zoe 2012 (Ecumenical Youth Leadership Training Camp) with the theme Beyond Globalization, Youth Culture, Mission and Leadership on November 14, 15, 2012. It was conducted by the The CSI Department of Pastoral Concerns and the Department of Ecumenical Relations & Ecological Concerns in the CSI Synod Centre, Royapettah, Chennai.
Presented a paper on “The Internet and Alternative Media for Communicating Peace” for the Faculty Research Seminar in the UTC on November 28, 2012.
Recorded a Jacobite Syrian Orthodox worship liturgy cd in English on November 29, 30, 2012. The CD was released on May 5, 2013.
Did a presentation on “Christian Communication, internet and alternative Communication” and helped in the sessions on “Reporting and Editing” in the workshop on “Communicating Ecological Justice”, held at CSI Synod Guest House, from 3rd to 5th Dec 2012. It was conducted by WACC and the CSI Synod.
Took a session on “Exodus: A journey to Togetherness” for the youth of the Bangalore diocese of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church on January 26, 2013.
“Lord Renew the Church: Begin From Me. Empowered by the Spirit of Renewal: People of God as the True Agents of Change. Internet as a catalyst for building an alternative community for church renewal” done for the UTC alumni refresher course was published in the latest issue of the Masihi Sevak, UTC.
Initiated the discussion for Dr. Joseph George’s faculty research seminar paper on “Changing patterns of Relationships in the Cyberage: Challenges and Directions for Ministry in India” on February 27, 2013.
Attended the NCCI sub committee meetings on March 6, 7, 2013 in Gurukul, Chennai. Apart from the Commission on Communication, was also nominated to the Centenary Celebrations sub committee to prepare a documentary on the NCCI.

Paper presented on “An Ecumenical View on Churches View of the Eucharist. A Critical Discussion” for theologians across India in the Ecumenical Christian Centre (ECC), Bangalore on May 15, 2013.
Presentation on “Church: The Sacramental Sign of Hope. The church and internet: Hope in the New Age” for the CSI Central Kerala Youth Pre Assembly in May, 2013.
Presentation on “Media values in India” to a study group from Edinburgh University in June, 2013.
Retreat for teachers of the CSI Institute of Technology, Nagercoil on July 8, 2013.
Presentation on “Women and Migration” for a CSI Synod programme in Vishranthi Nilayam, Bangalore in July, 2013.
Article on “The Internet and Alternate Media as Christian Communication” published in the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) review in July, 2013.
Skit direction and presentation for the National Council of Churches in India- World Council of Churches pre assembly seminar in Bangalore in August, 2013.
Presentation on “Blogs and writing” and “The Spirituality of writing” in the Writers’ workshop for pastors conducted by the United Basel Mission and UTC in Mumbai YMCA on September 16, 2013.
Scripted, directed and edited a documentary on the United Theological College, Bangalore in October, 2013. This was screened in the World Council of Churches Assemby in Busan, South Korea.
Part of the NCCI centenary documentary team working on a documentary for the NCCI.
Presentation on “Living with God in the Contemporary World” for the Tangkhul Christian Fellowship, Bangalore on November 1, 2013.
“Media, Culture and Religion: Alternative Media as a New Religious Expression in India.” Paper presented to the St. Olaf College, U.S. students in the Ecumenical Christian Centre, Whitefield, Bangalore on November 5, 2013.
“Christian perspective on media and youth advocacy for social change.” Paper presented to college students from all over India at the Student Christian Movement India Centre in Bangalore on November 15, 2013.
Paper on “Orkut, Facebook, Tumblr: What next?” presented for the National Ecumenical Youth Pre-assembly of the NCCI in Goa via video conference on Nov 18, 2013.
Chapter on “Media Ethics” in December, 2013 for Sunday school students of the Kottayam diocese of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church in their book for senior Sunday school students.
Presentation on “Atrocities against Women” in ECC, Bangalore on Feb, 2014.
Article on the Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas titled “Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas: The Equinox on which the Church rode three decades” published in the Malankara World Journal in March, 2014.

Paper presented on “Ecclesiology in the Cyber Age” in the NCCI seminar held in Bangalore on June 26, 2014.
Paper presented on “Informed Prodigy or Juvenile Criminal” in the National workshop on Crimes by Juveniles in India on July 30, 2014.
“Theatre as a pedagogical framework for theological education”. Faculty seminar presented on October 29, 2014.
"Media, Culture and Religion". Presentation in ECC for the St. Olaf Seminary students on November 6, 2014.
Main speaker for the District Youth Conference of the Marthoma Church in Bangalore on May 14-17, 2015.
Paper presented on “Media and Spirituality: A journey of the church into the lives of people”  on June 27, 2015 in the Marthoma Seminary, Kottayam, Kerala.
Paper presented on “Religion in the Market Place: The Changing environment of Women in the Church” in the National Seminar on Role of Women in the Christian Church: An ecumenical perspective, conducted by BTESSC and the MSOT seminary in the MSOTS, Ernakulam, Kerala on July 14, 2015.
Presentation made to St. Olaf students on "Media and Spirituality" on October 26, 2015 at the Ecumenical Christian Centre, Whitefield, Bangalore.

Main speaker for the Marthoma Church Regional Youth Conference, Delhi on November 10-13, 2015.

Produced and acted in the College play "The Nation of refugees" on December 3, 2015 in UTC.

Paper titled “Religion in the market place: The changing environment of women in the church” published in the Bangalore Theological Forum, Bangalore, Vol. XLVII, No.2, December, 2015.
Produced and acted in the play “The Nation of the Refugees” in an entire new location and format on March 4 and 5, 2016. 
Paper titled “Theatre as a pedagogical expression for theological education” published in the Hekamtho Theological Journal Vol 1, No. 2, MSOT Seminary, Ernakulam, Kerala in March, 2016.
Presented a paper on “The Theatrical expression of the Eucharist” in the National seminar for Theological Students in ECC, Whitefield, Bangalore on May 18, 2016.
Presented a paper on "Role of Media in Environmental Justice" in the National seminar on "Environmental Justice: Issues and Challenges." on July 6, 2016.
Took two sessions for the youth on the theme "Get up: Don't be afraid (Matthew 17:7)" at the International Youth Conference of the Assyrian Church of the East on July 22, 2016.
Presented a paper on "Maoists and Social Media" in the National seminar on "The Red Corridor and Maoism: Issues and Challenges" on August 19, 2016.
Took a session on "Women in the Church" for the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Bangalore diocese women's fellowship one day meeting on August 27, 2016.
Gave two talks on the theme "New Creation in Christ" for the first youth conference of the CSI Malabar diocese on September 12, 13, 2016 and took a session on Internet de-addiction on September 12, 2016.
Preached in the Naga Christian Fellowship Bangalore for their Power House service on September 25, 2016.
Presented a paper on "Transforming discipleship in a changing nation: Social media as a tool for ministering to the youth in church" for the UTC alumni refresher meeting on October 19, 2016.
 
Took a session on the Jacobite church, its faith and theology to a group from the University of Colombia, U.S. in January, 2017 at the St. Ignatius JSO Church, K.R. Puram, Bangalore.
 
Presentation on "Women in the Church" in the Jacobite Church Women's Conference held in May, 2017.
 
Conducting special youth worship in English  once every month from June, 2017 in St. Mary's JSO Cathedral Queen's Road, Bangalore. 

Completed a relic room which has the relic of St. Ignatius Elias III and a building (G+3) of close to 20,000 sq ft which includes a hall, class rooms and two badminton courts in the St. Ignatius JSO Church, K. R. Puram, Bangalore.
 
Has been writing quite regularly in a personal blog on social, religious and cultural affairs @ www.jerryachensworld.blogspot.in


Pastoral duties
He is the Director of Diocese Development and Youth of the Bangalore diocese of the Jacobite Syrian Church. It involves co-ordinating and giving leadership to the ministerial activities of 8 churches in Bangalore and working to bring new programmes for the youth in church. He has also been taking sessions on “Communication in the family” for the pre-marriage counselling courses held by the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church diocese in Bangalore”. He conducts weddings in English for interested couples.

Phone: +91-9483966951
E mail: jerryachen@gmail.com 







                                                                         The Nation of Refugees

Prayer of suffering

Help us Lord to become you and to sacrifice ourselves at the altar for you. We are so concerned about our status and our future that we have forgotten the gospel and the suffering which accompanies it. In Matthew 16 our Lord Jesus, when Peter said that you are the Messiah, you declared that you would build your church on Peter the rock. But when he took you aside and said that you will never suffer, you declared to him “Get behind me Satan”, for he became a stumbling block for you. May we God, never be a stumbling block before you and prevent the poor from being fed and the needy from getting help. Instead let us declare that you are the living God who takes care of all who come to you. May we never see and experience the gospel as comfortable but as suffering which will bring victory and the foretaste of the kingdom of God. Bless us and strengthen us Lord to carry our cross cheerfully. Amen.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Prayer for true friendship

What a friend we have in Jesus and how wonderful it is to know that. Loving God, you have loved us like a friend through Jesus Christ your son. He told us to do the same and love each other and lay down our life for our friends. Today we thank you for the gift of friendship and for the spirit to make new friends so that we may sacrifice for them. We know that unless we accept others into our circle of friendship, we will never love them completely. They will always remain strangers and we will never help strangers. Help us to build circles of friendship instead of one circle which is limiting and small. You have accepted us Jesus in so much that we are not just your servants but your friends. May we accept each other unconditionally and know that we have been created by God for each other and to be in each others caring arms. In the name of Christ Jesus we pray. Amen.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Prayer of assurance

Gracious Lord, we start today knowing that there will be problems at every juncture without you. And yet we are assured in the belief that every time we think of you and fold our hands in thanks and prayer, no mountain will be big to climb.
Many are already planning their weekend and thinking of where to go. But we are blessed knowing that with you God we are relaxed and at peace. May we pray for those who are having parties and fun for the weekend. May they relax knowing that we are praying for them and thinking about them. Help us God to feel blessed knowing that others are covered by our prayers and good thoughts.
May those travelling be protected by your shadow of mercy. May those working find strength to continue. May those in hospitals recuperate and get healthy. May children enjoy their childhood. May the young explore new things and may the elderly savour their memories. May those praying find themselves time and again. We pray to you God without boundaries and divisions. Amen.