Friday, October 28, 2016

Prayer for building relationships

We thank you Lord for your multiple and unending mercies in our life. We are sorry that we have moved away from the clear direction that you have shown us. Instead, our ego is ruling our lives. Allow us the discernment God to recreate lost relationships, friendships and partnerships so that we may see the good in everything.
We pray Father God for a pure heart which will bring about good thoughts in us. We pray Son of God for the tenacity and will power to do what is right and not what is usual. We pray Holy Spirit for the strength to carry on when everyone else gives up.
We can't do it alone. We need your help and the support of others. We bend our knees before you and promise that we will start talking to and be in relationship with our friends, family, church members, neighbours and colleagues. Guide us O Lord we pray with the inspired wisdom and radical love of the blessed Trinity. Amen.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Profile and engagements

Fr. Jerry Kurian is a priest of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church and an alumnus of UTC.  He joined the United Theological College, Bangalore as lecturer in the Department of Communication in May, 2011.

Jerry Kurian taught at the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Theological Seminary (MSOTS) for a period of five years before joining for his research. He has many years of pastoral experience as well. He functions as the Chairperson of the Department of Communication.

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 is serving as priest in the St. Ignatius Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, K.R. Puram, Bangalore. He 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 college web site and is presently maintaining the web site @  He also designed and is maintaining and updating the college blog @ 

Publications and presentations

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.
Has been writing quite regularly in a personal blog on social, religious and cultural affairs @

Doing research, writing and editing for the college blog 

Webmaster, researcher and updater of the new UTC college website

Pastoral duties
Priest in the St. Ignatius Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, K.R. Puram, Bangalore. Responsibility includes leading worship, preaching and taking classes for the youth on Sunday. 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”.

Phone: +91-9483966951
E mail: 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Prayer for couples

God allow us to be in relationship with our partner and explore every single day and moment that you have envisaged for us. You give us so many opportunities to know and accept one another but work, projects, and deadlines come in between. We hide behind these excuses Lord when actually priority, ego and lack of understanding are what distance us. Help us to see how our life and the reason we are is because of your love to us. May we understand, sacrifice for, make time and accept our partner and take care of their needs and wants. Loving God, may we understand that you have created us out of love so that we may love different people and things in various ways. Help us to see our partner as our soul mate. Teach us to forget outward beauty and instead see vividly the beauty inside and use touch and observation to draw closer to each other and through that realize you and your presence in us dear Lord. In your existence as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you gave time, love and importance to one another so much that we feel you as one even though we refer to you as three. Love is knowing, seeing, feeling and doing like no one else. Help us to love each other just as you love us dear God. Amen.  

Friday, October 7, 2016

Prayer when everything goes downhill

Most merciful God, not a day goes by without remembering you. We do not do it with fear but because you appeal to each and every one of our senses. Without you a moment is not worthwhile. You have seen and supervised our successes and yet we are also faced with many failures. Perhaps we don’t thank you enough for times of happiness and complain whenever we are sad. Help us to know your eagerness to be a part of our life. Most understanding God we ask for the maturity and spiritual strength to stand firm even when things around us fall apart, we pray for needed distractions to forget our pain even for a short time, we seek your comforting hand when the whole world fails to understand our good intentions. God our creator, you understood the eagerness to know of Adam and Eve and let them go, Jesus Christ, you explained your parables again to your disciples instead of leaving them to fend for themselves, Holy Spirit, you made people understand the message of the apostles even though it was not spoken in a language they knew. It is but normal to receive pain from people we know and speak to. Help us to understand this and commit our lives to you. May we feel peace even when the world around us falls apart, may we hear your pleasant voice even when people around us shout at and humiliate us, may we look forward in hope, understanding that every fall is an opportunity to stand up and walk. Help us dear Lord in our various situations of hopelessness. We glorify and praise you Lord Jesus, and your Father and your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Prayer for motivation in work, family life and church

Compassionate God, we come to your presence for realizing our true selves and being motivated to be the best in our field, to be a good father/mother, brother/sister, son/daughter, husband/wife/partner, friend, family and church member. We remember that we have been created in your image and likeness God. You are in us as we are in you. Help us Lord to be the best not in comparison with others but realizing the full potential of God’s presence in us. Every time we turn away from a challenge we are also turning away from an opportunity dear Father. All the arguments and differences we have with others mean we have not absorbed your teaching dear Jesus Christ our Lord. All the negative thoughts inside us negate your presence inside us Holy Spirit. It is not easy to step back and yet we find ourselves stepping back from various challenges in life. It is difficult to step forward and yet if you hold our hands and guide us, we will take several steps forward. May we not get stuck in the past but be enthused by the present and look forward to the future. We may not fulfill the parameters set by others and satisfy everyone around us. But help us to be happy and content with what you have given us gracious God. May every day be a step for you Lord and not a fight against someone else. May every step be a joy and not a burden to carry. May every joy provide hope to move on and express the beauty of our relationship with you dear God. Help us to be something to every single person in our life, not everything to everyone. May a small thing we do be a spark of God and God’s love in the life of those we love and care for. We pray along with our dear departed ones to you Father, Son and Holy Spirit, love without beginning and end. Amen.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Gandhi Jayanthi: An opportunity to see God expressed in the midst of hunger

Bible passage: St. Mark 2:23-28

The disciples of Jesus are seen plucking heads of grain and the Pharisees complain to Jesus asking whether it is possible to do this on a Sabbath? In Jesus’ reply he reminds them of the story of David and his followers who eat the food meant for priests during the time of priest Abiathar, even though the food was meant only for priests. In a significant statement Jesus says “The Sabbath was made for human kind and not human kind for the Sabbath.”

What must have been the problem of the Pharisees who pointed out a rule to Jesus? The problem was simple. The disciples of Jesus were breaking the rule of their religion. The difference between religion and spirituality is something for us to ponder upon at this juncture. We can use this to identify the difference between religion and spirituality. Religion can be said to be the belief in someone else's experience while spirituality is having one’s own experience, religion shows you the truth while spirituality lets you discover it and religion makes you dependent while spirituality makes you independent. Even today we go by rules and not by spiritual conduct. What is it that God wants for God’s creation? Isn’t it the fact that we must love each other just as God taught us, and doesn’t love involve sharing food and feeding one another?

October 2 is commemorated as Gandhi Jayanthi because it is Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. The father of the nation has remarked “There are people in the world so hungry that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” There is a truth in this that can be linked to the above passage. The Sabbath or a Sunday service can be seen as a day to fast and not do anything else for the rich because they can afford to do it. But for the poor fasting is extension of their poverty. The disciples were poor materially but rich spiritually. The Pharisees were rich materially and poor spiritually. Jesus is leading us to the spirituality of the poor where being poor will make us rich. Fasting can be effective only when it hurts us. Otherwise it is only a life style choice done out of abundance. Sunday’s in church should not just be a set of rules of what we cannot do but should lead us into thinking what we can do.

Today we again get an opportunity to clean up our act. It is not only to clean our surroundings but to clean our mind of prejudices and wrong notions. The communion in the church is not thinking how to prevent people from coming to receive the Holy body and blood of Christ, by talking of rules and barriers but to ask people to come because the poor can become rich in the act of sharing food. Through communion we are getting the idea of going out to the world and reaching out to the poor and sharing our resources with one another.

Food is God’s love made edible. We must worship God by loving one another and sharing what we have with one another for the sake of God’s kingdom. Jesus tells us in John 13:34-35 “Love one another as I have loved you.” The Sabbath or a Sunday is not a rule but an opportunity. Eating food is a right and not a luxury. Staying away from communion will also make us stay away from sharing and feeding. Our children will also not understand why it is important to be hungry so that others may also eat.

A father who was aged was once shifted to a smaller table in the house by his son because the father had lost the capacity to eat properly according to the rules in the house, often dropping food on the table and the floor. The old father was given food on a separate table in a separate wooden bowl. The son then one day sees his child making a bowl and when asked the child answers that he is making a wooden bowl. The father asks him why and he replies that he is getting one ready for the father to use when he gets old, just like the grandfather. The person realizes his mistake and shifts his father back to the main dining table during meals. In the process of being clean and “swach” we must not lose track of the basic lesson in our spirituality of sharing what we have with one another.

This story and the story of Jesus and his disciples along with the quotation of Mahatma Gandhi speaks volumes to us. Being clean is important and making our surroundings clean is also important but making people see God through the sharing of food is even more important. Jesus’ disciples see and experience God in their act of plucking heads of grain. The Pharisees on the other hand quote rules (cleanness) and in the process lose sight of God. Even as we try to grow spiritually may we never lose track of God expressed in the midst of poverty and hunger. Amen.