Lighthouse – March


Monthly Newsletter of Horeb Mar Thoma Church


Message from Rev. Larry Varghese, Vicar


Dearly Beloved in Christ,


“Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven…” Mt 6:9

It’s the start of the prayer that we’ve all prayed numerous times. Jesus, when instructing his disciples how to pray, spoke a prayer which was to be a model for them to follow. It’s interesting how we have taken the model and used it to end our family prayers and prayer meetings and perhaps forgot that Christ was saying this prayer, likely with eyes open, in order to teach a lesson.

So what was he teaching us? And how can we include his teachers in our prayer?

Well to understand the boldness of this simple opening line we should put it against the backdrop of Jewish thought and practices. Joachim Jeremias, an NT scholar, points out that nowhere in the Old Testament do we find anyone addressing God as Father. There are passages where God is referred to as Father, but no one uses Father when speaking to him directly. It’s as if there was an unspoken rule that one could not assume to use a term of endearment when addressing the ultimate creator of the entire universe. They believed God to so holy, so sacred, so beyond human comprehension and understanding that to call him Father was unimaginable. It would be like meeting the Pope and saying, Hey, What’s up Buddy? The one saying it might be a good friend of the Pope, but those who heard it would cringe at the blatant crassness and the lack of respect.

Now look at Jesus’ prayers. In all but one of his recorded prayers, he addresses God as Father. This was a significant shift from the earlier tradition. I’d like to focus on two things this teaches us.

1)      To call him Father affirms that we are his children. But before we accepted Christ we were slaves to sin. We were not worthy to be called his children. But through faith in Christ, those who were once estranged are now adopted as sons and daughters of God. We have an eternal inheritance. This is a great privilege and we would do well to never take it for granted. When Jesus is his unfathomable grace sought to save us from our sins and bring us into his family he taught us to join him in calling God as Father! To call him Father is to confirm our standing before God. It is a constant reminder of both his grace and our need to live up to our title as Children of God.

2)      Father is certainly a term of endearment. It conveys a level of intimacy that the religious leaders of Jesus’ days couldn’t tolerate. We would never address our biological father by saying Mr. _____.  It would be inappropriate and borderline insulting to speak to him in an impersonal way. Jesus teaches his disciples that it is perfectly appropriate to desire and seek a paternal level of intimacy with God. Even the Holy Spirit prompts us to cry “Abba Father” – Gal 4:6. It is this closeness that prompted the liturgists of our church to say Daivame, nee parishudhanakkunu… in our Kauma. I have been told by several senior Achens and even Bishops that they never had a problem with using this informal language (even in songs) to address God because it emphasized the closeness we have to our Creator.

When we pray, let us remember that through Christ we have been adopted into his family. We can call our God Father because we are his children according to his grace. And let us also strive to address him more sincerely, and be bold enough to embrace a relationship that reflects the intimacy we have with our heavenly Father. Along with Jesus, the apostles, and even the once Muslim – Bilquis Sheikh, let us dare to call him Father (If you haven’t, I encourage you to read Bilquis’ amazing story of conversion in her book, I Dared to Call Him Father)
Rev. Larry Varghese.

Worship Service

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Sunday School

All Sundays – 1:30 pm

Praise & Worship

All Sundays – 2:30 pm

Service Times

All Sundays – 3:00 pm

First Sunday Holy Communion Service (English)

Second Sunday Holy Communion Service (Malayalam)

Third Sunday Holy Communion Service (English)

Fourth Sunday Holy Communion Service (English)

Fifth Sunday Divine & Witnessing Service (English)
(when applicable)



Bible Lesson Readers & Deacons

News, Events & Monthly Meetings


General Church Events

Faith and Practice Class conducted by Rev. Larry Varghese
Sunday, March 2 (after service)

Topic: How the Bible was put together – Canon

Diocesan Sunday – Pulpit Exchange

Sunday, March 16
Rev. Mathew John, Vicar of Seattle MTC will be conducting the Holy Communion Service.
Kindly request everyone to attend the service.


General Body Meeting

Sunday, March 23

There will be a general body meeting of Horeb MTC on Sunday, March 23, immediately following the service. Please prayerfully attend the meeting.


– Election of English Lay Leader
– Area Prayer Group Proposal
– Song Reorganization (English & Malayalam Choir Songs for 1st & 2nd Sunday)
– Any other matters with the permission of the Vicar

Parish (Edavaka) Mission

Tuesday Evening Meeting @ 7:00pm

3/4: Mr. & Mrs. Mathew Koshy
3/11: Mr. & Mrs. Isaac George
3/18: Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Mammen
3/25: Mr. & Mrs. K.M. Chacko

Edavaka Mission Committee Meeting

At GGUMC after service.


Sevika Sangham (Women’s Ministry)

Western Regional Sevika Sangham One Day Conference
Saturday, March 15 – 8am to 4pm

Hosted by Horeb MTC.

For details, please click on link below:


World Day of Prayer 

Sunday, March 9

We are recognizing March 9th 2014 as the World Day of Prayer. This year we are praying for the country of Egypt. Egypt is a land that has a lot of biblical significance and of late this country has faced a lot of political and economic turmoil. Here are some of the highlights of the day’s events that has been planned.

1. Intercessory prayer in the morning during praise and worship for Egypt.

2. Special liturgy before Holy Communion service.

3. Sermon by our very own Roshin Kochamma followed by a special prayer.

4. A special skit and song by the Sunday school children.

A special offertory will be taken for the nation of Egypt. This offertory will go towards girls’ education, clean drinking water, sanitation, refugee rehabilitation, interfaith issues and also towards other countries and organizations that require funds on Christian training and leadership.

The world day of prayer will be celebrated simultaneously in 170 countries across the world. I urge you to keep Egypt in your daily prayers

– Reni John, Sevika Sangham Secretary



Youth Fellowship

Bible Study
Friday, March 14, 6:45 pm
Location: Parsonage


Youth Fellowship pictures from Sky High Trampoline Park on Feb 14th.