Indian Orthodox Church Annual Family Conference
Sheila (my wife) and Fr Simon (myself) spent a wonderful Friday evening and Saturday at the Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church Annual Family Conference in London Colney this past weekend. We had been invited by Fr Abraham Thomas to help lead different groups and, in my case, to give a talk on the opening evening.
The children and youth loved Sheila's group and couldn't wait to do more learning with her. My own talk suffered slightly from me losing my voice (yes, I know some might count this a blessing!) but was well received nonetheless.
There were talks of extraordinary power and spirituality by the Indian Orthodox priests. There was the most wonderful singing both in Malayalam and in English. There was football which I joined in (well, I stood there in my black robe and kicked the ball the couple of times it came my way... well, I am 54 and not a teenager like many of them! And, biased as I no doubt am as a Scotland fan, I put myself up there with most of the England stars) and there was rounders which Sheila joined in... and there was worship, and lots of it. And there was the Saturday evening concert between evening prayer and compline... Old Testament stories told through dance, singing, stories and so much more.
As Sheila says, she just felt so much at home and how she loved the singing. And all I know is that I felt blessed to give a tiny bit back to one of the Churches of the Oriental Orthodox family... for this family of Churches has given me a spiritual home and whenever I can give anything back I am thrilled to be able to do so. My only regret was that we could not be with them on Sunday as well as we had to leave at the crack of dawn so as to be in Bournemouth to celebrate the British Orthodox Sunday Liturgy there.
There is such a wonderful richness and variety to being an Oriental Orthodox Christian.