Tribute to an Ecumenical Stalwart: His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma
The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) joins the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church in thanking God for the life and witness of the Metropolitan His Grace Dr Joseph Mar Thoma, who received his home call in the early hours of 18 October, 2020 months after his 90th birthday.
The Metropolitan has been a great ecumenist, visionary and a committed church leader. Churches in India will remember his astute and graceful leadership for years to come. His passing away is at a time when Christian communities in India desperately need strong and proficient leadership.
The 63 long years of his ministry through the church benefited not only the Mar Thoma Church but also other churches in India and Asia. Besides giving leadership to the NCCI as its President, the Metropolitan also provided leadership to the Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA), Christian Conference of Asia and World Council of Churches in various capacities.
A man of courage, His Grace helped NCCI face critical moments in its history with determination especially during organizational crises. The Metropolitan was an influential and effective mediator of conflicts that emerged within and between member churches. His initiatives in peace talks in Nagaland, Manipur, East Timor, Cambodia and Sri Lanka are remarkable and witness to his gift and talent as a peace-builder.
HG Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma willingly acknowledged people who worked in ecumenical organizations, and many in ecumenical circles will testify to his hospitality and care with a personal touch. He took daring decisions once he was convinced of a cause and executed the same without fear or favour.
NCCI joins the Mar Thoma Church in praying God that the Church will find comfort and peace in the certain hope of resurrection to eternal life. With ardent hope in the Triune God we continue to pray for the meaningful journey of the Church.
Most Rev. Dr. P. C.Singh
Rev. Dr. D. Ratnakara Sadananda
Ms. Aleyamma Thomas
Mr. Liju Kuriakose
Rev. Joshua Peter
Rev. Asir Ebenezer
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