Recap of GROW 'BELOVED' Mini Series

G.R.O.W. Ministries of Philadelphia hosted Part 1 of a 2-part Mini-Series on Love on Saturday, January 28th, 2017 at St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church, Unruh Ave, Philadelphia, PA from 9am – 4pm. The theme of the mini-series was “Beloved,” based on Romans 9:25 “I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved.” Women, ranging in ages 13 - 68, from Pennsylvania and Maryland attended this event. The mini-series was blessed to have Rev. Fr. Timothy (Tenny) Thomas as the main speaker.

The music ministry team began the morning session followed by prayer. The first general session, Fr. Tenny spoke about “Being the Beloved” and the importance of realizing that WE ARE BELOVED. Fr. Tenny indicated that it may be hard to believe that we are special and faithful when we are told that we are ugly on the inside/outside, unless we can demonstrate the opposite. If we constantly hear that we are worthless, then money and lust become powerful and thus tempting us. We reject ourselves when we listen to the voices and the external forces that bring us down. The key aspect is to realize that we ARE the beloved. Fr. Tenny also stated that the greatest trap in our lives isn’t success, quality, wealth, etc. but instead, self-rejection. Our hearts need to be purified daily and the realization of being beloved comes from a pure heart. Success is not what makes us who we are, but who we become in our failures, disappointments, sickness, etc. We need to be changed by what happens to us in our lives, and we need to anchor ourselves in prayer. Lastly, Fr. Tenny emphasized that we need to come to the realization of self-acceptance, and not self-rejection.

In the afternoon general session, Fr. Tenny discussed “Becoming the Beloved” and “letting the truth of our belovedness become enfleshed in all that we do and say.” There are four steps in becoming the beloved: “taken, blessed, broken, and given.” Thus, we are called to be the bread of the world and we have to be willing to be chosen by God. In addition, we should prepare our minds and hearts to receive the Word of God and the Body & Blood of Jesus Christ. When we are “taken, blessed, broken, and given,” our choseness has nothing to do with what we can offer. We are not chosen because of our competitiveness, but because of our compassionate choice.

After each general session, women lay leaders led group discussions relating to the sessions topic. From all walks of life, the women shared their experiences of feeling beloved and how they can become beloved. Moreover, Rev. Fr. Gheevarghese John and Fr. Tenny led the open forum in which many insightful questions posed by the women were answered. The mini-series concluded with a spiritual reflection.

The second part of the mini-series will be held on Saturday, March 18th, 2017 from 9am – 2pm at St. George Orthodox Church, Fairless Hills, PA. We are looking forward to seeing everyone as well as hearing Fr. Tenny again!

Thank you to St. Thomas, Unruh, the clergy, and the faithful volunteers who made this mini-series fruitful and spiritual. Please continue to remember G.R.O.W. Ministry in your daily prayers.





Tags: GROW

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