Petition for an open meeting with Theodosius Thirumeni
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I hope you all are having a good week so far. I am writing this email to let you all know what is currently happening in our church and the disagreement surrounding being able to sing Praise and Worship/Contemporary Christian Songs during the English Services (Songs like Come Thou Fount, In Christ Alone, At the Cross, Create in Me).
Since the Choirs have combined there has been a struggle for the EnglishChoir Leaders when picking songs to sing during Worship. They have been told that ONLY Hymns are to be sung and that Praise and Worship/Contemporary Christian Songs are not permitted. Our church has always had Praise and Worship/Contemporary Christian Songs included in Services so this new rule is a huge step back for the English speaking generation. Instead of trying to think of ways to encourage Worship, they are taking away the little we have.
To be clear we are not questioning Liturgy or the importance of Hymns. Our disappointment comes from certain people's efforts to take away important parts of the English Worship Service, while keeping what they want. As you may have noticed every week there is a new Maramon Convention Song but English Choir sings the same Hymns. During Choir practices all the efforts are put into learning new Malayalam songs and no attention given for learning English songs.
There has been several private meetings regarding this issue and both English leaders are being spoke to as if they're concerns in taking out Praise and Worship/Contemporary Christian Songs is not important. Thirumeni was also contacted to find out his opinion on the matter and we were told that we are "allowed to sing 10 Praise and Worship/Contemporary Christian Songs only for the YEAR as per our Achen's decision, and that 10 songs are better than none". We have heard the excuses that Praise and Worship/Contemporary Christian Songs are not doctrinally sound, the congregation can't sing cause it's too hard, the songs aren't approved by the Mar Thoma Church etc. Yetmany Mar Thoma churches sing these songs and there is no issue. All of this is just a way to take away Songs that have been sung in our Church for years and have caused no harm.
Settling on this decision without voicing our concerns is not fair. We are the upcoming generation of this church and as youths, young families, adults and members of the church we need to let the Church know we are not happy with the imposed decision.
Since we have started to make this issue known, there has been several attacks on the members who want to keep Praise and Worship/Contemporary Christian Songs. This email is sent to clarify what exactly is happening and that we have tried to fix it by going through the right channels. This isn't an attack on our Achen or anyone, but a request to keep the songs that have a place in Christian Worship.
I am not sure how you may feel about this issue but I am asking on behalf of the Church Members who find value and importance in Praise and Worship/Contemporary Christian Songs for you to please think- Is this new rule right? Base your support only on is it fair and ok to take away Praise and Worship/Contemporary Christian Songs from Worship? To us it looks like a way of saying "your needs in Worship have no space in this church". So if you agree in keeping those songs we have always sang in our Worship Services please sign the petition by clicking the link below. These signatures will be sent to Thirumeni requesting a General Body to discuss this concern.
Also we ask for you to pray over this matter. This is not about hurting anyone'sfeelings or being disrespectful. We do not want division but an understanding that Worship is number one and that just as much freedom is being given to Malayalam Choir that same treatment should be given to English Choir and English Worship.