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.
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