of the year 2007
“Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.” (Psalm 100:
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, it is with joy, and gratitude
that I present this brief report of the year 2007 of our Church. 2007 was an important and eventful year in the history of
the world. It was indeed an important year in the history of our church. First of all I want to thank God Almighty for His
guidance that led me to become part of this family. I also want to thank each one of you for your confidence, understanding
and support you have given me as your vicar. Christ is the head of the church and we are parts of His body and nothing will
happen in this world without the knowledge and guidance of God Almighty. Year 2007 was also one of the most important
years in my personal life. My father was called to eternity and I had to travel back and forth a few times
to take care of my responsibilities. I want to thank you for the support given to me during this difficult time. God made
us and we are His people and He will lead us through good times and bad. As human beings we are also obliged
to come before God with praise and worship not only for His glory but also for our grace. I also want to thank Mother Deb
Sellers for her valuable help in our difficult times.
Officially April 9, 2007
I became the vicar of this Church. I had many great dreams when I became part of this family but the last nine months taught
me many new lessons in ministry. I learned that no matter what we dream; how great we are and how talented we are; the Church
belongs to God. I also learned that prayer, patience and understanding are some of the great weapons in ministry. I believe
that prayer is the greatest weapon we all possess. Please keep our church family in your daily prayers. October
28, 2007 was another special day in our
life. We had renewed and celebrated our new ministry at St. Columba. Due to the retirement of our beloved bishop the announcement
for the installation date from the diocese came on very short notice but we were up to the task. We have showed the diocese
and our neighbors that we may be small in numbers but we too are up to the task. Once again I want to thank each one of you
for the hard work you have put behind the celebrations. Special thanks to Norma, Michael and Pat, who were in charge of the
celebrations. I want to thank all who participated in the program.
Our Sunday worship service was regularly conducted last
year at 9:00 A.M. During the December vestry meeting, in
order to accommodate all of us, we made an important decision that the first three months
of the year 2008 (January to March 31st) we should start our Sunday worship at 10.00 AM. If this arrangement is not convenient to any I am also open for other possibilities, even having two services on Sunday
morning. I am also leaning to the possibility of a midweek Wednesday evening service in order to accommodate the needs of
the community. As a congregation we must spent more time with God in worship and prayers, especially for all the blessings
we receive from God Almighty. I want to thank all of you who take part and assist in our worship services. Special thanks
to Pat Teeter who helps before and after the service and Patricia who assist me regularly during the service and led the services
in my absence.
Last year I was able to visit a few families.
I was also able to conduct a house prayer at the residence of Pat Teeter. Thank God for providing her a new residence and
Some of our members
are not healthy enough to engage in their daily life. Some of our loved ones here and abroad are also in need of our prayers.
Please remember them in our daily prayers.
did not meet regularly as Vestry last year but we met together whenever we need to make important decisions. At our November
meeting we decided to have regular vestry meetings on the third Sunday of every month. At present our vestry consists of all
our regular members. For the day to day affairs of our church our wardens are an important part of our ministry. I want to
thank them for their continued support and assistance in the day to day affairs of our church.
want to thank those who are always contributing to the needs of the church. They truly believe that God Almighty has given
them not only for their own uses but also to serve others through them. May God bless them abundantly. Personally I want to
promise you that I will not allow closing this ministry because of finance.
I want to extent a
special thanks to our partner in ministry, Living Christ Lutheran Church in Hanover Park.
Last year we worked together in ministry as partners in many occasions. This year we are planning to have
a number of joint programs including a joint picnic. Thanks to their contribution of eighty four much needed chairs for our
use. Once again I want to thank Pastor Jennie Swanson and her initiation for a joint community ministry in the coming years.
We may be small as a worshiping community but we are involved in many activities for the community.
Alcoholics Anonymous holds regular meetings in our church (Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays). We are
involved in the emergency shelter program of the community. Beyond our share we are also involved in contribution to food
pantry and other ministries of the community. Last year we collected, almost one thousand dollars from the contributions and
flea market sale to support the Hanover
Park food pantry. At present as your priest
I am a member of the senior citizens committee, the Schaumburg Clergy association, and many other community projects. Last
year I attended a number of community activities part of our outreach ministry to the community. I am planning to involve
more outreach ministries during the coming year. Our congregation is always good to respond to the
worthy cause. We may be a small family but we showed others that we do care for them. Even though there is no special fund
allocated in the budget, this year we responded in time of needs of many projects. Without a sincere heart and cooperation
of all the members this would not have been possible. Thanks to all the members who responded in time of our needs and supported
for the work of God’s ministry. Last year I continued to lead Wednesday morning service once a month at
St. Mark Episcopal Church, Glen Ellyn. Starting this year on the third Wednesday of every
month I will be leading morning service at Friendship village, Schaumburg.
Hope and pray that these services will enhance our outreach ministry and attract more people towards to our family.
Participation in the Diocesan convention was another
important event for us. Last year’s convention was a very important one because we elected a new bishop at the convention.
The installation service for the new bishop is on Saturday February 2nd at 1 pm at the House of Hope Arena, 752 E. 114th St., Chicago. Please keep our Bishop-Elect Jeffrey Lee and his family in your prayers.
Bishop Persell was a true inspiration for me in my ministry. He is the one who was instrumental
for my ministry at the diocese of Chicago. He was my brother, my mentor, my bishop and also my
spiritual leader. I was very fortunate to have a very close relationship with him. His wife, Nancy was indeed a true companion
in the bishop’s ministry. Her love, care and compassion to the ministry was indeed an asset to our diocese and particularly
to me. There is no doubt that I am going to miss them very much in the coming years. Please keep Bishop Persell and their
family in your prayers. Bishop Persell’s executive secretary Ms. Sue Easterwood is also going
to enter into retirement life this year. Her dedication, faithfulness and availability will be a great loss to our diocese.
Please keep her and her family in your prayers.
One of the important needs for our church is a regular church choir. Before we have a choir we
need an organist. We are still in search of some one to assist us voluntarily. Thanks to Mike for his continued service to
provide us with music. Last year Patrick stepped in whenever Mike was not available. Miriam has also agreed
to help us with the music in the coming year. Church is the body of Christ and in that body a church choir
is an important part. We hope and pray that a regular church choir will be a reality in the future.
The annual picnic of our church was conducted again last year. I want to thank all of you who took part. In
the coming years we must use our beautiful facility for more get-togethers, not only for our members but also for others.
Thanks to all the families who made this year’s picnics a great success.
Mission and Evangelism
We supported many worthy causes during the calendar year. We do not have
a regular mission project. One of the important visions of our church is mission and evangelism. I must also add that India has the second largest population in the world and only 2.5 percent of them are Christians
impression is the best impression. Appearance is one of the important aspects of attracting new members to the church. Due
to our financial position we have put off many of our overdue projects. One of the overdue projects of our church was a new
roof for the church school/office building. Last year we were able to accomplish that goal. Thanks to Michael and others who
helped to oversee that project to become a reality. Our Church building also needs a new roof in the near future. One of our
summer projects is to estimate the cost. We also need to paint outside of the church and need to repair some ceiling tiles
and electric fixtures inside of the church school/office building. Our church should look better than any
churches in the diocese. Hope and pray that God almighty will give us support and strength to maintain his home.
Our rectory is one of the top priorities of ours at this time. Last year under the able leadership
of Lous, we were able to take care of the outside maintenance of the rectory. Thanks to all of you who participated in that
ministry especially Lous, Michael and Charles. These days, rectory is not a necessity for a church like
ours. We have already made some temporary decisions regarding our rectory but we need a permanent solution. I am sure the
diocese will give us permission to sell the property if we utilize the proceeds properly. This coming year we must take appropriate
decisions regarding our rectory. Please keep this agenda in your prayers.
year we were able to launch a website for our church. The name of our site is www.saint-columba.org. It is still a work in
progress as we are still in the process of tweaking it. If you have any suggestions please do not hesitate
to inform Mike. Also please visit our site regularly. The entire work of our web-site except the initial
fee and annual cost of the web name is from the voluntary contribution of Mr.Aji Abraham, Dallas. May God bless him and his ministry. We also need to put together all the email addresses of our members so that we
are in touch with each other regularly. Once again thanks to Aji Abraham and also thanks to Michael who coordinates the project.
Last year few of our members renewed their vow with us as a family. We
were thankful for the fellowship of Hortensia, Pat and Cheryl. Last year we were able to almost double our regular worship
membership. Many families visited us last year but unfortunately, for unknown reasons, they did not choose us part of their
family. Our goal this year is again double our regular worship membership. Our Church is special in many ways in the diocese
of Chicago. We must encourage our family and friends who are in
need of a church fellowship to attend our Church. Thanks to Sue, we conducted our first wedding in the
Church on December 22, 2007. Once again I want to wish the couple a happy and blessed
family life. Please keep them in your prayers.
Many dignitaries including our bishop Rt. Rev. William
and Mrs. Nancy Persell visited us last year. Church
of South India bishops Rt. Rev. K.P. Kuruvilla and Rt. Rev. Prabakar Rao and also general secretary Pauline Sathiamurthy and husband
visited us during the year. Many people from the diocese including Rev.Canon Dr. Warren Randall also visited. This year we
are scheduled to have Clericus, Kerala clergy picnic and an Asian Sunday service at our church. Dates will be announced later.
Many of our family lost their loved ones during the calendar year. It is
the most painful thing in this world to lose our loved one in death. This world is not for ever and the life of this world
is a gift of God, a gift to serve God and to know him. We express our sincere condolence to Diane who lost her mother, others who lost their loved ones and our previous member’s family who moved out from
the area who were called to eternity during
the calendar year.
Our needs are many but our resources
are very limited. Our most important need is to attract more families to our midst irrespective of our differences. Sunday
school and youth activities are important part of the ministry but before we can think about them we need to have the fellowship
of few more youngsters. It may not be always possible in the midst of our busy life but as a church we also need to come together
more for prayers and fellowship. God Almighty led us in all our difficult times and will also lead us in the future. If we
submit our needs before our God regularly it will be answered.
church is unique in many respects among the North American Episcopal churches. We had our share of problems and difficulties
in the past. We must also thank ourselves for the cooperation we have shown in the past. I want to thank each one of you personally
for the support you have given me last year. Let me also thank my fellow members in Christ, especially the members of the
vestry and each one of you who were part of the everyday needs of this church. Let me also ask your support
and prayers in our ministry. Once again I wanted to thank God Almighty for another blessed year in our life. Let us praise
our Lord God almighty for all the blessings we have received as a church in the past and request His continued guidance for
Yours’ in Christ,