Immanuel Mar Thoma Church, Virginia was approved as a new parish of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar effective April 15th 2010 by the Synod of the Mar Thoma church which met on February 22nd 2010. Rev M.M John was appointed by the Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan as the first vicar of the parish which is under the Diocese of North America and Europe. It is fitting that a Mar Thoma church was established by Immigrant Syrian Christians from the church of St Thomas in the Old Dominion which formed the core of the Old South.
Since the early 90’s a dedicated group of Mar Thoma families have lived and worshipped in the Commonwealth of Virginia. These families longed for a place of worship closer to home and a place of Christian learning offered by Sunday school for their children. The Information Technology boom of the late 90’s brought a new wave of Mar Thoma families to Northern Virginia which was rapidly emerging as the Silicon Valley of the East. These families brought with them a desire for worship and fellowship with like-minded believers. The foundations for a future parish was laid over the years by these families as they participated actively in church organizations at the Mar Thoma Church of Greater Washington which as the parent church offered prayerful support to the infant parish.
God has been good to us and blessed our efforts many fold in the short time since the parish was founded. What started out as a group of thirty families has grown in the space of nine months to forty devoted families under the able guidance of our Diocesan Bishop Rt. Rev Dr. Geevarghese Mar Theodosius Episcopa and our founding Vicar Rev M.M John.
IMTC, Virginia was blessed to have found Community Lutheran Church which offered its premises for IMTC to have its Sunday worship services and other parish activities. Community Lutheran Church is centrally located in Sterling, Virginia. Rev. Joseph M. Vought and his congregation at CLC have been extremely generous in offering the church building for different activities of our church.
IMTC, Virginia by god’s grace has established fully functioning yuvajana sakhyam, sevika sangham, choir, Sunday school, edavaka mission, youth fellowship, young families’ fellowship and mission oriented outreach programs. Four prayer groups have been established and regular prayer meetings are being conducted. The prayer groups provide an opportunity for families to hold monthly prayer meetings at the homes of members. IMTC, Virginia conducted its first church convention on October 13th 2010, Mr. Subin Pallickal was the convention speaker. IMTC conducted its first annual Christmas Carol service on December 18th 2010 and house to house caroling in the month of December.
On December 26, 2010 our Diocesan Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Geevarghese Mar Theodosius Episcopa will formally inaugurate Immanuel Mar Thoma Church, Virginia.
As we approach the end of a year of great blessings and joy, we thank our Lord and savior for his kindness and mercy. As IMTC, Virginia moves forward and continues to grow and bring more families into its fellowship, may we forever treasure the desire to worship the Lord holding tight to the traditions passed down by our forefathers and to be passed down to the next generation.
Published in Inaugural Souvenir and Authored by: John Cyrus (served as Secretary in 2010, the inaugural year of Immanuel Mar Thoma Church, Virginia)