TMAM Orientation Centre, people of Manganam and John Phillip Achen’s friends gave him and his family a fine farewell.
As the director of Thomas Mar Athanasius Orientation and Research Centre for last 5 years, he created a positive impact in the church and local community. Achen transformed his personal connects with people from all walks of life into strong bonds of fellowship and friendship. This enabled the centre to take up many innovative initiatives for social change.
Achen’s Farewell Speech
I am grateful to God for having given me the opportunity to serve as the director of TMAM Research and Orientation centre from May 2014. TMAM Orientation Centre was started in 1986 as a memorial in honour of our eminent Bishop, Late Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Mar Athanasius Suffragan Metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church. St Augustine Study Centre, founded by Thomas Thirumeni, was renovated with renewed scope and direction as TMAM Research and Orientation Centre.
The Centre conducts continuing education programmes for clergy and laymen and has become a hub for developing and enhancing their skills and potentials in different fields through specialized courses.
The Centre published the first Pratidina Veda Padana Sahayi, a daily devotional for indepth Bible study, in 1986. This was a new stepping stone in the history of TMAM. The Centre was also raised as a doctoral study centre for Religious Sociology, affiliated to the Mahatma Gandhi University,
The Centre was able to conduct diverse short-term courses in different areas of study during the past thirty-three years, focussing mainly on studies about current issues, seminars and conferences on socially and culturally relevant contemporary topics, training camps etc. Some one-year courses were also conducted by the Centre. During the last four years the Centre conducted courses on ‘Gender and Culture studies – Women Empowerment’, ‘Ecological studies’ as well as ‘Eastern Christian thoughts and its contemporary relevance’.
The diverse programs of the Centre were useful to influence and collaborate people in different streams, especially people with a community-oriented outlook. The Centre was involved in different environment friendly activities – such as collecting of plastic waste and taking it to recycling centres for re-use, greening of the roadsides in and around Manganam with plants and trees etc. TMAM website was designed and launched giving online access to the activities of the Centre to people across the globe. God enabled us to be involved in several innovative programs through the TMAM Research and Orientation Centre.
In 2016, as a mark of celebrating thirty years of Veda Padana Sahayi, an English version was introduced – Every day with the Word. We are happy that this devotional received good acceptance amongst people, young and old, within Kerala, in other parts of India as well as outside. This venture also helped to hone the English devotion writing skills of several clergy and laymen contributors.
I take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks and love to all those who helped TMAM during the last five years, especially the Metropolitan and all the Bishops, governing council members, all the participants in the different courses at the Centre, and those who provided various support to the Centre activities, especially my office team Mr. V M Babu, Mrs Molly Joseph and Mrs. Priya Binu.
As I take over my new responsibility at the E J Institute at Kompady in Thiruvalla from 1 May 2019, I request your continued prayers and cooperation. Praising God for all His blessings upon us, I extend my wholehearted gratitude and good wishes to all.
TMAM Research and Orientation Centre wishes Achen and family all success in his professional and personal endeavours.