CSI Bay Area Preview Service
- September 07, 2023
St. Paul’s Los Altos opened its doors to a holy communion service in Malayalam, led by Bishop Sabu Cherian of the Church of South India and Reverend Aby Thomas, representing the Los Angeles CSI congregation.
This remarkable gathering wasn’t just an ordinary service; it was a preview of something profoundly transformative—a new mission partnership between the Reformed Episcopal Church under Bishop Ray Sutton of the Diocese of Mid-America and the Church of South India. The service was a poignant reminder that faith knows no boundaries and that unity in Christ can bring disparate communities together.
Bishop Sabu Cherian, who hails from the Madhya Kerala Diocese, shared a powerful message about work and leadership. “For we are co-workers in God’s service” was the text behind his call to plant a church for Indian diaspora in the San Francisco Bay Area. He emphasized the importance of building bridges between different Christian traditions and working together to further God’s kingdom on Earth. Reverend Aby Thomas echoed this sentiment, highlighting the shared values and beliefs that bind Christians across continents.
The service was partially conducted in Malayalam, a beautiful and melodious language that resonated with the hearts of those present. The sermon and some hymns were sung in English. For many, it was a unique opportunity to experience the depth of devotion and spirituality that the Church of South India brings to its worship which is based on the English Book of Common Prayer in the Anglican tradition.
As the congregation left St. Paul’s that day, there was a palpable sense of excitement and anticipation in the air. The preview service had served its purpose, igniting the flame of interest in a partnership between these two distinct Christian communities.
In a world often divided by borders and ideologies, the holy communion service at Saint Paul’s was a testament to the power of faith to unite. It was a glimpse into a future where the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Church of South India could join hands, creating a vibrant and gospel-centered mission community in the San Francisco Bay Area.