Mar Thoma Suvisesha Sevika Sangham was inaugurated during the Maramon Convention in the year 1919, under the leadership of Abraham Mar Thoma Suffragan Metropolitan, with the aim of nurturing and empowering women to be effective witnesses of Christ. Every woman of the Mar Thoma Church above the age of 18 years is a member of the Sevika Sangham.
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised – Proverbs 31:30 “
The Bethel Mar Thoma Suvisesha Sevika Sangham, Sydney was officially established and inaugurated at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church at Erskineville in July 1996. Our Sevika Sangham is an active organization playing a vital role in the ministerial and spiritual growth of the church. Over the years, under the leadership of the vicars, the members participate in regular Bible study, seminars, one day retreats, fasting prayer and bible quiz. By the grace of The Almighty, we have completed 26 years since and continue to grow as a strong and faithful organization of Sydney Bethel Mar Thoma Church. We are committed to serving the Lord and His people by bringing women together to share, implement ideas, provide fellowship, community service and financial support for marriage, education, housing and medical needs to the sicky and the needy.
Few Milestones Achieved
- June 2009 edition of the magazine Vanitha Bodhini: In 2009, under the leadership and guidance of Blysu Achen and Nissi Kochamma, we decided to sponsor the June edition of the magazine Vanitha Bodhini, a monthly magazine published at the Sevika Sangham head office in Thiruvalla. Our Sevika Sangham members wrote all the articles as well as the devotional articles for each day of the month. On the first Sunday of July, with our invitation, Bishop Robert Forsyth of the Anglican Church released the magazine in Sydney. It was a blessed & proud event in our history.
- ‘The Voice’ – Quarterly Newsletter: It is the first official quarterly e-newsletter of Bethel MarThoma Suvishesha Sevika Sangham, Sydney. It was launched in 2021 under the guidance of Rev Nixon Daniel, with the aim to share the word of God as well as build fellowship among the SS members through regular bible study columns, short stories, testimonies, upcoming events, member news and reports of the past events. This is an ongoing newsletter.
- Daily devotional book called “Daily walk in His garden”: We published this book under the guidance of Nixon Achen in 2020 to commemorate the centenary year of Sevika Sangham (2018-2019). The project was initiated by Betsy Kochamma and fully supported by Nixon Achen. Our ladies who had no formal writing experience contributed most of the articles so joyfully and willingly. Each article turned out to be a reminder of God’s love and a testimony of God’s amazing grace
- Cookbooks: The Sevika Sangham published 2 cookbooks in the past which were immensely popular and the proceeds were donated to charity works.
Our Sevika Sangam members actively participate in various programs and activities of the Parish which include:
Every year a particular book from the Bible is chosen by our Vicar and a combined monthly Bible study for Edavaka Mission and Suvishesha Sevika Sangham is conducted on every second Sunday of each month via church zoom account at 7pm. The session is led by our Vicar.
Annual Webinar or Seminar
This is conducted every year on a chosen key topic relevant for the ladies. The speaker for the event will be an external guest. This interactive session conducted every year is a time of fellowship and aims to strengthen the spiritual life within the group.
Cottage Prayer Ministry
This ministry was introduced by Rev. Blysu Achen in 2009. We continue to organize prayer meetings in the homes of the elderly women, who are not able to attend Church.
Fasting Chain Prayers
This is regularly conducted by our ladies based on prayer requests from members.
This ministry was initiated in 2012, during the tenure of Rev. Mathews A. Mathew. SS members visit the expecting mothers for singing, prayer sessions and to extend our fellowship for the safe delivery. This is conducted regularly.
Annual Bible Quiz
This is an opportunity for the Sevika Sangham members to study a book of the Bible thoroughly and compete on behalf of their area prayer group. This was introduced by Rev. Abraham Athyal in the year 2000. An ever rolling trophy is given to the winning team. This trophy was donated by Mrs. Rani Joseph in memory of her late husband Dr. Jimmy Joseph.
Sevika Sangham Day
Sevika Sangham day, held every year on the second Sunday of September. It is a blessed time of thanksgiving. On this Sunday, members take an active part in the worship service, and we get an opportunity to share the word of God.
‘The Voice’ – Quarterly Newsletter
It is the official quarterly e-newsletter of Bethel Mar Thoma Suvishesha Sevika Sangham, Sydney. It was launched in 2021 under the guidance of Rev Nixon Daniel, with the aim to share the word of God as well as build fellowship among the SS members through regular bible study columns, short stories, testimonies, upcoming events, member news and reports of the past events.
Every year the Sevika Sangham members practice and present a very vibrant and joyful carol song during our Christmas day celebration at the church.
Church Building Project
This is an ongoing initiative. We started this with our first donation of $2000 towards the church building fund made in 2002 and ever since we have been contributing every year towards the same. Adding to this we also sponsored 30 chairs worth $2100 toward our new church in 2022.
- Sevika Sangham Annual Retreat: This retreat is planned extensively and enthusiastically every year based on a key theme and verse. It is a fun filled and spiritually nourishing full day initiative which includes singing, prayers, messages, multiple group games, bottle painting, group dance and sumptuous food. This is the most awaited event for our ladies.
- Friendly reach out to new SS members: The committee actively reaches out to all our new members and personally welcomes them to our Suvishesha Sevika Sangham. We also include them to all our chat channels and mailing lists with their consent. An initiative to create a sense of belonging and to ensure that all our future communications reach them as well.
- Meals Ministry: We provide home cooked meals to those members from our church who are recovering from surgery and for the new mothers.
- Meals for New Vicar: Provide home cooked food for the initial week whenever a new Vicar and family arrive in Sydney & take charge at our church.
- Friendly Meetups: The SS area representatives regularly conduct friendly outings and meetups for members to spend time with each other and build fellowship.
Fundraiser Activities and Food Sales
Sevika Sangham is passionate in contributing to the growth and progress of our parish.
- Annual Food Sale: Every year Sevika Sangham regularly conducts fundraiser food sales hosted by each of the area prayer groups. All items sold are fully home cooked by our members and these are sold at the church. The fund raised is used for supporting the charity initiatives done by Suvishesha Sevika Sangham.
- Various other fundraiser sales such as sapling sale, pickle sale, snacks sale, devotion book sale etc are also conducted every year by our ladies.
- Return & Earn: We continued to participate in the initiative started by the NSW government which collects the recyclable plastic products which are marked as 10c on its label, return it to the designated centers and earn from it. This project was inaugurated on 25th December 2019.
Every year we regularly give charitable financial assistance in Kerala and Australia towards the following categories such as Education Aid, Medical Aid, Special Aid Charity, Asha Bhavan, Balika Mandiram, Jubilee Mandiram and Kendra Sevika Sangham. This is funded by generous donations from our members. We thank all the members for their cheerful generosity in being a small beacon of light to this world filled with sufferings and we look back with joy and gratitude at the various charities and projects we were able to fund till date.